Savannah Monitor Lizard - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-08-2005, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Savannah Monitor Lizard

Hi there,
My savannah Loki is 5 years old. For some reason he stopped eating and ended up getting lipidosis. The swelling of the liver is now pushing up on his trachea and left lung. We have been to
the vet many times (for testing and this and that) and they are very reputable when it comes to herps and other exotics. I am planning on bringing him in for surgery tomorrow morning to have a feeding tube placed in him. The only way to reverse the fatty liver is by him eating and he won't even let me force feed him anymore. He's one tough cookie! Apparently, this (not eating) isn't uncommon when it comes to monitors. I am wondering if anyone else has dealt with this illness or behaviour and has any advice they can share? Otherwise, please send some healing energy and virtual *hugz* our way, we are both going to need it!
Many thanks,
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-08-2005, 04:22 PM
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sorry. with my monitors i never had any problems like that. however i know they are common.
i wish you luck! i love monitors and i wish yours the best of health.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-08-2005, 04:24 PM
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I hope everything turns out well. Updates are a must
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-08-2005, 05:46 PM
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I hope everything goes well!


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-08-2005, 08:26 PM
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Good luck!
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-10-2005, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, the surgery has been moved to Friday. A few more days of stress...
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-10-2005, 06:02 PM
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thats wrong! how dare them more the apointment! it should had been like.. the freakin next day!
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-10-2005, 06:06 PM
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Sorry you have to wait..
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-12-2005, 12:09 AM
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Fatty liver is generally a secondary problem, obesity typically being the root problem. An issue rather common with monitor lizards because they simply don't get the level of exercise, and we tend to feed more food and fattier foods than they would be getting in the wild. With monitors going off feed is often the first thing that happens when something (almost anything) is wrong with them.

I'm rather stunned that a vet would put off an appointment for an animal that was not eating. I'm hoping that it is because he's got a good body weight and is probably not going to be too badly hurt by a short period of fasting. An otherwise healthy monitor can easily go weeks without food.

How have you been force feeding up until now? That alone can be a stressful process, sometimes enough to cause an animal to go off feed. I guarantee he won't appreciate a tube either , but it certainly can make it easier - especially to get fluids into him. I've dealt with a few anorexic monitors, but none with fatty liver specifically. You'll have to let us know how it goes.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-12-2005, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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Red face The Lokster

Thank you for all your messages! The appointment had to be moved so my Vet could be in the OR. He was also the only surgery on Friday as they don't normally do any on Friday's except for emergengies, so he was special for a day, sort of.

As for exercise, he got more when he was a "puppy", outside on a harness, all around the house. Now that he is bigger I don't want him taking off any kitty toes! His cage is 6' long and 3' wide and he used to romp around in there quite a bit. When, hopefully, the lipidosis is under control or GONE, we will definately have to go romping around a bit more. I can understand how a great lack of exercise can cause many problems in many species, but he always got some.

Loki was never overweight, as far as I could tell. Friends of mine who own an "exotic" pet store and have owned herps and other pets for 15 years told me Loki looked great, as they have seen malnourished monitors and some "fatties". He weighed 2.8 lbs at 2 1/2 feet at his 1st vet visit. He has lost some weight since then, not all that noticeable, but still has a good body weight to endure short periods of fasting.

The force feeding was not fun, for myself, Loki, and my friend who had to help hold him. I was using an A/D food at home through a syringe and extended metal feeding attachment. When brought to my friend's store, he got thawed pinkies through a special metal syringe that sort of squishes them into a palatable paste. I wonder which is tastier? Force feeding was not easy, but for a few weeks it was routine every other day. Then the food started to come out his nose and I got soooo worried! I learned that monitor's (and other herps, probably) can close off their throats to expel unwanted food in their mouths. It got to the point where it was worse than feeding an infant! The next time it came to feed him he totally refused the food. He would open his mouth up all the way and make a gagging noise...I knew it wasn't going to happen and I just cried. The last step was the feeding tube, and hopefully it will make life easier for the both of us and give Loki a speedy recovery. I told my mother about the situation and she thought it was awful of me to put a tube in him. She said if he wants to die, let him die. I couldn't believe her words, he's not comatose! I asked her if one of her kitties was in need of a feeding tube or had to be euthanized what she would do. All she said was, it depends. I believe that I am doing the right thing, so I hope none of you frown upon my decision. *hugz*

I have already started him on antibiotic shots and I leave to pick him up shortly. The surgery went fine and my/our vet will show me all the do's and don'ts with the feeding tube. I am of course a bit nervous about seeing him with the tube in and feeding him, but I just want him to smile again, as he hasn't for almost 2 months!

Here's a question for you... Anyone have any good ideas on how to grind up thawed mice and or day old quail? I used to have one of those old fashioned meat grinders, which I can't find, but I'm not sure if it will grind things fine enough. I also have a food processor, but have the same worry. Once Loki gets the A/D food for a while, which is mild and easily palatable, especially after not having any solid food in his tummy, the vet agrees that something more substantial would be better for him. I spose I could go back to the turkey diet I used to feed him, as the turkey is already ground, but a whole meal consisting of everything he needs would be better. Any suggestions greatly appreciated!

I added a picture of him as an attachment, since I am new at using the forums, let me know if you can see it!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg sexxyloki.jpg (52.3 KB, 14 views)
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-03-2008, 11:21 PM
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Oh my! I hope everything goes well! I don't know what I would do with my monitor, and this post also made me consider going for walks or something with him, he is the biggest thing I've ever seen!
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