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V Tumor Removal Surgery

Discussion in 'Common/Red Tail Boa' started by Dragoness, Oct 14, 2016.

  1. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    V, my rescue boa, has had a cyst on his belly ever since we took him in. At the time of his first vet visit(s) the vet examined it, but determined it was not as important as stabilizing his critical condition. At the time, it was opened up, only to determine that it was not an abscess or infection that needed immediate addressing.

    2 years later, it hasn't changed much (other than growing a little, and very slowly) we had decided to simply observe it and watch for problems.

    Problems started Wednesday night ( Oct 12, 2016 ) when I went to check on everyone that evening, and noticed blood smeared on the floor of his cage (he lives on white paper, so it' was pretty easy to see). I immediately pulled him, and determined that it was the cyst that was bleeding, and placed him in a small clean bin that prevented him from moving around much while I went out to get some gauze.

    Cleaned up the wound with some chlorhexidine, and could see that the cyst had ruptured or torn open, and was actively bleeding if he moved around, or was handled at all. Pretty much any motion upset it.

    Took him in to the vets at 10:30 the next morning. The vet operated to remove the cyst (now determined to be a tumor) and sent the tissues to a lab for testing.

    There was a lot of adhesion into the underlying muscle, but it does not appear to have spread any deeper into organs or other tissues.

    The cyst itself was the size of a large kidney bean, and was removed in it's entirety, with a margin of surrounding tissue to ensure that all of it was removed. V was then sutured back up, and sent home with me to rest. Results form the biopsy should be in early the week of the 24th, and I will know more then. The vet says they are very common in older snakes (V is 15 years old).

    30024126110_8927d3b753_k.jpg V, post surgical while anesthetics wear off by Jerabudragoness, on Flickr

    29690308323_406406b978_k.jpg V, post surgical, site of surgery by Jerabudragoness, on Flickr

    Pending results of the biopsy, we may do some more imaging to determine if there are other tumors that need addressing. While I was there, the vet also commented on how well V was doing overall, and wanted to think about undergoing surgery to re-open one of his nostrils (it healed closed during his recuperation from his initial abuse). Now, as a result, he whistles when he breathes, and often breathes through his mouth instead.

    30286146736_5962a4f5e9_k.jpg V, rostral damage. You can see the difference in nostril size... by Jerabudragoness, on Flickr

    If V undergoes another surgery to remove other tumors, he will probably also get the nostril correction, too.
     
    Darkbird likes this.
  2. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    Glad he's OK, poor guys been through a lot.
     
  3. toddnbecka

    toddnbecka Well Established Member

    Ther way you care for your snakes like your own family is awesome and inspiring, may we all do as well...
     
  4. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Aww, thanks! (I like them better than some members of my family, too!)

    V is back up and moving around today, though his cage is quite bare for now. He has no hide, and only a very small water dish (can't have him soaking his wound, or snagging the sutures on anything and ripping them out. Literally nothing but paper and a water dish for him for now.
     
    Darkbird likes this.
  5. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Biopsy results came in. It's NOT a tumor!

    It's a granuloma, a kind of encapsulated infection. Just means he had an injury there at one point (not surprising, considering his past). Since it is on the front 1/3rd of his body, I am inclined to think it might have been a bite inflicted during a live feed (hes previous owners fed live) while he was constricting a rat.

    He may or may not require a few antibiotic shots, but that should be about it.
     
    Darkbird likes this.
  6. toddnbecka

    toddnbecka Well Established Member

    Good news, but why would he need antibiotics now if the infextion was contained then removed surgically?
     
  7. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    We're betting he doesn't, but it's possible, even though the granuloma was so well-encased that we couldn't tell it was a granuloma. Vet says try feeding this weekend, if anything seems off, we can run some bloodwork, but he doesn't think it will actually be necessary.
     

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