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Ahhhh, Caiman Has a Broken Tail

Discussion in 'Crocodilians - General' started by methos75, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. methos75

    methos75 Elite Member

    I noticed today that the end of my dwarf Caimans tail looked cut and when inspected it I noticed a deep gash and it appears as if the tail is broke. Will this heal on its own? I bandaged it up to keep the parts together along the gash, anything else I can do here?
     
  2. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    How much tail is left posterior to the cut?

    For example, if his tail is 12 inches long, and the cut or broken area is in the middle, then there would be roughly 6 inches posterior to the wound.

    Is the tail posterior to the injury still connected?
     
  3. methos75

    methos75 Elite Member

    It is still attached, there is less than an inch posterior to it. I would take a pic, but I have it heavily bandaged now and it was a struggle to get on.
     
  4. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    I can imagine what a struggle that must have been! :)

    When you said the tail appears to be broken, did you mean the whole tail? Or the bone in the tail?
    Or were you saying the skin on the tail is broken therefore forming a gash?
     
  5. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    So the cut/break is ~3/4" from the tip of the tail? I would think, given the fact that these sorts of injuries are common in the wild under more extreme conditions, that it would be fine. These animals are extremely resilient, especially when it comes to fighting off infection.

    That said, I'm not a specialist so I could be entirely off. I hope someone with more knowledge can help!
     
  6. methos75

    methos75 Elite Member

    The tail is still attached on one side, there is a gash on the other side in-between the scutes and it appears the bone there is broke as well, though I could simply be looking at a ligament or so forth. But the tail end was flapping there and bent at a odd angle. I taped it up with Duct tape so that the tail where the gash and bone are located are back in contact, and the part is now unmovable in the hopes it starts healing back together
     
  7. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    Again, I don't know a ton about caiman but generally speaking duct taping an open wound sounds like a bad idea. Is this normal?
     
  8. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    oh okay, now I understand.

    I wouldn't call that minor, but I think your main concern will be infection. It seems unlikely that the pieces will heal back together, and more likely that the flappy part will fall off and new skin will form around the wound. I think you were right in taping it up so your caiman can't make it worse.

    I am not a vet, but I have had lizards with tail injuries either from whipping or encounters with tank mates and they typically heal well on their own. I would just try to keep it clean. As Vers said, this and much worse surely happens with regularity in the wild. You should try to keep it clean and remember, bandaging perpetuates bacterial growth in some situations.
     
  9. methos75

    methos75 Elite Member

    duct tape is pretty useful in such wounds, when I was in the military we kept Duct tape on hand just for closing up wounds if we were hit in combat
     
  10. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    Don't get me wrong you were probably right to tape it, but directly on the wound? Or do you have gauze or a similar material between the tape and the wound? I'm just thinking about when it comes time to remove it...you might take the tail tip with it.
     
  11. methos75

    methos75 Elite Member

    Oh no, there is a band-aid on the wound itself lol
     
  12. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    haha alright, that makes more sense. I suppose I should have just asked for clarification earlier :)
     
  13. JoeyG

    JoeyG Subscribed User Premium Member

    Crocodilians have one of the most amazing immune systems. I'm sure he'll heal just fine, just make sure to keep the water clean and temps warm.
     
  14. methos75

    methos75 Elite Member

    Took off my makeshift duct tape brace and the tail has knitted back together at the break point and is no longer open and has some nice scar tissue buildup. going to let it breathe a bit tonite, and I may bandage it back up for another week.
     
  15. KrokadilyanGuy3

    KrokadilyanGuy3 Elite Member

    I personally would have used a tape that would have given the skin the ability to breathe since you are using it for a good period of time, but glad to hear he's doing well.

    As mentioned, keep the animal warm and the water clean. If you up the water temp by a couple degrees the healing process would actually go a lil faster.
     
  16. methos75

    methos75 Elite Member

    Oh man I should of updated, it actually heal very quickly. I had the tape and bandage on only a week, and it healed in that time. Actually probably about to let him go, there is an educational center here that contacted me about doing a display with Gators and were looking for advice and I volunteered to let them use my Caiman. So now he will have a much better set-up than I could provide, and be shared with others.
     
  17. KrokadilyanGuy3

    KrokadilyanGuy3 Elite Member

    Yeah I figured he was all done and well after I posted and realized the date of the posting.
    Good deal, good luck with that.
     
  18. KrokadilyanGuy3

    KrokadilyanGuy3 Elite Member

    Can I ask why you decided to give the animal up?
    I noticed youve been posting about getting one and such. Just kind of curious.
     
  19. methos75

    methos75 Elite Member

    I have a ton of reptiles and while I was looking for a Caiman, I have enough critters where it will not be that big a deal to me and I have a history of helping the Center out and see this as another way to spread reptile awarness
     

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