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Retrobulbar abscess in a leopard gecko

November 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Reptiles

These photos document the journey of Diego, a 3-year old leopard gecko, who was recently treated at Olathe Animal Hospital for a retrobulbar abscess. If you’re wondering what a retrobulbar abscess is, the pictures speak for themselves. It’s an abscess behind the eye–ouch! They can develop for unknown reasons, and surgical treatment is necessary for its resolution. The abscess must be allowed to drain, but due to the unique nature of reptile pus, it won’t drain on its own with a simple lancing (like it would, say, in a cat). In fact, doing so can create worse problems because it can introduce new infection into an already-infected site.

Getting sleepy...

Pus draining from incision

Flushing with betadine solution

Diego was placed under anesthesia for sterile debridement of the abscess. He stayed on baytril (an antibiotic) and gentamicin eye drops for 14 days after the procedure, at which time he came back for his recheck. And as you can see, he looks like a whole new lizard! He did great with the anesthesia and surgery, and he made a full recovery.

Prompt treatment for this condition is a must. It will not resolve on its own. The gecko will eventually stop eating due to the pain, and he may lose vision in the affected eye. Lucky for Diego, treatment occurred quickly enough that he does not appear to have any loss of vision or other lingering effects.


2 weeks later, all better!

For more pictures and videos, see our Flickr page!


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