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1 September 2013 Pre- and Post-Surgical Evaluation of Bearded Dragons Undergoing Sterilization
Emily F. Christiansen, Michael K. Stoskopf, Craig A. Harms
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Gonadectomy of pet lizards may be necessary to treat various medical conditions, and prophylactic surgery may prevent life-threatening reproductive-associated conditions. This study provides information relevant to the pre-surgical evaluation of bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps). Blood samples collected from seven male and seven female inland bearded dragons prior to elective gonadectomy surgery, and again 12 days following surgery, were analyzed using a point-of-care blood gas analyzer (iStat) and a semiportable chemistry analyzer (Abaxis VetScan) to obtain plasma biochemistry and electrolyte concentrations. Statistically significant differences were seen for packed cell volume and protein, calcium, and potassium concentrations when pre-surgical values were compared with post-surgical values. Four female lizards in the cohort died in the immediate post-operative period, and three of these animals had large, well-developed ovarian follicles. The ovaries of all surviving female lizards were characterized by small follicles consistent with inactivity. Minimal differences were seen in the biochemistry ranges for lizards that survived versus those that did not. None of the biochemical differences were of sufficient magnitude to be clinically important, but reproductive status of female bearded dragons should be considered prior to this invasive surgical procedure.

Emily F. Christiansen, Michael K. Stoskopf, and Craig A. Harms "Pre- and Post-Surgical Evaluation of Bearded Dragons Undergoing Sterilization," Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery 23(3), 83-90, (1 September 2013).
Published: 1 September 2013

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bearded dragon
blood gases
plasma biochemistry
Pogona vitticeps
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