What The Veterinary Chamber Should Not Be Proud Of...

06/09/2020

To study veterinary sciences needs high intelligence, endurance and passion. Not everyone can do so. The studies last for many many years, to be continued with continual education and certifications afterwards - during the practical phase of their profession.
Exotic animals are taught as a separate subject at some universities only and specialization in reptiles is very rare and is often subject of post gradual specialization only, usually based on individual initiative of the veterinarian professional.
Chameleons are in addition to it a very specific and sensitive group of reptiles and only a handfull of veterinarians in the entire world understand them in depth.
This is why we struggle so much receiving proper care for chameleons.

The darkest side of the medal is, that despite of no qualification and no understanding for Chamaeleon anatomy and physiology, some veterinarians dare to ask big money for treatments, that are professionally wrong and cause either mutilation, sterility or even death of the animal.

One of that pitiful cases is the following incident.

A keeper was seeking veterinary help in the case of strange thing that came out of the cloacal opening. (Pic 1)
The diagnosis was dead and partly mummified hemipenis.
The animals was mutilated by amputating the organ.
As the Pic 2 (H - hemipenis, P - hemipeneal plug) shows clearly, the hemipenis was totally OK, the diagnosis was wrong and the mutilation of the animal was a big professional mistake.
The treatment of a professional would last exactly 10 seconds removing the hemipeneal plug and repositioning the hemipenis back into the pocket.

The absolute ignorance of the VET was crowned by the fact, he left the second hemipenis unexpected and the same sized plug (already miminum one year old) was left for more than one more year inside of the hemipenis, before it prolapsed and was removed by the keeper herself (with the help of the youtube videos I published recently as an aid). (Pic 3)

This case happened in the Czech Republic in the town of Ceske Budejovice, identical case was reported from Jihlava. A dozen of similar cases I know about from the US on the course of last few years.

What is the takeaway?

1. Use night fogging, it is well known to provide natural hydration and the correlation of absence of hemipeneal plug problems and night fogging is significant.
2. Inspect the cloaca and hemipenes of your chameleons at least every 6 months, best after each shed.
3. Watch in the cage for deposited hemipeneal plugs in branches and in the faeces.
4. Remove the hemipeneal plugs if required
5. In case of the necessity of VET intervention in this area, refer them first to posts at chameleons .info and at my YouTube channel then only allow them to act

https://youtu.be/ZH1Swk_1pxA

Thanks for info and images: courtesy of Mirka Pilařová

Author: Petr Nečas