We’ve all heard of 3-legged dogs, and even 3-legged cats, but a 3-legged gecko? This cute little leopard gecko, named Baby, was brought into our clinic when the owner noticed her dragging her right front foot. She was living with another gecko friend, and the owner wasn’t sure what Baby could have done to hurt her foot. When Dr. Runkle performed her physical exam, she found that Baby was healthy overall, but that her foot was in dire need of help. Baby was able to move her arm by the shoulder, but not anything past her elbow. To help Dr. Runkle assess the injury better, she ordered an x-ray of Baby’s leg. The x-ray showed that the foot was broken at the carpus, or wrist bone, and that the bones in the arm were rotated at the elbow joint. Following Dr. Runkle’s recommendation, the owner elected to have surgery the next day to amputate the leg.
It’s not every day that we have a reptile surgery, so our surgery technicians were excited to help care for such a unique patient. With special training, our technicians are experienced (and awesome!) at running anesthesia on all of our patients that require it. During the surgery, Baby did very well, and Dr. Runkle was able to amputate the leg up to the elbow joint. Baby spent an afternoon in hospital recovering with our surgery technician. Dr. Runkle prescribed an anti-inflammatory for inflammation and pain, and an antibiotic to help prevent the amputation site from developing infection. Baby had to stay fairly confined during her recovery period. We have seen Baby a few times since her amputation, and she is doing great with 3 legs! She has kept good spirits, and is moving around very well. By 22 days after surgery, Baby’s amputation site was well healed, and she hasn’t needed any further rechecks. What a Trooper! We are proud of you, Baby!