MJ a five year old female Bearded Dragon presented to Southdown Animal Clinic April 2012 for examination of a mass in her left axilla/lateral thorax area (armpit/chest). The mass was round, soft, moveable and non-painful to touch. The mass measured 1.5 cm around. The owner elected to monitor the mass to make sure it did not cause any discomfort to MJ or impede mobility of her left fore limb. MJ was reexamined in September 2012. The mass had increased in size to 4.8 cm, was firmer on palaption and was affecting mobility. On discussion with the owner surgical removal of the mass was determined to be the best course of action.
MJ was admitted to Southdown Animal Clinic for surgical excision of the mass. A full physical examination and a complete blood profile were done and no abnormalities were noted. MJ was sedated with a combination of drugs determined to be safe anesthetics for reptiles. A local anesthetic was injected into the subcutaneous tissue around the mass to provide additional pain control. During the surgical procedure oxygen and isoflurane gas by face mask were administred. MJ’s heart rate and respiration were closely monitored by our registered veterinary technician. During the surgery “the mass” was actually two masses adhered to each other – the first mass was 4cm X 4.5cm and the second mass was 3cm X 3cm. Once the masses were excised the area was closed with absorbable suture material to decrease the space left behind by the masses being removed. MJ recovered well post surgery. This is a picture of MJ at Southdown Animal Clinic. She had a card from her friend Oufer in her compartment to wish her well during surgery!
At MJ’s follow up visit her incision had healed very well and her sutures were removed. According to the owner since MJ’s surgery she is more active, playful and is even eating fruits and vegetables she did not enjoy prior to the surgery!
Bearded Dragons originate in Australia and in the wild spend most of their waking hours in bushes, trees and basking on rocks. They are tan to yellow in colour and are called “bearded” because of the dragon’s ability to flare out the skin in the throat region when it is threatened or territorial. Bearded Dragons are typically social, mellow and docile – they enjoy human company and make good pets.