Case Study: Bloated Belly Bearded Dragon

One of the most common reproductive diseases we see in female bearded dragons is preovulatory follicular stasis. When the ovary grows follicles (pre-eggs) in an attempt to make eggs, normally the follicles ovulate into the oviduct to then leave the body. This stasis condition occurs when the follicles decide to not ovulate but rather remain stuck to the ovary. These follicles can be described as yolks – so just as you can imagine – it’s like having a bunch of eggs without their shell just hanging out in the body cavity. Over time, inspissated (congealed) follicles have great potential to rupture and cause systemic infection. The yolks will not leave the body naturally and therefore must be surgically removed in order to clean out the body cavity.

Beardie Coelemic Effusion     Beardie Mummified Yolks Us

This 4 year old bearded dragon of unknown gender was referred to us for an unknown coelomic (body) mass. Upon physical examination, her abdomen was found distended and we could feel two masses. She was also severely anemic. Imaging found several follicles, eggs, two large masses, and also notable accumulated fluid in the body (coelomic effusion.) She was stabilized and exploratory surgery began. Fluid buildup (effusion) was hemorrhagic (blood) and so the body cavity was cleared before the remainder of the procedure. As pictured, her whole ovary and remaining yolk masses were removed. The patient recovered well post-op and was sent home a few days later.

Beardie Ovariectomy     Beardie Mummified Yolks Post Op

Before surgery she weighed 550 grams. After the procedure, she weighed 355 grams! Little one was carrying around an extra 200 grams of mass! Her prognosis continues to be fair with proper after care. Great job team!

Beardie Before and After Surgery
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