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Old 1st June 2003   #1
steve
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One of my Spanish Ribbed newts got a little grumpy and nearly bit off another one's leg. The leg appears to be completely broken and has begun to develop a layer around it. I was thinking of amputating the leg and puting some neo-sporin on the wound. Has anyone gone this route? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.



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Old 2nd June 2003   #2
jennifer
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Steve, I think most people will be scared to answer this. Previously, when someone suggested amputation, there was a hotly debated discussion about whether this kind of treatment should only be recommended and performed by a vet.

Is the injury to the upper part of the leg, or lower part? And what do you mean by "a layer around it"?



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Old 2nd June 2003   #3
john
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I meant to reply to this earlier. Last autumn my largest female Tylototriton verrucosus suffered a bad mauling from one of her daughters. Her left front leg was broken. I isolated her and put a rock in the tank. She really wanted to leave the water and did so for the first time in 2 years. Within a few days the leg was noticeably "sweating" and she wasn't eating. I suspect the sweating might have been bacteria feeding on the damaged skin and/or simply oozing skin.

This scared me quite a bit because this animal is easily my favourite of anything I've kept over the years. I put salt in the water to fight fungus in case she entered it, and I bathed the broken arm in this water occasionally. It continued to sweat and she continued to refuse to enter the water. Her arm became very pale and I thought she was in big trouble. Within about a week though, she began to eat again and the arm ceased to sweat. About a week later her hand dropped off. I kept her isolated for perhaps another 10 days (so nearly a month in total).

The arm slowly healed though and now she has a new hand and behaves normally. Her hand isn't quite as big as it used to be, but she has it back now and you wouldn't know she'd had any problems. Three months after losing the hand I let her breed with a male too. I suspect the hand is still growing slowly. It took her about 3 months to have what you might call a hand again. When she was isolated I kept her at or below 20 <sup>o</sup>C.

Given how closely related Tylototriton and Pleurodeles are I think similar treatment would give similar results. Personally, I don't like using anything except salt for external problems, unless it seems in dire need of something extra.

Good luck.



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Old 2nd June 2003   #4
steve
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Jennifer &amp; John.....thanks for the replies. The whole leg is damaged up to the body and has developed a film around it as if there may be some bacterial build up. Fortunately I have a nice isolation tank set up with dry and damp sand as well as moss. I think John's experience seems similar to what my newt is going through so I'm going to try the salt solution first and see where it goes from there.

I wasn't exactly "anxious" to go with amputation anyway though I thought a nice pair of sterilized wire cutters and some anti-bacterial gel would probably do nicely. I was thinking that the little guy would heal a whole lot faster with a clean (and treated) wound than with a dangling necrotic appendage.



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Old 2nd June 2003   #5
eric
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Steve
I had the same problem with my Pleurodeles in the past.
While breeding, a male have broken the leg of the female and I decide to cut the front leg that was in a very bad shape after only a few days and put the newt in a dirt quarantine. It was a succes even if it takes many, many months for the leg to regenerate. But, few month later another of my pleurodeles broke a leg and i did the same operation but this time with no succes, the poor newt died few days after because I think the infection already reach the body of the newt, the domage was done it was to late.
In conclusion, my experience is 50/50 but I think the fastest you react the biggest the chance to save your animal.
Good luck....
Eric



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Old 2nd June 2003   #6
john
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To Steve: Well you and Eric may be right actually. If you can ascertain whether the leg is still mostly alive or not, then I'd make a decision. In my verrucosus' case the only dead part was the hand. However, if the leg is dead, then I would favour amputation. If it's alive up to the elbow, then I would amputate there. IF the leg is dead closer to the body then amputate further up but don't amputate right up against the body.

(Message edited by john on June 02, 2003)



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Old 2nd June 2003   #7
matt
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Jennifer I do hope people aren't "scared" to answer.
I've spouted from my soapbox once on the topic of amateur surgery and that's that.
I hope my personal opinion opened up debate, not closed it down.
Respectfully,
M.



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Old 27th June 2003   #8
justin slate
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i had a spanish ribbed attacked by my cat and suffered a big wound on her leg what i done was bathed it in tamodine every day and she recover very well and is still with me today j slate



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Old 28th June 2003   #9
steve
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Hey everyone....my Spanish newt has healed from his wound. I basically isolated him in a nice, moist sand terrarium with a plate of water and some moss.

He has now officially been named three times. First he was Fernando, then he was "Pegleg" (his skin had fallen away leaving only a bone) and his new name is "Nub". I've already got a "Gimpy". Apparently these little guys have a pretty healthy appetite for legs. ;->

Oh yeah! Thanks for the suggestions.



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Old 30th June 2003   #10
bob
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My Oregon newt has the same thing.Click the image to open in full size.how much salt should i put in a 5 gallon 1/3 full of water?}



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Old 1st July 2003   #11
Tim Johnson
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As John was saying, whether to amputate really depends on the condition of the leg. If it's dead and seems unlikely to fall off on its own, amputation is prob the way to go -- IF you can get a clean cut. I don't know if you can see well enough to do that with wire cutters. I used a long, thin pair of extremely sharp scissors. If the infection has already spread to the joint, i wouldn't go that course though.

I recently tried treating a C.ensicauda with "dead leg" without resorting to amputation. The poor thing finally died yesterday after 3 weeks of suffering. Seems that by merely controlling the spread of infection with a topical treatment, all I did was prolong its misery. Pretty sure amputation would have saved it. Has anybody successfully treated a full-blown case of "dead leg" (both the upper and lower parts of the leg being affected) with dirt quarantine or any other treatment and actually saved the animal?

Regarding salt treatment, I'm also be interested in a refresher course or any info not already contained in Ellen Chernoff's article on the subject, which can be seen at:
http://www.caudata.org/caudatecentra...cles/salt.html



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