Vets at a practice in north Leeds have had their skills put to the test lately, treating some exotic pets with unusual problems.
One patient now feeling a whole lot better is 6ft 11ins Dundee, a 14-year-old Asian Monitor Lizard who was brought into Holly House Veterinary Hospital in Moortown by worried owner John Garrett suffering what appeared to be a serious bout of constipation.
An x-ray revealed a large blockage in her digestive tract before the surgical team then operated to find an 18cm calcified lump stuck in her stomach.
Veterinary surgeon Ellie Wilson said: “We could see straight away what was causing Dundee’s discomfort and decided to operate as soon as possible. Keeping her warm throughout the surgery was the most challenging aspect of the procedure due to her size so she was covered from head to tail in a warm water bed and insulation to keep her cosy.”
Relieved owner John, who also has another Asian Monitor Lizard, Mikey, said: “I was shocked by the sheer scale of it. It was a solid mass, very heavy - like bone. There are only a few of us in this country who keep this type of reptile and everyone was surprised at how big it was.”
He keeps the lizards in a special enclosure in his garage, with temperatures of up to 125°F, mimicking their homeland of Indonesia or Malaysia. He said: “They’re very special. Each one has their own personality.”
Another patient successfully treated by the veterinary team was Lola the tortoise, who was found to have a very large bladder stone.
Sarah Brown, exotic animal vet at Holly House said: “Our main aim is to maintain the welfare of all pets and at Holly House we enjoy treating all sorts of exotic and unusual creatures - often animals that other vets may not be used to dealing with.”