Pearl - Rest in Peace

Sadly Pearl passed away May 10, 2001 after undergoing surgery to spay her. She made it through the surgery but never woke up from the anesthesia. One of her oviducts had prolapsed and the other had ruptured inside of her. There was a lot of internal bleeding. There was nothing that could be done. I am grateful for the huge outpouring of support from the online community. I would like to thank everyone for that. She will be greatly missed by myself, my family and perhaps most of all, by Pugsley.

I cannot stress enough the need to see a vet if things don't look right. I have been beating myself up about this for awhile. Although Pearly looked and acted fine up to and even into her laying this year, in hindsight I should have had her x-rayed and checked by the vet because of the 82 eggs last year. If I had done that they would have seen the huge number (105) of eggs in her and demanded the spay right away. Pearl would probably still be here. I try not to think of the "what ifs" but this is a big one not to be ignored. If anyone can learn from this then she did not die in vain. Do yourself and your iguana a favor and have her checked by a qualified vet sometime during the egg-producing stage.

Pearl's Story

Pearl came to us as a rescue in September of 1999 on National Iguana Awareness Day. She was 46 inches long living in a 33 gallon breeder tank. This tank was only 30 inches long. She freeroams my "reptile room" with Pugsley and they get along great. There has been some breeding activity witnessed as of late and I am 99.9% sure she is gravid (with eggs). She seems happy enough. She weighed 5 lbs. when we got her. As of January, 2001 she weighs 8.5 lbs. That is before becoming gravid. I wonder what she will weigh full of eggs this year. She is a very good eater as you can see. She almost outweighs Pugsley.

On April Fools Day, 2000 Pearl began laying her eggs. It took nearly an entire week but she successfully laid all 82 eggs she had in there. They might have been fertile. I had witnessed breeding between her and Pugs 2 or 3 times in January of that year. I halfheartedly tried to incubate several of them but they rotted right away. Its not like we need any more iguanas out there anyhow. So basically I froze all the eggs and threw them away.

Winter 2001 - Breeding seems a bit later this year. As of Mid-March Pearl is not nearly as close to laying as she was last year. She looked like a bag of golfballs last year. Pugsley is still orange and he is harassing her constantly. He even bit her in the side while we were away on vacation. Not a bad bite but it did break the skin. We shall see how she does this year. I am thinking the eggs will not be laid til late April or May.

Spring 2001 - As you all know by now Pearl perished in the spay operation that was supposed to save her life. Her blood pressure was far too low from the internal bleeding to handle the anesthesia. The vet in question had never lost a spay before and has done LOTS of them. He is almost as devastated as we are. She was a beautiful girl who was taken away far too soon.

I wrote up a chronicle of Pearl's life here at our house. If you are interested in reading it click here.

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