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Lizards with Tail Loss

Home > Lizards > Health

Many lizards have the ability to lose a portion of their tail and then grow it back again. These lizards are said to be autonomous. Lizards will drop their tail if they feel frightened or threatened. Once the tail has separated from the lizard it will wiggle around on the ground for a few moments. At this point the lizard will attempt to make its escape while the predator is distracted by the movement of the separated tail.

Depending upon where the tail breaks loose varying degrees of blood loss can occur. If the break occurs close to the body of the lizard there is a high chance of considerable blood loss which can be dangerous to the health of the lizard. Furthermore, stitches may be required to seal the wound on the lizard’s body. Depending on the type of lizard the tail may or may not grow back. If the lizard’s tail does grow back it is unlikely that it will look like the original. Most lizards are also unable to drop their tail for a second time as the bone structure will not allow it.

In captivity the tail of a lizard can break if care is not taken when handling the lizard. However, if a tail break does occur be sure to keep the wound clean and apply and antibiotic ointment on a regular basis. If healing does not begin almost immediately the attention of a veterinarian is required. As mentioned above the closer the tail breaks to the body of the lizard the more likely it is to bleed significantly.


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