Prolapse can occur when a part of internal organ (e.g. gut, hemipenis) protrudes out of the cloaca (vent). This usually occurs as a result of abdominal straining or trauma resulting in inflammation and inability to retract back into the cloaca (hemipenis).

Prolapses may correct themselves and with some help, though depending on the vitality of the tissue (it can become desiccated and necrotic over a relatively short period), veterinary advice should be sought urgently if the tissue remains outside the body for more than a few hours.

The Best Practice Guide recommends keeping the lizards temporarily in a vivarium with clean, simple substrate (e.g. kitchen towel) that won’t stick to the prolapsed organ. Granulated sugar or a sugar water bath (if the organ is drying) can help reduce swelling by drawing water from the tissue and allowing it to shrink.

Elegant gecko prolapse
Elegant gecko with severe prolapsed hemipene © Chris Wedding