News

Leaping lizards! Dexter makes medical history

SPECIAL PATIENT: RSPCA wildlife vet nurse Madeline Rienecker with bearded dragon Dexter who will undergo radiation treatment to stop a tumour growing above his right eye.
SPECIAL PATIENT: RSPCA wildlife vet nurse Madeline Rienecker with bearded dragon Dexter who will undergo radiation treatment to stop a tumour growing above his right eye. David Nielsen

AN IPSWICH lizard with cancer will become the first reptile in Australia to undergo specialised radiation treatment on Monday.

Dexter, a six-year-old bearded dragon, was surrendered to RSPCA at Wacol when staff noticed a small lesion on its eyeball rapidly grow into a tumour.

Wildlife veterinarian Bonny Cumming knew the situation was dangerous. She said the lizard would likely lose its eye if it went under the knife to have the tumour removed.

"There is not enough bare skin to close it so we'd have to remove the whole eye orbit," Dr Cumming said.

"We approached Brisbane Veterinary Specialist Centre to see if they thought radiation treatment could help and they said it was definitely worth a try. They offered to donate their services and Dexter goes in for the first of 10 daily treatments on Monday."

BVSC founder and director Dr Rod Straw said the course would usually cost a pet-owner $4000.

"People might think all that for a lizard, but our research is completely translational - we find out more on curing human cancers through patients like Dexter," Dr Straw said.

"So we'll use external beam radiation therapy delivered by a linear accelerator. The lizard will have a general anesthetic in his veins and an oxygen tube in his lungs. The procedure takes about 15 minutes and I'm confident he'll make a full recovery."

First treatment is 10.30am at BVSC at Albany Creek.

RADIATION THERAPY

  • Radiation therapy is used on the tumour because of its ability to control cell growth.
  • Ionising radiation works by damaging the DNA of exposed tissue.
  • Shaped radiation beams are aimed from several angles to intersect it.

Topics:  radiation therapy, rspca




Court hears evidence of drug deal that led to stabbing

CRIME SCENE: Forensic police officers investigate a fatal stabbing on Cobalt St in Carole Park.

Witness tells court stabbing victim wanted drug money to pay rent

Miller speech leaves ALP faithful stunned

STILL STRONG: Member for Bundamba Jo-Ann Miller MP at her Goodna office.

MP sticks to her guns at closed Labor conference

Baby missing from Coast found in Toowoomba

Police believe the baby girl may be with a 16-year-old and 19-year-old in a green 1995 Mazda 121 with Queensland registration 045GOS, and could be heading to Toowoomba.

The two men and baby girl could be heading to Toowoomba

Latest deals and offers

Gina Rodriguez relished dramatic change for new film

Jane the Virgin lead Gina Rodriguez

TV star shaved her hair for movie role

Kooza takes circus-goers back to Cirque Du Soleil's roots

The high wire act as featured in Cirque Du Soleil's Kooza.

NEW show puts the skills of the performers front and centre.

Branson "amazed" he's still alive after cycling crash

Branson saw "his life flash before my eyes" during a bike crash

What's on this weekend

LIFE'S A BREEZE: Ipswich Art Gallery's latest children's exhibition, Wind Tubes.

Things to do in Ipswich

LISTEN: Inner-city venues face local Ipswich competition

DINKUS

Charlie Pisasale pushes for local youth to return to Ipswich bars

Reality TV show "turned our special day into a joke"

UNHAPPY: Maryborough couple Emma and Steven Dilliway who star on Australia's Cheapest Wedding and are not happy with the outcome.

Reality television helped turn this wedding into an internet joke

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Noosa mayor on "red alert" over planning court decision

Mayor Tony Wellington hands down his first budget.

Mayor upset at lack of say about look and feel of Noosa