"The Story of Phantom..."

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Phantom the Lace Monitor

My little Phantom!

Isn't he cute! This is Phantom, a juvenile Lace Monitor that came into my care. We have had a few ups and downs with this little guy so I thought that he was so special and everybody loved him that he deserved his OWN page!

Click on the Thumbnails to view bigger pictures

Phantom's Story has been featured in the QLD edition of 'The Pet Directory'.

Day 1 - just hanging around!

This is Day 1. As you can see his skin is quite dull and he looks very skinny. He weighed in at 86grams. At this stage Phantom was in someone else's care and was being brought in daily to work to be tube fed with an egg and Nutrigel mixture. He was kept in a Humidicrib (which I don't think is the best for a reptile) until he escaped one night....hence being called Phantom! After much searching he was nowhere to be found...until a week later when he waltzed out from behind the TV. Phantom was then passed over to me.

Mmm...whats on the menu today?

This is about a week after I got him, he ate his first fuzzie mouse! YAY!! and as you can see by the look in his eye, he is really enjoying it!

Houston...we have a problem

This is his Right eye with a rather nasty looking horizontal Corneal ulcer. This picture was taken about day 3. As you can see down the bottom of the eye it is starting to vascularise which is good...that means that it is starting to heal. We treated his eyes with Soframycin ointment 3 times daily and also a special betadine wash 3 times daily. I also liberally applied numerous time throughout the day liquid tears to keep his eyes lubricated.

Houston...I said we have a problem!

This is his Left eye, as you can see it is a lot worse than the Right. This picture was taken at the same time. As you can see he has a very thin cornea that is oedematous (fluidy) on the top left of the eye. Possibly a Descemetocele has occurred (herniation of the Decemet's membrane, which is the posterior lining of the cornea). On the bottom of the eye he has a Stromal Abscess with a possible Hypopyon (pus in the anterior chamber of the eye) which is starting to vascularise, which is a good sign! We have now glued his eye shut to stop it from rupturing and will check on it in a about 10days.

Houston....the problem is fixed!

This is his R eye about 12days after it started. There is a HUGE improvement in it! Only a little bit of vascularisation on the lower part of the eye but it is nearly 100% YAY!!! He can now see again out of that eye and was happy to snatch a fuzzie mouse out of my fingers yesterday!

The Phantom.....well 1/2 anyway!

This is his L eye 12 days after. I will leave it covered for another week unless it un-sticks. This is our creation of electrical tape and superglue! Those Specialist can come up with anything!!! It has come undone once last week and the eye still looked dreadful, this time it has stayed for longer so hopefully it is healing well under there. I will keep you all posted as to his progress......The Phantom lives on!

Nearly there...

Today I removed his blue tape from his L eye and this is what we see. HEAPS BETTER!!! YAY! It is still not 100% but he does have sight in the eye and we didn't have to enucleate it. This is 20 days from diagnosis. Hopefully we won't have to glue his eyelid shut again but if there is any deterioration at all then I won't hesitate to do so as you can see how well it has healed with it shut.


This is a comparison picture of his Left Eye. Day 3 on the right and Day 20 on the left. I know I put them around the wrong way but oh well! As you can see he still has a nasty ulcer there but the rest of the eye looks great! I am so pleased. I will continue with soframycin ointment 3times daily, liquid tears ad lib and betadine washes 3times daily.

Phantoms home...

This is the current tank setup that I have for him. All the lights that I use are Exo-terra Repti Glo products. The overhead fluros are 2 different strengths. The back one is 2.0 and the front one is 5.0. There are 2 spotlights, one is a 100w Day Glo and the other is a 75w Night Glo. All the lights are set on separate timers. The water dish is terracotta, the rock and the log are from my backyard. This is a 4ft glass tank. I also have 3 thermometers in his tank. One at each end and one in the middle which also has a hygrometer. He now has a large upright log in the middle which he loves hanging off.

Progress Report

Whilst treatment has been effective in reducing the corneal ulceration there is no true way of determining if there is any permanent damage or reduction to Phantom's vision. It has therefore been decided to err on the side of caution and to place Phantom in a captive home through the Queensland Species Management Plan. This is an equitable process by which native animals that are unable to be released can be placed in zoological collections.


Phantom now has a new home. He has been moved to Kuranda Rainforest Station in Kuranda, Cairns NQ. I spoke to the curator there and he said that he had settled in well. I hope to get up there to visit him one day soon. I promise I will take some pics for you!

I am so glad of this outcome, this is what is the best about being a carer.

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