There are 2 types of prolapse:

Hemipenal prolapse occurs when one or both hemipenes get stuck outside of the body.

Cloacal/Rectal prolapse occurs when rectal tissue (part of the large intestine) “falls out” of the vent and does not retract.


  • Dehydration
  • Impaction/constipation
  • Heavy parasite load
  • Defecation (pooping)
  • Mating
  • Egg laying


  • Hemipenes or intestines openly exposed outside of vent without being retracted after one of the abovementioned activities.


If your tegu has prolapsed, soak him/her in a cool bath of water mixed with plenty of sugar. High concentrations of sugar in water encourage swollen tissue (ie: the prolapsed tissue) to shrink back into the body.

If your tegu has been soaking for an hour without results, cover the exposed tissue in Vaseline (petroleum jelly) and take it immediately to an emergency reptile veterinarian for treatment. Failure to treat a prolapse quickly and/or properly can kill your tegu!

Some tegus may prolapse repeatedly for no clear reason. If this is the case, surgery will be required to prevent the tissue from prolapsing again.


Other tegu health topics: