Vet removes 1-pound liver stone from iguana

Sunday, October 28, 2001

CLARKSTON, Mich. -- Osiris the iguana had a big problem -- about the size of a softball -- but a veterinarian saved the lucky lizard's life.

The 6-year-old green iguana weighed 5 pounds when her owner took her to Dr. Howard Schwartz, a small-animal veterinarian with a specialty in reptiles and amphibians. After he removed a stone from the lizard's bladder on Tuesday, she weighed 4 pounds.

Schwartz said it's "astounding" that Osiris has been able to survive with the stone.

"No one has seen one close to being this big," Schwartz said. He added that he had checked with other members of the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians and the biggest stone they could remember seeing was the size of a golf ball.

"It's so remarkable that she could be hanging in there all these years while this thing got so big," he told The Oakland Press for a Friday story.

He compared Osiris' plight to a 150-pound person carrying a 30-pound tumor.

The veterinarian said Osiris's owner had taken good care of the iguana. Osiris has been eating since the surgery and should now be able to process food and water normally, Schwartz said.

Drag queen runs for mayor

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The polka dots on his dress clash with the pinstriped suits, but that's not the only contrast between write-in mayoral candidate Bill Saunders and his rivals from the major parties.

Saunders is a drag queen whose nom de politics is Little Miss Mess-up. The colorful candidate dresses up in a polka-dot dress, high heels and fishnet stockings, topped off by a fiery red wig.

He wants to debate Democratic Mayor John DeStefano Jr. and Republican candidate Joel Schiavone on Halloween.

This town needs colorful people in high places," says Saunders. "Who's more colorful than me?"

Saunders, who is a painter, will be promoting his agenda this weekend at City-Wide Open Studios with the multimedia project, "Little Miss Mess-up Presents the Guilty Party."

DeStefano, who says he's been a friend to local arts in the city that is home to Yale University, has declined the debate request.

"Halloween would give (Saunders) an unfair advantage," Julio Gonzalez, the mayor's campaign manager, said Wednesday.

Schiavone, lead singer of B.B. Hinds and the Blue Mooners, plans to show up at Saunders' studio this weekend to face off with the candidate.

"I'm going to bring along the band and the banjo, and we're going to have a duel," Schiavone said.

--From wire reports

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