I noticed a 3/16ths long flat zone at the end of the tail. It didn't look like an infection had set in. but in a week or so the tail tip had curved up and was dry. Typically, I would have a herp vet remove the stiff part + 3/8 or 1/2 an inch. I couldn'thave that done, as I've explained in other long posts.
But the tip had to come off. The area was very slender. I should have broken it off, because the break happens at a facet, which is good at resisting infection + growing a good replacement. Instead I used sharp tiny scissors to cut it off well above the defective zone. It went OK, but in two weeks the dry rot started in again, with the end of the healthy part of the tail being mushy and soft. That's gangrene. So I selected a spot a bit further above the infection than I did for the first amp. Even for me, it felt like I was inflicting cruelty. But this time the end permanently healed, and is still in good shape. Now I watch it closely.
To break the tail, you hold it with thumb and forefinger 1/2 inch above the bad area. Clip your other two fingersabove that, and forcefully bend tail until it breaks. Be sure to place your fingers well above the demarcation between the infected, soft part, because if you squeeze down on an infected area, it will force infected fluid to move up the tail.
I had no business keeping that alligator lizard. But I was dismantling a small building in April, using sledge hammers and pry bars. Suddenly a hibernating alligator lizard rolled out on top of some fine debris. It was out cold. If I had placed him in another spot to let it go, it would surely have died at the hands of a raccoon or possum. also I figured that even though he looked perfect, he could have a serious injury that would inhibit his ability to hunt. I decided to keep him for two years, and then release him nto his little green spring-fed oasis.
Before two years was up, he had formda serious, hip-bulging deformity. He can't run well. so I have him forever.
I'd like to have a dog,and a Blackthroat Monitor. But I can't pay vet bills without spending my food money. I actually like construction work, and am making contacts here in my new place in the Sierras. Also, because Blackthroats live 40-50 years, for me to buy one is the same as me deserting one, because it will outlive me.