First time dragon owner

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First time dragon owner

Postby Cherylkanuck » Tue Apr 07, 2020 6:04 pm

[Click image to enlarge]
]Hi, I’m so thankful for this site since just about any question I had under the sun is addressed somewhere on here. I have been reading for awhile but finally registered because I have need of some advise. My son brought home a bearded dragon he got from a pet store in nov. no warning, no research, nothing. Ok long story short. I devoured as much info as I could as quick as I could to get him set up properly (way different that the stuff he came home with from the pet store) got that set quickly but within a couple of weeks I became concerned because he wasn’t growing. They told my son he was an adolescent. No way. He was only 4 inches long. I had him tested for parasites/none. Then he started developing swelling in his limbs, got very lethargic, couldn’t even support himself, stopped eating, too weak to walk. I suspected mbd but the next time I took him in they said they didn’t think that was it because he was so young and his husbandry was good. Then I thought gout but she said no to that too. They did a full body X-ray on the third visit and said everything looks fine. I asked about testing for adv . she said she would look into it. She said it would cost $400 to test for it since they had to use an outside lab. Since there is no cure I opted out of that. I am really at a loss here and need advise. My best guess is he is about 5 months old based on his size. We have had him 4 months. I don’t know if this is where I should have posted all that or not. My apologies if it was supposed to go somewhere else. I have never really joined a forum before and I’m not sure how this all works.
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Re: First time dragon owner

Postby Cherylkanuck » Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:03 pm

I guess i should add info about his setup. He is currently in a 4x2x2 enclosure. He has a reptisun 10.0 t5 uvb 36" with reflector and a halogen 75 watt basking bulb. His basking temps are between 102 and 108 usually. His cool side during the day is usually 78-82 degrees and hot side outside basking zone 90-95. His humidity ranges anywhere from 28- 40. He started off from the pet store on crickets and mealworms. I switched him to dubias shortly after bringing him home i always offer a salad of leafy greans and rotate carrot squash or red peppers. He absolutly never touches his salad tho. I have tried all those tricks that are supposed to make them eat it with zero luck. Once he stopped eating and started losing weight i started giving him daily slurrys and ordered phoenix worms to add to them thinking maybe uric acid was building up from all the roaches since i read that they can convert excess protein into uric acid for later use. His slurrys initially consisted of greens phoenix worms babyfood carrots probiotic powder bee polin calcium w/d3. I have added and subtracted things along the way depending on several different factors. He has put on weight well since i first noticed the weight loss. He did get his appetite back for bugs but still refused greens. I have dubias Phoenix worms as his staples that he always gets first then if he eats those here gets a silk worm or two. I have also tried butter worms and wax worms for his dessert and he lives those. he gets a slurry every day minus the bugs. I also added tart cherry juice for the swelling milk thistle for liver support and olive oil extract as a natural anti viral/ bacterial supliment.i still think he is small but he was 25g 2 months ago and now he is 76 and 10.5 inches long. He just stated refusing food again two days ago. The only thing i can get him to eat is his slurry. He even refused the silk worms that he usually goes crazy for. He was 80g 4 days ago now down to 76.He can't get around his enclosure without help so i move him all over wherever he needs to go. Needless to say this is my dragon now as i do all of his intensive care. My son just checks on him now and then. I am so attached to this little guy and i have read and read so much. I am constantly trying to figure out how to help him. Im just at a loss. He has been to the vet 5 times now and they never know what's wrong and says here looks good but his poor little limbs look like balloons and he can't even walk! Im so frustrated. I hope someone on here can help.
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Re: First time dragon owner

Postby CooperDragon » Wed Apr 08, 2020 5:57 am

His setup sounds excellent and you are on top of his care so he's quite lucky in that regard. Did the vet run a blood test to check organ function? That would also help determine if gout is the culprit.T The atadenovirus testing sounds unreasonably expensive. Another thought is that perhaps he has muscular dystrophy which is not unheard of. Sometimes water therapy can help with that if he doesn't mind being in a bath.
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Re: First time dragon owner

Postby Cherylkanuck » Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:52 am

He actually loves baths so he gets one most days. He used to play in the water and drink it but now he just soaks. He seems very content to do so then he usually poops. I wash out the bin and add fresh water so here can soak a few min more to get any poop bits that might cling to him. I didn't even realize dragons could have muscular dystrophy. Im going to need to read about that now. I asked if they could do a blood panel on him so we could check his uric acid levels and so much more. They said he was too small to draw blood. They want him to be 100 grams first. The first time i brought him they gave him a calcium injection but that didn't seem to do anything. He just got worse. I thought that $400 was awfully high for the adv test as well. When i brought up testing for it she said she would have to look into it. She didn't even seem like she had tested for it before. A friend told me she was a reptile specialist but i think maybe she is just an exotic vet. When she asked what i fed him i told her dubia roaches phoenix worms Silk worms and occasionally butter worms or wax worms as a treat then his daily slurry. She said she hadn't heard of dubia roaches as a feeder and suggested crickets and meal worms. At this time he was only 25g so i am starting to loose confidence in her dragon knowledge. Since he has such a hard time getting around i am having to put him on his basking spot and take him down. I am planning to lower his baking spot to just a few inches of the ground so he can manage it better. I ordered an arcadia 14% dragon bulb so he will still get good exposure lower down and im going to bump his basking bulb up too. The set up i have now was great when he could get around on his own because he loved to climb. Now his poor little hand are like balloons and he can't grip anything. Since his enclosure is 4x2x2 i think the higher uvb is necessary if im going to have him be more of a bottom dweller. I was wondering tho since my enclosure is 2ft deep do i need to have two uvb strips in there? One in the back and once in the front? The one we have now is toward the back of the tank. Or do you think the dragon bulb will be sufficient
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Re: First time dragon owner

Postby CooperDragon » Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:19 am

It's good that you are going to lower everything to make it more easily accessible for him. Accommodations like that will need to be made. You don't need two UVB lights. It's good to have a gradient so he can get away from the UVB if he wants to. They don't need constant UVB exposure and will often opt to get away from it when it is available. It's good that he enjoys baths. You might be able to help him move his arms and legs a bit while in the water. If he can strengthen the muscles a bit when they don't have a load on them, it may help with his symptoms. I've only read about this second hand though. I don't have experience dealing with this myself.
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Re: First time dragon owner

Postby KarrieRee » Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:25 am

No only one UVB fixture is good and the 14% is a good strong bulb--- I have one in my 4x2x2 tank and have it mounted to the top of screen inside- the decor piece sits under it - you might want to see if you can find a piece of decor that has a platform on it so he can crawl into it--- here is a pic of the tank the decor piece that I am talking about sits in the back--- [Click image to enlarge]
I hope you can figure out what is going on but you have done an excellent job for someone w/ no experience- I recommend you PM Tracie she is our vet moderator and can help w/ the adv testing- it seems he would be showing signs of it
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Re: First time dragon owner

Postby DragonPete » Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:27 am

Just wanted to welcome you to the forum. ❤
Being a dragon mom for only 6 months, I don't have advice on your baby's issue but I know there are very experienced people here and a posting vet. Hang in there, I'm sure they'll come by. 👍
He's a beautiful Dragon! 🤗 Hoping you can find out his problem and find a better vet.
Sending healing vibes 🤒 and best wishes.
-Dee
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Re: First time dragon owner

Postby Cherylkanuck » Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:49 am

I have that same log that you have. It used to be his favorite but i have some other pieces that are low flat and sloping that i can use once i get the new light in. I will definitely reach out to tracy. He has many of the signs of adv but who knows. I would love to get her advise. Thank you for getting back with me. My vet did tell me there is a really good reptile specialist in raleigh i could go see but that's three hours away so i was hoping to not have to do that. Especially right now with all this covid 19 mess.
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Re: First time dragon owner

Postby DragonPete » Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:56 am

Cherylkanuck wrote:I have that same log that you have. It used to be his favorite but i have some other pieces that are low flat and sloping that i can use once i get the new light in. I will definitely reach out to tracy. He has many of the signs of adv but who knows. I would love to get her advise. Thank you for getting back with me. My vet did tell me there is a really good reptile specialist in raleigh i could go see but that's three hours away so i was hoping to not have to do that. Especially right now with all this covid 19 mess.

I'm in NC too. Hi neighbor! 😊 I wasn't aware there was a reptile specialist in Ral, I'm about an hour out of there myself. 👍
Hoping Tracy can give you some advice. 🤗
-Dee
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Re: First time dragon owner

Postby Cherylkanuck » Wed Apr 08, 2020 2:11 pm

Oh cool. Nice to know another dragon person in nc. If you want that vets info let me know. She said he goes all over the world and teaches on reptiles and that he is worth the visit so im seriously considering the 3hr drive .
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Re: First time dragon owner

Postby Cherylkanuck » Wed Apr 08, 2020 2:22 pm

This is a pic of Ripley's enclosure [Click image to enlarge]
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Re: First time dragon owner

Postby DragonPete » Wed Apr 08, 2020 4:42 pm

Cherylkanuck wrote:Oh cool. Nice to know another dragon person in nc. If you want that vets info let me know. She said he goes all over the world and teaches on reptiles and that he is worth the visit so im seriously considering the 3hr drive .

Thank you. If you end up seeing him, let me know what you think of him. My boy will need to go maybe 1st of next year, if no problems between now and then. 🤞
So your baby's name is Ripley? How kewl. 🤗 I had a cat named Ripley for 16 yrs. 😊
-Dee
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Re: First time dragon owner

Postby Claudiusx » Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:24 am

Happy late welcome to the site! :D

-Brandon
Follow along with all my beardies. Check out my thread here!: Claud's Crew
P.S. We have lots of pictures ;)
Click here if you use a Sunblaster fixture - IMPORTANT
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