This forum is for urgent health concerns, where your beardie seems very ill and you need immediate help!
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Hi, I'm new to this forum, so I may not be on the right page, but to me, this is an emergency. My bearded dragon has contracted an infection, and the culture grew pseudomonas aeruginosa. From what I've read, this is a particularly difficult bacteria to get rid of. I'm not convinced that the treatment my vet has put him on is the best thing. We've gone through 2 rounds of the same 2 antibiotics and after those failed to make a difference, he's given us a topical xenodine solution to apply externally twice a day, but it's not helping either. This treatment concerns me as well, since the infection is on his gums and lips, and xenodine is not something that should be swallowed. Plus, I've read that this strain of bacteria is resistant to dyes and many antibiotics. He's eaten on his own maybe 4 times in the last 3 months, he's losing a huge amount of weight, and his eye seems to be swelling considerably as well, on the same side. I've been force-feeding him every day for months to keep him from getting dehydrated, but I don't want this to be a long-term state for him. Have any of you dealt with this type of infection before? If you know of someone who has, or if you have a vet that might be able to point me in the right direction, I'd really appreciate it. It breaks my heart to see him this way, I just want to do what's best for him. Thanks for any help you can offer.
So sorry to here about your poor dragon ! Do be careful, since this can affect humans, too. I will throw something out there for you, at this point it may help a little, and with no nasty taste. Try some raw, unpasteurized honey. Just warm it a little, so it can be applied with a q-tip. If your grocery store doesn't have it, a health food store will. Any brand is good, as long as it's raw.The RAW honey [ unpasteurized ] has natural anti-bacterial and anti-biotic properties, and is being used in humans and animals these days, especially because of the emergence of anti-biotic resistant type infections. I hope for the best for you. Please post about any changes in your poor guy.
By the way, I googled honey as treatment for this, and there are reports of good results. It also produces hydrogen peroxide and promotes healing. I myself have used it on any of my dragon's wounds over the years, and it beats any silver cream and anti-biotic cream hands down.
You're welcome ! It sounds like he has suffered a lot, and is in very fragile condition. I want to be clear that I'm not saying this is a cure-all, it just may help and there is documentation. If you use it, be sure there are no pesky loose crickets in the cage.They would be attracted by the honey and try to chew on your little guy. I hope something works for you !
I understand, I don't expect a cure at this point, at least not from the honey. I'm hoping for something to get him feeling better and eating on his own, so that we can get him to a place where we can try some tougher antibiotics. Good call about the crickets, too. Thank you for your suggestions! I'll keep you posted.
Our dragon has been to a new vet, and he's doing better. We used the honey for a couple days, and I did notice an improvement on the outside of his mouth. On the inside, there was really no difference, since the honey didn't have a chance to form a shell and seal due to the saliva inside. But he sure enjoyed it more than the xenodine we were using before! We're waiting for a fungal culture, since the vet thinks if the psuedomonas was the only thing growing in there, the baytril would have taken care of it. He's eaten on his own a couple times, but we're still force-feeding, and using some higher calorie foods to put the weight back on, and avoid a fatty build-up in the liver. He's re-gained 40 grams in the last few days, and he's fighting us more, which I'm taking as two really good signs. While we wait for the fungal, we're cleaning the inside and outside of the mouth with nolvasan 3 times a day. His beard is almost constantly black these days, poor guy. But he's getting better, and hopefully, the culture results will give us a better idea of how to get rid of the infection and get him eating on his own again. Thanks for the suggestions and concern, it's very much appreciated!
Just from an outsider's point of view here... Feeding sugar (honey is 82.17% sugar) to bacteria is a bad idea.
0.1.0 - Human daughter: Kenna
0.1.0 - Mountain Boomer (Collared Lizard): Cactuses
3.2.0 - Beardies: Ichibod, Jupiter, Hunter, Juno, Vesta
If you are going to use honey for this infection, Manuka honey, medical grade would be better than regular honey.
What antibiotic is the vet giving you for use with this type of bacteria? You will need a broad spectrum antibiotic such as Ceftz or an aminoglycoside or both. This drug works well because of its penetration of the cellular space within this bacteria. The bacteria is susceptible to this drug, as well.
What type of foods are you feeding currently?
How is he doing today?
Thanks for all your concern about our bearded dragon. Harry passed away last week, after months of treatment, and several different vets and tests. If you'd like to know more about what (we think) happened to him, I'll put some details below. Thanks for your suggestions and help.
We have been treating Harry for an infection in his mouth since November. After attempting to treat the infection with no
luck, we took him to a vet that specializes in reptiles to determine if there was an underlying issue. She felt what she thought was a fatty liver, and drew some cells out on Monday to test them to determine if there was something there that needed attention. She also took a culture of what was growing on his mouth to test for a fungus. She found some more of the bacteria we originally found, but no fungus. We started another type of antibacterial and an antifungal, just in case. Most fungus are hard to grow in a culture, so the fact that nothing grew didn't necessarily convince us that there was nothing there. Thursday morning, Harry unexpectedly died of what a necropsy determined to be liver failure. The vet also said that his liver was incredibly enlarged, more than she’s ever seen. She did an ultrasound and determined it had grown a significant amount since the first ultrasound she performed a month or so ago. She also found a large amount of bile in his gall bladder that had hardened into a putty-like consistency, similar to what is seen in humans with gall stones. She said the gall bladder itself looked completely normal, so she has no idea why this would have happened. When this build-up occurs, the liver is unable to do its job, and will eventually fail. Whether the enlarged liver was a result of the build-up of bile in his gall bladder or vice versa, these issues most likely weakened his immune system enough to allow the infection to set in on his mouth. She assured me that it was in no way related to his care or diet, and that there was nothing we could have
done to stop it. In fact, the only ways to diagnose or treat these types of issues are impossible in this type and size of animal. In other words, we did everything right. She even went so far as to say our husbandry was absolutely excellent. She’s sending an email to some vets on the east coast that see more reptiles and may have come across this before. She’ll let me know if she learns anything from those conversations or from the liver aspiration test, I'll post if anything helpful comes back. thanks again for your help!
I'm really sorry he died. I know how much it hurts. I'm glad you found out that you couldn't have changed anything. I know that doesn't change the hurt, but, from my experience it's better than thinking you could have stopped his death and didn't in time. I've been there before and hope never to go back there again.
Check this out: http://www.beardeddragon.org/bjive/viewtopic.php?f=49&t=137326
RIP Miss Y and Miss O
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