German Giant strange positions, deformed toe, swollen leg.

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Re: German Giant strange positions, deformed toe, swollen le

Postby GermanGiant3 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:15 pm

I just picked him up an Exo-Terra 75W intense basking bulb to replace his very old Zoo-Med. The light fixture for his new Reptisun UVB is on the way. What is the optimal way to have his UVB able to be absorbed and still have heat for him? If the UVB tube covers the majority of the back screen then I'm not sure how much benefit he will get out of his basking bulb? Keeping him a few degrees warmer seems to be making a difference for sure. He had a very small dose of Baytril last night. His colors etc all currently are presenting as great to me. He is still flopping his front legs to his sides when he lays down, but otherwise nothing too bad.

I just picked up an exo-terra stick on thermometer to leave in the center which is registering about 75 with his new bulb on. The basking spot with the other thermometer went from 77 to 96.8 over the course of a while! He is now on a new piece of wood that is on his original log so he can lay more evenly and soak up the heat. I replaced the Zoo-Med 75 watt basking bulb that I have had for a very long time with the Exo-Terra 75W intense basking version. The difference is huge! No antibiotic dose today. I will be monitoring him and potentially giving small doses of Baytril every other day to attempt to avoid Kidney saturation, or he may not need them at all.

Thank you so much for all of your help.
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Re: German Giant strange positions, deformed toe, swollen le

Postby GermanGiant3 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:18 pm

He is very disinterested in crickets. Will eat 1 or 2 if held in front of his face for a long time but otherwise does not seem to be interested in anything but Superworms. Hasn't been touching salads too much, not keen on fluid intake. Any ideas on how to make him regain interest in some food that isn't supers?
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Re: German Giant strange positions, deformed toe, swollen le

Postby Drache613 » Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:57 am

Hello,

You are using a digital probe or temp gun, along with a stick on type of thermometer, correct?
What other type of insect are you keeping around for him, other than supers? If he eats some
supers, that is perfectly fine. Getting him to eat right now is important. You can try sprinkling
some bee pollen or use some brightly colored bell peppers, or berries on his greens to see if
that may entice him to eat his greens.
Is the basking bulb you have a bright white one? You can mount the UVB underneath of the
screen alongside of the basking bulb for maximum exposure for him. Is the basking bulb on top
of the screen, correct?
I am glad to hear his colors are looking good right now, so, no black beard at the moment? I would
consider leaving the antibiotics out for now. Keep us posted on him.

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Re: German Giant strange positions, deformed toe, swollen le

Postby kingofnobbys » Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:58 am

GermanGiant3 wrote:I just picked him up an Exo-Terra 75W intense basking bulb to replace his very old Zoo-Med. The light fixture for his new Reptisun UVB is on the way. What is the optimal way to have his UVB able to be absorbed and still have heat for him? If the UVB tube covers the majority of the back screen
<<<< are you still having the UV sitting on top of screen mesh lid ?
>>> please move it so it's UNDER the mesh lid.
the mesh will be blocking AT LEAST 40% of the UV .

>>> someone else mentioned replacing the mesh lid with solid lid , that's a very good idea, I did some detailed thermal / heat transfer calculations not so long ago and showed simply changing to a solid timber lid will keep about 100W of heat in the viv where you need it.
viewtopic.php?f=34&t=236332&p=1816614&hilit=heat+transfer#p1816614

then I'm not sure how much benefit he will get out of his basking bulb? Keeping him a few degrees warmer seems to be making a difference for sure. He had a very small dose of Baytril last night. His colors etc all currently are presenting as great to me. He is still flopping his front legs to his sides when he lays down, but otherwise nothing too bad.

I just picked up an exo-terra stick on thermometer to leave in the center which is registering about 75 with his new bulb on. The basking spot with the other thermometer went from 77 to 96.8 over the course of a while! He is now on a new piece of wood that is on his original log so he can lay more evenly and soak up the heat. I replaced the Zoo-Med 75 watt basking bulb that I have had for a very long time with the Exo-Terra 75W intense basking version. The difference is huge! No antibiotic dose today. I will be monitoring him and potentially giving small doses of Baytril every other day to attempt to avoid Kidney saturation, or he may not need them at all.

Thank you so much for all of your help.
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Lucky - cat attack rescue, fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
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Re: German Giant strange positions, deformed toe, swollen le

Postby GermanGiant3 » Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:13 am

kingofnobbys wrote:
GermanGiant3 wrote:I just picked him up an Exo-Terra 75W intense basking bulb to replace his very old Zoo-Med. The light fixture for his new Reptisun UVB is on the way. What is the optimal way to have his UVB able to be absorbed and still have heat for him? If the UVB tube covers the majority of the back screen
<<<< are you still having the UV sitting on top of screen mesh lid ?
>>> please move it so it's UNDER the mesh lid.
the mesh will be blocking AT LEAST 40% of the UV .

>>> someone else mentioned replacing the mesh lid with solid lid , that's a very good idea, I did some detailed thermal / heat transfer calculations not so long ago and showed simply changing to a solid timber lid will keep about 100W of heat in the viv where you need it.
viewtopic.php?f=34&t=236332&p=1816614&hilit=heat+transfer#p1816614

then I'm not sure how much benefit he will get out of his basking bulb? Keeping him a few degrees warmer seems to be making a difference for sure. He had a very small dose of Baytril last night. His colors etc all currently are presenting as great to me. He is still flopping his front legs to his sides when he lays down, but otherwise nothing too bad.

I just picked up an exo-terra stick on thermometer to leave in the center which is registering about 75 with his new bulb on. The basking spot with the other thermometer went from 77 to 96.8 over the course of a while! He is now on a new piece of wood that is on his original log so he can lay more evenly and soak up the heat. I replaced the Zoo-Med 75 watt basking bulb that I have had for a very long time with the Exo-Terra 75W intense basking version. The difference is huge! No antibiotic dose today. I will be monitoring him and potentially giving small doses of Baytril every other day to attempt to avoid Kidney saturation, or he may not need them at all.

Thank you so much for all of your help.



I am uncertain how I am going to mount the new UVB once his fixture is here. The current setup the UVB coil bulb and basking light are next to each other on the screen.. I am willing to cut out 1/4th of the mesh screen so the UVB can be fully absorbed, I do not think there is going to be a way for me to mount it. In addition I'm uncertain where the basking bulb is going to go since there will be no room for the reptisun fixture with the dome light next to it
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Re: German Giant strange positions, deformed toe, swollen le

Postby EllenD » Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:06 pm

Okay, what Reptisun 10.0 UVB tube did you purchase, the T8 or the T5HO? This is easy to accomplish, I think you are just thinking too hard about it...I believe you either have a 40 gallon breeder tank or a 20 gallon long tank if I remember correctly, so either way this is not that difficult. Both lights need to be located in the Hot Side of the tank and both need to be directly over whatever his main Basking Spot/Platform is. When I say "directly over" obviously you can't put both lights right on top of each other, but you can still get them right next to each other and over his Basking Platform.

The reason I asked which strength of tube you bought is to determine how close the UVB tube must be to the Basking Platform, the T8 UVB tube must be within 6" of the Basking Platform, while the T5HO must be within 11" of the Basking Platform. The T8 UVB absolutely must be mounted either inside the tank and underneath the lid, either by cutting out the mesh from the lid directly underneath the UVB tube or by simply cutting 4 small holes in the mesh and then using either those really long, plastic Zip Ties, Twine, Shoelaces, etc. to go through the holes and around the entire tube fixture, strapping it and tying it to the underside of the mesh lid. This is absolutely the best and most effective way to mount the fixture inside the tank instead of "Cutting out the mesh from underneath the UVB tube while it's sitting on top of the mesh lid", because if you do it this way as you suggest, the UVB light will only be emitted directly underneath where the UVB tube sits, because the metal reflector that is behind the UVB tube inside the fixture will not be able to reflect any UVB light throughout the tank (Unless you cut out enough of the mesh in the lid so that only the very edges of the fixture on both long sides of it are all that is sitting on the mesh lid and the entire UVB tube and all of the space going down each long side of the fixture is unobstructed by mesh too, and even this is not going to get enough of the UVB light reflected throughout the tank. So you really are best to simply strap the entire fixture to the underside of the mesh lid using either the long Zip Ties, Twine, String, Shoelaces, etc. This is how I have my 22" Reptisun 10.0 T5HO UVB tube and it's 24" tube fixture mounted inside my tank.

I still have my tube fixture strapped to the underside of the mesh lid in my very large glass Exo Terra even though it is the 10.0 T5HO. I just feel better having the UVB light unobstructed by anything (I have 3 dragons, 2 of them are in huge custom, wooden enclosure where the UVb fixture is built-in to the ceiling of the enclosures, and my rescue guy is in a very large glass Exo Terra with a mesh lid that has a plastic "grid" on it's top that separates the top into 4 squares of mesh). I don't know what type of tank you have or mesh lid you have, but it really doesn't matter, strapping the long tube fixture to the underside of the mesh lid is going to be the easiest and most effective way to get the UVb tube fixture inside the tank. I don't know how tall your enclosure is either, but as long as the top of his Basking Platform/Spot that is located on the Hot Side of the enclosure is within at least 11" of the unobstructed UVB tube/fixture that is strapped to the underside of the mesh lid, the distance will be fine.

As far as setting up the lights, this is going to depend on 2 things: The first is what type of fixture you have his bright white basking bulb that is over his Hot Side in, meaning is it a Dome-style fixutre that must sit directly on top of the mesh or is it a Clamp-style fixture that clips to the edge of the enclosure, and the second is what type of mesh lid it is that you have, meaning is it just a big, flat, solid mesh lid, or does it have a plastic grid on top of the mesh like I described mine has. These are going to determine how you have to have your Basking Light mounted and where you will have to strap the UVb fixture to the underside of the mesh lid. Also, what you use as his Hot Side Basking Spot/Platform is going to be a factor.

We don't want to make this complicated because it's not complicated, so basically all you have to do is strap the UVB tube fixture to the underside of the mesh that is over the Hot Side of the tank and not right against the back or the front walls of the tank, because you don't want to have half of the UVB light being reflected directly into the glass wall and lost. I don't know what length of tube/fixture you got, but you want the UVB tube to cover his Basking Platform on the Hot Side of the tank (completely cover the Basking Spot/Platform on the Hot Side) and then any extra tube that sticks out on either side of the Basking Platform is fine, it doesn't matter as long as his Basking Spot/Platform is completely spanned by the UVB tube.

So you may need to move his Basking Platform a bit if it's against the front or back wall or the side wall of the Hot Side, you want it more in the middle of the Hot Side so that the UVB tube is not right against any of the glass sides of the tank, and is at least a couple of inches away from the sides. Obviously you'll need to leave enough room on top of the mesh lid on one of the sides of the UVB tube for the Basking Light Fixture to either sit right on top of the mesh in a Dome Fixture, or so that it has enough room right alongside the UVB tube to shine down onto the Basking Platform if you have it in a Clamp Lamp.

******* I'm assuming you have a Dome Fixture that sits on top of the mesh lid, so what I would do is just basically sit the Dome fixture down on top of the mesh lid over the Hot Side of the tank and make it be the light that is against either the front or back of the tank (put the Dome Fixture against the front or back glass of the tank), and then you'll simply strap the UVB fixture to the underside of the mesh lid (the UVB tube will be towards the center of the lid because the Basking Light Dome Fixture will be the light on the OUTSIDE of the lid). So one side of the dome fixture will be next to the outside of the mesh lid and next to the front glass wall or the back glass wall, whichever you want, and the other side of the dome fixture will be on the inside of the lid, towards the center. The UVB tube fixture will be strapped to the underside of the lid starting right next to that inside edge of the Dome fixture...So once you put the Dome fixture on the top of the mesh lid, over the Hot Side and against either the Front or the Back edge of the lid, then poke 2 small holes in the mesh lid right alongside of the inside edge of the Dome Fixture. You'll want one hole for the Zip Tie or the Shoelace, etc. that will go around one end of the UVB fixture, and the other hole for the Shoelace etc. that will be around the other end of the tube fixture.

I just set my dome fixture down on top of the mesh lid, over the Hot Side and right against the front edge of the tank, then I set the UVB tube fixture on top of the mesh lid right alongside the inner edge of the Dome Fixture, allowing maybe a 1/4" gap between the two fixtures. then I poked 4 holes in the mesh, basically 1 next to each corner of the UVB tube fixture, but in towards the center of the tube fixture so that the Shoelaces or Zip ties would be able to wrap around each end of the tube fixture. So the Basking Light sits on top of the mesh lid right at the front of the tank on the Hot Side, and the UVB tube is strapped to the underside of mesh lid, over the Hot Side and towards the center of the Hot Side of the tank and right alongside the Basking Light.

Then just remove the mesh lid and put it down on the floor upside down, and thread the Zip Ties or whatever you're using to strap the tube fixture to the underside of the mesh lid through the holes, then just set the tube fixture with the UVb tube installed inside it already on the underside of the mesh lid and lined up with the holes, and wrap the shoelaces or zip ties around each end of the tube fixture and lock the zip ties or tie the laces/twine, and then cut off any excess of either that is hanging. Then just put the lid back on the tank and set the Dome Fixture at the front of the tank right in front of the tube fixture. Lastly, then you need to move the Basking Spot/Platform so that it's centered in the middle of the 2 lights. Done....

My UVB tube fixture stretches across from the very end of the Hot Side of the tank, all the way across the Hot Side of the tank, and then a portion of it goes into the Cool Side of the tank as well. All you have to be sure of is that you put his Basking Platform centered under both lights so that the place he sits/lays while he's basking is completely covered/underneath both lights...
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Re: German Giant strange positions, deformed toe, swollen le

Postby GermanGiant3 » Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:08 pm

Pablo is in the same Exo-Terra enclosure that you described with the mesh divided into 4 quadrants by the plastic. Holes and zip ties later and it is in there sturdily! It is the T5. I have moved his basking spot somewhat. He got a few hours of it today, I am very interested to see how he responds to a full day of proper UVB. It is so much brighter in there! Thank you so much for the walkthrough, EllenD. I will post photos tomorrow!

He is still very lazy, he has a solid appetite but only if things are in front of him. His swelling has not gotten any worse, that left leg I believe now has been similar in swelling level for quite some time now (not even really sure if it's swollen or just calloused over and looking strange or what).. In time do you think he will be able to hold onto shirts etc again? He seems pretty healthy other than lack of consistent movement :/
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Re: German Giant strange positions, deformed toe, swollen le

Postby Drache613 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:45 am

Hello,

I am happy you were able to get the T5 & fixture all mounted. The zip ties definitely hold
up very well! I am sure he's going to love the new light. It's pretty easy to get it all figured
out. I bet it is brighter for him.
You haven't given him anymore medications right now correct? I sure hope that his swelling
hasn't gotten any worse for him.
Hopefully with time, the swelling will go down & he will be able to use his limbs more effectively.
I really think he needs to be started on allopurinol as soon as possible. Keep us posted on
Pablo!

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Re: German Giant strange positions, deformed toe, swollen le

Postby GermanGiant3 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:10 am

Basking spot, photo also shows his troubled front left leg. Much less swollen than some months back but still not normal looking. : https://imgur.com/a/DPSJG

Basking spot in relation to UVB/Basking bulb: https://imgur.com/a/ZYtpc

Front view of enclosure https://imgur.com/a/eGQ01

He received a very small amount of Baytril Thursday morning and that was about it. I am uncertain if Allopurinol is the right course of action for him either as I am uncertain if that left leg is even gout or a healed injury that didn't heal quite right or what. No other signs of swelling, no worsening of that back toe which I think he may have broken as opposed to gout. Does he present as a definite gout case to you? I am more than willing to get him the treatment he needs, just very torn because I don't know what is really troubling him and he hates fluids and meds.
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Re: German Giant strange positions, deformed toe, swollen le

Postby GermanGiant3 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:29 pm

He is very lazy and not doing much movement. He will turn in one direction and then shimmy and try to push himself somewhat in a direction, but it does not usually end up in a full motion. He will find something comfortable to get under (currently just flopped his front legs down by his sides and is sprawled out between a pillow/blanket..)

It seems as if right now he would be content with not moving at all. Fell asleep on basking spot even after lights were off, woke up and he was still there. Bright eyes etc though :(
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Re: German Giant strange positions, deformed toe, swollen le

Postby Drache613 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:47 pm

Hello,

At this point, I don't think it's swelling from an infection because it has not improved at all.
A blood test needs to be done to see what the uric acid levels are. There really aren't any
other options as to what the culprit is of his swelling.
It is crucial that you get a blood test done on him or just get him started on the allopurinol.
It is a very safe drug but designed for gout. The longer you wait to get the analysis or get
him started on allopurinol if it's gout, the less chances of recovery he has. He doesn't want
to move much because his joints hurt him from the swelling.
Let us know how he is doing.

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Re: German Giant strange positions, deformed toe, swollen le

Postby EllenD » Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:29 am

First of all, I owe you an apology because when I posted that long post with detailed instructions about how to mount the tube UVB fixture inside his Exo Terra, I had simply read your post just prior where you said you didn't understand how you were going to get the fixture mounted under the mesh lid. I didn't realize who you were or what thread this was, lol. So yesterday morning I read through your last vet appointment and then through Tracie's responses, etc. So after reading about what your current treatment plan for Pablo is, I took the liberty of emailing my own Certified Reptile Vet of 15 years and explained to him the situation in summary. He then called me and asked me to get online with him on the forum and to send him a link to this thread. So while I was on the phone with him I got onto my laptop and sat there while he read through this entire thread, asking me questions and having me try to explain the many situations with the 2 prior vets that have seen Pablo, because he was not understanding at all what these vets have put both you and Pablo through. He won't make a log-in to this forum or any other forum, he used to do that but what inevitably happens is people start bombarding him with hundreds emails and PM's, begging him for instructions on what to do, advice, and yes, free veterinary treatment to the point that people literally break down crying (they tell him they're crying in their messages) and telling him things like "I'll try to borrow enough money to pay for gas so I can drive the 10 hours to you if you are willing to treat my dragon for free". He use to spend entire weekends just responding to emails and PM's because he really does want to help everyone, but obviously he can't. That being said, I have contacted over the years with special cases from either the Bearded Dragon Forums that I have belonged to, or from the Exotic Rescue that I have been a volunteer at for many years, and he knows that if I'm asking him to look at a specific case (I don't do it often, maybe 2-3 times a year) that it's a very serious situation where the poor reptile and it's owner have been put through the ringer by other veterinarians.

He is writing you a message and is going to email it to me so that I can post it on this thread. I told him that I would PM it to you, which is typically what he has me do so it's private, but he asked me to post it in this thread this time because he is including specific information about gout in beardies and about certain treatments available, and he wants people searching for gout information to be able to find it. So as soon as he emails it to me I will post it here.

I can tell you right now that he got very upset that this has been going on since June, and that no blood work has been done (he was baffled as to why your vet couldn't get enough blood this past week, as am I), and the entire thing where the vet suggested an invasive surgery to diagnose gout or an infection made him angry. So I'll post it as soon as I get it from him. Take it as you will, but keep in mind that this guy has been a Board Certified Herpetologist Veterinarian for almost 25 years and he sees nothing but reptiles and amphibians, he sees no dogs, no cats, no birds, no rodents, etc. and never ever has since he graduated from Veterinary School. He has 25 years of treating only reptiles and amphibians, and pet bearded dragons make up over 40% of his clientele.

As for my personal opinion, I totally agree with the post that Tracie last posted, you absolutely need to stop both of those antibiotics immediately, you need to start force-feeding fluids to him several times a day with an oral syringe (I will follow with step-by-step instructions on this in a few minutes, it should help you a lot), and you need to get him to a reptile specialist vet or ANY vet at all that knows how to take blood from a dragon and get the blood work done. There is no reason that they should not have been able to get adequate blood from Pablo...did they tell you why they couldn't get enough blood?

He absolutely has gout, after talking to my CRV I have zero doubt, and the 2 antibiotics are going to soon cause him to go into renal failure. He needs to be put on the correct daily dose of Allopurinol immediately to get his UA levels down, and then you'll see him improve. And I have to post this question to you, why not just try the Allopurinol? It will not hurt him at all, it can only help! So why not? If for some reason you are unable to get blood work done to confirm or rule out gout or an infection (he doesn't have an infection, that has been made very obvious by the lack of help from the antibiotics, his swelling getting worse in spite of the antibiotics, and the sheer length of time that he has been suffering with this swelling and extreme pain absolutely rules out an infection, especially a "systemic infection" and confirms gout, as if he had a "systemic infection" or a localized infection this long he would be dead already, and gout progresses slowly over time)...

Anyway, as I was saying, if you cannot or will not get blood work done for whatever reason (I'm sorry, I just don't understand this at all) to confirm or rule out gout or an infection, if you put him on Allopurinol on a "Just in Case" or a "Guessing" basis, and he's on it for at least 2-3 weeks (the time it usually takes to see marked improvement in swelling and activity /appetite level) and the swelling starts to come down and everything overall starts to improve, then this should be enough to convince you he has gout. And why not try this, it's exactly the same thing that you were willing to do with the 2 Antibiotics he's currently on, you have absolutely no one piece of evidence at all that he has any infection anywhere, no blood work, no culture results, nothing, yet he's been taking 2 antibiotics...the difference is that the Allopurinol won't hurt him if he doesn't have gout, where in contrast the 2 Antibiotics he's been on can and will eventually put him into renal failure and most likely kill him if he doesn't have an infection but does have gout... and it should be quite obvious by now that the antibiotics are only causing him to get worse and worse and are not helping one bit. He's in horrible pain from the gout, as gout causes an enormous amount of pain, that's why he's getting worse, he has gout and the antibiotics he has been taking for absolutely no reason at all are causing him to progressively get worse and worse. As Tracie said, unless you get him off all antibiotics, push fluids, and get him on Allopurinol daily ASAP, he has absolutely no chance for recovery or survival.
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Re: German Giant strange positions, deformed toe, swollen le

Postby GermanGiant3 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:10 pm

Thank you very much for your response. He has not taken any further antibiotics other than a non-full dose of Baytril on Thursday. He will not be getting them again, and his allopurinol is on the way through Tracie.

First vet visit was just the front left leg being swollen, assumed infection. Told me to do Baytril every other day for 14 days.

Second visit was the double antibiotic prescription and surgery schedule recommendation despite me asking about culturing, blood work etc.


Third he took him out for blood work and x-rays, came back saying something with at least one of the back feet seems to be slightly pushing the bones apart and that he was unable to get enough blood out of him for a full lab send-out but got a small amount for testing there. I waited in the office for him to come back out and tell me there wasn't really enough of anything there for it to say anything. I am more than willing to get him what he needs, I just wish that it was all done initially. The allopurinol should be here by Wednesday and I will continue to push fluids. He drank at least 4-5ml for me just now without being forced.

I know that diet is commonly a concern when it comes to worsening gout factors. He use to eat crickets, salads, various fruits and would absolutely LOVE pineapple. Ever since the introduction of superworms, he has no interest for the most part in things that are not superworms. It has been a while since I have seen him touch his salad. What is the best course of action as far as food goes with him being so stubborn about it?
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Re: German Giant strange positions, deformed toe, swollen le

Postby Drache613 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:51 pm

Hello,

I hope Pablo is doing better today. I know he doesn't have much energy right now, but hopefully
soon that will change. I'm glad to know that he did willingly take in some fluids today.
As far as getting him to eat, you will probably have to get baby food such as chicken or turkey &
mix it with sweet potatoes or squash baby food, just to help him out for nutrition.
You have tried silkworms & hornworms, but he wont eat them, just superworms? Well, some are
just perfectly fine, but he does need a balance. You can get some pieces of fruit or veggies & try
to toss them in with some greens, then add a few worms in there too for him. That might be
enough to entice him to eat the greens.
Sick & or ill dragons usually don't have a good appetite. I think he is probably just in too much
pain right now to eat much.
Let us know how he is doing.

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Re: German Giant strange positions, deformed toe, swollen le

Postby GermanGiant3 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:30 pm

They finally sent his x-ray over. He is displaying as quite weak, low appetite etc. Alert in terms of eyes etc but his body really does not seem to be doing well right now.

https://imgur.com/a/PE3Au
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