PLEASE HELP Bearded dragon not getting better after vetvisit

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PLEASE HELP Bearded dragon not getting better after vetvisit

Postby Mackymoo799 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:09 am

Luna is an almost 5 month old female bearded dragon that I have owned for a month. A few days ago she had a loss of appetite, and a lack of energy. She was shedding on her face and abdomen at that time so I just thought she was uncomfortable and didn’t think too much of it, then that night she had a very strange twitching/cramping in her back legs. I came on this site and read that it could be MBD. I immediately bought a whole brand new uvb light and fixture, I thought my old one was not working. The next day she seemed a little perkier, but she still would not eat. After I got home from work that night I saw that whenever she tried to walk she was moving with seizure-like movements, extremely shaky and she could hardly move very far at all. She also wither will not or can not use her back legs. I immediately took her to the animal hospital that night. The vet basically told me that he could give me some things to help, but if they didn’t work that the most humane thing to do was to euthanize her. The vet gave me a linguist calcium supplement she receives 2 times a day, and Oxbow critical care that I mix and give her 4-5 times a day. She hasn’t had a bowel movement in 6 days. I have given her pumpkin, and organic vegetable baby food with a drop of olive oil and a drop of honey, neither of those worked.

To go over her setup:
I have her in a 29 gallon long (if she turns out to be ok she will be getting upgraded very soon)
Her heat light is a 120V/50W full spectrum bulb. The temps in her basking area are about 95-105 degrees Fahrenheit, and about 75 degrees Fahrenheit in the cooler side.
She has a UVB light over her entire enclosure, I forget what the full length of it is. I just bought it a few days ago, it’s a DesertSeries50 17W T8 fluorescent bulb.
Her diet consisted of crickets and super worms. The crickets were dusted in calcium powder. I have offered her many leafy greens, all sprinkled with powder but she hasn’t touched them. She did enjoy some butternut squash that had powder sprinkled on it, but that is the only vegetable she has eaten.
Somebody please help, I don’t want to lose my baby. The vet said that there isn’t really any tests they can do to see what’s causing the problems. If I had a stool sample I could take in I would do that but like I said I don’t have any. Did I do something wrong with her? And is the vet correct in saying that the most humane thing to do is put her to sleep?
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Re: PLEASE HELP Bearded dragon not getting better after vetv

Postby AHBD » Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:15 pm

Hi there, I think the main problem is possibly impaction. If she has not poo'd in 6 days at her age she probably can't pass the superworms. Is she over 14" long ? If not the superworms could be a real problem. Keep offering the pumpkin + raw honey/olive oil. Late afternoon give her a WARMER than usual bath. This can help her to poo, don't give up. It may also be calcium deficiency so the calcium + supplements should help.

Please name the brand + type of uvb, if it's a coil or compact , she is not getting enough uvb to allow her body to utilize calcium . The proper bulb is critical for calcium absorption. I don't think she needs th be put to sleep, she may just need to poo and get extra calcium in her. She may live with some problems afterwards or may recover to a good degree.

Please post pics of her as well as her set up + lights. Here's how :
https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploads/ Then use the XIMG to upload them
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Re: PLEASE HELP Bearded dragon not getting better after vetv

Postby Mackymoo799 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:44 pm

Thank you so much for replying. I tried the really warm bath but had no luck :( I did however see her back legs move a tiny bit, so I think she was trying. I soaked her for about a half hour so I hope that wasn’t too long? She seemed to be really relaxed in it. To answer your question about my uvb light it is a “Desert Series 50” 17 Watt T8 fluorescent bulb, one of the long tube ones, and I’ve had it about a week. I think you are right about the super worms, I think she is close to 14 inches but not quite there yet. When I got her about a month ago she was pretty skinny because the place wasn’t feeding her enough, and I asked my friend what her bearded dragon liked to eat and that’s when I started giving her superworms. She was putting on weight pretty good until she started to get sick. Another question I have is that she will not eat anything, do I need to force feed her? And if I do then what should I be giving her? She gets oxbow 4-5 times a day, I’m just not sure if that is enough for her.
Here are the pictures (if I didn’t post them right then I will try again)
[Click image to enlarge]

This is her tank. I know it is very bare right now but she was trying to climb on things and was falling off so I decided to take things out.
[Click image to enlarge]

This is a top view of Luna, if you need more pics I will gladly take more! As you can see she just has her back legs laid out behind her.
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Re: PLEASE HELP Bearded dragon not getting better after vetv

Postby kingofnobbys » Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:00 am

Mackymoo799 wrote:Thank you so much for replying. I tried the really warm bath but had no luck :( I did however see her back legs move a tiny bit, so I think she was trying. I soaked her for about a half hour so I hope that wasn’t too long? She seemed to be really relaxed in it. To answer your question about my uvb light it is a “Desert Series 50” 17 Watt T8 fluorescent bulb,
<< STRONGLY ADVISE = ditch this ZILLA tube for 3 reasons (return it to the box and take it back to swap for either an Arcadia , or a Zoo Med , or an Exo Terra tube
1) poor quality made in china (poor phosphors, poor UV spectrum produced)
2) is a 5% UVB tube so TOO WEAK
3) is a T8 tube so TOO WEAK
, replace with a tube rated AT LEAST 10%UVB.
Even better replace the fitting with a T5HO reflector hood, and upgrade to an Arcadia T5HO 12% UVB.



one of the long tube ones, and I’ve had it about a week. I think you are right about the super worms, I think she is close to 14 inches but not quite there yet. When I got her about a month ago she was pretty skinny because the place wasn’t feeding her enough, and I asked my friend what her bearded dragon liked to eat and that’s when I started giving her superworms.

<<< cut the superworms (set them aside , they will survive for months if kept warm in good wheat bran and given carrot and food).

She was putting on weight pretty good until she started to get sick. Another question I have is that she will not eat anything, do I need to force feed her? And if I do then what should I be giving her? She gets oxbow 4-5 times a day, I’m just not sure if that is enough for her.

How heavy is she ?

a good estimate is about 3- 4ml of liquid food substitute per 100g body weight / day.
NO SOLIDS TIL SHE POOS , will only add to the bulk of rotting food in her gut.

Otherwise as per vet's instructions or instruction on the packet of Oxbow.

Try 0.3ml olive oil given orally by eyedropper or syringe each day , can help clear impactions.


Here are the pictures (if I didn’t post them right then I will try again)
[Click image to enlarge]

This is her tank. I know it is very bare right now but she was trying to climb on things and was falling off so I decided to take things out.
[Click image to enlarge]

This is a top view of Luna, if you need more pics I will gladly take more! As you can see she just has her back legs laid out behind her.
CBDs: Puff (M)(RIP 10Dec2015 @ 3.2 yrs old (aneurism)),Rex (F)(RIP 16Mar2017 @ 4.6 yrs old,Toothless (M)(sudden unexplained death RIP 26Nov2017) @ 2.1 yrs old.Peppa (F) (born 15Nov2015).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Lucky (M)(wild juvenile), cat attack rescue, fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.Wriggles (F)(rescued injured),thought she was a big lizard, 7-8 yrs old, died in her sleep, RIP 2Feb2016). Fluffy (F) rescued 14Nov2017 about 4 yrs old . .
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Re: PLEASE HELP Bearded dragon not getting better after vetv

Postby AHBD » Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:12 am

Right now getting her to poo is very important. Good thing she tried to do so in the bath, do this every day for about 10 minutes, 30 min. is too long. Make the water extra warm and only up to her " shoulders " area. She does not need bugs right now, but add the baby food squash, prunes, or canned pumpkin to the Oxbow formula every day, 2-3 times as well as a drop of olive oil or honey. This should do the trick in a few days.


As for the Zilla bulb, check to see that there is no plastic covering the bulb on the fixture. For some reason the company has a plastic shield over the bulb on those fixtures and that blocks all the uvb. You can also get the better bulbs mentioned, a Reptisun 10.0 tg or Arcadia D3 12-14%.
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Re: PLEASE HELP Bearded dragon not getting better after vetv

Postby Mackymoo799 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:35 pm

So I went to several pet stores today (I live about an hour away from any city I can get this stuff at) and the ONLY bulbs they had were T8, nothing T10. I got a ZooMed Reptisun 10.0 UVB 17W. Is this ok? Can I find a better one on amazon? Do you guys have any recommendations better than this light? Other than the new light nothing has changed, she still has no appetite, no use of her back legs, and no poop. I will try to soak her in very warm water again tonight and hopefully she produces a bowel movement. Do you think the fact that she is not using her legs is affecting her being able to push? I also bought a brand new thermometer today, the one I was using is a couple years old so I will make sure her warm side of the tank is the proper 100-110 degrees.
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Re: PLEASE HELP Bearded dragon not getting better after vetv

Postby Drache613 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:14 pm

Hello,

Sorry your girl is not doing well!
I do agree, a large majority of the issues should be very fixable, but it will take some time.
She should not need to be euthanized~!
As suggested, continue with the warm baths, daily, the baby food & soft foods only without
any bugs until she passes the impaction.
The UVB light that you did get today, is it a long, fluorescent tube bulb, the Reptisun 10 T8
tube bulb, correct? If so, that one is fine. Try to get that mounted underneath of the screen
top, without any plastic, etc covering it so that she receives full UVB. Mount it around 6 or so
inches from your girl, alongside of the basking light, too.
If possible, keep her around 80 overnight, in her tank with a heating pad set on low having a
towel in between her & the pad, to help promote the GI tract mobility. Keeping her a little
warmer will help boost her system, also.

Let us know how she is doing.
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Re: PLEASE HELP Bearded dragon not getting better after vetv

Postby lizardgirlforever » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:37 pm

If you went to the vet, I suggest that you follow every suggestion made by the vet very carefully. I understand because I have one 2 months that is doing poorly because she is bullied by her 10 siblings. Please just follow the vet's advice and you will be fine...hopefully. I have full confidence little Luna will be better, if you really want her to get better. Best of luck to you. I understand losing a pet, and I hope Luna will live her full life.
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Re: PLEASE HELP Bearded dragon not getting better after vetv

Postby Drache613 » Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:12 am

Hello,

Do you have any updates for us on your dragon?
Please let us know how things are going.

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Re: PLEASE HELP Bearded dragon not getting better after vetv

Postby Morwen » Tue Nov 13, 2018 6:51 am

Im sorry your baby is not doing well. It really sounds to me like she is severely impacted. When you give her a bath, gently rub her belly, should take about 20 minutes. she may also be dehydrated and thats how she became impacted. Make sure she is getting proper hydration by slightly spraying her greens with water before feeding, but not too much because she wont be able to pick them up. The Vet you went to sounds like a *****. Sorry but most times when dragons cant move their back legs, its a severe impaction and hes telling you to euthanize her. Yea buddy thanks for nothing. Hope she gets better quickly!

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Re: PLEASE HELP Bearded dragon not getting better after vetv

Postby Mackymoo799 » Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:12 am

I just want to thank everyone for the encouragement and extremely helpful posts! Sadly she has still not made a bowel movement :( I was thinking of taking her to another exotics vet if she still hasn’t pooped by the time her calcium gluconate is gone. I just hope the next vet will be more helpful than the first one I went to. I’m not very happy that I spent 250 dollars and all he told me was there wasn’t much they could do. Despite all that is going on Luna still seems to be in a pretty good mood, very alert and watchful. She still doesn’t move her back legs very much (a small amount when I start to soak her.) also ever since I got the zoo med uvb bulb I notice that she prefers to sit under that most of the day. Her heat lamp is right next to it in one corner so I know it stays plenty warm right there.
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Re: PLEASE HELP Bearded dragon not getting better after vetv

Postby AHBD » Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:20 am

Keep up the baby food, honey + olive oil with a bit of extra water added. You can also use a Q-tip with raw honey on it to lubricate her cloaca [ her bum ] , even pushing it very slightly inside. Then again, give her the warmer than usual soak. You can also set her on a heating pad, but cover it with a towel so it's VERY warm but not hot enough to burn. Hold a heat lamp over her for a bit while you do this. The extra heat can stimulate her to poo.
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Re: PLEASE HELP Bearded dragon not getting better after vetv

Postby Mackymoo799 » Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:45 pm

Here are 2 more pictures of Luna, one from above and then one of her stomach. I’m not sure if anything looks unusual, I haven’t had her for that long and I didn’t really think to look at her stomach and stuff before she got sick. It does look bigger than is used too, probably because she isn’t going to the bathroom. When I massage her belly am I supposed to do it a certain way? I’ve just been gently rubbing it from top to bottom all the way across. I’m not sure if this is correct but she shuts her eyes while I do it like she is relaxed.

[Click image to enlarge]


[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: PLEASE HELP Bearded dragon not getting better after vetv

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:45 pm

I think it's worth asking a reptile vet to check her over and take xrays to determine the extent of and position in her GIT of any and all impactions / blockages and to discuss possible treatment options.

Be aware that a vet giving a reptile an enema is not risk free and some vets will be tempted to push blockages through the GIT using high pressure water (VERY DANGEROUS !!).

No solids until the blockage / s is /are cleared.

EXOTICS VETS are not much better than general pet /farm vets. Where are you located ? …. chances are someone here will know of a competent REPTILE VET in driving distance of your town.
CBDs: Puff (M)(RIP 10Dec2015 @ 3.2 yrs old (aneurism)),Rex (F)(RIP 16Mar2017 @ 4.6 yrs old,Toothless (M)(sudden unexplained death RIP 26Nov2017) @ 2.1 yrs old.Peppa (F) (born 15Nov2015).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Lucky (M)(wild juvenile), cat attack rescue, fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.Wriggles (F)(rescued injured),thought she was a big lizard, 7-8 yrs old, died in her sleep, RIP 2Feb2016). Fluffy (F) rescued 14Nov2017 about 4 yrs old . .
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Re: PLEASE HELP Bearded dragon not getting better after vetv

Postby Mackymoo799 » Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:56 am

Hi
kingofnobbys wrote:I think it's worth asking a reptile vet to check her over and take xrays to determine the extent of and position in her GIT of any and all impactions / blockages and to discuss possible treatment options.

Be aware that a vet giving a reptile an enema is not risk free and some vets will be tempted to push blockages through the GIT using high pressure water (VERY DANGEROUS !!).

No solids until the blockage / s is /are cleared.

EXOTICS VETS are not much better than general pet /farm vets. Where are you located ? …. chances are someone here will know of a competent REPTILE VET in driving distance of your town.


I am located in a small town just outside of Las Vegas, NV. We do have a general vet here but I am VERY uncomfortable with taking any of my animals to her. Does anyone know of a good vet in the Las Vegas, Mesquite, or St. George area? These are the 3 cities I can get to within 2 hours.
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