Second opinion on vet diagnosis

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Second opinion on vet diagnosis

Postby AZDragon » Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:37 am

Thanks to everyone that makes this forum such a great resource. I'd like to get opinions from the experts on a problem we are having with our beardie and the diagnosis/treatment we received from a local reptile vet.

Brief background/setup - We bought our dragon in November and brought him home in December when he was 2-3 months old. He weighed 20 grams and has progressed well to now 200 grams. He has been in a 40 gallon the whole time we've had him with a non-adhesive linoleum substrate (off the roll from Home Depot). He has a 24" T5HO Reptisun 10.0 sitting on the wire screen top. He has a large basking rock with a 150 watt Exo Terra basking bulb that stays around 102 during the day. He also has a hut and hammock on the cool side. Warm side stays in the low-mid 90's and the cool side is usually between 84-87 during the day. Nighttime temps are 68-70 without any heat source.

Diet - He has chopped mustard greens available throughout the day. He is slowly eating more greens on a regular basis so we've been offering fresh morning and afternoon. He primarily eats dubia roaches and is fed some super worms. Food is almost always dusted with Repashy vitamin and calcium powder.

About a week ago, we noticed our beardie had seemingly pooped in his sleep in the hut. We thought it was weird because he almost always goes outside his cage but didn't think much of it. Then he did the same thing basking the next day and the stool had excessive liquid and less solid. He continued to have these watery stools for a few more days which prompted the vet visit.

The vet said that he looks health and well-hydrated. He took a fecal sample and said that he was surprised there wasn't an issue with either pinworms or coccidia. He did find an inordinate count of red blood cells and "opportunistic bacteria" that he believes is the cause of the problem. He asked about substrate and suggested sprinkling a small amount of top soil on top of the linoleum. His reasoning is the probiotics contained in the top soil is beneficial in preventing this type of bacterial flare-up. He also injected 4 units (.04 cc) of Ceftazidime (Fortaz) and showed me how to perform 3 additional injections (in the front upper leg) at home every 3 days.

For those with experience in bearded dragon health, does the diagnosis and treatment make sense and what do you think of his recommendation of adding a small amount of top soil or leaf litter for ingestion? Sorry for the length of the post and thank you in advance for your help.
AZDragon
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Re: Second opinion on vet diagnosis

Postby AHBD » Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:47 am

Hi there, did the vet identify the bacteria and if not can you ask about that, the exact name ? I can see his reasoning because with humans we build our immune system by having exposure to the outdoor world, plants, dirt, animals. But I've never heard of this recommended to treat a bacterial problem. Some people recommend probiotics, even soy yogurt but I don't know that they are proven conclusively to help this type of problem.

Is the vet very experienced with reptiles ?
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Re: Second opinion on vet diagnosis

Postby AZDragon » Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:11 pm

AHBD wrote:Hi there, did the vet identify the bacteria and if not can you ask about that, the exact name ? I can see his reasoning because with humans we build our immune system by having exposure to the outdoor world, plants, dirt, animals. But I've never heard of this recommended to treat a bacterial problem. Some people recommend probiotics, even soy yogurt but I don't know that they are proven conclusively to help this type of problem.

Is the vet very experienced with reptiles ?


Thank you for your response. He didn't specify the bacteria at issue but I will follow up. He did say that the top soil/leaf litter works better in his experience than over the counter probiotic. He is a herp specialist having conducted research on reptile and amphibians the past 40 years, associate editor of the Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery, former president of the local herpetologial society, etc.
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Re: Second opinion on vet diagnosis

Postby AHBD » Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:18 pm

Well his credentials are top notch so there must be something to it.
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