Overwhelmed New Mama

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Overwhelmed New Mama

Postby GypsyMama » Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:14 pm

Hi, I have had two bearded since last Summer. Both were previously owned. The first owners for our male were kind and told me about their dragon. He is still a happy fella. Our second bearded dragon was purchased from her owner a few months later. No information about her background or habits. They do live in the tank together and rarely have problems. Every once in a while they get sassy but nothing to talk about and they are usually snuggling for hours. She has laid eggs but I couldn’t tell even through candle-lighting if they were fertile. Today, this is her. I scribbled on the photos. Not sure if you will be able to read them.
She falls over a lot. It’s like she has no strength in her back legs. We thought maybe she had been impacted so with some warm baths and massages it helped her some. Once she laid her last batch of eggs a couple of weeks ago, she has been able to lift her back end up for the first time in a long time. She was army crawling. I think having a rubbery bottom in the tank has helped with that a lot. She can grip it better. But otherwise when she would get herself in a situation, like the other lizard would just turn himself around with his legs and tail strength and she sits like a person with her tail between her legs, like she’s sitting on a couch. And then she falls on her back and needs our help to flip her back over. There has been times when we had been gone and she laid there for who knows how long, beard black and eyes closed, barely breathing. When she walks, she walks on the top part of her back left foot. It doesn't seem to phase her. Her paw looks like it’s going to lose its finger? Her arm is inflamed. She first lost two of her nails and we thought maybe she was swollen because her body was preparing her to grow some new nails. But then things took a wrong turn one day. I'm not sure what changed it or pushed it. Could the skin have not shed properly around her fingers? I noticed her right wrist is also swollen. The spots on her, look like bed sores almost. They have been there for a while and I just thought it was dead skin build up. But then I was googling and reading it could be a disease? I forget what it was called now. Was her tail in a door? I know that sounds like of funny but seriously, what's up with the crooked tail?
From what I have read online, so far, my plan is to get new UVB bulbs. Ours have been gone and we just have really hot bulbs in there right now so they're warm. I don't have a thermometer attached to the tank. I've been going by how the lizards act and look. If they're dark they're cold, if they have their mouth open, they're hot. The tank is a 90 gallon that they share. Substrate at the moment is wood shavings. I put a rubber mat underneath them to help her get some grip while walking. We would like to purchase Vita-Sand but I've been reading up on it, and in the end... what is the RIGHT substrate to use. Because they all sound like they can lead to impaction in the end. They eat a variety of greens chopped up very very small, the bearded dragon buffet stuff you can buy in a container, and some crickets and worms when we buy them, more for a treat. Am I supposed to be putting a calcium powder over top of their worms? Dried food too? We read calcium may help her hind end situation. The warm baths and massaging help her poop every time and that alone helps her pick her back end up from the ground significantly. I'm hoping with the above changes in their tank that she will overall improve. Her foot and arm are bothering me though. I have no idea what she went through at her previous home. I was passed her through the door with a 'she eats whatever, whenever' and that was pretty much it.
Anyway that’s enough of a story I will post the pics, they hopefully speak for themselves. We were told she was around 3 years old. I thought I'd try a warm bath with a tooth brush to get any loose scales off or encourage them to shed if that needs to be done. Betadine warm water solution for her foot? 2 or 3 x a day for as long as she will let me with a minimum goal of 5 minutes? Seems like a good amount of time for soaking. I don't have raw honey anywhere local near me, what else could I use to put on afterwards and what do I use to wrap it? I could put newspaper or tissue paper or something in the tank and take the wood shavings out. But I need something on the bottom to help her have grip. It's like watching someone on a treadmill otherwise. She goes nowhere.
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Last edited by GypsyMama on Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Overwhelmed New Mama

Postby KarrieRee » Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:31 pm

I am sorry to hear about your dragon--- first off she looks like shes in bad shape to me but I am no expert--- Tracie Drache613 or AHBD needs to look at this --- I can tell you this and they are going to say the same thing separate the two of them ASAP and I can not stress that enough!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: Overwhelmed New Mama

Postby GypsyMama » Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:12 pm

Is there a reason to separating them? Honestly they aren't really mean with each other. They seem pretty chill together. They mostly cuddle. They lay together, on and over each other, they nap like that for hours. It's really sweet. I'd hate to separate them unless there was a really serious reason to.
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Re: Overwhelmed New Mama

Postby KarrieRee » Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:28 pm

Dragons are never to be housed together unless for breeding--- they are territorial and will dominate the basking and UVB--- I cannot stress this enough--- TracieDrache613 needs to look at the injuries / ? she is our vet moderator -- if her beard is turning black she is in distress!!!
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Re: Overwhelmed New Mama

Postby GypsyMama » Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:35 pm

Her beard only turns black when she has been on her back for a while. The rubbery bottom has been helping her have grip to turn over but she still needs help the odd time. We live with a big family and now everyone is aware of her flipping and they know to just flip her back over if she gets on her back. They are in a family area that everyone goes through so she rarely has this problem now, of being on her back for a long period. Other then that she is behaviourally completely fine. She isn't aggressive and neither is he. They mate on the very rare occasion which he will bite at the back of her head for that. Otherwise, they just lay together or leave each other alone. It's a really big tank so there is no way to hog any kind of lighting. There's plenty of room for them both.
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Re: Overwhelmed New Mama

Postby KarrieRee » Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:45 pm

The back flipping is not NORMAL and she should be taken to the vet ASAP-- the injuries you posted how did she get them--- the foot looks like she been bit! Please get her in --- please send a PM message to Tracie Drache613 -- find her name on one of the boards and click on PM -- send her the photos I am not a expert w/ the medical stuff and your dragon definitely needs medical care -- she could die! If she is on her back for too long she will suffocate-- they cannot breath on their backs
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Re: Overwhelmed New Mama

Postby GypsyMama » Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:52 pm

Yes I've noticed they can't breath on their backs. You can see and hear that. And she madly gasps. But like I said, she hasn't had that happen for a while. Since she's been able to get her back end up moving more, she has done this less. But she does wobble. Kind of like, a newborn animal walking. My guess is, she hasn't had the muscles built for it in a while. She has lost weight since we have had her. She was literally the size of a big mac burger. I'm not even kidding on how round this girl was. I had a smooth stump laying down in their tank. It was split and not overly thick. I've had it standing up, but recently laid it down to try and encourage her to use her muscles to climb over it. Its a nice slope so not anything worth struggling over. But I just noticed one single sharp bit on it when I ran my over it. Maybe that is what caught her hand. It's standing back up now and I have one of the branches back up on top for the other lizard who loves to climb around like a monkey. She does still get her energy spurts. She takes off and climbs all over. Like I said her hind end is improving and I will take that. She does most of her poops when i bath and massage her. As long as I do that, she improves. And laying her eggs helped that a lot as well. I'm hoping calcium intake will help her with this as well.
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Re: Overwhelmed New Mama

Postby KarrieRee » Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:56 pm

If your tank is big enough put a divider in it to separate the two--- but please she needs medical attention --- and if you can divide the UVB for them as well can you post pics of the tank --? How big is the tank ?
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Re: Overwhelmed New Mama

Postby AHBD » Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:59 pm

Hi there, what are your dragon's names ? I know it's sad that you are seeing your female in this condition.
She may not recover from this without intervention [ or even with ] because there are a few things going on. I agree with Karrie that she needs to be in her own space so put up a divider ASAP. She is mating + producing eggs and her body can't handle that, the calcium has been all used up for the eggs and she is becoming crippled from it. So that's one reason to separate them, plus she is ill. She needs calcium on all her meals, just lightly but daily. Then you need good uvb bulbs, the long tube Reptisun 10.0 t5 . These things are needed ASAP. If you can get liquid calcium that would be even better than powdered. You can get some from here :

www.bug-delite.com

It's good to do the betadine soaks so keep up with those. Try to get her to a reptile vet though. If it's warm + sunny out, take her outside for some good uvb.
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Re: Overwhelmed New Mama

Postby Drache613 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:13 am

Hello,

I agree, since she is having problems, placing her with her own space is what she needs.
Mating will stress her & since she has produced eggs it will drain her calcium stores. I am
concerned with her injuries. Was her toe like that when you got her or did it get injured after
you brought her home?
It will become necrotic if it isn't already. It needs to be monitored to be sure it doesn't get
infected & travel upwards into the rest of her body. The other area on her foot may be infected,
but go ahead & try the raw honey on it to help in case it is infected.
The crooked tail is probably going to be from calcium deficiency. She probably didn't have
the correct UVB lighting or supplementation previously. Which UVB are you currently using
for her now?
The area on her leg could be fungal but not sure. Give her a few baths & get the scales nice
& clean to determine if anything rubs off. If that area is still standing out, you could start to use
either the raw honey on that or some oral antifungal cream on it such as lamisil or monistat to
help in case it is a fungal issue.
Let us know how she is doing.


Is she eating very well right now?
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Re: Overwhelmed New Mama

Postby GypsyMama » Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:12 am

Thanks for getting back to me guys! I took a soft bristle tooth brush to her in her warm bath today. She was fine with it. The swollen wrist, you can actually feel the bone or something sticking out so I don’t think it’s as much swollen as it was broken and not set. And she doesn’t flinch or turn black when I touch it or grab it. Same as the back foot and the crooked tail. I think they have been from her previous owner. The finger bent and black happened here. She did pull away for that and bit at the brush but still didn’t turn black. They are very well tempered lizards. I found a little jab by spot on an otherwise very smooth stump and I’m guessing she caught it on there. I will definitely go with the calcium daily and the soaks. I will track down some raw honey. It’s easier to find in the summer here. Could I buy tea tree oil? What other over the counter items are safe for these guys? I will grab some anti fungal cream as well as the spots didn’t seem to completely go away. They are very attached and a part of the scales I would say. I have considered the divider since she is sick. Mating while producing eggs is logical enough for me to separate them. But honestly it’s a pretty rare occurance. He is younger and their the same size. They bob their heads at each other once in a while and that settles that. They don’t bother each other. They really just lay together and nap together a lot. But while she is injured, I am considering this. The tank is definitely large enough for this. I have extra lamps so I could give her her own heat lamp as well. I’m using the Reptisun 5.0 UVB. Maybe that’s not strong enough for a tank this size? It’s a tall tank, which our male loves because he can monkey around on the sticks. But for her she can only stay near the bottom. She has managed to climb but she is so wide and is only recently getting her back legs up and moving. Like I said she’s lost weight since we have had her. I’m assuming her diet was literally whatever, whenever before because she was massive. She was so round she could barely move. Her bowel movements are becoming more frequent with the help of baths and massages.
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Re: Overwhelmed New Mama

Postby GypsyMama » Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:14 am

The dead scale hanging off the end, should I use a nail clipper to get majority off since it’s alresdy dead? Or do you think there’s a chance there could be something live still keeping it on? It just seems sort of stuck because the rest of the scales wrap around the dead looking finger. I’m just thinking the hard dead skin could be pushing up on her paw every time she sets her foot down and that may aggravate it more. Tough call or an easy no?
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Re: Overwhelmed New Mama

Postby GypsyMama » Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:27 am

Sorry for the multiple replies. I’m looking st the freshly soaked paw and it actually looks to not be dead. It looks a lot like she didn’t shed around her fingers properly. The skin hanging off is alive so I won’t touch it. There are layers around her finger that are now visible. She had a nice bath soak for quite a while. I just kept letting g cold water out and topping up with warm.
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Re: Overwhelmed New Mama

Postby Drache613 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 10:43 pm

Hello,

I do think that while she is injured, it would be better to at least place a divider in the tank.
The UVB is "ok" but, you will definitely want to upgrade the UVB light to a T5 tube bulb for a
much stronger UVB. Use either the Reptisun 10 T5 or, the Arcadia D3 12% or 14% T5, they are
both excellent lights. She especially needs the exposure.
It is possible that there could be some viable tissue. So, as long as there isn't any discoloration
that travels upwards as an infection would, basically continue to treat it with a raw honey or an
antibiotic ointment to help ward off any infection.
Retained sheds can cause a myriad of skin problems, absolutely. For now, frequent baths will
help any retained skin as well as dirty scales, etc.
If there is dead skin, then it could definitely be hard enough to feel like a callous which would
bother her when she tries to walk. If you can gently help slough off any dead scales, then you
can carefully try to clean it to help healthy tissue grow out or heal better. Be sure to keep it very
clean by using a very diluted betadine solution for that. Don't use hydrogen peroxide though as
it is cytotoxic for their scales.

Let us know how she is doing.
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Re: Overwhelmed New Mama

Postby GypsyMama » Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:58 pm

Her two fingers did end up falling off. They are scanned up and her arm is slightly less inflamed looking then it was. I had used the betadine as well as ozonol and wrapped her paw up. I’m still treating her with the betadine. I haven’t been on top of it every day. I didn’t want to dry the wound out too much and it not heal as quickly or irritate it. I do it after I give her a bath since she’s warmer and moist. I think her scales hadn’t shed properly. Thanks for all of the help!
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