Swollen back foot, advice please! [PICS]

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Swollen back foot, advice please! [PICS]

Postby staciarain » Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:11 pm

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Husbandry check: 10.0 reptisun uvb, 40gal tank, temps measured with laser, tile floor, regular calcium (3x/week) and vitamins (2x/week), collards/squash/crickets as staples with other approved veg and bugs in rotation, regular warm baths, no permanent water dish to avoid humidity but regular water offered.

A few weeks ago I noticed that small callous/scabs were forming on the bottoms of her back feet, one slightly worse than the other. I assumed this was just due to regular "wear-and-tear" as she was walking totally fine and didn't seem to be in any pain.

Friday, she suffered cloaca prolapse and I was able to replace it gently with no other issues and no problems since. She has been digging and seemed to be gravid, so she's been getting warm baths and a few hours in the lay box every day (but also never stopped refusing food).

Today I had to arrange things so that I could leave her in the lay box while I went to work. I came home to her burying 29 eggs! I noticed a hair was wrapped around her foot and gently removed it before putting her in a warm bath, where I noticed that the foot was swollen. The skin under her scales is a bit red and inflamed looking. I'm suspecting it may have been the wrapped hair + several hours digging in wet sand, but because she's had these weird scabs on her feet I wanted to post and get some second opinions.

If it's not any better in the morning I'll schedule a vet appointment, but I'm wondering if there's anything I can be doing right now. She's still walking on it just fine and doesn't seem to be in any pain, isn't wincing when I touch her foot.
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Re: Swollen back foot, advice please! [PICS]

Postby Drache613 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:02 pm

Hello,

Ouch, that looks like it doesn't feel good at all. So did the foot just swell up like that recently
that you have noticed? It looks like gout but if it just cropped up that fast, it could be related to
the hair bound around her foot/ankle too. Are there any other areas on her which are swollen
or not?
Since it is red & raw to some extent, try using some raw, unpasteurized honey on the area to help
take out inflammation & ward off infection. Is she favoring it or is she using it right now?
It looks like a little hole of some type. I hope she isn't in too much pain though. On top of this she
laid 29 eggs, poor girl!
Let us know how she is doing.

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Re: Swollen back foot, advice please! [PICS]

Postby staciarain » Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:09 pm

Thanks for responding!

I only noticed it recently, but admittedly I've been so distracted with the cloaca prolapse Friday and the egg-laying behaviors all week that it may have sprung up before today. No other areas are swollen and she's walking on it just fine, but I was gently touching it to see if she reacted and her head twitched in a way that told me it probably hurts when touched (but not when walked on?).

The red, swollen ankle area is squishy, but the lump on her foot is very hard. The top layer of the lump softened and actually came off in the first bath I gave her, which I thought might just be a layer of dead skin, but looking at it closer I'm wondering if it's some kind of fungal infection. I have her in another bath now and she seems to be pretty happy, I'll try and get a hold of some unpasteurized honey in the meantime until I can make a vet visit!
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Re: Swollen back foot, advice please! [PICS]

Postby CooperDragon » Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:57 am

Poor girl is having a rough time lately! I'm glad she was able to lay her eggs successfully. One issue out of the way at least. I hope the swelling was just related to the hair wrapped around her foot. Has she been running on hard surfaces lately? Darwin had sores and callouses on his feet at one point from running around on tile and rough rug. Some honey and putting soft fleece over the tile helped. I'd keep a close eye on it for a few days to see if the swelling stays the same, gets worse, or starts to decrease. Perhaps some serrapeptase would help. I'd suggest silkworms but it's still a bit too cold to have them shipped in and I don't know of any local spots to get them.

It doesn't look like a fungal infection based on those photos, but keep an eye out for more scabbing or sores. The raw honey is a good idea and may help with healing. Please keep us posted on how she's doing over the next few days. A vet visit may not be necessary at the moment. Our vet just moved over to Tender Care in Coralville. She's very good with dragons.
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Re: Swollen back foot, advice please! [PICS]

Postby staciarain » Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:03 pm

Update: we saw the vet today and Rumo was SO well behaved! She was just chill and alert while they took temps, listened to her heart, stuck a needle in her foot to take a culture, I was so proud.

She weighed in at 544 grams AFTER laying all those eggs; the vet said for me to be bringing in a dragon this age/weight/healthy looking (aside from the foot) is an achievement. Apparently she sees a lot of wrecked 1 yr old dragons with bad lighting and diets.

We have a month of antibiotics that I'll be injecting every three days while she processes the cultures she took, fingers crossed things get better and haven't already reached amputation-level infection. I have a severe needle phobia but I'll do what needs to be done for this baby!
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Re: Swollen back foot, advice please! [PICS]

Postby CooperDragon » Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:56 am

I'm glad she was a good sport. Also glad to hear they took a sample from her foot and will test it out. Hopefully there is no infection and it will return to normal shortly. Did she take a skin sample from the callous?

Yes, unfortunately not many dragons even make it to the vet. The ones that do are often mistreated (probably more from ignorance and misinformation than from intentional abuse). I wasn't pleased to see Petsmart move into town. That's likely to just increase the problem locally.

The injections can be tough but are doable. The vet probably went through how to do it and to alternate arms/etc. Keep in mind her skin is pretty tough so be firm and steady with the needle. It takes a bit to get used to. When I had to give Dundee injections of Ceftazidime, sometimes the needle didn't get all the way through and the meds just wound up on the floor. Or he'd flinch and same result. It gets easier once you've gotten a feel for how much force is needed though.
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Re: Swollen back foot, advice please! [PICS]

Postby staciarain » Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:59 am

No skin sample - she actually recommended removing it if I could get it softened enough, which I did this morning. Didn't drain or bleed or anything, but it left a small hole in her foot that it seemed to be plugging. The skin itself looks really bizarre, it was layered and very tough and looked like a wart or some kind of odd fungal growth (though the vet doesn't actually suspect that it's fungal). I don't know what to make of it, but I'll keep the tough skin + needles in mind! She walked me through everything so hopefully I don't have too much trouble.

Side note - you said you have a herp vet in Coralville? I went to Bright eyes & bushy tails because it's the only reptile-friendly place I've been to before, but man are they expensive!
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Re: Swollen back foot, advice please! [PICS]

Postby CooperDragon » Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:16 pm

If it came off cleanly then maybe it was just a callous or some kind of benign growth. That happens sometimes and is usually the best case scenario. Just keep an eye on the area for a while and see if it redevelops.

We used to go to Bright Eyes & Bushy tails too. They are great. Our vet was there originally, then we followed her to a place in Muscatine that was also good (but 45 min each way). I think she just recently moved over to https://tendercareanimal.com but we haven't needed to visit her there yet. Nice break since that's the closest place to our house.

Vet care can be expensive, but we are fortunate here to have several excellent vets nearby (some people have to travel hundreds of miles to get to one who will treat dragons) and after comparing prices with others around the world, we have some of the cheapest rates for both exams and for diagnostics anywhere.
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Re: Swollen back foot, advice please! [PICS]

Postby Drache613 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:36 pm

Hello,

That's great she did so well at the vets. I am sure the vets do see a lot of reptiles who are
emaciated & abused.
The injections are challenging but can be done. I hope she cooperates with you. When
will the tissue sample test results be in?
Her weight is very good for having just laid some eggs!
How is her foot today?

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