Bearded Dragon passed away at ER visit - Resp infection??

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Bearded Dragon passed away at ER visit - Resp infection??

Postby Debbyjgarcia » Sat Apr 25, 2020 1:29 am

Chori Story

Hello all,
I am new to this site and it’s been about a week since my beloved beardie Chorizo (chori) passed away. I’m heart broken. He was 2-3 years old, and about 21 inches. In the process of my healing I wanted to share my story to hopefully help others and also get feedback. I like to think I did everything I could, but as animal lovers we all understand that we just can’t help but think “what if” and try to get answers. This is my story.

Thursday-chori was in a deep Rubbermaid rub outside in my backyard-my mom put him out there in the box thinking he couldn’t escape (which I thought was also impossible) so he could catch sun rays. He loved being outside. I was working from home so I wasn’t aware, and even if I was I wouldn’t have thought anything of it.

A few hours later, my boyfriend tells me he’s missing and my heart sinks. He escaped the box. We looked EVERYWHERE but it was no use, we had such a big backyard. Knowing what we know about beardies (he’s done this before) we decided to set up a little lamp/area and pray he would return the next day when the sun came out which is what he’s always done when he’s escaped.

Friday- my dad comes in and says he found him under his car buried in the leaves. I had looked under the car the day before but didn’t see anything, he was really buried. He doesn’t look good. He’s freezing cold and limp. I freak out and think he’s dead, but my boyfriend tries to calm me down and says we have to warm him up. The temperature must had significantly dropped that night.

2 hours later- after warming him up, he wake up. I’m so happy! But my baby starts coughing. His beard turns black and puffs up. He has mucus lining his mouth. I panic and call the ER and they tell me to bring him in.

1 hour later- were in the car driving to the ER and chori starts to move around. He’s looking a lot better because his eyes aren’t half open anymore and he’s actually moving. But his beard is still black and he’s taking deep respiratory caughs. I know my baby is gravely ill. Once we’re at the hospital I don’t think twice and pay the 1K ER fee for keeping him and giving him antibiotics and caring for him. I have no idea what his set up looks like since due to COVID I wasn’t allowed to enter the hospital. He must be so scared. I anxiously wait and wait.

1 hour later- they call me and tell me they did xrays, bloodwork, gave him antibiotics and such...and they find a piece of metal in the X-ray and want my consent to do surgery. I refused because my boyfriend (a biomedical engineer) estimated the size of the object and we both determined it wasn’t causing the issue. It couldn’t have helped, but I didn’t want to consent to $2-3K surgery if he was already in critical condition. They were being very pushy about it and wouldn’t give me the size of the object. The lady also said “well there’s a chance he could pass away” which I assume they have to tell everyone that. I’m very worried my decision to tell them to please focus on warming him up and keeping him hydrated (which is what I already paid for with the 1K) and keeping him in care. I asked about their procedures and they said they are doing hourly checks.

1 hour later- me and my boyfriend are doing extensive research and we think what he has is a severe respiratory infection, the symptoms all matched up. We are feeling hopeful, because with proper care most beardies recover. We’re so hopeful I’m telling you-we research all the supplies to treat it ourselves.

A few hours later I get a call that my baby has passed away. I don’t understand. I obviously break down. And now I’m killing myself wondering if I made the right choice to take him to the Pet ER. My partner and I keep telling each other yes we made the right choice, because that’s just what you do when someone you love is in critical condition. But even so, I am baffled at how he passed away.

We think the change in environment (and a drastic drop in temps outside) along with chori having buried himself in leaves (which I think are wet=extra humidity) was too much and he caught the flu or pneumonia and a respiratory illness. The part I’m most shocked about is how he passed after about 8 hours at the ER. We were so positive he was going to get through this. I don’t know what went wrong. I know it’s hard to say, but what would y’all have asked the vets in the situation? I kept telling them it was a respiratory problem and they didn’t check on that, they were so stuck on the metal they found in the X-ray. Either way, their care and lighting and warm baths and antibiotics should have been enough to keep him alive through the night? That’s why I’m so confused.

I ask because I want to further educate myself, if anyone else has had a similar experience or can think of any opinions or feedback. I realize sometimes it’s not always the right decision to run straight to the ER. I don’t know, what do y’all think?i hope the xrays and bloodwork and stuff didn’t stress him out more. I keep thinking “what if” I just treated it myself-would he still be alive? Do beardies typically does from severe respiratory infections? Is there further questions I should ask the ER about his treatment for documentation/spreading word purposes?


On a brighter note, his passing will not be forgotten. My boyfriend and I (engineer + designer) plan to design a solar powered tiny tracker for beardies & small exotic pets so this never happens to anyone ever again.

This could have been avoided if only I found him. Which we all know- beardies escaping and getting lost is FAR too common. We have the technology to avoid this. If you’re interested please let me know and as we progress in our product I’ll leave information in this thread.

Thank you so much. I never want anyone to feel the way I felt ever again- but I loved him SO much that I Hope whenever I am ready, I can rescue another one. Chori I rescued from someone who realized they couldn’t afford/care for it and I know that’s also a common problem. But next time I want to be more prepared, and try and help others so that no beardie ever gets lost. RIP Chori. I miss him so much.
Debbyjgarcia
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Re: Bearded Dragon passed away at ER visit - Resp infection?

Postby melodylynn25 » Sat Apr 25, 2020 2:07 am

I know exactly how you feel. My beardie who was the same age passed just two days ago and I'm completely torn apart without her. Why she did, I don't know. I am constantly regretting the choices I made with her, and break down every time someone mentions either her, another bearded dragon, or even collard greens. The best thing to know is that is okay to cry and never be strong. You emotions are there for a reason and will help you heal, no matter how long it takes. Just know you are not alone and I know EXACTLY how you feel. You little guy is in a better place now, wherever it is, and is free of pain. I'm sorry for your loss and I pray that you will not hurt for a long time. R.I.P. little Chori and my Daenerys :(
I also think that the tracker is an amazing thing to make because, yes it is, WAAAYYYY to common for the loss of beardies.
I love you forever and always. How much I miss you is indescribable. You were constantly there for my in my deepest depths, and so I should be here for you in yours. I will never forget you and the amount of love we shared. Rest comfortably my love.
4-23-20 R.I.P. Daenerys <3
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Re: Bearded Dragon passed away at ER visit - Resp infection?

Postby Cuttlefishh » Sat Apr 25, 2020 2:17 am

I'm so sorry for your loss. Rest in peace little Chori; precious baby. My heart breaks for you.

It's impossible to say.. but you did what you thought was best for him. You entrusted him in emergency care. Surgery is very tough on bearded dragons even when presenting as completely well and there's high risk in doing it so you can't second guess yourself as this is never an easy decision to make.

I think it would be an amazing way to pay respect to Chori by making the tracking chips. I lost my beardie Oscar once in my living room. I panicked and called out to him (I dont now what I was thinking, he's not a dog haha), found him after 45 minutes being a lazy blob under the couch just point blank staring at me. I never let him out of my sight again!

My thoughts and prayers are with you.
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