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Still seems partially paralyzed after cleared impaction?

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 8:53 am
by ismitty
My Rocky was fine one day, had a seemingly weak/paralyzed front leg the next day, and was dragging himself along the ground the next day and refusing to eat. He wasn't pooping anything he had previously eaten, either.

I have been assuming this was due to impaction. A while back he was impacted and behaved similarly. After a few days of weakness, during which he got warm baths, massages, and olive oil through a syringe, Rocky has just let out the biggest poop of his life (about 20 minutes ago). But he still seems weak, dragging himself along.

If this were impaction, would I expect immediate relief for him? Or does this point to a different problem (in which case I'd like to take him to the vet ASAP)?

Thanks for any insight!

Re: Still seems partially paralyzed after cleared impaction?

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 8:58 am
by Claudiusx
Hi there,

Can you post a picture of him?

Why has he been getting impacted? A healthy dragon shouldn't ever really have to deal with an impaction issue. That is the first thing to remedy, the why.

If the impaction was such that it was putting pressure on his spinal cord and nerves, it could take a little bit for the blood flow to return and the neuro-pathways to heal up too. If the impaction was bad enough but cleared completely, he should be fine. It's only been 20 minutes, so he should gradually improve if that was the issue.

But we do need to figure why he keeps getting impacted. Any ideas?

-Brandon

Re: Still seems partially paralyzed after cleared impaction?

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 9:06 am
by ismitty
Claudiusx wrote:Hi there,

Can you post a picture of him?

Why has he been getting impacted? A healthy dragon shouldn't ever really have to deal with an impaction issue. That is the first thing to remedy, the why.

-Brandon



Thanks Brandon. Last time I believe he had been eating too many superworms. I started phasing those out and relying more on crickets. This time I'm not sure. I have changed his setup to include a bioactive substrate and I wonder if he has ingested any piece of it that was difficult to pass. I don't see any stones, etc in his poop, though. He is always well hydrated, so I have not worried too much about that in the past. After this, though, I am wondering if it is time to go back to a carpet.

Again, thanks for the reply. This is my first interaction on this forum and I am glad for the advice.

Ian

Re: Still seems partially paralyzed after cleared impaction?

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 9:11 am
by Claudiusx
How old is he?
And his size?

You can post a picture by pressing the XIMG button at the top of the text box when you post, or use this link to upload:
https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploads/
From there you can copy and paste the XIMG code you get after uploading to your post.

What is his basking surface temp, and how are you measuring it?

Does he eat his salads?
What does his daily diet typically look like including quantities.

What do you do for hydration for him?

That's good that no foreign materials were found in the stool. Was he decently active during the time he was impacted besides the leg?

-Brandon

Re: Still seems partially paralyzed after cleared impaction?

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 9:35 am
by ismitty
Brandon,

Thanks so much.

He is almost two years old. About 18" tip to tail (just eyeballing).

I have been using a digital thermometer. His basking temperature was about 100 degrees. I am embarrassed to admit that the thermometer has died recently and I have not bought a new one yet.

He eats and loves salads. Collard and mustard greens, about 15-20 quarter-to-half dollar sized pieces. With mix-ins like shredded carrot, bell pepper, cilantro, and various fruits. He loves banana though I have limited that to once or twice a month due to phosphates.

For hydration, I actually immerse all his food in water before I give it to him, since he never drinks in his bath or in his water bowl (when he had one). His stools have never seemed dry or hard.

When it was just the one leg that was paralyzed, he was very active, eating normal quantities. Once he started dragging himself, he stopped eating completely -- a night and day switch. He is active only in the bath. The rest of the time he is lethargic, frequently closing his eyes, mainly going between his basking rock and his "poop place," though it looks very laborious to get there.

I am concerned about the possibility of MBD, though I have no idea if it would materialize this quickly. He gets lots of calcium and uses a mercury vapor lamp. I am switching to the Reptisun 10.0 T5 because I hear that's the safest route as far as UVB goes. It seems like his bones are ok -- no kinks, swelling, receding jaw, muscle spasms, etc. But I'm not an expert on MBD.

I'd attach a picture, but I don't have one on me and I don't use a smartphone. I'll get one as soon as I can.

Thanks a ton,

Ian

Re: Still seems partially paralyzed after cleared impaction?

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 9:40 am
by ismitty
One thing that seems worth mentioning. When just his one leg was bad, I was feeling sorry for him because all the stores around me are out of insects except crickets, and he wasn't able to chase those around anymore. I gave him about half of a boiled egg just to make sure he was getting his protein, and he gulped down like it was chocolate cake. It was literally that evening that he got very weak.

Could there be a connection?

Re: Still seems partially paralyzed after cleared impaction?

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 9:46 am
by Claudiusx
What MVB were you using? And what was the distance of the bulb to the basking site? Was the MVB mounted ontop of a screen top?

That's a pretty good diet. Does his urates usually come out soft too? And pure white? Or are they often hard and chalky/yellow'd?

The egg shouldn't have caused any issue, I've fed egg to my dragons before on rare occasion.

Has his activity level increased since pooing?

-Brandon

Re: Still seems partially paralyzed after cleared impaction?

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 9:55 am
by ismitty
His urates usually come out normal. I have had more issues with wet stools than dry ones.

The MVB is 125 watts, mounted on the mesh about a foot above his rock.

Right now he is holding his head up with his eyes open, but still splayed out.

Ian

Re: Still seems partially paralyzed after cleared impaction?

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 10:08 am
by Claudiusx
But he is basking? That's good.

Do you know the brand of the MVB and how old it is? (brand and age dictate it's effective range) the 125w MVBs is typically ok at that distance, but the mesh will cut down on some of it's output, and if he doesn't spend much time under it, he won't be getting much UV. Switching to the reptisun T5 would be a good idea for sure.

Do you ever supplement with calcium powder? Or multivitamins?

It's possible that it could be MBD related too, but it would be hard to tell without more details on your husbandry and how long things have been a certain way. Pictures usually help us too to determine if there is something else going on, but I understand the issue with getting some up for us.

For now i'd say get us some pictures when you can, if you can.
Continue to monitor him, and make sure he is eating a healthy diet.
Dust his bugs with calcium if you aren't, 5 times a week if you haven't been, 3 times a week if you have been.
And lets hope his leg becomes more active again.

There isn't any obvious deformities or kinks/lumps/twists to his spine is there?

-Brandon

Re: Still seems partially paralyzed after cleared impaction?

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 10:14 am
by ismitty
Brandon,

Thanks so much for all the help.

I don't recall the brand. I bought it ten months ago while on vacation with him. It was an emergency situation, his usual bulb broke and we were on a farm in North Dakota, but I remember feeling decent about the purchase at the time. Possibly it was not the best bulb I could have gotten.

Rocky gets the Repashy "calcium plus" powder on his greens basically every day.

We'll keep an eye on him and update with any changes.

Ian