Possible GNT - EMERGENCY

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Possible GNT - EMERGENCY

Postby ParaDragon » Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:19 pm

Hello everyone.

Four months ago, I rescued a bearded dragon, who I named Egon, from a home where he was receiving no UVB, and little to no calcium. I was told he was a picky eater, and that is why he was severely underweight, but after some questioning I found out they were almost entirely feeding him only a kale and a pellet based diet. When I got him, he was living in a 20 gallon long enclosure, and had been his entire life. His only source of heat was from an unregulated UTH. I was genuinely surprised that he was still alive.

Although the first few weeks were difficult, and I essentially woke up every day prepared to find that he had passed in his sleep, he stayed alive, and even slowly got better. Through heavy calcium supplementation, and a protein heavy diet (advised by our vet), he slowly got better. Although he can not walk properly, even with the help of pain killers to ease his pain, he loves his 4x2x2 enclosure. He has a basking spot of 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and I let his cool end cool down to about 80 degrees, all measured by an infrared thermometer. His UVB is a ReptiSun 10.0 18" light. I've tried to give him the best care that I can possibly give him, even if it means hand feeding him every meal to ensure he eats enough.

All of this took a down turn after a recent run of blood work when he started to refuse to eat anything. His blood sugar was off the charts. Our vet explained what this could mean, a potential diagnosis of GNT, and I just broke down.

He's currently sitting in my lap right now, his beard pitch black, and he seems to be trying to throw up but nothing is coming up. I'm so scared, I just don't know what to do. Although the GNT is not confirmed, I can't afford more blood work to find out if he truly does have it. I want to do what is best for him, even if that means euthanasia. It's been three weeks now since the blood work was ran.

Has anyone been in a similar situation? What did you do?

Any advice is appreciated.

Thank you.
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Re: Possible GNT - EMERGENCY

Postby AHBD » Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:44 pm

Wow, so, so sorry for this difficult situation ! :( The high blood sugar can def. be a main symptom of GNT. There have been a few people here that had beardies with GNT. Hopefully someone will come on to offer more advice. Best wishes, my heart goes out to you !
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Re: Possible GNT - EMERGENCY

Postby ParaDragon » Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:47 pm

AHBD wrote:Wow, so, so sorry for this difficult situation ! :( The high blood sugar can def. be a main symptom of GNT. There have been a few people here that had beardies with GNT. Hopefully someone will come on to offer more advice. Best wishes, my heart goes out to you !


Thank you.

I know there is nothing that can medically be done at this point if he does have GNT, I just want to hear from someone that has gone through this with one of their beardies to know what is best to do. My vet is currently closed, so the soonest I could make an appointment is tomorrow morning.
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Re: Possible GNT - EMERGENCY

Postby KarrieRee » Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:50 pm

I am sorry to hear about your boy--- Tracie our vet tech mod can maybe help you out w / your boy
Do you have the blood work if so please post it
Where is the UVB? It needs to be inside the tank approx 6-8 inches from basking w/ no plastic cover over the bulb - it needs to be exposed
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Re: Possible GNT - EMERGENCY

Postby Cuttlefishh » Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:51 pm

Hello, I'm so sorry to hear you are going through this with your dragon

My vet and I did some preparation for my late beardie Taro having possible GNT back in April.

Many signs pointed to Taro having GNT, she had the poor blood work, as well as a tumor inside of her determined by the vet feeling her tummy and xrays. We found out though that it was actually NOT GNT after a biopsy, but turned out to be an abcess on her stomach lining- apparently she had an infection. Abscesses in beardies can happen anywhere and resemble tumors. We suspect it happened in relation to her stomatitis she had earlier in the year due to the plaque buildup on her teeth (which we did address by having dental done but only well after she had gotten the infection.) She also ate a ton of fruit and super worms, causing her to have fatty liver. In other words, it all started with her having a bad diet.

High sugar may not necessarily mean GNT, it could also indicate inflammation/infection. This is true for dragons and people alike. What was his WBC count? If you could post the bloods here, AHBD and Tracie may be able to help. Did your vet palpate your beardies tummy to see if they could feel anything suspicious ? Please post a pic of your beardie as well. You are doing great by keeping the tank warm. Is he pooping okay? Are you syringe feeding? Any meds or supplements ?
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Re: Possible GNT - EMERGENCY

Postby ParaDragon » Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:55 pm

KarrieRee wrote:I am sorry to hear about your boy--- Tracie our vet tech mod can maybe help you out w / your boy
Do you have the blood work if so please post it
Where is the UVB? It needs to be inside the tank approx 6-8 inches from basking w/ no plastic cover over the bulb - it needs to be exposed
Karrie


The UVB is positioned over the warm end of his enclosure, at about 8 inches from his basking spot, maybe a little higher than that. Unfortunately I do not have the blood work on hand, as the vet and I discussed it over the phone due to limited contact at the clinic.
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Re: Possible GNT - EMERGENCY

Postby KarrieRee » Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:58 pm

You might want to lower it then -- I would call the vet and have them email you a copy --- then post it
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Re: Possible GNT - EMERGENCY

Postby ParaDragon » Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:02 pm

Cuttlefishh wrote:Hello, I'm so sorry to hear you are going through this with your dragon

My vet and I did some preparation for my late beardie Taro having possible GNT back in April.

Many signs pointed to Taro having GNT, she had the poor blood work, as well as a tumor inside of her determined by the vet feeling her tummy and xrays. We found out though that it was actually NOT GNT after a biopsy, but turned out to be an abcess on her stomach lining- apparently she had an infection. Abscesses in beardies can happen anywhere and resemble tumors. We suspect it happened in relation to her stomatitis she had earlier in the year due to the plaque buildup on her teeth (which we did address by having dental done but only well after she had gotten the infection.) She also ate a ton of fruit and super worms, causing her to have fatty liver. In other words, it all started with her having a bad diet.

High sugar may not necessarily mean GNT, it could also indicate inflammation/infection. This is true for dragons and people alike. What was his WBC count? If you could post the bloods here, AHBD and Tracie may be able to help. Did your vet palpate your beardies tummy to see if they could feel anything suspicious ? Please post a pic of your beardie as well. You are doing great by keeping the tank warm. Is he pooping okay? Are you syringe feeding? Any meds or supplements ?


I was actually just reading through the thread you wrote concerning Taro, I am so sorry for your loss.

Although I do not have his blood work results on hand (We discussed the results over the phone, I'm kicking myself at having not asked for the results to be emailed to me as well), I was told that his WBC count is normal. Due to him being severely underweight, he wasn't able to determine if he could feel anything. His poops are usually hit or miss, sometimes they're runny and sometimes they're totally normal. Small for his size, but that's probably because he has been refusing to eat. I have had to syringe feed him, especially more so lately because he has been fighting with me so bad about eating anything solid. He is currently on .1 ml of Tramadol every other day for pain relief, that is the only prescription he is on at the moment. I've attached two photos of him, I know they don't really show his body though so I'll continue looking for one and if I can't find one, I will find my phone and take a current one. [Click image to enlarge]
[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: Possible GNT - EMERGENCY

Postby ParaDragon » Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:03 pm

KarrieRee wrote:You might want to lower it then -- I would call the vet and have them email you a copy --- then post it
Karrie


I will do so as soon as possible, thank you.
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Re: Possible GNT - EMERGENCY

Postby AHBD » Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:10 pm

Aw, what a sweet face. :) Some of our babies have had to become fighters when they get sick and they still look sweet + dignified. Truly hoping for some help for your boy Egon..
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Re: Possible GNT - EMERGENCY

Postby ParaDragon » Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:14 pm

AHBD wrote:Aw, what a sweet face. :) Some of our babies have had to become fighters when they get sick and they still look sweet + dignified. Truly hoping for some help for your boy Egon..


Thank you, that means the world right now. He isn't my only beardie, but through nursing him back to health I've fallen in love with him. I'll make whatever decision needs to be made, but I wanted to come here first to hear from everyone here.
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Re: Possible GNT - EMERGENCY

Postby Cuttlefishh » Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:54 pm

What a sweet face- and you are doing a great job. I still grieve Taro tremendously! Every beardie is different and their health can be so complex. They flip one day to the next which makes it especially hard.

It sounds like cant be too sure of the diagnosis- especially after being rehabilitated after so long neglect- his system is going through a lot. Giving him the pain relief and conservative comfort measures may be the best choice for the time being. I found after Taros experience that sometimes less is more. The runny poops could be because of diet + the pain medicine. A warm sponge-off may also help (as long as theres no risk of him getting cold- be sure the house is warm). Offer water on the snout, hydration is especially crucial. I would monitor his condition, his eyes, behaviour, beard. Keep his enclosure nice and warm. Talk to the vet to see if there is anything more you can do to relieve the pain/stress. If he is constantly stressed or deteriorates further, then it may be good to speak with your vet about your options further.

Taro responded very well to small doses of feed at a time (twice a day small amount) - then a bit of upright cuddles would help her to keep things down. Hang in there, my thoughts are with you and your boy. He survived this long after being kept in those conditions, so who knows- he may still have some fight !
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Re: Possible GNT - EMERGENCY

Postby ParaDragon » Fri Sep 04, 2020 5:02 pm

Cuttlefishh wrote:What a sweet face- and you are doing a great job. I still grieve Taro tremendously! Every beardie is different and their health can be so complex. They flip one day to the next which makes it especially hard.

It sounds like cant be too sure of the diagnosis- especially after being rehabilitated after so long neglect- his system is going through a lot. Giving him the pain relief and conservative comfort measures may be the best choice for the time being. I found after Taros experience that sometimes less is more. The runny poops could be because of diet + the pain medicine. A warm sponge-off may also help (as long as theres no risk of him getting cold- be sure the house is warm). Offer water on the snout, hydration is especially crucial. I would monitor his condition, his eyes, behaviour, beard. Keep his enclosure nice and warm. Talk to the vet to see if there is anything more you can do to relieve the pain/stress. If he is constantly stressed or deteriorates further, then it may be good to speak with your vet about your options further.

Taro responded very well to small doses of feed at a time (twice a day small amount) - then a bit of upright cuddles would help her to keep things down. Hang in there, my thoughts are with you and your boy. He survived this long after being kept in those conditions, so who knows- he may still have some fight !


Thank you so much, this encouragement definitely makes me feel better right now. I'll definitely follow your advice on keeping him well, thank you! I'll be speaking with our vet tomorrow to get his blood work results emailed me, and to discuss his health. I'll keep everyone updated.
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Re: Possible GNT - EMERGENCY

Postby Drache613 » Sat Sep 05, 2020 12:02 am

Hello,

OH poor thing, he looks so sweet, his face is precious.
Is his beard still black?
I agree, high glucose isn't always indicative of GNT but can be an infection, etc as already
stated. I am hoping for just some type of infection because many times they can overcome
that. He has definitely been through a lot & is still around so he is a real fighter with spirit. I
am sure that he is very special.
I hope that he starts to feel better. I would love to take a look at the bloodwork, once you do
have it & can post it here, too.
Let us know how he is doing.

Tracie
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Re: Possible GNT - EMERGENCY

Postby ParaDragon » Sat Sep 05, 2020 2:43 pm

Drache613 wrote:Hello,

OH poor thing, he looks so sweet, his face is precious.
Is his beard still black?
I agree, high glucose isn't always indicative of GNT but can be an infection, etc as already
stated. I am hoping for just some type of infection because many times they can overcome
that. He has definitely been through a lot & is still around so he is a real fighter with spirit. I
am sure that he is very special.
I hope that he starts to feel better. I would love to take a look at the bloodwork, once you do
have it & can post it here, too.
Let us know how he is doing.

Tracie


He calmed down for a bit this morning, but he seems unable to be comfortable. I've tried letting him bask, letting him hide in one of his hides, even laying in bed with me, and nothing seems to work. I felt horrible feeding him dinner tonight because it only seemed to make it worse. I spoke with our vet and he said he will send me his blood work results first thing tomorrow morning. I don't want to prolong his pain if this isn't something that we can treat. I'll keep everyone updated as our vet and I discuss our options over the next day or so.
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