Should I put down my dragon?

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Should I put down my dragon?

Postby HollowTea24 » Fri Oct 30, 2020 8:51 am

So, long time lurker, first time poster. I've decided to join to ask for opinions on my dragon's fate, because I am struggling to make the decision on my own. I have a nearly 5 year old baby girl named Sard, and she's been very ill.

I noticed a few months ago that she stopped having good full sheds. Along with that, she wasn't laying eggs. During this time, I was also fighting her for over a year to eat the correct amount of greens for an adult, but she just wouldn't take to any of it. She would pick at the food bowl I gave her, but she started eating less and less greens and veggies around the same time she was having the shed and egg issues. I was of course worried, but tried to treat what ever was happening over the counter. I just stupidly thought it was all related. I tried to get her to eat more then just crickets, gave her liquid vitamins, changed her lighting setup, and used the shed spray to get the old shed off. I tried anything I read and was told to try to get her on the right track. I thought if I just got her to eat the proper portions, then everything would follow. At first it was going well, but then she took a turn for the worst. She started eating less and less crickets and started lossing weight. I started giving her repta+boost to help simulate her appetite and got a scale to weigh her. At first to seemed to help, but that only lasted a few days. She stopped eating, and by time I got her to the vet she had not had anything other than the boost for a week.

Basically, after running a fecal test and ultrasound, the vet concluded that she has follicular stasis and hepatic lipidosis with free fluid in her abdomen witch shows signs of infection. The only way to save her is to get her spayed, but she only has a 40% chance of living through it. However, without it, she will die. However, she is still very alert and semi active and isn't throwing up the food I give her. The vet says this is a very good sign and she could have a better chance.
I'm not sure if I should go through the surgery with her, or just put her down and let her rest in peace. When I called a few days after the appointment to ask if the liver will cause any long-term damage or pain if she survives, he wouldn't give me a straight answer. It frustrates me because I just want to do the right thing for once with her. I want to give her a fighting chance, but I also don't want her to suffer or die in a stressful way.

Any suggestions or personal stories are much appreciated, thank you for your time.
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Re: Should I put down my dragon?

Postby ComicBookMama » Fri Oct 30, 2020 11:39 am

This is a really, really tough decision to have to make, and lots of factors come into play. Essentially, your dragon has a little bit less than a 50/50 chance of surviving the surgery, and without it, no chance... so it really comes down to whether you can afford the surgery or not.

I hate to have to reduce things to that, but if your dragon has no chance of living a healthy, pain-free life without the surgery, it's got to be at least part of the factor. If you can afford the surgery, of course I'd say to weigh the odds and make the decision based on your comfort level with going in that direction. If, however, the cost of surgery would be a major hardship for you and your family, I doubt that there would be anyone on this forum who would fault you for saying that you just can't handle the poor odds and opting for euthanasia. It would be one thing if the odds were stacked considerably in her favor; in such a situation, I'd be pulling hard for surgery and recommend asking the vet about a deferred payment plan, or seeing how you can scrape together the funds. But in a situation where you're not looking at a good chance of full recovery... there's got to be a point where you draw the line.

I'm so, so sorry you have to face this. It's heartbreaking to have a little life in our hands, and not to be able to make everything right.
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Re: Should I put down my dragon?

Postby Drache613 » Fri Oct 30, 2020 11:35 pm


So sorry you are in this situation!
Weighing both options is hard, since she has liver issues. They are positive that she is not
able to lay the eggs, do they know what is causing her to be egg bound? The reason
I ask is if she is just having trouble laying them & they are shelled, etc & ready to be
laid they could try to get her to lay them by giving a shot or two of oxytocin to help with
inducing labor along with a calcium booster shot for her. Are you using a good UVB &
calcium supplementation for her too, in case her calcium levels are low?
How long do they give her estimated before they think she would greatly decline?
As for the liver issues, hepatic lipidosis is treatable & in many cases almost completely
reversible because the liver has regenerative abilities. I would say since she is still only 5,
that her chances are good because she is seemingly healthy. I highly recommend treating
the liver immediately, because the egg issues are directly related & most likely the only cause
of the problems right now.
Did they do x-rays, or an ultrasound, blood work, etc? I suppose I am always an optimist, in
these situations when they are still alert & healthy. Ultimately, it is your choice because I know
the cost is a factor.
If you have pictures of the x-rays, please post them, I would like to see them.
Let us know how things are going. My thoughts are with you & your girl.

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Re: Should I put down my dragon?

Postby kingofnobbys » Sat Oct 31, 2020 3:56 am

My 5c worth - get a second opinion from another independent reptile vet .

Then weigh up the economics of the surgical procedure against meds to help her fight any infection she has.

If the vet wont give you a straight answer , ask a second vet as part of the second opinion.

If your dragon wont eat greens , no big deal , just gutload the crickets with fresh high qual greens and add vitamins to the dusting .

Can't help you with life or death question - if she's suffering and no chance of a pain free high quality of life , then euphanising her in the kindest possible way is the best option, again , get a second opinion on this .
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EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
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