Vet suggesting i put my beardie down ):

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Vet suggesting i put my beardie down ):

Postby Draco23 » Sat Jan 23, 2021 11:12 am

Good day everyone, just recently i found out my bearded dragon Draco has cancer in his stomach 😔 i adopted him at petsmart and I’ve had him for about 1 year and 5 months and he was probably already a couple months old when i got him, so let’s say he’s around 2 years old, still very young. I’m going to explain my story from the beginning of when he got sick till now. Draco was always an active dragon always running, chasing down crickets and bugs. My first vet visit was due to a swollen left back leg, and he was limping, he also has a bump on his tail, he was diagnosed with gout and MBD, and kidney faliure. This was heartbreaking, but i knew i wasn’t going to let Draco down. I did everything possible, we started calcium shots, antibiotics, and meds to help improve his kidney values. He stopped limping, started eating better and was more active but the swelling has never gone completely down. 6-8 weeks after all the treatments we proceeded to re do bloodwork. Everything was improving but we changed his antibiotics because the swelling wasn’t going down and he had slowed down on eating again. Another 6-8 weeks of shots and treatment, and all his meds, recently he stopped showing interest in all insects and he’s lost weight, we kept an eye on him but i wasn’t just going to let him stop eating, so i started making him smoothies with insects and veggies and now that is his source of food. We did blood work again recently and that when we got the bad news, he has stomach cancer 😔 specifically Gastric Neuroendocrine, my vet said the best thing to do would be to put him down because this type of cancer spreads quickly and even if we remove the mass it can still come back. He spends most of his day basking or sleeping although his color is always bright, i give him all of his nutrients through his smoothies but i feel like he won’t eat on his own if i don’t syringe feed. I don’t want him to suffer but i also don’t want to put him down and lose him. What should i do??? I feel like if i keep him alive he will suffer but i don’t know, i wish i could talk to him and ask him to see what he wanted. 😭😭😭
Last edited by Draco23 on Sat Jan 23, 2021 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vet suggesting i put my beard or down ):

Postby Claudiusx » Sat Jan 23, 2021 12:33 pm

Unfortunately, GNT is becoming much more common in beardies as of late. It really is usually a pretty aggressive cancer. If the quality of life isn't there, euthanasia is the best route, unfortunately.

Curiously, can you post up the blood test results? Was the glucose level high?

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Re: Vet suggesting i put my beard or down ):

Postby Draco23 » Sat Jan 23, 2021 12:35 pm

Claudiusx wrote:Unfortunately, GNT is becoming much more common in beardies as of late. It really is usually a pretty aggressive cancer. If the quality of life isn't there, euthanasia is the best route, unfortunately.

Curiously, can you post up the blood test results? Was the glucose level high?

-Brandon

I don’t have the actually results but the vet said his sugar levels were too high at 1000
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Re: Vet suggesting i put my beard or down ):

Postby Claudiusx » Sat Jan 23, 2021 12:53 pm

Yup, that's a tale tale sign of GNT. I would ask your vet for a copy of all the blood work (you paid for it, you're entitled to it).

It's a disease that really just sneaks up on you. The only way to catch it early is to randomly decide to do blood work, and you notice that the glucose levels are above average. That's the only real first clinical sign you can find. And since you wouldn't typically get random bloodwork done unless something was wrong first, it usually doesn't show up until it's too late.

Sorry :(

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Re: Vet suggesting i put my beard or down ):

Postby KarrieRee » Sat Jan 23, 2021 12:58 pm

:(
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Re: Vet suggesting i put my beard or down ):

Postby Draco23 » Sat Jan 23, 2021 12:59 pm

Claudiusx wrote:Yup, that's a tale tale sign of GNT. I would ask your vet for a copy of all the blood work (you paid for it, you're entitled to it).

It's a disease that really just sneaks up on you. The only way to catch it early is to randomly decide to do blood work, and you notice that the glucose levels are above average. That's the only real first clinical sign you can find. And since you wouldn't typically get random bloodwork done unless something was wrong first, it usually doesn't show up until it's too late.

Sorry :(

-Brandon

So it really is time to let go huh? 😔 i don’t want him to suffer.
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Re: Vet suggesting i put my beardie down ):

Postby Claudiusx » Sat Jan 23, 2021 1:14 pm

Was any imaging done at all, or is the diagnosis based solely off the blood work?
If I were going to euthanize, I'd want to at least see the imagine that confirmed the cancer in the stomach.

Weeks (months) of antibiotics and treatment will definitely affect his appetite, so it's not uncommon for that to happen. He never should have been on them that long IMO. That wouldn't have contributed to his GNT ( I think ) but it was definitely rough on his system. It's possible all the meds also screwed up his blood work.

Taking that into account, I don't think I'd be willing to euthanize until I had confirmation via imaging.

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Re: Vet suggesting i put my beardie down ):

Postby Draco23 » Sat Jan 23, 2021 1:18 pm

Claudiusx wrote:Was any imaging done at all, or is the diagnosis based solely off the blood work?
If I were going to euthanize, I'd want to at least see the imagine that confirmed the cancer in the stomach.

Weeks (months) of antibiotics and treatment will definitely affect his appetite, so it's not uncommon for that to happen. He never should have been on them that long IMO. That wouldn't have contributed to his GNT ( I think ) but it was definitely rough on his system. It's possible all the meds also screwed up his blood work.

Taking that into account, I don't think I'd be willing to euthanize until I had confirmation via imaging.

-Brandon

What do you mean imaging? I believe My vet made the conclusion through his blood work. What do you recommend me asking my vet
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Re: Vet suggesting i put my beardie down ):

Postby KarrieRee » Sat Jan 23, 2021 1:19 pm

I agree- I would want concrete proof that is what it is
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Re: Vet suggesting i put my beardie down ):

Postby Draco23 » Sat Jan 23, 2021 1:20 pm

KarrieRee wrote:I agree- I would want concrete proof that is what it is
Karrie

What would count as concrete proof? An X-ray? MRI?
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Re: Vet suggesting i put my beardie down ):

Postby KarrieRee » Sat Jan 23, 2021 1:23 pm

Yes - CT scan something that they can see maybe a biopsy as well - something that's gonna tell them it's actually cancer
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Re: Vet suggesting i put my beardie down ):

Postby Claudiusx » Sat Jan 23, 2021 1:27 pm

Imaging as in x-rays, MRI, Ultrasound, etc.

I believe it can be seen via x-ray typically, although I'm not 100% sure on that. If it can, that would be the cheapest option. I would contact your vet and ask what they would recommend. If it's cancer, it will show up on some form of imaging. And then you will know 100%.
Really, the bloodwork is usually a good indicator, and I'd agree with it as the sole means of diagnosis if it weren't for the weeks upon weeks of medicines prior.

Not to give you false hope though. To put it in perspective, if there were no medicines being administered to him for so long, i'd take the bloodwork as about 95% certain that it actually is GNT. With what his system has been through lately, i'd give it 90% certainty. Since we are talking about a life here, that 10% would be enough for me to want to double check and make sure.

The imaging will give you that extra 5 or 10% certainty.

-Brandon
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Re: Vet suggesting i put my beardie down ):

Postby Draco23 » Sat Jan 23, 2021 1:36 pm

Claudiusx wrote:Imaging as in x-rays, MRI, Ultrasound, etc.

I believe it can be seen via x-ray typically, although I'm not 100% sure on that. If it can, that would be the cheapest option. I would contact your vet and ask what they would recommend. If it's cancer, it will show up on some form of imaging. And then you will know 100%.
Really, the bloodwork is usually a good indicator, and I'd agree with it as the sole means of diagnosis if it weren't for the weeks upon weeks of medicines prior.

Not to give you false hope though. To put it in perspective, if there were no medicines being administered to him for so long, i'd take the bloodwork as about 95% certain that it actually is GNT. With what his system has been through lately, i'd give it 90% certainty. Since we are talking about a life here, that 10% would be enough for me to want to double check and make sure.

The imaging will give you that extra 5 or 10% certainty.

-Brandon

How would his medication affect his bloodwork results? What are the symptoms of GNT? Also i am most likely going to do the X-ray and mri just to be sure before anything
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Re: Vet suggesting i put my beardie down ):

Postby Claudiusx » Sat Jan 23, 2021 1:45 pm

Medications/antibiotics can throw the bodies system all out of whack. And that can cause bloodwork values to be weird too. Especially because some antibiotics are really rough on the system.

I just found a good article that talks briefly about it in bearded dragons. And it confirmed my thoughts that the mass can be seen with X-rays. So I'd definitely get the x ray done before euthanizing. The MRI won't be necessary (expensive).

https://veterinarypartner.vin.com/defau ... id=8017166

-Brandon
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Re: Vet suggesting i put my beardie down ):

Postby Draco23 » Sat Jan 23, 2021 2:05 pm

Claudiusx wrote:Medications/antibiotics can throw the bodies system all out of whack. And that can cause bloodwork values to be weird too. Especially because some antibiotics are really rough on the system.

I just found a good article that talks briefly about it in bearded dragons. And it confirmed my thoughts that the mass can be seen with X-rays. So I'd definitely get the x ray done before euthanizing. The MRI won't be necessary (expensive).

https://veterinarypartner.vin.com/defau ... id=8017166

-Brandon

Definitely going to run that X-ray, because i definitely want to be 100% sure. Thanks for getting back to me so quickly, it is really appreciated. I’ll keep you updated on what happens. But i really appreciate you informing me because i was lost at what decision to make, now I’m more calm that i know what i need to do, much appreciated
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