Is the Medication Making Him Sick?

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Is the Medication Making Him Sick?

Postby Research301 » Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:07 am

***UPDATE*** The new vet called me tonight when he saw the new patient information and told me to get Otis in there immediately, which I did.

When he found out that the other vet had never done any blood work or x-rays. he ran tests and found that Otis had fluid around his lungs, causing him to have trouble breathing, and he also found bile and fluid in his throat, possibly indicating that Otis had inhaled some fluids while being injected with the meds.

Otis also had kidney levels that were "off the charts."

The new vet thought there was a small chance that he could save him.

I left him there in the ICU, hopeful...

A few minutes ago, I got the call that he had died.

I am so angry that my sweet poor little guy had to suffer through so much pain and agony for the past 11 days.

Thanks to all who responded to my post.
Hello! I am very thankful to have found this forum!
My 11 year-old Bearded Dragon, Otis, has suddenly become very ill.

On 3/26/21, I took Otis to an exotic vet for a calcium injection for MBD and mentioned that he was shedding and quasi brumating, so I asked if he needed any sort of nutritional supplements since he isn't exactly the picture of health - he's a malnourished, neglected rescue.

Without having any lab results - then later receiving the results and informing me that he is negative for everything she tested - the doctor has him on all of the following medications:

Starting 3/26/21:
Calcium Gluconate 23% - 1cc 2x/day
Metacam Oral Suspension 1.5mg/ml - .1cc 1x/day
Critical Care for Herbivores - 3cc - 2-3x/day

His urate became pale orange and pasty, which the vet said was nothing, but I thought meant that he is receiving too much calcium.

The syringe plungers became gummed up no matter how much I cleaned and soaked them, so Otis started getting a lot of air along with each of the 6 syringed-doses per day.

On 3/31/21, Otis passed a mucousy "sac" of blood, which preceded his urate.

The following meds were added to the others on 4/1/21:

Subcutaneous Fluids
Vitamin C Injection .1cc
Vitamin B Complex Injection .1cc
Metronidazole 100mg/ml - .15ml 1x/day (The tech forgot to give this to me, so he didn't start it until 4/2/21)
Strongid 50mg/ml - .4ml 1x/day (He is negative for parasites)
SMZ-TMP liquid (Total 5.5ml) - .4ml 1x/day

On 4/3/21, Otis had been having diarrhea for 4 days, and this time it was literally explosive and contained undigested arugula and carrots. Plus, his beard and his tail had both been black for several days (even while sleeping), and he had become so frantic in the bath that I could no longer soak him.

I was told to bring him in through the ER, then I was told that they were keeping him for the weekend.

I requested that they give him something to calm his stomach and a probiotic.

I also requested that all medication be discontinued that had been administered in anticipation of conditions for which he had tested negative.

On 4/5/21, I was informed that he had been having "normal daily bowel movements" all weekend, which I found strange, because having daily bowel movements isn't normal.

The vet tech that took care of him said that he had received nothing but food and water all weekend, but the vet said that he had been given the meds throughout.

When I picked him up, I found out that another medication had now been added to his regimen:

Sucralfate 200mg/ml Marshmellow - .06ml 1x/day

He has been home for 18 hours now.

His beard and tail remain very dark black, and he maintains a puffed out belly.

He is very pale, dry, and lethargic.

I am afraid to continue to give him all of these medications, and I am afraid that more air in his stomach will make him worse.

Although he has been having daily bowel movements while eating no solid food, he is (right this minute) currently straining and trying to poop, but nothing is coming out anymore.

I am requesting advice in order to keep him alive until he can see a new vet on Thursday afternoon...

Should I continue to medicate him as above?

Should I give him something else?

He has been miserable for 11 days so far.

48" x 18" x 18" terrarium
ReptiSun T5 10.0 39" UVB 14.5 hours per day (1/2 has screen between bulb & terrarium & 1/2 is open)
ZooMed 160w Power Sun (Basking) 15 hours per day (No screen between bulb & terrarium)
ExoTerra 150w ceramic heat emitter 9.5 hours per night (Screen between bulb & terrarium)
ReptiCarpet as substrate
Furnishings: magnetic "rock", sandstone rocks, slate tile, a stepped hide, a "rock" side wall, coco mats form a ramp beneath the carpet

70 degrees F - cold side at night
70 - 80 degrees F - gradient during the day
100 - 105 degrees F - basking area during the day

Fluker's ReptaCalcium w/D3 strawberry & banana powder to dust mealworms, arugula, carrot slivers, strawberries, raspberries

Repashy Calcium Plus Vitamins to dust Fluker's Buffet Blend Freeze Dried Veggie Pellets, Fluker's Soft Moist Dragon Diet and Garden Blend, and Nature Zone Bites for Bearded Dragons - soft, moist food/treat

During the 6 months that I have had him, he eats very little, poops 2 times per week, and doesn't recognize many fresh foods as food.

Found neglected in neighbor's basement last July living in filthy sand substrate
Back legs paralyzed and dragging himself around on his wrists
No UVB light, and only dehydrated fruit and veggies
I sifted out the sand, bought a UVB light tube and light timers, crickets, worms, veggies and started visiting 2-3 times per week to feed and bathe him
Gained possession of him 3 months later
Immediately took him to the only exotic vet around and was told he has MBD and pinworms, and he was malnourished
He was given a calcium injection, a one-week treatment of Strongid for pinworms, and I was told to only feed him calcium-dusted mealworms since he might not be able to digest other foods
The vet said that he would make a full recovery and start walking soon

6 months later, and he is walking on his wrists again. My research tells me that he should have been given a treatment regimen of calcium injections for MBD, not just one.

I have never been provided with copies of any lab results, in spite of asking for them.

Thank you for taking the time to read through my post.

I would greatly appreciate any insight.

I have not given Otis any meds today.
Last edited by Research301 on Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is the Medication Making Him Sick?

Postby CooperDragon » Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:29 pm

Poor guy. It sounds like he's in rough shape. I would probably stop with the meds and focus on hydration and a little nutrients for now. Offer water via dropper/syringe and maybe offer some baby food squash or green beans - the critical care is OK too. You could water that down a bit more than the normal recipe to handle hydration and nutrients. Try to make sure he gets something in him, but don't be too forceful with it so not to stress him out further. Try to keep him warm and comfortable for now and hopefully the next vet visit will be able to provide some more consistent answers. The fact that you were getting different stories from people within the vet clinic is a bit disconcerting.
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Re: Is the Medication Making Him Sick?

Postby KarrieRee » Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:37 pm

I would change vets -- here is a website to find another one
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Re: Is the Medication Making Him Sick?

Postby AHBD » Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:03 pm

Wow, this is devastating to hear. Those vets sound clueless and WAAAAAY over medicating your dragon. The blackness is from extreme stress and pain and he is in MUCH worse shape now. Metacam is an anti inlflammatory/pain med., given to him for no reason. That alone can have bad side effects. The Strongyd is very harsh, so is the SMZ/TMP. Poor dragon is sick, near death from this treatment and as Cooperdragon said, it's imperative to stop the meds. immediately. Sad to say, some vets are out for money , or at the least simply uninformed and just tossing the dice with a huge cocktail of powerful meds. Hopefully poor Otis survives, you can keep up with syringe water to help flush out his system if possible. BTW, can you post a pic of Otis ? It's nice that you are trying to help him. Here's how to post : Then use the XIMG to upload them
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Re: Is the Medication Making Him Sick?

Postby AHBD » Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:01 am

Aw, I'm so sorry to hear this. :( I know that this is very sad and distressing to have this happen to your dragon, my hear goes out to you.
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Re: Is the Medication Making Him Sick?

Postby CooperDragon » Wed Apr 07, 2021 5:22 pm

I'm also saddened to hear this =(. It sounds like the second vet did all they could to help, though probably not much could have been done by that point.
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Re: Is the Medication Making Him Sick?

Postby Drache613 » Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:57 am


OH MY, I am so so sorry you lost Otis like this, how utterly horrible! He was terribly
mistreated by the first vet, way overmedicated. I feel terrible for him, he might have had
a chance with the second vet but was too far gone by the time he got to him.
My sincere condolences for your loss. :cry:

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