Peculiar behaviour and signs of illness Help I'm Confused!!

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Peculiar behaviour and signs of illness Help I'm Confused!!

Postby hollyhazelrushton » Tue Jun 08, 2021 4:24 am

Hello,

New poster here, and I need help! I'm so sorry it's long, I felt the context was important.

I adopted my brothers dragon, Tobias, in December when I became aware that he hadn't been cared for properly the whole 7 years that he has been our family pet. He was in a 20 gallon tank with only sand and one log under the basking bulb for 7 YEARS! He was only fed mealworms and he had a few UV tubes sporadically- not replaced for months when broken, not changed for months and months when they aren't.

Note- I'm pretty certain Tobias is actually female.

He surprisingly is not overweight, he has no signs of MBD. All of his food was wasted the first month, he didn't eat or move much at all (didn't want to offer mealworms now and he refused veg), just sat there, although no black bearding and still wanted to be held.
What was odd was Toby never really did a poo very often before, when I set up his new viv he pooped every day for about two weeks without eating!!
Gradually he has started acting more like a bearded dragon.

I've done a fair amount of research in the past three months and spent most of my student maintenance loan on him :shock: He might've completely taken over from my degree.
He has a 70 gallon tank. I've perfected basking and ambient temperatures, which i check with a gun and probes. He has an Arcadia UVB tube which needs replacing soon-I have a UV testing card thingy. He gets calcium and vitamin supplements on his veg every few days and on roaches about twice a week.

I think he's loved having his hide now, he's never had one before but on a good day he goes in there at lights out and comes out at lights on and trundles over to the basking spot- I was so proud the first time he did this like normal!
He's on tile with a large dig box on one side with an elephant feed tree planted in it and a hide on top of the substrate. He climbs and has a nap on the tree which is so cute, belly flat over the leaves.
Then he gives me the eyes for food a few hours later. He always eats when I hand feed him, it's more hit and miss when I leave it in the bowl.
He comes out and chills in the sun with me on my university grounds when it's hot enough, and seems very relaxed and happy out there. He knows to get in the shade if he's too warm.

BUT
I really don't think I could afford a vet visit for my boy. AND I think he might be hiding an illness from me.
Things that are making me worry and stress and I don't know what to do about them:

1. Watery/bubbly eyes, with clicking and occasionally a huff I can hear when he's on my shoulder- suspected respiratory infection though this hasn't got any worse for a few weeks and no other symptoms that I know of?? only every few days with these symptoms. I have ordered Tylosin50 after reading about it on here but I don't know how to figure out oral dosage?? Of course I would never give this to him without being certain beforehand.

2.Getting up and digging in the night every couple of weeks, kicking a lot of substrate out of the box. Also digs during the day too, more often. He has a blackout sheet for the night and his night temps are 19-21 degrees

3. about once a week he spends a day being soo lazy and just laying there like a spud, sometimes refusing to come out the hide until the following morning. He's been all good the past 3 days, but before that he spent about 4 days not moving again.

4. Stuck shed on back toe, looks all shiny, I am soaking him a few times a week but anything else I can do?

Thanks for your time!
Holly
hollyhazelrushton
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Re: Peculiar behaviour and signs of illness Help I'm Confuse

Postby KarrieRee » Tue Jun 08, 2021 4:40 am

Hi Holly the poor dragon has to be a lot happier--- the UV cards really arent that accurate-- your UVB fixture is where in the tank and does the fixture have a reflector on it--- if its just a tube I recommend getting a fixture w/ a reflector- those UVB rays w/ out the reflector are going all over the tank and you want them projecting downward to him -- I cant believe the dragon is not showing signs of MBD -if you can post a pic of Tobys butt toward the camera tail in the air on a flat surface like a table some of us could tell you if its male or female --- the eye thing could be cause by the basking bulb your using are you using a bright white bulb NO colored or off white yellowish bulb --- the Arcadia is a good UVB some I dont think it would be that -- where is the UVB placed above him or on the back wall and if so is the light shining right in the eyes? please post a pic of him so we can see him -- your temps at nite are good -- I would not be covering him tho - I would leave the tank w/ no covering at nite -- what is the humidity in the tank - ?
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Re: Peculiar behaviour and signs of illness Help I'm Confuse

Postby hollyhazelrushton » Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:57 am

Hello thanks for your reply.

The UVB tube goes all the way along the inside of the top of the viv, it doesn’t have a reflector. Thank you for this information I’ll be sure to get hold of one of these in the next few days.

I’ll get a pic of his butt tomorrow as I don’t want to disturb the old gent anymore today.

I think his bulb is warm yellow eek I never knew this was a thing.
What about the clicking and huffing though?
The humidity is usually between 20-30 on the hot side and 30-40 on the cool side. I haven’t checked at night, so it’s a good point about the covering.
However he doesn’t sleep that well without it, he’s living in a student flat and the lights are rarely off at nighttime. I do leave the sliding doors open under in the night.

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Re: Peculiar behaviour and signs of illness Help I'm Confuse

Postby KarrieRee » Tue Jun 08, 2021 10:00 am

It's good you getting him out side this has helped alit w/ the absorption of his calcium but I do recommend getting a reflector you want the UVB directly over him 12-15 inches and the bulb should be a 12% desert or Euro- cover him at not then if lights are kept on he won't get any sleep w/ lights on - you want a bright white basking bulb like a Exo Terra intense basking bulb that's an example- humidity is good it will go up at night so I don't think that's what's causing the clucking and huffing but your uvb and basking bulb need to corrected- I will flag your post to Tracie she's the vet tech on here and she can help w/ that----
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Re: Peculiar behaviour and signs of illness Help I'm Confuse

Postby hollyhazelrushton » Mon Jun 21, 2021 4:21 am

Hellooo again,

Toby didn't come out of his hide all day yesterday and no sign of him this morning. Should I take him out of the hide myself or is this not worth the compromise on his feeling safe?

He is having a small shed- one toe, his nose and the very back flabby bits on his beard are shedding.

I really am thinking it's a respiratory infection now, only a little bit of clicking when I really listen, but he doesn't like me touching his body around his ribs at all, the skin sucks in tight and wrinkles up.
I feel so sad thinking he's in pain and just sitting in his hide sleeping. What should I do?

I went to get him a white basking bulb and was very stupid and bought a heat emitter instead.
There are two bulb sockets and cages in the viv, Should I put the heat emitter on as well to burn some more humidity and raise the temps while he's not coming out? Or is it still better to keep the temp gradient?
Then when I tried to order one online I realised it is super confusing and I can't even tell what colour they are. Then I received conflicting information about yellow being good for their eyesight??
How do I know what is the correct bulb? :(( He only needs 50W as the bulb cage isn't very far from the basking spot.

I'm slightly worried about stressing him out as on the 30th of June he's coming for a 3/4 hour drive with me back home from uni. Last time he seemed to LOVE this sitting on my shoulder and looking out of the window. When I tried to put him in the box I'd turned into a bed for him, he black bearded. Hopefully his shed is finished by then.
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Re: Peculiar behaviour and signs of illness Help I'm Confuse

Postby KarrieRee » Mon Jun 21, 2021 4:38 am

Is there any mucous or discharge out of the nose or mouth -- can you get a video of him breathing so we can hear him -- record on youtube then post the link --- it would be helpful so we can have Tracie or AHBD listen to him --- and the soreness on the sides as well -- is he breathing hard? You want a bright white basking bulb --- looks like this https://www.chewy.com/exo-terra-intense ... gIQOfD_BwE
Make sure your basking temps are 95-100 taken w/ your probe thermometers -- the heat emitter would be for night time if your temps are falling below 65 F --- your humidity is fine as long as its not going above 70% --- please get your UVB bulb changed out --- keep the temp gradient --- but your basking bulb should be getting those temps w/ out the use of he heat emitter --- 50 watt is really low
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Re: Peculiar behaviour and signs of illness Help I'm Confuse

Postby hollyhazelrushton » Tue Jun 22, 2021 6:31 am

Update- I think he's going through a big shed and this could explain his lethargy as of late. First shed that I can remember in at least a year- the pieces coming off his beard are so thick!

No there is no discharge at all, no white substance in his mouth. You could never hear his breathing on a video, it's not audible like that it's only if I'm in a quiet room and he is on my shoulder, maybe once in 20 minutes you'll hear one sharp exhale.

Other than what I described with his ribs I haven't noticed any hard breathing. Could he just be really good at hiding it because of his previous long term ill care?
Thank you for the link on basking bulbs.
I check the temperatures with two different probes and a temp gun to be extra sure, and it's always fallen within the correct ranges. I will order a few different bulbs and adjust the basking height to the correct temps with the new bulb.

Thanks so much for your advice!
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