Swollen Feet

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Swollen Feet

Postby partypets » Wed May 13, 2009 6:54 am

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My beautiful Irwin has terribly swollen feet! I have checked the books and can find no mention of this condition. Any help out there?
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Re: Swollen Feet

Postby Lennifer » Wed May 13, 2009 7:04 am

Is there any way that u can provide a pic? Also, if u could give us a run down of what your enclosure/set up is like, that will help as well.

What size enclosure is your beardie in?
What kind of substrate are u using?
What temp is the basking spot & what r u using to measure them with?
What kind of UVB lighting do u provide?
Is the UVB a long tube or a coil? Make & Brand please?
How old is your beardie?
How long have u had him/her for?
What r u currently feeding him/her?
What kind of supplements are u providing & how often?

Sry to ask so many questions...just trying to help. :D

~Sandy
~Owned by 1 cat (Gizmo), 1 Yellow Lab (Dakota) & 1 Bearded Dragon (Drago)~
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Re: Swollen Feet

Postby Tigg » Wed May 13, 2009 7:05 am

This could be a number of things... Can you please post a couple of pictures, as well as answer the following questions so we can get a better idea of how to help Irwin out...

How old is your dragon?
How long have you had your dragon?
How long is your dragon?
What is the sex of your dragon?
What size enclosure do you have your dragon in?
What type substrate do you have on the bottom of your tank?
Do you use UVB lights?
If so, Is it a coil, compact, fluorescent tube, or Mercury Vapor bulb?
What is the brand name and number of your bulb? Wattage (if MVB)?
How old is your UVB bulb?
How close can your dragon get to the UVB?
Do you use a separate basking bulb? What kind and what is the wattage?
What are the basking temps?
What is the cool side temp?
Do you take the temps with a stick on thermometer, a digital thermometer with a wire and a probe end or a temp gun?
Where exactly are you taking your basking temps?
Do you use a heat rock or heat pad?
What do you feed your dragon? Please be specific.
How often do you feed and what time do you feed (morning, afternoon, night)?
Do you gutload (feed) your crickets, worms, etc?
Do you use vitamin or calcium supplements? What brand(s)? How many days a week do you use each of them?
Is your dragon having regular bowel movements (poops)?
Do you bath your dragon? How often?
Do you mist your dragon or offer water other than in the bath?
Does your dragon share an enclosure with another dragon?
Have you gotten a vet check and fecal done?


How many or which feet is this effecting? is he still able to walk? and does he seem to be in any pain?
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Re: Swollen Feet

Postby Tigg » Wed May 13, 2009 7:08 am

LOL Lennifer, beat me by a minuit! :P
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Re: Swollen Feet

Postby Lennifer » Wed May 13, 2009 7:13 am

Sry Tigg! lol
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Re: Swollen Feet

Postby Tigg » Wed May 13, 2009 7:15 am

No prob! it's funny how similar our posts are actually.
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Re: Swollen Feet

Postby partypets » Wed May 13, 2009 8:25 am

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly! I have the answers you needed, but it will take me a little while to get a picture to you, since I want to send a pic of Irwin in his present condition. His front feet are affected more, but his back feet are slightly swollen too. Irwin is about 2 yrs old and we've had him since he was a baby. He is about 12 in. long, obviously a male, and his enclosure is 4' wide, 3' deep and 2' high. The substrate is calci sand and we have a flourescent UVB on top of the cage. It's a 40 watt Hagen tube light and it's about 6 mo old. He has a climbing log that allows him to be within 8 in. of the UVB sometimes. We keep the enclosure at about 80 deg. with the use of a heating element....no pad or rock in the enclosure. We use an ExoTerra temperature gauge on the wall of the cage. We feed him crickets, meal worms (both gutloaded) and some greens ( finely grated spinach, carrots, zuchinni). He gets fed every day in the afternoon with an alternating diet. We do not use supplements. He is alert and doesn't seem to be in pain. He is eating and pooping normally and he is moving about his cage normally. He is alone and has his bath water and drinking water cleaned daily, no misting for the most part. We have not talked with a vet as there are no reptile specialists in our area. We keep a lot of other reptiles, but have never seen this particular problem. I'll upload a pic as soon as possible. Thanks for your feedback.
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Re: Swollen Feet

Postby Lennifer » Wed May 13, 2009 8:41 am

Thanks for getting back with the answers. Ok...there are a few issues I noticed.

Calci Sand is terrible as it can cause impaction. If u choose to use sand, it is best to use sifted play sand. Otherwise, I would suggest using paper towels, slate tiles or repti carpet.
Meal worms are bad to feed as well because they have a hard shell that can be hard to digest as well. Silk worms are a great staple. Or u can feed other worms such as...superworms, pheonix worms & wax worms but as treats only.

U said Irwin is 2 years old & he is only 12 inches long? That is a bit small for a 2 year old. For the UVB lighting it is best to use the ReptiSun 10 or the ReptiGlo 8.

U said that you are keeping the enclosure @ 80 degrees? Is this the entire enclosure or the actual basking spot? The stick on temp readers are junk & can be off by as much as 20 degrees :( I would suggest purchasing a digital therm with a probe attatched or a temp gun to be able to obtain accurate readings.

The items u listed for feeding are not the best. For everyday salad/greens, the following can be offered daily...mustard greens, turnip greens, collard greens, dandlion greens, acorn squash & butternut squash. There are others as well. Beautiful Dragons. com has tons of info including a list of good/bad nutrition. The cool thing about the nutrition cahrt is that it even explains why certain foods are bad. I know that carrotts should only be fed rarely as they are high in Vit A & too much of this can be toxic to your beardie.

U don't use any suppliments at all? Here is an example of how his dusting schedule should be...
Between the ages of 2-4 months:
Dust their prey with plain calcium powder twice a day.
Dust their prey with vitamin powder twice a week.

Between the ages of 4-8 months:
Dust their prey with plain calcium powder once a day.
Dust their prey with vitamin powder once a week.

Between the ages of 8 months on:
Dust their prey with plain calcium powder two times a week.
Dust their prey with vitamin powder once a week.

Without providing the proper suppliments & lighting, your beardie can develop a calcium deficiency or MBD.

Please don't take offense to anythign I am saying. U have come to the right place to get help & that is def a great step!!

~Sandy
~Owned by 1 cat (Gizmo), 1 Yellow Lab (Dakota) & 1 Bearded Dragon (Drago)~
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Re: Swollen Feet

Postby partypets » Wed May 13, 2009 9:00 am

Thank you for the info, please don't think your advice is offensive! I asked for it and I want to learn so Irwin can be healthy! I actually guessed at his length so I just measured him and he's really more like 18 in from nose to tail. I am sending some pics, I hope you can see them well, if not i can send more. My husband thought it might be the sand (he switched recently, but the problem didn't show up right away, so he wasn't sure) so we'll switch back. He also said I was wrong about the spinach, we actually do feed him turnip greens and we'll stop giving him carrots and try butternut instead of zuchinni.
http://s635.photobucket.com/albums/uu72/fcpaules/
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Re: Swollen Feet

Postby partypets » Wed May 13, 2009 9:08 am

Sorry, one more question...will the problem just go away when we make the necessary changes or is there some medicine I need to get him? Thanks again, you were so helpful!
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Re: Swollen Feet

Postby zebraflavencs » Wed May 13, 2009 9:21 am

Help is on the way Go Tracy !
Janie.
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Re: Swollen Feet

Postby Tigg » Wed May 13, 2009 9:25 am

I think there is more to this one then that, however I do recommend you follow all of Lennifers instructions for husbandry improvements.

It's time you change your UVB light, and I would strongly urge you get the REPTISUN 10.0 specifically.

I can't make any sense of the swelling, and THAT is some pretty serious swelling!

At first glance I was thinking MBD, but on closer look it almost looks like retained shed perhaps cutting off circulation?? Unless I am just mistaking this for very unusual colour patterns!

In case this is a circulation issue, I would urge you to get to a vet ASAP! As there is a serious risk or the flesh becoming necrotic which will quickly lead to many more serious issues. At the very least you will be able to have the vet perform a fecal test, and take some blood work, this will give you a definitive diagnosis as to what exactly is going on here...
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Re: Swollen Feet

Postby Drache613 » Wed May 13, 2009 9:38 am

Hello,

I apologize, I saw your thread earlier, but just have not had time to get to it until now. I was actually kind of waiting for pictures.
Unfortunately, I know exactly what his ailment is. How long have his hands & feet been swollen like this?
He has an advanced case of gout, which at this point is going to be extremely difficult to get that swelling down. I suggest that you get him to the vet for a blood test. Get the levels of his uric acid, his BUN, calcium, phosphorus as well as others that are included in a complete blood count test. If you don't mind sending me a copy of the blood tests when you do get them, I would really appreciate it. Thanks.
How do his urates look, are they hard or soft?
You have gotten great advice already so no need to reiterate that. As far as the temperatures go, you do need to get either a digital probe or a temp gun so we can see exactly what the temperatures are.
Gout is caused by several factors that we can discuss. I can tell you what medications you need to use, but, know once they do have gout, that means that he has compromised renal function & will always need to be on the meds to maintain & help his kidneys function properly.
Some things that you can do now, is to stop feeding collard greens, mustard greens, kale, & any other greens that are higher in oxalates. Oxalic acid can cause the decrease of calcium absorption & the increase of buildup of calcium & or other minerals which can cause stones, kidney damage, etc. So, in general, it is best to avoid high oxalate foods with patients that have gout.
I suggest using the spring mix greens which have raddichio greens, romaine lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, acorn squash, butternut squash.
Also, I would cut down the protein & definitely cut the mealies out completely. Use leaner sources of protein such as silkworms, hornworms, & some superworms. You can also use some crickets or roaches if you want to. Overall, I would keep the protein/feeders to 30 or under per week, & focus on greens & veggies right now, along with increasing the fluids.
His calcium to phosphorus ratio is most likely off since you feed bugs but do not dust with calcium at all. So, I would start using calcium, but only 2-3 times per week as you don't want too much with his condition.
Genetics can also play a role in this condition too. Inbreeding can cause health problems as they become adults unfortunately.
Chronic dehydration is also another factor. Improper temperature gradients are another culprit. They cannot effectively excrete uric acid in subpar temperatures due to their kidney design.
Getting a new UVB light will also help with his ability to absorb calcium & vitamins more efficiently because without it, calcium cannot be utilized properly. Lighting & supplementation are a three-fold dimension & work synergistically together.
As stated above, there is a possibility of retained shed, since keeping them on sand can dry them out. However, I have seen cases like this with this type of swelling & it was always gout. That is why I recommend finding a vet to do a blood test & an x-ray.
Today, I would start trying to get 4-6ml's of fluid into him, on a daily basis.
Oh here is a neat chart on oxalates:

http://www.branwen.com/rowan/oxalate.htm

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Tracie
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Re: Swollen Feet

Postby Tigg » Wed May 13, 2009 9:45 am

Tracie never ceases to amaze me...
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Re: Swollen Feet

Postby Lennifer » Wed May 13, 2009 9:46 am

I'm so glad someone else was able to come along that knew exactly what is going on because I have never seen swollen feet like that before. I agree that it is def extremely important to change the UVB as well. Best of luck to Irwin & please keep us updated.

~Sandy
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