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We bought our first beardie in early July and unfortunately it turns out we were given many wrong care instructions for him. I was wondering how long it takes MBD to develop in a young dragon (he/she? is around 13 weeks old now).
Last Saturday morning my husband went in to check on Chomps. He's usually very energetic, happy, excited to see people all the time. Also loves to watch my husband play computer games and flight simulator. That morning he was hiding at the back of his tank, not moving, head clear to the ground. My husband tapped a bit on the tank for a response and got none. He offered Chomps his morning water and still had little to no response so he came to find me and ask what to do.
I went online and looked, seeing the main suggestion was to take a beardie acting like that to a vet. Thankfully we live near an ARAV member vet and he was able to see Chomps that day. When we got him out of his tank, my husband saw he had a slightly bloody foot, leading us to believe he'd injured it badly in a fall off his branch or something similar. Once at the vet's they checked him over and said his foot was just a small toenail injury.
They took him off to the back to weigh and exam him better. When the vet came back in, he said our poor little Chomps had a calcium deficiency and they wanted to do some blood work on him. After a few more minutes the vet came back in, still beardie-less:( He said they wanted to keep him the rest of the weekend to give him some calcium injections and monitor him to see just how bad off he was.
Monday came and went, no lizard allowed to come home. Tuesday morning we finally got a call saying he's still very sick, but he can come home! We hurried around and got to the vets to pick our little guy up. The vet tech brought him in wrapped in a towel to give us our home care instructions. He was diagonised with MBD, and we were given calcium drops for twice daily use as well as a can of dog/cat food for twice daily feedings.
I got him home and he had no energy at all. He stayed in one spot, head resting down most of the day. That evening my husband took care of the feedings and he ate pretty well overall. The next day it was my turn and he didn't want to eat of course. I got most in him over a few hours time, but it was work...lol....By today, he's looking better already. We've still got a long way to go, but he's moving around, head up most of the day, and putting up some good fight! He even gave a few little hisses and poofed himself up when the husband tried to pick him up. His crickets are disappearing again too, so he's eating some on his own at least.
We've now changed his lighting, changed his diet, and changed his substrate to give him a better place to live. I've talked to the vet once this week for an update I had emailed and he said it sounds like he's improving well. Each day he gets stronger and more like the dragon we brought home with us. I'm not sure what a normal calcium level in a bearded dragon is but the vet told me his was at a 3, which is on the verge of death, so we are thankful he's made it this far:)
My little baby had MBD too, turns out his body has a hard time using the powdered calcium. I ordered some liquid calcium from www.bug-de-lite.com and within two days he was eating and the horrible bump that his spine had formed had already pretty much disappeared!
Anyways just wanted to go over your setup just toake sure everything is optimal for your baby.
Reptisun 10.0 tube UVB are the best hands down I will never recommend anything else. It needs to be changed every 6 months and your baby needs to be able to get within 6-8 inches of it- nothing in between like glass or screen.
Second basking temp should be between 105-110 degrees IMO cool side 80-85 degrees.
Best substrate is paper towel or newspaper or tile.
I'm on my iPhone right now so its difficult to type proficiently hopefully this helps!
2 Beardies- Hoodoo and Tyrus-- viewtopic.php?f=49&t=162075
2 Dogs- Herbert and Haven
2 Cats- Boots and Vivek
1 Turtle- Boog
It can vary in time as to how long it takes for a reptile in general to develop metabolic bone disease. A lot has to do with genetics but also with the husbandry as well.
Are you using a UVB light & if so, what type & brand are you using? A fluorescent tube bulb or a compact/coil light?
How often do you give calcium?
Do you have any pictures of him for us to see?
We miss you, Crocodile Hunter!
As of Friday evening our set up is:
ReptiSun 10.0 UVB tube lighting as well as an infrared heat lamp.
He's got a cave to hide in, took out his climbing branch until his strength is higher. Also a few rocks to climb and rest on.
He's on a carpeting type substrate that the vet recommended.
He's also now got fresh veggies with him each morning, a mix of green beans, peas and carrots right now. I will add some collards this week I think.
He's getting liquid calium drops that the vet sent with us twice a day, once in the morning once at night. His crickets are also getting a higher calcium cricket diet.
He was getting cat food twice a day, but has totally lost interest in it, gone from attacking the syringe to ignoring it, but his crickets have disappeared on a regular basis again, so he's eating them again.
Water dripped 2x a day, plus a water dish in with him that he will drink from.
Before Friday we hadn't had a chance to get out and shop for the new lighting. The "breeder" we bought him from gave us the following instructions for his care and even after the issues claims he's correct in everything he told us. This guy also told us that having taken a bearded dragon to the vet for the issues he was having was going to kill him and that we should have come back to him for everything so he could correct what we were doing wrong (following all advice from him and his store). Also that we would have been better off asking the people at McDonald's how to take care of our lizard as opposed to a vet because no vet is more qualified that him in dealing with reptile health....lol
29 gal long tank (which he's still in until he's bigger-originally they said that would be good as an adult, but that just seems nuts looking at him in it now)
ZooMed basking spot lamp 50w (UVA only)
Crickets only, no supplements or greens because it isn't healthy for them
Climbing branch under the basking light.
I'll have to work on getting some pictures of him taken. When he got his calcium this morning he tried to take off running across the tank -made it half way before getting tired out First time in over a week he's put up that much effort to avoid something he didn't want at the time, so he's regaining strength quickly it seems. We take him back to the vet for a check up next week, but think we should hear good things about his progress just because he's changing so much and so quickly from what we see every day.
it's amazing that a breeder gave you that information and that kind of trouble. I'm sorry for you and for chomp and very happy that you had a knowledgeable vet around. Good luck and best wishes to you and your family.
Norris Notes at viewtopic.php?f=30&t=152959
Chomps is still doing better:) He scared my husband last night by falling asleep early and not reacting to anything going on around him. I got home and we took a good look at him, and had to give his liquid calcium anyway. As soon as he was picked up he was back to being alert and his current normal self. He fell into such a deep sleep he was barely breathing, and wasn't responding to taps against the side of the tank. I asked my husband about how he acted as a whole during the day. He said Chomps had been active most of the day, so we figure the poor thing gets overly tired and just crashes finally when the energy runs out. I told him that it's probably just like us. We get sick, start feeling better and think everything is good, and then when we over-do it it's just too much and we crash too. He also had a few times where he would shake, once his whole back end and the other just his feet, but I guess that's normal with MBD. Today he's been pushing all the way up on his front legs to stretch, and giving more of his usual attitude:)
As soon as I get my phone I'm working on posting a picture of him when he got home from the vet. Will have to get another picture of him enjoying his new enclosure items and starting to look better:)
How is little Chomp doing today, any improvements?
Is he eating pretty regularly now? I hope that his energy levels improve & he can start supporting himself on all fours soon!
We miss you, Crocodile Hunter!
Haven't been up to see him yet this morning, but he's all over the place on a regular basis now. Seems to be eating the crickets since they keep disappearing:) And he's spending more time up on his front legs all the way. My husband said he actually sprinted all the way across the tank on Tuesday to get away, and then chased crickets around until he ran out of energy and started breathing heavy. I don't tend to handle the little guy too much since I'm 8 months pregnant lol, so he doesn't get as much attention from me as my husband. He sure sleeps soundly when he gets tired though and scares us both.
I'm trying to talk hubby into giving him a bath one of these days just to perk him up and make sure he's well hydrated. Maybe tonight I can talk him into it. Overall though the little guy seems to be doing better each day, so we are relieved. I'm scheduling his follow up vet appointment today once I have my schedule for next week and making the husband go with us to the vet in case he has questions so I don't have to be the one to answer everything lol:)
So, I gave in today and gave Chomps a bath. He's been looking extra skinny and stuff lately, and would flatten out and get bigger when I'd dribble water down his back. I used a small rubbermaid container since he's not strong enough to get too far in climbing and ran just a little water in. Wanted to be sure if he didn't want to keep his head up that it wouldn't cover his head. He had his head up, puffed his beard out a few times when I'd move, and just chilled in the water. Until it was time to get out, then he started to "run" for it. I got him all wrapped up in a blanket/towel thing I cut from some material for him, and gave him his calcium and his cat food. He devoured the food. He's got his head all perked up now sitting in his tank looking far happier than he has the past few days. He's still sitting on his new blanket, just because I didn't want to hurt him trying to move him off and I figure that won't hurt him any to sit there. I need to get the picture of him all happy in his bath from my phone, but it died as soon as I was done taking a picture and sending it to my husband at work. We'll have to give him another bath this weekend to be sure he's getting hydrated enough, maybe a little deeper this time since it didn't even cover his back, but I dribbled more on him while he was in the water. I also think he's been crawling thru his water dish occassionally since his head was wet and his rock was wet. It looked like dragon trails across the rock, so it wasn't the crickets walking thru the water. I need to give him his veggies and a fresh dish of water too before too long this morning. Too much to do and too little time lol. Will do my best to post a few pictures once the phone is charged back up some:)
Most people bathe them 2-3 times a week in luke warm water NEVER cold. My Mojo gets bathed daily because that's where she prefers to poo. Water should be armpit deep, not over the back its better tr dribble it on their backs like you did so its not deep enough for them to drown. Sounds like he's doing great
Today we're taking Chomps in for his 2 week check up!
He's had 2 baths now, and the second one helped him get rid of some poop that was stuck? He also doesn't want to get out of the bath and tries to run for it when we go to get him out.
He's eating a little better we think still eating crickets but occassionally we offer him the dog/cat food and he'll either ignore (assuming he's not hungry when he refuses it) or devour it like a starving person. He also, Friday night before his bath, about escaped on the floor when he took off running suddenly. He'll actually run around and has been climbing his new cave we added to his tank.
Poor little guy does get worn out quick still though! If he's overly upset or doesn't want handled and squirms a whole lot, he'll start breathing really heavy and he sleeps a lot. When he sleeps, boy does he sleep. He's actually slept for 6-8 hours starting midday without moving an inch (causing us all to freak out and think he died....lol...) so we have to manage to bug him just enough for a quick movement.
We think he's figured out a lazy dragon's cricket hunting method. The crickets try to hide in his cave, and he sits waiting outside the back entrance of it watching quite often. He'll also go nap in the cave too.
Will give vet's opinion on progress tonight or tomorrow (late vet appointment so hubby can come with me for once and meet the vet and ask any questions he has instead of me trying to think of everything). I'm thinking/hoping the vet will be impressed with how he's improving after only 2 weeks, so we'll see. Last time we talked to him he said it will be a very long time before Chomps is back to a normal dragon.
Well, we just got home from the vet. Sounds like improvement is is happening in the vet's opinion too. He got dewormed tonight, and they did say he lost some weight since he was there last. Other than that, he might have some issues with his back legs for awhile, but they're happy he's moving, eating, and in general getting some fight back.
Said the occassional trembles concern them, but they didn't want to check his calcium level again since we changed all sorts of things to help him recover. When the vet was checking him over though, she did say his bones were feeling a little stronger than when we brought him in so that was a good sign. He also gave her some attitude and fought a little when she messed with his back legs.
We're still feeding him the hills a/d cat/dog food. Got him a new can tonight, and when we put him in the carrier to take him to the vet, hubby put a cricket in with him. It was gone in about 15 minutes. We're going to try moving him into the carrier for cricket feeding for now since he doesn't move too fast and might not be catching enough. He ate a ton of the wet food though before his appointment, he'd only pooped twice in two weeks before this morning (then 2 big piles in with him today), so I think he's been a bit too stuffed up to eat much.
We go back to the vet in 3-4 weeks and they'll check his blood again, so the vet's giving him more time between check ups now. I'm thinking that's good. Of course it might fall that the 3 week mark is when we're probably boarding him at the office for a few days (don't want anyone else caring for him right now and we'll be a little preoccupied for a few days when we have our new baby lol). So, if it works out that way, they can check him over and do his blood work while he's visiting for awhile.
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