Developing stress marks after death?

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Developing stress marks after death?

Postby Kiala » Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:05 am

I really didn't know where to put this post sorry if this is the wrong place, but it is kind of in relation to health I guess, it is also a bit morbid sorry.

My bearded dragon died or became paralysed on Saturday, she'd been to see the vets earlier that day with what I thought was impaction and did turn out to be impaction. The vet gave her a lot of laxatives but said he wasn't too concerned because it wasn't the worst case he'd seen. We took her home and she seemed ok, then like 3 hrs later she went downhill quickly.

I think the laxatives moved everything down too quickly and ended up pushing against a nerve or her spine. She started trying to throw up or seemed like she was choking, then she went completely limp and didn't even seem to be breathing, but every so often she'd do the throw up thing again. Then she started having some sort of convulsion where her head and tail would curl up towards the ceiling and then after she'd go completely limp again. Anyway the reptile specialist had gone home by this point and I had to wait for a phone call back, when he did I just said she really needed to go back to be seen. We rushed her back over, she was no longer doing the weird choking thing by this stage. The nurse said she was dead as soon as she saw her because she was limp and unresponsive however I didn't really accept this because she was like that even when she was still doing the choking thing. Anyway it was out of hours so they had to phone a non reptile vet to come to the surgery. She did the same thing, pinching her and she used a Doppler but only for like 10 seconds or something and said she was definetly dead. I wanted them to euthanize her to make sure but they said there was no need to.

Anyway I sat panicking all that night and yesterday about her being catatonic and in a fridge, slowly dying, I've to cremate her aswell so I definetly don't want her to still be able to feel whilst that's happening. I went back today to pick her up to bring her to the crematorium. In the crematorium they set the animals out in a little basket in a side room for you to spend time with them before they take them off. She had developed stress marks on her belly which weren't there when I left her at the vets which I saw when the guy lifted her into the basket. If her brain had shut down would these still be able to develop or was she still alive in the fridge? Also if she wasn't fully dead at that stage would she 100% be dead after spending two nights in a fridge? And does anyone know if using the doppler for 10 seconds is sufficient? Sorry this is so morbid and strange but I can't get it out of my head and I've never had a reptile die before so I'm unsure as to what typically happens after. I would've felt more confident if the reptile specialist was there to confirm it and not someone with very little experience.
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Re: Developing stress marks after death?

Postby CooperDragon » Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:55 pm

I'm sorry to hear what you are going through. I know how tough it is to lose them. What you are seeing may be a result of skin lightening and loss of pigmentation in lighter areas which may make some areas stand out more. If the vet checked for heart activity and responsiveness and found none, then she is likely dead although they are able to slow their systems down considerably so checking for 10 seconds seems a bit quick. Does her body feel stiffer than usual now?
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Re: Developing stress marks after death?

Postby Kiala » Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:29 am

No she was still limp yesterday and there were no other obvious signs of anything, although that could just be because she's been in their fridge. I couldn't do it so I left her in the crematorium overnight and he will be calling me soon to go up. I'm really hoping it's more obvious today. I wish I had made her use the doppler for longer because that's the only reason I am so uneasy about it, well that and she isn't a reptile vet, but they were very cold about the whole thing and because it was out of hours they made me feel really rushed
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Re: Developing stress marks after death?

Postby Drache613 » Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:36 pm

Hello,

Gosh, I am so sorry you are going through this, how horrible.
Have you already had her cremated then, & if so, were there definite signs of her being
gone?
This is such a hard thing to have to go through. :cry:


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Re: Developing stress marks after death?

Postby kingofnobbys » Wed May 01, 2019 12:22 am

I went through a similar thing with a pet bluetongue skink many years ago, in my case he was unresponsive for 2 days yet remained limp and showed no signs of decay despite have no signs of visible life.

Took him to a REPTILE vet who used a doppler ultrasound device to check for any signs of blood circulation , vet wasn't sure if the skink was dead until then , told me very sick reptiles can go into a very slow metabolic state where they breath once ever few minutes and might only have a few heart beats per minute. This can make it very hard to determine if the dormant reptile is still alive.
5 minutes using the doppler ultrasound and there was no sign of blood flow and she declared the skink dead.

This is one reason why I have learnt to keep suspected dead lizards in their tank under normal heating (ie in the warm zone) for at least 24 hours or until definitive signs of death are observed , ie rigor mortis , discharges from mouth and vent , sunken eyes , no response to bright light , blood pooling in tummy area.

I know you feel really upset , but if the dragon has been kept in the freezer at the crematorium , if it was still alive before freezing , the process finished it off.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Fluffy - 4yr rescued lawnmowing accident victim 14Nov17.
Lucky - cat attack rescue, fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
Wriggles - rescued injured ,thought she was a big lizard, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16. .
Gecko : Godzilla the hatchling GEHYRA GECKO (hatched May 2019)
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Re: Developing stress marks after death?

Postby Kiala » Wed May 01, 2019 4:34 pm

Yeah, she wasn't kept in a freezer but was in a fridge. I wanted them to keep the doppler on for 5+ minutes and really wish I could go back and make them but like I said they were rushing me because it was out of hours, they didnt really seem to even care about reptiles (like I doubt they would've been how they were if it was a cat or dog that was in) and I was also in shock and wasn't able to think. Also they were acting like it was really ridiculous me asking them if they were 100% that she was gone... which would be understandable if she was a mammal. Then obviously I went home and googled all sorts because my intuition told me there was something not right and it turns out it was justified.

I would've felt more confident if the reptile vet was there. Now I'll never know if she was still alive in the fridge or not which is horrible. I feel so awful. I really wanted to get her on Sunday but there was noone there for me to do it. But yeah I just have a very strong feeling that she did die in the fridge instead which is sickening. When I went back to the crematorium yesterday she was stiff so I was able to cremate her at that point. I definetly wouldn't have been able to if I still wasnt sure, but it was obvious she had passed at that stage.

All of my family and friends just seem to think I was in denial as well which is pretty frustrating because they don't seem to understand what I'm saying.

It's very shocking, I mean the reptile vet (who does actually have a very good reptutation) said she was totally fine and he wasnt at all concerned. Then within 3 hrs of getting home this happens
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Re: Developing stress marks after death?

Postby claudiusx » Wed May 01, 2019 4:41 pm

Try not to think too much into it. I know it's hard to do but all you will end up doing is beating yourself up for it. Sure, if they used the doppler for longer, i'm sure you would have felt better, but even at 10 seconds, with nothing picked up that's a pretty good sign.

The key factor here is your girl knew you cared about her, and she died knowing she was loved. Which is more than some dragons get.
So try to focus on that, instead of the what-ifs.

I know it's hard but that should be the light you need. She knows you tried.

-Brandon
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Re: Developing stress marks after death?

Postby Kiala » Wed May 01, 2019 5:03 pm

Thanks Brandon, and thanks everyone for getting back to me. I am trying to think that, but it's still very difficult. She was a rescue and had 3 different homes before me, the first one starved her and basically ignored her, the second was a rescue place that rehomed them and the third didn't have her for long and said they "didn't have time for her anymore" (and then proceeded to get a new animal after I took her) she came with a very small viv when I got her which I immediately replaced and it was very bare. I gained her trust pretty quickly although she was a bit nervous at first. Then she was just so lovely and always wanted out and wanted up on the sofa to snuggle into the cushions with me. Even my mum loved her because me and my bf recently moved and my mum minded her for a few hours her whilst it was happening and they bonded apparently lol. I miss her so much :( I wish she had a better beginning in life.
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Re: Developing stress marks after death?

Postby Kiala » Wed May 01, 2019 5:05 pm

And a better end I guess aswell
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Re: Developing stress marks after death?

Postby kingofnobbys » Wed May 01, 2019 7:03 pm

F10 her tank and all the stuff inside it to make sure any pathogens (it could have been a desease that killed her) are gone and the tank rendered sterile and ready for a new occupant.

I'd be looking at replacing her ASAP so you have something positive to focus on, the new lizard wont ever replace her (in your heart) but can go a very long way in helping you emotionally.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Fluffy - 4yr rescued lawnmowing accident victim 14Nov17.
Lucky - cat attack rescue, fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
Wriggles - rescued injured ,thought she was a big lizard, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16. .
Gecko : Godzilla the hatchling GEHYRA GECKO (hatched May 2019)
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