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Possibly looking at euthanasia... need advice

PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:36 pm
by advannoy13
My 1 yr old BD Drogonya started dragging her back legs about 2 months ago. She has since stopped eating anything but a wax worm here or there, barely moves around at all, has not shed in over 3 months, has stopped growing, is losing weight, and yesterday did not get out of her bed until 2:30pm, which she has never done before. The vet told me today to start her on critical care, and if she doesn't improve within a couple days, he said if she were his he'd seriously consider euthanasia because her quality of life is not good. I love my baby girl so much, I don't ever want to give up on her, but I also don't want her to suffer. I don't know what to do!!! He said he's positive it's neurological, which I'm assuming means some sort of ADV, all her xrays and fecal tests are normal. I don't want to lose my baby, she's my life, my child, my world revolves around her. I don't want to be without her, can someone please help me?? Or is it beyond the point of help now? I'm absolutely devastated and don't know what the right thing to do is :'(

Re: Possibly looking at euthanasia... need advice

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 1:41 am
by kingofnobbys
Not a good position to be in.

I would have thought perhaps a serious impaction / GIT blockage . Did the vet take an xray to check if there a mass of rotting food / feces in there ?

If it's ADV , can't help there.

Re: Possibly looking at euthanasia... need advice

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:46 am
by advannoy13
kingofnobbys wrote:Not a good position to be in.

I would have thought perhaps a serious impaction / GIT blockage . Did the vet take an xray to check if there a mass of rotting food / feces in there ?

If it's ADV , can't help there.


They did take xrays and there was no evidence of impaction, blockages, or any kind of fractures. They were normal.

Re: Possibly looking at euthanasia... need advice

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:30 am
by Aaradimian
Hi. So sorry to hear things have advanced to this point. You must be crushed :(

I have no idea if this is something the vet would consider, but from what I read, tortoises can be given antivirals such as acyclovir for a herpes-like viral infection. If this is ADV and euthanasia is being considered, there's probably no harm in mentioning it to your vet. Not sure if there are similar ethical guidelines to experimental treatment with vets as there are with people, and I don't want to provide false hope, but I think if I were in your situation, I'd suggest investigating it as long as it doesn't prolong suffering (yours or hers).

Re: Possibly looking at euthanasia... need advice

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:55 am
by advannoy13
Aaradimian wrote:Hi. So sorry to hear things have advanced to this point. You must be crushed :(

I have no idea if this is something the vet would consider, but from what I read, tortoises can be given antivirals such as acyclovir for a herpes-like viral infection. If this is ADV and euthanasia is being considered, there's probably no harm in mentioning it to your vet. Not sure if there are similar ethical guidelines to experimental treatment with vets as there are with people, and I don't want to provide false hope, but I think if I were in your situation, I'd suggest investigating it as long as it doesn't prolong suffering (yours or hers).


Thank you, that is definitely something I will ask my vet.

I guess my whole reason for this post maybe is, how can I tell my BD's quality of life is no longer good enough? Besides the fact she's not really eating, how do I know when it's time to let go?? I'm just so hopeful that something will change but if it doesn't, please, how in hell's name do I decide it's better for my baby to cross the bridge, than stay any longer??? Please, will someone help me understand?

Re: Possibly looking at euthanasia... need advice

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:22 am
by CooperDragon
This is a really rough situation to be in :( Generally with rescues, my measurement of their fight response is if they will drink on their own. If they drink some water they are usually up for a fight and can move on to simple meals. If they refuse water even when dripped on their nose, then they are usually too far gone to be helped. I know this isn't a direct comparison to your situation though. If she is not eating or drinking and is losing weight and acting lethargic, those are outward signs of illness and outward signs of illness with these guys is usually bad news.

Re: Possibly looking at euthanasia... need advice

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:52 am
by Aaradimian
advannoy13 wrote:I guess my whole reason for this post maybe is, how can I tell my BD's quality of life is no longer good enough?


There's no good answer to that question, sadly. I have read a few threads here where people say "you just know when it's time", which has been my experience with other terminally ill pets (no beardies yet). Something in their eyes or the way they act; obvious pain or clear emaciation. I wish there was something more I could tell you. :(

Re: Possibly looking at euthanasia... need advice

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 1:35 pm
by advannoy13
CooperDragon wrote:This is a really rough situation to be in :( Generally with rescues, my measurement of their fight response is if they will drink on their own. If they drink some water they are usually up for a fight and can move on to simple meals. If they refuse water even when dripped on their nose, then they are usually too far gone to be helped. I know this isn't a direct comparison to your situation though. If she is not eating or drinking and is losing weight and acting lethargic, those are outward signs of illness and outward signs of illness with these guys is usually bad news.


She is still drinking water, she's still very alert, will move herself if I put her down in a spot she doesn't approve of, and still cuddles me. She even still swims around a little in the bath... I feel like she still has more life in her, and don't want to just give up on her. But if it's inhumane to keep her here because I can't bare the thought of letting her go? I'm just so absolutely despaired at what the right thing to do is. :'(

Re: Possibly looking at euthanasia... need advice

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:20 pm
by kingofnobbys
Being disabled , not able to use some legs , is not reason enough and can compensated for with changes to the husbandry .

Now if the dragon is in constant pain (blackbearding) with little prospect of the pain ever going away without pain relief ==> very poor quality of life.
If the dragon is unable to interact and very lethargic and there is little prospect of it recovering ==> very poor quality of life.
If it's going to need a long series of operations and the pain associated with these and the recovery / healing ….

Really this is something you need to discuss with the vet and only you can make the decision to let the dragon die with some dignity or be euthanized. It's a really tough call for anyone who loves their pet.

I think you've answered your own question. She seems to have some way to go before it's all TOO MUCH FOR HER .

Re: Possibly looking at euthanasia... need advice

PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:41 am
by advannoy13
Thank you all so much. After discussing with my husband, we decided that Drogonya is not ready to go, and we may even seek a second opinion after seeing how she does these next couple weeks.

I am extremely thankful and blessed to have this resource available! Thank you again, everyone, you're amazing.

Re: Possibly looking at euthanasia... need advice

PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:12 am
by Aaradimian
She is still drinking water, she's still very alert, will move herself if I put her down in a spot she doesn't approve of, and still cuddles me. She even still swims around a little in the bath...


I'm glad you decided against euthanasia for the time being based on what you posted above. It sounds like Drogonya still has some fight/life in her for sure! There may come a time when it's appropriate, but whether that's in a month, a year, or many years from now, enjoy your time together now because now is all we really ever have anyway. Pulling for all of you!

Re: Possibly looking at euthanasia... need advice

PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:34 pm
by vrenee1018
I was just about in tears reading this thread. I'm glad you've decided to fight with your little one. I'm pulling for little Drogonya!!! Keep us updated! <3

Re: Possibly looking at euthanasia... need advice

PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 3:22 pm
by advannoy13
UPDATE!
Since starting Drogonya on the Critical Care, she has gained almost 10 grams in 1 week!! She's much more active, and has stopped dragging her back legs, even though she still has a little bit of a hard time, she has made so much progress!
Having to force feed her the critical care, and a slurry I made from bok choy, mustard greens, yellow and butternut squash, and a TINY bit of strawberry is TERRIBLE though! She no longer trusts me very much, but she's eating a couple crickets and butterworms a day all by herself, which makes us very happy. I also got her some silkworms, hornworms, and roaches but she won't touch them, she RUNS from them (whatever that means... she's scared of them??). I know butterworms aren't ideal but she's eating them herself! I knew she still had lots of life left in her, and I'm so thankful for everyone's advice and encouragement, it really helped keep my spirits up!

Re: Possibly looking at euthanasia... need advice

PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 3:38 pm
by kingofnobbys
advannoy13 wrote:UPDATE!
Since starting Drogonya on the Critical Care, she has gained almost 10 grams in 1 week!! She's much more active, and has stopped dragging her back legs, even though she still has a little bit of a hard time, she has made so much progress!
Having to force feed her the critical care, and a slurry I made from bok choy, mustard greens, yellow and butternut squash, and a TINY bit of strawberry is TERRIBLE though! She no longer trusts me very much, but she's eating a couple crickets and butterworms a day all by herself, which makes us very happy. I also got her some silkworms, hornworms, and roaches but she won't touch them, she RUNS from them (whatever that means... she's scared of them??). I know butterworms aren't ideal but she's eating them herself! I knew she still had lots of life left in her, and I'm so thankful for everyone's advice and encouragement, it really helped keep my spirits up!


:) keep up the good work.

Re: Possibly looking at euthanasia... need advice

PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:52 am
by AHBD
Good thing she's perking up ! BTW, can you list the exact type + brand of lights you're using, how old the uvb bulb is and also post pics of Dragonya as well as her entire set up, including lights ? Here's how to post pics :

https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploads/ Then use the XIMG to uplod them