Coughing (?)

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Coughing (?)

Postby Deabrua » Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:08 pm

https://youtu.be/C0c16tpYJHw
https://youtu.be/eNssqFvX_PE

She's done this once before (original post) to which a vet within the family said it was the start of an RI. At the time it only happened for about four hour one day, and it didnt happen again... the vet still had her on antibiotics for a short period anyways.


Three days ago, the first video was taken. It occurred for about an hour, and she stopped. The second video was taken about an hour ago, she has since stopped although it also occurred for about an hour.

Is this another RI? Or what's going on with her? It occurs most often when outside of her tank, which room temp is 75F and humidity is 30%. Although, as seen in the video it does happen in her tank as well which ranges from 80F to 100F with humidity at 25%.

[Click image to enlarge]


This is her tank currently because I managed to misplace... everything. I guess it might have been placed in a box that made its way to the attic or something, but I'll be going shopping tomorrow to change the hides and add more to the tank. All of the wood had 3-4 layers of sealant, cured for at least a month. The mortar had 3-5 layers of sealant, cured for 2-3 weeks.
Last edited by Deabrua on Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Coughing (?)

Postby MrSpectrum » Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:57 pm

Hard to tell (from here) if those are coughs or sneezes.
My first thought was possibly outgassing from those conifer hides (something to ask the vet if/when...) but if it happens more outside the enclosure... 'Tis a puzzlement.

Any discharge(s) from the nostrils, eyes, mouth, ears, or vent?
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Re: Coughing (?)

Postby Deabrua » Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:17 pm

Inconveniently any time I go to take a video of it, it's different from what happens the majority of the time. Generally her body puffs up more momentarily and she'll open her mouth, she'll also be licking around her mouth a bit afterwards as well. I've not seen discharge of any sort anywhere. She's had these same hides since I got her on October 22, 2018, so I doubt it being an issue with the hides.

I've been under the assumption that it's a heat/humidity thing, because it immediately stopped the first time after I had her basking at >100F again. This time around, it's continuing after she's warmed up more. The humidity is also relatively similar in/out of the tank this time at 25% vs 30%, where as last time it was a difference of 25% inside the tank to 60% outside of the tank.

It's worth noting that all of this is after she switched from banded crickets from Josh's Frogs to whatever crickets are at PetSmart... Although I don't have a choice there, as crickets seldom survive shipping in the current weather here (highs in the 20F range). And/or we need better mailmen, since last winter I had surviving shipments of crickets in the single digits most of the time... In any case, I'm not wasting time/money on near guaranteed DOAs while she remains without food. Dubia roaches have intermittent availability and have also been used when available, however both times this has occurred it's been with crickets. Considering it's some sort of breathing issue, I doubt food has much to do with it but it's a change none the less and I'm assuming all changes should be taken into consideration.

EDIT: I'm adding a link to my post about it the first time this happened in this comment and OP. In the original vet visit for this issue, they said everything was fine aside from:
Lungs auscultate mildly harsh bilaterally

https://www.beardeddragon.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=252104
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Re: Coughing (?)

Postby MrSpectrum » Wed Feb 05, 2020 2:09 pm

I'm seeing a recurring link... crickets. In the original thread, you mentioned her appetite went from 30 to 10/day. Above you mentioned,
It's worth noting that all of this is after she switched from banded crickets from Josh's Frogs to whatever crickets are at PetSmart...

I don't know if it's a thing (I've never fed crickets), but do serrated cricket legs ever get caught where they could cause coughing?

Has she been tested for parasites recently? (Sorry, if you mentioned it, I missed it) Some can cause coughing, and crickets can carry a lot of different ones. From Bearded Dragons - Diseases:
Respiratory infections (especially pneumonia) can occur in bearded dragons that are stressed, improperly fed, or kept in poor, cold, or dirty conditions. Respiratory tract infections may be caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. Affected lizards may sneeze, or have discharge from their eyes or nose, bubbles from the mouth or nose, unnaturally rapid or shallow breathing, open-mouthed breathing, decreased appetite, and lethargy.

A cursory search of google does suggest RI of some kind.
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Re: Coughing (?)

Postby Deabrua » Wed Feb 05, 2020 3:38 pm

On days that coughing has been noticed, she didn't eat crickets until awhile after the coughing had subsided. Earlier today she was running around and she's not had any noticeable behavioural changes. Her appetite is normal as well.
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Re: Coughing (?)

Postby Deabrua » Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:52 am

Update: took her to the vet(PS she's pissed about that). The vet said he could hear something odd w/ her breathing on both sides. He took xrays rather than simply putting her on antibiotics and calling it a day, which I appreciate. I will have a copy of the xrays soon enough, so Ill edit those in later. For the time being, his concern with the xrays is that the underbelly shot could not see much of her right lung. For starters, Im PO'd about them putting her flat on her back for the xray. Secondly, I personally think its simply the way she was positioned in that organs were blocking the view but Im not a vet nor do I know enough about xrays to make that call. In any case, they will be edited in soon and hopefully one of the vets here can give a second opinion before her next visit on Tuesday.

PS if you havent seen it in previous comments/posts/etc, she did this in november as well. However there are several differences. The humidity in the house when it happened last time was 60%+ which likely led to an RI. This time the house humidity is 30% vs tank at 25%. Secondly, it was 4 hours straight last time. This time it was 1 hour on 2/1/2020 and 1 hour on 2/5/2020 (m/d/yyyy) with nothing in between.

Last time she lost her appetite, this time she has not.
Last time she wasnt basking, this time she is.
Last time it didnt continue in the tank, this time it does.

I still believe this is heat/humidity related. The vet believes there is a more concerning issue like a growth of some sort near the lung. That being said, the vet also had her flat on her back for an xray.

Im just going to keep editing this with more info, so if it seems like this comment is jumping around I apologize. She went from 330g to 340g in a 2 week period during the last vet treatment for 2 weeks during november. By mid january she had reached 380g, but retained that for at least one week straight. she's now at 400g less than 2 weeks later.
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Re: Coughing (?)

Postby MrSpectrum » Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:52 am

It appears that in many ways, things aren't as bad this time around, but we don't know fer sure yet if we're looking at apples & apples or apples & oranges. It's encouraging that appetite & weight (gain) are good. Let's hope it's not a growth.

Please don't be PO'd at the vet for the x-rays. It doesn't make sense that they'd inconvenience an animal without good cause/reason. My best guess is that they needed her in that position to get the best view without something in the way. She'll get over it. I'm going through something similar with my service/therapy dog, but that's OT here. Just saying I understand and empathize. I have complete confidence in my vets (they're also "family"); if I didn't, I'd seek out other vets.

I know the waiting is the tough part right now. Hang in there; see if you can get your mind on more positive/productive thoughts.
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Re: Coughing (?)

Postby Deabrua » Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:49 pm

Can't that cause their lungs to collapse? When they're upside down like that? It still didn't get a solid view of her. None of the xrays did. Top view saw nothing, side views blocked by arms that they couldnt get out of the way, and unsure what the bottom view is showing. Xrays havent come through email yet.
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Re: Coughing (?)

Postby MrSpectrum » Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:54 pm

Deabrua wrote:Can't that cause their lungs to collapse? When they're upside down like that?

Let me put it this way... If that were true, anterior surgery (surgery on a lizard's abdomen) could not be performed. Not to gross anyone out (I'll leave it to the reader rather than include pics or a link), but if you do an image search of anterior surgery bearded dragon, you'll find such surgeries are performed.

Here's an article by a herpetologist/evolutionary biologist debunking many of the myths--and explaining the facts--regarding putting lizards on their backs.

Again, while there is always some risk involved in any medical procedure, if you don't have confidence that your veterinarian has weighed those risks and determined that the benefits of the procedure outweigh the risks, then you should probably seek a different veterinarian. But to be fair, I would discuss it with them first to get their perspective/reasoning, and dig into it further. This is where Google Scholar can be helpful.
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Re: Coughing (?)

Postby Deabrua » Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:21 pm

I'll wait to see what they come up with next visit.

EDIT: Generally bright, alert and responsive, good body condition. Eyes corneas clear, pupils normal size, symmetrical, sclera white, no ocular discharge. Ears no exudate observed, no redness present. Integument normal shedding and skin. Oral cavity teeth are free from excessive tartar, pink moist gums, no gingivitis. Lymph nodes are all normal size. Cardiovascular rhythm normal, no murmur, strong femoral pulse, CRTA <2 sec. Ambulates normal. Abdominal palpation within normal limits. Kidneys and bladder palpate within normal limits. Lungs auscultate with bilateral crackles, trachea clear. No apparent bnormalities under nuerologic. Weight is 398G at 17 months, 18-19 inches. HR 72 and RR 32... whatever that means.

In short, the only thing noted was bilateral crackles.
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Re: Coughing (?)

Postby MrSpectrum » Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:12 am

Deabrua wrote:Weight is 398G at 17 months, 18-19 inches. HR 72 and RR 32... whatever that means.

In short, the only thing noted was bilateral crackles.

HR = Heart Rate
RR = Respiratory Rate

"Lungs auscultate with bilateral crackles" Means the crackles were detected via stethoscope.
Crackles are usually indicative of some type of respiratory disease/condition. Here's a little more information: crackles in a reptile

Everything else appears quite healthy, though "Oral cavity teeth" cracked me up; what other kind are there? (Let's not go there... :roll: )
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Re: Coughing (?)

Postby Deabrua » Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:02 am

I left out some things because of laziness. It was actually:
oral cavity: teeth are free from excessive tartar

Similarly the rest was actually typed as -
Appearance:
Eyes:
Ears:

Etc

Due to not being able to see much of the right lung, he believes there is some sort of growth/tumor/etc around it. At the same time there's crackles in both sides, not just right.

[Click image to enlarge]

[Click image to enlarge]


They took four xrays but only sent me two, Ill request the others later.
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Re: Coughing (?)

Postby MrSpectrum » Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:45 am

Thanks for the clarifications/elucidations! (It was still worth the chuckle... :lol: )

FWIW, I just had lunch with a veterinarian friend who used to treat BDs and other exotics (before board cert. was required). Nevertheless, she's good and has my complete confidence (She's helping us through another vet matter).

She assured me/validated/verified that turning a beardie on it's back will not cause a lung to collapse (or any of the other misinformation floating around on the web). In fact, she'd never heard of such a thing.

Unfortunately, she had left by the time I (just) logged on, so I couldn't show her the x-rays (not that she could have discerned anything). :dontknow:

Thoughts are with you.
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Re: Coughing (?)

Postby Deabrua » Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:48 am

Thanks for clearing that up. Can rest a little easier now at least. Ill get the rest of the xrays on Tuesday, specifically the underbelly shot that shows her lungs.
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Re: Coughing (?)

Postby Deabrua » Mon Feb 10, 2020 7:46 pm

T-12 hours till the follow up visit. Vet did not call back today as he stated he would, so we're going in tomorrow blind. I will likely have to refuse a second set of xrays due to cost ($225) unless the money I lent the 'rents weeks ago is suddenly paid back. Especially considering first set didnt tell us anything.

UPDATE: lungs no longer crackle. New set of xrays:
large soft tissue opacity filling ~1/2 of R lung field- similar to last VD, but more lung inflation this time around


Vet is deciding to give up for time being unless the cough becomes more consistent than currently (every 4 days)
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