Never Ending Respiratory Infection** HELP :( pics included**

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Never Ending Respiratory Infection** HELP :( pics included**

Postby sunsetsandsmiles » Tue May 29, 2012 10:40 am

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Hello. I'm new to this site however I have long come here for advice for my two bearded dragons. I bought my beardies together at Petsmart in New Jersey about two years ago. After I bought them a few months later I noticed their health wasn't as great as it should be.. they had runny stools and my male didn't bask as often as my female. I brought them both to the vet and found out they both had bad cases of coccidia. Ristoris(male) was +4 and Frankie(female) was +3. It took awhile to clear the parasites but eventually they both successfully cleared the parasites. HOWEVER while clearing the parasites I started noticing funny clicking noises from my male. I told the vet I think he was developing an RI.(it seems like around here I know more about my beardies than the herp vets do.) My male already had not been eating since I started the albon for the coccidia. I have been syringe feeding him since last summer and he seems to take the syringe just fine. The vet prescribed baytril orally for two weeks for my males RI. This did nothing. We then tried another oral medication. DID NOTHING. Finally, my vet decided to start Amakcin injections every few days. I noticed a HUGE improvement after the first injection in Ristoris he started gaining weight, eating again, colors were bright, started to bask again and just came back to life. After several vet visists I felt a huge relief in knowing my baby felt better. The amakcin injections continued for a month since the symptoms were not completely gone but almost. My vet stopped the amakcin and told me to let him live antibiotic free for awhile and see how he does. Just a few days later, his health started to decline once again. Stopped eating his veggies and fruits slowly, then stopped eating again all together. Back to the syringe I went and decided to find a NEW vet. This time I brought him to a very well known emergency animal hospital with a very well known herp vet. He ran bloodwork, and a stool sample. His bloodwork came out okay, slightly anemic but nothing too serious. His fecal exam came back with many flaggelates which my first vet did not discover so we started an antibiotic to rid them and also went back on the amakcin injections. His dosage of the amakcin was almost triple of the first vets. He did a culture and sensory test and once the results were back he never did explain exactly what infection he had but he did say his white blood cell count was very high and that he had an upper RI and the fungus would be hard to clear out since all the antibiotics he had been given. Nothing has worked, hes been on two different injections after the amakcin and they do not help even a little. I finally decided to order REPTAID since I heard it had success in clearing RI. I started this after a few weeks of letting him live on his own. STILL NOTHING. he constantly gapes, there is always mucus strings in his mouth and I still hear the clicking. He started eating crickets again recently and his colors have been very vibrant again. I think he likes the HOT weather and it seems like hes become a lot more active.

However, my female has always been healthy. She has never stopped eating once even when she was on antibiotics for the parasites. Sometimes she would slow down but never stop eating. Recently within the past two weeks I noticed she just started gaping a lot more, slight muscus strings and slight clicking noise from her. I started giving her the reptaid since its just the beginning hopefully this will knock it out of her. I literally want to scream. :x :( I am out of options and I feel like the vets do not care about my beardies as its been almost a year and now they both are suffering. I'm considering nebulization? Ive heard that works wonders... any suggestions? Please any advice would be greatly
appreciated.


Female Enclosure:
-60 gal glass tank with screen top
-80F cool side
-100F warm side
-110F basking spot
-40% humidity
-75W Reptisun UVA bulb
-NEW 12% Arcadia UVB flourescent tubes
(I used to have 10.0 UVB ReptiGlo compact bulb, could this be the problem?)
-Paper Towel substrate since parasites, before that reptile carpet.
-Crickets with d3 calcium
-Collard greens, squash, mango, dandellion greens, kale, mustard greens, strawberries, greenbeans
(only stuff they will eat)
Image
This is my female, Frankie. She weighs 780g



Male Enclosure:
everything the same as my female just different enclosure.
-2ft by 4ft wood handmade cage
-wire mesh top
Image
This is my male, Ristoris. He weighs 650g. Lowest=450g
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Re: Never Ending Respiratory Infection** HELP :( pics included**

Postby Drache613 » Thu May 31, 2012 11:56 pm

Hello,

Sorry you are having so much trouble with respiratory issues!
He has been through a lot of medications now. The nebulization treatments are highly effective since they penetrate into the lungs better than the oral treatments.
Which medication is he on for the flagelletes? Did you use probiotics during the rounds of medication also?
The Reptaid did not help the respiratory infection?
How long did you use the Reptiglo 10 before switching to the Arcadia D3 12% tube?
Do you have a copy of the blood test I could see, maybe something was missed?
They are both beautiful & don't appear to have any jaw issues which could indicate metabolic bone disease.

If you need help with nebulizing, let me know.

Tracie
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Re: Never Ending Respiratory Infection** HELP :( pics included**

Postby sunsetsandsmiles » Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:44 am

Thank you so much for your reply. And yes that's my concern for my male is all the rounds he's been given it breaks my heart :( but for the flagellates he was on mentronidozole?(sp) and it seemed to clear them all out fast after two weeks. and yes I did use a probiotic I used a powder form which I would put on his baby food and acidophil+ he has been eating on his own past few weeks and it's probably like the 3rd week without any antibiotics. I just recently switched to the new UVB. I noticed an improvement in their overall well being but they never had an issue with pooping. I definitely am going to buy a nebulizer. which antibiotic should I use first? Thank you! they are beautiful and my babies :)
Last edited by sunsetsandsmiles on Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Never Ending Respiratory Infection** HELP :( pics included**

Postby sunsetsandsmiles » Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:45 am

Also I do not have any blood work papers from the vets they give me nothing but the bills! I could ask for it when I go pick up medicationsf
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Re: Never Ending Respiratory Infection** HELP :( pics included**

Postby SpikesAgirl » Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:33 am

Hi there,

Sorry to hear all the trouble your having with the RI's. I've been through it too... Med, after Med, after Med. I used a nebulizer for my beardie. Don't know how much it helped, if at all. Dino's last med/neb combo was intraconazole orally while being neb'd with amakacin. She got so, so weak and sick from it. She became completely unresponsive, almost died from it after only 5 doses of intra and neb treatment. I took her back in, she dropped down to 130 grams when her initial weight at the start of everything in January was 184 grams. That's a big weight drop for a little beardie. She's about 14 inches long. She will be 2 years old around the end of August. I don't know if that combo finally knocked the RI out. It seems to be gone now but those meds almost killed her. Her last visit (April 11th) I was told to stop the intraconazole and continue the nebs. I stopped it all. I was just so afraid to lose her. Turned to Reptaid and she's been on Reptaid since May 1st. She also has a fungus problem which my vet was completely ignorant about. She kept telling me it was "delayed shed." She also thought she could look some skin shed under her office scope and tell me whether it was fungul or not. NO. Skin scrape needs to be sent out to a specific place for testing. Found out at our last visit that the "reptile specialist" on staff there is not board certified. Great. Thanks lady. See ya. :angry5: She was also talking about doing a tracheal wash. A test where they put the beardie under and take a sample of the fluid in the lungs and send it out for testing to see if it's a fungul or bacterial pneumonia. Decided against that. I suggested to her we try the nebulizer, I had read and heard about that on these forums.
Dino's first med was by injection: Ceftazadime. We tried that at different doses 3 times. After each completion, she seemed to be better, then after about a week and a 1/2 the symptoms always returned. Her second med was Baytril, orally. Again, seemed to help but after a week and a half off it, symtoms returned. Then we did the med/neb treatment.
She definitely had pneumonia, an x-ray showed fluid in her lung. While going thru all these meds, she developed the skin fungus. I think the antibiotics caused that. I'm using Reptaid now to treat that.
When I went to a Dragon breeder/reptile store to purchase more Reptaid, the owner there told me the only safe med for nebulizing reptiles is FIOSC (<-----Tracie, any info on that??). I don't know what that is, I never looked into it as Dino's breathing issue has cleared. All the meds she was on were antibiotics except for the intraconazole which is an antifungul. I think that is what finally knocked it out, but again, not 100% positive about it as she was also being neb'd with the amakacin. I SO WISH I could give you an answer to HOW to get rid of it, but I'm still full of questions myself. I feel like Dino was treated like a guinea pig at that office. I just don't think there is a definite way to treat reptiles for RI's at this point and it's a try this, try that kind of game unfortunately. Every case is different. Sorry I was "all over the place" with my details. I kind of started at the end and went backwards in time! I just thought you should know everything we tried. Oh, and she contracted pneumonia from MITES that she got where I was boarding her.
I will save you some trouble in how to get a nebulizer if your vet doesn't have/sell them. I got this one online at this place:
http://www.outpatientmd.com/prodDetails ... temID=1128
I thought I could easily find one at Wal-mart, Walgreens or CVS. No. They only get them in via prescription. My vet didn't know HOW to do a scrip for a nebulizer. :? I was running around like a freakin' nut trying to get one. Easiest just to get it online. Of course I paid to RUSH ship it (story of my life :| ) Save yourself that cost and order it early if that's the route your going to take.

Are you giving your dragons a probiotic? After all those meds, you should probably do that. With the Reptaid too. Get some good flora in their gut. I got BeneBac Plus gel at Petco in the bird section. It's for birds & reptiles. I just put a drop on the back of a couple of crickets and get it into Dino that way. The Reptaid increases their appetites. That could be why your girl has been eating all along if you've been giving her that. It's not recommended you give Reptaid and prescrition meds though. One or the other. Get the probiotics going with either though. If they get meds in the evening, give the probiotic in the morning or vice/versa. Not together.

Whew! That was a long one! Sick beardies=long stories. :?
Hugs,

Sue
My kids: Ann Marie, Joey and my Scaley Baby Dino
http://s1242.photobucket.com/albums/gg5 ... 20forward/
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Re: Never Ending Respiratory Infection** HELP :( pics included**

Postby SpikesAgirl » Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:43 am

Frankie & Ristoris are beautiful by the way... I hope you can get them healthy again! <3
Hugs,

Sue
My kids: Ann Marie, Joey and my Scaley Baby Dino
http://s1242.photobucket.com/albums/gg5 ... 20forward/
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Re: Never Ending Respiratory Infection** HELP :( pics included**

Postby avogadro58 » Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:21 pm

Your beardies, I think from the photos are Pogona vitticeps or Central Bearded Dragons. They are found in a hot, arid climate. I have had beardies and shingleback skinks with respiratory infections and without exception the advice has been to remove water bowls and increase the temp to help dry the secretions. So I would turn the humidity to zero and monitor them for a few days. I would also increase the cage temp. a little probably to 35 deg celcius. You should see some improvement within a few days. Good luck.
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Re: Never Ending Respiratory Infection** HELP :( pics included**

Postby SpikesAgirl » Sun Jun 03, 2012 5:31 am

Yes, you do need to take the water bowls out and increase the temps a bit. I had to do that too. Do you have a night heat source for them? I got a ceramic heat emitter (around $35.00) when Dino came down with the pneumonia. Keeps the ambient temp of the tank around 80-85 degrees farenheit at night. The red heat bulbs do give off some light. If you have that to use, just put a little towel or something over your beardies to block the light out for them. The light can disturb their sleep. Being sick they need good sleep/rest.
Hugs,

Sue
My kids: Ann Marie, Joey and my Scaley Baby Dino
http://s1242.photobucket.com/albums/gg5 ... 20forward/
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Re: Never Ending Respiratory Infection** HELP :( pics included**

Postby sunsetsandsmiles » Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:17 pm

hello all,

wow @spikesagirl. thank you for your post. truly helped me a lot :) and I can't believe you've dealt with the same issue not only with your beardie but these ***** vets! how exactly does that nebulizer work? I was thinking of buying the nursery one where I can just put my beardie inside of it. However, now I'm really nervous I don't want to risk him getting weaker on me. he finally is happy, colorful and eating small meals on his own. I know it's because he has been antibiotic free for quite some time now. I still syringe him water everyday because he doesn't eat any greens maybe once a week he'll pick at them but other than that he enjoys crickets and wax worms. His weight is rather high though compared to your beardie and he's about 23' in length. so I think he could handle nebulizer treatments. all of the antibiotics you mentioned he's taken at some point. I've never mixed meds and reptaid together I only turned to reptaid recently after the meds were stopped. Yes, I've always given a probiotic at the opposite time of his antibiotics. I am going to pick up an anti fungal antibiotic which i'm going to start both of them on. if this doesn't do the trick, than me and my vet are going to start nebulizer treatments..

Also, I have never kept water bowls in their enclosures. And the humidity is impossible to get below 30%... any suggestions on how to reduce it? I did put a dehumidifier in their room but it still doesn't reduce the humidity much. I live in New Jersey and it is very humid here 80% of the time. The humidity is beyond my control. And as for night temps, they both do have nightlights that keep the tank around 80 degrees F.
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Re: Never Ending Respiratory Infection** HELP :( pics included**

Postby sunsetsandsmiles » Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:19 pm

And before someone says wax worms are high in fat, I know this. He gets them as a treat, but I give him more since he goes off eating a lot. He could use the fat.
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Re: Never Ending Respiratory Infection** HELP :( pics included**

Postby SpikesAgirl » Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:07 pm

I think I've retold my story so many times at this point, I should probably just PM myself with it and copy/paste it to people! It's crazy! :shock: I think if it helps someone A TINY BIT then I'm happy to re-tell it over and over and over... :wink:
A nebulizer is commonly used for asthma treatments in humans. It takes a mixture of medication and pumps it out in a vapor/mist form that can be inhaled directly into the lungs. I had a plastic container that my hubby drilled a hole into the bottom of to feed the hose and attachment inside, put Dino in there, saran wrapped it up and let it run for 20 minutes (short explanation!).

I recently learned this a great med for nebulizing but don't think it's available here yet :(

http://www.f10biocare.co.uk/as.html

I have a PM into Tracie about it to see what she knows. I didn't read ALL of the website info. It is used for a wide range of symptoms for animals/reptiles by vets in the UK. I clicked on the links to purchase out of curiousity and it comes to a dead end for U.S. Not sure if it's available for use or purchase here in the U.S. ... :dontknow: There is someone else I've spoken to who just got it but she is in Canada. When I've gone to links where to purchase in the US all that comes up is the disinfectant/cleaning product, not the F10 Antiseptic Solution which is what is needed for use with the nebulizer. :?:

Sounds like you're doing all you can about the humidity. I see you have cage carpet and rocks. Not much else you can do besides raise the temps a bit. :|
Hugs,

Sue
My kids: Ann Marie, Joey and my Scaley Baby Dino
http://s1242.photobucket.com/albums/gg5 ... 20forward/
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Re: Never Ending Respiratory Infection** HELP :( pics included**

Postby callum84 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:07 pm

If your interested in purchasing F10 disinfectant I'm more than happy to search suppliers here in the uk for one which delivers to the US for a reasonable price.
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Re: Never Ending Respiratory Infection** HELP :( pics included**

Postby SpikesAgirl » Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:23 am

Thank You Callum! The disinfectant CAN be purchased online in the U.S., it's the antiseptic solution that's used for nebulizing reptiles that seems to be unavailable here for some reason. Thank you though...
Hugs,

Sue
My kids: Ann Marie, Joey and my Scaley Baby Dino
http://s1242.photobucket.com/albums/gg5 ... 20forward/
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Re: Never Ending Respiratory Infection** HELP :( pics included**

Postby callum84 » Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:35 am

Ah i see. Just checked my bottle and ive been using the Antiseptic solution instead of the disinfectant for cleaning out viv. Glad you mentioned that.

On further investigation it appears F10SD and antiseptic solution are the same product. Heres a snippet i found on a UK reptile forum where someone emailed the manufacturers of F10 to ask if the disinfectant could be used for nebulising instead of antiseptic solution.

'The F10 Antiseptic solution is a product that is licensed for treatment under the SAES in the UK. This product itself has the same composition as the F10SC disinfectant solution which you would also use for cleaning surfaces enclosures etc. The products are effectively interchangeable except for the fact that the F10 Antiseptic solution has different labeling and is licensed for veterinary treatment. It is this protection of a treatment license that makes it the veterinary product of choice for using for treatment of respiratory condition etc and is advised for use rather than the F10 SC disinfectant. However in places where the F10 Antiseptic solution is not available (in the USA for example) or treatment licenses are not needed then the use of the F10SC disinfectant for treatment is not a problem.'
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Re: Never Ending Respiratory Infection** HELP :( pics included**

Postby Irwinshealth » Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:37 am

I read this thread and think it is great you are getting such wonderful advice. I'm sure you will have healthy ones in no time. I wish I could help but, I always run to Tracie so I will just say your in good hands, lol The photos of your beardies are very nice, they look beautiful. Looking forward to updates and having your bunch around :lol:
Carrie, Properly trained by Cooper & Palmer
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