This forum is for urgent health concerns, where your beardie seems very ill and you need immediate help!
Ok so we've not had the best few months with our beardie Douglas, first off it looked as though he was suffering from the beginning of a prolapse (swollen vent) we followed instructions kindly given by the community on these forums and he recovered perfectly which was fantastic.
Anyway for nearly 2 weeks now he has slowed down big time on eating, he only would eat 1-2 locusts a day (used to be 7+) and has now for the last 4 days started refusing ALL live foods including butterworms, which he has never refused. I have weighed him, a few weeks back he was at 530g, then down to 507g this weekend, now down to 501g today.
The last few poops he's had seem to be quite high in liquid content, the stool in itself being solid, but surrounded by a pool of liquid, there is urate present with a pinkish/brown tint although i read this can be normal.
The strange thing is, hes never been a big fan of his salads, but is actually eating them now, it's all he will eat, but still not much.
When I go to feed him it looks as though he is about to go for the food then changes his mind. He seems fine in himself and is actually very active (he comes out daily and is on the move alot during this time)
We took him to the vets last night (they do not have a reptile specialist however) but they checked his mouth and vitals and said he looked fine, we are waiting for him to pass stool so that we can take this in for testing.
Meanwhile though I am so concerned about his weight loss, I just don't know what to do.
I don't know if its relevant but around the time all this started he began shedding on his face, finally today it has started peeling and is hanging off around his eyes so I guess this could be irritating but not to this extent?
Any help would be truly appreciated, its been a tough few months and just as we thought our little guy was on the mend from the last problem, now this
Hi Tammy, sorry to hear that Douglas has had such a string of problems. Did the vet do a blood test ? Has he been given a probiotic by chance ? That can sometimes increase the appetite, and bee pollen may boost his immune system. Thirty grams is not dangerous weight loss [ they can poo 20-25 grams out in one b.m ] But it is concerning and so is his lack of appetite. Hopefully you can get some help figuring out what the problem is.
This is really intersting I am having a very very simalir problem with my dragon, I made a post about him not long back.
We were told that the reason could be due to mines age (sexual maturity) making him put off his food but Im not too sure, we got bloods done though so waiting results.
Be interested to see the outcome as the cases sound so very similair, I will let you know what happens this end
Hey AHBD, thanks for the reply. I just dropped of a stool sample at our local vets this evening on the way home from work, this has been sent off for testing, was incredibly expensive £86 (they justified by saying they are doing a large number of tests) If this is true then I'm not concerned about the price I just want to know what's up with him.
The vets did not give him any medication whatsoever, although they suggested we syringe feed him a supplement designed for dogs and cats?! Said it was reptile safe but I am not going to do that, i've heard horror stories of beardies jaws breaking through syringe feeding, unless his weight continues to plummet I wont force feed him. With regards to the bee pollen, is there any online source for this? I am based in the UK but dont mind paying extra postage overseas, anything to help him.
Julie - I sent you a pm with a few questions on your situation if you could get back to me that would be great. Hopefully we can help each other out figuring the problem if its similair circumstances.
The problem is, our local vets do not have any exotic specialists in house, the closest one is 2 citys away, around 1hr30 drive, Douglas was stressed doing a 20 minute trip up the road. So this is kind of our last resort really. I'm trying to pay close attention to his behavouir to see if anything changes between now and results time. If nothing comes up then we will definitely take him to the specialist.
It's so strange though, because aside from his lack of eating he's completely normal. Did a normal looking poop this morning too! He comes out every morning and runs around the place like a crazy little creature, he's so full of energy. Now I know they can be good at disguising pain, but he seems completely unbothered by whatever's going on.
If I have any updates/changes ill post them here, this community is great and very helpful, this feels like a really bizzare case and i'm struggling to do any research myself to establish what the issue is.
I wouldn't give any medications until you know what's wrong. Reptiles are very slow to absorb meds, which means they can linger for awhile, causing unwanted damage if not dosed correctly. As for the dog/cat food, I imagine it's hills science diet A/D food? It's used commonly for reptiles as it's an emergency soft food sort of thing. Syringe feeding is NOT the same as force feeding. Syringe feeding is putting something in a needle-less syringe (baby food works well, you can do a mixture of squash and chicken baby food) and then drip it on the tip of his nose. Most dragons like the squash and will lick it off easily. If he's off food and losing weight consistently, I would highly recommend syringe feeding him to get in some sort of nutrients. The baby food is a great option and you can try just squash or mix it with chicken or turkey to get some protein into him.
If he's losing weight regularly and not eating, I would immediately think parasites. They make the dragon feel ill enough to not want to eat and then the parasites slowly eat away at the dragon. The fecal should show any parasites. If he does have parasites, make sure to come back here and list which ones he has so people can give you recommendations on meds and dosages. I never trust my vet for that sort of thing. They often prescribe harsh medications. Tracey (Drache) is great at dosing reptiles for their meds.
Lastly, I would encourage you to get him tested for ADV (Adenovirus). You can get that done through here: http://www.thepats.info/sign_up.html
Tracey runs this project. Knowing the ADV status of your dragon will help you understand his needs in the future. ADV could also be a cause of his symptoms or a reason he is more prone to parasites if he has them.
My dragon has ADV and I give him a daily slurry to keep him healthy and regular. It's made the WORLD of difference knwing his status and treating him as an ADV positive dragon. His health has improved so much with natural supplements like the bee pollen. This is what I give my dragon every day:
1. 3-4 Tiny Scoops Pangea (any flavor. My dragon LOVES the taste of this stuff and will eat anything mixed in it). I'll be getting this one after I finish my current bag because it's made with organic insects and fruit instead of all fruit, so it suits a dragon a little more: https://smile.amazon.com/Pangea-Fruit-I ... gecko+food
2. 3-4 Tiny Scoops Repashy Veggie Burger - This is to give a little extra protein and veggies instead of having an all fruit-based slurry: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B00FJE0MQO/ ... UTF8&psc=1
3. One Tiny Scoop of Milk Thistle Seed Powder - Helps detoxify the liver, boosts-immune function, and has anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties: http://www.beardeddragon.co/index.php?r ... lk+thistle
4. Sugar Free Electrolyte powder (I follow the solution instructions on the packaging, but it make it in 1/2 or 1/4 the dose. I make about 30mL and keep it in a little bottle in the fridge and add 1-2ml of the liquid to his slurry) - Helps with keeping them hydrated and also contains water soluble B vitamins to boost energy metabolism: http://www.beardeddragon.co/index.php?r ... lectrolyte
5. Serrapeptase - To get the dose, take your dragons weight and divide by 1000. For example, my dragons weighs 327g, so 327/1000 =.327, and that's how many mL he gets, .327mL. Serrapeptase is one of those magic things that helps everything, but it thins mucous for respiratory infections and helps prevent bacterial infections in the lungs. It also reduces inflammation so things can heal properly and are less painful, and it digests non-living tissue and breaks down fibrin in scar tissue. : http://www.beardeddragon.co/index.php?r ... uct_id=399
6. 2 drops Vitamin B - boosts energy metabolism and aids in muscle and nerve function and growth. : http://www.beardeddragon.co/index.php?r ... uct_id=120
7. 1 Tiny Scoop Bee Pollen - Another wonder supplement, only substance in the world that contains every element in the human body. Essentially an all-natural multi-vitamin and super drug. Also helps immune system function. Bee Pollen contains at least 22 amino acids, 18 vitamins, 25 minerals, 59 trace elements, 11 enzymes or co-enzymes, 14 fatty acids, 11 carbohydrates and approximately 25 % protein. Bee pollen is extremely rich in carotenes, which are metabolic precursors of vitamin A. It is also high In B complex and vitamins C, D, E and Lecithin. http://www.beardeddragon.co/index.php?r ... search=bee
8. Collodial Silver - I follow the directions on the package, but the place I buy from no longer sells it, so if are interested in it, I would PM Drache as she works with the stuff in helping find a cure for ADV and is great with helping figure out a dosage. Collodial Silver is one of those cure-all remedies, it's ionically very small, so it can absorb directly into the blood stream and organ tissue instead of having to pass through the gut. A lot of people will use it in a nebulizer when dragons have URI's. I use it as it has given some dragons a negative ADV test result when given on a schedule, and my dragon is ADV positive. He gets 15 days in a row, then gets the rest of the month off.
9. Probiotics - I give .2ml per 100g body weigh, but healthy dragons can have just .1ml for daily use while sick ones up to .4ml for a shorter period. Probioitcs are great when dragons have things like ADV destroying their healthy cells or are on medication. It's also just a good daily thing to take, as most people could use more good gut bacteria: http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Acid.html
10. 2-3 Tiny Scoops Alfalfa powder - Added in just so he always gets some good greens in him as he doesn't really like salad: http://www.beardeddragon.co/index.php?r ... ch=alfalfa
11. Liquid Calcium. He doesn't like when I dust his insects, so I give him .1ml per 100g as a liquid.
12. Psyllium Powder - He has a history of diarrhea so the Psyllium helps keep everything bound together and moving good: http://www.beardeddragon.co/index.php?r ... uct_id=163
13. Black Cherry Concentrate - Black Cherry is used to help with gout by preventing gout crystals from forming in the joins or tissues of the body. He doesn't have gout, but I give occasionally as a preventative and to add flavor. I add about 3-4 Tiny Scoops of this to the 30mL of the Electrolyte mixture I make up so he gets 1-2mL of this liquid mixture.
Supplies I use:
Tiny Scoop (this is what I mean for the Bee Pollen, Alfalfa, etc.): http://www.beardeddragon.co/index.php?r ... tiny+scoop
3ml Feeding Syringe:http://www.beardeddragon.co/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=294&search=syringe
1ml Syring: I use this for dosing out all the liquid supplements. http://www.beardeddragon.co/index.php?r ... uct_id=114
It sounds like a lot, but it makes about 3-4mL of a slurry that he loves eating. This slurry changed my dragon. He eats more greens now, on his own. He went from pooping diarrhea once a week to having perfect little regular poops once a day! He actually runs around his tank now and is super active. He's a completely different dragon, for the best. And he's been gaining weight again! Knowing your dragons ADV status can really change the care outcome.
Last edited by Varalidaine on Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
Hi Varalidaine, thank you so much for the helpful advice, it is truly appreciated.
I will not give him any medication until he's been seen by an expert reptile vet.
We think we may have a breakthrough in the situation, as we were eating dinner he was sat in a funny position and I noticed swelling on his hand that he'd positioned really strange, we think it's gout. Pictures below:
It's not just me is it, there's quite clearly significant swelling on what I can only describe as his palms?
Please, any help from anyone who knows anything at all about this would be a blessing. I know nothing about this, all I know is I need to get him to a real reptile vet ASAP. Is there anything at all I can do for him? It may not be until the weekend that we can take him, I dont know how severe it is but all I want to do is help him.
Tammy, can you get a few pics of him from above with his arms out to his side to compare ? And take a pic of his other " palm " . It doesn't look like anything unusual, [ and some beardies do sit like that ] but comparing it to the other will help. Also something else to note, beardies will generally favor a foot that has gout because it's painful.
Hi AHBD, thanks for replying so fast. I couldnt position him very well at all, he can be so stubborn, I managed to get pics from above for comparrison:
The "normal" foot:
The Foot that we're concerned about:
Sorry for the bad pictures, the angle isnt great and doesnt really do it justice, but when facing both his feet from the front you can see the swelling, just difficult to show it without moving him too much.
It does look a bit swollen. Does he favor it ? Only a needle aspiration to check for gout crystals will confirm but until then you might get some cherry extract from a health store and offer water orally. He may like the cherry extract, so you can add water to it for him to drink it willingly. I don't know about exact dosage but Drache613 does. [ Tracie who is one of the mods. ] If you catch it early it can be treated w/out meds.
AHBD, thank you so much for helping.
My husband is going to get some black cherry extract tomorrow. I'm assuming the fecal test that we submitted today will show nothing of any use if it is gout he is suffering from? I'm going to get in touch with the reptile specialists, even though its a long drive which may stress him i'm thinking its worth it.
I just hope to god he's ok.
Edit: I just gave him some water, I've never seen him drink so much. We regularly give him water via a pipette, but it was like he'd never stop. I guess it's a good thing he's drinking so much.
Also sorry I forgot about your question - I didn't notice any strange movement when he was out this morning, he was actually climbing up a material basket in our bedroom and running really fast all over the place skidding and stuff, so he cant be in much pain. Then again it didn't look swollen this morning, not that I noticed anyway.
He is around one year (we think) this is the problem we bought him from a pet store so unsure of his certain age although he has only very recently shown signs of sexual maturity. He has a fresh salad every day and around seven locusts some calci worms every now and again, we dust his food daily alternating between vitamin powder and calcium powder. His salads are usually rocket with collard greens and occasionally some butternut squash or mango, he doesn't usually show much interest in these up until the last few weeks, now all he will eat is his salad, he has refused bugs for a few weeks
If he's running around like normal then I would not think it's gout, from what I've read gout is quite painful and Douglas would be reluctant to use that foot. Is it possible that it just looks a bit bigger when it's in a certain position ?
And gout is usually caused by too much protein in the diet.
Gout would be from too much protein in his diet. Since he's a year old or maybe older, you can decrease his insect feedings to every other day. I reduce insects to every 2-3 days once over two years old. I agree it doesn't look like gout. Gout is painful, and the swelling is typically much larger than that. My dragon actually sleeps with his arm back like that every single night, so I wouldn't take the odd position as an indicator. It's just how he is If you're worried about it, I would decrease protein and syringe/pipette feed water. You can also do the black cherry mixed with water as well as a precaution. I would wait until you get the fecal results back. I have a feeling that might be more insightful.
The swelling does seem to have gone down today, it's still a little enlarged but barely noticable so I guess it's just coinsidential that he may have banged his foot or something whilst all of this was going off.
I've booked him into the reptile specialist vet, it's a 2 hour drive which I know he's going to hate, but he needs to see someone who knows what they're talking about.
On top of everything else this is how the poor guy is today!
another layer of shed, and I dont understand why the fresh skin underneath is darker that the rest of it? He just has a random patch that is really bright and yellow..
His tummy has been spasming tonight, I don't know if he's in pain but he keeps having these episodes where his stomach is rapidly pulsating.
His appointment isn't until Monday, I really hope he does not deteriorate over the weekend....
I'll hold off on the cherry juice for now then, until I know the results. I hope they come soon though he's just getting worse... he's now started acting sluggish and not interested in much at all. Closing his eyes if you get even close to his tank. He looks skinny too, I feel helpless... I just wish there was something I could do to help him...
Edit: I've also noticed that his beard is darkening significantly whenever he eats or drinks, he closes his eyes as if he doesn't want it, but continues to drink/eat his salad...
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