German Giant strange positions, deformed toe, swollen leg.

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German Giant strange positions, deformed toe, swollen leg.

Postby GermanGiant3 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:10 pm

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Hey, everyone. I hope someone here can perhaps shed some light on what is going on with my buddy. I got Pablo in May of 2016, and he rapidly grew ever since that day. Whenever he is out in public, people note how big he is compared to Beardies they have seen.

In August 2017, he developed what I can only describe as a front left leg injury. The leg was very swollen and messed up looking, he did not want to use it too much. X-rays did not show anything abnormal, however. He was given a course of Baytril and seemed to be doing alright, but the swelling in the left leg never completely went away. On August 17th, when the top layer of skin finished shedding, a LOT of yellow Pus came out of his leg. The swelling went down a little bit, but it is still large compared to his other leg and he lays in positions that quite frankly scare me. The leg has not opened up again since that day. He eats, is alert for the most part and is curious, etc. But he throws his limbs in incredibly strange fashions, squeezes himself between things (I found him trying to fit between the cricket container and trash can etc).. I'm hoping a few photographs here can shed some light on this.

Last vet visit showed no signs of MBD and he was about 550 grams then. Started course of Baytril that never really helped the leg swelling, was never followed up due to no fracture and uncertainty if putting him through anything else would be beneficial. I have tried soaking the leg, upped his calcium and d3, etc.. But he still just does not seem quite right to me.

Picture of his deformed toe on back left foot: https://imgur.com/a/lnD5f

Swollen left front leg with him holding it strangely as he does with his "normal" front leg too: https://imgur.com/a/EIrRg

His very strange lay that he keeps doing that is concerning me, with limbs somewhat twisted outward: https://imgur.com/a/oKZV0

Him and I when he's being alert and not flopping his limbs in strange ways: https://imgur.com/a/khaYb

And finally a very small bit of the high amount of yellow stuff that came out of his leg in August. I believe this photo was the last bit and the leg hasn't opened up again since, but it is still swollen.. https://imgur.com/a/yp44g

Any input would be greatly appreciated. He means the world to me and I don't know how much of his strange behaviors I can attribute to weather right now.
Last edited by GermanGiant3 on Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:30 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: German Giant strange positions, deformed toe, swollen le

Postby GermanGiant3 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:10 pm

Does not appear as if the photos attached.. I have changed all of the Image tags to URL's instead. Thank you for your time!
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Re: German Giant strange positions, deformed toe, swollen le

Postby CooperDragon » Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:18 pm

Something is definitely off there. If puss was coming out of the swollen area then it makes me think there is sill infection in the leg. Did the vet do a culture of the fluid in the leg? Perhaps the source of the infection is resistant to baytril and a different medication will be needed for treatment.
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Re: German Giant strange positions, deformed toe, swollen le

Postby GermanGiant3 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:20 pm

CooperDragon wrote:Something is definitely off there. If puss was coming out of the swollen area then it makes me think there is sill infection in the leg. Did the vet do a culture of the fluid in the leg? Perhaps the source of the infection is resistant to baytril and a different medication will be needed for treatment.


No culture was done at that time as he was taken to the vet when I noticed the swelling and initial injury. Nothing was coming out of the leg at that time. It has been about 6 weeks now since anything has came out of it, but the leg is still somewhat swollen. He can hunt superworms normally and chase them around on my floor, but otherwise he does not want to move. Waits for things to get in front of his face, very lazy, tucks himself in between his log and the backdrop of his cage etc.
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Re: German Giant strange positions, deformed toe, swollen le

Postby CooperDragon » Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:26 pm

Yeah he's probably still not feeling well. Offering some serrapeptase (or silk worms) may help to lessen the swelling, but I'd have the vet check the fluid in the arm directly and see what grows. It may require targeted treatment to resolve rather than a general antibiotic. That's where I'd start.
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Re: German Giant strange positions, deformed toe, swollen le

Postby GermanGiant3 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:40 pm

CooperDragon wrote:Yeah he's probably still not feeling well. Offering some serrapeptase (or silk worms) may help to lessen the swelling, but I'd have the vet check the fluid in the arm directly and see what grows. It may require targeted treatment to resolve rather than a general antibiotic. That's where I'd start.


Since x-rays looked normal and almost everything was ruled out at the last vet visit, I believe I will try taking him to a different specialist in the area. Since the front left leg has been injured for quite some time, is it possibly going to be too late for him now? The swelling is not nearly as bad as it was at the end of August but it is still there. His deformed toe on the back foot worries me as well. He eats gut-loaded 1" crickets and superworms consistently, Salad with mixed greens fruits etc every day. He has never drank water like I would expect him to, pushes against syringes doesn't drink out of dishes bath etc. Regular bowel movements so no impaction that I am aware of.. Could an infection from August just be slowing him down now? Could x-rays displaying no signs of MBD have been wrong back then? He was very stubborn, bull-headed, always wanting to jump off of things and he seems to have lost his spark. Likes being around people and hanging out, but the physical movement isn't fun for him. He refuses to hold on to my shirt anymore, I don't know if he physically can't or is just stubborn. He use to be very sturdy as far as holding on goes.
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Re: German Giant strange positions, deformed toe, swollen le

Postby CooperDragon » Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:53 pm

I'm not sure what the exact issue is. A second opinion may be a good idea. If it isn't healing since August then the issue is probably still present. An x-ray would have shown bone density and revealed MBD but I think the issue here is some kind of infection based on the swelling and the puss that came from the swollen area. I think best to have that tested directly and go from there but that's just my thought/opinion.
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Re: German Giant strange positions, deformed toe, swollen le

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:36 pm

If the antibiotics didn't help, then the swelling is due to an abscess in the leg and the ONLY way to successfully treat this is to put him under a general and cut open the leg to drain and debride the infected tissues and then to pack the surgical wound and treat him with antibiotics (that are effective for the pathogen that has caused the abscess).
This was critically urgent the moment puss was coming from the abscess as he will also be in agony and feeling extremely unwell (been there personally), and it is highly likely he is suffering a life threatening systemic infection because of this.
Human equivalent is cellulitis of a the leg , if this goes untreated much longer he will be at risk of dying from the systemic infection associated with this and the vet may find the infection is in his leg bones too - only way to save him if this is the case is to amputate the infected leg.

I would find a competent reptile/herp vet as the vet he has been seeing is useless.
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Re: German Giant strange positions, deformed toe, swollen le

Postby GermanGiant3 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:20 pm

kingofnobbys wrote:If the antibiotics didn't help, then the swelling is due to an abscess in the leg and the ONLY way to successfully treat this is to put him under a general and cut open the leg to drain and debride the infected tissues and then to pack the surgical wound and treat him with antibiotics (that are effective for the pathogen that has caused the abscess).
This was critically urgent the moment puss was coming from the abscess as he will also be in agony and feeling extremely unwell (been there personally), and it is highly likely he is suffering a life threatening systemic infection because of this.
Human equivalent is cellulitis of a the leg , if this goes untreated much longer he will be at risk of dying from the systemic infection associated with this and the vet may find the infection is in his leg bones too - only way to save him if this is the case is to amputate the infected leg.

I would find a competent reptile/herp vet as the vet he has been seeing is useless.


There is another exotic specialist vet in the area I can take him to. I will definitely do that. Why would it be that the leg had pus come out of it in August but he seemed relatively fine over-all until now? I imagined after the leg closed up that the Baytril cleared things up, but the leg is still not normal size. Could it theoretically be scar tissue?
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Re: German Giant strange positions, deformed toe, swollen le

Postby Drache613 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:26 pm

Hello,

That is some considerable swelling. Was a blood test ever done to see what his uric acid
levels are?
I am thinking possible gout also. What is the supplementation that you give him? Which
UVB do you have for him?
I have seen some cases with gout, that a substance will come out of the extremity. A lot
of times gout wont always show up on x-rays, but they can culture some fluids & do blood
work to test for the uric acid.
I imagine that it is probably pretty sore too. I agree, the serrapeptase or some silk worms
may help out with some pain management, swelling & inflammation, also.

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Re: German Giant strange positions, deformed toe, swollen le

Postby GermanGiant3 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:58 pm

Drache613 wrote:Hello,

That is some considerable swelling. Was a blood test ever done to see what his uric acid
levels are?
I am thinking possible gout also. What is the supplementation that you give him? Which
UVB do you have for him?
I have seen some cases with gout, that a substance will come out of the extremity. A lot
of times gout wont always show up on x-rays, but they can culture some fluids & do blood
work to test for the uric acid.
I imagine that it is probably pretty sore too. I agree, the serrapeptase or some silk worms
may help out with some pain management, swelling & inflammation, also.

Tracie


The swelling was the worst in August when it started in the front left leg. After some fluid came out, the swelling did go down somewhat but never all the way. He has an incredibly varied diet and is supplemented with mixes of liquid calcium sprayed onto things, Exo-Terra d3/calc mix as of late along with added Zilla gut-loaded crickets. His UVB is the 26(?)w All Living Things Desert bulb, he also has a daytime basking light which I believe to be exo-terra or the All Living Things brand and a 75w exo-terra blue heat night bulb.

No blood tests were done that day, as when he went to the vet it was initially looked at as a possible broken bone before x-rays. When nothing was broken the course of action was the Baytril and making sure I kept up on supplementation.

I am willing to get other bulbs for him if need be. He has been seemingly healthy for well over a year until this bout of laziness with his leg injury and that swollen toe on his back foot (not sure if the toe even bothers him?)

He has never had Silk Worms, I will have to get some ASAP. All of September and October went by with nothing coming out of that leg, which is why I have some doubts on potential infection still lingering but I definitely want to be certain. The image with the pus coming out was August 17th, the other photos of him laying like that etc and the toe are all from today.
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Re: German Giant strange positions, deformed toe, swollen le

Postby EllenD » Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:39 am

I think you've got 2 different issues going on here, possibly all the same issue but I've not seen Gout cause thick pus, as the swelling from gout is caused by uric acid crystals saturating the synovial fluid in the joints, but that's not to say that that's not what was coming out of his leg. The fact that his back toe is also swollen, combined with the lethargy and not wanting to move due to pain is indicative of Gout, but Tracie is better able the answer of whether or not Gout can result in a thick pus-like fluid in the extremities.

It's possible that he has a horrible infection in the front leg and then Gout on top of it. Or, he could be getting the same infection in his back toe too, and does not have Gout at all. Either way he's in a lot of pain and could be at a high risk for a septic systemic infection. If his front leg is still swollen then there is still pus inside it, it doesn't matter if it's coming out externally or not. The shed simply allowed a point for the pus to exit. And Baytril is a Broad-spectrum antibiotic, but that doesn't mean it is effective against every bacteria, it tends to be a go-to or a catch-all for reptile/exotics vets when they're not sure what's going on.

As Cooper said, they should have done a needle aspiration of the front leg, collected some of the pus, and done a culture and sensitivity to identify the bacteria/fungi causing the infection and the antibiotic that will be effective against it. The same for his toe. Then they should have prescribed the correct Antibiotic based on the culture and sensitivity results. I suggest you find either a Certified Reptile Vet or an experienced reptile specialist vet and request a needle aspiration/culture of both his leg and toe, and general blood work to look at his uric acid levels, his white blood cells, etc. This will either confirm or rule out Gout, infection, etc. Unfortunately flat x-rays only show bone density and MBD, some internal infections (though obviously they don't diagnose what the infections are), and sometimes they will show uric acid crystals in the joints indicating Gout, but not often and they aren't reliable to rule out Gout, only blood work is.

I'd try to find an experienced reptile vet ASAP, we can help you if you tell us you town/city. If this is a localized infection in his front leg that has spread to other areas and it's lasted this long, it's very important that he have the appropriate tests to diagnose it and get him on the correct Antibiotic before it spreads to his bloodstream. Plus, he needs pain meds, I'd insist upon them for him because he's suffered too long with this, the first vet should have given him some. I'm sorry the first vet wasn't very knowledgeable or thorough, it's not uncommon at all, a good Reptile Vet is hard to find.
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Re: German Giant strange positions, deformed toe, swollen le

Postby GermanGiant3 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:06 pm

EllenD wrote:I think you've got 2 different issues going on here, possibly all the same issue but I've not seen Gout cause thick pus, as the swelling from gout is caused by uric acid crystals saturating the synovial fluid in the joints, but that's not to say that that's not what was coming out of his leg. The fact that his back toe is also swollen, combined with the lethargy and not wanting to move due to pain is indicative of Gout, but Tracie is better able the answer of whether or not Gout can result in a thick pus-like fluid in the extremities.

It's possible that he has a horrible infection in the front leg and then Gout on top of it. Or, he could be getting the same infection in his back toe too, and does not have Gout at all. Either way he's in a lot of pain and could be at a high risk for a septic systemic infection. If his front leg is still swollen then there is still pus inside it, it doesn't matter if it's coming out externally or not. The shed simply allowed a point for the pus to exit. And Baytril is a Broad-spectrum antibiotic, but that doesn't mean it is effective against every bacteria, it tends to be a go-to or a catch-all for reptile/exotics vets when they're not sure what's going on.

As Cooper said, they should have done a needle aspiration of the front leg, collected some of the pus, and done a culture and sensitivity to identify the bacteria/fungi causing the infection and the antibiotic that will be effective against it. The same for his toe. Then they should have prescribed the correct Antibiotic based on the culture and sensitivity results. I suggest you find either a Certified Reptile Vet or an experienced reptile specialist vet and request a needle aspiration/culture of both his leg and toe, and general blood work to look at his uric acid levels, his white blood cells, etc. This will either confirm or rule out Gout, infection, etc. Unfortunately flat x-rays only show bone density and MBD, some internal infections (though obviously they don't diagnose what the infections are), and sometimes they will show uric acid crystals in the joints indicating Gout, but not often and they aren't reliable to rule out Gout, only blood work is.

I'd try to find an experienced reptile vet ASAP, we can help you if you tell us you town/city. If this is a localized infection in his front leg that has spread to other areas and it's lasted this long, it's very important that he have the appropriate tests to diagnose it and get him on the correct Antibiotic before it spreads to his bloodstream. Plus, he needs pain meds, I'd insist upon them for him because he's suffered too long with this, the first vet should have given him some. I'm sorry the first vet wasn't very knowledgeable or thorough, it's not uncommon at all, a good Reptile Vet is hard to find.


I was referred by a trusted friend who has kept Reptiles for a considerable amount of time to take him up to to the Animal Ark Veterinary Hospital. He has an appointment at 2:20PM on Thursday. I will update this thread immediately once he makes it home
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Re: German Giant strange positions, deformed toe, swollen le

Postby Drache613 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:26 pm

Hello,

I have seen thick discharge, waxy basically, get drained out of an area that had gout, with
an infection also. So, it was a mixture so very complicated. A blood draw would show an
infection most likely, as well as uric acid levels, too.
As suggested, taking a culture of the fluids drawn out of the joint area, or extremity can be
helpful, also.
How is he doing this evening? I hope the vet visit went well.
The ALL Living Things is basically the Zilla brand. This tube bulb is "ok" & will emit some
UVB but at close range, 6-8 inches but not great. I would highly recommend upgrading your
UVB tube bulb to perhaps a T5 Arcadia D3 14% or the Reptisun T5 10. The T5's are higher UVB
output bulbs as opposed to the T8's.
Let us know how things are going.

Tracie
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Re: German Giant strange positions, deformed toe, swollen le

Postby GermanGiant3 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:26 am

Drache613 wrote:Hello,

I have seen thick discharge, waxy basically, get drained out of an area that had gout, with
an infection also. So, it was a mixture so very complicated. A blood draw would show an
infection most likely, as well as uric acid levels, too.
As suggested, taking a culture of the fluids drawn out of the joint area, or extremity can be
helpful, also.
How is he doing this evening? I hope the vet visit went well.
The ALL Living Things is basically the Zilla brand. This tube bulb is "ok" & will emit some
UVB but at close range, 6-8 inches but not great. I would highly recommend upgrading your
UVB tube bulb to perhaps a T5 Arcadia D3 14% or the Reptisun T5 10. The T5's are higher UVB
output bulbs as opposed to the T8's.
Let us know how things are going.

Tracie



His appointment is Thursday at 2:20. I am uncertain the best way to change the lights as his enclosure is a 40 gallon breeder kit that was a combo set. No room for the big reptisun fixtures on there, just small fixtures with bulbs.. Nothing specially shaped or anything like that.

He has been OK today. Eats etc but won't hold onto my shirt, leg still swollen as it has been for over 2 months now. I hope the vet visit can shed some light.
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