Gout, MBD, Nurrological, Injury?

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Re: Gout, MBD, Nurrological, Injury?

Postby DanielleGia920 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:15 am

Hi 👋🏼

Things continue to improve with the gout. Most of the swelling has gone away and things seem to be returning to normal. One question, she does have a couple knots on her back knee and a small lump on her ankle which I’m assuming is from crystallization of uric acid. The dr had mentioned to me when she was first diagnosed that laser treatments may be needed. Will those lumps ever go away on their own without laser treatment? The lump does prevent her from Extending the back leg. She can walk just fine and with some speed but she struggles somewhat with climbing and does not jump. Will they ever go away on their own? [Click image to enlarge]
[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: Gout, MBD, Nurrological, Injury?

Postby EllenD » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:56 am

Hey, I'm so glad she's doing so much better!!! She's such a beautiful dragon, and she looks like she's feeling much better and is definitely on the upswing!

As far as the "knots" go, they are most likely the UA crystals that have super-saturated the synovial fluid in her joint spaces, which are typically fluid, but when the UA crystals super-saturate the synovial fluid, they basically turn the fluid in the joint space to a solid. So this can obviously cause issues with them moving their joints, as well as having their bones that meet at the joints rub together, which can be extremely painful, because the synovial fluid isn't there to lubricate and cushion. As far as the UA crystals going away on their own, probably not totally, sometimes they never get any better, sometimes they do break up a bit, but usually not totally on their own without help. T'he laser treatments break the UA crystals up and make room for new synovial fluid to be generated and fill up the joint space again. So the answer is that only time will tell how much the UA crystals break down on their own, but generally once they get to a certain size it's not likely that they will completely break-up and go away on their own, and the other issue they create is that as long as they are sitting in the synovial cavities where the fluid is supposed to be, they take up the space and there's no room for new synovial fluid to move back into the synovial cavities.

So my best suggestion is that once she has taken the Allopurinol long enough to get her UA levels back within the normal range, and the Gout is under control (I'm not sure if your vet has ruled this Pseudogout or Visceral Gout, and whether she is going to be on Allopurinol for the rest of her life or just until her UA level normalizes and he feels that they won't go back up again, either way you don't want to do anything until her UA level is within the normal range so the cyrstals just don't form again right after the treatment to break-up the old ones), if you can afford to have the laser treatments done, at least on the joints with the largest UA crystals and the ones that are preventing her from climbing and moving normally, I'd definitely think about doing the laser treatments if you can. Just be sure to not do this until her UA level normalizes and her CPK level is normal, so that you know that you're not just going to do the treatment and then she's going to have more UA crystals just replace the old ones.
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Re: Gout, MBD, Nurrological, Injury?

Postby DanielleGia920 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:22 am

Thanks Ellen! I’ll Keep an eye on it and see how things go. I’m a little confused about pseudogout. From all I’ve read pseudogout isn’t gout at all it’s a form of arthritis Which got its name because of the resemblance to gout. So would I be safe in saying she doesn’t have pseudogout since the doctor ruled out arthritis. I think she has kidney problems and she has a hard time breaking down live protein. I can tell when she’s struggling, she doesn’t seem herself and she is constantly looking for water and by that I know she’s having trouble breaking down some of the live Feeders I give her. It’s usually crickets 🦗. I gave her some crickets on Tuesday because she seemed like she was starving and the variety of worms (silk, horn and Phoenix) just weren’t cutting it anymore. And ever since then she seems a little off and is constantly looking for water. I’m pretty sure she’ll be on allopurinol for the rest of her life and I’ll have to watch what I give her. Right now it’s a little difficult because she’s only 6 months old and growing like a weed, she needs the live proteins to support her growth. I’m guessing once she’s an adult and doesn’t need as much live protein it should be a lot easier to manage. But I must say overall she seems to be doing wonderfully. Check this pose out from this morning...[Click image to enlarge]

The right back leg is her “bad” leg. She’s got it up and extended, that’s about as good as it’s gonna get! She’s looking pretty good! She’s moving, she has a ferocious appetite and she continues to grow and pack on grams! 👍🏼

Thanks guys for all your help!
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Re: Gout, MBD, Nurrological, Injury?

Postby EllenD » Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:01 am

My understanding of Gout is that there are 2 different types, my CRV calls them "Acute" and "Chronic", but officially they are called "PseudoGout" and "Visceral Gout". Neither has anything to do with Arthritis to the best of my knowledge, as they both present exactly the same way, with elevated Uric Acid levels, UA crystals in the joints caused by UA supersaturation of the synovial fluid in the joints, and resulting Kidney damage. As far as I know, the difference between "PseudoGout" and "Visceral" Gout is that "Visceral" or "Chronic" Gout is caused by something like Genetics or a natural inability of the body to break down and excrete Uric Acid properly, for whatever reason, and it's a long-term disease, usually life-long, and they have to be on the Allopurinol for the rest of their lives because their bodies will never be able to properly process or excrete Uric Acid. In contrast, "PseudoGout" or "Acute Gout" is caused not by Genetics or something wrong with their bodies that makes them unable to properly process or excrete Uric Acid, but rather is caused by an external, temporary factor that has caused their Uric Acid levels to skyrocket, and until the external factor is remedied or removed the Gout will continue. However, with PseudoGout, once the external factor that is causing the high Uric Acid levels in the blood or causing the kidneys to be unable to rid the body of Uric Acid is removed or remedied, the Uric Acid levels will normalize with the short-term Allopurinol treatment, and the kidneys will recover, and then the Allopurinol treatment can be stopped, and the patient is fine. And in Bearded Dragons the external factors that usually cause "PseudoGout" or "Acute Gout" are either related to poor husbandry, or due to the Dragon being fed a diet that is extremely high in Purine and the kidneys are unable to handle this. Recently this seems to be the cause of most cases of PseudoGout in young dragons because of the high-protein feeds that vendors are giving to their live insects, specifically cheap feeds that are extremely high in Purine Protein sources, such as Dog Food and certain commercially available Feeder Insect foods. I believe that this is the main cause for the current PseudoGout "Epidemic" we're seeing in young dragons. I call it an "epidemic" only because it seems like there are more and more cases of Gout in babies and juveniles, and most of these are being fed Dubia Roaches and Crickets that are being fed Dog Food, Cat Food, and these other high-protein feeds. I recall an Exotics Vet recently telling someone that their dragon couldn't have Gout because it's "extremely uncommon for young Bearded Dragons to develop Gout, we just don't see Gout in Dragons this young at all", and when they posted that their Exotics Vet told them this and used this as the basis for not even testing for Gout and completely ruling it out entirely based on the Dragon's age, my first thought was "Wow, these Vets need to get online to the forums and count the number of cases of Gout in baby and juvenile dragons, they'd get a wake-up call".

This is my understanding of the difference, Tracie can certainly correct me if I'm wrong, which I may be, but I'm fairly certain that this is correct.
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Re: Gout, MBD, Nurrological, Injury?

Postby DanielleGia920 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:03 pm

Is it maybe different in reptiles? I’m confused. The word psuedo means false, not actually being. So pseudogout literally means “not actually gout”. All of the sites related to pseudogout say this...

Pseudogout is a form of arthritis that causes pain, stiffness, tenderness, redness, warmth, and swelling in some joints. It can affect one or several joints at once. Pseudogout results from the abnormal formation of calcium pyrophosphate (CPP) crystals in the cartilage, which is later followed by the release of crystals into the joint fluid. When calcium crystals are released into the joint, they can cause a sudden attack of arthritis, similar to gout.

The cause of abnormal deposits of CPP crystals in cartilage is unknown. They may form due to abnormal cells in the cartilage, or they may be produced as the result of another disease that damages cartilage.

So is psuedo an increase in calcium crystals and the other is an increase in uric acid crystals? I’m confused lol
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Re: Gout, MBD, Nurrological, Injury?

Postby Drache613 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:24 pm

Hello Danielle,

She is looking marvelous! I am so happy that she's responding positively to the treatment.
It definitely looks like she is feeling much better now, moving around more, eating a lot
& being able to use her limbs better.
True gout is always caused by the presence of monosodium urate crystals, while pseudogout
occurs as a result of any other type of crystal other than sodium, such as calcium. It will also
have the ability to cause an acute inflammation in & or around the joint.
Secondary gout/pseudogout is caused oftentimes by medications such as the aminoglycosides
or sulfonamides damage the kidneys are lead way to hyperuricemia. An example of one of
those would Gentamicin or Sulfa drugs. I personally feel that genetically modified foods &
additives in feeds for insects, etc are causing imbalances leading to a lot of this also. To
also note, oversupplementation can cause this too, when coupled with improper UVB or other
husbandry issues.
As far as the swellings on the joints, it is possible that they may recede, given time. Those
crystals take quite awhile to completely dissipate, especially if they have inundated the areas
in the tendons, ligaments & soft tissue.
You are doing phenomenal with her! I am so proud of her. Let us know how she is doing.

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Re: Gout, MBD, Nurrological, Injury?

Postby DanielleGia920 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:11 am

It’s been 2 months since the first sign of gout in Deka. While she is not at 100 percent she is doing much better. When I started this thread she was a mere 60 grams, she is now 211 grams and continues to grow each and every day. She is no longer the little baby bearded dragon she once was. [Click image to enlarge]


I would say she’s now in her teen years and her attitude resembles that. She is very stubborn and refuses to take her medicine. The last few days she’s refused to open her mouth, hissed at me and threw her beard out. She even head bobbed me for the first time yesterday. She has always been so laid back and compliant, she’s starting to rebel 😂. The other day when I walked up to her viv to give her her daily dose of meds she blew herself up sooo big, threw her beard out and stared me down. It was hilarious. [Click image to enlarge]
[Click image to enlarge]

She looked like she just got back from the gym lmao.

Gotta love her! [Click image to enlarge]


Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and a happy new year!
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Re: Gout, MBD, Nurrological, Injury?

Postby EllenD » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:52 am

She's looking great!!! You've done such a good job with her and getting her through this whole thing, I'm very impressed!

Since you first posted about your dragon, there have been at least 10 more cases of young dragons with symptoms of gout on here. It's out of control. I got a PM from someone a few weeks ago with a baby beardie that is 2 months old, and a General Vet told her that she had "arthritis", and that it's impossible for a 2 month old to have gout...I remembered you talking about "arthritis" when she wrote me, and I thought "Well, I think general vets are taking this "arthritis" thing quite literally, as 'arthritis" just means "swelling of the joints", it can be a symptom as well as an independent disease process, so yes, "arthritis" is a symptom of gout, but from this person's description, this general vet was talking about a 2 month old dragon being too young to have Gout, but old enough to suffer from classic, general arthritis, like people and animals get with age, as a usage disease.

I think the bottom line here is that most vets have absolutely no idea how many young bearded dragons are having gout flare-ups due to the high purine levels in feeder insects, GMOs as Tracie has attested to, and poor husbandry. And they also seem to use plain-film x-rays to rule-out gout, which you can't do...it's frustrating that they don't educate themselves about this now-common issue, as this member who PM'd me said this general vet wouldn't even discuss gout with her, she just said it was "definitely not gout, she's far too young" and moved on to "here's some Metacam for the joint swelling and arthritis"...WTF? The scary thing is that a lot of these vets are totally writing-off the possibility of Gout being the problem, and then prescribing oral antibiotics without running any diagnostic tests at all, and the antibiotics are just making the dragons worse and worse...it's scary...

I'm so glad you're a Gout Success Story, we need them on here. Hopefully people will read through this entire thread if their dragons are having similar issues and then go and advocate for them at their vet.
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Re: Gout, MBD, Nurrological, Injury?

Postby DanielleGia920 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:34 pm

My vet said the same thing to me. When I took her in and told the vet That I suspected gout, she told me over and over and over again during that visit that it wasn’t gout, that she was far too young to have gout and that it wasn’t possible. I insisted on a blood test and sure enough it was gout. It’s kinda frustrating when you take your pet to the vet and hand over hundreds and thousands of dollars and in the end your the one that has to do all the research, figure out what’s wrong and find the right treatment. It’s crazy! Smh

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Re: Gout, MBD, Nurrological, Injury?

Postby Drache613 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:11 am

Hello Danielle,

She looks fabulous & she is definitely sporting a beautiful beard & attitude! LOL :D
I am so glad that you got her on the right track & have managed to really get her healthy
now. I know she must be feeling so much better too.
Thanks to you, she has made a seemingly complete recovery, that is so wonderful. Most
of the gout cases go untreated.
Keep us posted on her progress. I can't believe her pictures now, she is lovely.

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Re: Gout, MBD, Nurrological, Injury?

Postby DanielleGia920 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:15 pm

3 month update
[Click image to enlarge]
[Click image to enlarge]
[Click image to enlarge]


It’s been 3 months Since Deka was diagnosed with gout. Dr said her prognosis was dire. She is now 9 months old and 285 grams, walking climbing and jumping. Most of the crystallized uric acid she had on her knee joints and fingers have gone done significantly on their own. Things continue to look good!
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Re: Gout, MBD, Nurrological, Injury?

Postby AHBD » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:05 pm

How wonderful to hear ! Deka is a real champion. :)
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Re: Gout, MBD, Nurrological, Injury?

Postby Drache613 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:12 pm

Hello,

That is awesome news! :D Deka is doing excellent, bless her.
This is a case to remember, because if you catch it early the chances are very high that
they can make a full recovery.
Please continue to make updates for us, we are all very excited to see positive stories
on gout.

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