My Beardie Seems Like His Limbs Are Paralyzed

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My Beardie Seems Like His Limbs Are Paralyzed

Postby WAOM » Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:28 am

Hello,


I am here writing because my 2 year old beardie seems to have become paralyzed in his back legs and his right front. Over the last couple months he has lost his appetite by more than half. He doesn't poo like he used to but he also doesn't eat near as much as he used to. Now if you touch his hind legs he starts to do like an alligator death roll, if i had to describe it. I have had to remove all the rocks and stuff from his cage because he gets stuck or rolls so much it scratches him all over. 2 times in the last 2 days i have came in and he is completely upside down and i thought he had passed away. When I pick him up he seems fine and eyes wide open, but if i touch his legs he starts to freak out and starts to roll. I have no local place to take him that has any real knowledge of beardies. He eats crickets, meal worms sometimes, and lots of greens. He never sits up under the heat light anymore either. No matter how or where i position it. No real deformation like i see on some pictures of the bone disease they can get. We "dust" his crickets with calcium powder at most feedings. He will even eat when feeling like this, but when he goes to lunge at the cricket with his tongue his back leg moves and he starts to roll again. He wants to walk in his mind, but his body will not move the way he needs it to. Im really worried hes hurting, and i dont know how to help him. I feel horrible that he is suffering, thats my biggest fear. If anyone can give me any info on this it would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: My Beardie Seems Like His Limbs Are Paralyzed

Postby EllenD » Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:39 am

Oh I'm sorry he's gotten this badly, it sounds very much like he's suffering from a severe Calcium Deficiency and Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD). This doesn't usually happen due to them not getting enough Calcium in their diet, it usually happens due to them not getting adequate UVB light, which makes them unable to absorb any of the Calcium they eat, and instead they just excrete all of the Calcium they eat in their bowel movements. The weak back-end with the lack of use of his back legs and the flipping/rolling over, along with the lack of appetite and lethargy is very clearly MBD.

First of all, stop feeding him any mealworms or superworms at all, part of the problem with MBD is that they lose feeling/function/strength in their back-ends, and it makes it very difficult for them to push out bowel movements, often times they can only have bowel movements while sitting in warm water. Now less food in does equal less food out, but my guess is that since his back legs are partially paralyzed, he is also having a problem having bowel movements, and you may want to start letting him soak in warmer than average water for 15-20 minutes, no longer, to have his bowel movements, especially if you see him trying to strain to have one.

A vet doesn't often help with this problem much anyway, it's going to be changes in his husbandry and diet that you make that are going to decide whether he recovers, and how much of a recovery he makes, as some of these physical disabilities can be reversed, at least a little bit. First we need some photos of him, and also of his entire tank/enclosure that show how you have his lights set up. Then if you can answer some questions about his husbandry, we can help you get it corrected, as this is the only way he's going to get better...

What size tank is he in?
What type of substrate do you have in the bottom of his tank?

Exactly what UVB light do you have? How old is your UVB light?
Is your UVB light sitting on top of a mesh lid to the tank? How far, in inches, is your UVB light from your Dragon's basking spot/platform?
How many hours each day do you leave both his UVB light and his Basking Light on?
(ALL OF THE LIGHT INFO WILL BE PRINTED RIGHT ON THE LIGHT ITSELF)

What wattage of Basking Bulb do you have? What color of light does it emit?

What type of thermometer(s) do you use? (stick-on, Gun, or Digital Probe)
What are the #1) Cool Side Air/Ambient Temperature, #2) Hot Side Air/Ambient Temperature, and #3) Basking Spot SURFACE Temperature?
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Re: My Beardie Seems Like His Limbs Are Paralyzed

Postby WAOM » Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:54 am

40 Gallon tank
Carpet, and a mat that is kinda like grass but stiffer
26w EXO Terra Reptile UVB150 - 1 month old - Sitting on mesh about 6 in from mesh to basking spot
100w Intense Basking Spot light - +75% Intense - 2630K color -Both lights are in a combo fixture
Timer for both lights is from 7am to 10pm
Gun thermometer - around 110 hot side - around 75 to 80 cool side depending on house temp - going to check surface temp and get pictures in just a min





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Re: My Beardie Seems Like His Limbs Are Paralyzed

Postby EllenD » Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:47 pm

Well, unfortunately, if he's been under the 26 watt Coil UVB bulbs for a long time, or his entire life, sitting on top of the mesh, that's your answer...This Exo Terra 150 Coil UVB bulb is ALL OVER the forum right now, and is the cause of multiple cases of Calcium Deficiencies and MBD, along with eye and vision issues, and neurological issues. In fact, I just commented on another post right before checking back here...it's out of hand, there are between 5-10 active posts right now in both the ER and the Health sections involving the same issues with this Coil UVB bulb. They just don't emit a strong enough UVB light, and the mesh lids are blocking about 40% of the light on top of that, and it's also a very "focused" UVB light, meaning that the Dragons aren't getting any UVB light at all unless they are directly underneath the bulb, that's it. On top of that, it's a "Coil" bulb, and there are 2 different posts where the Dragons are having neurological issues that are most likely due to it being a Coil Bulb, this is nothing new, pretty much ALL coil bulbs, whether they are UVB bulbs are Basking Bulbs seem to cause these issues. Unfortunately in the case of this Exo Terra 150 bulb it's also a UVB bulb, and it seems that they are not providing even close to enough UVB light for Dragons.

I highly suggest that you get him a strong, T5-strength UVB tube that is at least a 10% UVB tube (10.0 or higher), along with a T5-rated tube fixture for it that has a reflector included with it so that this strong, adequate UVB light is reflected all throughout his tank. The T5 tubes only need replaced once every 12 months, and are strong enough to sit on top of the mesh lid safely as long as the tube itself is within at least 10" of the Dragon's basking spot/platform. This is the only way he's going to start to get better, and the only way he's not going to keep getting worse.

You want to stick to either a Reptisun 10.0 T5HO UVB tube, or an Arcadia 12% T5 UVB tube. Both are available on Amazon.com for the cheapest price shipped by far, and they also sell a T5-rated tube fixture that includes a reflector. Depending on what length of tube you get will determine the price, I'm not sure about the Arcadia tube, it's a bit more expensive, but I do know that a 22" Reptisun 10.0 T5HO UVB tube costs about $26 shipped, and then there is one 24" T5 rated tube fixture that includes a reflector for about $28 shipped, so about $60 shipped for both, that's about as cheap as it gets...

****And just an FYI, Reptisun does sell a T5 package deal in some pet shops, like Petsmart, which includes a T5 rated hood and then a T5 UVB tube for about $60, HOWEVER the UVB tube included in the package deal is only a 5% or 5.0 UVB tube, and is totally inappropriate for a Dragon, it's meant for Tropical Reptiles that do not need such strong, intense UVB light, and you would have to mount the 5.0 T5HO UVB tube underneath the mesh lid (which is impossible with the hood that comes with the package deal), and it would have to be within about 4" of your Dragon's basking spot/platform to deliver effective UVB light to him. So please avoid buying that Reptisun package deal...why they don't sell one that includes a 10.0 T5 UVB tube I don't know, but people keep mistakenly buying this package deal at PetSmart or other pet shops and having to return them, so I'm trying to bring this to people's attention...
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Re: My Beardie Seems Like His Limbs Are Paralyzed

Postby Drache613 » Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:19 am

Hello,

Poor guy, it does sound like an advanced calcium issue which is affecting his neurological
system.
I have never really recommended the compact/coil lights simply because many times the
UVB emissions are not good quality & the frequencies spike or dip too low into the UVC
range which affects the eyes.
As suggested, the T5 high output tube bulbs are much better & affordable. You will need
to get the T5 fixture also. The package deals are very good so that you receive both the
fixture & the bulb, together.
I would really consider replacing the light as soon as you can. Otherwise, he will continue
to get worse. He hasn't been able to absorb his calcium or vitamins very well either.
How is his appetite doing, is he eating much? You may need to supplement him with some
baby food mixes if he isn't able to eat much on his own.

Tracie
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Re: My Beardie Seems Like His Limbs Are Paralyzed

Postby WAOM » Sun Feb 25, 2018 4:58 pm

Sorry for the delay in writing back! i had an emergency call for work.

Okay so i'm on Amazon right now looking at the lights and fixtures. I found the bulbs that you are talking about, but can you possibly post the link to the fixture you recommend? I just don't want to have to do it twice and take that much longer. Also what about a basking light? Can i get a double fixture like the dome one i have but for the T5 bulb and a basking light? Or should i just leave the basking light on one side of the UVB light? I may change out to a single dome fixture if i do that. Thank you for all your help!

His appetite seems okay considering the way he feels. We feel horrible we let it get this way and now know how uneducated the employees are at Petsmart. Thats our only option where we live though. Im ready to order them as soon as i get the correct link. If theres anything else you think i should get then let me know. I want to stop his suffering!
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Re: My Beardie Seems Like His Limbs Are Paralyzed

Postby WAOM » Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:35 pm

I have the UVB bulb picked out. Just want the right fixture and your suggestion on the basking setup.
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Re: My Beardie Seems Like His Limbs Are Paralyzed

Postby WAOM » Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:41 pm

This is his tank. Only difference now is the rocks on each side, one of them is removed and we have a hammock in its place, and the carpet was changed out to something a little different.



[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: My Beardie Seems Like His Limbs Are Paralyzed

Postby WAOM » Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:44 pm

That was when I first built the rocks and he was like 6 months old. We also ditched that crappy thermometer.
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Re: My Beardie Seems Like His Limbs Are Paralyzed

Postby Drache613 » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:28 pm

Hello,

How is your little one doing today?
The rocks look really great! I bet he loves them. I'm glad you got a better thermometer
too.
The basking light you can just use a nice bright halogen that you can get at home depot
or lowes. Be sure to get a ceramic fixture dome that is rated for at least 150watts, if not
higher, just for safety. The basking light can go at one end or a little towards the middle
of the tube bulb, so he can get heat & UVB together.
What length did you need & did you want a fixture or a hood? Here is just a fixture with
a reflector, just a single. It is just a 12 inch, I can try to find a longer one if needed.

https://www.amazon.com/Reptile-T5HO-Sta ... ht+fixture


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Re: My Beardie Seems Like His Limbs Are Paralyzed

Postby WAOM » Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:10 pm

I actually took styrofoam and covered it in grout, then sealed it with odorless sealer. I let it sit for a week before we put it in his tank. He used to love sitting up there right under the light. The bulb I posted above that I have is not our normal bulb. We have had so many bulbs blow over the last 2 years that I try new ones all the time. The reason I’ve never ordered them or looked for better ones because they are always returned and exchanged for free. They act like they’ve never seen this and said the bulbs they have are great for beardies. Heck even the same type bulb came in the reptisun kit we purchased.

I actually ordered a 22” bulb and reflector fixture so it will cover the entire tank. I had it shipped over night so we could get them on his tank tomorrow. My biggest question is, is this reversible? Will this light make him any better, or will he be like this for the rest of his life and we are just stopping it from getting worse. It’s so horrible to watch him this way. It’s like he has seizures or something but rolls. Will not sit on his rocks, only in the corners propped up on his water bowl.


Thank you all for the advice and help. I will keep you posted as things play out.
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Re: My Beardie Seems Like His Limbs Are Paralyzed

Postby Drache613 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:01 am

Hello,

Great, so you went with the 22 inch one with a reflector? That will be excellent then.
I'm sorry you have had so many issues with lights blowing out. It can get extremely
annoying when that happens. We have had our share in the past, also.
The basking area sounds like it will be nice for him & hopefully he will get better soon.
It should be reversible to the point of him being able to move his back legs & have normal
function in all of his movements. He may still have some issues in the future but you should
be able to keep it under control with good lighting & supplementation.
Let us know how he is doing.

Tracie
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Re: My Beardie Seems Like His Limbs Are Paralyzed

Postby WAOM » Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:20 pm

Just wanted to tell all of you thanks for the help! Also to let you all know Spike is doing soooooo much better. Still not at full strength, but doing way better. That light really does make all the difference in the world. I gave him no choice but to lay under it and slowly but surely he’s coming around. Thanks again for helping save him!
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Re: My Beardie Seems Like His Limbs Are Paralyzed

Postby WAOM » Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:28 pm

[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: My Beardie Seems Like His Limbs Are Paralyzed

Postby CooperDragon » Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:25 pm

That's great to hear! High quality lighting is certainly worth every penny.
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