Tail Issues Again

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Tail Issues Again

Postby Betty53218 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:54 am

Hi All! Smaug’s tail is looking strange again. I have put a pic from last November to compare. He ended up losing the tip of it soon after. He slept from February to the end of June. Two days ago I noticed the the darkness in his tail is moving up some. The scales are really pronounced also. The underside still seems fine. The kink is from me accidentally stepping on it while on the grass a couple of summers ago. The light ring is what I believe is stuck shed from the last time he shed there. The tail is not sensitive. I have been soaking it in povidone-iodine and applying antibiotic ointment three times daily just in case it’s tail rot. I’m hoping it might be the start of a new shed. I would like opinions. His vet in 200 miles away, but if need be I would certainly take him there.
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Re: Tail Issues Again

Postby kyleena29 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:46 pm

Well that doesn't look too good. You're doing the right things though. I would keep up the treatments. You say the darkening has moved up some so but the underside is ok? I think if anymore of the tail gets dark I would get to the vet.
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Re: Tail Issues Again

Postby AHBD » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:48 am

It looks like tail rot, the tissue is probably dying under the dark areas. It might be best to get a local vet to amputate it right above the bad area.
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Re: Tail Issues Again

Postby Drache613 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:02 pm

Hello,

That does look like it needs some vet attention. Wow, 200 miles is the closest vet?
If it does seem to be traveling up the tail some, you definitely need to keep an eye on it.
You could try raw, unpasteurized honey or manuka honey on the area instead to see if that
helps out any infection going on. It may need a small amputation on the end there.
How is his appetite doing?

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Re: Tail Issues Again

Postby Betty53218 » Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:53 am

His appetite seems normal, but I do hand feed him. I’ve been doing that for years. He shows no sign of pain. Sometimes I see the end of his tail wiggle. Don’t know what that could be, but it looks funny when he does it. I found a vet who treats reptiles 2 hours away instead of his own which is 4 hours away. I have an appointment tomorrow afternoon.
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Re: Tail Issues Again

Postby Betty53218 » Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:02 am

Ok, so I talked with the vet clinic that I'll be taking him to tomorrow. They said that they were going to probably treat him with antibiotics first instead of taking part of the tail off tomorrow. They figure the extra dark part he's had for a while will just fall off on its own eventually. Is there any antibiotic that is recommended for a dragon that is easier than another?
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Re: Tail Issues Again

Postby CooperDragon » Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:57 pm

Baytril is the most common general antibiotic that I see prescribed. These can be harsh on their systems though so I usually recommend using them sparingly when possible. It's also a good idea to have tests done to try and determine what the source of the infection is so that the proper antibiotic can be administered to target the infection rather than bombarding the system with a general antibiotic that may or may not work. Either way it's a good idea to offer plenty of water to help the kidneys process the meds and offering a probiotic can be helpful if his appetite declines during or after treatment.
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Re: Tail Issues Again

Postby AHBD » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:43 am

The dark part may be hiding what's underneath, which is more like the white part you see at the end. Sometimes tail rot travels under the scales infecting good tissue before it's apparent on the surface. I truly hope the antibiotx work but I'm pretty sue that needs amputated now.
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Re: Tail Issues Again

Postby Betty53218 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:06 pm

Smaug saw the vet today. His surgery is set for August 15th. The vet is referring with other specialists to check on just how much of the tail needs to be removed. I will share the X-rays when they send them to me. It seems that the wavy part of the middle of his tail might be an issue also. That appeared last year and was sensitive, but not any more. The bone in good all the way down to the dark black part. The end after the kink has none and is indeed dead. The bones in that wavy part could pose problems later on, and she doesn’t want to have to do another surgery down the road. Otherwise only a little more than the dark at the end will be removed next month. Meanwhile, he is on antibiotics for a month to make sure there is not infection somewhere else up the tail that we’re not aware of. So I have to give him a shot in his front arm (alternating) every 3 day of Ceftazidime. She said it shouldn’t affect his appetite, and that he really didn’t need proboics, but I think I’ll give him some anyway. He got his first one there and was not happy about it. Should be interesting. Wasn’t counting on that part. He’s probably going to hate me after this. I have to send her pics every week to make sure the darkness isn’t moving up the tail. Also got a estimate for the surgery. They gave me a range of between $375-$465 which I thought was reasonably. He did have a full body X-ray also, and everything looks great there. Bones and organs are all excellent.
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Re: Tail Issues Again

Postby CooperDragon » Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:55 pm

It's good to hear everything else looks OK. Hopefully the surgery is successful and he heals up quickly.
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Re: Tail Issues Again

Postby AHBD » Fri Jul 20, 2018 3:36 am

Generally they cut about 1/2-1" above the affected area. I do think that one month of injections is too much though, usually just a week or a few days before surgery is the time to start. He may not tolerate multiple injections and that itself can cause an infection at the injection site. Not sure why they opted for that route. When they amputate the tail they should see where dead tissue ends + good begins. Just keep an eye out that the multiple injections don't cause lameness. I do hope all goes well but I think that a week of oral intibiotics with a quick amputation is the way to go.
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Re: Tail Issues Again

Postby Betty53218 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:54 am

Here are the X-rays. The part in question is the center wavy part. After consulting specialists, I am hoping that is left alone and only the end is removed. Can’t even figure out how that got like that last year. [Click image to enlarge]
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Re: Tail Issues Again

Postby kyleena29 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:12 pm

I have 2 beardies with a wavy tail, one worse than the other. At some point he either had lack of calcium or uv and it caused the bones in the tail to easily fracture while the bones were weak. That is just from microfractures that have healed and of course they don't fuse back perfectly. There is no reason to amputate for that reason alone.
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Re: Tail Issues Again

Postby AHBD » Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:53 pm

Yes, the wavy tail is just as Kyleena described and are most likely long healed. I think the vet is just amputating from slightly above the black area to halt the tail rot. I do believe it should be done more quickly that the projected month away date.
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Re: Tail Issues Again

Postby Drache613 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:34 pm

Hello,

That's correct, the wavy part is from little traumas but they have healed up. It is likely from
weak bones in that area, it is relatively common. Sometimes it happens when they grow very
rapidly & don't have enough calcium intake also.
They are only planning on taking off slightly above the darker area, correct & NOT all of the
wavy area I hope?
I think a month of antibiotics is quite awhile actually. The Ceftz has a tendency to sting when
being injected. Where exactly are they having you inject him?
I do think they should consider moving the surgery up a couple of weeks, if possible.
Giving probiotics would be helpful, as most antibiotics tend to bother them somewhat.

Let us know how Smaug is doing!
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