Loose urates and blood tinge (UNRESOLVED)

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Loose urates and blood tinge (UNRESOLVED)

Postby Ultrabeard » Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:50 pm

Hello all, I am an owner of a 2 year old beardie named Zeus.
History is around 6-12 months old he had coccidia and pinworm issues that caused very loose stool/urate. Medicine did not work, rather it reduced the count and there was no change in symptoms. A bacterial fecal culture showed no issues with bacteria too.
For some reason, it cleared up completely when I stopped feeding his dubia roaches fruits/oranges. Now I only feed dubia what I may normally feed him, e.g. carrots, squash, and (except for him) mainly dubia diet which is a grain based gutload.
He ate greens alot when I first got him, but when he started getting the loose poops, the vet told me to try reducing greens for a week and see what happens - well he stopped wanting greens after that break, only wants a few pieces anymore.
During that time with the loose poops, I suppose he had a lot of straining, and that's when he would have a drop of blood at the END of his movements. It was an on and off thing.
He went into what I would say is brumation (1 yr 4 mths old) from last October to this past May, almost a year. He would wake up once a week or so, eat or not eat, and just want to sleep under his hide all the time. I'd say for 4 weeks straight it was heavy sleep, and he pooped once every 4 weeks only twice. Normally, he was pooping once a week, very inactive, only gets up for water/snacks once a week. Weekly baths, etc. I offered what care I could during this time.
I was getting worried in May that he was STILL sluggish. I got Repta Boost supplement, and it's almost like a pancake mix, with vitamins minerals and electrolytes. The next time he came out his hide, I offered this to him. Gave him about 6ml. Also gave a few drops of 100% coconut water. The next day he was extremely perky, eating alot, basking, etc. Seemed more normal.
But now, he is having the aforementioned issue again in the subject line. He's pooping EVERY day, the first is a good stool with urate, and almost always a SECOND movement thats just urate WITH BLOOD at the end, just a tinge. Always there's water with movements. It doesn't happen every time, but most of the time the blood tinge.
Recently got a double-sampled parasite culture by a local vet, I had two REALLY GOOD samples and he looked at both. Extremely low pinworm and coccidia! He's treated for pinworms before for one of the staff's beardies, so it would make sense if there was a problem he definitely knows what to look for...he recommended to increase bugs, reduce fruits further and try to firm up the stool, and if it persists, to 'try' antibiotics to treat the blood tinge. It's really all up in the air though,as nothing is working.

Behavior issues: He ALWAYS wants to get out of his tank and HIDE under large furniture. Except sometimes he will actually chill all day in his basking spot 98-100f, but rarely (sometimes fall asleep there too). I tried adding more things in the tank and there's no difference. He's obsessed with trying to climb the walls, etc. extremely active, but when he finds a good hiding spot under furniture...he's done. He will glass surf all day, and I leave work at 2 or 3 pm and hes still doing it, and I have a camera setup so i know what's going on. If I take him outside w/leash, he has no reaction and just BASKS! He's never once walked/run outside! Lizard is strange!
Note: today he came out at 7:30 am and waited under the basking area for it to turn on around 8:30 :? ...

I don't know what to make of this anymore as this is my first beardie. What do you guys think of this? Is he trying to get away from light/heat? How do you treat loose urate/blood tinge?

I think honestly it's a stalemate, neither parasite or bacteria...then what is it? I don't think any vet can really figure this out as it's a guessing game by now. That's why I'm posting this. Wouldn't he be like really messed up if it was bacteria? Why would he get JUST bacteria? Is antibiotic REALLY gonna do anything?

Dragon Origin: Good reviews, renown breeder at a Repticon.
Tank: 36x18x18
T5 light
gu10 35w halogen
secondary 50w basking spot bulb w/lamp (recent)
Basking area right around 98-100f (temp gun!); Cool area 80-83f
Weight: 450g beardie
Substrate: paper towels and ceramic tiles
Cleaning: Steam cleaner - monthly, flukers super scrub (rinse the tiles when soiled) Chlorhexidine on occasion.
Baths: Weekly or bi-weekly baths. Or when soiled.
Diet: dubia, supers, collards, bok choy, yellow squash, butternut squash
Treats: blueberries, hornworms, phoenix worms etc.
Rep-Cal ALWAYS with bugs (cept horns and phoenix), and vitamin dust either on bugs/fruit 1x week.
Quantity: Bugs 2-3x a week, Large dubia nymphs. 10-12 bugs.5-8 head sized pieces of greens by TRICKING him when trying to eat a bug (put leaf on his tongue when attacking roach), once or twice a week. So not many greens - only eats 4-6 pieces greens out of bowl when not fed food for 3-4 days straight.
He cannot eat more than 15 large nymphs - he gets 'full' at that point.

The loose urate and blood:
Image

Trying to get out:
Image

Still trying to get out with plenty of things to climb (added paper to reduce reflection - no difference):

Image
Last edited by Ultrabeard on Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:25 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: [BIG POST]Loose urates and blood tinge - non-parasitic

Postby CooperDragon » Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:15 pm

That's a tough one. I'm not sure about the antibiotics. They may do more harm than good if they are just administered without targeting a specific infection. I agree with the diet changes to see how that goes. The blood may be parasite related or perhaps it's just from straining a bit for the second poop. Did the vet do a blood test to check kidney and liver functions? He looks pretty healthy overall and if he is active I wouldn't worry about it a whole lot for now. Maybe focus on softer foods for a bit and see if that helps (if it does that may indicate it was straining). Since the parasite count is low I'd just keep everything really well cleaned/sanitized and see how his system manages it.
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Re: [BIG POST]Loose urates and blood tinge - non-parasitic

Postby Ultrabeard » Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:49 pm

Vet didn't feel it was necessary to put the stress of going through needle for more testing since his vitals were good and parasites very low.

Well today he had a super huge EPIC poop with urate that seemed mostly fine, maybe some red dots in it but white.
I turned on his light LATE as an experiment, like at 11:30. He started glass surfing for 5 minutes at 4pm and then did the poop.
Other than that, totally chill all day. Ate some phoenix worms (30-40) and one collard. Hah I put butternut squash on a collard piece and handed it to him, he might have taken the collard leaf by mistake and he ate part of it (nice trick of mine). He tried to get the squash again but it bounced off and he lost interest. Heh.
He's still basking right now. He's probably just gonna stay there till the lights go off as usual.

There's something with bearded dragons and running before and after a poop. They seem to want to get out when they feel it coming, and when its...present.
Still doesn't explain his usual day of:
Wake up: 8 am (whether the lights are on or not - my large apartment window shade lets alot of natural light in, regulating him!)
1. glass surf
2. poop
3. glass surf for 4 hours straight (or more).
4. poop loose urate.
5. continue to glass surf until able to hide under very large cool spot outside tank OR lights go off and tank cools down.
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Re: [BIG POST]Loose urates and blood tinge - non-parasitic

Postby Ultrabeard » Sun Jul 29, 2018 8:59 am

Well had another bloody movement today..

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Re: [BIG POST]Loose urates and blood tinge - non-parasitic

Postby Ultrabeard » Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:09 am

I've given him just around 10 superworms for the past couple days to see if it would be a problem with Dubia, but today it still is strange. He was very hungry and would chase them across the floor kind of hungry. His stool was good, bit of yellow dots in the urate, and then the blood at the end. I saw it again and there's never blood until after the the stool and urate come out; he pushes his cloaca for a couple more contractions and then the bit of blood dribbles out.
Without giving anything else, he just went a second time...loose, very white urate, and water, with bit of blood. His weight has a 20g variance..440-460.
I don't understand what this could be. I think I am gonna have to go to a more specialized vet in the area and ask about it, but it still might be to no avail. The little guy just won't stop going - after not going previously in brumation, though the bit of blood has always been a thing. It's always been a problem off and on but it's more consistent now than ever.
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Re: [BIG POST]Loose urates and blood tinge - non-parasitic

Postby Ultrabeard » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:49 am

So guys I did go to a more specialized vet in the area, and in a nutshell he would need blood testing, xray, and possibly the injectable version of antibiotic depending on results (and apparently, through the skin is more easier on their system than orally - e.g. Baytril...?)
It is either just his genetics, a kidney stone, or bacteria, but would all be kidney related sans the blood which could be cloaca related instead - possibly a smaller cloaca. The vet hasn't heard of this, nor is sure of anything about it, but advised to get all the tests. I declined for now. May decide to get the tests done, they are so expensive though over $200-300
I was also advised to reduce bugs to 5 every other day, and offer greens for a straight week to see if he gets better with them.
So far he will pick at 3-4 pieces of greens himself daily in the morning if not given bugs, but never want more than that.
It's all still a mystery, but I found another forum post very similar issue -https://beardeddragonforum.com/threads/more-urates-than-normal.13133/

Mine also goes absolutely bonkers trying to "get out" before a poop or a urate.
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Re: [BIG POST]Loose urates and blood tinge - non-parasitic

Postby CooperDragon » Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:29 pm

I still agree with adjusting his diet and offering some soft foods. Limiting protein/bugs is probably a good idea too. It's hard to say how the kidneys and liver are functioning without a blood test. Administering antibiotics might be the wrong thing to do if they are having trouble though because that can be pretty harsh on kidneys. Since the blood is bright, perhaps the issue is lower down the intestines though. Possibly a tear of some sort. I'm not really sure how to test for that but I'd imagine it might heal on it's own if it's given some relief via extra fluids and soft foods.
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Re: [BIG POST]Loose urates and blood tinge - non-parasitic

Postby Ultrabeard » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:56 pm

CooperDragon wrote:I still agree with adjusting his diet and offering some soft foods. Limiting protein/bugs is probably a good idea too. It's hard to say how the kidneys and liver are functioning without a blood test. Administering antibiotics might be the wrong thing to do if they are having trouble though because that can be pretty harsh on kidneys. Since the blood is bright, perhaps the issue is lower down the intestines though. Possibly a tear of some sort. I'm not really sure how to test for that but I'd imagine it might heal on it's own if it's given some relief via extra fluids and soft foods.

Yeah the blood is definitely from a tear, suspect a possible fissure deeper in the cloaca similar enough to a human's fissure. There is currently no way to test or treat - if it was blood from a stone or organs, cancer, condition etc. it would be very serious and apparent. He's had this on and off ever since he had runny poos for months from coccidia/pinworms...or the feeder's fruit. Either way, the parasite treatment administered when he was young did not clear up the blood.

His poo is already soft enough. What are considered soft foods?

After doing some more googling apparently having no more than 2 urates a day is..acceptable?
I haven't given him water since...last weekend. Today his movement was stool w/urate...and later, another movement...only urate (loose) yet again. I read somewhere the urates are "harder" with a lack of fluids/water and or/excess calcium. He seems to have the opposite problem. Should I skip water this weekend to test this? I probably will!
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Re: [BIG POST]Loose urates and blood tinge - non-parasitic

Postby Drache613 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:34 pm

Hello,

I know someone who had a dragon with similar issues. As a youngster, he had a small kink
in his loop of henle which caused loose stools constantly, then harder ones, then loose ones.
It was due to the kink contracting & expanding. He has since then matured & it has gone
away & he doesn't have anymore issues now.
I don't know if that is the issue or not, but also the softer foods like soft bodied worms such
as silkworms, butterworms, chicken or turkey baby food mixed with sweet potato or squash
baby food is usually well liked.
Are you still feeding a grain based diet to your dubias? If so, what type of grain base & what
brand is it?


Tracie
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Re: [BIG POST]Loose urates and blood tinge - non-parasitic

Postby Ultrabeard » Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:28 am

Drache613 wrote:Hello,

I know someone who had a dragon with similar issues. As a youngster, he had a small kink
in his loop of henle which caused loose stools constantly, then harder ones, then loose ones.
It was due to the kink contracting & expanding. He has since then matured & it has gone
away & he doesn't have anymore issues now.
I don't know if that is the issue or not, but also the softer foods like soft bodied worms such
as silkworms, butterworms, chicken or turkey baby food mixed with sweet potato or squash
baby food is usually well liked.
Are you still feeding a grain based diet to your dubias? If so, what type of grain base & what
brand is it?


Tracie

His stools are fine, and he always goes every day. He's over two years old so the kink is irrelevant. It's the urates that are quite loose.
I feed the dubias carrots or squash sometimes for their water, tried to reduce that of late. I've been using dubia diet from dubiaroaches website, recently got Nutritional gutload from beardeddragonco and am going to try that since he's not into his greens.
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Re: [BIG POST]Loose urates and blood tinge - non-parasitic

Postby Drache613 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:39 pm

Hello,

Well, not that he would have a kink, per say, but maybe he has got some GI microvilli
damage or irritation that is causing trouble & possibly some absorption issues. Try some
bromelain powder to help digestive upset & help with some healing of the GI tract. It
is an enzyme that can help with digestion & breakdown of proteins.
The softer foods should help with healing also. I think it will heal but may take some time
but agree it is most likely in the lower intestinal area. There could also be some overall
irritation in the GI tract from the earlier issues with the coccidia.
I hope he starts doing better soon!

Tracie
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Re: [BIG POST]Loose urates and blood tinge - non-parasitic

Postby CooperDragon » Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:04 am

The bromelain powder is an interesting idea. How do you suggest to dose and administer it?
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Re: [BIG POST]Loose urates and blood tinge - non-parasitic

Postby Ultrabeard » Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:12 pm

Well guys, I recently got a comprehensive stool test at the exotic vet which this vet sends to a lab.
Apparently the other vet, who doesn't do reptiles primarily and looked at the stool, was still correct.
Everything is negative for parasites and bacteria. I guess the way I sanitize and care for him/husbandry is all good.
Tomorrow he will get X-rays and a blood test.
He excreted some blood and water/urate 4 times last Thursday. He was perfectly passing stool yesterday. Today is bloody again and went twice w/ loose urate. It's definitely some sort of kidney thing.
I wonder if the powders for vitamins and calcium we give our beardies cause organ issues or kidney stones?
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Re: [BIG POST]Loose urates and blood tinge - non-parasitic

Postby Drache613 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:29 pm

Hello,

Poor thing! What type & brand of supplements are you giving?
The bromelain is in GDU which is a measure of enzyme activity (can look up the meaning again),
but you can basically give 1/8th teaspoon daily of the powder in with water. It is virtually
tasteless too.

Let us know how he is doing.
Tracie
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Re: [BIG POST]Loose urates and blood tinge - non-parasitic

Postby Ultrabeard » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:48 pm

OP Includes brand. RepCal calcium&vitamins

Well he got his Xray and blood test done today. He took it like a champ and is still his normal self afterwards and even wanted a bug!
The xrays are perfectly fine.

Apparently the lab results for the stool were mixed up with a Gecko. The real result came in today and it is "moderate" coccidia like 15-30 count. His worst rating when he was a juvenile was like "high" or 4+ and always had loose stool during that time.
I got the Albon just in case. I will probably wait for blood test results but I know he likes the taste of it and it wouldn't hurt...
The whole good poops w/bad urates don't seem characteristic of coccidia from before or it being relative to the situation since parasites aren't always the cause of issues and shed intermittently...
We'll see what the blood test is and go from there. It'll probably be fine too...but then all we can do is do the albon and maybe bromelain? That's really it. If the results are bad it could mean infection and would do antibiotics then but I sure don't want to give him a needle every week! It's terrible.
The one that's easier on their system is the IV one you give with a needle they said. The oral antibiotic is very harsh (baytril)
It still doesn't seem bacterial...infections should only get worse. This has been like this for almost a year...
...pretty much out of options here. It could be a complicated metabolic or autoimmune issue with the kidneys or something that no test diagnoses and is not treatable akin to hormone imbalance or thyroid disease...something *weird* that you just don't treat in reptiles. Who knows.
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