Mystery Illness Not MBD or Gout

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Mystery Illness Not MBD or Gout

Postby JoeyLoo » Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:31 am

First post— long-time lurker.

We have had several beardies, but we are having trouble with our 7 year-old alpha male, Kevin.

Set up: slate floor 3.5 foot tank, plus supervised roaming time. Grew up with a reptisun 10 18” bulb and ceramic heat bulb. Currently he has a high quality mercury bulb for uvb/heat. Boulders for 6” uvb/basking access and a hide.
Diet: BSl, earthworms and superworms once he was big enough- crickets gave him the poops- beardy healthy greens and veg. Temps range from 85-95 hot side 80-75 cool side. We are in Southern California, so I rarely need night heating. Dust his food w/ repti-cal daily, multivitamin once a week.

He’s always been super active, hilarious and dominant. Symptoms started with dragging/limping one leg. I thought it was maybe an injured leg, but he seemed otherwise just fine. It turned pretty quickly and he started having stiff joints and a lot of trouble getting around. He could no longer hunt, so I hand feed everything, plus water. His appetite is still very good. No signs of pain.

I took him to the vet. She ran a blood panel and stool check. She said he was basically healthy: no parasites, super hydrated, healthy weight, uric avid normal, calcium a little high, all organ function good, but his white blood cell count was a little high. She suggested he might absorb liquid calcium better and that we might try an antibiotic and a pain reliever to see if he improved. I gave him probiotics after his treatment. He seemed to improve for a while, but I wasn’t sure if it was the spring that made him more active. I switched to calci-blast and give serrapeptase every day because they seem to make him feel better.

Now he seems to be worse, I’m taking him to the vet next week, but he is periodically gaping without respiratory distress, it looks like he barfed a little water this morning and his belly is bloated. He almost always poops in his bath, but not for a day or so. He has some stress marks on his belly today. I’ve also noticed that he started liking cooler temps about 2 months ago. He seems to get hot really easily. He doesn’t like to be touched at the base of his tail, but again, no black beard or real sign of pain, but it’s hard to tell. He definitely doesn’t feel great, he’s hunching and grumpy. Is it his kidneys maybe?

Does anyone have any insight? I’ve searched the forums for a similar set of symptoms that are not gout or MBD. He’s able to move his limbs but his muscles are super weak and he’s very stiff. I love him very much, too much to keep him in pain just so I don’t have to lose him. I’m fine with hand-feeding etc. if he won’t get better, but I would love to see him his old self or at least less miserable. Thanks for all of your posts over the years!
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Re: Mystery Illness Not MBD or Gout

Postby CooperDragon » Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:38 pm

It's good that his blood test turned out normal. That helps show that his core systems are OK. My guess based on what you're describing is maybe arthritis. I would discuss that possibility with your vet and see what she thinks and discuss possible treatment.
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Re: Mystery Illness Not MBD or Gout

Postby Drache613 » Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:57 pm

Hello,

How is he liking his calci-blast & serrapeptase? Do you happen to have a copy of the blood test
you could post or send to me, just so I can look over it?
Which MVB brand are you using & how far is the Reptisun 10 tube from him? Is it mounted on
top of the screen or underneath of it?
If you have any pictures of Kevin, along with the setup, go ahead & post them here so we can
all see it.

I agree, he may not have been absorbing his calcium very well so changing him to a liquid
calcium was a good idea. How many crickets or other insects do you feed him weekly?
Let us know how he is doing.

Tracie
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Re: Mystery Illness Not MBD or Gout

Postby JoeyLoo » Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:34 pm

CooperDragon wrote:It's good that his blood test turned out normal. That helps show that his core systems are OK. My guess based on what you're describing is maybe arthritis. I would discuss that possibility with your vet and see what she thinks and discuss possible treatment.


Thanks for responding!

We thought that might be a possibility and she said he could have a bacterial form of arthritis, thus the antibiotics. The painkiller the vet gave him. didn’t seem to do as much as the serrapeptase for his happiness level. He didn’t get that much more mobile, but he seems brighter when he has it.
I feel like the collective wisdom on this forum can be helpful when it’s an odd case. Would arthritis cause him to have digestive issues?
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Re: Mystery Illness Not MBD or Gout

Postby JoeyLoo » Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:25 pm

Drache613 wrote:Hello,

How is he liking his calci-blast & serrapeptase? Do you happen to have a copy of the blood test
you could post or send to me, just so I can look over it?
Which MVB brand are you using & how far is the Reptisun 10 tube from him? Is it mounted on
top of the screen or underneath of it?
If you have any pictures of Kevin, along with the setup, go ahead & post them here so we can
all see it.

I agree, he may not have been absorbing his calcium very well so changing him to a liquid
calcium was a good idea. How many crickets or other insects do you feed him weekly?
Let us know how he is doing.

Tracie


Hi Tracie!

I have been reading your posts for years and really appreciate how generous you are in sharing your wisdom with the community.

I am using your calci-blast and Serrapeptase in organic blueberry. He loves it and it really makes him feel better. I have another order on its way.

He only has the mvb right now, it’s an exo-terra repti-glo and we cut several holes in the screen, so the light falls directly on him in his hangout spots. He’s about 8-10 inches from the light when he’s on a basking rock and he gets an average of 2+ hours a day of screened natural sunlight, more in the summer and less when it’s too cold. We are in Southern California so it’s rarely too chilly.

He gets gut loaded insects about three times a week. He used to get more, but he seems to digest his veggies easier right now.

I’m afraid it’s that he was a PetCo purchase/rescue (he was way too tiny to be sold at all and he was in the same tank as some bigger guys and was hiding at the bottom) I think he was overbred at a lizard mill, it makes me so mad that they just use these animals and don’t consider their suffering. He’s such a great, smart guy and I hate to see him struggle. I’m wondering if he has muscle atrophy from his stiff joints and have been looking for beardy physical therapy ideas.

I am going to ask the vet for a printout of his blood results so I can post them here for you and I think I’m going to ask for an MRI to see what’s going on. She will probably want to do an x-ray first, but I feel like we should go ahead and take a look for anything else.

I will also take a pic of his set-up. Right now it’s super spare because I don’t want him to fall or drown in his water dish and it’s easier for him to get around without obstacles. Really it’s just two rocks and two blankies on a slate floor.

Thanks!
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Re: Mystery Illness Not MBD or Gout

Postby JoeyLoo » Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:48 pm

[Click image to enlarge]


Kevin in the window

[Click image to enlarge]


Kevin (right) tolerating our newest rescue, Turkey
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Re: Mystery Illness Not MBD or Gout

Postby Drache613 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:01 am

Hello,

That's great he is liking the calci-blast & serrapetase! Blueberry is definitely a favorite flavor.
How is he doing today?
So you are using the Exoterra Reptiglo 10 tube bulb for the UVB, correct & what type of basking
light? When he gets the outdoor sun, does he have a screen in between him & the sunlight?
That is a very good idea to keep his tank less cluttered with basking items, etc, so that he has
less of a chance of falling & hurting himself. I agree, too many breeders in breed & overbreed
the females, decreasing their health & longevity. It is infuriating to say the least!
You can try some water therapy on him, to see if that helps with his strength & joint mobility,
also.
I am glad to help, anytime. :D

Tracie
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Re: Mystery Illness Not MBD or Gout

Postby JoeyLoo » Wed Oct 24, 2018 2:34 pm

Hi!

He seems to be feeling better! Still not very mobile, but hungry and feisty.

His light is an exterra Mercury Vapor Bulb so UV and heat are from the same source. His natural light is screened so I know it’s cut by 50%, but we are also in Southern California, so UV is strong here.

I’ve tried water therapy, but he has always hated baths. I give them anyway, but he glares the whole time...haha! I made a harness to help support him in the water, but he just sits there completely outraged.

Thanks again for your help!
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Re: Mystery Illness Not MBD or Gout

Postby Drache613 » Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:20 am

Hello,

That's good to hear he is doing a bit better now. :D A lot of them just simply don't like baths
so no need to stress him out for no reason. He gets outraged huh? He probably gets a black
beard & everything I would assume.
I hope he starts doing better. The Exoterra Solar Glo is a pretty good bulb, though not a real
strong UVB exposure but ok. If he gets natural sunlight daily then that should help out. You
can also consider adding a T5 tube UVB too for an increased UVB output for him.

Let us know how he is doing.
Tracie
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