Septic Arthritis. Anyone dealt with this? X-Rays/Labs

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Septic Arthritis. Anyone dealt with this? X-Rays/Labs

Postby bayoupig5 » Thu Oct 18, 2018 8:59 pm

Not a good week. Just lost a beardiie to kidney disease October 10th and now my other dragon has a bone infection. My two trips to the vet already cost me $1000. This all started when I noticed she had a little trouble walking and then I noticed her swollen ankle. The vet trip included x-rays and blood work. X-ray showed that the bones in her affected foot were smaller. After radiologist interpretation and second opinion it was definitely noted that this infection was causing bone loss. However, they are not sure what is causing it. They want to sedate her and aspirate the swelling and send it off for review and culture sensitivity....at a cost of another 500 dollars! Wow...so expensive. But we still do not have any blood test results yet. So I do not know if gout or another factor could be contributing to this. Never the less...is a bone infection treatable...is this something that can be dealt with and give her another couple years of life. Or am I fighting an uphill battle. Another 500 is a lot just to tell us what kind of antibiotic to use especially if prognosis is poor. The vet could not specify prognosis...so. I am here hoping to get any feedback. Also my inclination is to wait for blood results before anything else....but at the same time I don't want this to get worse while we wait. Poor Littlefoot...she is 6 and a half...I am barely into the loss of one and now am struggling to deal with this one. Any help...thoughts advice is appreciated.
Last edited by bayoupig5 on Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:04 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Osteomyelitis? Septic Arthritis? Anyone dealt with this?

Postby AHBD » Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:15 pm

Aw, so sorry to read this. :( Definitely a hard blow after losing your other girl. I would say wait for blood tests, then you'll have more of an idea of what you're dealing with. Send a p.m. to Drache613, she probably would have the best input for you.

I hope it turns out to be treatable, and I can feel for you with the heavy cost associated with this. Hang in there !
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Re: Osteomyelitis? Septic Arthritis? Anyone dealt with this?

Postby bayoupig5 » Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:58 pm

Thank you AHBD....I have decided to go ahead with the aspiration. There seems to be little info out there for this, and all I have read are incomplete posts. Posts that go on until treatment and then...nothing. The other things I had read are people who's dragons were diagnosed, and treated with an antibiotic without aspiration and culture to find out the infection was resistant to the meds, then moving on to the next, and the next...of course all while the infection gets worse or spreads. I really hope the blood test show that she is otherwise healthy. She is 6, so is not a Spring chicken, but she has been solid up until this point. Having these dragons both go down with issues so quickly and together is very straining, and I am hoping for the best for Littlefoot. Thanks for your concern.
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Re: Osteomyelitis? Septic Arthritis? Anyone dealt with this?

Postby AHBD » Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:13 pm

That all sounds logical. Hopefully the vet will know how to deal with it, whatever it is. Sending it off for testing should give you more peace of mind that you're doing everything that you can.

Has she ever been on Serrapeptase ? I've never used it but I see it referred to often enough on here as a natural anti inflammatory/pain reliever.
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Re: Septic Arthritis Confirmed. Anyone dealt with this?

Postby bayoupig5 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 3:35 pm

So it is a confirmed case of septic arthritis. I have never even heard of this. I have never heard of Serrapeptase. But she is on Tramadol and Metacam. Tomorrow I have to go and get a demonstration on how to needle inject antibiotics. Yikes. Anyway so far she is good but I am guarded knowing how fast Emmalee turned the corner. However....Littlefoot is basking and ate 5 dubia today.
Does anyone know anything about septic arthritis? How the heck does this happen?
Good news....if there is any is that preliminary blood work looks normal. I will let you know once I know for sure.
Last edited by bayoupig5 on Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Septic Arthritis Confirmed. Anyone dealt with this?

Postby kingofnobbys » Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:12 pm

bayoupig5 wrote:So it is a confirmed case of septic arthritis. I have never even heard of this. I have never heard of Serrapeptase. But she is on Tramadol and Metcam. Tomorrow I have to go and get a demonstration on how to needle inject antibiotics. Yikes. Anyway so far she is good but I am guarded knowing how fast Emmalee turned the corner. However....Littlefoot is basking and ate 5 dubia today.
Does anyone know anything about septic arthritis? How the heck does this happen?
Good news....if there is any is that preliminary blood work looks normal. I will let you know once I know for sure.


Had to look it up …. starts off usually as a UTI or SI , that gets into a joint and causes inflammation. From what I've read you treat the infection to remove the germs from the bloodstream to treat it.
I would think the vet would have explained how this happened and gave a prognosis (chances of a full recovery) , if not ? why not ?
Last edited by kingofnobbys on Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:38 am, edited 2 times in total.
CBDs: Puff (M)(RIP 10Dec2015 @ 3.2 yrs old (aneurism)),Rex (F)(RIP 16Mar2017 @ 4.6 yrs old,Toothless (M)(sudden unexplained death RIP 26Nov2017) @ 2.1 yrs old.Peppa (F) (born 15Nov2015).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Lucky (M)(wild juvenile), cat attack rescue, fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.Wriggles (F)(rescued injured),thought she was a big lizard, 7-8 yrs old, died in her sleep, RIP 2Feb2016). Fluffy (F) rescued 14Nov2017 about 4 yrs old . .
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Re: Septic Arthritis Confirmed. Anyone dealt with this?

Postby Drache613 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:47 am

Hello,

So sorry you are having to go through this now with your other dragon. It's hard enough to
lose a dragon. :cry:
I didn't get a chance to get on last night, to respond. As noted, usually bacteria gets into
the bone area by some type of infection like a respiratory infection that affects the system.
Doing an aspiration can help determine what type of bacteria is present. I have dealt with a
few people here on the forum, that had a dragon with this type of prognosis. A good drug
used to treat this type of bacteria is AZT/Azithromycin. It really targeted the infections.
When you get the blood test results back, if you can get a copy so I can look over them, that
would be great.
How is she doing today? How long will she be on the tramadol & Metacam for?
Serrapeptase is silkworm enzyme which helps with pain, swelling & inflammation.

Let us know how Littlefoot is doing.
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Re: Septic Arthritis Confirmed. Anyone dealt with this?

Postby bayoupig5 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:55 pm

Kingofnobbys-The vet did not explain much. I went to see the vet a a walk in. So only spent about 15 minutes with her before Littlefoot was hospitalized for the day for blood collection and x-rays. Then I went to pick Littlefoot up. The vet knew something was wrong with her bones, but the x-rays had to be interpreted by a radiologist. Thursday she called to tell me that it looked like an infection, and was explaining something else...but we had a horrible connection and I could only hear every other word. Friday I took Littlefoot in for her sedation for culture and collection. By the time I picked her up the doctor was gone. Saturday the doctor called but said she had little time and told me her preliminary bloodwork looked good...but that she would know more Monday. So I really have not had the chance to talk to her since the diagnosis. She sent me home with injectable antibiotics and I never ever have done that before...so the vet is extremely busy. Not much of a choice though. She is the only one here....the others are 4 hours away over a mountain pass. Hoping to know more by Monday.
Tracie- I will post all the results and medicines once I have them. Liitlefoot had no visible infections. Normal poop...normal appetite....and normal activity...despite being wobbly on that foot...no RI....not sure where this came from but the vet did say that it is very common for reptiles to get sick this time of year. She says as soon as it starts to get cooler business is 10 fold.
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Re: Septic Arthritis. Anyone dealt with this? X-Rays/Labs

Postby bayoupig5 » Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:31 am

I had a chance to talk to the vet last night. This is kind of weird, as the blood results did not show an active infection. Which I guess is good news, but this just confirms that Littlefoot did not seem to get septic arthritis through a current infection of any kind. Also on interpretation of blood work results, everything is in normal range, which is also good news. The vet did confirm that her prognosis is guarded as infections in reptiles can be "hard to control". There is definite bone erosion on x-ray (poor thing), and I am still waiting for culture and sensitivity results. The vet took x-ray views of the front body and head as well and these x-rays did not show any other areas of active infection. Littlefoot is currently on intramuscular injection ceftazidime every 48 hours (she had injection Sunday and gets another one today) for 6 weeks. I have to go into the vet today to try and attempt this myself...YIKES. She is also on Tramadol as needed up to three times per day and Metacam for 10 days. Hoping for the best for Littlefoot, she is currently still very active, is mostly eating (5 dubia Sat, no veg Sat or Sun), 1 dubia yesterday (and 1-2 mls of veg slurry). She gets a bath daily for up to 20 minutes, pooping is normal.

LAB RESULTS
https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploa ... _large.jpg

Image
Image

QUESTION: I know with oral meds the dragon should be basking for metabolization, but is this also true for the IM injection?
Last edited by bayoupig5 on Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:40 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Septic Arthritis. Anyone dealt with this? X-Rays/Labs

Postby AHBD » Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:40 am

Can you post pics of Littlefoot, esp. showing the 2 legs just like in the xray ? And can you specify what the vet says is bone erosion ? I don't see that in the xray.

Post a few pics of her tank as well, showing what her set up is like.
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Re: Septic Arthritis. Anyone dealt with this? X-Rays/Labs

Postby bayoupig5 » Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:31 pm

Can you post pics of Littlefoot, esp. showing the 2 legs just like in the xray ? And can you specify what the vet says is bone erosion ? I don't see that in the xray.

Post a few pics of her tank as well, showing what her set up is like.


Here are some pics first are the leg pics, as best I could in position to the actual x-rays.
Image
Image

A picture of Littlefoot basking.
Image

Tank and temps, this temp is the highest, it can drop to about 98 F...so basking is between 98 F to 100 F. Brand new Reptisun 10.0 T5 HO.
Image
Image

In terms of bone erosion, the left back foot where it looks blown apart (due to the infection)...if you look at the small bone in the middle of it all, it was told to me that this bone is small in relation to what it should be. This was reviewed by two separate radiologist, so I am to assume they are right.
https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploa ... _large.jpg
Gave her the first solo injection....oh boy...I am not very good at it...she wriggled and tried to get away...then was quite pissed at me..even gave me a huff...lol...I hope for her sake I get better at this. I felt terrible. Going to try to give her these injections in the morning before she is fully awake, maybe I will be more successful.
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Re: Septic Arthritis. Anyone dealt with this? X-Rays/Labs

Postby AHBD » Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:07 pm

O.K, I zoomed in and looked at the right spot [ was looking at her leg bones before ] I do see some separation, wonder if it could actually be related to calcium deficiency at all. Have you always used a good uvb bulb like you have now ? I know you take really good care of your dragons. I would consider turning that basking log on it's side just to make it a bit shorter so she can't jump from that high up. With any type of arthritis you want to reduce impact from jumping. Maybe put a few layers of newspaper with non adhesive shelf liner on top to make the flooring more cushiony and less hard on the joints..


BTW, she looks very healthy and that's very nice set up. :)
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Re: Septic Arthritis. Anyone dealt with this? X-Rays/Labs

Postby bayoupig5 » Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:33 pm

They have always had calcium supplements and thier UVB lights have always been Reptisun 10.0. The tree you see in the basking area is her ladder. The platforn is a large magnarock behind it about 10 inches long by 5 inches wide. Her basking area was higher when using the Reptisun T8...it has been lowered about 9 inches. She never jumps off her platform. She always uses her tree as a slide. I was late changing the UVB this year by about 3 months....but that is because I was on disability at 50% pay with several broken bones and surgery (crushed by horse). Otherwise lights have always been changed on time. X-rayed bones do not show calcium deciciency nor do the lab results. If she pulls through this I may line the cage bottom with foam and then lay the tile over top of that. So far she is a trooper and doing quite well. She even tries to run on her leg constantly. She is a tough cookie. Thanks AHBD.
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Re: Septic Arthritis. Anyone dealt with this? X-Rays/Labs

Postby Drache613 » Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:48 am

Hello!

How is Littlefoot doing today?
Sometimes they can develop issues with bones simply from genetics. It doesn't appear she has
any metabolic bone problems but switching to a higher UVB output light will definitely help her
out. I'm glad to hear she has been active & eating.
The shots are challenging to give so giving them early in the day before she is completely awake
will probably be easier. The injection site usually stings which is why she hissed. She is only
supposed to be on the injections for a couple of weeks?
Overall, I would say she is doing pretty well now?
I had forgotten you were in Canada also, how is the weather doing?

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Re: Septic Arthritis. Anyone dealt with this? X-Rays/Labs

Postby AHBD » Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:16 am

Sorry to hear about your accident, it must have been traumatic, I hope you're healing well ! Good that you've been diligent about the lighting. Keep in mind that tile, although widely used, is really unnatural and can add to the pain in any type of joint problem. I would cover it up ASAP.


It's widely known that people who work at places with concrete floors , which is hard like tile flooring, can develop a host of joint problems.

https://healthfully.com/health-caused-l ... 63838.html
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