Blood work help/Giardia/High UA and Calcium

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Blood work help/Giardia/High UA and Calcium

Postby VVM265 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:01 pm

I took my 2 year old femal bearded dragon (477g) to the vet for lethargy and lack of appetite last Thursday. Vet thought she might be oostasis. Blood work results came back supporting theory of egg production according to vet. Fecal showed Giardia and was prescribed metronidazole (250mg/5ml) to be given that day and then 10 days later. Was sent home with critical care insect/omnivore to graduate up to 9ml via syringe feeding. Stormy has shown no improvement and went back for recheck today. Was x-rayed and ultrasounded showing no eggs and small portion of food in stomach. Joints look great with no swelling. Vet gave an enema and encouraged baths for hydration and continued critical care feeding. Mixed pumpkin purée with critical care feed and gave bath. Produced bowel movement in bath which matches up with x-ray images (as much as one can tell).

I am attaching pics and blood results as I’m not sure what they indicate because UA is high, as is calcium. It could be a host of factors that has brought about stress triggering current behavior and lowering immune system? She is storm sensitive and the recent hurricane systems sent her to the cool end of her cage (kind of like WTH is going on?). There has been a lot of rain and cloudy days than normal (east coast - maryland). I was gone for a couple of weeks in August and then again at the beginning of October so though she is ok with my husband caring for her she prefers me (sounds silly but it just is). I did a complete and deep cage clean out in July (this always irks her as I don’t seem to put it back exactly right). It has been unusually dry early so not surprised by dehydration although never saw it in her skin? She is past when she normally starts to brumate. So she is tucked under her stairs but not sleeping, alert eyed but not moving except maybe a couple of inches forward and then will push up and look around. Will only bask if I soak her and put her on the warm side and then for at most an hour and she goes back over to cool side will refuse to eat - not even hornworms or pumpkin purée. She hasn’t black bearded and though I can tell she is not amused she isn’t angry or irritated. Just hurmph a grumpy....much like me with winter approaching. She is able to walk just fine when I’ve taken her out of her cage on the few warm days we have had to get her natural sunlight. So I’m not sure what to do but I’m worried about my girl. My gut says she needs to have her digestive tract empty, hydrated and parasite free and then let her brumate in peace but that doesn’t follow what the vet has instructed. Any advice?

I like her vet though I’m not sure if I agree with her advice given tonight. I was instructed to put a reptile heat pad under her tank on the cool end and keep a heat lamp going at night on her warm end. (Our house is set at 72 for evening). I’m not to let her brumate as there is no point in bearded dragons in captivity (not sure how to keep Stormy from doing that - she does her own thing)? I’m not sure how to exactly to get a bearded dragon to do anything it doesn’t want to do.....like stay under her basking lamp and eat. Please help - I’ve grown quite attached to her and want to the best thing for her.

Slate tiles for flooring
Reptisun 10 T5 HO UVB light (cool side is roughly 72 ambient room temp and 105 directly under basking lamp tested with infrared gun)
Basking lamp zoo med reptibasking lamp 50 watt (usually basks with mouth open)
Fed variet of greens - favorite are collard, cactus, dandelion, mustard, endive and escarole
Protein, Dubai roaches, crickets, hornworms, wax worms, butter worms, repti-worms (fed in a different large tote - not in reptile house)
Herpite calcium (with vitamin D) and vitamin with beta carotene (vet recommends switching to repashy with retinol).
Generally 30 to 60 minutes a day of natural sunlight when available and warm enough (Aprilish to Octoberish?)


Stormy yesterday
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Stormy today (normal brumation spot is next to where she is hiding)
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Stormys Poop Tonight (orange because of the pumpkin I think- not bloody)
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Stormys lab work
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Stormys enclosure
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Re: Blood work help/Giardia/High UA and Calcium

Postby Drache613 » Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:25 am

Hello,

The tank setup is terrific, really. I don't think that anything in your tank needs to be changed.
How close is the T5 Reptisun 10 tube from her & is it mounted on top of or underneath of her
screen top?
Her weight is good & her body condition looks fine to me. There are some fat pads under her
arms which is normal & the base of her tail looks well dispersed also. The pads on her head
are elevated the best I can tell. What is her length?
Most of the time, there isn't much you can do to keep a healthy reptile from brumating. That
is just what they do.
Since the calcium levels are elevated, she may be preparing to start developing eggs. The time
of year it is, things might develop much more slowly. A lot of them go into a brumation phase
& slowly develop eggs then come out of brumation & lay them. So, I am in agreement there
with the vet as she could be in pre-ovulatory stasis where they wont be visible on an x-ray or
by ultrasound right now. If no tumors or impactions are seen, then her GI tract should be all
clear, too. The AST or liver enzymes are a bit high as is the uric acid but that could also be
due to hormonal fluctuations from brumation preparations.
Personally, I think she is most likely just getting to brumate. If she isn't losing weight & seems
apparently healthy then it is fine to let her be lazy & sleep for awhile. I don't think it would
be a good idea to medicate her anymore because I don't see any infection going on right now.

Let us know how she is doing.
Tracie
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Re: Blood work help/Giardia/High UA and Calcium

Postby Drache613 » Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:25 am

Hello,

The tank setup is terrific, really. I don't think that anything in your tank needs to be changed.
How close is the T5 Reptisun 10 tube from her & is it mounted on top of or underneath of her
screen top?
Her weight is good & her body condition looks fine to me. There are some fat pads under her
arms which is normal & the base of her tail looks well dispersed also. The pads on her head
are elevated the best I can tell. What is her length?
Most of the time, there isn't much you can do to keep a healthy reptile from brumating. That
is just what they do.
Since the calcium levels are elevated, she may be preparing to start developing eggs. The time
of year it is, things might develop much more slowly. A lot of them go into a brumation phase
& slowly develop eggs then come out of brumation & lay them. So, I am in agreement there
with the vet as she could be in pre-ovulatory stasis where they wont be visible on an x-ray or
by ultrasound right now. If no tumors or impactions are seen, then her GI tract should be all
clear, too. The AST or liver enzymes are a bit high as is the uric acid but that could also be
due to hormonal fluctuations from brumation preparations.
Personally, I think she is most likely just getting to brumate. If she isn't losing weight & seems
apparently healthy then it is fine to let her be lazy & sleep for awhile. I don't think it would
be a good idea to medicate her anymore because I don't see any infection going on right now.
I think the Herptivite with beta carotene is perfectly fine. There is less chance of toxicity with
the beta carotene than with the synthetic vitamin A in the Reptivite.

Let us know how she is doing.
Tracie
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Re: Blood work help/Giardia/High UA and Calcium

Postby AHBD » Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:17 am

Hi there, I agree with a lot of what Tracie said as well as your gut instinct about letting her brumate. At the temps. you have her at + with her eyes open, it's not really brumation though. It's just a natural slow down right now, and may be associated with her not feeling too well. Don't we feel like laying around when we aren't feeling great ?

Her weight is actually on the high side so you can skip any forced feedings [ or trying to manipulate her to eat ] but offer food in very small amounts 1-2 times a week. No need for baths except once a week at the most, unless she drinks from there.

Other than something serious that the vet missed, she should be O.K just doing what she wants.
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Re: Blood work help/Giardia/High UA and Calcium

Postby VVM265 » Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:27 am

Thank you so much for your replies. Here UVB lamp is hard wired (electrical wire) to the inside of her cage screen top. It’s 22 inches long with reflective shield and sits about 10 inches above and next to her basking area. It’s configured that she can lay on her hammock bridges and can be 6-8 inches above her if she likes. She herself measures about 16.5inches long. We got her from PetCo because my husband impulsively agreed with our 4 year old daughter we needed one and before I knew it they had picked stormy out and a bearded dragon cage “kit”. I then spent a great deal of time and money correcting those mistakes and figuring out Stormy had also brought home a case of parasites - coccidia. It took a bit but we finally got those cleared and then she rapidly gained weight and grew. But she has always been small it seems to me length wise but happy and full of character.

I’ve spent the last hour outside with stormy as it reached 70 degrees today. Sitting directly in the sun (in short sleeves) it gets fairly warm enough that I’m on the slight side of uncomfortable warm. Stormy was alert and after about 40 minutes on my chest she scrambled down and sprung onto the ground to explore. She did get a tinge of dark around the corner of her beard right before she pooped but once she finished she was fine. She didn’t appear to be straining and it didn’t really have any smell to it. When the neighbor across the street started her car she scampered over to me and hunkered down and had some stress markings but other wise fairly alert and happy. In taking the pictures of her lights I realized that I positioned on of her pieces of wood to close to the back of the tank and she was having trouble squeezing past it. Once I adjusted that she went back and forth behind there and seemed much happier. So that explains why she has not been happy about her cage since her last cleaning I think.

I brought her back in to soak her and mixed up the critical care with the pumpkin (she loves pumpkin). She did not want the food and tried to wrest away from the syringe after I loaded it. She did NOT want to soak again - she hates soaking in water and will usually only do it if my hand isis in the water and she is perched on it. Even with that after a few minutes she will try to race up my arm - its never a fun event for either one of us. Usually I mist her every day and let water drip off her nose. She will lick it that way and when she is done she stops licking. So to be honest we only do a soak about once a month when she isn’t brumating and for about all of 5 minutes. In talking with my husband this summer he didn’t mist her every day while I was gone (or at all I suspect) for the couple of weeks at the beginning of August. It was quite humid and we live off the Chesapeake bay. When I got back I gave her a soak and she did drink from the water and then about a week later she did a full body shed (another reason I contributed to her being on the cool side for a bit).

I’m going to show pics of her from todays outside adventure including her poo. One of her light set up. The one of her shedding on the rock is from August 22nd.

Just to double check - the second page of the lab work said she tested positive positive for Giardia. The vet said she could have gotten it from the crickets. Should I still give her the second dose of the metrimoizde on October 29th?

Thank you again for the help!
Shed from August 22nd
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Today’s poop
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Above shot of Stormy
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Side shot of Stormy - showing alert curved tail
[Click image to enlarge]

[Click image to enlarge]


Side shot of warm side with UVB light and basking lamp.
[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: Blood work help/Giardia/High UA and Calcium

Postby AHBD » Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:37 am

She looks good, a happy girl out in the sun with her mom. :) I think it would be fine to give the last dose on the 29th, it's not a big deal or like a huge stress for that dose.


And your watering/soaking schedule is fine, no need at all for daily baths or daily syringe feeding. Once a week is fine for a couple of months. My dragons drink water dripped on the snout for drinking as well, once in a while [ esp. if they get dirty ] they get a soak and they don't care much for it but will have a drink during.
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