5 1/2 year old bearded dragon is very sick & lethargic

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5 1/2 year old bearded dragon is very sick & lethargic

Postby bloodreddragon » Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:21 pm

Hello all, so I got my blood red beardie about 5.5 years ago, unfortunately 2 months into getting him my land lord forced me to remove him from my apartment due to a no pet rule. I then gave him off to my parents to take care of for the past 5 years....big mistake. Though I gave them all the necessary tools ie. an arcadia t5 ho 12% uvb / a 5600k daylight tube for improved visible light, a 100 watt basking lamp, and natural stone tiles for flooring contained in a 40 gallon glass terrarium. Though I recommended a healthy diced collard greens and edive diet mixed with crickets or meal worms they pretty much fed him only meal worms which were rarely powdered with calcium. They did give him direct sun for about the past year in a custom built outdoor cage. I would regularly though not always check up on him and he recently came down with tons of scary bad symptoms:

- lethargic
- sunken in eyes
- nearly half of his stomache (the left side) is as hard as a rock almost
- a small hard lump towards his (right side) rear belly
- a dramatic loss of weight in a little over a weeks time
- he intermittently gasps for air
- has mucus build up in his mouth (no nostril popping when breathing)
- he won't eat, won't drink, won't bask for longer than a few hours daily
- sleeps pretty much all day
- intermittent head twitching/shaking post walking around much

I took him to the doctor immediately upon taking him back into my care and the doctor wasn't very helpful, didn't even mention the impacted tummy, just said he was dehydrated, had early stages of mbd and wouldn't live long...also offered me a $1,400 bill to keep him in their intensive care for 5 days.

She gave me the following meds to administer:

- orbax .2ml daily (for 21 days)
- calcium gluconate .1ml daily (for 14 days)

Since taking him in back under my care a week ago I've made a habitat of:

- 20 gallon long glass tank (36" long)
- 36" t5 ho arcadia 12% uvb tube 12" above (about 6 months old) along with a 5600k daylight tube for improved vision
- natural stone tiles for flooring that are regularly cleaned
- a 75w domed exo terra basking lamp 8" above (which according to the documentation equates to a 97d F basking spot)
- a small wooden house that he can use for shade if wanted

Diet wise my first few days up until 2 days ago I fed him:

MEDS:

- DAILY orbax .2ml daily
- DAILY calcium gluconate .1ml daily
- DAILY 8ml of pureed collard greens with equal parts puree of butternut squash dosed with a dash of pure calcium carbonate (human grade) and a dash of herpitive multivitamin
- DAILY 8ml of filtered water

With the above diet he threw up bi-daily, just couldn't hold down the food / fluids. I've been giving him daily warm water baths for about 30 minutes also.

So, far the past two days I've changed his diet to:

DAY 1
- all the meds
- 4ml of pedialyte diluted 1:1 with britta filtered water

DAY 2 (today)
- all the meds
- 4ml of pedialyte diluted 1:1 with britta filtered water
ADDED
- 4ml of pure organic (no additives) prune puree mixed with calcium carbonate and herpitive multi vite in hopes of helping him poop. He has only pooped 3 times total during the week (the first two stools were bloody, the last which was 3 days ago was large, round and deep brown)

He is still lethargic for the most part today but isn't gasping for air as much. Today I also took into account that this could mostly be due to impaction, especially considering half of his tummy is rock hard. So I started giving him a warm bath with 20 minutes of gentle tummy massaging with no poop yet. I'll attach pictures to show you how skinny he's gotten.

He is 18" long, has a tiny bit of tail rot and weighs 400 grams even. Any advice would be extremely appreciated, I really want to save this lil guy since I feel partially to blame for his current state.

Image
Image
Image
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Re: 5 1/2 year old bearded dragon is very sick & lethargic

Postby KarrieRee » Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:22 am

Hopefully some will respond soon w/ some advice on him --- poor thing --- TracieDrache613 is a vet moderator - ADHB can help as well --- hope some one gets back w/ you soon--

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Re: 5 1/2 year old bearded dragon is very sick & lethargic

Postby kingofnobbys » Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:42 am

Herpaboost , several small meal given orally by syringe or if you can get it VetaFarm CrittaCare Reptile food substitute , same deal.

Several small meals of high potency liquid food per day is going to be easier on him than trying to get on large meal per day.

https://vetafarm.com.au/product/herpaboost/

https://www.wildlifesupplies.com.au/sho ... 00-ml.html
info
http://www.onlinepetcart.com.au/reptile ... 100ml.html

I used this to give narishment to my rescued water skink Fluffy and attribute her recovery in large measure to this food substitute.
CBDs: Puff (M)(RIP 10Dec2015),Rex (F)(RIP 16Mar2017),Toothless (M)(RIP 26Nov2017).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, over 8 yrs old, died in her sleep, RIP 2Feb2016). Fluffy (F) 4y old when rescued 14Nov2017 my little livewire , ubertame, thriving and very happy .
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Re: 5 1/2 year old bearded dragon is very sick & lethargic

Postby SandP » Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:48 am

When was the last time he defecated? Were any xrays taken? It may be impaction but I don't think that's all it is. I'm thinking maybe a mass of some sort that may have also caused impaction. I would try to find another vet. Was the one you took him to a reptile vet that has worked with bearded dragons before?
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Re: 5 1/2 year old bearded dragon is very sick & lethargic

Postby bloodreddragon » Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:29 pm

SandP wrote:When was the last time he defecated? Were any xrays taken? It may be impaction but I don't think that's all it is. I'm thinking maybe a mass of some sort that may have also caused impaction. I would try to find another vet. Was the one you took him to a reptile vet that has worked with bearded dragons before?


His last stool was 4 days until today when I got home and gave him a hot 107 degree F bath & he freaked out a bit and swam wildly, then suddenly pooped a large ball shape of matter that was about the diameter of a penny and slightly hard. I took a photo of it below post mushing it a bit to make sure it wasn't just solid (or an organ). He seems to still have an even larger hard mass on the lower right side of his stomach in addition to nearly the entire left half of his body feeling like a hard, semi flat mass inside.

Image

I didn't get an x-ray done because they were asking for an amount that I just couldn't afford (in the high hundreds). The hospital had seen beardie's before but they weren't particularly known for exotics, more so pups and cats. I'm curious to know if it could just be a combination of long term build up / impaction which has made his intestines inflamed thus causing his heavy gasping (pressure on his lungs and heart due to mass intestinal inflammation).
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Re: 5 1/2 year old bearded dragon is very sick & lethargic

Postby kingofnobbys » Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:54 pm

High hundreds for an Xray ? https://herepup.com/dog-x-ray-cost/

Last time I had a lizard Xrayed it cost me about $150.

What's your zip code ?
….I'm sure we can find reptile vet near you who can examine your dragon, do some tests and treat the dragon.
CBDs: Puff (M)(RIP 10Dec2015),Rex (F)(RIP 16Mar2017),Toothless (M)(RIP 26Nov2017).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, over 8 yrs old, died in her sleep, RIP 2Feb2016). Fluffy (F) 4y old when rescued 14Nov2017 my little livewire , ubertame, thriving and very happy .
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Re: 5 1/2 year old bearded dragon is very sick & lethargic

Postby Drache613 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:13 am

Hello,

Oh my, I am so sorry your parents did not care for him properly, at all. :cry: That is awful.
I hope he doesn't have renal failure or heart & liver trouble.
He is gasping less today?
I agree with you, he is probably going to be severely impacted from the lack of moisture in his
diet & just solely being fed mealworms. Are you feeding him any protein right now or not?
Since you are feeing a lot of fluids, continue with that regime, but go ahead & add in some
greens to the mix along with pumpkin or apple sauce & a drop or two or coconut or olive oil.
Clearing an impaction can take months, depending on the severity & it must be done slowly so
he wont prolapse. So, keep his protein intake relatively low right now to get his kidneys working
better first. You can also use alfalfa powder or barley powder for good sources of fiber with some
purine free intake for him. His weight isn't horrible, but he does need some added weight as his
hipbones do protrude & his pads are sunken.
Go slowly with him, reptiles respond & recover slowly. If he improves daily, then continue at the
pace you are going & he should get stronger.
How old is the Arcadia T5 12% tube? If it is older than a year or so, you could consider replacing
it just to be sure it is full strength for him. While he is recovering, be sure to keep him warmer
over night, around 80 or so, to help boost his system.
I really hope he gets better for you. Keep us posted on him.

Tracie
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Re: 5 1/2 year old bearded dragon is very sick & lethargic

Postby bloodreddragon » Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:04 am

kingofnobbys wrote:High hundreds for an Xray ? https://herepup.com/dog-x-ray-cost/

Last time I had a lizard Xrayed it cost me about $150.

What's your zip code ?
….I'm sure we can find reptile vet near you who can examine your dragon, do some tests and treat the dragon.

Funds are low for me at the moment, I did call a vet that I trust first off (who specializes in reptiles). His first year he had a respiratory infection with the nostrils pops & all so I took him there and they gave me antibiotics to inject which worked after about 2 weeks of treatment. But after describing the symptoms my vet gave me a quote for the visit fee, x-rays, fecal sampling, and potential meds that added up to a very high number. So currently until I can save up some money I'm attempting to be a home care nurse myself & help him along until he can get the expensive, professional help he deserves.
Last edited by bloodreddragon on Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 5 1/2 year old bearded dragon is very sick & lethargic

Postby bloodreddragon » Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:29 am

Drache613 wrote:Hello,

Oh my, I am so sorry your parents did not care for him properly, at all. :cry: That is awful.
I hope he doesn't have renal failure or heart & liver trouble.
He is gasping less today?
I agree with you, he is probably going to be severely impacted from the lack of moisture in his
diet & just solely being fed mealworms. Are you feeding him any protein right now or not?
Since you are feeing a lot of fluids, continue with that regime, but go ahead & add in some
greens to the mix along with pumpkin or apple sauce & a drop or two or coconut or olive oil.
Clearing an impaction can take months, depending on the severity & it must be done slowly so
he wont prolapse. So, keep his protein intake relatively low right now to get his kidneys working
better first. You can also use alfalfa powder or barley powder for good sources of fiber with some
purine free intake for him. His weight isn't horrible, but he does need some added weight as his
hipbones do protrude & his pads are sunken.
Go slowly with him, reptiles respond & recover slowly. If he improves daily, then continue at the
pace you are going & he should get stronger.
How old is the Arcadia T5 12% tube? If it is older than a year or so, you could consider replacing
it just to be sure it is full strength for him. While he is recovering, be sure to keep him warmer
over night, around 80 or so, to help boost his system.
I really hope he gets better for you. Keep us posted on him.

Tracie


- Thanks Tracie, to answers your questions:

"He is gasping less today?"
- he is back to gasping about the same amount aside from when he's sleeping.

"Are you feeding him any protein right now or not?"
- I attempted to feed him a ground up hornworm mixed in along with his 1:1 collard green and butternut squash puree dosed with herpitive multi-v's and calcium carbonate powder that I force syringe fed him on day 6 (8ml's worth) but he threw it all up not long after when he took a bath. I believe 8ml's may just be too much with how much impaction he has. Days 7 and 8 have been solely a diet of 4ml of 1:1 pedialyte/filtered water and 4ml of pure additive free prune puree dosed with herpitive multi-v's and calcium powder along with his med's (orbax which I skipped today only and his .2ml of calcium glucconate) Today I also added .2ml of pure virgin olive oil.

"go ahead & add in some greens to the mix along with pumpkin or apple sauce & a drop or two or coconut or olive oil"
- I'll continue with his 4ml of 1:1 collard green and butternut squash puree dosed with herpitive multi-v's and calcium carbonate powder tomorrow (well today really since it's 2am here) along with 4ml of 1:1 pedialyte/filtered water, 4ml of prune puree and the .2ml of pure olive oil that I started feeding him yesterday. Along with his meds ofcourse.

"You can also use alfalfa powder or barley powder for good sources of fiber with some
purine free intake for him"
- Should I add that as well considering I'm already giving him prune puree and olive oil?

"How old is the Arcadia T5 12% tube?"
- a little over 6 months old

"be sure to keep him warmer over night, around 80 or so"
- I've been using a zoo med heat pad under the far side of the tank's stone tiles and covering the tank with a towel to keep the warmth up. it seems to stays at around 83d F according to my digi-thermometer.

Thank you for all the help, I really appreciate the kindness. =)
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Re: 5 1/2 year old bearded dragon is very sick & lethargic

Postby vrenee1018 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:26 am

I don't have much advice to offer as you've got some of the best giving said advice. So I just wanna say I'm so so sorry for the way your parents cared for him and that you came back to a sickly dragon. Sending good vibes and thoughts for your guy! Hope he recovers soon! Keep us posted for sure! 😊👍
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Re: 5 1/2 year old bearded dragon is very sick & lethargic

Postby Drache613 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:22 pm

Hello,

How is your boy doing today?
I am sure he probably has quite a bit of discomfort from being impacted & dehydrated, poor
thing. I agree, 8mls was likely too much for his system. Try doing 3-4mls at a time, or maybe
1-2mls a couple of times per day so it can be absorbed easier. His system isn't accustomed
to fluids & greens, etc. Your slurry is fine, so for now, you don't need to add anything else for
him, just stick with your blend. Once he is taking it all better, if you wanted to add the extra
powders I mentioned you can consider it.
The Arcadia D3 12% T5 should be good still, at only 6 months of use. Be sure it is at around
10 inches from him, alongside of his basking light. Great, the heating pad should be fine as
long as he lays on a towel on top of it so he doesn't get too hot or burned. The overnight heat
can help boost his system as well as expedite his digestion also.

We are all pulling for a full recovery for him!
Tracie
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Re: 5 1/2 year old bearded dragon is very sick & lethargic

Postby bloodreddragon » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:31 pm

Hello all, my beardie is a tough one! His gasp breathing is improving by a tiiiny bit, he hasn't thrown up for about 6 days ever since I cut his daily feeding down to 4ml of puree'd greens, 4ml of pedialyte/water, and .8ml of puree'd prunes with a few drops of olive oil.

He spent the last 3 days only peeing (I think it was pee) a sort of smelly, clear slime mixed with some pure white poo, no brown stuff. BUT! Today he finally pooped some brown stuff, a little white stuff, and another big puddle of clear slime. Does anyone know what the clear stuff may be based on the above diet?

Though he still has 2 big lumps on the right side of his body, the left side where nearly his entire tummy is rock hard seems to have slightly changed shape, as if maybe something inside his intestines is shifting or leaving...the poop, or slime?
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Re: 5 1/2 year old bearded dragon is very sick & lethargic

Postby AHBD » Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:52 am

Hey there, it's good to hear that the poor guy is doing a bit better ! Keep up what you're doing and don't worry about the odd poos, his diet is odd now being mostly liquid/soupy. How's he doing now since last Wednesday ?
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Re: 5 1/2 year old bearded dragon is very sick & lethargic

Postby Drache613 » Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:40 pm

Hello,

That is great news to hear your boy is doing so much better. I'm glad to hear he hasn't thrown
up in a week or so. He must be feeling quite a bit better now.
Keep up the good work with him & hopefully he will continue to improve for you!
The clear fluids are likely from the pedialyte & olive oil most likely. That just happens so I
wouldn't worry about it.
He still has a couple of lumps on his right side, have they not softened up at all? Poor thing,
it sounds like he still has some impaction issues going on. All you can do is to continue to
help him through this as you are doing.
Is he getting plenty of exercise too?
Keep us posted on him.

Tracie
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Re: 5 1/2 year old bearded dragon is very sick & lethargic

Postby HerpGirl » Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:13 pm

POOR BABY!!! I wish I could help! :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:
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