Bearded dragon is likely dying, I need advise...

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Bearded dragon is likely dying, I need advise...

Postby SevzLight » Fri May 03, 2019 11:53 pm

So, I really don't like to go and reach for help like this, but I want to ask if anybody has encountered this problem with their bearded dragon before.

A couple months ago, my bearded dragon was starting to get active again (brumation) and everything seemed fine, he seemed great. He was eating, drinking (spray only of course), overall he was completely normal. A couple weeks ago me and my girlfriend noticed something different, he was black bearding, but overall, he was alert, not lethargic, but not eating. We weren't sure if this was just him being moody or slowing back down, so we left it alone. This black bearding persisted for two weeks, so we were getting concerned. My girlfriend went to give him water and noticed that his entire mouth was completely pale, which is not good at all. We immediately brought him to the vet and I paid for a fecal and a blood test.

Vet results: Extremely anemic, low red blood cell count, normal white blood cell count. Low iron, protein and calcium (I think from just not eating for three weeks).

They advised me to bring him to an emergency vet hospital for a blood transfusion, the nearest one is not only very far, but I also am not able to afford a patient stay at a hospital. I'm assuming it would be well over $1000, and I simply won't be able to do it, and I'm incredibly embarrassed to say it, and I'm also ashamed of myself for not being in a better financial situation.

We're bringing him back for an emergency visit to explore other options, but I assume they're only going to direct me to either more diagnostic procedures that I also probably wont be able to afford either.

I'm really upset, I have had my dragon for just 6 years, and he's such a sweet dragon. I feel really upset that these were the options I was given. I can't seem to find any information on anemic dragons besides horror stories, so I can't help but to feel at a complete loss.

Is there anything that anybody knows about that I can try, or suggest to the vet? She's certified exotics but looking back at the voicemail, she didn't seem alarmed, or signaled it being a death sentence.

Is there anything I can try to do, without euthanizing my pet? Something that I can at least try before I go to that conclusion? He's still alert, normal weight, just pale mouth and blackbearding. But I'm so scared of losing him. We're going to try talking to the vet again tomorrow like I said, to at least try other treatment options.

I honestly don't know how much it costs to have an extended stay at a vet hospital for a transfusion on a reptile, has anybody had to go through that?


Please, no comments on my financial situation. When I adopted my pets I was in a much better financial situation, and things have changed since then, so have my expenses, and my pet expenses. So many things has happened recently that has changed my financial situation within the past year, so please, it's really not necessary.
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Re: Bearded dragon is likely dying, I need advise...

Postby claudiusx » Sat May 04, 2019 7:07 am

Hi there,

I'm sorry you are going through all this with your bud. Lets see if we can help out.

Firstly, we need to get some more information on your setup and your guy. So if you could please make sure you answer all of these questions, it will better help us help you two.

Can you post a picture of your setup and your dragon?

What is the basking SURFACE temp in your tank (hot side/cool side not really necessary)
What are you using to measure this surface temp?
What UVB bulb do you have. Please be specific. Brand, type, coil/long tube/MVB
How old is your uvb?
What was his typical diet when he was eating?
What have you been trying to feed him now?
Current weight? (did you weigh him before this all occurred by chance?)

Would you be able to post up the blood test results?
Was the fecal ever done?

I think the number one goal here right now, after verifying that your husbandry is ok, is to get some nutrients in your guy.
Have you tried baby food at all?
There are a couple products that we recommend in situations where a dragon is malnurished. Carnivore care and critical care. Both get made into a slurry and you can drip it on their nose if they will lick it off. If they won't, sometimes force feeding via syringe is required. If it gets to that point we will help guide you through that, but hopefully he is willing to eat on his own.

I know there is a lot of questions there, but if you just copy and paste them into your response and answer them, that will make sure nothing was missed.

And no one here is going to harp on you for your financial situation. Everyone here should have 1 goal in mind, and that is to help these dragons, not scare anyone off from seeking help.

-Brandon
Last edited by claudiusx on Sat May 04, 2019 7:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bearded dragon is likely dying, I need advise...

Postby claudiusx » Sat May 04, 2019 7:08 am

Additionally, you mentioned the word "pets" in your post. Is this your only dragon?

-Brandon
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Re: Bearded dragon is likely dying, I need advise...

Postby kingofnobbys » Sat May 04, 2019 7:43 am

Maybe consider contacting a reptile rescue group in your area and surrender him to them since you are not willing to provide the treatment he requires , they will do this for him and if he makes it and recovers they will then rehome him with someone better placed to provide for him.

Don't let this drag on very long as he's already critically ill and suffering and will likely not survive without adequate vet care and perhaps a special diet to help with his recovery.
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Re: Bearded dragon is likely dying, I need advise...

Postby SevzLight » Sat May 04, 2019 11:56 am

kingofnobbys wrote:Maybe consider contacting a reptile rescue group in your area and surrender him to them since you are not willing to provide the treatment he requires , they will do this for him and if he makes it and recovers they will then rehome him with someone better placed to provide for him.

Don't let this drag on very long as he's already critically ill and suffering and will likely not survive without adequate vet care and perhaps a special diet to help with his recovery.


Dont be an *****, unable is not equivelant to unwilling. You don't tell me that im unwilling to care for my pet. Who the ***** do you think you even are to say that? No reptile rescue group is even remotely close nor will they spend thousands for hospital care.
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Re: Bearded dragon is likely dying, I need advise...

Postby claudiusx » Sat May 04, 2019 12:00 pm

SevzLight wrote:
kingofnobbys wrote:Maybe consider contacting a reptile rescue group in your area and surrender him to them since you are not willing to provide the treatment he requires , they will do this for him and if he makes it and recovers they will then rehome him with someone better placed to provide for him.

Don't let this drag on very long as he's already critically ill and suffering and will likely not survive without adequate vet care and perhaps a special diet to help with his recovery.


Dont be an *****, unable is not equivelant to unwilling. You don't tell me that im unwilling to care for my pet. Who the ***** do you think you even are to say that? No reptile rescue group is even remotely close nor will they spend thousands for hospital care.

Please ignore him. He has a tendency to act this way. It's not how the majority of us are like here. We want to help you, lets focus on that and your dragon, not someone who gets off on making comments like these.

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Re: Bearded dragon is likely dying, I need advise...

Postby SevzLight » Sat May 04, 2019 12:06 pm

claudiusx wrote:Hi there,

I'm sorry you are going through all this with your bud. Lets see if we can help out.

Firstly, we need to get some more information on your setup and your guy. So if you could please make sure you answer all of these questions, it will better help us help you two.

Can you post a picture of your setup and your dragon?

What is the basking SURFACE temp in your tank (hot side/cool side not really necessary)
What are you using to measure this surface temp?
What UVB bulb do you have. Please be specific. Brand, type, coil/long tube/MVB
How old is your uvb?
What was his typical diet when he was eating?
What have you been trying to feed him now?
Current weight? (did you weigh him before this all occurred by chance?)

Would you be able to post up the blood test results?
Was the fecal ever done?

I think the number one goal here right now, after verifying that your husbandry is ok, is to get some nutrients in your guy.
Have you tried baby food at all?
There are a couple products that we recommend in situations where a dragon is malnurished. Carnivore care and critical care. Both get made into a slurry and you can drip it on their nose if they will lick it off. If they won't, sometimes force feeding via syringe is required. If it gets to that point we will help guide you through that, but hopefully he is willing to eat on his own.

I know there is a lot of questions there, but if you just copy and paste them into your response and answer them, that will make sure nothing was missed.

And no one here is going to harp on you for your financial situation. Everyone here should have 1 goal in mind, and that is to help these dragons, not scare anyone off from seeking help.

-Brandon


Hi, his basking temps has always been between 105-110. Measured by a temp gun. He has a t5 12 24-28" long tube uvb.
He's eating the typical dark leafy greens (usually a mix because hes always been picky) so collard, kale, and mustard greens. Crickets, dubia and supers all calcium dusted. He's always been in a normal weight range since adulthood so he was about 380 grams at the vet.

They didn't mention the fecal over voicemail, im going to call back on Tuesday and ask about that specifically. The blood test results were over the phone, and i can try to get that as well.

I haven't tried baby food. I was thinking of investing in a juicer and mixing greens and reptiboost and syringe feeding. He will not lap it off his lip/tip at this point.

Also, yes, he's my only dragon, he's about 6 years old. I also have a Bluey and two adopted cats.


In his enclosure he's on ceramic tile. Unfortunately at this moment I don't have a picture of his setup, im at work right now. But I hope this information helps.
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Re: Bearded dragon is likely dying, I need advise...

Postby claudiusx » Sat May 04, 2019 12:17 pm

SevzLight wrote:Hi, his basking temps has always been between 105-110. Measured by a temp gun. He has a t5 12 24-28" long tube uvb.
He's eating the typical dark leafy greens (usually a mix because hes always been picky) so collard, kale, and mustard greens. Crickets, dubia and supers all calcium dusted. He's always been in a normal weight range since adulthood so he was about 380 grams at the vet.

They didn't mention the fecal over voicemail, im going to call back on Tuesday and ask about that specifically. The blood test results were over the phone, and i can try to get that as well.

I haven't tried baby food. I was thinking of investing in a juicer and mixing greens and reptiboost and syringe feeding. He will not lap it off his lip/tip at this point.

Also, yes, he's my only dragon, he's about 6 years old. I also have a Bluey and two adopted cats.


In his enclosure he's on ceramic tile. Unfortunately at this moment I don't have a picture of his setup, im at work right now. But I hope this information helps.


It does help, thanks.

The following are all just suggestions based off what you responded with:

The arcadia is a great bulb, so it only needs to be replaced once a year. How close can your guy get to it at the basking spot? It puts out quite a bit of UV, so distance is important on it.

A lot of times adults tend to like a slightly cooler basking surface temp. I found personally that my adults wouldn't even bask if the temps were 105 or higher. They are all different, but you might want to try a range of 100-105.
Does he spend much time basking?

I would definitely ask about the fecal, and see if anything was found in it.
As far as the blood results go, I always go by the motto, I paid for them, I want them, lol.

The reptiboost is another good option. Unfortunate that he won't lick it off his snout though. It would make things a lot easier on the both of you.

When one of my girls was sick, I was using critical care mixed with squash baby food via syringe. That could be something you could try but with the reptiboost.

Tracie might have some better suggestions in regards to the specific issues with your blood test results, she's usually on later in the evening, I'm sure she will stop by and offer you some more advice.

Additionally, since he's not doing too good, it would be wise to keep him slightly warmer at night. If you have a CHE you could use, i'd aim for the 80's at night to keep his immune system active.

-Brandon
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Re: Bearded dragon is likely dying, I need advise...

Postby SevzLight » Sat May 04, 2019 1:02 pm

claudiusx wrote:
SevzLight wrote:Hi, his basking temps has always been between 105-110. Measured by a temp gun. He has a t5 12 24-28" long tube uvb.
He's eating the typical dark leafy greens (usually a mix because hes always been picky) so collard, kale, and mustard greens. Crickets, dubia and supers all calcium dusted. He's always been in a normal weight range since adulthood so he was about 380 grams at the vet.

They didn't mention the fecal over voicemail, im going to call back on Tuesday and ask about that specifically. The blood test results were over the phone, and i can try to get that as well.

I haven't tried baby food. I was thinking of investing in a juicer and mixing greens and reptiboost and syringe feeding. He will not lap it off his lip/tip at this point.

Also, yes, he's my only dragon, he's about 6 years old. I also have a Bluey and two adopted cats.


In his enclosure he's on ceramic tile. Unfortunately at this moment I don't have a picture of his setup, im at work right now. But I hope this information helps.


It does help, thanks.

The following are all just suggestions based off what you responded with:

The arcadia is a great bulb, so it only needs to be replaced once a year. How close can your guy get to it at the basking spot? It puts out quite a bit of UV, so distance is important on it.

A lot of times adults tend to like a slightly cooler basking surface temp. I found personally that my adults wouldn't even bask if the temps were 105 or higher. They are all different, but you might want to try a range of 100-105.
Does he spend much time basking?

I would definitely ask about the fecal, and see if anything was found in it.
As far as the blood results go, I always go by the motto, I paid for them, I want them, lol.

The reptiboost is another good option. Unfortunate that he won't lick it off his snout though. It would make things a lot easier on the both of you.

When one of my girls was sick, I was using critical care mixed with squash baby food via syringe. That could be something you could try but with the reptiboost.

Tracie might have some better suggestions in regards to the specific issues with your blood test results, she's usually on later in the evening, I'm sure she will stop by and offer you some more advice.

Additionally, since he's not doing too good, it would be wise to keep him slightly warmer at night. If you have a CHE you could use, i'd aim for the 80's at night to keep his immune system active.

-Brandon


Thank you for replying. So the uvb is pretty much underneath him, the cage is 24" in height but its a pretty big bulb with reflection on it and its right behind the basking bulb, so hes always under it.

I can try lowering the temp a bit, and relocating him to my computer room and turn the heat up in there because I dont have a CHE installed in the cage. So ive always made sure it was 70 degrees in the house.

He spends a majority of his time basking or hanging out in that general vicinity.

Would like to hear from Tracie as well, and yes it really does suck that he wont lap it off, but my bluey had mouth rot when we first got her and believe me, shes was much more difficult to syringe.


So im on my phone at work and cant see the reply, but we did ask for other alternative treatments and they gave us antibiotics and deworming shots to give him just to rule out other possibilities other than ADV or cancer. I really hope they just forgot to mention parasites or something, because adv as far as i can tell isn't curable and not very treatable.

Me and my girlfriend aren't going to give up though, this was our first pet together and he has made such a difference in our lives. Im also going to get him to drink pedialyte later when I get home from work.
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Re: Bearded dragon is likely dying, I need advise...

Postby claudiusx » Sat May 04, 2019 1:10 pm

Ok,

I wouldn't give him any deworming shots until you verify the results of the fecal with them. Depending on what they are using, it can be pretty harsh on the system. So using a medicine that is difficult on the body when it's not needed would be more detrimental than not.

Which antibiotic did they give you? Baytril?

In regards to the UV, I was more so asking long the lines to make sure it was far enough away. The t5 arcadias re very powerful, and there is such thing as too much uvb also. Especially with the reflector, i'd probably be aiming for around 15 inches from basking spot to bulb if thats possible for you.

If your house is already 70, i wouldn't go through the hassle of moving him into another room. Could be slightly stressful on him and we want to keep the stress down to a minimum right now :)

ADV is always a possibility, although it doesn't appear that he's showing very common signs of it.
Some dragons with ADV can live healthy lifes with certain treatments to mitigate the symptoms, and others don't show any symptoms at all.

Hopefully if we can see the bloodwork something will pop out to us or Tracie can explain them better. Shes probably forgotten more about beardie blood than i've ever learned haha.

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Re: Bearded dragon is likely dying, I need advise...

Postby Drache613 » Sat May 04, 2019 4:06 pm

Hello,

I am sorry your dragon is not doing well. They are masters of disguise & he may have had some
issues for awhile without you or your girlfriend noticing.
If you can get the vet to email me the blood work & the fecal results so I can take a look at them.
You can post the fecal results here on the site & I'll PM you my email so you can get them to me.
I wonder if his coccidia levels are too high which would definitely cause anemia, or some other
type of parasite, etc.
I agree, I would hesitate to give any meds quite yet until you know what your'e dealing with. If
his beard is still black, he is definitely in distress. As suggested, try to keep him a little warmer
overnight to help boost his system. Try giving some oral fluids for him also in case he is a little
dehydrated. Do you have any iron supplementation that is liquid on hand, or some liquid minerals
you could give him a drop of?
Yes, which antibiotic did the vet give you?

Let us know how he is doing.
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Re: Bearded dragon is likely dying, I need advise...

Postby Drache613 » Sat May 04, 2019 4:09 pm

Please remember to exercise EMPATHY because none of us know the entire situation & we never know if & or when we will be placed in unfortunate circumstances as well. Life is NEVER perfect. How would we want to be treated in return? Thank you.

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Re: Bearded dragon is likely dying, I need advise...

Postby Aaradimian » Sat May 04, 2019 5:28 pm

Hi,
Sorry your little guy is ill, and I'm really hoping it's due to something in his diet and not internal bleeding! In addition to the other suggestions, it might be possible to increase his iron intake. Spinach is not a recommended staple for beardies, but it is probably more important to tackle the anemia now than worry about longer-term issues found with this green. I mention it because it's rich in iron, and according to the Reptiles Magazine article below "If a younger bearded dragon does need more iron, the options include feeding greens high in iron, getting an iron supplement from a herp vet or feeding a commercial food that contains iron." This leads me to believe that it'd be fine to try in the short term.

http://www.reptilesmagazine.com/The-Bes ... Nutrition/
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Re: Bearded dragon is likely dying, I need advise...

Postby SevzLight » Sat May 04, 2019 5:45 pm

Hi everyone thank you so much for the responses. Unfortunately my vet wont be back in until Tuesday. I will try and get a doctor to email it to me on Monday as well. I will ask again about the fecal because they didn't mention it, they only mentioned the bloodwork because they were more alarmed by it.

Meds: Panicure, which is an oral dewormer. My girlfriend gave him a single dose of it, I have advised her to stop until we get the fecal results, as you guys suggest it may be unnecessary.

The antibiotic is Tazicef, which is an injection. Our dragon doesn't mind it at all (thank god).

Im still at work, but when I get out I plan on buying pedalyte, and im not sure about liquid iron, so if you know a brand or something to get at a store, let me know.

In fact, just tell me what I should buy at this point, im all ears, and thank you all for the help and words, it means so much to me.

I will turn the heat up at night and set his lighting to be basking a little lower as well.


One update, my girlfriend tried to give him some water, and he jerked his head after drinking some. She thinks that he may be stressed out from the amount of travel from the vet and back, the shot, and the oral dewormer, bloodtest. All the things he got in the past couple days, but tomorrow im going to start the force feeding.

Again, thank you, and when I get the bloodtest results I will pm them. Same with the fecal.
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Re: Bearded dragon is likely dying, I need advise...

Postby Aaradimian » Sat May 04, 2019 6:11 pm

I don't know of any iron-only supplements for reptiles, but it might be better to try to raise levels via greens unless there's no other choice due to severity of symptoms.
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