beardie won't eat and showing signs of MDB

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beardie won't eat and showing signs of MDB

Postby Soulsplosion » Tue May 14, 2019 5:47 pm

For a while now my beardie hasn't wanted to eat. She's been growing more and more reluctant to eat until a few weeks ago she simply refuses all food. She won't even eat fruit or insects, which she used to love so much I'd have to stop her from over-eating.

I gave her some time to get over it but noticed she was losing weight and should be eating. I can get her to eat her liquefied dry food using a syringe, but she'll spit out any leaf I manage to get in her mouth.

She'd also been moving slower which I thought was a factor of being old but now she's also developed a bump on her lower back and the spine there is very inclined to bend to the right (the bump is moreso on her left). She is still active but walks awkwardly and falls off of her logs very easily.

I took her to the vet and he wasn't too helpful. She's lost a few grams, not a lot but enough to clearly be weight loss. He recommended I try forcefeeding and said they could try blood work and X-rays, but because that's hard on an animal so small I don't know how necessary that is compared to the risk. He also didn't mention anything about MBD though I realize now she's showing very clear signs of it. I'm considering bringing her to another vet (though they're the top exotic vet in the area) or trying an X-ray or blood work.

I don't even know what to do with a dragon with MBD. It should be diagnosed but the vet didn't even mention the possibility. Her home is still at the same temperatures it's been her whole life, though since we moved she may be getting less natural sunlight (she has a UV bulb but its old). I can't find anywhere that says how much she should be eating and she previously just ate whenever hungry.

The dry food I feed her has added calcium/vitamin D, but should I add a little bit more supplement to it? Also, it's very chunky and hard to get into a syringe and most of the syringe food is watery. Does anyone know a better brand/way for syringe feeding? I've found using a spoon works but hope that won't cause tooth or jaw damage.

Another thing is that her not-eating problem started showing up long before she started showing signs of MBD. Could that be extremely early symptom? I feel like, if anything, her eating less is whats caused the deficiency, not the other way around.

Aside from this she's entirely healthy. She's active, poops all the time and has no parasites. She doesn't show any discomfort or pain and acts normal.

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her back is far more willing to bend to the right at the bump
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Last edited by Soulsplosion on Tue May 14, 2019 6:19 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: beardie won't eat and showing signs of MDB

Postby claudiusx » Tue May 14, 2019 5:55 pm

Hi there,

How old is your dragon?

Can you go over a few things with us in regards to your setup?

MBD is largely caused by improper lighting. What UVB bulb are you using? Please be specific - brand and type.

What is your basking surface temp and how are you measuring it?

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

-Brandon
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Re: beardie won't eat and showing signs of MDB

Postby Soulsplosion » Tue May 14, 2019 6:07 pm

hi,

She's about 9 years old, as why I thought her worse balance was just old age at first.

Here's her set up and bulbs she uses:
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In our previous homes she's also had a place where there's more sunlight in the day but at our latest house the window is under the hallway ceiling and doesn't get as much

I haven't had a recent temperature check as we lost the thermometer a while ago, but she has a habit of basking with her mouth open and moving around as she wants. I removed the log she usually basks on as its what she falls off of the most
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Re: beardie won't eat and showing signs of MDB

Postby claudiusx » Tue May 14, 2019 7:14 pm

Ok thanks for adding the pictures.

I would definitely upgrade your uvb. The coils dont put put very strong uv to begin with, and do so even worse at further distances.

I would strongly suggest getting the reptisun 10.0 tube or the Arcadia 12%

Unfortunately once visible symptoms start to appear they aren't usually reversible, but you can stop things from getting worse.

Proper lighting plays a big role in appetite also, so you'd hopefully be killing two birds with one stone by upgrading your uvb bulb.

Are you able to take her outside for any natural sun?

-Brandon
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Re: beardie won't eat and showing signs of MDB

Postby Soulsplosion » Tue May 14, 2019 8:10 pm

I take her outside often in the summer but it's been too cold recently. I will definitely look to getting her a better UV especially now that she doesn't get so much natural sunlight.
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Re: beardie won't eat and showing signs of MDB

Postby Soulsplosion » Wed May 15, 2019 9:38 am

does anyone know how much I should be feeding her? I can't find anywhere that actually says how many grams or anything she should be eating.
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Re: beardie won't eat and showing signs of MDB

Postby claudiusx » Wed May 15, 2019 9:43 am

At her age she should be getting a large salad daily, and live insects 2 or three times a week.

I suppose a good rule to go by would be if your dragon finishes its salad, you should try a bigger salad next time. The goal imo is to keep salad offered for whenever they get hungry. If they beat it all, they could potentially still be hungry.

I didnt see in your first post that you asked for recommendations on foods to use for syringe feeding.
Critical care and carnivore care are good choices. You can mix some squash baby food or applesauce with it to syringe feed. Or simply add some water.

-Brandon
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