Beardie with vibrating head/legs, possible adenovirus

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Beardie with vibrating head/legs, possible adenovirus

Postby milo0 » Sat May 18, 2019 2:33 am

I'm writing this, completely heart broken right now. My 7 year old angel, Milo, suddenly developed this extremely odd, vibrating head that would usually flare up when he moved around. This started Monday evening. I took him into the vet yesterday where she noticed his stool sample was extremely abnormal too (can post pictures if needed) and very watery/mucus-filled, but results showed no parasites. She also noticed his breathing was labored, yet his lungs were clear. During this entire hour of transporting him to the vet and there, he was EXTREMELY restless.... running in circles, climbing everywhere, etc. This is very much unlike him, as he tends to be more lazy. The circling that he was doing was especially concerning. Again... all of this happened from Monday and onward, he never showed a single symptom of anything until then. Most of what he's showing is neurological issues plus the recent abnormal, mucus poop.

My first thought was MBD, but she does not think it's that due to his proper lighting and supplements. He definitely does not have a great diet (he flat our refuses vegetables/fruits, and I ended up giving up and substituting with worms of all types, dust, and supplemental veggie + fruit pellets). So he has at least been getting the nutrients he needs, and the vet said it was better than him eating nothing. This has been years of battling him and I had to call it quits and just accept that he will not eat salads, period.

Basically, she is leaning towards it being adenovirus, because of the clear neurological symptoms he's exhibiting. She prescribed him Baytrill + Liquid calcium and I am to return in 1-2 weeks for an update. I'm not a fan of antibiotics, but because of his abnormal stool, she wanted to rule out any bacterial infection possibilities. I've went ahead and ordered these two items (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002 ... UTF8&psc=1 and https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01I5 ... UTF8&psc=1) in hopes that the probiotics especially will help during his treatment time, and those new pellets will give him some more added nutrients. I'll be adding the probiotic powder to his bathees and syringe feeding to ensure he gets enough (unless there's a better method?). I've also started dusting his pellets with calcium and bee pollen, as well as trying EVERYTHING in my power to get him onto salads again. Nothing is working, but at this point I'm willing to start force feeding him veggie smoothies again if I must. Hate to stress him out like that, but I will do it if necessary.

I'm trying to remain positive about this, but the word "adenovirus" terrifies me because there is no cure. My vet told me he basically would have become infected as a baby, so all these years he's had it but it never showed until now. There's no other way he would have contracted it recently, as he is the only reptile in my house and I've had no contact with any other reptiles recently. She wanted to wait and see if the calcium and antiobiotics helped before running blood on him, which god I hope does the trick. Is there anything at all that you guys can suggest I do ontop of what I'm doing now? I can't lose him. He's only 7 years old, and he doesn't deserve this. Please help me help my little buddy. ;(
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Re: Beardie with vibrating head/legs, possible adenovirus

Postby claudiusx » Sat May 18, 2019 5:50 am

Hi There,

So the vet didn't test for ADV right? Is that something that is planning on getting done?

Can you go over your uvb with us? I know you did with the vet but we would like to hear about it too to best give you advice.

What is your basking surface at? And how are you measuring it?

9 years is a ripe ol' age, they definitely get stubborn the older they get.
Has your dragon been losing weight?

Right now, I wouldn't be too concerned about the stool. Many factors can cause abnormal stools. Just like it humans, they aren't always regular. It's not until it becomes a recurring occurrence should you be concerned.

Can you go over the average daily diet with us?

-Brandon
Follow along with all my beardies. Check out my thread here!: Claud's Crew
P.S. We have lots of pictures ;)
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Re: Beardie with vibrating head/legs, possible adenovirus

Postby milo0 » Sat May 18, 2019 8:50 am

She did not test for it just yet, that would be done at the follow-up appointment if he isn't improving. She did tell me though that there is nothing more she could do besides confirm whether it is ADV or not. I still cannot understand how it just... appeared the way it did. ):

Yes, so his UVB is a reptisun 10.0 that is replaced every 4 months, and the top of the cage is cut-out so it has direct contact to him (so there's no screen or anything blocking it). His temps are 75-80 on the cooler end, and 95-115 ish on the hot end + basking spot (there's multiple areas he can go to bask depending on what temps he wants due to different elevations). I measure it using a probed thermometer.

So he was at the vet back in January or so for his annual check-up, mainly to make sure he was healthy enough to brumate. He weighed in at 473 grams then, and brumated for a little over a month before I woke him up. So he did lose weight from that, and I've been trying to slowly get the weight back on. Yesterday, he weighed in at 450 grams so he definitely did lose some. Not sure if that was just from brumation or his current illness. ):

His diet consists of worms (silkworms, hornworms, reptiworms, superworms, butterworms) and these https://www.amazon.com/Rep-Cal-SRP00815 ... way&sr=8-8 . I can rarely get him to eat blueberries, squash, pumpkin, sweet potato, and greenbeans... VERY rarely though. I've depended on these pellets and the variety of worms to really keep him healthy all of these years, because nothing works to get him to eat salads. With advice from my old vet, I once "'starved him out" since vet told me "he'll eat when he's starving".... nope. He went 7 weeks with only a few worms here and there, but otherwise would rather starve than eat salads, literally. But at least he for some reason likes pellets enough so he's getting the nutrients from those, plus the variety of worms I provide him. I did order dubia roaches again, gonna see if he's willing to eat those again. He was on those as his staple... but he refused them during the same time he refused his salads starting at 10 months old. Still can't figure any of that out lol.
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Re: Beardie with vibrating head/legs, possible adenovirus

Postby Drache613 » Sat May 18, 2019 11:08 am

Hello,

Is there anything toxic that he could have gotten exposed to, or eaten?
Where do you get your insects & what are you feeding your insects?
The Reptisun 10 UVB, is that a long tube or a compact/coil light?
Please post some pictures on his tank & lighting placement, along with pictures of him
too if you can so we can see everything. Is the light placed on top of or underneath of
a screen top?
I am not leaning towards adeno but it could be a possibility. It isn't nearly as likely as a
nutritional issue I don't think. They can be carriers, but usually some type of symptoms
will manifest before 7 years though.

How is he doing today?
Tracie
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Re: Beardie with vibrating head/legs, possible adenovirus

Postby milo0 » Sat May 18, 2019 12:48 pm

So, as far as toxicity, on Monday he got a brand new enclosure that I made for him using the whole foam + grout + sealant technique. The sealant I used was Mod Podge, which I read was popular among beardie owners since it holds up to heat well. It sat for 24 hours to dry and cure (had no smell by then) and I placed him inside that Monday evening only for 30 minutes to warm up a bit under the heat before bed time. Then he stayed in a clean, plastic tubaware container overnight so the tank could be "heat treated" a bit longer. However, the tremors started before being placed in the tank, so I don't believe the new enclosure exposed him to something considering he was tremoring before. I did sanitize his tank earlier that night with a very diluted bleach/water mix (been using that same mix for years) and once it dried, I placed him back inside the tank while I cleaned the rest of the things. The bleach smell was still fairly there, since I sanitized his entire tank, but it was dried before placing him back in. I don't believe that would have done it either... It's just very odd that it happened to be that same night when these symptoms started.

Down below is his new enclosure. Everything was non-toxic kid grade materials when making it, and the substrate is this product called "Excavator Sand" which you can compact to make solid, so it's not loose substrate that he can swallow really. There's a few crumbles here and there that I try and filter out, otherwise it's basically compacted solid substrate.

The reptisun is the long tube version that stretches almost most of the tank, and it was replaced in Mid-February so it isn't due for replacement until one more month. It's cut-out at the at the top so he has direct contact (I posted pic below).

As for how he's feeling, he seems in good spirits. Was VERY eager to eat his hornworms earlier, but I'm trying to make him eat his pellets. He doesn't like that they're dusted in the calcium, but hopefully he gets over that. He's still remaining active, not sluggish, etc but his tremors are still there. They aren't constant, but they're random and come and go. He also did struggle a little getting his worm... a little shaky/uncoordinated but he managed. Just wish I knew what on earth happened to him if it isn't the virus or MBD. ):

Here are pictures below of the set up + him. I do have a video of his head tremoring, if I can figure out how to post it I will!
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Re: Beardie with vibrating head/legs, possible adenovirus

Postby milo0 » Sat May 18, 2019 1:08 pm

Here is the video, you can just barely see the vibrating in the first few seconds where it's most intense.

https://youtu.be/eaBYgZ6bis4
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Re: Beardie with vibrating head/legs, possible adenovirus

Postby milo0 » Sun May 19, 2019 8:02 am

Hmm, just a little update as to something I've noticed with the tremors. He does not tremor in his sleep... like, at all. For the past two nights I've had him out at night to observe him, and he sleeps straight through the night with no tremors. The other night... he did head bob in his sleep... but I legit think he was dreaming. Even my vet was clueless about that one lol. It was the head bob they do when they're all riled up from another male, and he was doing it as he was completely passed out. That one I can't explain but his tremoring stops once he sleeps. If it were truly a neurological issue, wouldn't this be constant regardless if he was asleep or not?

Just trying to provide any info that could possibly help me solve this big mystery. ):
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Re: Beardie with vibrating head/legs, possible adenovirus

Postby KarrieRee » Sun May 19, 2019 9:33 am

I am gonna weigh in on this -- it almost acts hes cold - like a shiver -- but I am no medical expert - Tracie would haft to say--- as far as losing weight and he won't eat anything but pellets you can always feed him other stuff like repitboost or even carnivore/ herbivore mixed - that would put weight back on him --- he does look under weight to me - was he tested for parasites? I re read your post and didnt see it mentioned-- and you said he has trouble getting around ? I recommend getting blood work done - if he lost weight in that 7 weeks then there is something going on --
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Re: Beardie with vibrating head/legs, possible adenovirus

Postby milo0 » Mon May 20, 2019 4:54 am

KarrieRee wrote:I am gonna weigh in on this -- it almost acts hes cold - like a shiver -- but I am no medical expert - Tracie would haft to say--- as far as losing weight and he won't eat anything but pellets you can always feed him other stuff like repitboost or even carnivore/ herbivore mixed - that would put weight back on him --- he does look under weight to me - was he tested for parasites? I re read your post and didnt see it mentioned-- and you said he has trouble getting around ? I recommend getting blood work done - if he lost weight in that 7 weeks then there is something going on --
Karrie


That is what confused me too, was he would shiver... or what seemed like a shiver. But I know only mammals do that and have never heard of cold blooded animals doing such thing, but at least point I have no idea. He does tremor too when he moves around his cage, but if he's still and basking, I rarely if ever notice it. He only lost roughly 20 grams over his brumation earlier this year so that explains the weight lost, but I'll be weighing him normally to monitor it from here on it making sure he doesn't continue losing. She wasn't worried about him physically, I mean she spent an hour with me trying to figure this out and all she could come up with was a nutrient deficiency or the virus. ):

I've tried the mixes and what not but sadly he just won't eat them. He's even refusing his pellets right now because they've been dusted in calcium. Only thing I can get him to eat are his worms at this point, but I did buy some squash and have been force feeding a tiny amount a day. He tolerates it only slightly. I think the antibiotics are proving to be a bit rough with him though, since he was black bearded almost all day yesterday.... VERY unlike him, as he's normally completely white, loving, etc. Hoping the probiotics will help with that though. ):
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Re: Beardie with vibrating head/legs, possible adenovirus

Postby KarrieRee » Mon May 20, 2019 5:51 am

Ok I am hoping Tracie will get back w/ you -- the carnivore/herbivore stuff is a powder you mix w/ water and feed to them in a syringe--- it has all kinds of stuff in it that would start to put weight back on him -- I was feeding mine same stuff and he actually gained some weight on it but he wasnt losing it tho- we were trying to figure out why he wasnt eating --- had him to the vet several times blood work was done 2 times Xrays taken and we cant figure it out- he is active basking doing what hes supposed to do -- but just not eating - I have been monitoring his weight and he gained 21 grams last time he was at vet - so I cant figure it out --- he has been eating hit and miss now the last couple of weeks and I have not fed him the carnivore / herbivore stuff as I want him to start eating on his own here -- I am going to weigh him again today and see where we are at--
Hopefully Tracie will have some ideas and have you start them to see if it helps
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Re: Beardie with vibrating head/legs, possible adenovirus

Postby milo0 » Mon May 20, 2019 3:32 pm

KarrieRee wrote:Ok I am hoping Tracie will get back w/ you -- the carnivore/herbivore stuff is a powder you mix w/ water and feed to them in a syringe--- it has all kinds of stuff in it that would start to put weight back on him -- I was feeding mine same stuff and he actually gained some weight on it but he wasnt losing it tho- we were trying to figure out why he wasnt eating --- had him to the vet several times blood work was done 2 times Xrays taken and we cant figure it out- he is active basking doing what hes supposed to do -- but just not eating - I have been monitoring his weight and he gained 21 grams last time he was at vet - so I cant figure it out --- he has been eating hit and miss now the last couple of weeks and I have not fed him the carnivore / herbivore stuff as I want him to start eating on his own here -- I am going to weigh him again today and see where we are at--
Hopefully Tracie will have some ideas and have you start them to see if it helps
Karrie


If he continues losing weight, I'll look into picking that up. He isn't eating these past 2 days and clearly doesn't feel well... I believe it's the antibiotics making him feel sick. Not sure if this is causing him more harm than good, so I'm making a judgement call to stop giving them to him but continue with the liquid calcium. Waiting to confirm with the vet, but it is very clear that he doesn't feel good. His poop these past 2 days looked completely normal to me so I believe my vet did kind of rush-treatment in this scenario with the possibilities of bacterial infections and what not. I know for a fact it is the antibiotics doing this, since minutes after I give it to him, he turns completely black and hides away. I did force feed him some squash dipped in the probiotics powder though, so I'm praying that helps with his tummy ache. :< Hoping he starts feeling better tomorrow and begins eating again, though I personally don't believe he's underweight... it doesn't hurt to put a few extra grams on him.
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Re: Beardie with vibrating head/legs, possible adenovirus

Postby KarrieRee » Mon May 20, 2019 4:19 pm

Well I hope Tracie can help --- Hiccup is back to eating but not every day --- I have not fed him the carnivore / herbivore stuff for about a week or longer I cant remember now- but he was in his food bowl today - I am sorry to hear about your dragon - if he is black bearding that is not good -
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Re: Beardie with vibrating head/legs, possible adenovirus

Postby Drache613 » Mon May 20, 2019 6:06 pm

Hello,

How is he doing today?
Most of the time, shivers such as what he is exhibiting, is related to metabolic bone disease.
Sometimes it can be a nutritional deficiency, also.
That's great the tube bulb is mounted on top without screen between your dragon & the light.
I couldn't tell from the picture though, how far is it from him?
The liquid calcium is good so I would recommend for now, keeping him on that in case he is
calcium deficient.
The Baytril is horrible on their systems! Plus, it is bitter unless the vet flavored it for him. Which
probiotic are you giving him now?
Also, be sure to keep him around 75-80 overnight in his tank, since he is on medication & not
feeling 100%.

Let us know how he is doing.
Tracie
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Re: Beardie with vibrating head/legs, possible adenovirus

Postby AHBD » Mon May 20, 2019 6:10 pm

Hi there, sorry to hear about Milo ! It's def. not from being cold, they don't shiver like that when cold but just get lethargic. I'm glad you got her off the antibiotx, give her a few days + she should get her appetite back. If this IS ADV she can still live with it whether she has tremors or not. BTW, sorry if I missed it but does she get vitamins ? A B vit deficiency can sometimes cause tremors.
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Re: Beardie with vibrating head/legs, possible adenovirus

Postby Drache613 » Tue May 21, 2019 5:36 pm

Hello,

Please keep us updated on your boy! How is he doing today? I hope that he is feeling
better soon.

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