Air showing on bearded dragon's x-rays?

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Air showing on bearded dragon's x-rays?

Postby Aebrius » Fri May 17, 2019 7:30 am

My original topic when he first started feeling ill:
viewtopic.php?f=45&t=249165

Setup and pictures are in there, if you'd like to check. Light has been replaced with a Reptisun 10.0 T5HO. Every sign points to this NOT being a husbandry issue. He's just over a year and a half, and has had T5HO lighting and proper temps his whole life, no sand or anything else as such.


He started off straining when pooping, which went away after a couple weeks, but then instead he became lethargic and stopped eating. The vet said she felt an impaction and that his clavicle seemed lower than normal. Other than that he seemed fine, so she ran a fecal which came back negative. After a little he seemed to improve, and then seemed much better over three days.

On day four he couldn't seem to use his front arms and his stomach seemed very soft and bloated, I set an appointment for the following morning with a different vet at that clinic. On the fifth day, the morning he saw the vet, he was able to use his arms again. He seemed fine in with the vet, but later once I brought him home he went softer again and now doesn't seem able to really move himself much at all. The vet didn't have him in any kind of specialized hold while he was there, he was inside my backpack on a heating pad.

The vet said that the x-rays showed that the softness and bloatedness in his stomach was from air; He gave two options. One is that it's hopefully a bacterial infection and that anti-biotics should fix it (Apparently there are bacteria that produce air and this isn't that uncommon in beardies, he said), or two being that he might've been hurt prior to me getting him and his lungs could have grown lower and extended too low. He doesn't seem to have any issues breathing, so given these two extremes of his recommendations we're obviously hoping it's the first.

I was hoping that today he'd have improved, as he has been very up and down in extremes, but he's still unable to move his body very well and still can't really use his arms.


Couple questions:

I've never had to give anti-biotics before; How long until I should see an improvement? Is there anything I should be doing to help him through taking it?

Anyone hear of any situations like this? The vet seems like they're very much out of their depth, but this is the best place that is available without airfare.
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Re: Air showing on bearded dragon's x-rays?

Postby KarrieRee » Fri May 17, 2019 10:14 am

This is a topic for Drache613 (Tracie) she is our vet moderator - hopefully she can help you out
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Re: Air showing on bearded dragon's x-rays?

Postby Aebrius » Mon May 20, 2019 5:32 am

Three days into the Baytril.

He seemed to be getting movement and strength back into his arms and body around mid day yesterday, but was worse again by his bedtime.

Two days without much black beard, but this morning he's back to being unable to move at all and completely black beard instead. He pooped this morning before I woke up too, but didn't even move away from it afterwards.

No one able to comment on previous anti biotics usage at all, it seems?
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Re: Air showing on bearded dragon's x-rays?

Postby KarrieRee » Mon May 20, 2019 5:40 am

Please PM Tracie Drache 613 or AHBD--- they can help--- I am concerned hes still showing a black beard---
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Re: Air showing on bearded dragon's x-rays?

Postby AHBD » Mon May 20, 2019 1:47 pm

Sorry he's still not well. Has he been tested for atadenovirus ? Drache613 can arrange that for you for a minimal cost. Since his illness is a mystery it would be good to rule out anything that might be a possibility. And if you could get any vet to do a blood draw it might give you very valuable info. BTW, can you post a video of how he moves around, whether inside or out in the sun >
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Re: Air showing on bearded dragon's x-rays?

Postby Drache613 » Mon May 20, 2019 8:57 pm

Hello,

So sorry for the delay, I was trying to review your previous post for more information.
The Reptisun 10% T5 tube bulb is an excellent light. Let's review your lighting a bit more.
Is it mounted on top of, or underneath of the screen, I can't tell by looking. Your tank is very
beautiful, by the way. Is it still 16 inches from him also?
How often do you give calcium to him & does it have D3 included in it, or not?
A blood test could prove useful here, if you haven't gotten one done yet. It could tell what the
calcium levels are at, the AST & Uric acid levels, too.
When you initially sought advice here, was he having trouble walking or climbing? Has he
gotten progressively worse now, with his ability to walk, etc?
The antibiotics he is on now which is Baytril is broad spectrum so it is normally effective
against quite a bit of bacteria. Do you know the strength of the solution it is so I can double
check the dose? What I am afraid of is if he is having kidney or liver issues, the antibiotics can jeopardize the function of the kidneys especially if he was in a dehydrated state prior to giving the meds. He could have an enlarged liver, or kidneys which can cause them to not want to move
much also.
Since his beard is still black, that is definitely not a good sign. He is not feeling well right now.
Are you giving extra fluids & some probiotics for him?
Anytime they begin antibiotics, many times it will take a few days for them to start feeling better
or before you see any improvement.

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Re: Air showing on bearded dragon's x-rays?

Postby Aebrius » Tue May 21, 2019 3:06 am

AHBD wrote:Sorry he's still not well. Has he been tested for atadenovirus ? Drache613 can arrange that for you for a minimal cost. Since his illness is a mystery it would be good to rule out anything that might be a possibility. And if you could get any vet to do a blood draw it might give you very valuable info. BTW, can you post a video of how he moves around, whether inside or out in the sun >


The clinic itself seems weird about doing reptile bloodwork; they give me different rates, different explanations, and different excuses every time I brought it up to either vet I saw. I think they're just under experienced with and don't feel comfortable doing it. I'm in Newfoundland, which is an island province off the coast of Canada, so finding a decent normal vet here is hard- Let alone an experienced or knowledgeable exotics vet. The best so far/here is the one I'm seeing now.

As for the moving: He isn't at all. He's not using his limbs and his body is very soft. He's still eating/swallowing force fed food, still pooping, and is having no trouble breathing. He's been up and down in this, seeming to get better and then ending up worse the next day. The initial twitch/shake thing which I mentioned he did when first becoming sick hasn't happened since, and when he can move it's not twitchy or jumpy. It's more so like he doesn't have the strength to do anything right now, including as of this morning.


Drache613 wrote:Let's review your lighting a bit more.
Is it mounted on top of, or underneath of the screen, I can't tell by looking. Your tank is very
beautiful, by the way. Is it still 16 inches from him also?


There is no screen, it is a closed wood tank with plenty of ventilation. So inside mounted directly to the inside roof. I'll get some pictures once I'm home later on!


Drache613 wrote:How often do you give calcium to him & does it have D3 included in it, or not?
A blood test could prove useful here, if you haven't gotten one done yet. It could tell what the
calcium levels are at, the AST & Uric acid levels, too.


See above about the blood test, unfortunately.

Generally he gets salad every day, occasionally skipping a day, and hornworms/crickets every second or third day. Calcium usually twice a week on feeders, vitamins once.

This is the calcium I'm using right now:
http://www.exo-terra.com/en/products/powder_calcium.php


Drache613 wrote:When you initially sought advice here, was he having trouble walking or climbing? Has he
gotten progressively worse now, with his ability to walk, etc?


In hindsight he did seem to be having a little more trouble climbing than usual, but nothing drastic. It was very much a 0 to 100 kind of situation, where when I went to pick him up he felt very limp and had little limb movement. His movement improved after a day and he was able to run around again, although lesser than usual, and then after three days of improvement he suddenly cannot move himself again. That was yesterday, and now today too.

Still eating/pooping/breathing normally though. He can barely lift his head up, but still tries to headbob ocassionally. His eyes are alert and opened, although he's very tired.

Drache613 wrote:The antibiotics he is on now which is Baytril is broad spectrum so it is normally effective
against quite a bit of bacteria. Do you know the strength of the solution it is so I can double
check the dose? What I am afraid of is if he is having kidney or liver issues, the antibiotics can jeopardize the function of the kidneys especially if he was in a dehydrated state prior to giving the meds. He could have an enlarged liver, or kidneys which can cause them to not want to move
much also.


50mg/ml @ 0.06ml / 24 hours. I've been feeding him it straight, but I'm reading online I might be able to mix it into food for him? He doesn't seem to like it, but I don't know enough there to know if that'll effective how it'll work. Any advice would be great!

He does still seem to have that softness to his stomach, but that suprisingly is what showed up as air on the x-ray. I was just getting him used to licking from tap water, and he gets baths every day or two now (I made him a floatie with a foodsaver bag and a facecloth yesterday), but before that was every 2-4 days also. His skin is very rarely taught/dry when pinched or pulled, so I'm hoping dehydration isn't a problem here.

Drache613 wrote:Since his beard is still black, that is definitely not a good sign. He is not feeling well right now.
Are you giving extra fluids & some probiotics for him?
Anytime they begin antibiotics, many times it will take a few days for them to start feeling better
or before you see any improvement.Tracie


He's getting lots of fluid, but I'm warey of what probiotics to get. Any recommendations? My selection is quite limited here. I do have Critical and Carnivore Care on the way priority shipping, though.

On the upside, his beard isn't quite as dark today as it was yesterday. Thanks for all the help and the quick replies from both of you!
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Re: Air showing on bearded dragon's x-rays?

Postby Drache613 » Wed May 22, 2019 8:38 am

Hello,

How is he doing today?
I guess that is probably very difficult to find a vet in that area! It is a relatively small area there
so not a lot of choices. I understand about blood tests, it's hard to find a vet who is qualified
to do one.
That is very odd he isn't able to move very well. He didn't hurt himself in a fall, correct?
The calcium you have been giving him doesn't look like it has any D3 in it, but with the better
UVB lighting he wont need it. I would however, increase the calcium given to 3-4 days per week
right now in case he isn't getting enough.
That is great the UVB doesn't goes through any screen, it is so much more effective that way.
Usually meds are more effective when given apart from food. That .06ml looks conservative to
me. Baytril is given at 5-10mg/kg. What is his weight? How long do they want him on meds?
You can look for non dairy soy yogurt, or non dairy acidophiliz liquid or powder. You should be
able to find one of those in the local grocery store, or a health food store.

Let us know how he is doing.

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Re: Air showing on bearded dragon's x-rays?

Postby Aebrius » Wed May 22, 2019 2:42 pm

Drache613 wrote:Hello,

How is he doing today?


Out of nowhere, much better! He's up moving around and has spent a lot of the day running around. He's more energetic than usual, even. He was out around the house running through it for a bit, and I gave him his meds and followed up with his hornworm smoothie by syringe still.

Drache613 wrote:That is very odd he isn't able to move very well. He didn't hurt himself in a fall, correct?
The calcium you have been giving him doesn't look like it has any D3 in it, but with the better
UVB lighting he wont need it. I would however, increase the calcium given to 3-4 days per week
right now in case he isn't getting enough.


There wasn't any fall that I saw, and there isn't really anywhere in the tank he might've fallen from. I was regularly checking over his body for anywhere that he might seem to react to pain from, but there wasn't anywhere this whole time.


Drache613 wrote:That is great the UVB doesn't goes through any screen, it is so much more effective that way.
Usually meds are more effective when given apart from food. That .06ml looks conservative to
me. Baytril is given at 5-10mg/kg. What is his weight? How long do they want him on meds?
You can look for non dairy soy yogurt, or non dairy acidophiliz liquid or powder. You should be
able to find one of those in the local grocery store, or a health food store.


306 grams at the moment, and he prescribed it for 14 days. He said to see if it had a positive effect within a week, and if not we would consider other options; so I'm very glad he's seeing some improvement finally!
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Re: Air showing on bearded dragon's x-rays?

Postby Drache613 » Wed May 22, 2019 3:30 pm

Hello,

That is excellent to hear he is doing better today! :D
Perhaps he had a slight infection if the antibiotics are helping him out then since he is up &
around so suddenly. I double checked the dose & he is on a 10mg/kg dose which is in the
normal range of recommended doses for them.
Did he eat today also? That's good you got a hornworm & some of his slurry into him.
At 14 days of Baytril, that should be enough to get a mild infection cleared up.
I hope he continues to feel better & keep us posted on him.

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Re: Air showing on bearded dragon's x-rays?

Postby Aebrius » Thu May 23, 2019 11:34 am

This morning he seemed a bit better, but by the time my girlfriend woke up he was moving his neck kind of twitchily. I gave him a bath and fed him by syringe (His medicine first, then food separately) when I got home a few hours later. He seemed to be back to moving more so normally then

About an hour later we noticed he was moving weirdly, like he was trying to jump at a bug or something that wasn't there. Then he started twitching and having a seizure (flipping over, curling up tight in a ring, uncontrolled muscle spasms) for about 20-30 seconds. I took him out with a blanket and kept him from thrashing too much (Without constraining, just keeping him okay).

He's moving around on his own now, although very black beard and still a little twitchily.
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Re: Air showing on bearded dragon's x-rays?

Postby Drache613 » Sun May 26, 2019 10:59 pm

Hello,

Poor guy, he sure had a seizure if he was twitching that badly & flipped over.
How is he doing today? Has he been able to eat anything & is his beard still black?
Do your best to keep him comfortable & a little warmer overnight right now, around 80 is good
to help boost his immune system.
Has he improved at all yet?
Please keep us posted on him. I hope that he starts feeling better soon.

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