Painful lower back and impaction-please help!

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Painful lower back and impaction-please help!

Postby Doodledragons » Tue May 21, 2019 4:56 pm

Thank you for reading this and considering giving me advice!

I’ve got a bearded dragon named Pablo who is anywhere from 6-9 years old (don’t know for sure, he was rescued). I’ve had him for two years and love him dearly, unfortunately I’ve been away for a while (don’t worry, he was being super well cared for) and returned to find he hadn’t pooped in two weeks and he stopped using his hind legs. I took him to the vet, they got him to go but he hasn’t gone since and his lower back is painful and jerks when you touch it. I took him for a follow up appointment two weeks after and they couldn’t get him to poop, he’s on pain meds and being syringe fed some special nutrition food(with calcium). The x-rays didn’t show anything abnormal about his spine. He gets a bath everyday and really try’s to go but just can’t. The vet doesn’t seem to know what’s going on and I can’t afford many more appointments.

Any advice on what you think I should do would be much appreciated!
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Re: Painful lower back and impaction-please help!

Postby CooperDragon » Wed May 22, 2019 11:04 am

It's good that the x-rays didn't show issues with his bones. I'd start simple and focus on keeping him hydrated. Try dripping water on his nose using a syringe or dropper (or similar) so he can lick it up. offer him a shallow water dish and flick at the water to create some movement. Sometimes they'll go for that too. Some of them like to have their nose misted with water as well.

In addition to hydration I'd focus on some soft foods like cut up pieces of squash and see if that helps. Hopefully his system will regulate itself and he'll start feeling better soon.
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Re: Painful lower back and impaction-please help!

Postby KarrieRee » Wed May 22, 2019 12:57 pm

My reptile vet advises a bath every couple days for a good soak of 10 minutes or so -- that will keep him hydrated as well -- especially if hes not eating - you can always give him water in a syringe
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Re: Painful lower back and impaction-please help!

Postby Drache613 » Wed May 22, 2019 2:45 pm

Hello,

Sorry to hear Pablo is having some issues. That is good the x-rays didn't show anything
abnormal about the bones right now.
Can you review the tank setup with us, such as the type/brand of UVB, the supplements,
temperatures & substrate used so we can double check on it all to be sure it's correct.
If you can, please post some pictures of your tank setup so we can see the UVB lighting
placement along with Pablo, too.
Is his beard dark in color, or normal color?

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Re: Painful lower back and impaction-please help!

Postby Doodledragons » Wed May 22, 2019 3:31 pm

Thank you three so much for responding, it really means a lot that you would reach out to help my boy!


I’ll definitely be sure to keep him hydrated! He’s been getting a nice long bath every day. I’ve been filling them a bit more than usual to get the weight off his lower end and supporting his head with my hand. Lately he’s been putting his head on his water dish at night after his bath so I’ve been taking it out when I got to bed to make sure he doesn’t get to cold or fall asleep in the water. Do you think that’s ok or should I risk leaving it in? Should I try synrnge feeding him so water before bed so he doesn’t get dehydrated in the night?

He has also been hiding in his log house the last couple of weeks so I’ve started taking him out around noon to be in the sun(He just sits on me) for a little while on my break and taking away him log when I get back from work so he can be under his lamp. I’m a bit worried he’s not getting enough uvb if he’s hiding all the time. Do you think I’m doing the right thing or should I let him follow his instincts?


Some facts about Pablo and his tank

His uvb lamp is called a slimline desert fixture with a desert 50 uvb and t8 florecent bulb, the brand is zilla.

I give him zoo med reptile calcium on his vegetables and crickets/worms and the vet has me syringe feeding him ox bow carnivore care

I’m not sure the brand on his heat lamps but his tank is usually anywhere from upper 80s to upper 90s.

I use a green mat I bought at petco with newspaper insulation on the bottom and a felt square in his log house. When he first came to me two years ago his old owners used the walnut sand but don’t worry I cleaned it all out as soon as I got him. (I know it’s a major cause of impaction but it’s been years so I don’t think it would still be in his system)

His tank is 18” by 36” He should have a larger one since he is around 18” himself, I’ve been saving up for a new one but I usually take him out for about and hour a day for some exercise (always under close supervision of course!)

His beard is normal except when he’s trying to poop or I’m medicating him in which it does get darker

I’ll try to figure out how to upload a picture but I’m not be able to, my internet connecting is very finicky

Once again thank you! It’s nice to be able to talk to some other lizard owners rather than just stressing out about it alone!
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Re: Painful lower back and impaction-please help!

Postby KarrieRee » Wed May 22, 2019 3:49 pm

Ok first off the UVB is pardon me NO GOOD!!! You need to replace it w/ one of these
Which UVB light should I use?
The best UVB light is a ReptiSun 10.0 fluorescent tube HO (Or Arcardia 12% in the UK). Compact or coil bulbs do not emit the proper amount of UVB light for a bearded dragon, and should not be used. Other brands, such as the Zilla Desert Series and ReptiGlo have been known to cause eye problems and other health issues with bearded dragons, and should be avoided. The reason that some UVB lights (Zilla, ReptiGlo, coils/compacts, ect.) are considered dangerous is because the wavelength of UVB that they emit is shorter and more intense than the wavelength of the "safe" lights (ReptiSun, Arcadia).
UVB lights should be replaced every 6 months. The T5’s are a strong bulb and only need to be replaced once a year – the T 8 every 6 months--- where as the T 8 are not as strong—they need to be placed inside the tank the T 5 10.0 bulb approx 10-11 inches from basking spot – the T 8 approx 8-10 inches from basking spot—the cover needs to be off the bulb for full effect of the UVB rays-- I would do this ASAP-- his basking spot should be 95-105 --- cool side of tank 80's and at nite not below 65--if you can get him outside in the sun -- 15 minutes of sun will give him approx 4 hrs of UVB--- but the UVB you have now is not any good!
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Re: Painful lower back and impaction-please help!

Postby Doodledragons » Tue May 28, 2019 7:50 pm

Thank you for letting me know about his heat lamp! I’ll be ordering one of the ones you suggested as soon as possible! In the mean time I’ve been getting him out for about an hour a day in the sunshine, weather permitting, so I hope that helps. Once again thank you for that in-depth lighting guide! I had no idea his lamp was so bad!

Today he actually passed a urate! Still no poop but it’s a start. It look a little weird and part of it is a bright yellow but the rest is white. As he passed it his neared turned black, darker then I’ve every seen it get which worry’s me but I guess it’s because of all the straining? He’s been getting worse these past couple days, trembling a lot more and he’s gotten a lot less mobile though he’s still got most of his usual energy
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Re: Painful lower back and impaction-please help!

Postby KarrieRee » Wed May 29, 2019 4:22 am

Getting the UVB is going to help alot! And the sunshine as well - the outside for 15 minutes is equivalent to 4 hrs of UVB --- so that will help! What is he eating? The black bearding is not good- that is a sign of pain or distress -- have you tried feeding him some olive or veg oil baby prunes unsweetened applesauce -- those will all help w/ going to the bathroom- I fed mine some baby prunes .5ml and it seemed to help-- also hornworms will help too they are full of water! Have you replaced the UVB light - you said heat lamp - that too is important for him digesting his food!
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Re: Painful lower back and impaction-please help!

Postby Drache613 » Fri May 31, 2019 6:35 pm

Hello,

How is Pablo doing today?
Were you able to purchase a new UVB tube bulb for him? That's great you have been able to
get him outside in the sun here & there, it is very good for him.
For now, since he is having some trouble, I would try to encourage him not to hide in his cave.
It is hard I realize, but, if he has the beginnings of metabolic bone disease then he wont get
near enough UVB in his cave. So you may need to remove it for at least part of the day to be
sure he does get enough light.
How is his eating?/
Keep us posted on him. I hope he is feeling better.

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Re: Painful lower back and impaction-please help!

Postby Doodledragons » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:20 pm

Hi, thanks for checking in

Pabilo really isn’t doing good, he hasn’t been eating for the past couple days and yesterday ate part of a syringe and my finger while getting his carnivore care. He’s having even more trouble moving around and has trouble using all his limbs except one (can still walk but not well). Today he’s barley moving at all and his mouth is hanging open on one side which worry’s me. The only time he really perks up and moves is when he is outside and in the daily bath but even the he mostly just sits on my hand and floats. He’ll still try to go, I can see him straining, his tail will go up and his back legs will push against the ground but still nothing. I honestly don’t know how long I should let this go on, I love him dearly and thinking about loosing him makes me sick but If he keeps getting worse It’s not fair to him to let him suffer. At this point I don’t really know what’s left to do, he’s got the new lamp, he’s got pain meds, carnivore care, calcium, time in the sunshine, daily baths/belly massages, occasional baby sugar free food prunes, and lots of attention. I can’t take him to the vet until I save up enough (Ironic since I work at one) but I honestly don’t know how long he his going to make it.
Also I ended up taking his house away about a week ago, he kept trying to climb it disputed the fact he can’t move to well and kept almost flipping over so I took it out.

Thank you all for your support and suggestions! Seriously I’m terrified I did this to him with the whole lamb thing and It’s my fault for not having done more research before buying but at least I know now
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Re: Painful lower back and impaction-please help!

Postby KarrieRee » Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:48 pm

it sounds like your doing what you can for him --- I am sure he will pass the tip of syringe -- my did the same thing just be careful when your feeding him that he doesnt bite it again --
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Re: Painful lower back and impaction-please help!

Postby Doodledragons » Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:17 pm

Hey guys, I had him out earlier today and he was his normal self but when I came in about four hours latet to give his meds he had gone ridged and completely unresponsive, he’s not moving, I see no signs of breathing, his beared is dark and his eyes are open a bit but no blink reflex, I think my poor boy has passed on.
I’ll keep watch over him tonight and take him to the vet in the morning to make sure before he’s buried.
Thanks anyways for all your help
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Re: Painful lower back and impaction-please help!

Postby KarrieRee » Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:24 pm

:( I am sorry----
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