Bone Cancer and my beardie

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Bone Cancer and my beardie

Postby OscarsMom » Mon Jun 24, 2019 12:53 pm

On March 6th we had to put my Oscar down. He was around 7 years old. He was such an unusual dragon and I constantly worry about what I could have done better for him. We had a fantastic veterinarian - and took him to a total of three to try and diagnose his problem. Last October he started having shedding problems and parts of his tail shed were so badly retained that he kept loosing pieces off his tail. I always monitored his shedding but then we realized it was due to excessive skin/scale growth on his tail. Ran tests - everything came back normal. But it kept happening and it spread to the rest of his body (the excessive skin growth). He ended up getting very ill out of the blue, went to a hospital where once again they couldn’t find anything wrong. His tail became necrotic and his vet recommended amputation- as did the veterinarian who did the procedure. We thought the tissue might tell us more, cancer, bacteria- but nothing except excessive tissue/skin growth was detected. The hyperplasia (excessive growth) led the surgeon to suspect neoplasia (cancer) though she didn’t see any present.
Towards the end his foot/Ankle started to swell- and X-rays showed a slight fracture or change in bone density. Our vet said that might be a sign of bone cancer but by that point it was clear that whatever it was we were losing him and more tests would just be a waste.
I saw her today with our new cat and Oscar came up in conversation where she expressed another theory. She suggested that maybe he was stressed by environmental changes and he couldn’t adapt. We do didn’t have many environmental changes so I’m not sure exactly what she meant by this. He came out of his tank a lot (but I always monitored him and the temperature when he did) because he was very social and asked to and he was very territorial too and wanted to patrol his kingdom (aka our apartment). We became very bonded because of his personality but also because of his special needs. He had a gun infection he had been living with since before I rescued him. He had a very limited diet before me too but when I offered variety he typically wouldn’t go for it so feeding him properly was hard and vitamin supplements were essential. He also never drank water- I tried all the tricks but he needed my help or he would get so dehydrated he would practically pass out (once he did) I had to hand feed him water for the two years I had him. Since our vet basically implied overstimulation might have caused him to age more rapidly than usual. If it wasn’t cancer she thinks it might have been that. He was happy though and I never overstimulated to a point of visible stress ( I knew what he acted like when he was stressed/happy). I had to do so much for him so excess stimulation was kind of inevitable. But he liked snuggling, looking out the window, watching tv, and sneaking into my roommate’s room. Was all this too much for him? She never really implied that before so I was shocked when she mentioned it today. The last she thought was bone cancer- two other vets also suspected cancer. I’m so torn up about his loss that this is really hard to cope with - especially if I sped up his demise. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
OscarsMom
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Re: Bone Cancer and my beardie

Postby Aaradimian » Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:48 pm

1st off, I am very sorry for your loss. Losing a beardie has got to be tough, and I'm dreading the day I may have to make the same decision you did with one of my guys. That said, it makes absolutely no sense to me that stress or "overstimulation" would have caused the symptoms you describe. To casually toss that out there when it was never suspected previously & sounds so ludicrous is pretty damn callous in my opinion, especially in the face of your loss. I'd find another vet.
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Re: Bone Cancer and my beardie

Postby OscarsMom » Mon Jun 24, 2019 9:26 pm

Aaradimian, Thank you so much for your reply. Helped ease some of my anxiety over it. And thank you for verifying that overstimulation didn’t make sense. Oscar and I were very bonded- to the point where he saw me as a mate (which was so weird yet flattering) I would have known if I was stressing him.
There’s a chance I misunderstood her, she was very upset by losing Oscar too because we really tried everything and never found a conclusive cause. She sometimes thinks out loud and is hard to follow her train of thought. It might have been one of those situations where I read more into it because of the pain of his loss. Oscar loved her and would get super excited by hearing her voice in the hallway. I have ruminating thoughts so hearing what you had to say helps with this. Thank you wishing you and your beardie many more years together.
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