Symptoms of Early and Late Stage Gout / Renal Disease

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Symptoms of Early and Late Stage Gout / Renal Disease

Postby Liapera » Sat Jun 29, 2019 6:19 am

Hi all,
I know I am new here, but I am a helper in a bearded dragon discord server. The death of one of our member's 4-year old male dragon has prompted me to find a place online I can document these symptoms and his potential gout causes for others. I am not a medical expert, though I have many years experience researching and caring for BDs. Please chime in if you'd like to.
He was in a 40 gallon tank, His basking temps were 105-110F and he had a new reptisun 10 UVB as of a few months prior to death. Weight was around 290-300 grams.

Here are some symptoms he discussed around August 2018 (10 month before death):
-Unusually bad smelling poops
-had multiple issues contracting worm parasites (vet visits and medication cleared each time)
-refused to eat any fresh foods besides blueberries and strawberries (2 blueberries a day for food on average) difficulty getting him to eat feeders as well.
-feeders were mealworms & crickets fed cricket cubes, spag squash, carrots, lettuce
-no access to dubias and BD refused BSFL.
-potentially had been fed vetark critical care formulas in the past.
-seemed to be a runt with some growth stunting and poor appetite. seemed otherwise healthy.

February 2018 (4 month before death):
-user states that once a year, his beardie has a foul smelling poop with "oblong egg shaped" objects in the poop, accompanied by a small amount of blood.
Image


Early June 2019 symptoms (1 month before death):
-first symptom was consistent lethargy
-multiple poops a day
-left leg stops working, resulting in a strange walk/ walking strangely
-pain when certain areas were touched
-persistent darkening of the body
-still pooping regularly

video of strange walking here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/mi7t5axlprckn ... 2.mp4?dl=0

xray from the vet seemed normal:
Image


At this time he was feeding "a 50:50 mix of emeraid carnivore + omnivore"
Late June 2019 symptoms:
-refusing/ vomiting food and only occasionally drinking water, vet recommended "gatorade baths to improve hydration"
-more lethargy. vet gave metacam+tramadol, then later metacam+gabapentin, that apparently made him even more lethargic
-begins to show signs of paralysis, numbness, weakness. doesn't respond to being lifted, etc.
-still mentally there and eye tracking
-still pooping though smaller poops
-permanent black bearding
-dehydration
-sunken eyes
-limb swelling
-walking further diminished to squirming, or refusing to move
-vet finally gets back bloodwork showing symptoms of poor kidney function

Image


After showing these symptoms, his beardie passed away about two days after. The vet called back and told him there were "gout crystals all through his abdomen related to renal disease."


My opinions on what might have happened:
-Possibly had poor kidney function from birth and possibly other problems which made gout and parasites more of an issue than for average BDs.
-Mix of omnivore and carnivore diet possibly had far too much protein for a BD, causing gout.
-Suggestion of baths for hydration actually caused dehydration due to the belief that baths would supplement some hydration, causing less hydration, and put more strain on the kidneys.

My suggestions:
-If you ever see blood in stool, you should always bring to the vet for blood and fecal testing.
-If your beardie is consistently having parasite problems, get a vet to check if another problem is wearing down your beardie's immune system.
-Watch your BD's protein intake. Roaches store uric acid and can become gout risks, and though other insects don't store it as much, it's good to know how to balance diet for BDs and feeders. A good article I found on this: https://dubiaroachdepot.com/guidance/du ... ry-protein
-If you suspect a kidney problem, start on a low protein diet and increase your hydration asap.

I hope this helps and if you have anything to add or discuss please do add it. I really just hoped to archive this somewhere if anyone was looking for more information about gout problems. I think this person did everything they could and he was a caring owner with experience not only with BDs but other reptiles. The later symptoms were just very confusing as it seemed to resemble possibly MBD or impaction.

Thank you to OJ and rest in peace- I hope this information will help other beardies.
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Re: Symptoms of Early and Late Stage Gout / Renal Disease

Postby AHBD » Sun Jun 30, 2019 3:01 am

Hi there, sorry to read this sad story but thanks very much for posting this info. I agree with several of the points you mentioned about too much protein being a possible cause, or adding TO the problem as well and that Gatorade baths would not help although I don't think they would hurt unless this dragon is one of those that had the urge to poo immediately when placed in the water, which could add to the dehydration. BTW, the " egg shaped " poos made me wonder if this dragon was possibly misidentified as a male but was actually a female passing infertile eggs ? Then may have had a few leftover that were retained and caused the health issues, or may have passed them all . Sometimes a few small eggs don't show up on Xray.

It may be that he/she was also medicated too often, beardies can life very well with low levels of parasites and may even be healthier with moderate levels rather than constantly being given harsh, dehydrating medication. This can be true in SOME beardies.

So there was likely a combination of problems here, but a sad outcome for the dragon.
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Re: Symptoms of Early and Late Stage Gout / Renal Disease

Postby Liapera » Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:11 am

AHBD wrote:Hi there, sorry to read this sad story but thanks very much for posting this info. I agree with several of the points you mentioned about too much protein being a possible cause, or adding TO the problem as well and that Gatorade baths would not help although I don't think they would hurt unless this dragon is one of those that had the urge to poo immediately when placed in the water, which could add to the dehydration. BTW, the " egg shaped " poos made me wonder if this dragon was possibly misidentified as a male but was actually a female passing infertile eggs ? Then may have had a few leftover that were retained and caused the health issues, or may have passed them all . Sometimes a few small eggs don't show up on Xray.

It may be that he/she was also medicated too often, beardies can life very well with low levels of parasites and may even be healthier with moderate levels rather than constantly being given harsh, dehydrating medication. This can be true in SOME beardies.

So there was likely a combination of problems here, but a sad outcome for the dragon.


You brought up a good point that I thought I would add in regards to the medication. If there is the potential for renal disease and poor kidney function, its very likely the medications caused further strain and damage to the kidneys. Especially with this little one, all the medications he's been using from pain medication to dewormers all could have put pressure on a bad kidney.

I hope people who have concerns about persistently poor eating habits will go get their beardie a checkup with a blood and fecal. A blood test will pick up elevated levels indicating kidney problems and can allow owners more time to manage it.

I am not entirely sure what the egg shaped things are, but it's my belief that these were incredibly small, and possibly were bladder/kidney stones. Either from uric acid, calcium phosphate or oxalate buildup. A symptom of bladder stones is also the presence of blood in the urine, which in reptiles would present with the poop and/or urate. I have heard of users occasionally complaining about "gravel-like" structures in poops, which to me spells any number of problems which can appear with the presence of kidney stones or bladder stones, and should be a sign to get to the vet immediately for blood and fecal tests.
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Re: Symptoms of Early and Late Stage Gout / Renal Disease

Postby AHBD » Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:41 am

I imagine that the egg shaped small objects may have been stones. And over supplementation, especially of calcium with D3 can cause serious health problems + renal failure so there's a definite balance for us owners to figure out. Dehydration is fairly common in beardies because some dragons seem to do well without oral hydration, at least for a good part of their lives but I make sure my dragons drink from a spray bottle, as babies every day and as adults once a week or every 10 days seems to be the preferred routine. All the dragons I've ever owned drink in this way and I believe that it should be started by all dragon breeders at a young age rather than just encouraging people to soak them. In nature they would find dew on plants + other objects early morning in the wild and drink the droplets. Hydration is one of the keys to kidney health.
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Re: Symptoms of Early and Late Stage Gout / Renal Disease

Postby IvynaJSpyder » Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:59 am

I'm so glad to see someone else posting about this!

My dragon was diagnosed with early kidney failure two years ago. The main symptoms were actually head wobbling and struggling to walk, so at first I mistakenly thought it was something like MBD. But a blood test showing it was his kidneys.

I partly blame early caresheets that insisted beardies don't need water bowls. (He's 14 now, so care standards have changed over the years.)
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Re: Symptoms of Early and Late Stage Gout / Renal Disease

Postby Liapera » Tue Jul 23, 2019 8:02 am

IvynaJSpyder wrote:I'm so glad to see someone else posting about this!

My dragon was diagnosed with early kidney failure two years ago. The main symptoms were actually head wobbling and struggling to walk, so at first I mistakenly thought it was something like MBD. But a blood test showing it was his kidneys.

I partly blame early caresheets that insisted beardies don't need water bowls. (He's 14 now, so care standards have changed over the years.)


Thank you for saying this, because I have been of the impression that our beardie can get all the hydration she needs through her food.

While I do think our beardie does get ample hydration from her foods right now, I think it's probably incredibly important to at least teach a bearded dragon that water can be sourced from a dish or bath. If they get sick or old and don't feel like eating, they should still have learned the option to hydrate with a water source. If you are having renal issues, making sure they know they can drink from a water source also allows us to modify routines and behaviors to allow for more hydration opportunities as well. This also means we have the option to avoid more stress and force-feeding hydration situations when there is an illness.

So I appreciate that- we give our beardie baths but she does not drink water. So I guess that's our next lesson to learn.
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Re: Symptoms of Early and Late Stage Gout / Renal Disease

Postby AHBD » Tue Jul 23, 2019 8:59 am

I agree, the thought that dragons " get most of their hydration from food " is incorrect. A few may get away with it for years but suddenly become ill later in life. Every single dragon that I ever hatched + raised drank from a spray bottle or the occasional bath. Babies are best hydrated with a gentle spritz on their bodies and can easily be taught to drink if you do this place a small plastic dish under their head as they get older. They instinctively lower their heads to drink if they've been offered water from the time they are babies. They drink less as they get older [ my adults do about every 7-10 days, but oral hydration should always be offered.
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Re: Symptoms of Early and Late Stage Gout / Renal Disease

Postby LouieLizard » Tue Jul 23, 2019 12:37 pm

So how do you know if they are getting enough protein without giving to much?
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Re: Symptoms of Early and Late Stage Gout / Renal Disease

Postby Aaradimian » Tue Jul 23, 2019 12:49 pm

I wonder if there might be clues to identifying the start of renal disease by the condition of the urate? Did the owner mention anything odd about that other than the really foul smelling poop? Just thinking out loud here.
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Re: Symptoms of Early and Late Stage Gout / Renal Disease

Postby LouieLizard » Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:38 am

Aaradimian wrote:I wonder if there might be clues to identifying the start of renal disease by the condition of the urate? Did the owner mention anything odd about that other than the really foul smelling poop? Just thinking out loud here.

My snake died from what I think was either liver or kidney failure and for about a month before she passed she had urates that were large, crumbly, and blue. Not the normal white/yellow, they were a green/blue. They also smelled awful. On her last week she had many small piles of slightly paler(but still bluish) urates.
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Re: Symptoms of Early and Late Stage Gout / Renal Disease

Postby Aaradimian » Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:24 am

LouieLizard wrote:
Aaradimian wrote:I wonder if there might be clues to identifying the start of renal disease by the condition of the urate? Did the owner mention anything odd about that other than the really foul smelling poop? Just thinking out loud here.

My snake died from what I think was either liver or kidney failure and for about a month before she passed she had urates that were large, crumbly, and blue. Not the normal white/yellow, they were a green/blue. They also smelled awful. On her last week she had many small piles of slightly paler(but still bluish) urates.


Hmm... I wonder if any other posters here have had something similar with their beardies who were later diagnosed with kidney or liver failure. If so, it might be something to watch for.
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Re: Symptoms of Early and Late Stage Gout / Renal Disease

Postby LouieLizard » Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:20 am

Aaradimian wrote:
LouieLizard wrote:
Aaradimian wrote:I wonder if there might be clues to identifying the start of renal disease by the condition of the urate? Did the owner mention anything odd about that other than the really foul smelling poop? Just thinking out loud here.

My snake died from what I think was either liver or kidney failure and for about a month before she passed she had urates that were large, crumbly, and blue. Not the normal white/yellow, they were a green/blue. They also smelled awful. On her last week she had many small piles of slightly paler(but still bluish) urates.


Hmm... I wonder if any other posters here have had something similar with their beardies who were later diagnosed with kidney or liver failure. If so, it might be something to watch for.

That's why owners should pay attention the there pets poop I guess.
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Re: Symptoms of Early and Late Stage Gout / Renal Disease

Postby Drache613 » Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:00 am

Hello,

I am so sorry for your loss of your dragon. :cry:
Thank you for posting this thread, hopefully more people will read it & learn from it. Over the
past several years, I have been noticing more gout cases in this forum & in other boards, too.
I have had a lot of different ideas from genetically modified organisms causing organ issues &
failure, inbreeding & the obvious too high protein intake. The GMO's are in most if not all of the
powdered/processed foods which comprise of high percentages of corn & soy products & by
products.
Monitoring their oral fluids, foods & stools are always good routines to get into & stick with. As
they get older, as with mammals as well as with people, diets should change to reflect activity
changes & physical changes & requirements.


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