Loss of appetite, brumation?

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Loss of appetite, brumation?

Postby harshstonewhite83 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:59 am

I'm sorry for starting *another* brumation topic, but I'm a little worried and confused about my beardies behavior. For the last couple weeks her appetite has been on and off. She used to gobble up as many dubias as I could give her. I did this twice a day for a long time. Then she she only wanted to eat them the first time, the second time no interest. Then it was no interest whatsoever, I thought maybe she was tired of them. So I bought crickets, waxworms, black soldier fly larvae, mealworms. I could occasionally get her to eat a few here or there. On occasion she seems to snap out of it and starts gobbling up insects again, but she prefers to run after them and hunt, not take them from my hand. The only thing she still regularly eats when I serve it is her greens. She used to poop every other day, but that has also slowed down to maybe once or twice a week.

She is being treated for parasites and has been on medication off and on since the beginning of the summer. At first I attributed her lack of appetite and less activity to feeling under the weather from the parasites or the effects of the medication. Even at first while she was on the meds, her appetite stayed active until recently. Well I took her to the vet Monday, and the good news was her parasites are almost gone. She has one more dose of medication left. Panazuril and Panacur paste is what they've been giving her. Anyway, the vet checked her out and didn't see any cause for concern to be worried about. She suggested brumation as well for the behavior my beardie has been having.
She has grown and gained weight since her last checkup, they were very pleased with that (181 grams in July, 260 grams now *I think*)

She is roughly 7- 8 months old, and yes I did look through the article provided on here and that she's probably too young to be starting brumation(???). I'm at work most of the time she's up and I can't observe what she does except on my days off. She will usually get up, maybe I can get her to eat or not, regardless she will go sit under her basking light for a little while. Then she'll wonder over and climb a tree branch in the cooler side and remain there, but I usually get her out and let her lay on my chest, but she'll eventually slide off and wander around my room, then find a dark shelf or whatnot and chill/nap.

She's got a 40 gallon tank with reptile carpet and a ramp to go up to bask under her light. I take the temperature with a temp. gun, and the basking temp is usually around 102 - 107 F. I have a Reptisun T8 fluorescent right hanging above her inside the cage. Here's her setup and recent pic of her as well (the only difference is the reptisun is tilted more down now and I usually don't put the cage top over the tank anymore)

Setup:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bEJhHb ... scHSY/view

My beardie:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/15b4mzm ... sp=sharing
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Re: Loss of appetite, brumation?

Postby claudiusx » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:38 am

Hi there,

Hey, you have just as much right as anyone else to start a thread seeking help! :D

Wow, that's quite a long time to be on meds. After so long, they definitely can start to have a negative effect on her appetite and activity levels. What all exactly has she been given for the past months? Just the panacur and panazuril or were there other meds too?

The most plausible cause to the behavior is the long course of meds. Her body really should get a break.
Have you been supplementing with any probiotics during this time?

Why has it taken so long to clear the parasites is my other question. What are the counts of the current parasites the vet has found?

Anyways, I really think your girl just needs a break from all the meds, that is a very long time to be on them.

-Brandon
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Re: Loss of appetite, brumation?

Postby harshstonewhite83 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:55 pm

Hi, sorry for the delay in response.

I don't recall what it was they gave her in the beginning. But the containers from August and this month are both of the ones I mentioned, Panazuril and Panacur paste. Honestly I don't know why its taken so long to get rid of the parasites either. Her poop was runny and started smelling foul in June I believe it was. I took her in and they diagnosed her with two parasites, Coccidia and I don't remember the other. I took her back in a month later, and they said the Coccidia (or the more serious one) was gone. They wanted to keep up the meds to rid her of the less harmful one. I didn't take her in in August, they just asked me to bring a fecal sample, which I did. They told me then she still has parasites and gave me more meds to give her. This time I took her in, they examined her and could see nothing to be concerned about. The fecal sample this time showed her parasites were mostly gone. I think at times they mentioned what the count was after each test, but I can't for the life of me remember.

They suggested it was brumation that was the cause of the loss of appetite. But I agree with you, it'd be good to get past these meds as it does seem to be causing her appetite loss. I'm all scared its something scarier like ADV or something. The good thing is the last two days she ate some mealworms, so she still has a little bit of an appetite. She still eats her greens, no problem, in fact she seems to prefer those over her insects lately. I don't like filling her on mealworms, but its all she showed interest in. Crickets, dubia and black soldier larvae she just looks at then glares up at me.

I may need to go visit another vet for a second opinion, I like my vet but I sometimes wonder if they have the expertise needed to properly diagnose bearded dragons.
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Re: Loss of appetite, brumation?

Postby harshstonewhite83 » Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:38 am

Well I gave her a little squirt of dairy free, soy yogurt....which apparently is supposed to help them after parasite medication. Couldn't find a sugar free one, so I got the one with the least amount of sugar I could find. Hopefully it won't cause any harm.

Any more tips or advice on this appetite/brumation thing would still be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Loss of appetite, brumation?

Postby AHBD » Sat Sep 14, 2019 4:50 am

Hi there, your beardie looks very alert + healthy, actually looks heavier than what you said she is. Do you have a scale at home ? Also, what is her length and are you sure of her age ? ? I agree with Brandon that the meds. may have been given for too long. Your dragon must be good natured to put up with it that long, some b.d's get stressed + it scared of people when forced to take meds. for so long. As for brumation, some dragons that are under a year will still start a " slow down " phase, it may just be for a short while and they usually don't even lose weight. Give her a break from meds. + vet visits for now, not even a new vet who might decide that she " needs" something else that may again cause further harm in the long run. She should be fine, everything sounds relatively like normal behavior.
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Re: Loss of appetite, brumation?

Postby MrSpectrum » Sat Sep 14, 2019 4:54 am

I don't know if it's the kind of tip you're asking for, but "growing" your own sugar-free, preservative-free, what-have-you-free yogurt isn't difficult at all (google: homemade soy yogurt)--easier than keeping a BD! :lol:

I think I said this before in a different thread.... BDs have been brumating on their own--without human involvement/intervention--for millions of years. Trust nature--she knows what she's doing, and so do the dragons. :wink:

Just make food & water available--they'll do the rest.

YMMV
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Re: Loss of appetite, brumation?

Postby MrSpectrum » Sat Sep 14, 2019 5:30 am

AHBD wrote:Give her a break from meds. + vet visits for now, not even a new vet who might decide that she " needs" something else that may again cause further harm in the long run.

I'm sorry--and no offense intended--but I just can't agree with that 100%. I'm not saying you're wrong; I'm saying that, IMO, getting/taking medical/veterinary advice from the internet is risky at the least, without much further research.

As has oft been said, "A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing." I'll grant that folks here have a lot of experience with BDs--some have owned dozens (or possibly more?), but their evidence/opinions are largely--in most (not all) cases--anecdotal, whereas a competent reptile veterinarian's opinions are based on decades of clinical research & practice, where they are likely to see many times the number of BDs/cases as anyone here. (The key word being competent).

If/when changing vets or finding a new one, it is incumbent upon the client to provide an animal's complete (as possible) medical history, including symptoms, test results, DXs, meds & other treatments, dates, anomalies, etc. This is why I personally suggest/recommend any pet owner to keep an accurate journal of their pet's medical history. Help your vet help your pet. :wink:

To help find one, or verify if one has expertise with reptiles/amphibians, see:
FINDING/CHATTING WITH A HERP VETERINARIAN, MORE

YMMV, and Best Wishes
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Re: Loss of appetite, brumation?

Postby claudiusx » Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:59 am

I'm going to have to agree with AHBD on this one.

Vets are a great tool, but not all vets are as knowledgeable as we'd like in regards to dragons in particular. Not to discredit any vet at all, that's just what we've seen here over the years.

After months of meds, it really would be a good idea to let the body try and recover for a bit, and go from there.

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Re: Loss of appetite, brumation?

Postby AHBD » Sat Sep 14, 2019 10:20 am

MrSpectrum , I didn't mean to not seek out a new vet in the future, just that this dragon needs a break from being poked + prodded and stressed with forced meds. for the time being. Those of us who have been here a long time have seen many over medicated dragons die, dragons given enemas that led to a quick death when just a few natural laxatives could have done the trick [ and vets thinking 2 weeks without poo is an emergency in an adult beardie] and even a terrible tail amputation that actually cut the male beardies hemi-penes off. I remember a poster here years ago who's gravid female was bursting with eggs, digging all thru the tank but the vet [ who's credentials included a big city zoo ] told the owner the dragon was not gravid. It laid eggs the next day. So a vet can be a friend or a foe at times. So yes, a new vet should be sought out in the future but let the dragon feel like a dragon again for a while before a new vet starts something all over again.
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Re: Loss of appetite, brumation?

Postby MrSpectrum » Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:09 am

Did you guys not read where I said, "(The key word being competent)"?

There's another side to this story (as there are in most--no, make that ALL--stories).
I'm not going to go into that--I have no interest in starting or participating in a flame war by relating what veterinarians I know personally have said about SOME reptile breeders & keepers, and the conditions they receive these animals in for treatment--long after there's any hope of pulling them through--because keepers are too friggin' cheap to take proper care of their animals, and/or take bad advice they've "gotten on the internet". Yet because of their dedication and oaths, the vets try anyway, and are then blamed, besmirched--or otherwise take crap--for negative outcomes.

I hope we can all present our differing points of view and agree to disagree. Right now, from my POV, that's not happening.

What disturbed me most, though AHBD, was that your admonition was not phrased as personal opinion or suggestion, but as a directive:
Give her a break from meds. + vet visits for now, not even a new vet who might decide that she " needs" something else that may again cause further harm in the long run.

and again when you say...
this dragon needs a break from being poked + prodded and stressed with forced meds.

A while back, Brandon advised me about being careful about differing opinions, and I've tried to adhere by clearly stating, "IMO" and "YMMV". Now it seems I'm in the wrong again for stating qualified opinions AS opinions. I'm feeling like I'm [danged] if I do, and [danged] if I don't.

The real heck of it is, I'm not standing up for veterinarians--I'm standing up for what I truly believe from my life experiences is best for the animals.

YMMV.
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Re: Loss of appetite, brumation?

Postby claudiusx » Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:20 am

No need for anything to get hot and bothered here. No harm no foul :mrgreen:

I know we can all agree that it goes both ways. Some vets are extremely competent, and some vets aren't. Some owners are god sends of knowledge and information, and some aren't.
Remember, sometimes wording comes off wrong online, and sometimes things can be read into differently than the poster intended them to come off as. No one is getting attacked or told they can't express their opinions here, and I think both sides have already expressed their opinions on the matter.

So for now, lets just let it stand that both opinions are out there, and lets let it get back on track for the OP :D

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Re: Loss of appetite, brumation?

Postby AHBD » Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:31 pm

True MrSpectrum, I do often use the Phrase " you might " do such + such, and I sometimes deviate as I'm writing quickly. BTW Brandon I agree we don't want anything to get heated here but it's clear where the yelling [ internet writing in all caps ] and insults are coming from.
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Re: Loss of appetite, brumation?

Postby harshstonewhite83 » Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:06 pm

Thanks everyone for the input, I really appreciate it!
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Re: Loss of appetite, brumation?

Postby claudiusx » Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:09 pm

harshstonewhite83 wrote:Thanks everyone for the input, I really appreciate it!

How is she doing today?

-Brandon
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Re: Loss of appetite, brumation?

Postby AHBD » Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:22 am

You're welcome harshstone ! Panacur is often given for pinworms so that may be what she had. Were the meds. given throughout the entire month or was it so many days on, sp many days off ? Shhe still looks good though, and both those meds. are more mild than many others, good that the vet chose Ponazuril over Albon for coccidia but any meds. given for a long while can cause loss of appetite.
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