Anemic Dragon Going for Brumation?

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Anemic Dragon Going for Brumation?

Postby ClovisDragon » Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:15 am

Hello,
In July our 4-year old male stopped eating, and we took him to the vet. A blood test confirmed that he was anemic, and the vet gave 3 different shots that must be administered for 45 days - Fortaz (100 mg/ml) 0.18 ml every 3 days, Iron Dextran (200 mg/ml) 0.05 ml every 3 days, and 0.14 ml of B Complex every other day. She also gave milk thistle liquid that must be given orally daily (0.15 ml). 9 days into treatment he started eating on his own, and everything is good. We finished his treatments in early September and a simple blood count showed normal count (Low 30s)

However, about 10 days later (mid september) he lost appetite again. A second comprehensive blood test was run and his HCT was down to 15 again (the first test in July was 7). Most of all other measurements were within range:
CBC-WBC: 7.5
HCT: 15
RBC Morphology: Normal, and no blood parasites
Protein is a little low (3.0) with Albumin and Globulin 1.5 each.
SGOT 13
BUN 1
He is also low on Glucose (108) and Potassium (1.1)

Fecal test shows normal amount of parasites. (pin worms)

The vet doubled the Fortaz, and now we're on the 2nd run of treatment and it's been 15 days and he still doesn't eat on his own. We syringes fed him and forced some crickets down his poor throat every day. He is still able to move and lift him self up to the basking spot.

Environment:
He has a 40-gallon tank, and we use 80-W SolarGlo (I think it is) UVA and UVB that's on 10 hours a day. Basking spot temperature is around 96 using temperature gun. There's no poop in his enclosure (we clean it as soon as possible).

We are desperate because even the vet (one of the experts in the area, only 2 available) doesn't know why he doesn't eat. Please pardon my ignorance, but in one of the post it looks like if a Dragon is going into brumation his blood count will also drop. Is that right? Is that possible that he is going for brumation? We've had him for almost 3 years and he's never gone to brumation. We live in a hot central California.

Please help....

thank you very much,
Clovis Dragon
Last edited by ClovisDragon on Thu Sep 26, 2019 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Anemic Dragon Going for Brumation?

Postby CooperDragon » Thu Sep 26, 2019 12:24 pm

What is his normal diet? An adult should be eating mostly veges. Instead of force feeding crickets what I would try is make a slurry with veges. Maybe some collard or turnip or other dark greens. Mix in some squash and maybe green bell pepper or green beans or something like that and blend it up with a little water. Strain it to get the large chunks out and then run it through a clean dish cloth or cheesecloth to get the excess water out until it's about the consistency of baby food and can be easily handled in a plastic syringe. Then offer the slurry by plastic syringe and see if he eats that. It should help give a nice balanced amount of nutrients and may help out.

Have you been tracking his weight? It's possible that he is brumating, but if so, then his weight would remain pretty stable. He would likely act sleepy/groggy and not have much appetite. If he is losing weight, then it could indicate an underlying problem.
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Re: Anemic Dragon Going for Brumation?

Postby ClovisDragon » Thu Sep 26, 2019 6:09 pm

CooperDragon wrote:What is his normal diet? An adult should be eating mostly veges. Instead of force feeding crickets what I would try is make a slurry with veges. Maybe some collard or turnip or other dark greens. Mix in some squash and maybe green bell pepper or green beans or something like that and blend it up with a little water. Strain it to get the large chunks out and then run it through a clean dish cloth or cheesecloth to get the excess water out until it's about the consistency of baby food and can be easily handled in a plastic syringe. Then offer the slurry by plastic syringe and see if he eats that. It should help give a nice balanced amount of nutrients and may help out.

Have you been tracking his weight? It's possible that he is brumating, but if so, then his weight would remain pretty stable. He would likely act sleepy/groggy and not have much appetite. If he is losing weight, then it could indicate an underlying problem.


Thank you, CooperDragon. Before all of this we gave him a lot of veggies- turnip greens, collard greens, mustard greens, cillantro, bell peppers, carrots, spaghetti and butternut squash, etc. and the occasional fruit. He used to eat 10-15 med-large crickets a day.
Now all we can get him to eat is fruit juice by syringe (Papaya, apple, strawberry, etc. yes, we make it ourselves) and 5 medium crickets a day. And his mouth has to be opened and the cricket placed inside. He will chew it though.

His weight has bounced around for a while. Before his first round of shots he was 460 grams. While he was on his first round of shots his weight steadily increased to about 522 grams and it stayed there until the shots were done. Now he is at 500 grams.
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Re: Anemic Dragon Going for Brumation?

Postby Drache613 » Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:11 am

Hello,

How is Clovis doing?
The fortaz is probably affecting his appetite, as most of the antibiotics seem to do. You could
consider adding a probiotic in for him to help out his appetite, or bee pollen which helps also.
How much longer is he scheduled to be on the fortaz?
He didn't have coccidia, just pinworms?
Do you have any pictures of him, along with his tank setup we could see?
I would be hesitant to let him brumate yet, if he is anemic. Does he act stressed at all or has
his beard been dark in color?

If you have the rest of the blood test counts, you can post them & I can review them. You are
correct. When they go into brumation or at least slow down, they do have fluctuating levels of
white cell counts & other readings on their blood chemistry due to their metabolism shifts.

Tracie
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Re: Anemic Dragon Going for Brumation?

Postby kingofnobbys » Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:13 am

Long and the short of it : if the dragon is sick or has an underlying health issue , it's very dangerous to allow it to go into brumation.
I strongly recommend
1) keep the photo period long ( summer hours )
2) keep the temperatures up
3) have a competent reptile vet assess the dragon's health status.
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Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
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Re: Anemic Dragon Going for Brumation?

Postby ClovisDragon » Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:37 pm

Drache613 wrote:Hello,

How is Clovis doing?
The fortaz is probably affecting his appetite, as most of the antibiotics seem to do. You could
consider adding a probiotic in for him to help out his appetite, or bee pollen which helps also.
How much longer is he scheduled to be on the fortaz?
He didn't have coccidia, just pinworms?
Do you have any pictures of him, along with his tank setup we could see?
I would be hesitant to let him brumate yet, if he is anemic. Does he act stressed at all or has
his beard been dark in color?

If you have the rest of the blood test counts, you can post them & I can review them. You are
correct. When they go into brumation or at least slow down, they do have fluctuating levels of
white cell counts & other readings on their blood chemistry due to their metabolism shifts.

Tracie

Hi Tracie,
Thank you for your kind response. We will go back to the vet on Monday, and we'd like to ask if we can stop the Fortaz. We also feed him dubia roaches about once a week, but his daily protein intake comes from crickets. He doesn't act stressed, and his beard is not dark.

Here are some pictures of his tank:
[Click image to enlarge]

[Click image to enlarge]

[Click image to enlarge]


And here is the blood test results from July:
[Click image to enlarge]

[Click image to enlarge]


And the result from September 14th:
[Click image to enlarge]


Thank you very much!
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Re: Anemic Dragon Going for Brumation?

Postby Drache613 » Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:55 pm

Hello,

Thanks for posting your blood test results.
The primary thing I was looking at was the uric acid. It seems to be getting a little higher
than what I like to see it. The level really should be lower than 4mg/dl but it is still in a
decent range but don't really want to see it get any higher.
The Fortaz could cause a higher uric acid level due to possible dehydration or just some
stress on the kidneys. The calcium levels though are a little low. Did the vet address that
any?
How is he doing today?

Tracie
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Re: Anemic Dragon Going for Brumation?

Postby ClovisDragon » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:04 pm

Thank you, Tracie.
He is getting better, and yesterday he ate 2 crickets by himself but we still syringe-fed him the veggie juice. Today he ate more crickets. He lost a little bit more weight, so we have to watch his weight and we don't want him to go lower than 480 gram.

We went back to the vet, and she doesn't have any definitive answer. She didn't address either the uric acid or the calcium levels. The plan is to continue the Fortaz (2 more shots), B complex every other day, and iron (every 3 days). We will also give him probiotic gel orally. Hopefully he will be better, but my concern is that he would be sick again after we've stopped all of the shots if we don't address the real problem.

Nothing much we can do but waiting. We will go back to the vet for another comprehensive blood test on the 16th. If he's getting worse between now and then we may take him to the vet in Monterey, CA: http://www.aecvets.com/our_staff.html I wonder if anyone has any experience with them.

Thank you.
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Re: Anemic Dragon Going for Brumation?

Postby Drache613 » Tue Oct 01, 2019 12:25 am

Hello,

I am glad to hear he is eating some then! I hope he is feeling better.
Well, I do feel his calcium could be a little higher & the uric acid should be lower. We need
to watch that to be sure he doesn't develop gout though. At least he only has two more shots
left then, that's good. Hopefully this will kick whatever has been causing the trouble.
You definitely want to keep track of his weight so he doesn't lose anymore. The probiotic gel
will help settle his tummy & aid in his appetite & digestion also.
Keep us posted on him.

Tracie
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Re: Anemic Dragon Going for Brumation?

Postby ClovisDragon » Tue Oct 01, 2019 7:11 pm

Thank you, Tracie.
We will watch his calcium level. We will keep you posted with his condition.
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Re: Anemic Dragon Going for Brumation?

Postby Drache613 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 12:24 am

Hello,

Great, thanks. Definitely let us know how he is doing. I hope that he starts to feel better.
At least though he is still eating & seems to be improving right now so those are great signs!

Tracie
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Re: Anemic Dragon Going for Brumation?

Postby ClovisDragon » Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:34 pm

He continues to eat crickets on his own, but we still have to syringe-fed the veggies. His weight went up a little bit. It's a slow progress; nevertheless it's a progress. :-)

We started him on probiotic, and we'll give him the last Fortaz shot tomorrow.
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Re: Anemic Dragon Going for Brumation?

Postby ClovisDragon » Sun Oct 27, 2019 8:47 pm

A little update on Star. He's still not eating on his veggies on his own. He would eat some crickets or roaches, but not his veggies. The third blood test results came back and the vet said that his Heterophills and Lymphocytes were flipped. His tongue is pink, and he looks fine except that he doesn't eat his veggies, and so far he maintains his weight.
[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: Anemic Dragon Going for Brumation?

Postby Drache613 » Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:15 pm

Hello!

Thanks for the update on Star. I'm glad to hear he is still eating, but hopefully we can get
him eating his greens & veggies soon. That's good his tongue is still pink! I'm not sure why
his white blood cell counts were a bit wacky but it does happen. His uric acid levels are still
up a little but not too bad. The AST levels looks in range, also.
Everything else looks pretty normal really.
How is his weight doing?
I'm glad he is done with his Fortaz now, he will be happy about that.

Tracie
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Re: Anemic Dragon Going for Brumation?

Postby ClovisDragon » Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:49 pm

Thank you, Tracie. He maintains his weight of 500 grams. We're glad that he's done with Fortaz, and we hope he will start eating his greens on his own soon. We'll keep you posted with his development. Thanks again!
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