Baby BD just diagnosed with MBD (updated 12/07)

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Re: Baby BD just diagnosed with MBD

Postby KarrieRee » Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:24 am

I am so sorry to hear this-- I was hoping to hear he was doing better--
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Re: Baby BD just diagnosed with MBD

Postby claudiusx » Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:12 pm

Darn. Well it's expected that he will have some off days. But it never makes it any easier. It's a rollercoaster for sure.

I asked Tracie to stop by and check out the xray too. Hopefully another pair of eyes and a better brain will help! :)

Did the vet ever test for ADV? I can't remember if we discussed that. I don't like the body curling :( but hopefully his appetite is just due to his upcoming shed!

Positive thoughts going you and Alduin's way.

-Brandon
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Re: Baby BD just diagnosed with MBD

Postby skyfishcafe » Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:59 am

Thanks Karrie and Brandon. Definitely lots of ups and downs. We are still hoping that Alduîn pulls through!

He has been going to bed early and waking up late, we hope because his body is busy trying to recover. This morning he had a lot of difficulty defecating -- it seemed like he just couldn't work the muscles properly. He did eventually pass it (with pinkish urates and a LOT of water, probably because he has been drinking form the syringe). I'm starting to suspect that I inadvertently suppressed his appetite by giving him so much water to drink. Today noon we gave him just a couple of sips and then he ate 5 BSFL and 10 dubias, so I'm going to lay off the extra water for now and trust he is getting enough from his diet.

We have our follow-up appointment on Monday afternoon. We considered getting him in today instead, but the two vets who have seen him before were both unavailable and we didn't want to introduce yet another doctor into the equation at this point. He's shakily moving around a little today and has taken his meds without complaint. Soon we'll give him a warm bath, maybe ease his joints a bit.

Brandon, the vet didn't test for ADV. The second one we met with told us it was typically only identified postmortem, though I was a little surprised to hear that. We'd really like to meet with our first vet again soon -- we found her through ARAV and she did Alduîn's initial wellness exam two days after we brought him home. Maybe our schedules will match for a follow-up after Monday. I'm glad to cautiously report that the body curling might just have been based a sign of his pain or discomfort at the time, as he seems to be less stiff today.

Thanks again!
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Re: Baby BD just diagnosed with MBD

Postby claudiusx » Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:10 am

Tracie actually works with a research lab for ADV so she can definitely help you get him tested if your vets aren't willing to.

I agree, lay off the water a bit. Especially if he's passing a lot of it. You do want to keep his electrolytes in balance. If they were off it could explain the shakiness. If he eats his salads at all you could mist them, that should give him some decent hydration.
But IMO getting him some good nutrients is the best you can do for him right now :)

-Brandon
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Re: Baby BD just diagnosed with MBD

Postby Drache613 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:41 pm

Hello,

I am sorry for my late response, I didn't have time earlier today!
How is your baby doing?
So he isn't curling his tail & body up as much now? That was most likely a reflection of pain
or discomfort. What is the dose of the gluconate you are giving & the strength of it? The
calcium is oral, correct & not injections?
Do you have a light fixture for your Reptisun 10 T5 tube? How far from him is the light now?
If you want to test him for Adeno, let me know. You can sign up on my page at:

www.thepats.info

It is odd on the x-ray that those areas do appear less dense on the bones than the other
areas on the body.
Has he had any trouble going to the bathroom at all?

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Re: Baby BD just diagnosed with MBD

Postby skyfishcafe » Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:16 pm

Thanks Brandon, you make a very good point about the electrolytes. He doesn't eat much of his salads but he will nibble little bits of butternut squash, and they are super hydrating so perhaps that will be enough.

Hi Tracie, thanks for checking in on us. Alduîn had a pretty good day this afternoon, eating a total of 28 BSFL+dubias and taking all his meds. The calcium gluconate is 230mg/mL and we are giving him 0.04mL orally each day (we've been injecting it into his insects). (I should probably mention that Alduîn weighed in at just 20 grams when we took him to the vet on Monday. However, he had gained 2 grams over that past week, so we're hoping he's still growing.) As for the Reptisun tube, I'm using a Sunblaster fixture without reflectors since we have the fixture inside the tank. The light is about 8-9 inches from where he tends to sit; we moved it lower on the side of the tank since we removed most of the high spots from his enclosure to protect him from falls. I'm a little concerned since it is mounted on the side rather than overhead, but hoping it is okay since it's mounted on the side where he stays.

Today was the first day we noticed him straining to go to the bathroom. It seemed like he couldn't work the muscles he needed to push/pinch. I noticed he had one of his legs fully extended so I allowed him to brace that leg against my finger; that seemed to help him finish passing the stool, but we were still worried. He did seem to relax in the bath we gave him later in the day, and it warmed up enough outside that he was able to sit out in the sun with us for about 20 minutes.

You mentioned the x-ray seems odd. How would you describe the ways it differs from others you've seen?

Finally, thank you for the Adeno test link!

Aaron
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Re: Baby BD just diagnosed with MBD

Postby skyfishcafe » Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:27 pm

Well, today was our follow-up appointment. The vet said Alduîn is doing about as well as could be expected, and that while he still has a long and uncertain road ahead of him, she's encouraged that he's taking his meds every day, eating well most days, eliminating every day, and so on. He has also increased in mass by 15% since last week (from 20g to 23g). The doctor spent time with us explaining how things might progress (including the potential for a rapid downhill slide), and also answering the questions we'd collected over the past week. For now, we're continuing with the current treatment plan for the next three weeks and then going for another check-up.

Alduîn is pretty consistent with his good days and bad days. He'll have a bad day, struggling to move, limp front limbs, refusing to eat or take meds until late afternoon -- and then he'll have a good day, eating and taking meds early, still struggling to move but using all his legs. Then a bad day, then a good day... My hypothesis is that it relates to the anti-inflammatory drugs. If he takes them early, he has a good day, but then they wear off by the next morning and he has a bad day, but then he finally takes the meds late and then is ready to eat in the morning -- and so on. Who knows? Today was a good day, and he ate 30 insects and a bit of squash. His urates were quite orange/tan from the calcium, which I hope means he is getting all he can possibly use (and then some). He also enjoyed the new carrier we got him for traveling -- much better than that little plastic "critter keeper" which has since been converted into dubia storage.

This morning he tried to climb onto his little faux half-log hide in order to bask on it (it's darker than the surrounding area, so a bit warmer). We provided some support for his hind legs to climb on, and he was fine on it for an hour or so, but then when I stepped away for 10 minutes to shave I came back to find that he had slid off one side and gotten stuck between the hide and the enclosure wall :( We've decided to remove even that short 2-inch hide to protect him from similar falls until his strength and mobility improve.

Oh, and the T5 mounted on the wall of the enclosure finally bothered me enough to MacGyver a temporary lighting rig using command hooks and yarn:
[Click image to enlarge]

[Click image to enlarge]


Now the UVB bulb hangs 8 inches directly about the basking area (so about 7 inches above Alduîn's body). I also ordered a Sunblaster clip-on reflector; once that arrives on Wednesday, I'll tighten the yarn and raise the fixture to accommodate the more intense UVB output!

So in summary, we are remaining cautiously optimistic. Alduîn is eating, he's pooping, he's growing, and he's still demanding his evening couch ritual before sleeping. The vet said we should contact her if he goes 48 hours without eating, but otherwise should continue to expect those ups and downs.

Many thanks to everyone who has read and to everyone who has responded. This thread is serving as my sort of journaling outlet and I appreciate all the support our little family has received through it.

Aaron
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Re: Baby BD just diagnosed with MBD (last update 10/14)

Postby claudiusx » Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:56 pm

GEEZE Aaron I read the thread title and my heart sunk. I thought it meant that this was going to be the last update...
I was so relieved to read that my first impressions were wrong! PHEW! lol.

Hey 15% is huge! That's a great sign. Dragons that are sickly and dying dont continue to grow, as the body uses all it can to stay alive. So the fact that the body is continuing to grow is a great sign. so you at least have that positive thought to hold onto :D

As long as he keeps having days like this where he eats good, I have a good feeling things will end up working out :)

Thanks for the update. I forgot, did bloodwork ever get done?

-Brandon
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Re: Baby BD just diagnosed with MBD (most recent update 10/1

Postby skyfishcafe » Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:06 pm

OOPS! Sorry about that, Brandon. I've changed the title to better reflect what I had intended. Thanks for pointing that out and sorry for the blindside!

My partner has been optimistic pretty much all week and I am finally starting to let myself believe in a possible good outcome here. I've been trained to "hope for the best and expect the worst", and I'm striving to adjust that attitude and be more positive for Alduîn.

We haven't had the bloodwork done; the vet told us that he was so tiny it would be hard to get enough blood out of him for a reliable sample, especially since his system is already being weakened. What's your experience with blood tests on little ones?

Thanks again for your support!

Aaron
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Re: Baby BD just diagnosed with MBD (most recent update 10/1

Postby claudiusx » Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:18 pm

If the vet is uncomfortable with it, I wouldn't push for it. IMO it comes down to experience and feeling comfortable, but it is more difficult on such a young dragon.
I was just curious. It would be good to see, but it's really not necessary.

Haha sorry, I just interpreted it wrong. I had to read your post twice as the first time I read it I was just focused on "ok when is the bad news coming?"
Trust me I was so relieved to finish reading it as I realized what you meant afterwards lol.

Apparently I've gotten a little attached to Aludîn. I'm really rooting for you all :)

-Brandon
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Re: Baby BD just diagnosed with MBD (most recent update 10/1

Postby AHBD » Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:06 am

Sorry to hear about Alduin's problems. I agree that he's a bit small for blood tests. A couple of questions, how long has he been on the metacam ? While he's on it you definitely should offer water, extra hydration is necessary for most animals [ and humans ] while on this type of pain/anti inflammatory med. And can you show pics of the size roaches that he's eating by sitting one next to him ?
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Re: Baby BD just diagnosed with MBD (most recent update 10/1

Postby skyfishcafe » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:32 am

Thanks Brandon, we appreciate your rooting for us :)

Hi AHBD, thank you for reading & responding. He's been on Metacam since his initial diagnosis on the 7th (so today is his 8th day). He had a bath earlier today and didn't drink, but he did drink from the syringe as he's become accustomed to it. Do you know approximately how much water would be good to give in addition to whatever moisture he gets from his BSFL, dubias, and occasional squash? (He very, very rarely touches leafy greens, but they are in his enclosure fresh every day just in case.)

Alduîn hasn't had much of an appetite today, but he has eaten 8 insects and already took his meds at least. Here's a photo of him looking very unimpressed with a dusted dubia roach a few minutes ago.

[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: Baby BD just diagnosed with MBD (most recent update 10/1

Postby KarrieRee » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:39 am

Here is a tip to get him to eat his vegies--- first feed vegies in the morning --- in a glass bowl and add some small super worms if you can get them or BSFL on top of his salad --- make sure he sees you doing this so the movement gets his attention --- is he able to get into a large bowl? You can also get him some dubia roaches --- they can be ordered on line --- I would let him eat out of that bowl for 30 minutes or so before feeding him his staple feeder--- you can rinse the leafy greens before serving and he will get hydration from them
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Re: Baby BD just diagnosed with MBD (most recent update 10/1

Postby AHBD » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:42 am

O.K, I just wanted to see if the bugs were even slightly too large but they are fine. He should drink as much as he wants while on the meds., I would be reluctant to have him on the Metacam for more than 7-10 days. That can have side effects as well and it's not going to cure him. Hydration will lessen the chance of accidental toxic reaction. So give at least a little bit every day. Testing for ADV with Tracie is a great idea to confirm or rule out ADV. Hope your little guy gets his energy back. ! How's he moving today ?
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Re: Baby BD just diagnosed with MBD (most recent update 10/1

Postby skyfishcafe » Tue Oct 15, 2019 12:32 pm

Thanks Karrie, I will try that tomorrow morning. He has a lot of trouble getting to a bowl so we've been putting his insects near him and offering him veggies intermittently, especially since we inject his meds into the insects. Perhaps if we get him to eat some veggies first it will pique his appetite. He did eat one bite of collard greens just now :) Only 12 insects so far today, but he still has almost 5 more hours before lights out, so we might get another meal into him in a couple hours.

AHBD, thanks for the hydration info. Our vet wants us to continue him with 0.01cc Metacam daily until our next check-up in about three weeks. She said the swelling in his leg has gone down a bit but that the Metacam would help ease his continued discomfort. I'll have to be sure to offer him fluids since he'll be on it that long. Today is a surprisingly good day for his mobility (first time he's had two good days in a row, actually). A little earlier I was holding him and I set him down on a fluffy blanket that is on the cooler part of his enclosure. After a few minutes he went from the fluffy blanket down to a less fluffy blanket down to the shelf liner under the heat lamp, all by himself and using all four legs. So I'm glad to know he can move to where he wants to go as long as it's relatively flat!
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