Baby BD just diagnosed with MBD (updated 11/08)

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Re: Baby BD just diagnosed with MBD (updated 10/15)

Postby AHBD » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:30 pm

That's good to hear about even this small improvement, I know you're stoked ! It could be from the calcium, the uvb or the meds. or even just coincidence. You might ask the vet if you could do a week then skip a week of the metacam but if you feel comfortable with 3 more weeks worth you'll just have to hope it doesn't make him sick or put off his appetite.
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Re: Baby BD just diagnosed with MBD (updated 10/15)

Postby skyfishcafe » Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:47 pm

As you say, could be anything at this point. I'll be interested in seeing how he does tomorrow -- I'm anticipating a "bad day" since he's had two good ones in a row. He was actually gaping a little at his basking spot this evening so perhaps he's been getting what he needs for a good rest.

I'll ask the vet about cycling the meds -- thanks for the heads up about potential issues. Have you had experience with negative side effects from metacam in your dragons?
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Re: Baby BD just diagnosed with MBD (updated 10/15)

Postby AHBD » Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:53 pm

No, never had a dragon on Metacam. Just knowing that the less meds. a baby is on the better. There are side effects like gastrointestinal upset + worse and any type of pain med. is potentially a problem if given to any animal or human. Without knowing that the exact med. is truly the solution to a problem, it seems best in all scenarios to use them for a short a period of time as possible.
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Re: Baby BD just diagnosed with MBD (updated 10/15)

Postby Drache613 » Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:42 pm

Hello,

I am glad to hear he is doing a little better right now & hopefully he will continue to improve
daily for you. The metacam can be hard on their system, absolutely as AHBD said. It will
really affect their appetite & digestion, too.
Let us know how he is doing.

Tracie
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Re: Baby BD just diagnosed with MBD (updated 10/15)

Postby skyfishcafe » Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:02 pm

Thanks, AHBD & Tracie. We'll definitely be monitoring him closely for any signs of negative side effects. I'm happy to say that he ate his best today -- 24 BSFL and 19 dubias. Still turns up his nose at veggies but at this point we're prioritizing getting his calcium levels up over training him to eat his greens! Still offering them every day, of course. We'll be sure to keep you posted.

With gratitude,
Aaron
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Re: Baby BD just diagnosed with MBD (updated 10/15)

Postby claudiusx » Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:05 pm

That's quite the meal! I'd be happy with any of my dragons eating a mea like that :)

Another positive day! :D

-Brandon
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Re: Baby BD just diagnosed with MBD (updated 10/15)

Postby Drache613 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:21 pm

Hello,

That is terrific he ate so much today, he must have been hungry! :D
Hopefully he will start eating his greens soon, it does take time for them to really recognize
them as food.
Do keep us posted on his progress.

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Re: Baby BD just diagnosed with MBD (updated 10/15)

Postby AHBD » Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:56 am

That's great to hear about this hungry little boy with a big appetite. :)
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Re: Baby BD just diagnosed with MBD (updated 10/17)

Postby skyfishcafe » Thu Oct 17, 2019 7:04 pm

Tough day for Alduîn mobility-wise. He woke up and poked his head out of his hide 90 minutes after his lights turned on. I was concerned he might be unable to leave the hide, so I moved him closer to his basking area and he was able to slump his way around. Since he had eaten so much yesterday I figured a warm bath might help him pass it; no dice, but his tail FINALLY started to shed (it's been pre-shed for weeks now!). Eventually he relieved himself at 12:30 (!) and ate/took meds around 2pm. He only ate 9 BSFL and 7 dubias today, but that is about how much he ate after his last binge eating session so I'm not too worried. If his appetite isn't back tomorrow, I'll be asking the vet about dialing back the metacam as we discussed earlier.

He's still avoiding his veggies! But he drinks water sometimes when I offer it. We went outside on our little patio for about 20-25 minutes of real sun around 5:30; then he ran and hid in a blanket (maybe spotted a bird, or got tired of UV) and decided it was a good day to go to sleep early. Poor little guy passed out at 6pm -- 2 hours before lights out. I hope tomorrow is easier for him.

[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: Baby BD just diagnosed with MBD (updated 10/17)

Postby claudiusx » Thu Oct 17, 2019 7:14 pm

That is a great picture. He sure is a trooper.
Really that still is a good amount of food. It's great that hes eating at all.

If you have any days off, taking him outside at around noon time would be the best for him as the uvi will be highest around that time. But really any time of day you can get him out will be beneficial.

Sometimes I like to just go sit out on my patio with one of my dragons after work. It tends to be a relaxing time for me and the dragons.

I do truly believe that just like with humans, the happier and more at peace our minds are, the better our bodies do at healing. So i really think it's great that you're trying to keep him stimulated like you asked about in your other thread.

Anyways, thanks for the update tonight. :)

-Brandon
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Re: Baby BD just diagnosed with MBD (updated 10/18)

Postby skyfishcafe » Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:35 pm

Thanks Brandon, we are so glad that Alduîn seems to have more joy in his life as he slowly moves on the path of recovery. We took him outside today just after noon -- the weather was beautifully temperate for us and sunny for him. He spent about 25 minutes out there before spotting a couple of hawks and ducking into cover.

[Click image to enlarge]


We went out again later (around 4pm) but he didn't want any sun -- just crawled into a hide and enjoyed the warmth for a little while.

As we'd hoped, his appetite was back in full force today as he devoured 8 BSFL and 29 dubias, as well as a few mouthfuls of finely diced butternut squash. He licked -- and promptly refused -- some collard greens. We also learned about beardie nose plugs today, and we're happy to report that after we decided to just leave his alone, he ended up getting rid of it on his own, along with the majority of his tail shed (after a brief bath).

Thank you for helping us to help Alduîn!

Aaron
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Re: Baby BD just diagnosed with MBD (updated 10/18)

Postby JumpinJellyfish » Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:35 am

skyfishcafe wrote:Thanks Brandon, we are so glad that Alduîn seems to have more joy in his life as he slowly moves on the path of recovery. We took him outside today just after noon -- the weather was beautifully temperate for us and sunny for him. He spent about 25 minutes out there before spotting a couple of hawks and ducking into cover.

[Click image to enlarge]


We went out again later (around 4pm) but he didn't want any sun -- just crawled into a hide and enjoyed the warmth for a little while.

As we'd hoped, his appetite was back in full force today as he devoured 8 BSFL and 29 dubias, as well as a few mouthfuls of finely diced butternut squash. He licked -- and promptly refused -- some collard greens. We also learned about beardie nose plugs today, and we're happy to report that after we decided to just leave his alone, he ended up getting rid of it on his own, along with the majority of his tail shed (after a brief bath).

Thank you for helping us to help Alduîn!

Aaron

Hooray! I've been following this thread, and it seems as though Alduin is doing much better - what a great appetite, too. :0)
Never knew I could get so happy about poop, or so comfortable with bugs. :-D
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Re: Baby BD just diagnosed with MBD (updated 10/18)

Postby skyfishcafe » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:20 am

JumpinJellyfish wrote:Hooray! I've been following this thread, and it seems as though Alduin is doing much better - what a great appetite, too. :0)


Thank you JumpinJellyfish. He is hanging on, and has his ups and downs for sure. We have our follow-up appointment on November 8th, assuming he continues to eat/drink/etc. at his "new normal" until then. Little guy has so much trouble moving and it's hard to even pick him up to hold him because he can't grasp the way he did before this.

But he's no longer dragging his front legs behind him, and he seems to be trying to distribute effort onto all four limbs when he shuffles around. Right now he's watching some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (or, well, he's lying in his tank while TMNT plays on the laptop behind him...).

I'll be sure to post more when there is (hopefully good) news!

Aaron
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Re: Baby BD just diagnosed with MBD (updated 10/24)

Postby skyfishcafe » Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:53 pm

My partner thinks I'm paranoid/hypervigilant with Alduîn (and, okay, maybe I am)... but I'm noticing some unusual swelling or deformation and wondering if this to be expected despite the MBD treatments.

His hind legs, particularly the one that was already swollen, tend to become so stiff that they are essentially dead weight. For example, he once adjusted his body in a way that lifted his right rear leg off the ground entirely and it didn't change position at all for close to a minute, when gravity eventually brought it back to the ground. His toes also are somewhat uneven (hard to see in this pic, probably).

[Click image to enlarge]


I'm also really concerned about his front "wrists". They seem to be swelling and I am seeing bulges on either side that weren't visible in earlier photos. It also seems like his "wrists" are splaying outward (like I've seen with rickets -- which is also caused by vitamin D deficiency, but he gets UVB most of the day...).

[Click image to enlarge]


Our next scheduled appointment with the vet is on November 8th. I called with a few questions a couple days ago and the vet did get back to me with answers; I'm wondering if I should ask about these too, or just wait until the appointment. Little Alduîn is still eating his insects quite well (17 yesterday, 21 today) and defecating every morning, though he has refused even a single bite of any fruits or veggies for almost a week now (collard greens, turnip greens, butternut squash, strawberries).

He also continues to cut his UVB time short by hiding after about 10 or 11 hours. His lights go on at 6am, he usually comes out around 7 or 8, but then he hides from the lights around 5pm. I want him to have a longer photoperiod but he really seems to hate the light after a while.

It just feels like he's getting worse despite the treatments. He can't hold up his own weight -- he has to either pull with his front legs, push with his hind legs, or use his tail as a counterbalance and kind of wrench himself around. I fear for his safety. We're doing the best we can. I hope it's enough. I'm continuing to read and learn. I've been going through Brown's Guide to Australian Dragons in Captivity and excerpts from Mader's Reptile Medicine and Surgery, and trying to see if my local library can get their hands on the newly updated Reptile and Amphibian Medicine and Surgery. I realize it's a big waiting game with reptiles because they take so long to recover... It's just hard to stay hopeful, I guess. I was talking with my partner about this earlier, but I feel like part of me is hopeful and optimistic while another part of me is already fortifying an emotional wall and assuming the worst.

What a merry-go-round.

Anyway, if you have any thoughts on the swelling/bumps/anything else, I'd love to read them. Tomorrow will be day 18 of treatment, so still fairly early days. I hope this record turns out to be useful for others who find themselves in a similar boat with their little dragons. And with luck, we'll be seeing him on the path to recovery soon.

With kind regards,
Aaron
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Re: Baby BD just diagnosed with MBD (updated 11/08)

Postby skyfishcafe » Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:57 am

Yesterday Alduîn really surprised me. During feeding, he actually stood up on all four legs and chased after some dubia roaches around his enclosure! This simple action is something he has not been able to do for over a month. On top of that, he actually managed to climb onto a thick folded blanket inside his enclosure to watch me while I prepped his salad. It was amazing to see him so active and mobile. Of course, now he is exhausted after his vet visit today (and probably sore after some rather rough handling by a vet tech), so he is resting in the partial shade under his hammock.

Today's follow-up appointment was about 3.5 weeks after his last vet visit. He has gained a little bit of weight (28g up from 23g); not as much as we would have hoped but gain is gain. Perhaps more importantly, the vet ran another x-ray and said that the bones were starting to gain structure. She also said there was no indication of any fractures (with the caveat that some calcium-depleted areas which are difficult to see in the x-ray, such as the wrists, could have hidden fractures). When I asked her about the swelling around his toes and other joints, she said it may actually be a good sign because it may be the body using hypertrophy to compensate for the weakened bones. Her words were along the lines of, "We're not out of the woods yet, but these are all good prognostic indicators." Daily meloxicam dosage is staying the same at 0.01cc for pain and inflammation management; calcium gluconate is now 0.06cc daily (up from 0.04). We'll go in again to re-evaluate in a month (December 6th).

I'll post x-rays once the doctor emails them to me. We're hoping Alduîn is on the upswing!

EDITED TO ADD: X-ray comparison (left: October 7th; right: November 8th)

[Click image to enlarge]
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