Rankins dragon - shaking & falling to side

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Rankins dragon - shaking & falling to side

Postby Sharkpupp » Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:20 pm

I really wish I wasn’t writing this right now... I feel like I already know the answer but I need advice.

I got Benny - my rankins dragon on October 29, 2019.
I bought him from a local pet store that set me up with everything I needed for him. He’s a baby, roughly 3 months old.

I’m trying so hard not to put blame on myself but I feel absolutely awful about this. I just realized, almost a month later that the bulb they gave me is the reptisun 5.0 T8 instead of the 10.0 and I know that it’s not strong enough for him...

His tank is 100-107 on the warm side and 86 on the cool side.
I have him in a 40 gallon tank.
A sand mat for substrate
I feed him crickets everyday, it really ranges how many he eats. I dust at least 4-5 of them with repti cal + D3. I also sprinkle some on his veggies, which consist of mainly butternut squash, collard greens, yellow pepper, carrots, and the occasional fruit.
Oh, and his lights are on everyday for 13-14 hours due to my work schedule.


Now on to the issue...

I noticed a slight change in his mood about a week ago, he was still eating normally, having at least one bowel movement every day, totally okay with me picking him up and holding him, but he wasn’t moving around as much. Definitely slightly lethargic but nothing too alarming.

Fast forward to last night, I went to pick him up and give him a bath as he’s shedding a bit. When i got him in my hand he started to shake violently. His head was vibrating back and forth. Looked it up, saw all kinds of posts on MBD and lack of calcium which made me double check my bulb... and that’s when my heart sank.

Now today, after I got home from work. Same thing except his whole body was shaking, not just his head. I put him down on the floor and he wouldn’t move at all, not even when I slightly nudged him which would normally send him away. Eventually he started to walk and kept tipping over to his left side because it seemed like his foot wouldn’t come out all the way. I left him out for a little, put him on the couch because I figured maybe the floor is too slippery for him (he does have a hard time walking on it sometimes but now I’m paranoid and it seemed strange)

Anyways, he was walking fine on the couch. I put some dusted crickets in front of him and he had 0 interest. Eventually he just crawled under the covers and went to bed. Benny is my first dragon and I feel absolutely terrible about this. I don’t want to be completely dramatic but I feel like I’ve failed him. I spent a lot of time doing my research & I’m disappointed in myself for not. doubling. checking. his. bulb.

I ordered the 10.0 on amazon last night and it should be here anywhere from the 23-27. I don’t live in a town that would have these bulbs in stock unfortunately. But I did find coil bulbs. I bought 2 reptile uvb200 26W from exo terra and a canopy top, I’ve heard that these can be hard on his eyes but whats more important until I get the reptisun 10.0??

I’m so incredibly stressed out right now. I need all the advice I can get please.

Is it hard for them to come back from lack of calcium and MBD?


Thanks in advance for reading this post I know it’s long.
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Re: Rankins dragon - shaking & falling to side

Postby CooperDragon » Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:54 am

Since it has been less than a month it may not be lighting related. If it is, then it may be early enough to stop the issue. The 26w uvb200 is a decent bulb and two of them will help spread the uvb wider which is good. Have that sit about 6-8” from the main basking spot and it should be producing a pretty good amount of uvb.

I would give all of the bugs you offer a light even coat of the calcium powder. Try putting them in a small cup with a little but of powder and shake gently to coat them. Just repeat that in small batches and offer until he’s had enough. Does he eat the veges at all? You don’t really need to supplement those and you can include some calcium rich options like collard and turnip greens. He may not dig into the veges yet but that is fairly common. I’d give the new lighting some time and see if that helps him out.
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Re: Rankins dragon - shaking & falling to side

Postby Drache613 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:36 am

Hello,

Sorry to hear about Benny. Unfortunately these things happen. Did you have the light on
top of or underneath of the screen top?
Hopefully it will improve with the better light that you have on order.
Did you order the T5 Reptisun tube or the T8 Reptisun tube?
As suggested, the coils will be fine short term, but the tube will be much better.
Also, he might just not be getting enough calcium either.
Do you have any pictures of him along with your tank setup we could see?

Tracie
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Re: Rankins dragon - shaking & falling to side

Postby Sharkpupp » Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:00 am

CooperDragon wrote:Since it has been less than a month it may not be lighting related. If it is, then it may be early enough to stop the issue. The 26w uvb200 is a decent bulb and two of them will help spread the uvb wider which is good. Have that sit about 6-8” from the main basking spot and it should be producing a pretty good amount of uvb.

I would give all of the bugs you offer a light even coat of the calcium powder. Try putting them in a small cup with a little but of powder and shake gently to coat them. Just repeat that in small batches and offer until he’s had enough. Does he eat the veges at all? You don’t really need to supplement those and you can include some calcium rich options like collard and turnip greens. He may not dig into the veges yet but that is fairly common. I’d give the new lighting some time and see if that helps him out.




I’ve read so many things now about what it could be but I can’t get into the vet until next week. Someone on reddit had even suggested that it was because he’s shedding. Which he is, but the body shakes it what terrifies me.

I’ll start doing all of his bugs from now on. I usually just throw them in a container and toss them around until they’re coated. He does eat his veggies, he loves the collard greens & squash, but I do hand feed those to him and I have since I brought him home, otherwise he eats a tiny amount. When I offered him squash and he didn’t go crazy I knew something was wrong because he usually goes ape sh** over the squash.

I ended up cancelling my order on Amazon & express ordered one from a Canadian site (I’m in Canada) and it should be here tomorrow or Thursday.
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Re: Rankins dragon - shaking & falling to side

Postby Sharkpupp » Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:32 am

Drache613 wrote:Hello,

Sorry to hear about Benny. Unfortunately these things happen. Did you have the light on
top of or underneath of the screen top?
Hopefully it will improve with the better light that you have on order.
Did you order the T5 Reptisun tube or the T8 Reptisun tube?
As suggested, the coils will be fine short term, but the tube will be much better.
Also, he might just not be getting enough calcium either.
Do you have any pictures of him along with your tank setup we could see?

Tracie


It was on top of the tank, but I took the back screen off as I don’t have any other pets that could get in there. It’s the T8 reptisun tube. Unfortunately, it’s 36” which goes across the whole top. I’d really like to mount it inside but my plan was to custom build him a 120 gallon tank where I could make that possible. I’ve included a photo of what his tank set up was like before I switched to the coil tubes.
Also excuse my blanket background as I needed something quick for him to stop trying to fight himself lol.

[Click image to enlarge]
[Click image to enlarge]

[Click image to enlarge]
[Click image to enlarge]


He is shedding like crazy right now. His whole face & underside + front legs. Someone had suggested that was the issue, but it didn’t explain the shaking?
I’m going to try and feed him after he warms up a bit. My attempt this morning failed miserably but he drank like crazy when he got in the bath.
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Re: Rankins dragon - shaking & falling to side

Postby Sharkpupp » Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:17 pm

https://youtu.be/bYjfK7ur7OI


here’s a video of him shaking
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Re: Rankins dragon - shaking & falling to side

Postby Drache613 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:32 pm

Hello,

Oh bless him, how is he doing today?
I do see the head shake in the video though. The tank looks nice, the light is mounted
well. So it is not obstructed now?
When are you building the larger tank for him, soon?
I hope he is feeling better today. Please keep us updated on him.

Tracie
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Re: Rankins dragon - shaking & falling to side

Postby Sharkpupp » Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:43 pm

Drache613 wrote:Hello,

Oh bless him, how is he doing today?
I do see the head shake in the video though. The tank looks nice, the light is mounted
well. So it is not obstructed now?
When are you building the larger tank for him, soon?
I hope he is feeling better today. Please keep us updated on him.

Tracie


Okay a bit of an update

He didn’t eat any vegetables & I was able to get him to eat one mealworm, I know they’re not the best for him but I figured it was better than nothing. He eventually ate one cricket too.

His energy levels are better, so maybe that issue was related to the shedding.

However, he finally pooped but it’s like gel?? And it was big, I was surprised that could come out of him. A bit of healthy uric acid. He did drink a lot of water in the bath so I’m wondering if that explains the gel like substance?? Other than that there was very very little stool.
Upon further inspection... it looks like there’s a pinworm in it. Bagged it up & it’s in the freezer so I can take it to the vet.

All in all, I would say he’s maybe(?) feeling better.
More energy for sure.


In regards to the light that I have set up for him now, one side is partially obstructed by the screen just so it can sit on top. My new tube bulb is expected to be here tomorrow.

Edit *

I’ll be building a new enclosure for him in December. I’m suppose to be moving at the end of the month but I’ve spoke to my landlord and got the okay to stay another month if he’s not better because I reaaaaaallly don’t want to put that stress on him.
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Re: Rankins dragon - shaking & falling to side

Postby Sharkpupp » Thu Nov 21, 2019 12:18 pm

I just wanted to give an update in case anyone is having the same issues as me


The vet I saw has reptiles of her own which made me feel good about seeing her.

She recommended I try and keep Benny’s cage even as hot as 120f while he’s a baby. She also suggested I get some liquid calcium for him. I picked up some carnivore care as well to give for him while he’s not feeling good.


All I need all she said everything looks great but I need to up his calcium as well as his heat in the tank. I told her that I ordered the repti 10.0 and she told me that she swears by the mercury bulb since it’s heat + uvb in one. Going to look into those as well
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Re: Rankins dragon - shaking & falling to side

Postby Drache613 » Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:22 pm

Hello,

I wouldn't increase the basking temperatures to over 110F though, it wouldn't really be safe
to raise it to 120F!
How is he doing today?
The Reptisun 10 tube bulb is a good bulb, so I'm glad to know that you did order that bulb
then, it should help him out a lot. We can help with mercury vapor bulbs too, if you need or
are considering getting one.
Liquid calcium would be a great addition to his supplementation also, I agree. Did he like
the carnivore care at all? Maybe he will eat a few veggies too for you.
It sounds like he might have been a little backed up then, if his stool was that large! If he
does have pinworms, that would affect his digestion if the load was relatively heavy. Are you
going to get a fecal done on him?
I am sure he will love a larger tank, once you get that built for him eventually. You are right,
stress is or can be pretty hard on them.

Tracie
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