Sulfatrim prescribed for a URI??

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Sulfatrim prescribed for a URI??

Postby Damieboo » Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:38 pm

My beloved 9.5 year old bearded dragon Damien died rather suddenly last Monday. I had taken her into the vet 3 days prior on Friday for what seemed like a URI: intermittent gasping, gaping, black beard. Also keep in mind she's had chronic egg laying for years and had lost a lot of weight recently. At her heaviest, she was 530 grams and at the time I brought her to the vet, she was only 382 grams. They did blood work and the vet said everything looked normal for a beardie in her condition other than elevated calcium, to be expected for ovulating reptiles. Her WBC was not elevated enough to indicate an infection but he prescribed Sulfatrim Pediatric Suspension for it. The instructions were 8 drops (0.24ml) twice daily until gone. She had a black beard but she was still alert and energetic enough to fight back against the oral medication and she also ate a few blueberries and worms on her own in those 3 days so her death caught me very off guard. I gave her a dose at 5pm before I went to work. When I came home at midnight, she was gone. Still in the same place I left her, no sign of struggle, no mucus around her mouth, like it was sudden. Maybe a heart attack or stroke? I tried CPR but I had no way of knowing when she'd passed. It didn't occur to me until after I had her cremated to check the medication and when I looked it up online, everything was showing that it's used for internal parasites. Why would my vet prescribe this for a suspected URI? She had a fecal done a month prior and everything was negative. I also asked when I was making an appointment if they had Baytril and they said that's what they normally prescribe, so I assumed that's what I'd been giving her. But I would think if her cause of death was directly related to the medication, she would have vomited or had some other sort of reaction, right? I'm not trying to put blame on anybody for her death, she was getting older and she'd been struggling with follicular stasis for years and was never at a steady enough weight to undergo surgery. It was just so odd that she was fine and then a couple hours later dead. I always thought I would get one last goodbye before I put her to sleep. I can only hope it was as painless as possible. At the very least I still have questions and doubts about the Sulfatrim. I'll try to attach the blood results as well just in case.
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Re: Sulfatrim prescribed for a URI??

Postby Damieboo » Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:42 pm

http://imgur.com/a/CU8uHQN here's a link to her blood results. WBC was indicated as PVC=41% WBC=10,000
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Re: Sulfatrim prescribed for a URI??

Postby CooperDragon » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:33 am

The sulfa drugs are known to be fairly harsh on them. I'm not sure why it was prescribed (as an antibiotic) if an infection wasn't diagnosed. It sounds like something else was wrong though so I don't think it's likely to have caused a problem in itself. Did they do an ultrasound or take an x-ray to check for egg development (or related problems)? That may have been unrelated too. It's hard to say for sure. It could have just been organ failure of some sort that wasn't detected in the blood tests.
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Re: Sulfatrim prescribed for a URI??

Postby Damieboo » Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:53 pm

Sorry it's taken me so long to reply. It's been hard to cope with her loss. Most days it doesn't feel real that she's gone. Looking at her empty enclosure hurts.

I really wish I knew what it was. She was defecating at night starting the night before the vet visit, which was odd for her. It wasn't exactly diarrhea, just mushy and all one color, sort of dark greenish brown with no urates. She would go in the middle of the night and not move away from it. The last thing she ate was a few blueberries, one was filled with repti boost. The week before, she was eating hornworms and some supers. So she wasn't dehydrated at all, and it didn't look like she choked on mucus. I had a beardie that passed years ago from a URI and it was miserable and traumatic. Damien didn't have any mucus around her mouth when I found her. I asked specifically about kidneys and liver and the vet said both looked okay, he said heart failure is common around 10 years of age but I don't know if the blood test detected anything in that regard. Really does seem like she died rather suddenly, because she was alert 7 hours before, just with a black beard.

I had her cremated so I guess I won't ever know, but I didn't expect an autopsy to discover anything if the blood test was no help. She was skinny for so long because of chronic egg laying, it probably leeched all the nutrients out of her body and it couldn't sustain her anymore. I wish there was a drug we could give them to stop egg production. Surgery is so hard and risky and isn't even 100% successful if they do survive it.

Edited to add that she has had multiple X-rays done before, everything looked good, no calcium deficiency, just in varying states of egg development with her follicles always active.
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Re: Sulfatrim prescribed for a URI??

Postby CooperDragon » Fri Dec 13, 2019 10:35 am

I know how it feels to go through this. It's rough every time. I wish I could help pinpoint a cause but sometimes it is just a mystery. They are so good at hiding illness, even something that has been wrong for a while can appear sudden once it becomes critical. That's part of why sometimes it's difficult to treat and help them. It sounds like you provided her with great care and did all you could to help.
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