help, 6 year old beardie with GI symptoms and neurological

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help, 6 year old beardie with GI symptoms and neurological

Postby ChanellesReptar » Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:08 pm

Hello everyone. Big warning to a long and in depth post ahead:

My Baby’s name is RepTaR. He’s roughly 6 years old. He has been very ill beginning (noticeably) at the start of this year. He’s in a 40ga tank and he has two heating pads, a heating rock, and a ceramic heat build for temp control. (His exact temps haven’t been measured) His whole life he had the walnut shell substrate, which never seemed to cause him any visible problems, though I am aware that it’s not the best choice. In addition he has the higher potency repri-sun bulb (the really long skinny one) that I just changed in January. Prior to that I dint think that his bulb had been changed in at least a year. His diet consisted of mainly bugs because he honestly shows very little interest in veggies. He used to love bokchoy and raspberries but over time has become particular to bugs. (Yes we tried varying it up with the fruits and veggies but after a bite or two he’d mind his own business). I made sure to dust his critters with calcium frequently, like every time I feed him, which average I fed him every other day and dusted his critters with the multi vitamin and calcium every other feeding.

Anyways, our concern for his health started when I woke up and found him laying on his back in his tank. He was alive, beard and chest and arms black with agitation, but responsive. immediately I corrected him, cleaned him up and he seemed fine. A couple days later I noticed the same thing had occurred, this time I was able to catch it sooner so he wasn’t as agitated. Thinking that he fell off his log I brushed it off, until it happened again within a couple days. This time I watched it happen. He was trying to maneuver between his two logs and had to slant himself to get between them. He got through, but instead of just going back onto his stomach (which angle wise would have been quite easier) he flopped onto his back again. Big red flag.

His appetite had decreased but not a concerning amount heading into winter, which I assumed was just seasonal giving that last year he had gone into a 2 month long brumation (of which after he emerged from he didn’t have interest in food for about 2 more months)

Upon his last flop over I began researching his symptoms. Of course MBD was the first assumption lining up with his symptoms. He is also twitchy, specifically in his abdomen. But in his movements in general, quite shakey. I scheduled him an appointment and was sent on my way with liquid calcium, put on a 7 day regimen 3times daily. After the fourth day I noticed that the liquid calcium was SEVERELY bloating him, and agitating him even more. With that he twitched more violently in his abdomen. In the mean time he’s had bowel movements EVERY DAY, if not twice a day, and he is still having them. They’re more urates now than actual fecal matter but he’s still going. So back to the vet he went

Now, After my first visit to the vet I made sure to change out his substrate and bought these desert gravel mats in its place. The result of changing that created more problems. We noticed then that he had serious difficulty getting around. Tripping on himself, stumbling and using his head to pick himself back up along with the shakiness and twitches that I discribed before. Originally with the substrate in his tank I assumed he was just slipping on it. But with the gravel mat it became very apparent that that’s not the case.

So at the second visit to the vet, our dr seemed pretty stumped that the liquid calcium was bloating him as much as it was, he was farting and everything and clearly bloated. As a result we xrayed him and did bloodwork. The xrays revealed that his bones are infact in incredible shape, which is baffling because aside from the bloating every symptom he has is MBD. His X-ray however did reveal some sort of gastrointestinal mass, that on X-ray is very dark in color, not light like an impaction would look. His bloodwork came back with a very high white blood cell count and serious anemia which according to my vet signifies infection. No sign of the specific Cells that would signify lymphoma or leukemia, at the time. (That was roughly 3 weeks ago) The weird thing is that his kidney and liver functions are completely normal and healthy. So we began him on antibiotics, piperacillin/tazobactum .2cc injected into his arm once a day for 14 days. In the mean time he still had shown zero interest in food since before I originally brought him to the vet. I raised concern about it about 11 days into treatment and we scheduled another recheck with the other herp vet about 3 days after his prescription ran out. Upon his recheck she also seems stumped. Right now ADV is on the table because of his clear neurological difficulties but we are questioning if ADV is the main cause of inflammation or secondary to another infection, or even worse, the C word. 💔

As far as his mobility he’s still wonky when getting around, trips on himself, my husband and I thought he’s shown improvement Upon antibiotic treatment but his lack of interest in food is worrisome. I’ve been soaking him everyday, or twice a day, and he still drinks water, and still pooping everyday or more. Upon the latest visit to the vet we had him tube fed. Of which he threw it up the next morning :(. And threw up a little bit more the following day (which was yesterday feb 19). He’s still pooping about 2times a day but it’s not much. As far as energy it’s been very low since about last Thursday (feb 13, which was about when his original prescription of antibiotics ran out. He seems particularly exhausted after a bowel movement And naps in my arms, and well definitely exhausted after vomiting. He’s been back on his antibiotics now for two days and the dr is having me drip one drop of vitamin a onto his head daily. He has not thrown up since yesterday I think he got out what we had tube fed him.


I guess by posting this I am trying to reach out to ANYONE who has experienced these symptoms before or anything similar, they’re a very wide variety and I’m very worried that I’m going to lose him. I got rid of the gravel mats and switched to just newspaper with towels so that he’s comfortable and can get around easier. In addition I’m continuing to soak him and cuddle him every day, every chance I get and after his vomiting I bought and installed a puppy surveillance system so that I can monitor him while I’m not at home. Really just asking for any other opinions. It’s clear he has a GI mass that’s blocking his ability to eat. He hasn’t lost much WEIGHT during this time but he certainly has lost muscle mass in his extremities.

With high hopes that someone is able to help, or shed light on his condition,
Repti-mom Chanelle
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Re: help, 6 year old beardie with GI symptoms and neurologic

Postby Drache613 » Fri Feb 21, 2020 1:53 am

Hello,

I am so sorry to hear your boy is not well. There are so many that are suffering from these
types of problems.
It sounds like you are doing everything you can for him. The main thing is to try & keep him
from getting too dehydrated. Hopefully he wont throw up anymore, that is really rough on
them. Why are they saying he has metabolic bone disease, if his bones look good, are his
calcium levels way off?
Is he having trouble digesting food also? Did they confirm a mass in his tummy from the
x-rays? If you have a copy of the blood work, can you post that just so we can see the
values?
You could consider trying CBD oil for him, to help with pain & possibly cancer. I would lower
his basking area onto the bottom of his tank right now, so he can't flip as easily. You will also
need to readjust his lighting so that he stays warm enough & gets his UVB too.
Oh so you are using the Reptisun 10 T5 tube bulb then, that is a great light. It will need to be
around 10 or so inches from him, for safety.
Has he been tested for adeno or not? Adeno can cause neurological symptoms but if they are
just now manifesting he has just been a carrier. Stress will often cause complications & will
bring out the virus.
You can also try using probiotics to help settle his tummy. Since he was on loose substrate, is it
possible he could be badly impacted with walnut shell? He might have been ingesting it since
his body wasn't getting adequate UVB for awhile, just looking for calcium sources.

I hope RepTar starts feeling better. Keep him a little warmer overnight too, around 80 or so to
help with his immune system.

Tracie
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Re: help, 6 year old beardie with GI symptoms and neurologic

Postby ChanellesReptar » Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:55 pm

Thank you Tracie,

Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of his bloodwork, or his X-ray. But it was the X-ray that revealed his GI mass. His bloodwork according to my vet has high white blood cell count and anemia. That’s why they have him on antibiotics now. I’m going to schedule him another appointment to get fluids into him. But his lack of interest in food has not improved. He’s also slowed down quite a bit, barely moved from where I set him to bed last night. I moved him to the warm side of his tank to get him warmed up. He’s also losing muscle mass at an alarming rate. Which as you can imagine is breaking my heart. He hasn’t vomited again since Wednesday I think he got everything out that we tried to Tube feed him. He’s napping on my lap right now, going to give him a nice warm soak in a little bit.

As far as cbd I thought about administering him some, just to decrease the amount of pain that he may be in. And hopefully make him more comfortable. Do you have recommendations of where I could get some that’s safe for him? I have my own tincture of cbd here but it’s mixed with other oils and I don’t know if it’s safe for me to use on him.

It was only suspected MBD when I first brought him to the vet, after his second visit and the xrays it was clear that it was not MBD so I stopped administering the liquid calcium because it made him so unpleasantly bloated.
As far as being tested for Adeno Virus I might request the vet to do so, but only if they advise at this point. We suspect he has it though. I don’t want to put him through more than what he’s already going through and has gone through. Poor guy. I love him so much and I really don’t want to lose him. I’m willing to try anything at this point for a glimmer of hope that he can overcome this.

Thank you for the kind words.
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Re: help, 6 year old beardie with GI symptoms and neurologic

Postby ChanellesReptar » Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:50 pm

Drache613 wrote:Hello,

I am so sorry to hear your boy is not well. There are so many that are suffering from these
types of problems.
It sounds like you are doing everything you can for him. The main thing is to try & keep him
from getting too dehydrated. Hopefully he wont throw up anymore, that is really rough on
them. Why are they saying he has metabolic bone disease, if his bones look good, are his
calcium levels way off?
Is he having trouble digesting food also? Did they confirm a mass in his tummy from the
x-rays? If you have a copy of the blood work, can you post that just so we can see the
values?
You could consider trying CBD oil for him, to help with pain & possibly cancer. I would lower
his basking area onto the bottom of his tank right now, so he can't flip as easily. You will also
need to readjust his lighting so that he stays warm enough & gets his UVB too.
Oh so you are using the Reptisun 10 T5 tube bulb then, that is a great light. It will need to be
around 10 or so inches from him, for safety.
Has he been tested for adeno or not? Adeno can cause neurological symptoms but if they are
just now manifesting he has just been a carrier. Stress will often cause complications & will
bring out the virus.
You can also try using probiotics to help settle his tummy. Since he was on loose substrate, is it
possible he could be badly impacted with walnut shell? He might have been ingesting it since
his body wasn't getting adequate UVB for awhile, just looking for calcium sources.

I hope RepTar starts feeling better. Keep him a little warmer overnight too, around 80 or so to
help with his immune system.

Tracie
.

I responded but didn’t “quote”, not sure yet how this forum works quite yet I’m hoping that quoting you let’s you know that I replied
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Re: help, 6 year old beardie with GI symptoms and neurologic

Postby Drache613 » Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:51 am

Hello,

No problem at all! I did see that you had answered back here.
How is your precious dragon doing today?
Ok, maybe the mass isn't a mass like a tumor, etc but he is impacted? Just a hopeful
thought, but since the bloodwork is so off, I have to wonder if it's more.
If you can get a copy of the bloodwork, that would be terrific.
What foods were you feeding him, critical care powdered formula, or something else?
What other oils is your CBD tincture mixed with? Here is a site you can order some from,
that just has coconut oil in it.

https://www.getsabaidee.com/

Has he gone the full day without throwing up?
Has he ever had any type of problems like this? It is possible that adeno is causing some of
this but even if he does have adeno I don't think it would be the culprit of a tumor, etc. Though,
it could certainly contribute to a suppressed immune system.

Let us know how he is doing.
Tracie
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Re: help, 6 year old beardie with GI symptoms and neurologic

Postby ChanellesReptar » Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:22 pm

Drache613 wrote:Hello,

No problem at all! I did see that you had answered back here.
How is your precious dragon doing today?
Ok, maybe the mass isn't a mass like a tumor, etc but he is impacted? Just a hopeful
thought, but since the bloodwork is so off, I have to wonder if it's more.
If you can get a copy of the bloodwork, that would be terrific.
What foods were you feeding him, critical care powdered formula, or something else?
What other oils is your CBD tincture mixed with? Here is a site you can order some from,
that just has coconut oil in it.

https://www.getsabaidee.com/

Has he gone the full day without throwing up?
Has he ever had any type of problems like this? It is possible that adeno is causing some of
this but even if he does have adeno I don't think it would be the culprit of a tumor, etc. Though,
it could certainly contribute to a suppressed immune system.

Let us know how he is doing.
Tracie



Hi, thank you for getting back to me, RepTaR is doing so-so today. Yes he went Thursday without vomiting, Friday he drank more filtered water than usual and it seemed he began having difficulties keeping it down. He kept gagging about every half hour for a couple hours. Saturday he seemed better and even moved himself around his cage once which gave me hope as he has not been very active since his last visit to the vet last week. but last night he gagged a little when I administered his meds. And then this morning he threw up again. I don’t know if it was water he threw up or bile. I have an appointment again at his vet tomorrow afternoon though at this point I’m not sure what they can do without operating. He had never in his life had issues like this, the only other time I recall him throwing up was when he ate a cockroach that was either alive in his throat or too big, he regurgitated it’s and then proceeded continue eating it.

Growing up he had crickets and bokchoy, raspberries, and blueberries. As he matured he became more particular to bugs more than fruits and veggies. I began ordering him horned worms from Mullberryfarms.com because he LOVES them, and he regularly had cockroaches and super worms. The brand of powdered calcium and multi vitamins I think is exo-Terra. I would dust his critters in the calcium every feeding (every other day) and the multi vitamins every other feeding (about every 4 days)

He had only gone into one brumation and that was last year, after he emerged from it he didn’t have an appetite for anything for like 2 months but then got back to his old self. Never vomited and never had these clear signs of neurological “wonky-ness” until now.

His beard was a little less black Saturday but it’s black again today after vomiting. He kept doing this strange head throwing motion after he threw up, but once I got him all cleaned up he stopped. I found some old cbd oil Of mine and gave him a drop on the forehead and we peacefully napped together for like 2 hours. Right now he’s in his tank, he has his head up, but is pretty lethargic.
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Re: help, 6 year old beardie with GI symptoms and neurologic

Postby Drache613 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:41 am

Hello,

How is your dragon doing this evening?
Has he kept any food down? I am anxious to see how things went at the vets today.
Were you able to get a copy of the blood test I hope?
I'm sure his beard was black because of him throwing up, it isn't comfortable for them to
go through that.
Give just a drop or two, daily, of the cdb oil that you have. That may help to settle his system
& heal him up hopefully.
Are you able to keep him a little warmer overnight, around 80 or so, to help boost his immune
system? That will hopefully help him feel better. Keep us posted on him.

Tracie
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Re: help, 6 year old beardie with GI symptoms and neurologic

Postby ChanellesReptar » Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:26 am

Drache613 wrote:Hello,

How is your dragon doing this evening?
Has he kept any food down? I am anxious to see how things went at the vets today.
Were you able to get a copy of the blood test I hope?
I'm sure his beard was black because of him throwing up, it isn't comfortable for them to
go through that.
Give just a drop or two, daily, of the cdb oil that you have. That may help to settle his system
& heal him up hopefully.
Are you able to keep him a little warmer overnight, around 80 or so, to help boost his immune
system? That will hopefully help him feel better. Keep us posted on him.

Tracie



Hi Tracie, unforuntately RepTaR hasn’t shown any improvement. While he is still drinking some water and having bowel movements 1-2 times a day, he’s lost 20 kg since last Monday a week ago, still no interest in food, and that’s despite being incredibly and unpleasantly bloated. He’s been pretty lethargic since we had him tube fed exactly one week ago. When I got to his vet today he pooped some black matter and our vets reaction to it was not good. At this point our only option would be an exploratory surgery. He lost a lot of weight within the last seven days and he still will not eat. He gags sometimes because of drinking water but still craves it but fights to keep it down.7

I’m thankful for her honesty as the only option from here would be to operate. However while she feels that he would pull through the surgery, But because she and as well as all the Other exotic vets are stumped on his variety of symptoms, she can’t promise any real results if any of him coming out of surgery with a clean slate. She has confidence that he would pull through, but because we can’t diagnose him and how quickly he has declined over the passed week we can’t guarantee his quality of life After surgery or the longevity of how long he would survive after.

I also asked her what RepTaR a blood glucose levels were as I know that those can be a big sign of GI cancer but at the time that we took them they along with his liver and kidney functions are completely normal.

Our hearts are broken but right now until we make a decision; we have stopped (With approval of his doctor) stressing him with injecting him with antibiotics and he’s now on metacam to make him more comfortable. I’m hoping he will let me know when it’s time to depart from us, because I want to be there for it when he goes. In addition our vet kindly asked me permission to investigate him and perform a necropsy For research after he passes, and to that I eagerly agreed because I would also like to know what is happening to my boy.

I promise that I will keep this thread updated in hopes of spreading information for anyone else who’s dragon experiences this, it’s the least I can do. And again thank you, Tracie, for not only responding but for shedding some light on what could be wrong.

In the mean time I will continue to post results....in hopes that anyone else going through this with their dragon can address it sooner, or maybe by then there will be better alternatives. Right now ADV is a serious concern neurologically But he has a lot of symptoms but it’s alongside another Potential disease or worse, cancer ... and I’m fearing it’s an unfortunately GNT.. I will continue to post updates until my handsome boy is no longer with us, and even after with his results.

Enjoying the short time I may have left with my boy.
💔
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Re: help, 6 year old beardie with GI symptoms and neurologic

Postby ChanellesReptar » Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:44 pm

I ordered him some probiotics today to see if that assists in him at least keeping his water down. He threw up again this morning. 😔
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Re: help, 6 year old beardie with GI symptoms and neurologic

Postby CooperDragon » Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:04 pm

Certainly worth a try. Stopping the meds may also give his kidneys a chance to recoup a bit.
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Re: help, 6 year old beardie with GI symptoms and neurologic

Postby Aaradimian » Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:28 pm

I'm very sorry to hear about RepTar :(

Tracie is one of our resident experts (and a vet), so I'm going to say right off that bat that I only have "Google knowledge" to offer. I have been trying to read up on beardies to better care for mine, and the symptoms sound a lot like the ones in this article. It did mention that high glucose is not necessarily found in all cases. It might be something to share with your vet the next time you go in. I'm posting this in the hope that it might help direct diagnostic next-steps to rule in/out the cause of his symptoms, so please take it in that spirit. Pulling for you and RepTar!

https://veterinarypartner.vin.com/defau ... id=8017166
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Re: help, 6 year old beardie with GI symptoms and neurologic

Postby Drache613 » Wed Feb 26, 2020 1:55 am

Hello Chanelle,

I am so sorry about RepTar! It's the worst feeling in the world. They are not sure exactly
what is going on, no cancer, etc? That doesn't make sense, when the liver & kidney values
are normal. Just the glucose readings are very high then?
I would lean towards pancreatic type of cancer, perhaps. There has been an increase in
strange types of cancer due to chemicals in the genetically modified foods that are being fed
to insects, etc & it will filter down to people's pets, too.
Is he at least in good spirits then? Laying off antibiotics is probably good, to give his system a
break. Continue fluids as best you can & spend quality time with him. If it is a mass & it's far
advanced there isn't much that can be done other than trying to remove it, if that is possible.

I will be thinking of you both during this time. We are all here for you.

Tracie
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Re: help, 6 year old beardie with GI symptoms and neurologic

Postby ChanellesReptar » Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:45 am

Drache613 wrote:Hello Chanelle,

I am so sorry about RepTar! It's the worst feeling in the world. They are not sure exactly
what is going on, no cancer, etc? That doesn't make sense, when the liver & kidney values
are normal. Just the glucose readings are very high then?
I would lean towards pancreatic type of cancer, perhaps. There has been an increase in
strange types of cancer due to chemicals in the genetically modified foods that are being fed
to insects, etc & it will filter down to people's pets, too.
Is he at least in good spirits then? Laying off antibiotics is probably good, to give his system a
break. Continue fluids as best you can & spend quality time with him. If it is a mass & it's far
advanced there isn't much that can be done other than trying to remove it, if that is possible.

I will be thinking of you both during this time. We are all here for you.

Tracie



RepTaR left us this morning💔
I woke to check on him and he had passed. We are completely heartbroken. But I’m glad he is no longer suffering. I can at least rest assured knowing that I made the right decision not to have them proceed with an exploratory operation, he would not have made it. His vet is doing a necropsy on him for research and I will post his results when I get them.

Thank you everyone for the kind words and support, and thank you Tracie for all your help. 💙 We are also under the impression that it was likely cancer. Poor guy.

Rest In Paradise, buddy💜🦎
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Re: help, 6 year old beardie with GI symptoms and neurologic

Postby Drache613 » Thu Feb 27, 2020 1:40 am

Hello,

Oh no, I am so sorry to hear RepTar passed away, that is so hard to go through. :cry:
I am so glad that you were with him though & that he wasn't alone. I know that you will
see him again one day.

My sincere condolences, so sorry for your loss.

Tracie
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Re: help, 6 year old beardie with GI symptoms and neurologic

Postby ChanellesReptar » Thu Feb 27, 2020 5:04 pm

Thank you Tracie,

It’s been quite rough accepting that he’s no longer with us, but we know we did all that we can do. He was the best and I’ll always remember him as nothing short of that.

His necropsy revealed lots of cancer. We’re suspecting Lymphoma even though his first and only blood test didn’t indicate lymphatic cells at the time. But rather than sampling and having them biopsied we decided to have him cremated and his vets will give his remains back to us with a little clay imprint of his little hand with his name on it. He was always quite the hit at the doctor’s office, and I’m really thankful for everything that they tried to do for him. 💜

Rest in Paradise my little buddy, RepTaR, I’ll never stop loving you
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