Please help!! My Bearded dragon is very ill

This forum is for urgent health concerns, where your beardie seems very ill and you need immediate help!

Please help!! My Bearded dragon is very ill

Postby Rock20 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 6:08 am

Can someone help me please I have a very sick bearded dragon and don't know what else to do. Rocky my 8 Yr old dragon was fine until 2 weeks ago. He went limp and couldn't move his legs he fell off his hide and couldn't move, I took him straight to er and had an x-ray done incase he had broken something. everything came back clear and he regained his strength in his legs again. As this wasn't a reptile vet and only the emergency room I was told to get an appointment with regards to his breathing because he was heavily mouth breathing instead of through his nostrils which I hadn't seen this before with him. I took him to the reptile vet and had bloods and fecal tests done, the result came back with low white blood cell count and a viral desease in his lungs everything else was ok. He was kept for a week until showing signs of improvement which he was later discharged and I brought him home after he was improving. On collection his bearded was totally black and he was light in colour, I assumed it was normal and part of the healing process after getting his meds, I was given 5 days worth of metacam at 0.07ml and 3 weeks worth of ceftazidime at 0.15ml per dose, he also had emeraid ic for syringe feeding. I got him home and he was lethargic but seemed OK, his bearded was still jet black and has been the whole time. After 3 days of giving his meds and syringe feed he started to throw up a clear fluid and was choking on it, I helped him clear his mouth and kept him in a comfortable position. He stopped throwing up hours ago and hasn't since, he ate a few small pieces of vedge and had a more solid stool pass through. His beard has lightened in colour and his eyes are open. I've spoke to the vet and advice is to give him euthanasia injection or let him see it through. His legs seem limp again and he slides himself across his viv rather than walking, he is alert and responsive and has manage to keep water and vedge down for hours now. Im lost as to what I should do for him now.. The more he basks the worse he gets and he will deteriorate no matter where he is In his viv, until I bath him and let him cool off. I'm keeping his viv at a steady 80f on his cool side and 97f in the basking spot but even this seems too hot for him, the humidity is 30 %.. Any advice would be greatly appreciated...
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Re: Please help!! My Bearded dragon is very ill

Postby KarrieRee » Sat Jun 06, 2020 6:32 am

You need to tell us what your using for a UVB brand and bulb- how are you taking the basking temps? the humidity is fine ---NO stick ons for temp taking --- do you have copies of the blood work done and the Xrays-- please post them Tracie needs to be able to see what was done and she can read the Xrays as well - she is our vet moderator on here and will be able to help you --- if you dont have copies of the blood work or xrays call the vets office and have them email them to you -- I am going to flag your post so she makes sure she looks at it also post pics of him --- it helps when they can see him --
https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploads/ click on the XIMG at the top of the message box then click on the pic it should post
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Re: Please help!! My Bearded dragon is very ill

Postby Rock20 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:18 am

Hi, thank you for responding. He had a t8 arcadia 14% uv bulb that went the full length of the viv with a reflector and has had it changed every six months for 6 years after hearing about the new Pro t5 and its better uv output I Instslled that system with a 12% bulb and reflector while he was away. His basking bulb was an arcadia solar spot D3 100 watt but blew and can't get one so had to get a pro rep 100 watt instead. never had any copies of his results it wasn't offered I will get them to send them to me office is closed until Monday. I'm using a laser temp gun and checking across his temp gradient I never rely on his sensors entirely, there is an exo terra digital thermometer for the cool side and exo terra digital hygrometer, he has a microclimate evo keeping the mid temp at 30 c in the middle of his viv to give the hot and cool side there is no water in his viv totally dry and is tiled. I will post a pic and get them results,
Thank you.

Matthew
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Re: Please help!! My Bearded dragon is very ill

Postby KarrieRee » Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:29 am

So the 12% bulb is where? Is it in the tank or on top of screen? The Arcadia is a T 5 - 14% bulb its what I am using - the distance for those would be 24 inches - w/ decor piece under it - decor piece for that strength of bulb would need to be low-- mine sit around 18 inches under it -- and I change mine out every year usually a month before -- if you can get the results emailed for blood work on Monday that would be good -- if your using the T 5 12% bulb now it would need to be 12-15 inches from basking decor inside the tank - it you have it on top of screen it would need to be 8-10 inches from basking decor -
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Re: Please help!! My Bearded dragon is very ill

Postby Rock20 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:13 am

The uv light is inside the viv fixed to the roof with a reflector, the old t8 was hanging down in the viv at 10 inches from the basking area. The new t5 has a platform that gets him within 14 inches, he has only recently had this new equipment like last week so is not the cause of his illness but I will re measure the basking area of the new light. definitely going to get the results for Monday. He needs his antibiotic and metacam tomorrow I'm unsure if this made him throw up, do I continue with his injections and the vitamin powder, he must be hungry but won't take live food and will only syringe feed because of his lethargy and can't really chew up his bugs. He seems doped on medicine.

Matthew
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Re: Please help!! My Bearded dragon is very ill

Postby KarrieRee » Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:15 am

oK so the old T 8 was a 14% bulb?
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Re: Please help!! My Bearded dragon is very ill

Postby Rock20 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:21 am

Yes the t8 was a 14% and the new t5 comes with a 12% I did want to get the 14 just everything that has happened not done that yet
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Re: Please help!! My Bearded dragon is very ill

Postby KarrieRee » Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:57 am

I haft to say 10 inches for a 14% bulb is way too close- he may be sick from that---- stay w/ the 12%--
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Re: Please help!! My Bearded dragon is very ill

Postby Rock20 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 11:03 am

I have re checked the distance from the new uv and it's 14 inches at 2 points of his decor, and rather than it be fixed to the roof of the viv i have moved it to the back wall. His decor is exactly 14 inches from the uv, and even if he moved to lower level he will be 14inches away from the uv, at ground level, he has a shady spot incase he wants to be totally away from uv and heat. He's got the minimum but the essential in his viv to ease moving around as he still looks weak when moving around. No sickness today so far so that is over 24 hours and he has had some slurry and drops of water. Mouth gaping a little but he's near his basking spot. Signs of improvement within 24hrs. and he is holding himself upright now.
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Re: Please help!! My Bearded dragon is very ill

Postby KarrieRee » Sat Jun 06, 2020 11:08 am

That's good to hear I would of left the UVB overhead- we recommend overhead sometimes putting it on the back wall causes issue s w/ the eyes- you don't want the Ray's shinning directly in his eyes
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Re: Please help!! My Bearded dragon is very ill

Postby Drache613 » Mon Jun 08, 2020 12:30 am

Hello,

How is your boy doing tonight? Poor thing, it sounds like something is definitely going on
though. They can be fine, or, appear to be fine, but then all of the sudden show signs of
illness. Try to get a copy of the blood test if possible. I would like to take a look at them.
The fecal test, did they give you the results or are you waiting on them?
How often do you give calcium?
If you are using an Arcadia D3 12% T5, 10-12 inches is good & it should be directly over
head, too. Which basking light are you using now, a regular halogen type flood bulb? How
close is it to him?
Has his beard been black since he has been vomiting? I would recommend getting some
extra oral fluids, so that he doesn't start to get dehydrated.

Keep him a little warmer overnight, to help him while he isn't feeling well right now.
Did the vet determine that he had an infection?

Let us know how he is doing.
Tracie
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Re: Please help!! My Bearded dragon is very ill

Postby Rock20 » Mon Jun 08, 2020 1:40 am

Hi tracie, he's stable now and hasn't been sick for over 48 hrs. I've kept him hydrated around the clock, he's had a few Bath's and drank some water, he's not eating very well and I can't get any slurry into his mouth unless I force feed and i don't want to stress him out so I've not force fed him. i give him dusted live food every other day and the days he doesn't have calcium its some veg and multi vitamin supplement. should have his results by email today although they are taking they're time to send them. His uv is on the back wall and he can get within 10 inches from it. I am using a prorep basking spot lamp as this was all I could get, he normally has arcadia solar spot in his viv but it blew, he is 10 inches from the bulb. The uv is a new setup I got last week I fixed it to the ceiling and its too far from him, Im thinking of how to resolve this problem. The fecal results were clear and his white blood cell count is low, the vet said they're was nothing extraordinary on his bloods and suggested it was a viral desease in his lungs. Since Friday he hasnt been mouth breathing any where near as much as he was.. only when he's basking. He is also head bobbing and hasn't done that for a few weeks. His beard was black when I picked him up last week Tuesday and has been since. I'll get those results to you as soon as I get them.
Thank you

Matthew
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Re: Please help!! My Bearded dragon is very ill

Postby Rock20 » Mon Jun 08, 2020 3:27 am

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BIOCHEMISTRY
Albumin * 43 g/L High (‪25 - 35‬)
Total Protein 67 g/L (‪52 - 72‬)
Uric Acid 114 umol/L (‪0 - 350‬)
Bile Acid 55.6 umol/L
AST 38 IU/L (0 - 80)
Creatine Kinase * 1724 IU/L High (‪0 - 550‬)
Urea 0.3 mmol/L (0.0 - 1.4)
Sodium 156 mmol/l (‪140 - 160‬)
Potassium 1.7 mmol/l (‪1.0 - 6.0‬)
*Overnight sample*
Calcium 3.29 mmol/L (2.2 - 3.4)
Ionised Calcium 1.47 mmol/l
Phosphorus 1.74 mmol/L (1.1 - 2.3)
Triglyceride 1 mmol/L

HAEMATOLOGY

White Cell Count * ‪0.6 10‬^9/l Low (1.5 - 8.5)
Haemoglobin 9.3 g/dl (7.7 - 12.0)
PCV 34 % (‪17 - 35‬)
MCHC 27.4 g/dL

WBC Differential


Film Comment No polychromasia but moderate number of inclusion
bodies, consistent with possible viral infection, seen
within erythrocyte series. It is impossible to do an
accurate differential with a total white cell count
this reduced but the few heterophils found appear
unremarkable. Thrombocytes appear normal in structure
and on film.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CLINICAL COMMENTS

Comment

I would suggest that as the calcium levels are normal, there is a viral
infection aetiology. Given the muscle twitching I would suspect adenovirus as
I'm sure you have considered too. The haematology would support this diagnosis.
The blood glucose is about level of a stressed lizard rather than a gastric
neuroendocrine carcinoma for example.

Suzetta Cameron BSc BVSc MSc (Wild Animal Health)
MRCVS RCVS Advanced Practitioner in Zoological Medicine

Faecal test- Negative for all parasites
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Re: Please help!! My Bearded dragon is very ill

Postby AHBD » Mon Jun 08, 2020 3:28 am

Hi Matthew, can you post pics of your beardie as well as the entire set up ? Are there any fake plants in the tank ? I'm wondering if he might have eaten one and become impacted, but that's probably a slim chance that this would all come from that. Metacam can cause extreme nausea and vomiting so I'd stop that right away. Here's how to post pics :

https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploads/ Then use the XIMG to upload them
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Re: Please help!! My Bearded dragon is very ill

Postby Rock20 » Mon Jun 08, 2020 3:55 am

He's never had any fake plants in there, he use to be on sand but I put him on slate to decrease a chance of eating it. I changed that months ago. I'm very concerned about the metacam bacause he's had some today but I will stop it all together. He's been on metacam for a while now. I bathed him earlier and he seemed more active but wouldnt take his slurry or drink any water. I know hes stressed but I don't know how to attend to him without stressing him more.

Thank you

Matthew
Last edited by Rock20 on Mon Jun 08, 2020 9:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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