HELP! Dragon with sunken eyes and potential RI

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HELP! Dragon with sunken eyes and potential RI

Postby Lillersgj24 » Mon Nov 23, 2020 3:18 pm

Red is 2 1/2 years old. His tank is a 40 gallon with a standard heating lamp, 150 watt basking bulb, and UV bulb. Cool side of the tank is 80F even, basking spot between 95-100F. Humidity is 30%. He was raised on Dubia roaches, however this year his primary feeder was crickets, and then mealworms for the past month. His insects are dusted with calcium D3 power. Collard greens and yellow squash are his staple veggies, with various other veggies offered every week and fruits slightly less often. His diet currently is 60/40, with veggies always offered before other foods.

Red appeared to be preparing for brumation (his very first cycle), a little under two weeks ago - refusing food and sleeping more during light hours. I prepared his den with soft fabric, as that is what he is accustomed to, and left him alone. He began sleeping 3 days after completrly rejecting food for 3 days straight without emerging. I made sure to bathe him every day before he slept to keep him hydrated and make sure he pooped (I read that anything left in his system could rot while he slept). He woke up, however behaved agitated. I figured this was a normal adjustment period coming out of brumation. He still wouldn't eat, and was more bothered by his reflection than I have ever seen him be. He first woke up 5 days ago, and began his usual sleep/wake routine only agitated. I gave him a couple of baths to keep hydrated, but stayed out of his way as I thought he just needed his space.

I was gone Saturday night, into sunday, and returned home to an obviously sick dragon with multiple symptoms that quite frankly scared the piss out of me. He was sitting on the cool side of his tank eyes wide open in the dark, very light colored and a solid black beard. I immediately put him into a warm bath, where he drank. His eyes are sunken, pupils looked large, and the color itself dull. His mouth/tongue is pale as well, tinged yellow. He was slow, and was arching his back upward slightly. That was yesterday. Today he is doing slightly better. I went to the store and retrieved Pedialyte and made him an appointment at the vet for Friday. I do not understand his bizarre symptoms as I have scoured the internet looking for answers to what specifically is the cause and if I should seek help sooner:

- His eyes are the most prominent physical change. They are sunken, the bump on top of each eye is nearly flat. His eyes themselves are almost white, the color has disappeared. They are not cloudy, it is only the outer side of the pupils.

- He appears to have intermittent breathing issues. He occasionally makes clicking noises, very occasionally. He just seems uncomfortable, as though something is keeping him up, breathes hard, and then moves up/readjusts. However it only happens periodically, during a 30-60 minute time frame, breathing hard/ readjusting 4-6 times for a few seconds each time. It's obvious discomfort - but then the majority of the time it's not evident, I check his side often and his breathing is at a normal rate.

-His coloration is very light and bright, the beard consistently black.

-He has slightly decreased in weight as he has been refusing food.

- His skin does not behave as though it is dehydrated.

-He continues to poop in baths. It is on the more liquid side, but there's not much because he won't eat. His urate appeared tinged yellow.

I can't figure out if there's one thing wrong, or multiple, and why he is so suddenly ill, when two days ago he was alert, just grumpy. Where did I go wrong? Why are his eyes behaving so? I believe he has a respiratory infection, he just isn't displaying the consistent symptoms for that from what I have read. There is no mucus, no coughing, no holding the mouth open. If it is respiratory, should I take him in sooner than friday based on his other symptoms?
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Re: HELP! Dragon with sunken eyes and potential RI

Postby Drache613 » Tue Nov 24, 2020 2:02 am


It does appear that he is in distress, with his black beard & sunken fat pads, etc.
Continue trying to get him hydrated, as much as you can.
Can you review the type/brand of UVB you are using, along with the type of thermometer
you are using?
If you suspect he may have developed a respiratory infection & it is progressing, until you
can get him to a vet for analysis, try to get the humidity down to under 20% if possible. Also,
using a ceramic heat emitter or a heating pad, try to keep his tank around 75-80 overnight
to help boost his immune system.
I hope he isn't having kidney issues. Are his urates, when excreted, hard right now?
On average, how many insects has he been given weekly?

To be proactive, since reptiles tend to crash quickly, I would try to find a vet to get him into
in case his kidneys may be having some trouble.
If you are sure he is out of brumation, though I wouldn't let him go into another sleep phase
with his condition like it is, try to get some baby foods into him such as chicken or turkey,
mixed with squash or sweet potatoes. Just use a plastic dropper or syringe to drip food onto
his nose to see if he will lick any of it off.

Let us know how he is doing.
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