Baby beardie is spiraling downhill

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Baby beardie is spiraling downhill

Postby Shadowablaze » Mon Nov 16, 2020 4:06 pm

I got Gus at the end of September and he was probably about a month old as this time. For the first few weeks he was all energy and my wife and I had so much fun feeding him and spending time watching him explore. Around two weeks after we got him I took him to the vet and they gave him medication for a small amount of Coccidia. He seemed to get better and over the course of the next 3 weeks he tripled in weight (14g to 43g) and grew another 1.5 inches. Last Saturday we got Gus a Zen Habitat tank and it was amazing watching him explore all the new space.

The past few days he hasn’t been eating much and has been coughing and wheezing. I believed that it was just because he was about to start shedding his face. I became concerned when it continued to happen more frequently and he began to eat almost nothing. Saturday he ate three small roaches and a super worm, yesterday he ate one small roach, and today he’s refusing to eat anything. I took him to the vet today and they told me that he seemed fine. They then did an X-ray of his lungs and said he has Pneumonia. I’m going to be giving him .02mL of ceftazidime for the next month.

I’m just worried as he doesn’t look great. His eyes are often shut or droopy and I’m not sure how long he can go not eating. If anyone has any advice on how to deal with Pneumonia in a bearded dragon under 3 months I’d be beyond grateful.

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This is what Gus currently looks like.

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This is Gus from a few days ago. He’s lost maybe 2 or 3 grams of weight.

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This is his tank.

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This is Gus open mouth breathing at night before I went to bed.
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Re: Baby beardie is spiraling downhill

Postby AHBD » Mon Nov 16, 2020 5:27 pm

Aw, I'm so sorry to see your little guy in this situation. :( What are the temps. in the tank and how are you measuring them ? Is it possible that Gus aspirated water ?
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Re: Baby beardie is spiraling downhill

Postby Shadowablaze » Mon Nov 16, 2020 5:46 pm

The temps range from 110 on his basking cave to a little under 80 on the cool side. I measure the temps with a probe, a temp gun, and a thermometer. I gave him a bath twice last week to help him shed his tail and the water is always very low but I guess it is possible he aspirated some. They did say there was a tiny bit of water in his lungs when I was at the vet.
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Re: Baby beardie is spiraling downhill

Postby Faith331 » Mon Nov 16, 2020 11:51 pm

Do you also check the humidity in his enclosure? It seems like with some water he probably aspirated some, but if you can get a gauge for the humidity, you can also monitor that to ensure it doesn't become a problem in the future. The highest recommendation I've seen for humidity was 40, and depending on where you live, that can be a bit difficult to achieve.

Bearded dragons don't expend a lot of energy generally, so their caloric needs are thankfully quite low. If loses a lot of weight while he's getting his meds and healing, there are some ways to syringe feed your beardie. However, someone else on here will know a lot more about that than me.
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Re: Baby beardie is spiraling downhill

Postby Drache613 » Mon Nov 16, 2020 11:59 pm

Hello,

Sorry to hear about Gus, poor thing. I am glad that he did gain some weight & got past the
coccidia issues. I agree, it sounds like he probably aspirated some water during one of his
baths. They are notorious for that & are prone to developing pneumonia because they don't
have cilia in their lungs to help clear things out.
The Ceftz is a good antibiotic. I would also inquire about possible nebulization too, to help
with clearing out the lungs.
Keeping him a little warmer overnight to boost his system would also be a good idea. Usually
a range of 75-80 is fine.

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Re: Baby beardie is spiraling downhill

Postby Shadowablaze » Tue Nov 17, 2020 6:27 am

I run a dehumidifier in the room Gus is in during the night so his humidity stays around 35 at night. In the day it’s closer to 25. I measure it with a digital probe in the tank.

I’m going to go pick up some baby food and a CHE later to bump up the temperature in his tank at night (right now it’s usually around 75).

The vet did say I could try using a nebulizer but I’m not exactly sure where I would get one.
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Re: Baby beardie is spiraling downhill

Postby Shadowablaze » Tue Nov 17, 2020 8:42 pm

So Gus has still been coughing a fair amount today but he does seem to do better when he’s not in his tank. I bought a 100w CHE for him today and some reptaboost which he actually ate a good amount of. He still refuses to eat his superworms or Dubias and I bought some crickets and hornworms today which he also refused. Normally he eats some of his salad but he hasn’t touch that either the past few days. He’s only around 3 months old, at what point should I be concerned about him not eating? He pooped twice today and the second was just a small amount of Reptaboost but the first has be a little confused because I haven’t seen him eat anything in over two days.

[Click image to enlarge]

This is his poop from this morning. I’m not sure why there is red in it.
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Re: Baby beardie is spiraling downhill

Postby Drache613 » Wed Nov 18, 2020 12:52 am

Hello,

How is little Gus doing today?
You should be able to find a nebulizer either at Walgreens or CVS. Otherwise, Ebay or
Amazon should have them online. That would greatly help along with the Ceftz, too, for
overall improvement.
He seems to be doing a little better? Are you getting extra fluids into him also since he is
on antibiotics?
Since he isn't eating much, I would continue with the reptaboost & you can also get some
chicken or turkey baby food to mix with the reptaboost. Some squash or sweet potato is
also well liked, as well.

Let us know how he is doing.
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Re: Baby beardie is spiraling downhill

Postby Shadowablaze » Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:28 pm

Today I saw a good amount of improvement from Gus. I didn’t hear him cough at all which was a huge relief. He also ate a dubia this morning with calcium on it. (He’s out of practice eating from my hand and bit my finger and the roach) I was also able to give him some more Reptaboost which I mixed with squash baby food. I ordered a nebulizer and he will receive his second injection of Ceftz tomorrow. He had two poops and I believe he’s getting better. He hasn’t lost much if any weight but his appetite is still not great and his legs are turning pretty dark (maybe they’re going to shed soon).

I did notice that while his basking spot is 105-110 the hot side of the tanks ambient temperature was still in the high 80’s. I turned his CHE on to try and fix this. He’s also been going over to the cool side to sit on his tree witch is like 6 inches directly under the UVB( a T5 10.0). I also got him new tile for substrate to replace the reptile carpet.

Is there anything I can be doing to specifically help not only his appetite, but also making sure he stays hydrated? I’m worried about giving him baths too often or leaving a water bowl in his tank while he’s dealing with the pneumonia. He will drink a trouble or two of water if I put it on his mouth but it doesn’t seem like he’s getting enough. Especially because he’s not eating his salad at all.

[Click image to enlarge]

Gus today.

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Where Gus has been for the last hour or two.
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Re: Baby beardie is spiraling downhill

Postby Faith331 » Thu Nov 19, 2020 5:02 pm

Shadowablaze wrote:Today I saw a good amount of improvement from Gus. I didn’t hear him cough at all which was a huge relief. He also ate a dubia this morning with calcium on it. (He’s out of practice eating from my hand and bit my finger and the roach) I was also able to give him some more Reptaboost which I mixed with squash baby food. I ordered a nebulizer and he will receive his second injection of Ceftz tomorrow. He had two poops and I believe he’s getting better. He hasn’t lost much if any weight but his appetite is still not great and his legs are turning pretty dark (maybe they’re going to shed soon).

I did notice that while his basking spot is 105-110 the hot side of the tanks ambient temperature was still in the high 80’s. I turned his CHE on to try and fix this. He’s also been going over to the cool side to sit on his tree witch is like 6 inches directly under the UVB( a T5 10.0). I also got him new tile for substrate to replace the reptile carpet.

Is there anything I can be doing to specifically help not only his appetite, but also making sure he stays hydrated? I’m worried about giving him baths too often or leaving a water bowl in his tank while he’s dealing with the pneumonia. He will drink a trouble or two of water if I put it on his mouth but it doesn’t seem like he’s getting enough. Especially because he’s not eating his salad at all.

[Click image to enlarge]

Gus today.

[Click image to enlarge]

Where Gus has been for the last hour or two.

If you're concerned about hydration, you can put a couple drops on his face area and he'll lick it off if he's thirsty. I've seen a beardie dip his face in water and drink.

Remember, beardies regularly live in a desert environment, which means they don't get water all that often. If he's dehydrated, his poops should come out hard. And if he's really hydrated, his poops will have an additional clear liquid in them.

Regarding the water, you can try putting a small bowl on the cool side and monitoring the humidity. If that doesn't work, then you can do the water trick, and if the water is appropriately lukewarm, I personally wouldn't worry about the frequent baths. Bath time can be a great way to relieve stress, and help them poop.

The part about still giving baths is my personal view. The rest is all info I've gotten from research (a lot of which came from this forum)
Last edited by Faith331 on Mon Nov 30, 2020 4:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Baby beardie is spiraling downhill

Postby DragonObsessed » Fri Nov 27, 2020 11:17 pm

Aww hes a cutie! It sounds like your doing everything you can! Reptiboost and carnivore care are amazing. Youll see him bounce right back!! And lots of baths are good for sick beardies and help you bound w him. He looks very healthy to me too. Im sure hell be ok in no time at all.
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Re: Baby beardie is spiraling downhill

Postby AHBD » Sat Nov 28, 2020 5:12 am

Good to hear how well Gus is doing now, keep up the good work ! I agree that jus dripping water on his snout is the best thing for hydration, you could even put a very shallow plastic lid in his tank with less than 1/4 inch of water in it, set Gus in it and drip the water on him. When he's done drinking, remove the plastic lid. I would avoid baths unless he gets dirty.
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