Beardie Cancer

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Beardie Cancer

Postby KWest » Tue Mar 03, 2020 12:45 pm

[Click image to enlarge]

Hello All,
I write this with a heavy heart, as I just had to euthanize our 2 year old Taz. She was a vibrant red hypo-translucent leatherback that we bought from a local reptile store. At about 1.5 years of age her appetite began to decline. I took her to the vet, they ran a stool test and did an X-ray. All looked good and our husbandry checked out to all be correct.

In hindsight, our mistakes were:
1) Not taking her back in within a month or two, when her appetite still had not returned to normal.
2) We should have also had a blood glucose level checked in that first visit. This could have helped us determine cancer early on.

What would have shown up in another 4-6 weeks in a new Xray was that cancer was growing from her stomach. By the time we took her back into the vet it was 6 months from the first visit and all her major organs were already covered in cancer.

Aggressive cancer growth, starting in the stomach, in young beardies in captivity - is a growing phenomenon and I urge you to take your beardie to the vet regularly if their eating and pooing is at all unusual. Don't just go once. Go within 4-6 weeks, if it persists. Even our vets did not know what they were looking at, at first. Forums like this could save your beardie's life.

Attached are the X-rays of our Taz. The image on the right is from August, 2019. The image on the left is from February, 2020.
Our beardie stayed sweet as ever throughout it all.
Best Wishes to all of you and your beardies!
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Re: Beardie Cancer

Postby CooperDragon » Tue Mar 03, 2020 1:36 pm

I'm sorry to hear this happened. My first dragon died from the same thing years ago, at about the same age. It's good to monitor their weight because if it starts trending downward it can be an indicator of poor health even before symptoms show. In this case though, I don't think you did anything wrong and there wasn't anything to do to help as far as I know. It's hard not to second guess yourself but this isn't something you caused or could have prevented. It is discouraging that this type of illness is becoming more common with them.
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Re: Beardie Cancer

Postby MrSpectrum » Tue Mar 03, 2020 2:04 pm

CooperDragon wrote:I'm sorry to hear this happened.
....
I don't think you did anything wrong and there wasn't anything to do to help as far as I know.

+1
Aggressive cancers are difficult--if not impossible--to treat. Has the vet said that, if caught earlier, Taz could have been saved?
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Re: Beardie Cancer

Postby Drache613 » Wed Mar 04, 2020 12:01 am

Hello,

I am so sorry about your little Taz, that is so heart breaking. It seems cancer is really affecting
a lot more animals & people. I am so sorry for your loss. :cry:
Unfortunately, our environment is not great, but all of the genetically modified organisms that
is being fed to insects, or that is in the commercialized & prepared foods is responsible for the
majority of cancer.
Also, unfortunately, 5G which is being rolled out is controversial but really shouldn't be used at
all because of the wavelength & frequency being used. It destroys the DNA. I hope that the cases
don't rise, but I am afraid that they probably will.

Tracie
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Re: Beardie Cancer

Postby KWest » Wed Mar 04, 2020 6:09 am

Thank you for all your sympathies! I do not know if Taz had a form of cancer that would respond to treatment, or that I would even opt for treatment for humane reasons, but I did see that Petco, of all companies, is trying to help fund cancer treatments for reptiles. I just think if we caught her tumors earlier, she would not have gone months of no appetite and discomfort. She actually did not lose that much overall weight on the scale, since the mass in her belly was growing/taking all of her nutrition. Her fat pads did deplete, though.

Taz's main source of food was home-colonized dubia roaches and organic produce. The roaches were also fed organic produce. I guess her genetics and what she was fed by the breeder and pet store could have set the stage, as well as things in our modern world, such as 5G, etc.

Thanks, all. I am glad she is at peace now and hope this discussion helps others.
--kim
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Re: Beardie Cancer

Postby MrSpectrum » Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:20 am

It's difficult to draw conclusions without accurate evidence/information, and we all know about assumptions... The old saying goes that the only two sure things in life are death & taxes.
I would expand that to include, "and genetics are a crapshoot".

I think the point we're all trying to make is, you didn't do this--it's not your fault--so please don't beat yourself up over it.

I know I've lost a lot of pets over the years, as have (I expect) most other folks here--maybe you too. :dontknow:
When you're ready, I hope you'll put this behind you and move on. The next one (if that's the way you decide to go) will be a whole different adventure--something to look forward to. :)
Taz will always be in your heart & memories.
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Re: Beardie Cancer

Postby AHBD » Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:37 am

Just wanted to say how sorry I am about your beautiful girl Taz. :( Always heart breaking to lose a much loved pet. My heart-felt condolences to you.
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Re: Beardie Cancer

Postby DragonPete » Wed Mar 04, 2020 2:11 pm

I'm so sorry for your loss. 😥
-Dee
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Re: Beardie Cancer

Postby KWest » Wed Mar 04, 2020 4:51 pm

Thank you, all for your kind words! --kim
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Re: Beardie Cancer

Postby DragonObsessed » Sun Nov 29, 2020 4:19 pm

This cancer is GNT. It starts in the digestive tract and quickly spreads to the bones and or other organs. Its from mass inbreeding in the US. This same inbreeding is illegal w dogs and cats but not yet illegal w reptiles. The best early test for this is a blood glucose test as GNT produces very high blood glucose.
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