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Amputation/Potential Cancer or Bone Infection

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Hi all!

So my boyfriend and I recently got his beardie back from his parents. Suka was living with them for a few years as he was starting University and living in residence - we have an apartment now so it was finally time to bring Suka home :)

We decided to take Suka into the vet because his eye was swollen and his tail was a little dark - but didn’t think anything was REALLY bad.

500$, blood tests, and an X-ray later we have come to learn that the vertebrae in the upper part of his tail have all fused together. His upper shoulder area is also starting to fuse and his feet. Right now we are waiting to find out the results from the blood test on whether it’s cancer or osteomyelitis.

We’ve been given two options; full tail amputation or the dreaded E word. Obviously we want to do what’s best for our baby but we’re really not sure what that is since the bone problems aren’t just in his tail.

We’re looking at a 800$ amputation plus Pain meds for who knows how long - potentially the rest of his life. Has anyone experienced anything similar or have advice?

The money isn’t the biggest issue we ARE MORE concerned about whether his quality of life will improve enough for it to be worth it or if we should just go with the E word to stop the suffering.
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Oh that is too bad, I am sorry to hear about those issues.
When will you have the blood tests back, I can take a look at them when you get them.
I have not gone through this with any of our dragons, thankfully, but, there are some on
here who have! I'm sure that there will be a few chime in.
Did he not have access to good UVB lighting & supplementation at your parents?
Geez, a full tail amputation is extreme, not sure I would want to do that, unless necessary,
that is hard on them. I understand that this is all hard to digest & know what the best action
for him is so he doesn't suffer if it's cancer.
Does he seem to be suffering or is he relatively active, happy etc?

We will all be thinking about you & Suka.

Tracie
 

sukasmomma

Member
Original Poster
Thanks for the response Tracie!

When he was up with the parents he had good lighting but his diet pretty much consisted of 2/3 super worms a day and 1/4 cup romaine with some carrot matchsticks. All with a generous sprinkle of calcium. He unfortunately had a calcium deficiency as a baby and got the cutest little underbite from it.

We emailed the vet yesterday asking a million questions. She got the blood tests back and said they “weren’t that bad”. He did seem A little bit dehydrated so he is getting baths every two days. Probably just from the move and stress tho.

The tail amputation seems vital as his tail bones have fused rendering the tail useless and Essentially one really long bone.

It’s been 2 days on pain meds and his behaviour about an hour after consumption of one of them is like a whole new dragon. Last night he was out a cruisin for nearly an hour - more than a we’ve seen in a while. He really likes our tv stand lol.

Currently we are leaning on the amputation side of things as a when the pain subsides he seems so happy and healthy. The shoulder/feet are minor compared to the tail but he may have to be on pain meds the rest of his life.

We are emailing today to ask for copies of the X-ray and blood tests.

Amanda
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

That is great Suka was active today, it sounds like he isn't feeling too badly then.
Definitely post the blood test results up if you can. So they didn't think the results were
too bad?
They plan on doing a full amputation or a partial amputation?
He has had a lot of issues but hopefully he will come through this just fine.

Keep us posted on him!
Tracie
 

sukasmomma

Member
Original Poster
He will have about a one inch nub.
109007-4841622873.jpg

We’re having great trouble getting him to eat - off to the store to try and get his favourite worms


Also some photos;

109007-6359581835.jpg
109007-6359581835.jpg
109007-3424182628.jpg
109007-40955311.jpg
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
Those are some good pics of your boy Suka, he's a handsome fella. :) Please do post the xrays, I'd like to see what the vet is seeing as bones being fused, I've actually never heard of such a thing. His tail looks pretty good in those pics.
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Suka is very handsome, he is a leatherback?
I agree, if you can get a copy of the x-rays, that would be great to see those.
Did he eat anything for you then, what worms did you get for him?
Wow, he sure wouldn't have much tail left after that.

Tracie
 

Cuttlefishh

Hatchling Member
I had experience with one of my dragons having a surgery; it was not an amputation but a removal of part of her intestine.

It's a completely different scenario so I'm sorry that i cant be helpful on that front but i did have to give my girl long term pain meds- she had a large surgical incision on her abdomen, it wasn't a big issue. I was prepared to given her the meds for months+ If needed, plus possibly long term antibiotics. The antibiotics + pain meds cost maybe $25-30 a month. It wasn't too bad. Maybe less over time if your dragon needs less as he heals. My girl got fairly used to it. It's important though that t he vet does periodic checks on him after though to make sure his liver/kidneys are processing the meds okay.

All the best for whatever you choose for your baby, my heart goes out to you this is an insanely hard place to be in, i know. :( you and your baby are in my thoughts
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
You might seriously want to consider a second opinion, I can't see anything wrong with the tail. I'm not saying there is no problem but that diagnosis sounds unlikely. Is there any way you could post a video of him walking around ? And how long has he been back in your care since being with your parents ?
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

I agree, I didn't really see anything wrong with his tail. Does it "feel" hard or rigid at all?
Pictures of him walking, or pictures of the x-rays would be great.
How is he doing today?

Tracie
 

sukasmomma

Member
Original Poster
Waiting on xrays from the vet - she was on vacation the later half of last week. My boyfriend said he saw them and they look wild. His tail is essentially one long bone - you can’t really see the dark spots from the tissues and fluids like normal xrays. I will post as soon as we get them!!

He’s been with us only a week now so he’s definitely still settling in. On the plus side, the wrap we got makes it so he doesn’t see his reflection anymore! We do need to get some carpeting in for him cause he walks better on it but refuses to stay on the one we have - when his meds are hitting him he is super exploring!!

Here are some photos. The section between my fingers is what’s the worst. It’s like rock hard stuff and VERY sensitive. I tried getting a photo of the tip but it was blurry and I didn’t notice - it has some external scarring and is kind of black.

109007-8262226153.jpg
109007-3604944870.jpg
109007-474650725.jpg
109007-805320885.jpg

We did force feed him yesterday as he hadn’t eaten in like a week.
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
Can't really tell anything about his tail from the picture, I don't see anything wrong. And him not eating can be related to relocation stress since he just got moved to a new place.
 

sukasmomma

Member
Original Poster
109007-4736898444.jpg
109007-1187598156.jpg

I circled in blue where the bones are fusing. If you look further up the tail you can start to see what the tissue gaps SHOULD look like.
 
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