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Bearded Dragon very weak. Small stools now have blood.

jamggx5

New member
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Hello All,

First time beardes dragon owner, and first time posting on this forum.

The past few weeks my dragon, Ziggy, has been very sick. It started with her going into shed when she started to have a decrease in appetite. With this, I didn't think much of it as it was a full body shed and she typically slowed down during these moments.

Fast forward 2 weeks (July 2). My husband and I went on a family vacation for 1 week and left her at boarding; it's a pet store that specializes in bearded dragons.

When I came back and saw her (July 10), I was horrified at what I saw: she was dull in color, skin and bones, and looked very dehydrated. They informed me that she didn't eat much, and all they had to say was, "Oh yeah, she does look a bit skinny, you can see the bones on her tail", and then they recommended I bask her in the sun more.... Needless to say I scheduled an appointment that day. And here is where my nightmare of vet visits begins....

My home vet couldn't see her until the following weekend (1 week), and insisted I take her to an exotic pet hospital that was 1 hour away. I took their advice and got her an appointment the day afterwards. The hospital they sent me too is a PAIN to get an appointment for (it's literally call, wait on the phone for 10-15 minutes, and hope that they can see you that day), and if you do get an appointment it's all walk in, and they have you wait usually about 4-5 hours before seeing your pet. So to secure an appointment, I literally need to call as soon as possible (either 7 am or 8pm, any later their slots fill up) and keep calling until I can speak with a representative to give me the 'green light' to make the hour drive to the hospital, and then wait for 4-5 hours before they can see Ziggy.

When a doctor finally did see her (2am July 11), she was diagnosed with low calcium and dehydration, and they gave her fluids. They asked about her background and husbandry (to which the doctor said I did everything mostly right, just that I needed to give her more water via baths more often... apparently they drink water through their anus... and they don't get adequate water through food alone), and they took a stool sample to tested for parasites (this came back negative). At that time I couldn't get a blood diagnostic or xray, and said I could try the following week with my home vet, instead (since I already had an appointment booked). They seem to think this was fine, until then they gave me critical (to syringe feed her), antibiotics (which I had to inject her with a shot every 2 days), and calcium supplement. They also told me to syringe feed and give baths daily. I've done this everyday (at present, it's 8/6). I did a follow up visit with my home vet (which they won't even let me enter the vet at this time dueto covid) and told me there's nothing they can do but give her fluids. They told me they wouldn't do an xray or diagnostics, and insisted I go back to the hospital an hour away.... easier said than done... I've never felt so abandoned by a vet before and in the meanwhile my baby is getting weaker and weaker.

I haven't been able to successfully get the 'green light' to bring Ziggy back to the hospital for another visit, and I even tried calling another vet but the doctor isn't taking anymore patients because he's retiring.

No one will see her.

Her fat pads and eyes are sunken. She is weak and can barely move. She will not eat, any food must be forced with syringe feeding. I changed her bulb to a mercury bulb, but this seems to dry her out more, so I left it off and keep her tank at 85F (she's seems more comfortable with this way). She's severely lethargic, but poops regularly (albeit they are very small now). The last days she has pooped blood. What's odd is that no matter how much water I give her, or how many baths I give her, or how much I feed her, she doesn't gain weight and seems dehydrated.

At this point I'm just trying to make her comfortable, I'm just so frustrated. I'm the only one that takes care of her, and it's getting harder to balance a job, family, vet visits, traveling/researching vets, and administering food, baths and medications to her when she just seems to be getting worse every day.

Please, I'm so desperate and sad for her. I don't want her to suffer anymore. Gosh though, she's such a little trooper.

I need some advice.

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kingofnobbys

BD.org Sicko
HerpaBoost daily , several smaller meal spread out over the day by mouth, you'll need a proper feeding syringe or a syringe with the hole bored out to about 4mm diam.

Calcivet daily given by mouth using a small syringe.

Offer live worms ( calciworms ) daily.

Gotta say, it's taken months for the dragon to become so emaciated. Revision of your husbandry in order here.
 

jamggx5

New member
Original Poster
kingofnobbys":1xo00fqz said:
HerpaBoost daily , several smaller meal spread out over the day by mouth, you'll need a proper feeding syringe or a syringe with the hole bored out to about 4mm diam.

Calcivet daily given by mouth using a small syringe.

Offer live worms ( calciworms ) daily.

Gotta say, it's taken months for the dragon to become so emaciated. Revision of your husbandry in order here.

Thank you for your response, I will try your suggestions.

In regards to my husbandry, I admit with this being my first dragon I have not always known what to do in certain situations. Or what the standard 'warning signs' of sickness looks like...But really, she went down fast! I have pictures and videos of her where she was fat and plump and active up until June-ish when she started her shed (when she started to eat less). The vets always said she was healthy and at a good weight, and I would always go in with numbers (weight, temperature throughout tank, etc) and the vets never said anything about the husbandry. I earnestly seek ways to improve my husbandry because I know my limitations.

Again thank you for your message. I will continue to work with her and do my best.
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

I am so sorry your girl is not doing well at all & it seems like she got worse while she was
boarded. I am very surprised that they didn't tend to her more than they did!
Did they feel she had an infection in order to give antibiotics & can you let us know which
antibiotic she was given along with the dose & strength of the meds, etc? What is her current
weight?
Did she have any blood in her stool before she was boarded?
What type/brand of UVB are you using right now? If you can, to get her some strong UVB,
try to take her outdoors for SHORT periods of time & closely supervise her so she doesn't
get overheated.
Can you get some pedialyte for her, to help with hydration? You can get flavored or non-
flavored & dilute it 3 parts water to 1 part pedialyte so she doesn't get too much sugar.
I am shocked that no vet will see you whatsoever! Honestly, what is going on with medical
& vet care here in this country is utterly disgusting right now. The sham of this fake COVID
is a sorry excuse to deny care to humans as well as animals.
You can also get some turkey or chicken baby food, mixed with sweet potato & or squash
baby food, blended along with any vitamins, etc. Try to get her to lick food off of her snout
with a plastic dropper or syringe, several times per day.
The blood could be worms or parasites but not positive since they told you her fecal came
back negative. It could also be liver or kidney issues, too.
I am going to PM you to see if we can help more.
Try to keep her a little warmer overnight right now, around 75-80, to help boost her immune
system.

Tracie
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
This is extremely important What type/brand of UVB are you using right now? If she is low on calcium this light is the most important thing along w/ basking temps taken w/ a digital probe thermometer -
 

Abbi

New member
I agree, Destiny. Thank you for speaking up. I'm new here and wasn't sure I should say anything about that.
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

I will say I agree to disagree but am trying to educate people on this. Covid is not an
acceptable reason to deny vet care, or medical care. It is very unfair to use this to deny
care of any animal or human, period. This is not my opinion, it is a well researched fact.
Please let us know how your dragon is doing, we will try to help as much as we can.

Tracie
 

destiny1998

Extreme Poster
Photo Comp Winner
I agree with you on the care part. However you called covid a sham and there are hundreds of thousands of people who's lives it has effectived and I am one. So please next time you want to call it a sham, fake whatever maybe you should save it for a political bolg. I come on here to forget the problems of the world and I find this forum enjoyable and informative for dragons hopefully it will stay that way.
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Let's stay on topic for the OP. I am waiting for them to answer back regarding their dragon.
The entire world has been put on hold for them trying to bring in Communism over this thing,
which is why I am trying to educate people before it is too late! I am sorry people have been
affected, everyone has whether we chose to or not & it isn't fair to the animals or people.
I hope that this ends! It is affecting vet care, as well as human care & it needs to end. Please
try to research alternative news to dig for the truth. I would more than happy to direct people
to more knowledge.
Let's focus on her dragon & hope she responds back!

Tracie
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Any updates for us on your dragon? I am very worried about her, so please let us know
how she is doing. I hope that she is improving.

Tracie
 
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