Beardie health struggling

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ccorazon

Member
Hi, I rescued a beardie last November and have slowly rehabbed him and am learning about what is great for their husbandry. I started with calcium sand and the reptisun 10.0. Basking temp was about between 100-105 using digital thermometer. The weather changed and this is my first beardie so I am learning and it's been a little challenging. I set up his terrarium in an upstairs of a new house we moved into before getting him. The weather here as been fluctuating up and down i.e. yesterday is was 65 the day before that it was 92. This has been so common. As you can imagine the house has had difficulty getting the temperature regulated. Myrtle is his name. I came to wake him up one morning and he was hiding under his basking spot.

Here is his background. He came to me with an approximate age of 6 - 7 years. He was missing a back right leg from the knee down. His front left hand has no claws and his front right hand has 3 claws. He could not bask, his terrarium smelled like urine and dogs (??) They had a couple dogs so the calcium rocks they used could have picked up the smell. He was not misted, he received crickets that were not gut loaded and lettuce (don't know how often or what kind) Myrtle was originally owned by a woman who went into the military and left her to her brother and dad. The brother started working tons of hours and the dad was left to care for him. When I went to pick him up, he was so lifeless and tiny and shriveled up. He wouldn't eat crickets for me or lettuce, kale, carrots, pears, peas that I offered him. Now up to date.

He still could not bask at my house. The log they gave me was nothing Myrtle could climb on. I watched him try and he fell off since he didn't have strength or claws to grip and leg missing for balance. I felt so angry, sad and a strong sense of injustice inside for him so I started thinking about what I could do for a crippled beardie. I got half cut logs in various sizes and took some decorative bricks that were heated in the oven to disinfect and built a slow gradual incline for him to bask and it was wide enough he could turn around without falling. He had water now, a cooling area to hide in which was under the basking spot as he could climb through the bricks and under the wood logs. I also gave him a cooling spot on the other side of the terrarium. After he had a couple days basking and under the uvb light, he started eating some crickets. When he would go the bathroom, it was runny and smelly. I could not find a vet so I continued to research about what that meant. Still haven't found anything but knowing he was not cared for well for a good long time, could have been bad digestive system, parasite or worms. I started introducing red lettuce and he would take it sometimes. He refused all other vegetation. He seemed to be getting better. When the sun finally came out, I started taking him outside on hot sunny days. I would mist him daily and use a dropper to drop water on the end of his nose so he could lick it up.

Then one day about 3 weeks ago, I came to turn on his lights and wake him up and he was hiding under the logs in the darkest coolest spot of the terrarium. I thought maybe when I turned the lights on, he would come out. He didn't. I started researching online and thought maybe he was brumating. Not the case, he started loosing weight to I started calling vets to find out if they had exotic vets. Nothing came up online for searching, should have just called in the first place. I took in a fecal sample but they never tested it, the vet tech just looked at it with an "oh" I was told it looked like MBD and he was several dehydrated. They gave him shots to hydrate him and told me I could feed him 4 - 6 times a dog/cat a/d food as well as water through a dropper and see if he pulls out. They also gave me antibiotics for 14 days. I seriously feel like more is missing. I am looking at changing his terrarium. I ordered a megaray light for him. I am moving him to the middle floor of the house where the temperature is better controlled. I will be taking out the sand substrate in there and replacing with paper towels or tiles. Called vet about fecal test and they know nothing about it so I am going to take another one in.

Now I give him his antibiotics every day. Powder calcium every other day. Baby food green beans, squash. I juiced collard greens and give it to him in a dropper. I also give him the wet dog/cat food and pedialyte as well as water through a dropper. I do this 3 - 4 times a day. It's almost like having a baby. I don't know what else to do for Myrtle. Can anyone help me here? He still barely moves but he just had a bowel movement and tried to move away from it. He gets about a half inch and stops.
 

ccorazon

Member
Original Poster
Hi all, just an update that I took Myrtle to the vet today and vet thinks it may be kidney's failing. If you have been able to treat a beardie with kidney failure successful, I would love to hear what you have done. I am new to this forum and see many others helping each other, I would hope someone would have responded to my post already.
 
I'm so sorry! I haven't experienced tis my self but maybe others have....hows he doing? What did the vet suggest as far as treatment?
 

kcarello

Gray-bearded Member
Hello, so sorry it has taken so long for anyone to respond. I have 0 experience in kidney failure, but you need to send a pm to Drache613. Her real name is Tracie,and she is very knowledgeable. I truly hope this helps you, and thank you for being a hero to Myrtle!
Keep me posted!
Kelly
 

dragonlover3

Sub-Adult Member
Hi,
Can you post a photo of him? Is the vet a herp vet? Did he say why does he think it's kidney failure, did he do blood tests?

How close can he get to the UVB bulb? Is their anything blocking full exposure?...like a screen top or a cover over the bulb? He needs to be able to get within 6 to 8 inches of the UVB with nothing blocking full exposure. What is the basking surface temp? It is important to digestion.

Runny smelly poo needs a fecal. I'm sorry the vet messed up and didn't do the first one, it's good you are taking another specimen in. Is he passing urate, the white stuff, with his poo's?

I'd get a probiotic and start giving that to him. It restores good gut flora that the antibiotic kills off.

I'd take a towel or old pillow case or something and cover over the sand til you can get it out of there. It is probably harboring bacteria and if he has worms or parasites it's probably also harboring worm and/or parasite eggs which he can ingest. Using sand is like living in a cat litter box, it can't be cleaned of all waste and is very unsanitary. It can cause impaction if ingested.

I'd remove anything he has to climb or crawl up on to make it safer for him. He is sick and weak and needs not to expend energy climbing or crawling. You can fold up something soft and comfortable and use it for a bed/basking spot. Fleece is good as it doesn't snag on their scales, but anything soft will make him a bed/basking spot and be more comfortable. Then you will need to lower his UVB and heat lights closer to him inside the tank to keep temps correct. Make sure you check basking surface temp, hot end and cool end temps.

I'd stop the dog/cat food, and awesome you are giving the baby food and juicing the greens and adding supplements! You can add protein with baby food chicken or turkey if he is passing the white urate. You will want to stop feeding him lettuce it has no nutritional value at all, it's mostly water. You can use diluted Pedialyte in the baby food to thin it slightly. You can also add some to his bath.
.
Bath him daily in warm water for about 15 minutes to hydrate him. Support his head with your hand while in the bath since he is weak.


It isn't necessary to mist him as they don't absorb water thru their skin but thru their waste vent so baths are better. Also if you are misting him in his tank, it can raise the humidity and risk a respiratory infection. Some do mist their dragon when it sheds but it's better to remove the dragon from the tank if you are going to mist.

Normally 105* is a bit to warm for a 6-7 year old beardie, usually adults are kept between 95* to 100*. However as he is sick it is ok to elevate his temp to the 103* range. The higher temp will help their immune system function at optimum. Perhaps he doesn't like the 105* and may not be basking because it's to hot for him, just a possibility.
That's a start, I hope with doing these things it will turn him around toward health. How is he doing?
Amanda
 

ccorazon

Member
Original Poster
I don't really know how to post pictures so I am including a link
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.647667573805.2073817.197403417&type=3&l=51778e9cfb

I put him on a towel this morning and am going to clean out the sand as soon as possible. He has not really been awake for 2 1/2 days. He won't drink or eat and isn't awake enough for it as I am concerned he doesn't swallow.

He was not getting lettuce besides the purple leaf lettuce I was giving him, he had juiced collard greens and baby green beans and squash. I am hoping the new light is going to help him. I am still waiting for the megaray to arrive however I went to petsmart to get a powersun uv since it has been too cold to take him outside.
 

dragonlover3

Sub-Adult Member
Hi,
Your dragon looks to be critical, underweight and malnourished. I'd start syringe feeding him immediately! He will need to be syringe fed small amounts 3 or 4 times a day. Avoid any protein right now and concentrate on the baby food veggies and juiced greens adding some probiotic and a pinch of calcium Start with trying to get .5 to 1 ml into him 3 or 4 times a day. Keep him warm! Gently lower his side lip and put a bit of food in the pocket with a needle-less syringe.
Gently soak him in warm water with Pedialyte added for 10 minutes twice daily. Be as careful and gentle as possible and total support in the water so he expends no energy and can just lay in your hand with his vent underwater.
He is weak, handle him gently with full support so he doesn't have to move himself.
I'd PM Tracie...Drache613...ask her to review your thread and view his photos. I'd do whatever she says!!! She may have advise that can save your dragon.
Hoping for the best!
Amanda
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Oh my, he is very very thin.
Did the vet do any blood tests? He is so thin that it looks like it would be hard to draw out enough blood.
Can you get some critical care powdered food for him? You can either ask the vet if you can purchase some through him or you can get it from:

www.calvetsupply.com

I would not feed any protein at all, until he has gained sufficient water weight & hydrated enough. He needs to be passing a good amount of urates (white portion) before you should consider giving protein. If his kidneys are having a hard time, you will want to keep him on a lower protein diet for awhile. You can use baby food greens right now also, to help get him started on a better eating regime. Using just a small pinch of calcium powder daily, to help him with calcium intake. Go with several feedings per day, to assist with better assimilation of nutrients. Amanda's suggestion of probiotics is perfect. You can look for non dairy soy yogurt, or non dairy acidophiliz to help with balancing out the body. Also try looking for some bee pollen to help boost the immune system & appetite.
The better choices of greens are endive, escarole, mustard greens, collard greens, turnip greens & dandelion greens.

As for the Megaray, I personally can't vouche for the effectiveness of the UVB at the moment because I haven't been able to test one recently. How far is the light from him?
I would keep him around 98 or so, right now to avoid overheating him.
Though I would try to keep the tank around 80 overnight to assist with his immune system right now.

Keep us posted on him.

Tracie
 

ccorazon

Member
Original Poster
Thank you all, I will be putting this all in motion and report back. I just hope he can recover from this.
 

kcarello

Gray-bearded Member
We all hope he does too!! Please keep us posted and good luck and don't hesitate to come back for support or help any time you need it.
Kelly
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Bless him, please let us know how he is coming along. Go slowly with him & handle him with care. I hope he can recover from this also.
We are all here to help.

Tracie
 

PudgysMom

Juvie Member
Reading along and sending my utmost positive thoughts. You are so wonderful to be rescuing this little guy.

I'd just say to stick with the Reptisun 10.0 and not to switch to the Megaray. I had problems with it with my last beardie.

Good luck to you!
 

sobotta

Hatchling Member
WOW, you are doing an amazing job! I do agree, he is very very thin, but you are in the right place. It may have taken a little bit to get a responce, but everyone on this site is wonderful. They are very informative (as you have seen) and also very caring and considerate. Please keep us updated!
 
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