Beardie w/ mild MBD not eating

Ssssouthern

New member
Original Poster
We got an 8 month old bearded dragon in December. When we first got her she was eating well but after a couple weeks started eating significantly less, then became lethargic. We took her to an exotics vet and they diagnosed her with mild MBD - X-ray showed “ghost bones” but no breaks or deformities. Tested fecal, negative for parasites. They put her on oral calcium and and Emeraid IC for omnivores. The latter was 2x day for 7 days then 1x day for 7 days. At first, she perked up a lot but discontinued eating her regular diet (we offer crickets, dubias, hornworms, and superworms along with mustard greens and an assortment of other veggies and fruit, none of which she has ever touched). Once she started being syringe fed, she started having diarrhea for the first time since we got her (had been pooping normally before that), so we were putting her in the bath daily to make sure she stays hydrated - and she is drinking a good amount of water every time. She still has nothing but diarrhea on this syringe diet, which the vet says is to be expected.

Now, just 2 days after the end of the second 7 days she has seemed to decline again pretty quickly, being very lethargic, barely opening her eyes most of the day. Not interested in eating at all.

For her setup, her basking spot is consistently around 100 degrees per the probe and temp gun, we have a 22” t5 Arcadia bulb spanning half the tank, and the cool side stays around 80 degrees during the day. Tank temp drops to around 70-75 degrees at night. We do have a ceramic heater for night but haven’t used it as temps in her tank haven’t dropped below 70ish.

The vet doesn’t really have any additional ideas, have said getting a reptile back to health is a “long game” and we should just keep watching her. I have two questions they haven’t really been helpful in answering - is there anything else we can do to encourage her to eat insects and/or greens again? And secondly, is there ever a point with reptiles where you consider euthanasia to prevent prolonged suffering, similar to dogs/cats, and if so at what point do you consider that if you don’t really have any answers but your dragon seems to be starving themselves? I’m out of my element and just want to do the right thing for this animal :/
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
We got an 8 month old bearded dragon in December. When we first got her she was eating well but after a couple weeks started eating significantly less, then became lethargic. We took her to an exotics vet and they diagnosed her with mild MBD - X-ray showed “ghost bones” but no breaks or deformities. Tested fecal, negative for parasites. They put her on oral calcium and and Emeraid IC for omnivores. The latter was 2x day for 7 days then 1x day for 7 days. At first, she perked up a lot but discontinued eating her regular diet (we offer crickets, dubias, hornworms, and superworms along with mustard greens and an assortment of other veggies and fruit, none of which she has ever touched). Once she started being syringe fed, she started having diarrhea for the first time since we got her (had been pooping normally before that), so we were putting her in the bath daily to make sure she stays hydrated - and she is drinking a good amount of water every time. She still has nothing but diarrhea on this syringe diet, which the vet says is to be expected.

Now, just 2 days after the end of the second 7 days she has seemed to decline again pretty quickly, being very lethargic, barely opening her eyes most of the day. Not interested in eating at all.

For her setup, her basking spot is consistently around 100 degrees per the probe and temp gun, we have a 22” t5 Arcadia bulb spanning half the tank, and the cool side stays around 80 degrees during the day. Tank temp drops to around 70-75 degrees at night. We do have a ceramic heater for night but haven’t used it as temps in her tank haven’t dropped below 70ish.

The vet doesn’t really have any additional ideas, have said getting a reptile back to health is a “long game” and we should just keep watching her. I have two questions they haven’t really been helpful in answering - is there anything else we can do to encourage her to eat insects and/or greens again? And secondly, is there ever a point with reptiles where you consider euthanasia to prevent prolonged suffering, similar to dogs/cats, and if so at what point do you consider that if you don’t really have any answers but your dragon seems to be starving themselves? I’m out of my element and just want to do the right thing for this animal :/
Where is the uvb? Going to start there - they have certain distance and placement depending on the screen - how old is the bulb?
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
If she will eat from a syringe, you can get Oxbow critical care on Amazon, they have it in a carnivore,omnivore, and in an herbivore formula. I've used the omnivore with very good success. It is packed full of vitamins and minerals and calcium. I know it isn't idea but it would help keep her little belly full until you can find a solution.
Please work with Karrieree to make sure your lighting is optimal, if your lights aren't on par everything else will not be on par either. Their lighting is the most critical aspect of keeping them healthy.
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

So sorry your girl is not doing well!
Please post a few pictures of your overall tank setup, so we can see the distance & the
placement of your lighting which does make a huge difference.
If you have a few pictures of her, that would be great also.
Do you happen to know what the strength of the Oral calcium was, by chance or do you
have a picture of the label? I am wondering just how much of the calcium was prescribed
or given? Sometimes, too large of a calcium dose can cause marked decline as it can be
hard on the kidneys.
A lot of times when they start getting food by syringe, they will lose their natural appetite.
How much of the Emeraid are you giving & is it really watery?
Let's see if there are some changes first, before going the route of putting her down. It
is difficult to get them going in the right direction I realize.
Let us know how she is doing. Try to keep her a little warmer overnight in her tank to help
boost her immune system.

Tracie
 

Ssssouthern

New member
Original Poster
Thanks everyone. Unfortunately our beardie passed today. After reading the comments here, I feel confident about what happened and feel devastated about it. I went to go get a picture of the calcium, and immediately my heart sunk. The dose was 0.05ml, but my husband was giving her 0.5ml, nearly 10x the prescribed dose. A fatal mistake sadly. It is the only thing that makes sense to explain why she declined so quickly in the 3 weeks following the vet visit. She would probably be fine if not for that 😭
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
Oh i am so sorry, I've nearly made that same mistake, i wish the vets would be more careful explaining how to administrator meds, or give doses premeasured.
It's hard loosing them, my heart goes out to you.
Hopefully you won't let this turn tou off to them, and you get another. They truely are fantastic.
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Oh no, I am so so very sorry you lost your girl like that. :cry:
It is so unfortunate. Too much calcium can cause heart or renal failure. Is that when she started declining
right after the large calcium dose?
My condolences for your loss.

Tracie
 

Members online

Latest resources

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

Getting ready for another day. Feeling sleepy. 😴
I just walked into my room and instead of looking at me, Swordtail's eyes darted directly to the ice cream drumstick I'm holding
Finally replaced Swordtail's substrate
I miss you so much, Amaris 💔
What is a quick way to warm up a cold beardie? His heating element went out overnight and now he's very cold.

Forum statistics

Threads
156,072
Messages
1,257,439
Members
76,058
Latest member
Bugluvr3
Top Bottom