Can Subcut Lactated ringers be administered orally?

mactac

Member
Beardie name(s)
Gary, Nari
Our Bearded dragon is having a really rough time and has been somewhat dehydrated. The vet gave us lactated ringers and syringes, however the injections are causing a LOT of stress to the beardie. The stress might actually be making her worse.

We are feeding her via syringe, and thought that maybe we can replace the water in the food with lactated ringers instead of stressing her out so much all the time. We will still inject the fluid (since it's the best way to get it into her), but not as often.

I see some references to using it orally, and it does not seem to contain anything that would be problematic in the digestive system, but I do not know reptiles well enough to know for sure.

Can anyone tell me if it's safe to give lactated ringers orally?
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

You can use it in small amounts. How much food is she eating, are you giving food via syringe or is she eating on her own?
Be sure she is getting adequate vegetation at least several times weekly.
How do her fat pads look are they puffy or do they appear sunken down?

Tracie
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
Hi there, can you post pics of your dragon ? Giving a bunch of injections for such a minor + easily treated problem is almost never necessary and may have the results you said, causing fear and stress. If she was taking water with food then that was fine to begin with. I hate to see unnecessary + costly procedures/treatments done.
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

I agree, many times too many medications, etc are given for something that could be easily fixed
with home remedies & some tweaking of husbandry issues.
Let us know how things are going!

Tracie
 

mactac

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Gary, Nari
Hello,

I agree, many times too many medications, etc are given for something that could be easily fixed
with home remedies & some tweaking of husbandry issues.
Let us know how things are going!

Tracie

The overriding problem is ADV. She is constantly dehydrated. Currently, she has not been eating on her own for about 3 months. She went through a terrible case of coccidia and pinworms 3 months ago and has not recovered very well. I believe she has actually "forgotten" how to eat.

We've gone through this before, and nursed her back, but this one is a bit worse. I'm trying to keep fluids in her so at least that won't cause her problems. That's why I wanted to administer the fluid orally, just to keep her stress down. Stress is bad with ADV.

The other option is pedialyte, but the only ones I can find have sugar or sugar substitute - not crazy about giving her that, that's why I was thinking about oral lactated ringers. Plus I have a big bag of it. The vet gave us the fluid with syringes, but if I can keep her hydrated without the stress of the injections, I would prefer to do that.

Husbandry is good.

Picture attached.
 

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mactac

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Gary, Nari
How are you determining that she is dehydrated?

-Brandon

Wrinkly skin (not visible in pic), sunken face (visible in pic), plus ever since she has had ADV she drinks a huge amount of water. Lately she seems to have given up drinking, or has forgotten how to do it like the food. Plus vet says she is likely dehydrated - which is why she gave us the liquid and needles - I sort of thought that was implicit, sorry. I'd love to hear your thoughts though if you do not agree.
 
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AHBD

BD.org Sicko
Sorry to hear that she has ADV, she doesn't look thin or dehydrated but her face shows the strain, she looks very tired. Treatment for the parasites was an extra unfortunate blow to her, was she on meds very long ? It sounds like you've been caring for her the best way and very attentive to her. You might try non citrus pure fruit juice at times added to her water to see if she likes it or a small amount of raw honey. BTW , what is her name ?
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Wrinkly skin (not visible in pic), sunken face (visible in pic),
I sort of thought that was implicit,
Common myths. Wrinkly skin, sunken face (eyes), droopy eyelids, are not methods able to determine hydration status.

Outside of a vet doing bloodwork (which it sounds like your vet didn't do... if they did, please post the results) the only way to check hydration at home is by watching the bowel movements and urates. Typically, if the BM's are moist, the dragon is NOT dehydrated.

Sunken eyes are genetic, and/or caused by a loss of fat stores in the body. Can you do a full body picture from overhead so we can better assess the fat stores at the base of the tail and the base of the head?

Loss of fat stores typically indicate organ failure (or damage) if not caused by lack of appetite and eating.

No one here is anti-vet, but many of us on here have seen hundreds upon hundreds of dragons that just needed a slight husbandry adjustment (or some reassuring words to not worry to the owner) that end up going to vets and getting prescribed medications and injections that are totally not necessary. Often times causing more harm than good. I'd be cautious with your vets advice based on what i've seen so far in this thread.

Next time your dragon poos, post a picture of it for us please.

-Brandon
 

mactac

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Gary, Nari
Common myths. Wrinkly skin, sunken face (eyes), droopy eyelids, are not methods able to determine hydration status.

Outside of a vet doing bloodwork (which it sounds like your vet didn't do... if they did, please post the results) the only way to check hydration at home is by watching the bowel movements and urates. Typically, if the BM's are moist, the dragon is NOT dehydrated.

Sunken eyes are genetic, and/or caused by a loss of fat stores in the body. Can you do a full body picture from overhead so we can better assess the fat stores at the base of the tail and the base of the head?

Loss of fat stores typically indicate organ failure (or damage) if not caused by lack of appetite and eating.

No one here is anti-vet, but many of us on here have seen hundreds upon hundreds of dragons that just needed a slight husbandry adjustment (or some reassuring words to not worry to the owner) that end up going to vets and getting prescribed medications and injections that are totally not necessary. Often times causing more harm than good. I'd be cautious with your vets advice based on what i've seen so far in this thread.

Next time your dragon poos, post a picture of it for us please.

-Brandon

Thanks!

Bloodwork was done to see if there was any organ issues due to ADV. We have been struggling with the anorexia, plus she is not gaining weight. Her food also seems to pass mostly undigested.

The sunken eyes may be genetic, but they look different that when she was healthy.

I do take what the vet says with a grain of salt (In fact I was the one that suspected then decided to test for ADV and sent it off to Tracie). The vet keeps suggesting putting her down, which has been pretty traumatic for my daughter whose beardie it is. I do not agree that we are at that point yet, and it really makes me wonder why they keep saying that. When she was 2 months old she went through all of this (she is about a year old now), the vert suggested the same thing, but we just kept feeding her, encouraging her to eat, syringe feeding her and finally she broke through. That was maybe 6 months ago. Lucky we didn't put her down when the vet suggested it then!

Her poops are quite runny (not nearly as much as when she had the parasites), but we are syringe feeding her, so there is water in the food, and I suspect she is just passing it without absorbing a lot of it, but I am not sure. I think it's tough to know anything about her hydration in her body by looking at the poops because of this - we don't know if it's actually being absorbed.

I do find it odd that we are feeding her quite a bit but she is not gaining weight.

What I'm thinking is that the coccidia messed up her digestive system (ie epithelial cells), which contributed to the lack of desire to eat. It also contributed to food not being absorbed. Perhaps last time it took a few months to get the gut healthy again, and then things finally clicked? I'm hoping that this is what's going on and it's a matter of just sticking with it, but I don't know.

She also is low energy, and in the morning she will always sleep until we actually get her up and put her in her basking spot - she won't go on her own. She does perk up a bit afterwards though.

I can tell that she is hungry - she eats the food we syringe feed her, and gives us signals when she has had enough. It really does seem like they "forget how to eat" - they get used to things being a certain way.

Also - we have another bearded dragon with ADV who went through something similar. It didn't affect her quite as much (she is older), but we did have to syringe feed her for maybe 2 months. She's been healthy since.

More pics attached. Maybe tough to see in the pictures, but the base of her tail does look bony and you can see her spine. To me, that's underweight.
She is about 330 grams at one year old

100 degrees air temp and 100 degrees basking spot (brick), 70 degrees cool side. UVB 12% tube, 2 heat lamps (since it gets a bit sold). 70 degrees at night.

Terrarium is small at the moment, we have a 120g ready to go for her, but don't want to move her while sick, or while she had parasites. Paper towel substrate while sick, and also when she had parasites.

bari-b.jpg
nari-1.jpg
 

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mactac

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Gary, Nari
Sorry to hear that she has ADV, she doesn't look thin or dehydrated but her face shows the strain, she looks very tired. Treatment for the parasites was an extra unfortunate blow to her, was she on meds very long ? It sounds like you've been caring for her the best way and very attentive to her. You might try non citrus pure fruit juice at times added to her water to see if she likes it or a small amount of raw honey. BTW , what is her name ?
Thanks! What is the thinking behind the fruit juice? I've stayed away from things are that sugary. Her name is Nari :)
 

mactac

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Gary, Nari
Hello,

You can use it in small amounts. How much food is she eating, are you giving food via syringe or is she eating on her own?
Be sure she is getting adequate vegetation at least several times weekly.
How do her fat pads look are they puffy or do they appear sunken down?

Tracie

What do you define as small amounts? A teaspoon in her food instead of water perhaps? Thats what I use when I give her critical care.

She is being fed about 10-14 ml per day, divided into 2 feedings. We syringe feed her, she has not eaten on her own in about 2 months. She went through this when she was about 2 months old (she is a year now), and she goth through it eventually. This recent episode seems to have been stated due to a coccidia infection.

We feed her
- Critical care omnivore (though we've stopped that lately)
- Dehydrated bearded dragon food that we grind up to a powder and mix with water
- Veggie slurry (mostly greens and squash)

Once or twice week or so we might add one or more of
- calcium/vitamin D
- Sperrapeptase
- Milk thistle
- Repti-boost
- One Vitamin drop
- Probiotic
- bee pollen

We've slowed down on the additional items recently.

Fat pads are shrunken. I posted pictures and some blood work just above.
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Thanks for posting the bloodwork. The results look pretty standard, nothing screams something majorly wrong. AST is slightly elevated but even that isn't very bad.

I suspect she is just passing it without absorbing a lot of it, but I am not sure. I think it's tough to know anything about her hydration in her body by looking at the poops because of this - we don't know if it's actually being absorbed.
That's possible, but the urate would still be able to give some indication of hydration status even with runny stools. After you take a picture of her next BM, examine that urate. Squish it.. it should be firm but soft. If it is, hydration levels are likely fine. Hard and chalky would be more indicative of dehydration. Pay attention to the color of the urate too. If its a little off white thats fine, but if it's colored that's typically a sign of oversupplementation.

I can tell that she is hungry - she eats the food we syringe feed her, and gives us signals when she has had enough. It really does seem like they "forget how to eat" - they get used to things being a certain way.
They definitely get used to things being a certain way. It's actually VERY COMMON for a dragon that is hand fed/syringe fed, to become lazy in that sense. We actually typically have to coach people on how to get their dragons back to eating on their own after an illness that caused syringe feedings. It's not because they forgot (which implies they are dumb) but because they are smart... they'd prefer their food be squeezed right into their mouth as opposed to "hunting" for it. Like I said, very common and a funny insight into how their brains and personalities work :)
More pics attached. Maybe tough to see in the pictures, but the base of her tail does look bony and you can see her spine. To me, that's underweight.
She is about 330 grams at one year old

I'm not seeing the extra pictures. 330 grams is within the realm of normal for a one year old IMO. What's more important is how her weight has been trending. IF you haven't, start weighing her weekly just to verify it's not dropping.

-Brandon
 

mactac

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Gary, Nari
That's possible, but the urate would still be able to give some indication of hydration status even with runny stools. After you take a picture of her next BM, examine that urate. Squish it.. it should be firm but soft. If it is, hydration levels are likely fine. Hard and chalky would be more indicative of dehydration. Pay attention to the color of the urate too. If its a little off white thats fine, but if it's colored that's typically a sign of oversupplementation.

Urate seems OK. It was non-existent (that I could see, mainly due to very runny poop) for about a month, but recently it's looking more normal. A bit off-white.

They definitely get used to things being a certain way. It's actually VERY COMMON for a dragon that is hand fed/syringe fed, to become lazy in that sense. We actually typically have to coach people on how to get their dragons back to eating on their own after an illness that caused syringe feedings. It's not because they forgot (which implies they are dumb) but because they are smart... they'd prefer their food be squeezed right into their mouth as opposed to "hunting" for it. Like I said, very common and a funny insight into how their brains and personalities work :)

We have gone through that with her before and out other beardie. Basically we would not feed them for about 2-3 days, and try to coax them into eating. To "prime" them, for a few days before that we would start to put live (BSFL) in their mouths under their gums to get them accustomed to eating something that wasn't in a syringe. If they didn't eat on their own, we'd start feeding them again for another 2 weeks and try again.

I would love to hear your process on how you've done it. Anything that you do differently would be very valuable.

I'm not seeing the extra pictures. 330 grams is within the realm of normal for a one year old IMO. What's more important is how her weight has been trending. IF you haven't, start weighing her weekly just to verify it's not dropping.

-Brandon

Pictures are above, I edited the post. Weight has been static for about 2 months, little change. I weight her every day before I feed her. She has not shed in about 3 months. (likely because she is not growing, and possibly having an energy deficit)
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
nari is a pretty name. she's actually nicely proportioned, base of her tail does not have the protruding hip bones, legs are lean but have muscle mass.
a small amount of juice i mentioned was in case she wasn't taking enough hydration, a wee bit of flavor can often get them interested. her poos will def. be runny because her diet right now is all very soft foods.
 

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