Case so odd it stumped my vet...

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BadCon

Sub-Adult Member
My 7yr old 24" 740g male bearded dragon Oscar was taken to the vet. He has difficulty moving his back legs, which makes it difficult for him to move in general. I've also observed muscle spasms in his back legs and tail. This is a chronic issue that has persisted for over 1yr, though during that time has shown phases of improvement and regression. Overall, he is improved from 1yr ago, though has not shown any improvement in the last two months or so. Animal displays poor appetite and overall lethargy, though these traits are nothing new and he has always been a fussy eater. I'm currently syringe feeding him critical care with assorted baby foods supplemented with pro-biotics, liquid calcium, and multivitamins.

My assumption 1yr ago was a calcium deficiency, possibly due to stress and enclosure changes that resulted from moving out of state (for approximately 8 months he received a lower level of care then he had previously and reduced UVB levels due to temporary housing)

About a week ago I kicked it into high gear. He's now in a 40 gallon breeder with no hides and intense UV exposure that is being monitored by my Solarmeter 6.2 and 6.5. Activity level appears improved.

Still though, the fact I haven't nipped this in the bud by now has me concerned, so last Friday he went to the vet.
Vet performed X-rays which showed good bone density and no obvious signs of injury to the spinal chord. Vet commented that there was a surprising amount of fat in the abdomen (though this animal does not appear overweight at all). Vet said it was likely due to his sedentary lifestyle. Vet ruled out impaction, though it was never a concern because Oscar has regular bowel movements.

Vet performed blood work which he stated was normal for the most part aside from slightly low uric acid levels. Vet further stated that the white blood cell count was normal, though I recall him saying something related to this was elevated. Vet said calcium levels were normal. I'm going to try and get a copy of the blood work to post here.

Vet performed fecal test for parasites which showed normal results.

Vet performed physical examination where he noted that the animal appeared well hydrated, but had seriously reduced reflexes in his back legs. vet noted that the front leg reflexes appeared normal.

Vet stated that there was no clear definitive answer for the muscle weakness and slowed reflexes in the back legs and stated that he wanted to refer me to Texas A&M for a more thorough screening, including a CT scan. Vet seems to think it has nothing to do with a calcium deficiency, and stated it could possibly be some sort of lesion on an organ or perhaps on the spinal chord.

My questions are as follows.

Could nerve damage have resulted from a previous calcium deficiency, even though bone density and calcium levels are fine now? Could there be nerve issues as a result of a calcium deficiency without there being any bone degradation?

How fast can blood calcium levels come back to normal but the animal still by symptomatic?

Over a year ago this animal could barely move. He has since regained most of the movement in his front legs, but still shows great difficulty with his back legs. If it were a lesion or some other direct damage to a nerve cluster, I don't think he would be showing improvement at all, not when the only things being changed were increased UVB exposure and calcium supplementation.

Has anyone experienced anything like this?

My game plan is to continue to observe Oscar for two more weeks in the quarantine tank. If I note improvement, great, if not then its off to A&M.


How old is your dragon? 7yrs
How long have you had your dragon? 6.5yrs
How long is your dragon? 24"
What is the sex of your dragon? male
What size enclosure do you have your dragon in? 4"x2"
What type substrate do you have on the bottom of your tank? slate tile
Do you use UVB lights? yes
If so, Is it a coil, compact, fluorescent tube, or Mercury Vapor bulb? Fluorescent tube
What is the brand name and number of your bulb? Wattage (if MVB)? Reptisun 10.0, Arcadia D3+
How old is your UVB bulb? replaced every 6 months with decay rate monitored by Solar Meter 6.2 and 6.5
How close can your dragon get to the UVB? approximately 7"
Do you use a separate basking bulb? What kind and what is the wattage? Is it a white or colored bulb? Halogen flood lamp with additional incandescent lamp, non-colored. Wattage is irrelevant its controlled by a rheostat and an IR temp gun.
What are the basking temps? 95 to 110, large basking zone
What is the cool side temp? ~75 to 80
Do you take the temps with a stick on thermometer, a digital thermometer with a wire and a probe end or a temp gun? temp gun
Where exactly are you taking your basking temps? Wherever my lizard basks
Do you use a heat rock or heat pad? no
What do you feed your dragon? Please be specific. Super worms are the staple he grew up eating along with dark leafy greens, collard, mustard, turnip, kale, etc. He doesn't eat greens all that often. Now he is on a diet of critical care and squash baby food with supplements. Babyfood is sometimes changed for vegy mix or other type.
How often do you feed and what time do you feed (morning, afternoon, night)? Afternoon usually. He usually only takes 1 feeding of critical care, 15 to 30 mils. typically wont tolerate a second feeding. His weight has been maintained.
Do you gutload (feed) your crickets, worms, etc? Yes
Do you use vitamin or calcium supplements? What brand(s)? How many days a week do you use each of them? repcal Herptivite, Repcal fine grind powder w/ D3. Liquid calcium and liquid B vitamins as well.
Is your dragon having regular bowel movements (poops)? yes
Do you bath your dragon? How often? yes, about 1x weekly
Do you mist your dragon or offer water other than in the bath? Yes, through a water dropper and liquid diet.
Have you gotten a vet check and fecal done? yes see above
Does your dragon share an enclosure with another dragon? no[/color]
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Great stats & information.
You are using a Reptisun 10 tube & the Arcadia D3 12% tube bulb, both, along with a different basking light?

Are you using the calcium powder with D3 along with liquid calcium? How often do you give him the supplements?
It can take months sometimes for the blood calcium to come up if it's low. If you can get the blood test posted, I can take a look at them.
Do you think he could have fallen & hurt himself?
Nerve damage can result from hypocalcemia because of weakening bones & or injuries surrounding the bones, etc.
There can be nerve damage while the bone density appears normal. If nerves were damaged but the calcium levels are back to normal, most of the time the nerves don't repair fully.
Did he go through a rapid growth phase?
I agree, a lesion on or around a nerve likely wouldn't allow for much of any improvement.
It is promising that Oscar has shown some improvement in his front arms. The rear legs are slow to come back if it was a calcium issue, but after this time, he should be starting to use them more.
Have you tried water therapy to get him to swim & try moving his back legs more?

If you have any pictures, that would be great.

Tracie
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
Hi there....I'm sorry to hear about Oscar's problems, and just wanted to comment on what a huge boy he is ! Not many 24" dragons out there. As for his condition, I just wonder if it's a combination of some time with a calcium deficiency in the past and then along with it comes the lethargy + lack of movement. Then it's possible that arthritis could set in, which, as in humans, can flare up worse at times [ and with different types of arthritis not all show on X-rays ] .....and given his age + size he might be prone to it. Along with that, if he has been on slate tile this might exacerbate the stiffness from living on a permanent hard surface. So I thought I'd throw that out there. I truly hope you can get some help for Oscar, it seems you're exploring all diagnostics.....and like Tracie suggested, you might try a little water therapy.
 

BadCon

Sub-Adult Member
Original Poster
Drache613":9uwr88pg said:
Hello,

Great stats & information.
You are using a Reptisun 10 tube & the Arcadia D3 12% tube bulb, both, along with a different basking light? Yes and no. I meant to say that I have used both lights at some point, but am currently using Reptisun 10.0 tubes. I use an Exo-Terra terrarium light controller which has 4 seperate leads for a total of two Fluorescent tubes. So at any point, I have two 18" tubes in his enclosure. Now he is under two Reptisun 10.0 Tubes AND an Arcadia T5 HO 6% lamo along with another T5 HO lamp for light intensity. This is in addition to a 45w Halogen flood bulb and a 45w incandescent flood bulb. All lighting levels are monitored by a Solar meter 6.5 and 6.2. I currently have him under high exposure, so am observing levels of over 100microwatts on the "hot" side with a UVI of about 4. this tapers to almost nothing on the cool side.

Are you using the calcium powder with D3 along with liquid calcium? How often do you give him the supplements? Rep-Cal Calcium +d3 very occasionally. I usually use the liquid calcium glubionate without D3, typically a couple drops every feeding. I also rotate in some serrapeptase, which also has a liquid calcium base.

It can take months sometimes for the blood calcium to come up if it's low. If you can get the blood test posted, I can take a look at them. Yes, I called my vet today and got a copy. I will private message you a scan of the results, as there is too much information to type out here.

Do you think he could have fallen & hurt himself? It is possible, his enclosure does have a second level that is about 8" off the slate tile. He is a big boy though and typically just sort of slides down. I'll post a picture of his enclosure as it was a year ago. The Vet stated that there was no obvious signs of injury on the X-rays


Nerve damage can result from hypocalcemia because of weakening bones & or injuries surrounding the bones, etc.
There can be nerve damage while the bone density appears normal. If nerves were damaged but the calcium levels are back to normal, most of the time the nerves don't repair fully.


Did he go through a rapid growth phase? His growth was strange. At 6 months he was 16", then over the next 6 months he reached over 20", and after about 1.5yrs he was his full 24". However he was very skinny and weighed about 500g. He was taken to the vet around 3yrs of age because I had concerns about his weight for his size. Vet said he was healthy. It wasn't until about 4 to 5yrs of age that he started to fill out. He has gradually gained weight ever since, peaking just below 800g, then settling at about 750.


I agree, a lesion on or around a nerve likely wouldn't allow for much of any improvement.
It is promising that Oscar has shown some improvement in his front arms. The rear legs are slow to come back if it was a calcium issue, but after this time, he should be starting to use them more.
Have you tried water therapy to get him to swim & try moving his back legs more?
By water therapy do you mean swimming in about 3" of water, just enough for him to barely touch the bottom? Then yes, typically with every bath. the more he uses his limbs the better he seems, so I think there is some merit to a possible arthritis issue or simply couch potato syndrome. I will try to increase the frequency of his baths.

If you have any pictures, that would be great.

Tracie

Here is Oscars enclosure more or less how it looked one year ago. As of now he's in a 40 gallon breeder to keep things simple while I monitor him.
PC027-1_zpsaba6d868.jpg

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Here are pictures of "healthy" Oscar




Not healthy Oscar.
The only real obvious visible signs is the wasting of his rear legs. they just appear slimmer and less muscular. Oscar used to be FAST, and strong. He could jump damn near 3ft to get to Bacon, my female dragon(they never had direct contact). Makes me sad thinking about him today, what did I do wrong!?




And two quick videos. Sorry for the poor quality. These were taken after I got off work with enough time to sneak him into the bath. He went to the bathroom and soaked for 10 minutes or so. It was late, and I wanted to get him back to bed.

You can tell he's thinking about moving, but the back legs just aren't there yet. This was almost bed time and he was tired and cold, so he's even slower then normal here.



As for the lab results, here goes nothing.

AST - 6
Creatine Kinase - 447
GGT - 2
Amylase - 2477
Albumin - 2.3
Total Protein - 5.5
Globulin - 3.2
Bun - 1
Cholesterol - 162
Glucose - 231
Calcium - 12.9
Phosphorus - 2.1
Chloride - 110
Potassium - 3.5
Sodium - 163
ALB/GLOB Ratio - 0.7
Uric Acid - 1.1
Triglyceride - 50
NA/K Ratio - 47
CA/Phos Ratio - 6.1

Bile Acid - 11.0

WBC - 9.2
HCT - 45
Heterophils - 38
Heterophil Bands - 0
% Lymphocyte - 46
% Monocyte - 1
Azurophil - 14
% Eosinophil - 1
% Basophil - 0
Thrombocytes (Adequate)
Blood Parasites (No Parasites seen)
Absolute Heterophil - 3496
Absolute Heterophil Band - 0
Lymphocyte - 4232
Monocyte - 92
Absolute Azurophil - 1288
Eosinophil - 92
Basophil - 0
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
I'm not any help for reading the majority of the blood panel, you might p.m. Tracie to see what she thinks. Like you, though, I doubt there's a lesion causing his problems since he has improved, according to your own observation, since last year, and this seemingly linked to more calcium + UVB exposure. It still might be worth the short periods of water therapy done 3-4 X a week....make the water nice + warm and let him swim around. Just be right there to be sure there's no signs of distress or chance of an accident. Hopefully it will help him to regain more mobility.

Another thing to maybe ask the vet.....even though he's no where near overweight and actually on the lean side, the vet mentioned a lot of fat in his abdomen. Is there any chance that he has a fatty liver ? That would definitely be a serious problem, but hopefully that's not what the vet meant. Even so, if you can add a smoothie made of lots of greens to his diet [ I think you might have something along those lines but in baby food ? ] that would be good for him along with the Critical Care supplement.

Oscar looks like a swet big boy, and his enclosure is top notch, very well done !
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello Chad,

Thanks for posting the blood test results. :D

A few things stand out to me.
The uric acid level is extremely low, which can indicate several things. The uric acid levels are indicative of renal function primarily but they can also relay other issues, too. Low levels can indicate a mineral deficiency of some type, such as molybdenum & possibly zinc.
You can try supplementing with inosine to help elevate serum uric acid levels.
His symptoms match hypouricemia.
The AST level is very low which indicates a B6 (pyridoxine), which is related to uremia (low uric acid) levels, too.
Also, the calcium to phosphorus ratio is way off. The normal ratio is supposed to be 2:1 or at the most 3:1 meaning calcium should be at least double what the phosphorus is.
I don't see any evidence of infection based on the tests, or cancer, etc.
It doesn't seem to be an existing liver condition though, initially based on the test results .
I am not sure why he would have mentioned that he had abdomen fat, unless there is just some overall swelling internally from a health condition.
So, he has 2 regular T8 Reptisun 10 tube bulbs with an Arcadia D3 6% HO tube bulb & a tube with 6500K for brightness? Those readings sound fine to me, using your meters.
What is the strength of the calcium glubionate? Could he not be getting enough calcium? If can dose the calcium for you if you need.
You don't use the powder very often?
For his size, he probably needs a decent amount of calcium.
Some reasons for low phosphorus are hyperparathyroidism, hypercalcemia, malnutrition, etc. I don't think it's high calcium levels or malnutrition.
There have been x-rays done but nothing was seen?
Maybe try getting an ultrasound done, there is a possibility that there could have been an injury in the past that could be causing some swelling on or around the spine that isn't being seen on the x-rays.
Maybe you could try a mineral supplement or brewer's yeast which has some phosphorus in it.

I looked at your set up again & noticed your tube bulbs are free hanging without a light fixture.
While the readings with the meter are great, I am thinking that a portion of the UVB is refracting out & away from him. I recommend getting a tube fixture for the UVB lights with reflective backing to help direct the UVB downwards onto him more directly. Your tank setup looks beautiful & you have room to mount light fixtures.
Being a larger dragon, his calcium requirements are a little higher than smaller dragons to maintain his structure.

Is your female's setup the same?


Let us know how Oscar is doing. I am so sorry this is happening to him.
Try the water therapy as often as you can to try & help improve his strength.

Tracie
 

BadCon

Sub-Adult Member
Original Poster
Hi Tracie,

Thank you for your follow up.

You mention hypouricemia. Due to Oscars overall nature, keeping him hydrated has always been a challenge. He was never a big green eater, and would not drink standing water. I typically watered him manually with a dropper, or waited till his baths. I had been concerned about his kidney health, but the blood work showed low uric acid levels which my vet did not say anything about specifically. If they are low could that indicate kidney damage, or would the uric acid levels have been high? Gout could possibly explain his movements, though I thought that would indicate high uric acid levels? I have some black cherry concentrate on hand, though I've never used it.
You mention uremia, is that indicative of kidney failure?

Oscar is currently on a liquid diet. This consists of Squash baby food (or sometimes mixed veggie babyfood), and a mixture of Critical care and a little bit of carnivore care. To this I'll add some pro-biotic (bene pac powder), and a few drops of liquid calcium Glubionate (23mg elemental calcium per mL/cc). Occasionally I'll add a few drops of liquid multi-vit, or powdered herptivite, though I haven't been keeping a schedule and its usually every other feeding. Non of this is very scientific, and I do not accurately measure the doses. I'm more concerned with overdosing then anything. I have more measuring syringes on hand then I care to count, I'll start keeping accurate tabs.

If you have dosing suggestions, that would be excellent.

I did not even think about phosphorus. I have always used 100% calcium and assumed they would get the necessary phosphorus from their feeders. But Oscar isn't eating feeders right now! I totally missed that one.
On hand I have:
Rep-Cal herptivite
Rep-Cal Calcium w/D3 (100% calcium according to packaging)
Zoo Med Repti Calcium (100% calcium according to packaging)
Tetra Fauna ReptoLife Plus. (lists Phosphorus at .6%, which I'm assuming is by weight), also lists brewers yeast as the first ingredient.

I'll start adding some Reptolife to his feedings. I may take a drive to Petco and see if there is anything more appropriate.

As for his enclosure, I should clarify, Oscar is not currently in that enclosure pictured above. I moved him to my females old enclosure, which is a 40 gallon breeder pictured below. Its smaller, and allows me to control his UV exposure more accurately. 2x Reptisun 10.0 18" tubes (one with a reflector), 1x Arcadia T5 HO 6% tube, 1x T5 HO "daylight" tube (non-uv), 1x 45w halogen and 1x 45w incandescent for heat. That sounds like a lot for a small enclosure, but they are mounted pretty high. I'm measuring 50 to 70microwatts of UVB and a UVI of ~2.5 on the hot side abot 3" from the floor of the enclosure. I changed the enclosure last night, and these are the new levels. Previously it the levels were higher, but the tubes were mounted on the sides of the enclosure and I was worried about glare into his eyes.



Oscar was acting odd last night. Like he wants to sleep but is restless. This is normally the time of year he tries to Brumate. Always at the end of August, early September. This year I can't let him do that, and I think its messing with his internal clock.

Bath today didn't go well. He started black bearding and immediately tried to get out. It did give me a good opportunity to see him move at a brisk pace. Its still very apparent that ALL of his limbs have trouble moving. Its not so much walking as it is dragging.

From yesterday.
20140925_120419_zpsqw1jwnpt.jpg
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello Chad,

Thanks so much for all of the information. :D How is he doing tonight?
I had already considered other issues with hypouricemia. I did some extra research & read some more on gout & underlying symptoms etc.
There have been some cases in which there was a genetic defect that can interfere with the reabsorption of uric acid. Hyperthyroidism multiple sclerosis can cause issues, since he is having trouble with movement that is a possibility.
This just means he excretes higher than normal uric acid amounts into the urine. I am finding that inositol has been cited several times to be helpful for this type of condition.
So while this is not gout, it can be an issue with the kidneys that needs to be addressed, by all means.
You can definitely try black cherry juice as it will help with too much uric acid being produced. I think he could be excreting too much & his system isn't reabsorbing enough for some reason. It wouldn't hurt, it could help balance out is system a bit.
You are right, full blown gout renders high uric acid levels, but this can be suspicious as there is something causing the low uric acid levels. I believe it's going to be an absorption issue so if it can be addressed now, then it may be able to be fixed.
Uremia isn't always indicative of renal failure, but leads to it. He isn't showing any toxicity signs right now, based on the tests.
The tetrafauna should be fine, if it has brewer's yeast in it. Go ahead & try that. Insects are naturally high in phosphorus, but his imbalance is likely something to do with whatever is causing the underlying issue.
I will get a dose for you on the calcium tomorrow. He weighs 740 grams?
Continue with the feedings as you are, since he is maintaining his weight.
Great, his lighting is very good, no problem at all. I don't see any problems with the output either right now. Once the UVI gets under 2 though you will want to replace them just to maintain the output at good levels.
He is trying to brumate, but you are right, he shouldn't be allowed a full brumation right now. If he wants to sleep a bit more that is fine, but nothing hard. Poor Oscar, I am sorry his bath didn't go well at all.


Let us know how he is doing.

Tracie
 

BadCon

Sub-Adult Member
Original Poster
No change in his condition, though I've been working all weekend and have had little time to observe him during the day. He's advised me that he does not like black cherry concentrate or the Tetra Fuana supplement. He did so by promptly black bearding and throwing up his feeding. Poor guy.

Having done substantial reading on renal disease and kidney failure in reptiles with every spare moment, I'm reasonably convinced that those factors are not at work here, especially given all the tests. As of now I've relied on his liquid diet and baths to offer enough hydration, which given his size was probably not enough, so I'm going to up his liquid intake as a precaution.

Also my readings indicate that low phosphorus levels can lead to muscle weakness and nerve issues. So I'm going to start rolling some more protein and phosphorus into his diet by way of finally ground dehydrated crickets. I was holding off on the protein out of fear of kidney issues, but I think its time to start trying to get him back on normal feedings.

And in two weeks I'll likely take him for another round of tests, just to get a second baseline. I'm also closely monitoring his quality of life. If at any point I get the impression he's just not really having a good go of it, even with medical intervention, then perhaps I'll need to consider the compassionate option...as upsetting as it is to think about. I waited to long with my female dragon Bacon, and it was upsetting to watch her pass.


But that's a thought for another time, because for now he's as curmudgeonly as always.

For 7yrs I've been telling Oscar to eat his greens. Today he finally found a use for them.
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20140928_182729_zpswjrezue2.jpg
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello Chad,

The dose for the calcium is pretty much what you are giving, which is 1-2 drops, at that strength on the calcium. You give it 3 times per week? You could increase that to 3-4 drops a few times per week.
He doesn't like the black cherry either? LOL I thought he might like it though. Maybe just try the black cherry juice alone to see if he can tolerate it.
Great, hopefully some extra protein will help him out, poor guy. I am sure he will enjoy some extra bugs in his diet.
That would be a good idea to get another test in a few weeks to see if there have been any changes. I hope that his quality of life stays good for him for a long time. I agree, it doesn't look like his kidneys are in danger of failing right now. Some extra oral fluids definitely wont hurt any for him.
Those are great pictures of him laying in his greens. :D I haven't seen that word used in a long time, how funny.
Let us know how he is doing!

Tracie
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello Chad,

Any updates for us? How is he doing?

Keep us posted on him. :D

Tracie
 

BadCon

Sub-Adult Member
Original Poster
Not good. He seems to be having issues with his front legs. Today he flipped himself over and was stuck there. Luckily it had just happened and I found him, though he was upset and was black bearding.

Oddly his activity level is higher, which is probably how he flipped himself over in the first place, he was trying to get out of his enclosure and lost his balance. But the problem is he doesn't have the muscle strength to flip himself back over, and if this happens when I'm at work he'll likely die in that position.

After the flipping incident he kept swallowing, as if he was about to throw up but never did.

And lastly I noticed some strange bumps on his back yesterday, just behind his front legs. They are soft, 4 of them in total right along his spine on either side. Very odd...can't say I've noticed them before. They are very small, but they are distinct and I don't see similar bumps anywhere else. They are equally spaced about 1cm apart, with two on either side of his spine. He's still pooping, and they are up towards the base of his neck, so not likely an impaction issue.

I'm going to try and make a vet appointment for Wednesday or Thursday next week, which are the only two days I have off. I'm gonna try and go to a different vet, one I used last year when my female got sick. I had tried to go there this time, but got the name confused. That vet seemed a little more competent when treating reptiles. Hopefully he can give me some kind of idea what's going on.

Trace the path from his neck, and you'll see the bumps. Not sure what to make of them.
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Here is a higher resolution image.
http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd278/pzev/Public%20Shares/20141004_120708_zpsh4w2mrh2.jpg
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello Chad,

I am so sorry that happened! Your poor boy, I am sure he was very mad by the time you found him.
You think that he got over excited & just flipped himself over?
The swallowing in that manner was most likely due to stress & being so upset for awhile.
I did see the bumps on his back. Are they hard like a nodule or cyst? I hope that it isn't calcification on the bones developing. No, it is too high to be an impaction, I agree.
His system is off so something is going on. I am wondering also if it could be a parathyroid issue or a cyst, etc on the parathyroid gland causing malfunction, too.
So you are going to the vet again this next week? He is a reptile vet or has more general knowledge of reptiles?
I am sorry he isn't doing well right now. Please keep me posted on him.
Can you remove the basking logs/rocks in his tank so that he doesn't fall as easily? Maybe place some towels down on the bottom of the tank too?
I am keeping you both in my thoughts.

Tracie
 

BadCon

Sub-Adult Member
Original Poster
Drache613":3twezg6m said:
Hello Chad,

I am so sorry that happened! Your poor boy, I am sure he was very mad by the time you found him.
You think that he got over excited & just flipped himself over?
The swallowing in that manner was most likely due to stress & being so upset for awhile.
I did see the bumps on his back. Are they hard like a nodule or cyst? I hope that it isn't calcification on the bones developing. No, it is too high to be an impaction, I agree.
His system is off so something is going on. I am wondering also if it could be a parathyroid issue or a cyst, etc on the parathyroid gland causing malfunction, too.
So you are going to the vet again this next week? He is a reptile vet or has more general knowledge of reptiles?
I am sorry he isn't doing well right now. Please keep me posted on him.
Can you remove the basking logs/rocks in his tank so that he doesn't fall as easily? Maybe place some towels down on the bottom of the tank too?
I am keeping you both in my thoughts.

Tracie

I'm pretty sure he got a little to active and was trying to climb the side of the enclosure and flipped over. It had me pretty freaked out, as his cage is already empty of all furniture and is just towels. However I hung a towel over the side of the cage to prevent him from seeing his reflection, and I think he was trying to climb the towel. He had been there for just a couple minutes at most, but it was enough to freak him out.

The bumps on his back are soft. I think they are sensitive, because if I start touching them for awhile he'll try and get away. Though He'll try to get away if I bother him in general, so that doesn't tell me much.

I relented and gave him back a hide last night, to prevent him from trying to get out of his enclosure when he wants to hide. I was pleasantly surprised to see him basking on his own outside the hide this morning, so he's feeling good at least because he this time of year he rarely basks on his own.

The two vets I've been to are pet and bird hospitals which I found on herp vet connection. The one that Oscar went to I had never been to before. The Dr seemed reasonably knowledgeable about reptiles, but I just got the feeling they were not as up to speed as the other vet. The other vet also can run blood work in house, which is nice because you don't have to wait long.
But really at this point, I'm not sure what the other vet offers besides more experience. Oscars secret isn't being told by the blood work, or even an Xray. So apart from an ultrasound I may need to bite the bullet and get Oscar in for a CT scan and take the referral from my first vet.
 

BadCon

Sub-Adult Member
Original Poster
I have an appointment with the specialty exotic vet on the 14th. They are perhaps the best exotic animal vets in the state. I'm hoping I can get some answers. Good, bad, or worse..I just want to know.

I've have been feeding Oscar more protein and increased his B vitamin intake, especially B1. He was able to lift his entire body weight off the ground yesterday and today. He's shown more function in his back legs over the last couple of days then he has since September. I have also observe more muscle twitching in his back legs and tail. When he is at rest, his tail will twitch very slightly. Its a little odd. Its either a good thing in that he's getting feeling back, or a bad thing and the Nerves are even more compromised now. I'm keeping track of the twitches. But honestly before things were just limp.

He is still pooping healthy poops with nice urates, and doesn't appear to be under stress unless I mess with him.

However he seems to be having issues holding food down. After feedings he'll continue to swallow for some time. today he actually did throw up, though I wasn't there to observe it because I was at work, but I found it when I got home.
I swung by my house to feed him at lunch time, and wasn't able to stick around long after. Today I gave him a dose of actual B1, instead of the Brewers yeast I have been feeding him. I got some B1 tabs and ground them into a fine powder and gave him just a pinch. The tablets are 100mg each, and I didn't want to over do it. I also used powdered calcium today instead of the liquid. The supplements probably upset his stomach today.

My question is what is the proper dosage of B1? I'm going to forgo the powder and next time dissolve a measured amount of powder into water, and use the drop method. But I have no idea what the dose should be with X amount of powder in grams and water. I measured approximately 1g with 4 100mg tablets, so each tablet is .25g give or take. If I take .25g of tablet powder and dissolve it in 1tspn (5cc) or water, I could calculate the b1 dosage per drop of water, but info is scarce regarding whats safe for reptiles.

Thanks for any help,

Chad
 
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