Case so odd it stumped my vet...

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Drache613

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Hello Chad,

How is Oscar doing today?
I am happy to hear that he is showing some improvements in some areas.
Poor thing, I am sure that he isn't happy about having his tank furniture out though!
Those bumps just came up out of nowhere then? They could still be calcium deposits for some reason, developing. It sounds like they could be a little tender for him.
That is great to hear he was basking on his own & not in his hide! I hope he is feeling better.
It is always nice when the vet has an in house blood station to do the report so you don't have to wait long for results. An ultrasound would be a good idea, I know they are expensive though.
I hope things go well on the 14th, that is coming up soon. It would be good to get some type of definitive answer. He has been able to lift his body up off of the flood now since you have increased his protein & vitamin B1? He is having more muscle twitches?
Something in his system is off & it is causing an improper balance of vitamins or minerals, it seems like to me. He is not limp like he was now?
Can he hold his tail up?
Oh he threw up some? It is most likely the B1. Give just a tiny amount. Your measurements sound good. There is no set guidelines for most vitamins & minerals for reptiles. On a lot of supplements which are water soluble you can give 10-15mg/kg but on others it would be better to give on a lower end of 5mg/kg. Did you give him the supplement on an empty tummy also?
I would start him on 5mg/kg. Can you get that measured out?
I can help with getting it dosed if you mix the powder with 15mls of water & 15 mls of white karo syrup to make a suspension solution.
Let me try to see if I can find anything at all regarding the dose & I will get back with you on here.

Tracie
 

BadCon

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For the B1, I measured out roughly .25grams (1 tablet) of finely ground powder (yay coffee grinder). I then mixed this with 5mls (1tspn) of water. For today's feeding I gave him 3 or 4 drops, which based on my calculations was approximately 3 to 4mg of B1.
This is all rough science though, and I'm basing that on 100 drops in 1tspn and 100mg of b1 dissolved in said amount of water.
His urates have been slightly yellow tinged the last couple of days, which I'm guess are the B vitamins being flushed out? Urate quality is otherwise good.

Feedings: He's eating less and resisting feedings more often. Previously he'd easily eat 10ml's per feeding, last few days its been about 5mls before he trys to walk away. Weight is still stable at approximately 740g, fluctuating about 10g based on when he was fed, pooped, or bathed. I'm staggering feedings more, which seems to work.

Muscle Strength: He seems improved. Supporting more weight on his rear legs then he has been and they don't feel limp to the touch. He still has great difficulty moving, especially when turning his body around. He has not flipped himself over since the 1 episode last week. He currently has no furniture in his enclosure and I remove his hide when I leave for work.

Other stuff: He's not keen on my holding him or messing with him for long periods of time. He'll give me a partial black beard and or poop. I'm pretty sure he's tired of the constant attention and the fact I won't let him brumate. I'm keeping an eye on his behavior, but so far when I'm not messing with him he seems as content as he always has been, showing good colors.

Still not clue what is causing this. Tossed around the idea that it might be atedenovirus, but as a youngster he showed no signs. Some of his current ailments match symptoms of an adult infected, but not all of them. He's never had any contact with another dragon, so who knows.
We'll know for sure on the 14th.

Video from tonight. Also please ignore the Amazon box, I needed a quick safe hide for him to use and all my actual cage furniture was too big or too high, which might have led to him hurting himself. Though it doesn't look it, that is substantially more movement from his back legs then I've observed in recent history. You can see he still has trouble balancing. There is a lot of muscle weakness at this point.


And he is still hanging out in the food bowl. The mess on the other side is from his spitting up after a large feeding :(
20141008_192506_zpsnmrlzk4o.jpg


Just before bed time. Please ignore the hairy arm, that's me :)
20141008_192755_zpspidhnn9j.jpg
 

Drache613

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Hello Chad,

I will check on the B1 but until I find anything concrete, just give a tiny amount you are giving, that will be fine. His urates could change color with the supplementation, absolutely. They are still soft also?
Based on watching him in the video it really looks like he is having trouble absorbing his calcium or other vitamins. It could be a parathyroid issue interfering, liver or kidney issues, or a tumor, but don't really think a tumor. Liver issues come to mind though, as I have seen some with balance trouble with liver trouble. At any rate, something definitely isn't right, but at least he has improved a little bit so far.
If he has slowly improved with the B1 addition, continue with that definitely! He isn't able to curl up his tail right?
Poor guy, I hope we are able to get to the bottom of this fast.
You are getting him tested for Adeno, too?
He sure is a nice looking dragon with good weight! I hope that he continues to show some progress. Keep us posted on Oscar, too.

Tracie
 

BadCon

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Drache613":3ribtg9y said:
Hello Chad,

I will check on the B1 but until I find anything concrete, just give a tiny amount you are giving, that will be fine. His urates could change color with the supplementation, absolutely. They are still soft also?
Based on watching him in the video it really looks like he is having trouble absorbing his calcium or other vitamins. It could be a parathyroid issue interfering, liver or kidney issues, or a tumor, but don't really think a tumor. Liver issues come to mind though, as I have seen some with balance trouble with liver trouble. At any rate, something definitely isn't right, but at least he has improved a little bit so far.
If he has slowly improved with the B1 addition, continue with that definitely! He isn't able to curl up his tail right?
Poor guy, I hope we are able to get to the bottom of this fast.
You are getting him tested for Adeno, too?
He sure is a nice looking dragon with good weight! I hope that he continues to show some progress. Keep us posted on Oscar, too.

Tracie

No, he can't curl up his tail.
 

Drache613

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Hello Chad,

After checking several sources, the dose for thiamin deficiency is 25mg/kg. So you can increase that if you would like to see if you do observe any progress.
How is Oscar doing today?

Keep us posted on him.

Tracie
 

BadCon

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Drache613":1c2tprbc said:
Hello Chad,

After checking several sources, the dose for thiamin deficiency is 25mg/kg. So you can increase that if you would like to see if you do observe any progress.
How is Oscar doing today?

Keep us posted on him.

Tracie

Wow, that's a lot more then he gets now. Thank you for taking the time to research that! I'll up his dose tomorrow.

He's doing good. I observed visible improvement in his mobility today. Still a long ways to go, but I'm letting myself become hopeful. I'm anxious to see how he will be come Tuesday, considering he's improving on a daily basis.
There is of course the cause of the imbalance, and that still has me concerned. I'm just taking it one day at a time however.

Fingers crossed for Tuesday.
 

Drache613

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Hello,

Yes, it is quite a bit. If he has a thiamin deficiency, those doses were shown to have marked improvement in a relatively short amount of time.
I am happy to hear that he is doing a bit better. I hope that his balance improves too.
You are going to the vets on tuesday?
That is a good approach, one day at a time. I am keeping him in my thoughts & hope he gets better soon.
Oscar has a lot of fight left in him!

Let us know how he is doing.
Tracie
 

BadCon

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Drache613":buzew1dr said:
Hello Chad,

Just wondering if you had any updates on Oscar for us?

Tracie

So he went to the specialist on Tuesday. A whole body CT scan was performed. The only oddity observed was periosteal proliferations along several cervical, thoracic, and lumbar vertebrae. It wasn't quite clear to me, but I believe that means arthritis. It could be due to his age and size. The CT scan showed that his spine is perfectly aligned and no vertebrae are under compression...so no back or neck injuries. There were no signs of metabolic bone disease, though I already knew that.

No lesions, tumors, or other odd growths were observed. The results indicated that no abnormalities were observed in the organs, but with an addendum that the tech who was interpreting the results was not familiar with normal organ appearance in bearded dragons...so a whole lotta good that does :roll: . The key thing however was that nothing was observed that wasn't supposed to be there.

The tech stated this about Oscars Stomach:
"The stomach is quite large and contains heterogeneous contents of mixed gas, fluid, and soft tissue
attenuation."
Beardies have big tummys. Nuff said.

The vet stated that while she was attempting to anesthetize Oscar, he vomited all over the place. The vet stated that she believed this was related to his illness. I disagree, and firmly believe it had to do with the high level of stress he was under after the 1hr+ car ride, the injections, and the handling. However he has taken to vomiting up food if I over handle him, which I believe is do to the increasing levels of stress he is under with the constant attention, the feedings, and the new enclosure.

The Vet stated that she wants me to return for a consult with their neurology department to assess Neuromuscular diseases. She was actually very interested in seeing Oscar again due to the lack of information regarding such cases in reptiles (according to her). However, the next visit will also be at my expense, and I'm quickly approaching my financial limit. Not to mention the stress it caused Oscar. That night he wouldn't sleep, and the following day he vomited everywhere and just looked terrible. Today he looked like he got the best rest he's had in awhile, and was actually laying down, which was related to another concern of mine because Oscar has taken to sleeping with his head in the air, not resting on anything. Not sure how he can even sleep like that.


So here we are again, back at square one. I know nothing new now that I didn't know after the first vet visit, aside from the fact that he doesn't have tumor (which is a good thing). So as far as I'm concerned, my diagnosis is as good as anyone's, and I'm going to keep treating for a vitamin B1 deficiency. Depending on Oscars behavior and condition this weekend, I may make another follow up visit.

I am going to move Oscar back into his old enclosure with a few key changes in the hopes of reducing his stress level and to provide him more room to move around.
 

Drache613

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Hello Chad,

Gosh, I am so very sorry poor little Oscar had such a stressful time & threw up from stress.
That is interesting that they didn't find a darn thing. It is good or bad, however you look at it.
He doesn't have cancer, or metabolic bone disease, etc. A CT scan should have revealed any type of abnormalities present.
I still think that it is going to be nutritionally related. He could have developed some arthritis, that I will agree with.
I would continue with the thiamin regime right now. Also, you could try some serrapeptase for help with the joints, too in case he does have any joint issues starting.
I hope he is sleeping well. He sleeps with his head straight up without resting it on anything?
Let us know how he is doing.

Tracie
 

BadCon

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Well, its been almost a year since I last posted about my male dragon Oscar, and I'm sad to say Oscar passed away. He turned 8yrs old on the 27th of July. I had him put down at the vet yesterday due to multiple medical concerns.

Oscar never improved and continued to have difficulty walking and eating on his own. About a month ago he took a significant turn for the worst. He kept flipping himself over on his back and was unable to correct his position. I had been observing him performing this odd gaping and gasping action for some time. Early on it was not a common thing for him to do, but as time went on it became more of a concern. It appeared he was struggling to breath. He was forcing air into his lungs via a pumping action he'd make with his mouth, because it appeared he could not breath normally. I suspected a respiratory infection. He had all but stopped moving completely and was loosing weight.

He went to the vet who performed more X-rays that showed nothing new other then more calcium deposits on his spine, and went to a second vet who performed a blood test that showed possible signs of infection. Both vets commented that it appeared he was choking on something, but no foreign objects were observed.

He was put on Fortaz, which after a couple weeks seemed to make him stronger. However he developed a necrotic infection in his mouth due to the gaping and pumping action he was performing forcing soft mouth tissue to rub on his teeth, which resulted in lacerations which became infected. It got so bad I could not feed him (he was already on a liquid diet) without him opening up the wounds resulting in significant bleeding. I tried to keep the wounds clean with peroxide and Q-tips, but it was a loosing battle. His mouth looked terrible and was only getting worse.

I had gone back to the vet after two weeks to get more antibiotics. They weighed him and he had lost 80 grams in two weeks. The vet recommended a tube feed to bypass his mouth so he wouldn't try to chew his food to avoid opening up the wounds. The vet returned later and stated that he was unable to get a tube passed the soft tissues in the back of his throat. The vet stated that due to the gasping and gaping actions Oscar was doing, and the difficulty he had getting a tube into his throat, that he thought there might be a blockage of some kind in the back of his throat, possibly a tumor. The vet stated that this tumor could have very well been the cause of his paralysis this whole time if it was putting pressure on the nerves in his neck, and stated it might have been too small to notice during all the previous tests if the CT scan operator wasn't specifically looking for it. The vet recommended euthanasia due to poor prognosis. I chose to go home with more anti-biotics, I was not ready to give up.

I went home and gave Oscar another shot. the next day I sat down next to his enclosure and watched him for a long period of time. I was watching him lay there, unable to move, constantly struggling for breath and wasting away. He couldn't bask unless I picked him up and moved him under his lights. I then had to watch him to make sure he wouldn't overheat. He couldn't eat without his mouth bleeding profusely, and he was getting thinner by the day.

My unwillingness to let go was prolonging his suffering. I finally accepted that the war was lost, and it was time to end the battle. It took another day to build the courage to call the vet to schedule the appointment, but I'm glad I did. Its finally over for Oscar, and its finally over for me.

Thank you everyone on this board for all the assistance over the years, and those in this thread that provided invaluable information when Oscar was in need. It means a great deal to me.

From our last day
20150812_130330_zpstojutyvn.jpg
 

AHBD

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I'm so sorry that Oscar struggled like this and then had to be put down. Sometimes it's hard to know what to say, but please know that others who have lost a beloved pet can really feel for you. My heart goes out to you. :( It's obvious he was a well - loved beardie.
 
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