Gulping?

Chris92

Member
I had posted about this dragon on another thread, but now this seems more urgent...

My wife and I adopted a baby red dragon (Khonshu) on Saturday. He/she is likely just over a month old, weighing only 2 grams. When we got the dragon home, I noticed that the tip of the tail was black and decaying (yes, tail rot 🙁). We contacted PetsMart and they said they would pay for the procedure to get that portion of the tail amputated. Leading up to the appointment (which was today), Khonshu seemed to start displaying other strange symptoms (sunken eyes that are often closed, not eating, weird gulping motion). When I took Khonshu to the vet today they dealt with the tail rot, which was great. After this, I mentioned the other stuff and showed him some videos of the gulping. The vet chalked it up to stress, but said to keep an eye on it as it could potentially be something else.

I am posting a video of this behavior to get peoples thoughts on it. It is happening fairly frequently.... in fact, I have counted it three times in the last 5 min. The lack of interest in food is also concerning considering Khonshu was eating great Saturday (when we got him/her), Sunday, and Monday (crickets, mustard and collard greens, and small pieces of bell peppers).

The setup is a 20 gallon tank with paper towels as substrate. Temps are around 108 F on the basking side, 80 F on the cool side. Humidity is 40 percent and I am using a 100W Megaray MVB as well as a Reptisun 10.0 t8 UVB light.
 

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KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 2
I had posted about this dragon on another thread, but now this seems more urgent...

My wife and I adopted a baby red dragon (Khonshu) on Saturday. He/she is likely just over a month old, weighing only 2 grams. When we got the dragon home, I noticed that the tip of the tail was black and decaying (yes, tail rot 🙁). We contacted PetsMart and they said they would pay for the procedure to get that portion of the tail amputated. Leading up to the appointment (which was today), Khonshu seemed to start displaying other strange symptoms (sunken eyes that are often closed, not eating, weird gulping motion). When I took Khonshu to the vet today they dealt with the tail rot, which was great. After this, I mentioned the other stuff and showed him some videos of the gulping. The vet chalked it up to stress, but said to keep an eye on it as it could potentially be something else.

I am posting a video of this behavior to get peoples thoughts on it. It is happening fairly frequently.... in fact, I have counted it three times in the last 5 min. The lack of interest in food is also concerning considering Khonshu was eating great Saturday (when we got him/her), Sunday, and Monday (crickets, mustard and collard greens, and small pieces of bell peppers).

The setup is a 20 gallon tank with paper towels as substrate. Temps are around 108 F on the basking side, 80 F on the cool side. Humidity is 40 percent and I am using a 100W Megaray MVB as well as a Reptisun 10.0 t8 UVB light.
@AHBD
@Drache613
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello Chris,

Sorry for the delay, I will be trying to get an email tonight.
He is a little cutie, how is he doing today? Sorry he had tail issues already, at his age.
Alot of them tend to get tail injuries, especially if housed with others.
Have you been able to get him to eat very much yet?
Is he still doing the gulping type of behavior? Sometimes they do that type of behavior if
they are stressed. How long have you had him for now?

Tracie
 

Chris92

Member
Original Poster
Hello Chris,

Sorry for the delay, I will be trying to get an email tonight.
He is a little cutie, how is he doing today? Sorry he had tail issues already, at his age.
Alot of them tend to get tail injuries, especially if housed with others.
Have you been able to get him to eat very much yet?
Is he still doing the gulping type of behavior? Sometimes they do that type of behavior if
they are stressed. How long have you had him for now?

Tracie
Khonshu is still active as of this morning. He (I'm assuming boy for now) woke up with the lights and has moved into the basking spot. Unfortunately, he is still doing the mouth thing several times over the course of a few minutes. Sometimes it's just a puff where he just seems to gulp... Other times though, he opens his mouth almost like a cough (as seen in the posted video) and exhales heavily. You can actually hear it when he does this.

We got Khonshu exactly one week ago. The first 48 hours, outside of the tail rot, he was doing great (i.e. eating, alert eyes, active). I would say Tuesday is when things started going downhill. That's when I first noticed the gulp. This also was the last day he ate a full meal (he ate one tiny phoenix worm on Thursday). Since that time, he doesn't show any interest in food and often sits in an alert position with his eyes sunken or closed doing the gulp thing about once a minute. As for bugs, he was eating tiny crickets, tiny pieces of mustard greens and collard greens, and some small finely chopped pieces of bell peppers. Also, as a side note, despite not eating much since Tuesday, he has still been pooping fairly regularly. He actually pooped again yesterday.

The vet seemed to think it is a respiratory infection and has prescribed us baytril for a 10-day treatment. We gave him his first dose (super tiny) yesterday. That is an adventure in and of itself because he and the doses are so tiny. They gave us an attachment for the syringe to help just put the drop on his nose to have him lick it. First dosing was not very smooth, but afterwards, I practiced with giving him water (with probiotic/vitamin powder and kidney supplements in it). He seemed to get the hang of it, which is good because I know these are the things a dragon needs while on baytril. We are also having to do tail soaks twice a day to help heal the area of the tail that was amputated on Thursday.
This poor little guy...

Chris
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello Chris,

How is Khonshu doing? It definitely sounds like he had a rough start! I hope his tail is healing
up though.
It is definitely possible based on his previous care, that the gulping or irregular breathing episodes
are symptoms of a respiratory infection. Be sure to keep him well hydrated & if possible, continue
the probiotics too for help with his tummy.
You can email anytime, also! Let us know how he is doing.

Tracie
 

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