Help! Liver Problems! Treatment??

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Sbell77

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Hi everyone! Im new to posting, but i have been visiting this site for a while now. Unfortunately this time i need a little advice as my poor Pooch is quite sick. :(

Since around July she has been acting a little strange, mostly lethargic and somewhat off food. She does this sometimes, so i wasn't too concerned at the time. But then she started getting puffy (or bloated?) and then went completely off food. I didn't think much of the puffiness for a while though because she's always been a big girl. But when she went off food completely i took her to the vet on 9/3. He said she looked fine upon examination, but hearing horror stories about liver problems in bearded dragons i thought the puffiness could be liquid and unfortunately the vet did an ultrasound and was able to pull out a large vial of yellow liquid. He was somewhat surprised. :( He said he suspected a liver issue and said the prognosis wasn't too good. Only good news was that liver looked normal, not enlarged or anything on ultrasound, but still not working like it should. He prescribed Lactulose and she has been taking that since. She has also been on Milk Thistle for about a month(as a preventative). I also recently started L-Carnitine and I'm starting Serrapeptase.

Since she's been off food she's been getting at least 3ml/day of a homemade slurry (dandelion leaves/flowers, arugula, radish greens, carrots, butternut, blueberries, Oxbow herbivore care, and Flukers Repta-Boost) and I'm increasing it slowly and varying the ingredients, but the vet said just make sure not too much protein. I want to get at least 5ml/day in her, but she's not liking it so much. But she's getting skinny. She has a huge belly but her fats pads are flat, (not sunken yet), but she keeps loosing fat. She hasn't black bearded, but she isn't too happy either. She's mainly still lethargic, almost looks stoned sometimes, and she has recently started to occasionally get pale too. Her poops are somewhat runny and she goes 3-4 times/day. I think she has a stomach ache. Could be from the lactulose as thats a laxative? But she does have good days where she's really happy and moving around a bit and alert. She really likes being out in the sun and being held! I think she might have developed this issue after a round of Fortaz for a suspected Ri in June (she also got really dehydrated and skinny then too) but its just a guess. Vet said it could be genetic as she's from a specialty breeder, but it could also be environmental as she's always avoided her greens, so maybe fatty liver? She's my super cute puffy girl and i want to make sure I'm doing everything i can do to save her!! Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated! :)

Also does anyone know of any beardie safe diuretics, or another way she could safely reduce the fluid in her belly? It doesn't seem to be going down, and it seems to make her somewhat uncomfortable to have to carry that around. :/

Name: Sienna, but just call her Pooch
Sex: F
Age: 4-5
Weight: 555 (some is fluid weight)
Size: 18in
Tank: 36/16/16 (indoor, she also has an outdoor screen tank, were in CA, so she gets out quite a bit)
Temp: 105F hot 82F cool
Lights: Reptisun 10.0, Zoo Med Basking Light, Ceramic Heat Light
Substrate: Carpet
Diet: Crickets, Superworms, Reptiworms
She really doesn't like greens, but will eat arugula leaf/flowers, kale (not often), dandelion leaves/flowers, green beans, blueberries
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
Hi there ! Poor little Pooch, but it sounds like your'e doing everything you can. I agree that the Lactulose is adding to the runny poos, but I've seen that vets prescribe it for liver problems. Maybe cut back on it just a bit. Another poster says that alfalfa meal [ not pellets or the plant ] is good for the liver.

Can you post a few pics of her ? Here's how:
https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploads/ Then hit XIMG
 

kyleena29

Sub-Adult Member
At her weight she is going to need to eat a lot more than that to keep her from losing too much. I read a 300ish gram beardie should get 5ml 3x day. She doesn't want to eat because she either has no appetite or is in pain. Have you had a fecal done through lab DNA test and how old is the UVB light? I don't think I would even try any diuretic if there even is one. The diarrhea alone can make her dehydrated. The bloating is caused from something. A blood test should be able to tell how the liver is doing. Dandelion greens is great as a staple green so I wouldn't worry about that. Do get some protein in her whether it is critical care or baby food turkey/chicken. Just start out small because it will shock the kidneys if too much at once. It sounds like you really done your homework on natural remedies too and you may want to consider adding some bee pollen.
 

Sbell77

New member
Original Poster
Hi! Thanks for replying! I took some pix today and ill try & post them. And i haven't heard of alfalfa for liver, but ill have to see if i can get ahold of some. Cant hurt to add it to her mix. Thanks!

And yeah i definitely know she needs to eat more. But I've heard everywhere from 1ml/100grams up to what you've mentioned. Not quite sure how to dose her. The vet said 3-4ml/day but thats way to little, I'm not sure he really knew. But I've upped her intake to 6ml/day now and she's fighting me all the way. :roll: Think it makes her stomach hurt, but then she feels better after a while. Might just be all the pressure from being so full of fluid + the food. Hopefully shell get over that soon. Ive been giving her Acidopliliz+ but i might need to up that or add a bit of papaya. And she gets egg protein from the Repta-Boost, so thats ok right? And yeah! I forgot i do sprinkle a little bee pollen in her "smoothie" :lol:

The vet did a fecal and said no parasites or anything obvious. He also wasn't sure if a blood test would show much. He said they were commonly inconclusive? Hes pretty good for a vet, but he's not super versed in reptiles, but he definitely tries. Not many choices though. Also i bought her light back in April, so its not too old, but almost time for a new one, and she gets 2-3hrs or natural light most days too.
 

Sbell77

New member
Original Poster
Ok, think that worked. But she looks fairly normal except that belly! Think it shows best in the first pix, its very round and I'm pretty sure its almost all fluid. She almost feels like a water balloon. :?


88455-6347105745.jpg
88455-3885887875.jpg
88455-221852935.jpg
 

kyleena29

Sub-Adult Member
I don't know that the reptiboost would be enough for protein intake. I do know they like the taste of the turkey/chicken baby food. Maybe mix some of it with the other stuff to give it better flavor. As for the bloating, do you know if the vet himself did a fecal float or was it done through a lab with dna testing? I ask this because my vet tested my little guy 3x and the 4th was sent to the lab and found a lot of coccidia. (I don't know why she didn't see it, kinda upsets me). She's not a specialist either. I would make sure it went through dna testing first.
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

That is too bad your girl has liver issues, she is beautiful though.
It sounds like you are doing everything you can from supplementing the milk thistle, serrapeptase, extra supplementation & the lactulose.
The lactulose will tend to make the stools looser than normal so you could cut back a little bit on the use of that.
I have heard of good things with using alfalfa, just for liver support. Extra oral fluids are helpful as well to flush the system, regularly.
A blood test can help determine the enzyme output of the liver along with the kidneys, among a lot of other values, too. At the moment, that may be too stressful to put her through. The liver can regenerate & heal if it does have some damage.
What kind of UVB lighting are you using?

I hope she is feeling better soon.
Tracie
 

Sbell77

New member
Original Poster
Hi, thanks! She is the sweetest beardie, just loves to be held! But it is unfortunate, i don't know whats causing her problems, I'm just hoping shell pull through. Or at least stabilize a bit more then i can possibly go for testing to see if theres an underlying issue or something.

And I've been cautious on the additional fluids. I read somewhere it could add to the water weight and make them more uncomfortable? She's just been getting the water i mix in her smoothie and anything she wants to drink from her bath. Do you think i should give her a water or juice mix too?

Also do you know about how much food i should be giving her per day? Ive got it up to 6ml/day. But i don't know if I'm under or over feeding her. Ive seen a lot of conflicting amounts?

And she has a Reptisun 10.0, its just going on 6months old.
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Unfortunately, a lot of the specialized morphs are inbred which does contribute to health issues. I am not saying that is the case here, but genetics do play a huge role in how robust & healthy they are & stay. She is beautiful & I am sure she is a little sweetie pie!
I would say 6mls is fine. She doesn't need to gain weight, but needs nourishment & to support her liver to help heal. If you are putting water or juice in with the mixture then that should be sufficient. I agree, you don't want her to bloat more additionally to where she is miserable.
The Reptisun 10 tube bulb is fine at 6 months. You can consider changing it out soon, just so that it maintains its output for UVB emissions.

Let us know how she is doing.
Tracie
 
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