Help me help my dragon recover

ownedbyP

Member
Beardie name(s)
P
This might be a long one. Im not proud but I am hoping it is better late than never to learn.

I have a bearded dragon. Ive had him for 15 years. I was a kid when i got him and i've learned a lot along the way. Yet I have still persisted enough mistakes for him to turn out sick.

A week and a half ago i go to feed him and see that his hindleg trembles and there is sand stuck in his vent. Poop i assume, I soak him for a moment (not something i do regularily) and realise that it is a prolapse. I immediately call the nearest exotic vet. He has never been to the vet before. I have never had issues with him. We drive there as soon as the call ends. I thought I was losing him then and there but the vet sends us home with anti inflammatory and pain killers.

The diagnosis is impaction, probably from poor husbandry. My bulb was all wrong (I learned that bulbs arent enough and that they need tubes - I had no idea..) and i had been giving him the wrong supplements (calcium with d3 twice a week and not enough greens)

Two days later i am still paranoid. I can tell that my pet is not himself. I call the vet again. Off we go again. Different vet this time. She tells me its pretty serious and they might need to perform surgery with 50/50 chances. We return with P in the evening and they put him under anesthesia. They tell us that the scan shows that the impaction isnt as bad as they feared and they avoid the risky surgery, stitch the prolapse in place(?) and remove some of the impaction and send us home with painkillers, paraffin oil, penicilin and more.

We finally have another check up tuesday this week. The vet squeezes a very good amount of poop out and i am so. relieved. This is the first proof weve had that the system is still doing its thing.

Treatment is ongoing. He had his last dose of painkillers yesterday. One daily soak 15 minutes. Vibration therapy 20 minutes twice a day. Paraffin oil, anti inflammatory, penicilin. I help him out with the cloaca (vets orders) and i've seen a lot of white and a little bit of poop. It builds up down there everyday. I assume because of stitches.

I plan on upgrading my set up. The terrarium is too small but until hes better it will have to do. How do i find a table thats big enough to carry a larger terrarium? Most tables i can find are very frail looking. Putting the terrarium on the floor is not an option as i live in a cold climate. I am working to figure out how to install an armature for a UVB tube in his current terrarium but right now he has a multi bulb.

Yesterday I gave him calcium powder mixed with water. Today i'm thinking that might have been a stupid idea. Is there any risks from doing that? Can it cause impaction again? I did it because he refuses food when its dusted. I'm not sure how to go about it.

Otherwise he seems better. He will eat his greens. Three days ago he started whipping me during treatment. He is strong! And he bops his head in protest when we have treated him.

I would love your input. I have another check up in about a week but I feel so lost and alone with it right now. All I want is for P to recover so he can live the optimal life for many years to come.

Forgive errors, english is not my first language
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
This might be a long one. Im not proud but I am hoping it is better late than never to learn.

I have a bearded dragon. Ive had him for 15 years. I was a kid when i got him and i've learned a lot along the way. Yet I have still persisted enough mistakes for him to turn out sick.

A week and a half ago i go to feed him and see that his hindleg trembles and there is sand stuck in his vent. Poop i assume, I soak him for a moment (not something i do regularily) and realise that it is a prolapse. I immediately call the nearest exotic vet. He has never been to the vet before. I have never had issues with him. We drive there as soon as the call ends. I thought I was losing him then and there but the vet sends us home with anti inflammatory and pain killers.

The diagnosis is impaction, probably from poor husbandry. My bulb was all wrong (I learned that bulbs arent enough and that they need tubes - I had no idea..) and i had been giving him the wrong supplements (calcium with d3 twice a week and not enough greens)

Two days later i am still paranoid. I can tell that my pet is not himself. I call the vet again. Off we go again. Different vet this time. She tells me its pretty serious and they might need to perform surgery with 50/50 chances. We return with P in the evening and they put him under anesthesia. They tell us that the scan shows that the impaction isnt as bad as they feared and they avoid the risky surgery, stitch the prolapse in place(?) and remove some of the impaction and send us home with painkillers, paraffin oil, penicilin and more.

We finally have another check up tuesday this week. The vet squeezes a very good amount of poop out and i am so. relieved. This is the first proof weve had that the system is still doing its thing.

Treatment is ongoing. He had his last dose of painkillers yesterday. One daily soak 15 minutes. Vibration therapy 20 minutes twice a day. Paraffin oil, anti inflammatory, penicilin. I help him out with the cloaca (vets orders) and i've seen a lot of white and a little bit of poop. It builds up down there everyday. I assume because of stitches.

I plan on upgrading my set up. The terrarium is too small but until hes better it will have to do. How do i find a table thats big enough to carry a larger terrarium? Most tables i can find are very frail looking. Putting the terrarium on the floor is not an option as i live in a cold climate. I am working to figure out how to install an armature for a UVB tube in his current terrarium but right now he has a multi bulb.

Yesterday I gave him calcium powder mixed with water. Today i'm thinking that might have been a stupid idea. Is there any risks from doing that? Can it cause impaction again? I did it because he refuses food when its dusted. I'm not sure how to go about it.

Otherwise he seems better. He will eat his greens. Three days ago he started whipping me during treatment. He is strong! And he bops his head in protest when we have treated him.

I would love your input. I have another check up in about a week but I feel so lost and alone with it right now. All I want is for P to recover so he can live the optimal life for many years to come.

Forgive errors, english is not my first language
Please go over your uvb your using -- surface basking temps and how your getting them no stick ons please digital probe thermometers are most accurate - the vent is now stitched? Calcium powder is not going to cause impaction -- please get rid of the sand - if he's been ingesting it this s
wound cause impaction - use paper towels for now -
 

ownedbyP

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
P
Please go over your uvb your using -- surface basking temps and how your getting them no stick ons please digital probe thermometers are most accurate - the vent is now stitched? Calcium powder is not going to cause impaction -- please get rid of the sand - if he's been ingesting it this s
wound cause impaction - use paper towels for now -
Hi - I swapped to Ultrasun UVA/B 80w yesterday.
I use a digital probe, basking is just around 40-41c. Cool side is around 21c.
The vent has been stitched in the sides. Not completely, sorry for being vague.
Sand is gone. He is on paper now.
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
Hi - I swapped to Ultrasun UVA/B 80w yesterday.
I use a digital probe, basking is just around 40-41c. Cool side is around 21c.
The vent has been stitched in the sides. Not completely, sorry for being vague.
Sand is gone. He is on paper now.
Ok so I am going to post a website for ordering for the UK - please get this as soon as you can -
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
The calcium powder water was given with a syringe*
He needs correct UVB to utilize the calcium your giving him --- please post back on here when you get the UVB --- screen will determine the placement and distance for the UVB
 

ChileanTaco

Juvie Member
Beardie name(s)
Taco
I plan on upgrading my set up. The terrarium is too small but until hes better it will have to do. How do i find a table thats big enough to carry a larger terrarium? Most tables i can find are very frail looking. Putting the terrarium on the floor is not an option as i live in a cold climate. I am working to figure out how to install an armature for a UVB tube in his current terrarium but right now he has a multi bulb.
A lot was already posted, so I answer only regarding this:

Most companies that sell large terrariums also sell the proper furniture (table) for it.

In case that's not available or otherwise not an option: You could use pallets in case you can get them, they can carry a lot of load.

Also used old-fashioned furniture might be an option (solid wood), like e.g. a bench or for the depth better two of them (a bench must be able to carry a lot of load as for safety it's usually assumed a person is heavier than 100 kg). I've seen somebody here using the wooden part of an old couch, so basically also a bench.

Have you already selected a terrarium you'd like to buy? This can help with the choice of proper furniture.
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
If he is 15 yrs. he's extremely old and fragile. Be careful not to do too much aggressive treatment when he may be on his last bit of life. Can you post a pic of him and one of his vent showing the stitches ?
 

ownedbyP

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
P
A lot was already posted, so I answer only regarding this:

Most companies that sell large terrariums also sell the proper furniture (table) for it.

In case that's not available or otherwise not an option: You could use pallets in case you can get them, they can carry a lot of load.

Also used old-fashioned furniture might be an option (solid wood), like e.g. a bench or for the depth better two of them (a bench must be able to carry a lot of load as for safety it's usually assumed a person is heavier than 100 kg). I've seen somebody here using the wooden part of an old couch, so basically also a bench.

Have you already selected a terrarium you'd like to buy? This can help with the choice of proper furniture.
I might look into pallets. Terrarium tables and terrariums at all of this size are quite difficult to find. The one i have was hard to get as is and its not big enough.. So thats kind of my main issue.

If he is 15 yrs. he's extremely old and fragile. Be careful not to do too much aggressive treatment when he may be on his last bit of life. Can you post a pic of him and one of his vent showing the stitches ?
Vets know of age and conditions so I hope and believe they took that into account. If you could elaborate on what you mean as aggressive treatment i would appreciate it cause im not sure what exactly you mean.

I will get you pictures in a few hours, it is currently 5 am.
 

hdochow

Sub-Adult Member
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Sir Henry of Scales
the base for our enclosure is just two kitchen cabinets we painted and screwed together. cost us under 200 bucks and has plenty of storage space. pictures in my profile, i believe in my media, if you want to take a look. is for a 4xx2x enclosure
 

ownedbyP

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
P
the base for our enclosure is just two kitchen cabinets we painted and screwed together. cost us under 200 bucks and has plenty of storage space. pictures in my profile, i believe in my media, if you want to take a look. is for a 4xx2x enclosure
Oh that is lovely, i just fear i cant find any that will bear that weight
 

hdochow

Sub-Adult Member
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Sir Henry of Scales
Oh that is lovely, i just fear i cant find any that will bear that weight
i totally understand. i had the same concerns too. but that is part of why i settled on the cabinets. if they can stand up to the weight of counter tops, etc, they could absolutely hold up an enclosure. i've had this set up for just about 3 years with no issues.
 

ownedbyP

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
P
i totally understand. i had the same concerns too. but that is part of why i settled on the cabinets. if they can stand up to the weight of counter tops, etc, they could absolutely hold up an enclosure. i've had this set up for just about 3 years with no issues.
Thats a good point. I will research that a bit. The trickiest part is finding an actual terrarium though. Its frustrating that bearded dragons are so common here but big enclosures are not sold anywhere.
 

hdochow

Sub-Adult Member
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Sir Henry of Scales
Thats a good point. I will research that a bit. The trickiest part is finding an actual terrarium though. Its frustrating that bearded dragons are so common here but big enclosures are not sold anywhere.
i absolutely got lucky with my enclosure. it was right at the beginning of the covid pandemic lock down here in the US and I found a little mom and pop place in portland, oregon doing custom enclosures. i had to pick it up from them. they have since gone out of business, which makes me sad! it's a great quality enclosure
 

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