im looking for answers. malpractice with the vet perhaps?

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Juvie Member
ok i apologise in advance this may be a lengthy post but want to include all details if possible.
now i had a female dragon, venus who when i bought her she was 2 years old and her previous owner fed her wax worms as a staple diet, she lived in dirty conditions and was bred at a year old but not before she was attacked by the male also. when i got her she was very nervy and jumpy but soon came to love her cuddles and her blankie. she was a big dragon for her stature but soon managed to get her on other livefood which i was so glad.

well this year in june she suddenly went off all food altogether, wouldnt touch a thing, i had ruled out impaction, parasites, dehydration, etc i had her on babyfood which she willingly took so i knew she was hungry so took her to the vet and she had a huge mass in her throat which was purely a fatty mass, it was removed in july she was then also diagnosed with fatty liver disease, which i could have seen coming with how her previous owner took care of her. however she recovered really well, she even began eating some of her greens but when it came to livefood or anything else she wouldnt touch it, so kept taking her back to the vet the main thing about this post is he began laurabolin steroid injections as he stated would help her liver break down fats easier, which he gave her once a month.

now from last thursday/friday she seemed to have gone downhill a bit, she had quite a black beard and ive never seen her with a beard that dark before so was naturally quite concerned, got her back to the vet monday gone, which the vet gave her the laurabolin injection (which was a week early) but he didnt seem overally conerned with the beard, the fact she had gone off all food again or had stress marks and was extremely lethargic, but he reassured me that she did have a liver problem and nothing in reptiles ever happened quickly, these things take time, blah blah blah. but from monday night she had a complete jet black beard that went half way down her chest (and i havent even seen in my male before, even when he spotted her) so called the vet the following morning for them to tell me the vet was now away for 3 weeks, i decided then that i was going to look for another vet as i wasnt agreeing with the steroid he was treating her with as i had always kept in contact with tracie and she didnt agee either, throughout all this time i did keep on questioning the injections and why he was treating her with that only.

well wednesday night just gone she was in an extremely bad way, she was holding her head downwards to the left and was running erratically in circles, i was very alarmed and very upset, she couldnt hold her head up or her body for that matter and was somewhat dragging herself, i panicked and was about to take her to another vet i had found that day, just before my boyfriend and i left she flung her head back, arched her back then went still, we thought she had died, but she then continued with the erratic movements, they kept her in that night to run blood tests, scans and x rays for them to come back and tell me they couldnt indicate whether she had gone into liver failure or not but she had a mass amount of excess tissues in her abdomen and chest which they stated could be her fat pads that were way way too much for her body or an extremely enlarged liver, they were completely puzzled with why the previous vet was giving her the laurabolin steroid also and said they would not have given her that as she already had liver trouble, they stated the alarming thing we witnessed as we were about the leave for the vet could have been a stroke and the reasons for her erratic movements and whatnot were toxins from her liver getting into her brain, thursday night i had no choice but to have her put to sleep, she couldnt hold herself up, when she did move she literally was falling all over the place and onto her sides, her beard had not changed since monday night and was the blackest ive ever seen running almost halfway down her whole body was black! i was devastated that she had even suffered for as long as she had, i wish i took her to another vet sooner.

but the main worrying thing is ive heard from a couple of people now, had she been treated for the fatty liver disease correctly and not with the steroid she may have made a much better recovery, so i was wondering whether i need to take this further with the previous vet as to his actions with the steroid. has anyone else had any kind of experience with this particular steroid? does anyone know what the side effects are in a dragon? was it way to harsh for her liver to break down as it was already struggling? i have too many questions to ask, would just like peoples opinions or facts if you know them on would it have been a different outcome if she wasnt on the steroid and whatever else anyone has to offer me. im soo upset she was only 3.
thank you and sorry for the essay.


Sub-Adult Member
i worked at a vet who was very knowledgeable with reptiles. I have seen ALOT of fatty liver diseased beardies and never had the vet given a steriod injection. now i do not know what the proper treatment is but i do remember fat deposits overgrowing and causing seziures and stroke. I agree with the new vet compleatly. I disagree with steriod injections for fatty liver disease as to me that makes no sense. I personaly had a beardie die of liver failure and what we did was i had to hand feed a low fat diet by hand and that there really isnt much you can do about liver disease. My beardie was doing great but after about a year his liver go so enlarged he could no longer breath without extreme effort and i had to euthanize. I think you should take this further as i agree she most likely would have made a better recovery without steriods. Hope this helps!


Juvie Member
Original Poster
i never knew excess far deposits could cause seizures or strokes? i knew liver failure could do that because of the build up of toxins so i suppose its a similar thing. so i was told i would know if its liver failure because she would start having seizures but they stated the blood results didnt really indicate she was in fact in failure however tracie begs to differ and believes she was, im no expert by far but even i think she was. the new vet said the exact same as tracie with regards to treatment for fatty liver disease and that was either giving milk thistle or lactoluse or serraptose (sp?) so im now going to question yet again why none of these 3 treatments were offered instead of the steroid.
thank you for your input, i dont really know how to go about complaining about it though so am going to have to do some reasearch.
does anyone here know at all? im from essex, uk so maybe someone else goes to the same vet as i used to?
any more opinions guys? please?


Sub-Adult Member
yeah i understand. well fatty liver disease does cause liver failure and yes i think that the liver cannot get rid of all the toxins because it cant break them down. I 100% disagree and i contacted the vet i worked at (with A&M university) and he has no clue why the other vet would give steroids as he doesnt believe it would help at all but also make it worse! I am very sorry for your loss and im not familiar with animal mal-practice laws in the UK. Hope this helps!


Juvie Member
Original Poster
well thank you for your input again.
anyone else from the uk familiar with what i should or need to be doing at all?
First let me say I am so sorry for your loss. It is truly heartbreaking to lose a pet and when you hear that perhaps it didn't have to happen, it makes the loss even harder to deal with. That being said, what would you hope to accomplish by suing the vet? If you say making sure s/he doesn't do the same thing to another dragon, couldn't that be accomplished just by talking to them? Chances are, they didn't purposely kill your dragon and it was an honest mistake, if it was a mistake at all. Maybe that vet had been to a meeting or read a new article suggesting the steroid treatment that the other vet hadn't heard of.

I just wanted to add my 2 cents to suggest that you really think about what you want to do. Anger is part of the grieving process, and wanting to punish someone you believe caused the tragedy is a natural reaction. But I don't believe lawsuits are the answer in most cases in which they are employed.


Extreme Poster
Sorry about Your pooper. I know what it feels like to loose a dragon even with a vet being involved.
If your thinking of suing I feel your wasting your time. Fatty Liver disease would have brought down your dragon with or without vet intervention. Having gotten the animal from the condition you did, You have no idea how long the condition was running in your dragon. And as someone already said The vet may have been trying a new treatment. As much knowledge as there is on this forum We dont have it all and sometimes medicine moves faster than people realize. I am truley sorry for your loss. I know how frustrated you must feel.
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