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Impaction problems! Please help!

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Parishak

Member
Hoping the online community can help me with this one....

My female dragon is about 2.5 yrs old. Has not pooped in approx 3 weeks - long story short:

- took her to the vet 1 wk ago, got fluids + enema + meds
- been administering laxative daily for 1 week
- olive oil + warm water + liquid diet (from the vet, plus vitamins) daily
- warm water baths + massages multiple times daily
- keeping warm, if not under a lamp then on a heat pad
- with massaging, it doesn't feel like a foreign object was swallowed - just feels like very VERY solid poop. My suspicion is she ate too many dubia roaches without enough hydration - all the shells/possible walnut shell bedding from the tank are blocking the gut.

I've already reviewed all of the living conditions with the vet - I understand the substrate, UV, diet, nutrients + etc, and at this point none of those can/need to be changed - so my main question is:

Aside from what I have listed, are there any additional actions I can take short from getting an X-ray from the vet??
Any "crazy tricks" from somebody who has experienced this? I don't want her to be in pain, or come home to worse...

Thank you!!
84586-7850991385.jpg
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

It sounds like you are doing all of the correct things to help an impaction pass, such as the soft foods mixed with olive oil, baths & extra tummy heating with the heating pad. You could add sugar free applesauce or canned pumpkin in with the slurry to help with an impaction.
Are you sure she is impacted, or has she just possibly slown down due to the season, maybe brumation?
Which UVB light do you use & how often do you supplement with calcium?
When you bathe her, do you let her swim around for extra exercise? Sometimes that extra movement can promote their GI tract to move things along better, coupled with massages to the belly.

Honestly, if you are concerned about the possibility of her ingesting the walnut shell I would highly recommend removing that just to take away any chances of her ingesting it. A lot of people have had trouble with that substrate.

Let us know how she is doing.
Tracie
 

kingofnobbys

BD.org Sicko
Looks like all the bases are covered to me.

I'd keep her on purees and a liquid (but enhanced food like vegetarian intensive care) slurry for now and avoid adding to the mass of solid rotting food that's in her stromach / upper bowel.

Are you sure she's not got a blockage due to cancerous growth in there , my friend who lost her 2.5 yr old girl beardie was told this is a common problem with captive bred beardies (often requiring surgery to sort out (a scary proposition) , she lost her beardie the night after that vet manipulated it's tummy to make it purge it's stomache, enema and the vet virtually drowned her beardie by pumping it's stomache full of water to try force anything left in there past the blockage.

Xrays are definitely worth getting in your case I think, they might help the vet work out what is needed to get things passing through the gut and to get her pooing regularly again.
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
Hi there, sorry your girl is having this trouble ! I agree with the other poster that enemas can be extremely dangerous, some dragons dying within 24 hours of them. As was mentioned, keep up the soft feedings but here are a few natural laxatives that may do the trick. Try any of or a combination of the following....appleasauce, canned pumpkin [ no spices ] baby food prunes and squash. To any or all of those add 1/4 teaspoon veg. oil and or raw honey. After a few hours give an EXTRA warm bath, a little deeper than usual. That will usually do the trick.
 

Parishak

Member
Original Poster
Thank you for the feedback!!

Still no luck today - alternating water baths + heat pads. Nice mixture of liquid diet + vitamins + oil + warm water this morning. I'll try prunes this afternoon.

When I massage her stomach I can feel the entire trail of what needs to come out (and it doesn't feel oddly shaped- just rock solid). Any guidance down, it stops before her hip bones and won't budge.
Every 30 mins/1 hour she tries to poop - some urate and water will come out but nothing solid.
Poor thing looks like she's in labor trying to squeeze something out but I can't see anything looking up there.

Fingers crossed :/
 

diamc

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Poor girl. I have had good luck heating up baby food applesauce so that it is very warm but not hot. They really like the taste of it too & you can also put in a few drops of vegetable oil. When you massage her belly, are you starting at the armpit on the right side and gently using a circular motion to try to move it closer to the vent?

Would be a good idea to remove the walnut shells as they have very sharp pieces of shell that can actually cut a beardie while trying to pass it. I used it years ago and will never again. Have read about so many beardies ingesting it and having a lot of trouble getting it out. There are so many other safer choices.
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Please keep us posted on her. I hope that she is not impacted but definitely try the softer foods, heated up if you would like, too.
Are you going to try to get an x-ray?

Tracie
 

Parishak

Member
Original Poster
Hi all -

Been giving her a mixture of baby food prunes (no added sugars, organic), warm water, critter care (liquid diet with all supplements), calcium + reptile multivitamin, olive oil - it's a nice soup.

Got one dubia roach to pass yesterday - it was like a half-digested gelatinous bug - but nothing else. Soaking in water right now - still waiting for the solid pieces I can feel to move down. They don't feel any softer/broken up.

She's entirely active and normal, wants to eat regular food, bright eyes and awake during the day. Still pushing hard every hour or so :(

Will keep you posted
 

sweetiepie9

BD.org Sicko
Retired Moderator
I think the walnut shell substrate is dangerous, it has harmed alot of beardies that I've heard of in the 9 years I've been taking care of dragons. I have mine on layers of newspaper, it's a great substrate and I've been using it for 8 years. This is what I do for my youngest, he's 15 mo old and a very large dragon but has trouble pooping. I make the bath water hotter than normal, also feed him pumpkin, which seems to work. Because I give baths more often, every 2 - 3 days, he's pooping better.

I wouldn't wait any longer for an xray at the vet, please get that done, it's not normal for a beardie to not poop for 3 weeks, plus it can cause a prolapse if she's pushing too hard with no results. The temps of her basking spot make a difference, too, at 2.5 years old, should be 100F, but because she's having trouble, put them up to 102-105F might make a difference to her.

What Diane said about massaging the belly, yes start on the right side under the armpit and move down to the vent. That's what I have to do for Castiel, my youngest, also my Cierra (my only girl) has been having trouble because she just woke up from brumation and I've been feeding her. She went weeks without pooping and it finally all came out after massaging, hotter than normal water in lots of baths but took 4 weeks to get it all out. So keep at it, but if nothing happens after another few days, please get that xray. Also lactalose is something a friend has gotten for her female, who takes over a week to poop, it has helped loosen things up for her beardie. Ask your vet about it.

Good luck and I hope the poop works it's way out soon :D
 

Parishak

Member
Original Poster
Hi all -

Thank you for the continued feedback, I really appreciate it

Unfortunately nothing has happened yet - still doing a nice soup of water, baby food, vitamins, and "critter care" liquid nutrient diet....water baths multiple times daily.

She's acting completely normal, alert with clear eyes and moving around - but she still pushes every so often trying to get this out.
I can still feel it all inside - urate comes out and some water but nothing else

Taking her to the vet this afternoon for an X-ray - will keep you all posted.

Thanks again for the feedback
 

Parishak

Member
Original Poster
UPDATE:

X-ray showed no obvious foreign objects like rocks, etc. blocking the gut. Also no tumor developments that could block the gut, or pelvic structure issues (suspicions the vet listed)

It just appears to be food that is stuck.

BUT! She did pass a dubia roach tonight! (definitely not a fully digested bug...)
I'm guessing when she feasted on roaches after laying a batch of eggs - the dubias I gave her were not hydrated enough
I think it's a bunch of their dried up shells - and it will just have to break up and come out

I'll keep you all posted.
 

sweetiepie9

BD.org Sicko
Retired Moderator
Are you giving her probiotics? I'm so glad there's no blockage as such but I'm sorry nothing the vet has done is helping her. That's why I'm thinking that probiotics might help, as can canned pumpkin. I know you're giving her a slurry, try putting canned pumpkin in the slurry, see if that helps. It's always helped me with my dragons that had difficulty with their poops. Hopefully something works before she gets sick. I'm glad she's active, that will sure help move things along.
 

Parishak

Member
Original Poster
Still nothing but an occasional "goo" piece that doesn't look like urate.....we're approaching 5 weeks without a solid poop.
I'm still syringe feeding her a smoothie every day and she is alert + swimming around. No apparent signs of pain or sickness - her muscles are just not as solid as before (not surprisingly).
 

sweetiepie9

BD.org Sicko
Retired Moderator
Jeez, I wish there was something else I could suggest for her, what does your vet say? She can't go much longer this way, that's for sure. You might want to not feed her for a few days to not add to what she's already trying to get out of her.
 

Taralachelle

Hatchling Member
One thing I've done to help my beardie and I've heard has helped others is olive oil mixed with organic apple sauce.
 
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