Kidney failure, pseudogout, help needed. Bloods & X-rays included

Faventia

Member
Beardie name(s)
Helio (M 31/03/22) & Sobble (F 19/06/22) - Kept in seperate enclosures
Hi all, my partner and I are very stressed + worried about our boy Helio and would really appreciate any extra help or advice at this time. He is a 1 year and 5 months old, husbandry info in profile.

Early morning August the 21st I happened to notice out of the corner of my eye Helio dragging his back leg. Just the evening prior I had him out and he seemed to be behaving completely normally, so the dragging was really sudden. When I examined him I saw that his back leg was noticeably swollen + flinched if I touched it. This was at about 7am, maybe?? Anyway, called up a local vet clinic here that specialises/only sees exotic animals (reptiles, birds, etc.) and they squeezed him in at 1pm to get checked out. Even over those few short hours the swelling noticeably worsened, and they decided to admit him. His back left leg was the worst, but by then *all* his limbs were noticeably swollen. Behaviour wise that day he was *extremely* placid, pancaking flat, not reacting to being handled or change in environment, and very sleepy.

That evening the vet called us to let us know that his UA levels were sky high- so high that they were above the max measurable range. His calcium levels were also elevated and he was slightly anaemic, indicating pseudo gout. X-ray results the next day showed some calcium deposits in his forearms, confirming the suspicion of pseudogout. He ended up spending three days inpatient at their clinic receiving IV fluids (+ daily bloods) and showed some improvement over that timeframe.

We took him home after three nights receiving IV fluids with the instruction to give him 0.6 allopurinol alongside 0.3 Tramadol daily and an injection of antibiotics (can't remember the name off the top of my head) every three days. We are also to give him daily soaks, and try to get him to drink as much water as possible. Since then, we have been following those instructions religiously and it's been night and day. The swelling has gone away/down, he is active, responsive, runs around + lifts himself up, eats his greens, drinks water from the dish in his tank (he has always been great at drinking from it tho!) and drinks when my partner does the droplets during bathtime. He's been doing a lot of poos that are just urate (the white section) this last week too, some soft and some hard/crystally.

Yesterday did a follow-up with the vet and I've just gotten the results of his new bloods.


It's not good. His UA is back to being scary high and we are to continue with the allopurinol + tramadol, and even then we should expect him to have a drastically shortened lifespan. With this high of a UA level she would admittedly prefer to hospitalise him to administer IV fluids to try to flush it out, but she recognises that we can't financially afford that right now.

I've been hospitalised (and still in hospital) since the 1st of September to undergo treatment for a brain tumour, which means my partner has had to take on sole care of Helio (except for his shots- partner has to bring Helio to me in hospital as he faints at the sight of needles 😅). Since the 21st, I've spent a little over 2k on him for all the hospital/bloods/etc. he's needed but now I've literally got 30cents to my name and I'm just so so overwhelmed and scared for him.

I don't know what to do, or how more I can help him, why he's getting worse again when he had been acting/appearing so much better and I just really really need for him to be okay or to have a direction to get him to okay.

Please, if anyone can have a look at his bloods/x-rays, give me any advice or has any recommendations/insights I would really really appreciate it right now.
 

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Faventia

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Helio (M 31/03/22) & Sobble (F 19/06/22) - Kept in seperate enclosures
My partner brought in Helio today for his antibiotic shot, and I don't know why- maybe someone else's photo during all my mad research today triggered something- but I decided I should double-check his sex.

... Helio is a girl, isn't he?? 😳

If he's a year and five months old, could he be getting ready (or overdue?) to lay eggs??? And could that potentially explain his high calcium levels and etc.?
 

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Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Sorry your dragon is having trouble with gout/pseudogout issues. That is very rough. How much
longer will "she" be on the antibiotics?
Helio is a female, yes. The higher calcium levels most likely indicate egg or follicular development.
I actually think I can see some eggs on the x-rays. The Albumin is moderately high but the overall
or Total Protein is. The Albumin levels are elevated when eggs are being produced, too.
The Uric acid levels do need to come down so the Allopurinol is a good medication for gout & pseudo
gout. You can also get some black or tart cherry juice extract also to give daily.
If she hasn't been absorbing calcium properly due to egg development or retained eggs then that is
definitely some of the causes of the conditions right now.
How is she doing today?

Tracie
 

Faventia

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Helio (M 31/03/22) & Sobble (F 19/06/22) - Kept in seperate enclosures
Hello,

Sorry your dragon is having trouble with gout/pseudogout issues. That is very rough. How much
longer will "she" be on the antibiotics?
Helio is a female, yes. The higher calcium levels most likely indicate egg or follicular development.
I actually think I can see some eggs on the x-rays. The Albumin is moderately high but the overall
or Total Protein is. The Albumin levels are elevated when eggs are being produced, too.
The Uric acid levels do need to come down so the Allopurinol is a good medication for gout & pseudo
gout. You can also get some black or tart cherry juice extract also to give daily.
If she hasn't been absorbing calcium properly due to egg development or retained eggs then that is
definitely some of the causes of the conditions right now.
How is she doing today?

Tracie
Yes, I'm doing a lot better today with it all- think it hit me very hard yesterday due to everything else that's going on for me with regards to what I'm in hospital for currently and recent similar not-good news about a family member. Sleep and some time to process has helped me be slightly less of a mess over this situation, haha.

I believe she only has a couple more jabs to go- last time my partner brought her in to see me he said there wasn't much more to go. So I assume by next weekend she'll have finished up all the antibiotics.

And okay! I saw that mentioned a few times in all the research I did yesterday about hypercalcaemia sometimes being due to egg or follicular development. I called the vet today with the info about Helio's actual sex to see if it changed any of the result interpretation or possible treatment options/avenues, but the vet was pretty confident that it didn't change anything.
I was curious about the x-ray too! Definitely see the bowel motion she needed to take, but some of the other shapes/edges I was thinking *maybe* looked like eggs (if I squinted lol....). Interesting though that albumin also increases like that during egg/follicular development!

I also looked into 'vetpay' (loan service to help with vet bills they mentioned) and have been approved for my first ever loan, so when I called the vet today I let them know that we could bring Helio in for IV fluids- though this time round on the phone she didn't sound overly hopeful about it fixing the issue. The vet however did say they could give her an ultrasound to have a look at her kidneys (and in doing so I assume they'll be able to clearly see whether she's got eggs or anything like that going on?), so I've made an appointment for my partner to take Helio early tomorrow morning to get the ultrasound and hospitalisation for fluids if she still thinks it could still help.

Yes, allopurinol seems like the best/only option to help with that, which is why we were so no distressed to find out that over these last 3ish weeks of daily allopurinol the UA has shot back up from 600-something to the 1400's again :/


Today she's been happily munching on her home-grown microgreens, very active + glass surfing from one side of the tank to the other and a lot of sunbathing interspersed with sitting in her water bowel (she's always loved just sitting in her water for some reason 😅). So as much as the UA has shot up again, behaviour wise it's still night and day compared to when we first took her to vet
 

Faventia

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Helio (M 31/03/22) & Sobble (F 19/06/22) - Kept in seperate enclosures
Photo from when she visited me last night in hospital + some photos when we first got her as a baby BC ohmylord I adore her ❤️💗

(She still likes to sleep hanging like that as an adult, I kid you not. You can also see her love for just sitting in her water bowel and giving my husband a panic attack thinking she's fallen asleep in it started very early 🥲🤣)
 

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Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

She is beautiful, poor girl!
I think that the antibiotics are probably the culprit for increasing the uric acid levels. If there is pseudo
gout conditions antibiotics will complicate conditions due to stress on the kidneys.
They do love sleeping in crazy conditions. I wonder if she does have follicles or eggs that are now
developing.
Allopurinol is very effective so definitely keep her on that right now. At least she is eating her greens,
too! Let us know how things are going.

Tracie
 

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