Lump on bearded dragon, but behaviour pretty normal. Vet wants to operate

Emmagray86

Member
Beardie name(s)
Bella
My female bearded dragon is about 7.5 years old and two weeks ago I spotted a lump on the lower part of her back, to the right of her spine. The lump isn't protruding too much out of the skin, but it's taking a up a good third of the area on the right of her spine. At first, I thought it was impaction, but she doesn't live with sand or bark, or any substrates she could accidentally ingest. Her behaviour has been totally normal, eating and pooing fine, still quite active running and climbing rocks, and doesn't look to be in pain. She seems to be drinking more but the main difference I've noticed is that she spends more time in the hot end of the vivarium, and then turns yellow from being there too long. As soon as I move her to the cold end, her colour goes back to normal within seconds.

I took her to the vets and he said as the lump is lower down, it doesn't look like it's anything reproductive (eggs/binding), but whatever it is, it's so large it must be pressing against other organs. She doesn't look skinny but he confirmed that she didn't have any fat in her fat pads so this lump must be draining her energy. He has taken a blood test to check the kidney in case of failure (if that's the case, he says the best thing for her is to be to sleep). He has booked her in for surgery on Tuesday to find out what it is, which is the same day the blood results come back. I won't have surgery until the blood results are back.

I questioned whether an x-ray would be sufficient, he said, not really, and whatever they find, it'll need to be surgically removed, which is fair enough, but just seems so intrusive for a diagnosis.

Does this lump sound familiar to anyone? And what are your thoughts on surgery being the only option to diagnose this?
 
Does she have a UVB light or light? Did she not have it for a long period of time? I've heard many people that haven't gotten a light for long periods of time and their beardie ended up getting a lump on their backs
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 2
My female bearded dragon is about 7.5 years old and two weeks ago I spotted a lump on the lower part of her back, to the right of her spine. The lump isn't protruding too much out of the skin, but it's taking a up a good third of the area on the right of her spine. At first, I thought it was impaction, but she doesn't live with sand or bark, or any substrates she could accidentally ingest. Her behaviour has been totally normal, eating and pooing fine, still quite active running and climbing rocks, and doesn't look to be in pain. She seems to be drinking more but the main difference I've noticed is that she spends more time in the hot end of the vivarium, and then turns yellow from being there too long. As soon as I move her to the cold end, her colour goes back to normal within seconds.

I took her to the vets and he said as the lump is lower down, it doesn't look like it's anything reproductive (eggs/binding), but whatever it is, it's so large it must be pressing against other organs. She doesn't look skinny but he confirmed that she didn't have any fat in her fat pads so this lump must be draining her energy. He has taken a blood test to check the kidney in case of failure (if that's the case, he says the best thing for her is to be to sleep). He has booked her in for surgery on Tuesday to find out what it is, which is the same day the blood results come back. I won't have surgery until the blood results are back.

I questioned whether an x-ray would be sufficient, he said, not really, and whatever they find, it'll need to be surgically removed, which is fair enough, but just seems so intrusive for a diagnosis.

Does this lump sound familiar to anyone? And what are your thoughts on surgery being the only option to diagnose this?
@Drache613
 

Emmagray86

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Bella
Does she have a UVB light or light? Did she not have it for a long period of time? I've heard many people that haven't gotten a light for long periods of time and their beardie ended up getting a lump on their backs
Hi, yes she does and I change it every 6 months so I'm hoping that's not the issue. Thank you for taking the time to respond
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Can you post some photos of her and the lump and base of her tail (And top of her head) so we can take a look at the fat stores and affected area? I'm surprised the vet wants to go right to surgery without an x-ray or biopsy. If she is behaving normally, then it might be worth a second opinion. Have you been keeping track of her weight? If not, I'd chart that out so you can see if it's stable or decreasing over time.
 

Emmagray86

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Bella
Can you post some photos of her and the lump and base of her tail (And top of her head) so we can take a look at the fat stores and affected area? I'm surprised the vet wants to go right to surgery without an x-ray or biopsy. If she is behaving normally, then it might be worth a second opinion. Have you been keeping track of her weight? If not, I'd chart that out so you can see if it's stable or decreasing over time.
 

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Emmagray86

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Bella
These are the photos I have taken today. She's asleep now so can take more tomorrow if needed. She weighs 440g. I haven't weighed her during lockdown but my previous vet weighed her for check ups, though, annoyingly, the vet left and they haven't saved her weight recordings. I've moved vets now
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
I don't see anything out of the ordinary. She's pretty chunky and one area is just a bit more so, from those pics I wouldn't considerate it a " lump ." When you have time, please post a pic of her entire underside to see it it looks any different. Remember that a chunky beardie can sometimes look a little lop sided. I don't see anything that looks like it needs to be operated on.
 

Emmagray86

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Bella
I don't see anything out of the ordinary. She's pretty chunky and one area is just a bit more so, from those pics I wouldn't considerate it a " lump ." When you have time, please post a pic of her entire underside to see it it looks any different. Remember that a chunky beardie can sometimes look a little lop sided. I don't see anything that looks like it needs to be operated on.
It's quite a hard lump and takes up about 1/3 of her right side of the body, but it's not always obvious depending on how she's positioned, hence I'm wondering how long it's been there without me noticing. I'll try and get that photo tomorrow. Thank you for your comment
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
If the vet didn't take an xray he won't have anything to base what his perception of the " lump" is. If there really is something there it should show up for the vet to determine how a surgery would proceed.
 
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