MBD Concerns

bergmite

Member
Hello everyone! I hope you all had a great New Years.
A while back I posted a lot about my baby dragon, Toast. Just wanted to start by saying eating is no longer the slightest issue for him and thank you all for the help. It was likely just relocation stress that lasted longer than expected.
I estimate that Toast is about 5 months old now. He’s a bit over 10 inches. He’s outgrown the milligram scale I initially bought for him, but at a vet visit 2 weeks ago I was told he was a healthy weight and size for his age. I’ll attach pictures of him and the tank at the end.

Here’s a summary of the problem, since I’m going to try to be as thorough as possible and it will likely be a very long post: Toast has been showing symptoms of MBD for a little over a month now. It started with slacking his arm under himself after he’d get picked up and put back down, but now he does it in his tank and will walk on his wrists occasionally, or he’ll just relax into a position with his arm straightened by his side. He can still run and will usually correct his feet into a normal position if nudged a bit, but I’m really at a loss for what could be causing this. After a vet visit we have him on a liquid calcium supplement and I’ve been better about dusting his food with Repti Calcium (without D3). I was admittedly bad about the calcium supplements for a couple of weeks, but I don’t know if that’s enough to start MBD. It’s been 2 weeks since we started him on his supplements and it’s either the same or gotten slightly worse. I understand that it can take time to improve, but I want to make sure I’m doing everything I can to correct it.

Okay, on to the bulk of the post… let’s start with tank specs.

Temperatures: The hot side ranges from 115-103 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool side is 80-77. I take my temperatures regularly with a heat gun from Home Depot.

Tank: 20 gallons (I actually have a 40 gallon tank unopened in my room at the moment— I got it in a couple of days ago and just need to purchase materials for it before moving him) I don’t use the screen at the top at all anymore, since there are no other animals or people in the house I’m worried about getting into the tank.

UVB: Zoo Med Reptisun 10.0 UVB T5 HO Reptile Terrarium, 24-watt bulb. The hood that it’s in is reflective. At our vet visit 2 weeks ago, they tested the bulb and told us it’s working great.

Heat: Repti Basking Spot Lamp 75w, white bulb.

Substrate: Ceramic tiles.

In the tank: I have a rock on the hot side and a rock on the cool side. A little fake plant I’m probably going to replace when I move him since he can’t really climb on it like he did when he was tiny. You’ll notice I also have a little dish in the tank— I use that for salads and discoid roaches and offer water outside the tank to prevent the humidity from rising.

Next, I’ll go over his diet:
As I mentioned I offer water daily, sometimes multiple times a day, outside of the tank. He is usually receptive to gently tapping a water dish.
He eats mainly crickets, 2-3 times a day, but I try to mix it up. He’ll eat discoid roaches, horn worms, and meal worms occasionally. I was very gingerly about the meal worms at first, but after my husband accidentally fed him quite a few and he had no problems passing stool afterwards, I’ve been a little more relaxed about them. He goes crazy for them so it’s hard to resist.
For greens, he doesn’t really seem interested in anything but collared greens yet. I’ve tried a very long list of vegetables and other leaves. Even then he isn’t great about eating them— maybe every few days he’ll munch on one or two, and he tends to favor the crunchy dried up ones. Not very nutritional, Toast…
For the record, we did bring a stool sample to check for parasites during the vet visit and it came back negative.

As I mentioned in the summary at the beginning, the main concern arises with the way he’s walking and resting. He’s lightning fast and a great runner when hunting crickets during feeding time, but he will often slack his wrist or arms. Since he walks on them normally a lot I’m hopeful this isn’t a major issue and can be worked out, but I feel like there’s still a lot I don’t know and that it’s really tough to find a good reptile vet. I’m doing everything instructed by the vet (even let up on the hornworms a lot because I was told they might be bad for calcium absorption) but I really wanted a second opinion from the forum. Thank you all so much for reading all of this.

Here are some pictures of him and the tank. I didn’t have any pictures or videos of him on his wrist and I didn’t want to bother him too much, but there is a picture of him after I picked him up and set him down on my hand.
 

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KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 2
Hello everyone! I hope you all had a great New Years.
A while back I posted a lot about my baby dragon, Toast. Just wanted to start by saying eating is no longer the slightest issue for him and thank you all for the help. It was likely just relocation stress that lasted longer than expected.
I estimate that Toast is about 5 months old now. He’s a bit over 10 inches. He’s outgrown the milligram scale I initially bought for him, but at a vet visit 2 weeks ago I was told he was a healthy weight and size for his age. I’ll attach pictures of him and the tank at the end.

Here’s a summary of the problem, since I’m going to try to be as thorough as possible and it will likely be a very long post: Toast has been showing symptoms of MBD for a little over a month now. It started with slacking his arm under himself after he’d get picked up and put back down, but now he does it in his tank and will walk on his wrists occasionally, or he’ll just relax into a position with his arm straightened by his side. He can still run and will usually correct his feet into a normal position if nudged a bit, but I’m really at a loss for what could be causing this. After a vet visit we have him on a liquid calcium supplement and I’ve been better about dusting his food with Repti Calcium (without D3). I was admittedly bad about the calcium supplements for a couple of weeks, but I don’t know if that’s enough to start MBD. It’s been 2 weeks since we started him on his supplements and it’s either the same or gotten slightly worse. I understand that it can take time to improve, but I want to make sure I’m doing everything I can to correct it.

Okay, on to the bulk of the post… let’s start with tank specs.

Temperatures: The hot side ranges from 115-103 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool side is 80-77. I take my temperatures regularly with a heat gun from Home Depot.

Tank: 20 gallons (I actually have a 40 gallon tank unopened in my room at the moment— I got it in a couple of days ago and just need to purchase materials for it before moving him) I don’t use the screen at the top at all anymore, since there are no other animals or people in the house I’m worried about getting into the tank.

UVB: Zoo Med Reptisun 10.0 UVB T5 HO Reptile Terrarium, 24-watt bulb. The hood that it’s in is reflective. At our vet visit 2 weeks ago, they tested the bulb and told us it’s working great.

Heat: Repti Basking Spot Lamp 75w, white bulb.

Substrate: Ceramic tiles.

In the tank: I have a rock on the hot side and a rock on the cool side. A little fake plant I’m probably going to replace when I move him since he can’t really climb on it like he did when he was tiny. You’ll notice I also have a little dish in the tank— I use that for salads and discoid roaches and offer water outside the tank to prevent the humidity from rising.

Next, I’ll go over his diet:
As I mentioned I offer water daily, sometimes multiple times a day, outside of the tank. He is usually receptive to gently tapping a water dish.
He eats mainly crickets, 2-3 times a day, but I try to mix it up. He’ll eat discoid roaches, horn worms, and meal worms occasionally. I was very gingerly about the meal worms at first, but after my husband accidentally fed him quite a few and he had no problems passing stool afterwards, I’ve been a little more relaxed about them. He goes crazy for them so it’s hard to resist.
For greens, he doesn’t really seem interested in anything but collared greens yet. I’ve tried a very long list of vegetables and other leaves. Even then he isn’t great about eating them— maybe every few days he’ll munch on one or two, and he tends to favor the crunchy dried up ones. Not very nutritional, Toast…
For the record, we did bring a stool sample to check for parasites during the vet visit and it came back negative.

As I mentioned in the summary at the beginning, the main concern arises with the way he’s walking and resting. He’s lightning fast and a great runner when hunting crickets during feeding time, but he will often slack his wrist or arms. Since he walks on them normally a lot I’m hopeful this isn’t a major issue and can be worked out, but I feel like there’s still a lot I don’t know and that it’s really tough to find a good reptile vet. I’m doing everything instructed by the vet (even let up on the hornworms a lot because I was told they might be bad for calcium absorption) but I really wanted a second opinion from the forum. Thank you all so much for reading all of this.

Here are some pictures of him and the tank. I didn’t have any pictures or videos of him on his wrist and I didn’t want to bother him too much, but there is a picture of him after I picked him up and set him down on my hand.
Little Toast is a beautiful boy----- horn worms I have never heard of them having a issue w/ calcium absorption they are more of a hydrating worm so some one on here like Tracie or AHBD can weigh in on that issue -- I have not heard of anyone saying anything about that weird-- --- one of the pics you posted w/ Toast arms folded under him I have seen my dragons lay like that from time to time so I am thinking thats a normal position for them -- as long as hes not walking on them that is good --- but hes got great UVB so I dont think hes got a issue going w/ MBD--- the UVB is what helps him absorb / synthesize the calcium hes ingesting and your distance you have the UVB looks good too --- ---
its great hes eating his collards --- and yes dried out ones are not very hydrating as that is where they get their hydration from -- you can try rinsing them again or spraying them in the bowl - that will help --also I recommend getting a digital probe thermometer IR guns are good but sometimes they cannot read off of certain materials and digitals are more accurate anyway -- the 115 is a little hot I would shoot for 105-110 and as he gets older hes not going to want those hot of temps 95-100
 

bergmite

Member
Original Poster
Little Toast is a beautiful boy----- horn worms I have never heard of them having a issue w/ calcium absorption they are more of a hydrating worm so some one on here like Tracie or AHBD can weigh in on that issue -- I have not heard of anyone saying anything about that weird-- --- one of the pics you posted w/ Toast arms folded under him I have seen my dragons lay like that from time to time so I am thinking thats a normal position for them -- as long as hes not walking on them that is good --- but hes got great UVB so I dont think hes got a issue going w/ MBD--- the UVB is what helps him absorb / synthesize the calcium hes ingesting and your distance you have the UVB looks good too --- ---
its great hes eating his collards --- and yes dried out ones are not very hydrating as that is where they get their hydration from -- you can try rinsing them again or spraying them in the bowl - that will help --also I recommend getting a digital probe thermometer IR guns are good but sometimes they cannot read off of certain materials and digitals are more accurate anyway -- the 115 is a little hot I would shoot for 105-110 and as he gets older hes not going to want those hot of temps 95-100
Thank you Karrie!! I’ll see about the thermometer and move his heat light a little higher. I caught his wrist in an awkward position a bit ago while he was eating, I’ll attach a picture.
 

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KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 2
Thank you Karrie!! I’ll see about the thermometer and move his heat light a little higher. I caught his wrist in an awkward position a bit ago while he was eating, I’ll attach a picture.
Ok yeah I dont know what is going on there -- I am going to flag to AHBD and Tracie Drache613 and have them take a look
@AHBD
@Drache613
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
I don't think the hornworms will cause an issue. They tend to be a popular and relatively healthy treat. Especially in part of a broader diet like what you're offering. I think he looks great in the photos and given his diet and lighting, MBD is unlikely. An x-ray would reveal bone density and identify deformation, but I don't think that's necessary. They are surprisingly flexible and sitting at awkward angles doesn't seem to make them uncomfortable. The sitting with the legs forward like in your last photo is a good example of that. Weird to us, but normal to them. If he's running around without an issue and alert/active, I don't think you have anything to be concerned about.
 

bergmite

Member
Original Poster
I don't think the hornworms will cause an issue. They tend to be a popular and relatively healthy treat. Especially in part of a broader diet like what you're offering. I think he looks great in the photos and given his diet and lighting, MBD is unlikely. An x-ray would reveal bone density and identify deformation, but I don't think that's necessary. They are surprisingly flexible and sitting at awkward angles doesn't seem to make them uncomfortable. The sitting with the legs forward like in your last photo is a good example of that. Weird to us, but normal to them. If he's running around without an issue and alert/active, I don't think you have anything to be concerned about.
Thank you a lot for your reply— that’s relieving. The occasional walking on his wrists is a newer development, but if you think he looks good I’ll just keep up with the calcium and keep an eye on it.
 

bergmite

Member
Original Poster
While I’m at it, does anyone recommend any sort of multivitamin or D3 supplement? I’ve had him on his calcium powder without D3 all his life but the vet suggested D3 once every couple weeks and a multivitamin as well.
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Since you're using a relatively high powered UVB light, he can probably synthesize D3 on his own. If you do want to try adding D3, I suggest using one of the LoD (lower amounts of D3) calcium options from Repashy or perhaps Repashy Calcium Plus which is an all in one option that has some D3 supplement included. While I don't think this is likely to be necessary, I don't think offering a supplement with a low dose of D3 would be harmful. Kind of a middle ground option.
 

bergmite

Member
Original Poster
Since you're using a relatively high powered UVB light, he can probably synthesize D3 on his own. If you do want to try adding D3, I suggest using one of the LoD (lower amounts of D3) calcium options from Repashy or perhaps Repashy Calcium Plus which is an all in one option that has some D3 supplement included. While I don't think this is likely to be necessary, I don't think offering a supplement with a low dose of D3 would be harmful. Kind of a middle ground option.
Gotcha. Thank you very much! I took this picture of him earlier while he was hunting his crickets. It just seems… off.
 

bergmite

Member
Original Poster
Forgot to attach the picture, whoops
 

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CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
My dragon sits like that sometimes too and I will often just fold it back flat, confused about how that could possibly be comfortable. If he is walking/running with his hand folded down like that, it may be a different story and worth watching though. Toast does look happy and healthy to me in that photo though. Nice bright beard. Like I mentioned earlier, the vet could use a dental x-ray (possibly cheaper and appropriately sized for a dragon) to take a look at bone density if you want to have confirmation of MBD either way. The cost for that varies a lot depending on where you are, but if I recall my local vet charged about $90 and her fees tend to be relatively low compared to other parts of the country.
 

bergmite

Member
Original Poster
My dragon sits like that sometimes too and I will often just fold it back flat, confused about how that could possibly be comfortable. If he is walking/running with his hand folded down like that, it may be a different story and worth watching though. Toast does look happy and healthy to me in that photo though. Nice bright beard. Like I mentioned earlier, the vet could use a dental x-ray (possibly cheaper and appropriately sized for a dragon) to take a look at bone density if you want to have confirmation of MBD either way. The cost for that varies a lot depending on where you are, but if I recall my local vet charged about $90 and her fees tend to be relatively low compared to other parts of the country.
Alright, thank you so much Cooper!
 
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