My bearded dragon had to be euthanized yesterday:( Malpractice?

caitlyn.smurkio

New member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Smurkio
About 2 weeks ago my bearded dragon stopped eating her greens, I assumed she was just being stubborn since she was still eating her bugs. A week later I realized some discoloration on her back near her tail. I scheduled a wellness check up and it was this Tuesday. As it got closer to the day of her vet appointment she was very lethargic and black bearding, she also stopped eating her bugs and pooping. I took her to her vet appointment Tuesday and told the vet her symptoms, lighting setup & temps, and about one of her arms turning white. The vet immediately said her lethargy was because of her uvb and gave her a calcium and vitamin shot and did not do any x-rays or other testing or blood work besides her fecal float that came back negative for parasites. I thought for a wellness exam that x rays or blood would be included especially with how sick she was or at least more of an examination would be done before diagnosing and giving shots. Me and my dad told him it didn’t seem like a uvb problem but he said it was probably a “defective uvb” and gave her the shot. During the appointment the vet was not very sympathetic and was actually really rough with my baby aswell. It seemed as if they were just trying to get her in and out as quick as possible. I felt ignored. After the appointment I was worried but hoped for the best since he was licensed and specialized in exotics. Later that evening above where he gave her the shots the bottom of her head started slowly turning white just like her 1 arm. The next morning after the vet appointment I woke up and my bearded dragon was fully pale beside the end of her tail and her beard. She looked far worse. It seemed after the vet appointment she worsened so much quicker than before. I called the vet from the previous day and asked if it was normal, the actual tech that was in the room during Smurkio’s visit happened to answer the phone and I asked if it was normal, she told me she would go talk to the vet to see, she never returned and had someone else be the bearer of bad news and the woman told me to “take her to an emergency clinic before tonight because if not she would be dead by then and it would be a waste of a lot of money”. Immediately me and my dad took her to the emergency clinic. 7 minutes away from the emergency clinic she started convulsing in my hands. As soon as we got her to the clinic they stabilized her and ran tests and x rays and found out she was egg bound and septic. I unfortunately had to euthanize my baby Smurkio since the chances of her surviving surgery were slim, I didn’t want her to be in pain or suffer no longer. I just wonder how the previous vet didn’t know she was egg bound or why he didn’t do any more testing before making a diagnosis. I wonder if he would have done an x ray or testing and found out she was egg bound, if she could have had surgery before becoming septic and could have lived. I have no idea how all that works and I understand that. Could the shots have worsened her? Or could him being so rough have ruptured an egg and caused the infection to spread rapidly? Would it be considered malpractice for misdiagnosing and not looking into it more? Should I have an autopsy done before her cremation? I am so devastated and traumatized and upset, it was so quick, which I have heard with egg bound females it is though sadly. I only had a year and 8 days with my baby. I don’t want money, money could never compare to my Smurkio, I do indeed think the vet should lose his license though. Maybe I’m just grieving and confused aswell. I feel like I should have taken her sooner or done something differently. I keep going back and fourth between personal blame, sadness, disbelief, and anger. I don’t feel as if I got closure either. I am scared to get another dragon too even in the future as I am afraid to fail another dragon baby. I miss her so much already and this is so hard. Any thoughts? Feel free to ask questions.
 
Last edited:

smaugthebeardie3756

Hatchling Member
Beardie name(s)
Smaug
I'm sorry that happened to you and your girl. I don't know if there was anything that could have been done, but it does sound like the first vet at least needs some work on bedside manner and listening to the patient. If he was licensed, I would think there would be a way to file a formal complaint at the least. I will tag one of the staff members on here that is also a vet tech that will probably have better insight. If you have the funds available, I would probably want the autopsy for my own peace of mind if nothing else.

@Drache613
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

I am so sorry that happened to you & your girl. If the vet was even halfways knowledgeable, he should
have been able to determine if she was egg bound or at least had eggs by way of x-ray or bloodwork.
Since he didn't perform either, he definitely missed a huge red flag. He definitely needs work on his
empathetic behavior but based on your information, you do have enough information to warrant concern
of malpractice. I realize it's hard to prove but you could file a complaint & it's possible there could be an
investigation at the very last.
As far as the shots causing an egg to rupture, it is always possible, especially if he handled her too
roughly & she struggled. I am very surprised no diagnostics were done, based on her condition.
It is very difficult when you have to go through something so quickly without having any time to think
things over. Very unfair & I do think he should offer money back for you. The pain is unbearable & so
awful without any answers or closure. My heart goes out to you, she didn't deserve that type of rough
treatment without any concern.
My condolences to you & your family.

Tracie
 

Jessss

Member
Hi! I’m so sorry about what happened with your little peanut :( I recently went through something similar with my recuse bee.
I use a vet in the uk called swans pool,they have one reptile vet called Zoe and she is amazing! She performed the spay on bee and is bees only vet (my other 3 also see Zoe for check ups and when needed),I saw Zoe the first day on the Monday.She couldn’t feel any eggs and gave her an anti inflammatory shot and a painkiller shot.She sent us home with a medication for digestion problems as she agreed bee was in discomfort and very very “bloated”,the next day bee was worse.She’d been black bearding,glass surfing and bobbing for a couple of days before this and refusing food but she was frantic and wouldn’t settle at all.I took bee back to the vets that morning after she’d been seen the day before,I had to see a different vet as Zoe wasn’t in.I know the other vets do not have the experience or knowledge and was very worried but knew bee needed to be seen.The first thing the vet suggested was an enema which I refused immediately,she then said that there wasn’t anything else to do as they’d done what she could do for bee.She was rough with bee and handled her poorly which wasn’t nice for either of us especially bee,I requested an ultra sound on bee as I was convinced she had eggs.The vet told me it was my choice but I’d be wasting money as they couldn’t feel any eggs and couldn’t guarantee if we’d even see anything with the ultrasound.The minute we put the scanner on her little belly you could see so many eggs,so big and all squashed together :( she was then given a calcium shot and another to start contractions.She stayed at vets for about 8 hours with no changes,I picked her up as she was too stressed to stay at the vets any longer,the next day I booked in to see Zoe my original vet and she preformed another ultrasound to see if the eggs had moved and told me they needed to be removed as one was at risk of popping.She preformed an emergency spay and egg removal about an hour after she called me to get the go ahead for surgery,it’s been 2 weeks today since surgery and she’s back to her happy little self.
Sorry for length of reply but wanted to let you know that many vets do not know what they’re doing,I love Zoe and trust her completely with my babies but that being said a vet that’s preforming enemas as a first option works at the same surgery which is disheartening in itself :( I’m so sorry your baby went through such a bad experience,I’d let her rest and have peace in knowing she’s home with you and not left behind with that awful “vet” ❤️ Also wanted to add bee was on antibiotic shots leading up to her spay as I was worried about infection from any rotting eggs,this might’ve been what saved her as well.
 

xp29

Sub-Adult Member
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby & Snicker Doodle
I have had 5 dragons total, currently i have 3. I have had 5 ferrtets also, currently i have 1. Between the 10 animals i have had countless trips to the vet. Until the last vet its been drag you in the front door ,shake you down and shove you out the back door. Unfortunately vets are a business and money comes first. I am absolutely convinced they killed or caused to die more than 1 of my babies. Including my 3 year old beardie at the first of april, they didnt even try. First word outta her damn mouth was to euthanize her. I said no. She took her back then a few minutes later all but demanded it.that trip cost me over 600 bucks with zero answers. I HATE vets.
I use a vet now that was recommended by the bosses wife,she was a tech there for 20 years. So far so good, but i doubt I'll evet trust a vet again
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 3
I have had 5 dragons total, currently i have 3. I have had 5 ferrtets also, currently i have 1. Between the 10 animals i have had countless trips to the vet. Until the last vet its been drag you in the front door ,shake you down and shove you out the back door. Unfortunately vets are a business and money comes first. I am absolutely convinced they killed or caused to die more than 1 of my babies. Including my 3 year old beardie at the first of april, they didnt even try. First word outta her damn mouth was to euthanize her. I said no. She took her back then a few minutes later all but demanded it.that trip cost me over 600 bucks with zero answers. I HATE vets.
I use a vet now that was recommended by the bosses wife,she was a tech there for 20 years. So far so good, but i doubt I'll evet trust a vet again
That is terrible- there are good vets you just need to find them-- it's good you found one you like- if you get red flags on the first visit they probably aren't any good
 

caitlyn.smurkio

New member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Smurkio
I have had 5 dragons total, currently i have 3. I have had 5 ferrtets also, currently i have 1. Between the 10 animals i have had countless trips to the vet. Until the last vet its been drag you in the front door ,shake you down and shove you out the back door. Unfortunately vets are a business and money comes first. I am absolutely convinced they killed or caused to die more than 1 of my babies. Including my 3 year old beardie at the first of april, they didnt even try. First word outta her damn mouth was to euthanize her. I said no. She took her back then a few minutes later all but demanded it.that trip cost me over 600 bucks with zero answers. I HATE vets.
I use a vet now that was recommended by the bosses wife,she was a tech there for 20 years. So far so good, but i doubt I'll evet trust a vet again
I am so sorry about your experience aswell, it really sucks! This was my first beardie, I got her last year for my 17th birthday. I did so much research before hand and along the way to provide my baby the best care and prevent as much problems as possible. The vet totally seemed like it was just to get her in and out with some “quick fix” such as a shot and blame her uvb when that’s not even what the problem ended up being. I felt dismissed and was talked to like I didn’t know anything when I explained I didn’t believe it was her uvb. Since usually there symptoms can be for various reasons I thought it should have been looked into more. I believe if they had done more examining the previous day she could have been saved. I want to get another, not yet, but eventually but don’t trust vets now at all either after my experience and the grieving process sucks and I’m afraid to go through it all over again.
 

xp29

Sub-Adult Member
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby & Snicker Doodle
It takes a little while to get over losing a pet, they become part of who you are. When you decide its time to get adopted by your next beardie ,find a reputable breeder, try to visit in person if possible. The quality animal you will get from the breeders will be worth the extra money. Pet store pets come from mills and just are not as hardy as breeder pets. What is an extra 200 dollars if it gives you years more time with your new pet
 

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