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AHBD

BD.org Sicko
Good to know that you can see what might be a good direction to go and hopefully there is a light at the end of the tunnel and a resolution to Spike's problems !
 

Spider8ait1994

Member
Original Poster
Ok so Spike had a followup today to check how the biopsy site is healing up and that’s healing well. I’ve also had some questions answered by the vet and will post photos of the q’s and A’s as well as transcribe them here for ease of reading. He has another follow up specifically for the osteomyelitis next month.

1: What effect would this condition have on him?
Osteomyelitis is painful. In severe cases where infection eats through significant amounts of bone jaw fractures may result. He may have difficulty eating if it progresses.

2: what on the X-rays shows the osteomyelitis?
Areas of radiolucency (?) ie. mottling and ‘dark spots’. Vet stated affected area was ‘midline’ tip of jaw at front of snout.

3: I have done some research and found mention of some possibility of “scraping the infection out of the bone”. Is there potential for this in his case?
Spike has no open wounds or stomatitis/periodontitis currently so this has not been reccomended for Spike.

4: I e also found mention of an antibiotic called ‘Baytril’ that seems to be used often for this with success. Would it be worth trying different antibiotics?
Baytril (Ennofloxacin) has poor penetration into the bone than Ceftazadime (injections he is currently on).

5: should I give a probiotic? I have heart this can be beneficial in lon term antibiotic treatment cases.
Gut dysbios is not often seen in reptiles on cedtazadime. Probiotics formulated for humans and mammals often do not contain the same micro flora populations in reptiles so their efficacy is questionable.

6: I’ve heard long term antibiotics can affect the kidneys/liver. Is this a concern and if so is there anything I can do to minimise/manage it? I have heard of milk thistle for liver care.
We would not expect liver/kidney damage with his current medications. However Meloxicam (NSAIDS) has potential to cause kidney problems chronically hence why we are only using this every second day. It is a balance between this and pain relief/quality of life.

7: from what I’ve found in my research with proper treatment the affected dragon often recovers and the infection clears up/shrinks down. Is this a possibility?
Certainly a possibility however even if there is resolution of infection the changes to already affected bone is permanent.

8: if so and he recovers fully/mostly what if any long term effects can there be and how do I manage them?
See above. Management MAY involve feeding softer foods, additional pain relief if needed, assist feeding if he has trouble eating on his own. None of this is required currently.

9: any effect on lifespan?
If there is severe progression preventing his ability to eat etc this can reduce lifespan due to welfare concerns.

10: Given the condition how often should I book him in for dental checkups? (Eg annually, half yearly etc). How frequently should I wipe his teeth over with a q-tip?
Would reccomend 3 monthly checks of dental health and stage dental procedures according to this. May be yearly. Care with a-tips can get fibres caught on teeth, can use sturdy gauze instead.

11: apparently osteomyelitis is usually bacterial in nature. Would it be possible/worth it to attempt to take a swab/sample to test/culture for the specific bacteria strain responsible and tailor treatment to it for maximum success? Sample for testing via needle aspiration?
Certainly a possibility, however for culture of boney infection this required deep FNA (?) of bone. Samples can be hard to obtain.
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AHBD

BD.org Sicko
Wow, your thinking + writing out all of your questions is really commendable . Your dragon is in the best hands he could be in and I think that your vet could hire you to assess every beardie that comes in to the office, you are very thorough ! Hope all goes well for Spike. I think that your vet will learn from this as well.
 

Spider8ait1994

Member
Original Poster
Wow, your thinking + writing out all of your questions is really commendable . Your dragon is in the best hands he could be in and I think that your vet could hire you to assess every beardie that comes in to the office, you are very thorough ! Hope all goes well for Spike. I think that your vet will learn from this as well.
Thankyou. I had actually considered vet work previously but unfortunately while I’m good with animals I’m not so great with people. That said I am working more toward getting into the conservation and rehabilitation side of reptile/amphibian work.
I’m of the belief that you’re never truly done learning particularly when it comes to animals so whenever there’s an opportunity to add to my knowledge I’ll take it. Additionally so because I have these rescue dragons and their potential for the best life they can have depends on the extent of my knowledge regarding captive care of their species and reptiles in general.
So for reptile owners if possible for them I definitely reccomend looking into taking a herpetology/reptile zoology course. I sure learned a lot from the course I took and it’s helped me to pick up on abnormalities in my dragons behaviour and appearance early.
I’ll also post another update after Spike’s next follow up (sometime in December) which will focus more on how the treatment of the osteo is coming along.
 

Spider8ait1994

Member
Original Poster
A new update.
The final test they were running from the biopsy came back and showed that there’s no fungal OR really bad bacteria involvement and what is present is a basic inflammatory bacteria.
The treatment he’s been on and still is on is the best possible for this sort of bacteria.
Additionally he’s had his 1 month follow up post biopsy and has gained weight which indicates he’s eating more.
The vet also said that he seems a lot more comfortable and there’s definitely less swelling than there was the last time she saw him (1 week post biopsy)
As a result of this we’ve decided to push back the Meloxicam to every third day instead of every second day.
This so far is going great and additionally it now means he’s having the pain relief on the same days as his antibiotic injections.
I give him the pain relief first thing in the morning then get him something to eat while we wait 8-10 minutes for the pain relief to start to kick in and THEN I give him his injection.
He’s always good tolerating his injections but I’ve found he’s definitely handling them better if I give the pain relief first.
He’s also shedding now, finished up shedding his snout and eyes and has been getting ready to do his whole back, stomach and both his thighs so tbh he looks like he’s wearing a little jumpsuit at the moment.
So to summarise there’s no concerns and all is going well with visible improvement.
 
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