Our 5 month old bearded has bad gout! Please help! :(

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shaninja

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Hi everybody,

My little guy Fernie has had swollen toes and elbow now for two weeks. He had just been treated for coccidia a month ago and he was already dehydrated due to the parasites in the first place. About a week to two weeks after the albon was finished, we found him limping one morning with swollen toes. The limp has since gone away and today we got the blood results. He had been put on baytril in the meantime until we got the blood results. His uric acid level is at 31! And we have since found what appears to be tophi in his elbow and now in his right rearknee. Our vet is gone until tomorrow so we spoke to another vet today who said fluid therapy is the only thing we can do for him. I know there are drugs like allopurinol and colchicine out there and our vet that is away is looking into it. Is there anything else we can do for him in the meantime until our vet can see him? I know gout is painful but he doesn't Appear to be in pain. I understand they are good at hiding it. :( we don't yet know if it's in his organs yet. Please help!!!
 

destiny1998

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Hi. You can give him 100% cherry juice foun in health food stores. That'll help break up the crystals. Mix it with some water. Hope he gets better soon.
 

destiny1998

Extreme Poster
Photo Comp Winner
Hi. Our health food stores around here only have the black cherry. Since hes a little guy I would use the cap on the cherry juice jar and the same amount of water. Just my thought.
 

shaninja

Member
Original Poster
Okay thank you. We are really worried about him. He was up to 40 crickets a day plus veggies before this came on. Now he is down to 16 a day. He was already underweight to begin with due to the parasites. He is looking dehydrated As well and won't take fluids readily. We are forcing them into him from the side of his mouth a little bit at a time so it doesn't get in his lungs. Also bathing him twice a day. At a count of 31 for his uric acid levels, has anyone ever heard of a bearded coming through with a count so high? The vet said his kidneys were definitely damaged. We are worried about how to know when to let him go if or when the time comes. We don't want him to suffer but we also don't want to give up on him either. I've read some pretty horrific stories of bearded dying from gout on here and we don't want to let it get to that point. His mobility is limited. Any other advice from anybody out there would be greatly appreciated.
 

shaninja

Member
Original Poster
Please help anybody? How am I supposed to get the required amount of fluids into him when he won't drink readily? Am I supposed to force it? Should I completely cutout his protein source of crickets? He still needs it to grow so I'm not sure what to do.
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Oh my, a uric acid count of 31mg/dl??
Do you have any pictures of him?
Too many medications possibly caused some of this. It is very hard on their systems to give medications. Do you know if the doses were correct when giving them for coccidia? Why was he on Baytril?

As for the oral fluids, he is just going to have to get used to taking them, daily. Or they vet can give IM fluids or fluids into the coelomic cavity.
The allopurinol can help tremendously. For now, black cherry extract or tart cherry works well. He would probably like the black cherry taste better. I can help dose that if you get some & need help.
I would decrease crickets for now, but not completely cut them out. Focus on greens, veggies & hydration.
A daily bath would be great for him, too.

Tracie
 

shaninja

Member
Original Poster
Hi Tracie! Thanks soo much for responding, from what I've read on here, you're really knowledgeable!

He was given a dose of albon at 0.02 ml. He was around. 05 kg at the time. He had since gained weight up to. 07 kg hut I fear he is losing weight now. He was also on panacur for worms. He was put on baytril when the gout symptoms started to show for the swelling. The vet suspected an infection. But as of now, it seems he has large tophi deposits in his elbow and under his two rear thighs. His toes are also swollen. I am afraid he is in pain and he doesn't have an appointment until Monday. We may have to order in the allopurinol for him on Monday since I don't think they have it on hand. Usually it takes a couple of days to get a med in.

Basically at this point, do you think he is saveable? Can the tophi be reduced with the medication or is it only surgery that will fix that? If he is going to die regardless we'd rather not subject him to forcing liquids down his throat and a million stressful vet visits. We'd rather have him euthanized. BUT: if you think there is a chance we can reverse the damage to his kidneys and control the gout we will do absolutely everything we can to save him. He is not on pain medication yet and we don't want him suffering. We value your opinion above all else considering I knew it was gout from the start and the vet fought against me.

I will post some pictures soon. He is looking dehydrated though and despite everything we've been doing, isn't looking better.

Thanks so much.
 

shaninja

Member
Original Poster
And we can use some help with how much black cherry juice we should be giving him. We dilute it 1 tablespoon of extract to 1 cup of water as directed by the bottle.
 

shaninja

Member
Original Poster
Our vet just called and said he had been researching information on fernie's symptoms and came across something called NSHP. I don't know what it stands for but it can apparently mimic gout and is caused by certain brands of calcium with d3 including T-Rex brand. Has anyone ever heard of this?
 

Tracey13

Member
Hello
Our bearded also has gout and I'm glad Tracie posted because she had given us a lot of good advice. I hope you won't give up hope because our Dyrdek had a uric acid count of 29.8 and he is doing well on his treatment so far. He is receiving Allopurinol and colchicine for the gout symptoms and Tramadol for pain management everyday. Our vet also told us to give him a bath every day which you are already doing. Even if he doesn't drink, he'll still take in some water through his vent. You can also put one drop at a time on the nose or mouth and wait for him to lick it off. After a while, our beardies began to drink from his bath, and recently from a bowl. He is only allowed 3 to 5 crickets a day plus all the salad he wants and worms 2 times a week. Our vet got the meds across the street at Walgreens and made a suspension out of them. Before we started the meds, he could hardly move, now he is walking all around and catching his own crickets again!
On a side note, you can do a search on Nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism in reptiles to learn about it. But what you are describing sounds similar to what we experienced. Best of luck to you and Fernie
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

The NSHP is Nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism, which can be due to a calcium & phosphorus imbalance which causes the swelling, etc. The vet said there was tophi present though around the joints?
Do you have a copy of the blood tests you could send me?
What is the strength of the black cherry juice you have?
Sometimes antibiotics can cause more harm than good & cause the uric acid to elevate more.
The tophi, once they become noticeable & are present will take awhile to break down & reduce. The allopurinol is a very good drug for breaking it down. I would also use the black cherry as well since it is highly effective, too.
I can help with mixing up the allopurinol also if they don't do that for you as well. You can mix it up to where he will like taking the meds.
I am sorry he is having to go through this. I wish I could say it was going to normalize but he is young & hopefully his kidneys have not been too badly damaged. They can be surprisingly resilient.
Pictures of him would be great also.

Tracie
 

shaninja

Member
Original Poster
Thank you both. We are bathing him three to four times a day. The vet didn't specifically say there was tophi present, I just assumed after he was diagnosed with gout, the swelling and lumps were due to tophi. However ; our fill-in vet while our regular vet is away seems to think that NSHP is more likely given his age and the fact that he was on the calcium supplement with D3 that is known to cause metabolic problems. We are still administering the black cherry juice. It is 100% concentrate and we are diluting it as mentioned before. We will be able to provide the complete blood results on Monday after his appointment. We will post pictures today after his morning feeding. He is looking a bit more hydrated and alert. The xrays that we took on three separate occasions never showed any masses or deposits, just soft tissue swelling. Gout was suspected after his blood test results due to the elevated level of uric acid but now one vet suspects NSHP. His calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood test were normal as far as the vet has said thus far but we will have the exact levels on Monday when I get the exact numbers from the results. So for now, it seems to be a toss up between NSHP and gout. Has anyone ever heard of uric acid levels being so high in NSHP with no other levels being high or low? Our vets are learning as they go so I don't take anything they say with absolute certainty.
 

shaninja

Member
Original Poster
Update: I couldn't get a copy of the blood results. It was on a piece of paper and my phone couldn't take a good enough pic to send it on here. What I can tell you is that all his levels are normal except the uric acid being 32 and his phosphorus levels are about one and a half times larger than his calcium. Calcium was around 3.4 and and phosphorus 5.6. We didn't have enough blood to do urea and creatine. We have ordered in allopurinol and a non-narcotic morphine like drug because my vet is worried the metacam would be harsh on his kidneys and seal his fate. We are going to watch for signs of dying such as not eating, not moving and if such is the case, bring him in for euthanasia. If we can keep him alive long enough to treat him we will, but if the treatment isn't helping or its getting worse after two weeks, again, we will euthanize him. He is still eating decently well and we are keeping him hydrated. He is still basking and retaining a good posture for some of the time. The vet said his heartbeat is strong although he has more than a few doubts he won't pull through even with medication. However, the vet and we are not willing to give up on him as long as we can keep him comfortable. The vet is also treating his brother from the same litter we found out today for the same symptoms. We both bought them at a store. He suspects it could be adenovirus causing the kidneys to fail considering their from the same batch. We'll keep you updated.
 
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