Possible gout but bloodwork shows normal

Brad85

Member
Hi,

First of all sorry for the long read, trying to be as thorough as possible. In hopes someone can help.

My beardie has been getting swollen paws a lot. Been to multiple vets and no one seems to know the cause. She currently is having it going on again. She starts by letting her leg hang when I pick her up and if i try to touch she acts like it’s uncomfortable and pulls it away. She can’t really walk with out a limp and when trying she sometimes has trouble raising that arm if she has to climb higher. I should also add the swelling is very minimal right now and always in paws never the joints. The vet says gout would affect the joints not the paws so I don’t know if that’s what it is or not.

The reason I think it’s gout is it seems to happen when she eats a decent amount of insects. This week she had some extra since she hasn’t been getting much over last few months because of the last time this happened it seemed to be when she ate a bunch, Also she’s been brumating on and off. This past week I gave her 5 med dubia on Fri or sat with some repashy plus, then tues I gave her 5 more with a non d3 calcium. She also had some hornworms that day and some salad (which normally she won’t eat, had a good bit of bee pollen on it so she did eat some). Then every day or 2 I give her around 15 soldier fly larva. Now she has the issue again.

I got a vet appointment set up at her usual vet for thurs but trying to find one sooner somewhere. One place won’t call me back to see if they can get her in sooner until Mon. The other place was closed and I’m going to call in the morning but I’m hesitant there, had a lot of bad experiences with them when younger and hear all kinds of bad stories I prefer not to go unless I have to.

Her normal diet consist of:
Collard greens, Mustard greens, Turnip greens daily (mixed or one at a time)
Kale (occasionally if I can’t find any other decent looking greens)
Around 15 soldier fly larva every day or 2
A few dubia Dubia or super worms Once or twice a week (cut down last time this happened incase it was gout.)
Carrots maybe once a week if that
A few blueberries daily some days she gets extra
Occasional watermelon or banana or similar fruit
Bee pollen on salad 1-2 times a week
A little bit of black cherry juice mixed in water every 3 or 4 days
Water offered daily
Repashy plus once or a calcium without d3 usually once a week each covering her worms or dubia

She is using a reptisun t5 tube bulb for uvb that runs 90% of her cage. Just changed bulb about a month ago. I borrowed a meter (forget the name) from a friend to measure output and where she likes to sit most the time it’s in the 4-5 range, her other place she lays is around 2-4. Her basking bulb is a 75wat and I have it on a dimmer so I keep it around 93-95 directly underneath. She lays usually in that or just out to where it’s 90 or under.

The only other thing I can think to mention is one vet says her calcium in the blood is always high levels (almost dangerous) but she does get trembles evne with those reading to where the vet puts her on a liquid calcium for about 2 weeks and it seems to get rid of trembles. So they don’t know why the blood shows high but she acts weak.

Thank you for any advice or ideas on what I should do/try. This is my first dragon so I don’t have much experience and try to learn as I go,
Brad
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Do you have a copy of the blood test you could post? The calcium levels are high, & you give
calcium 1 time per week? Do you know what the uric acid levels are?
The Arcadia D3 12% tube T5 is a great bulb. Is the tube UVB mounted on top of the screen, or
underneath of the screen?
The basking spot should be a bit higher, 95-98 so if you can adjust that a couple of degrees, that
might help too.
Please post some pictures of her, along with the tank setup just so we can see her environment.
For now, the black/tart cherry juice can be given daily with a little extra water. The rest of your
supplementation schedule should be fine for now. Keeping her protein/insects down is good as
well in case she has gout symptoms.
As for gout conditions, it does affect the joints, but, the uric acid levels if high enough will cause
swelling in hands, feet, etc.

Let us know how things are going.
Tracie
 

Brad85

Member
Original Poster
Hello,

Do you have a copy of the blood test you could post? The calcium levels are high, & you give
calcium 1 time per week? Do you know what the uric acid levels are?
The Arcadia D3 12% tube T5 is a great bulb. Is the tube UVB mounted on top of the screen, or
underneath of the screen?
The basking spot should be a bit higher, 95-98 so if you can adjust that a couple of degrees, that
might help too.
Please post some pictures of her, along with the tank setup just so we can see her environment.
For now, the black/tart cherry juice can be given daily with a little extra water. The rest of your
supplementation schedule should be fine for now. Keeping her protein/insects down is good as
well in case she has gout symptoms.
As for gout conditions, it does affect the joints, but, the uric acid levels if high enough will cause
swelling in hands, feet, etc.

Let us know how things are going.
Tracie
Hi,

I’ll get some pics when I get home. Is the Arcadia lights better than the reptisun t5? I’ve not seen Arcadia local so I’ve just used the reptisun. And it is mounted insdie her cage. Her high point that she usually lays at lately has her closer to the bulb than recommended by the manufacturer so I had to move her basking spot more toward the edge of the uvb instead of directly center since it’s a lower reading from the meter I borrowed.

I’ve tried to have her basking bulb higher but she acts like she never wants in it if its raised especially since she wants to stay in the one spot she lays she may only want her tail in if even that. I’ll try turning it up again and see.

She is on calcium 2x a week at most. Usually Mon or tues she gets repashy plus then thur or fri the non d3 calcium. Every few weeks I try to only give her one a week just to be safe. Yes her vet told me a few months ago it was too high of a calcium level to withhold it. About a month later we went back it was still high but her vet started seeing her get tremors and put her on liquid. I was told it may be a false reading but she’s not sure why.

I ordered her some herbivore critcare, someone told me to try since she won’t eat veggies much that it could help and I can get some in her since I’ll be withholding bugs for a bit. It does have protein and stuff in it. Are you familiar with it? Is that a good thing to use if it is gout? Also should I not give her any bugs at all even her soldier fly larva? How long should I not give her any insects if that’s the case? I did have some left over pain meds from her last visit that the vet told me I could give her some to help her relax some. So gave her a small dose hoping it’ll help. Also is it better if they sleep more with gout or should I wake her from her brumation more and have her under her light, yesterday I tried and she just looked so exhausted I could tell she was feeling bad and turned her lights off and let her go back to sleep.

I have a copy of her labs from Jan. It was last time she was at the vet. Every time they check for gout they say it’s normal readings. Im trying to get her seen again but as of right now thurs is the only day they can. I should note this I believe was maybe a week or little longer after she had swelling started and I was giving her black cherry juice at the time.
F5885B42-726C-4402-8CD4-480846860138.jpeg
Thank you
 
Last edited:

Subion

Hatchling Member
Beardie name(s)
Zilla
Hi,

First of all sorry for the long read, trying to be as thorough as possible. In hopes someone can help.

My beardie has been getting swollen paws a lot. Been to multiple vets and no one seems to know the cause. She currently is having it going on again. She starts by letting her leg hang when I pick her up and if i try to touch she acts like it’s uncomfortable and pulls it away. She can’t really walk with out a limp and when trying she sometimes has trouble raising that arm if she has to climb higher. I should also add the swelling is very minimal right now and always in paws never the joints. The vet says gout would affect the joints not the paws so I don’t know if that’s what it is or not.

The reason I think it’s gout is it seems to happen when she eats a decent amount of insects. This week she had some extra since she hasn’t been getting much over last few months because of the last time this happened it seemed to be when she ate a bunch, Also she’s been brumating on and off. This past week I gave her 5 med dubia on Fri or sat with some repashy plus, then tues I gave her 5 more with a non d3 calcium. She also had some hornworms that day and some salad (which normally she won’t eat, had a good bit of bee pollen on it so she did eat some). Then every day or 2 I give her around 15 soldier fly larva. Now she has the issue again.

I got a vet appointment set up at her usual vet for thurs but trying to find one sooner somewhere. One place won’t call me back to see if they can get her in sooner until Mon. The other place was closed and I’m going to call in the morning but I’m hesitant there, had a lot of bad experiences with them when younger and hear all kinds of bad stories I prefer not to go unless I have to.

Her normal diet consist of:
Collard greens, Mustard greens, Turnip greens daily (mixed or one at a time)
Kale (occasionally if I can’t find any other decent looking greens)
Around 15 soldier fly larva every day or 2
A few dubia Dubia or super worms Once or twice a week (cut down last time this happened incase it was gout.)
Carrots maybe once a week if that
A few blueberries daily some days she gets extra
Occasional watermelon or banana or similar fruit
Bee pollen on salad 1-2 times a week
A little bit of black cherry juice mixed in water every 3 or 4 days
Water offered daily
Repashy plus once or a calcium without d3 usually once a week each covering her worms or dubia

She is using a reptisun t5 tube bulb for uvb that runs 90% of her cage. Just changed bulb about a month ago. I borrowed a meter (forget the name) from a friend to measure output and where she likes to sit most the time it’s in the 4-5 range, her other place she lays is around 2-4. Her basking bulb is a 75wat and I have it on a dimmer so I keep it around 93-95 directly underneath. She lays usually in that or just out to where it’s 90 or under.

The only other thing I can think to mention is one vet says her calcium in the blood is always high levels (almost dangerous) but she does get trembles evne with those reading to where the vet puts her on a liquid calcium for about 2 weeks and it seems to get rid of trembles. So they don’t know why the blood shows high but she acts weak.

Thank you for any advice or ideas on what I should do/try. This is my first dragon so I don’t have much experience and try to learn as I go,
Brad
That actually sounds like some of what I’ve been experiencing over the last 5-6 months with swelling. Seems like it’s gout but they always say it’s normal range and prescribe antibiotics and calcium. I do hope we both find out soon what is causing it for our little ones. If I find out anything I’ll definitely fill you in.

In the meantime Tracie has been a great help over this long period I’ve been dealing with stuff.,

I hope your beardie feels better soon.
 

Brad85

Member
Original Poster
Thank you both for the concern. Sorry it took some time to get the pics of her paws. I Havnt wanted to move her incase she’s sore and then of course my internet went out.

I’ll try to get some better pictures when she moves her legs.
 

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KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
Thank you both for the concern. Sorry it took some time to get the pics of her paws. I Havnt wanted to move her incase she’s sore and then of course my internet went out.

I’ll try to get some better pictures when she moves her legs.
please no more dubias they will make the gout worse -- please switch to a different insect staple like BSFL or silk worms or crickets - flagging Tracie so she can help too
@Drache613
 

shmoomunchkin

Hatchling Member
Beardie name(s)
Scooby
Really odd case...my baby who had gout (found out it was from congenital kidney disease) had VERY high uric acid levels. Your guy doesn't. Mine had swelling at the joints, juncture where the hand meets the arm.
Very odd presentation!
Your baby is beautiful by the way, and I hope he can get a good diagnosis and relief soon.
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
I would feed hornworms and silkworms, hornworms are good for hydration, silkworms are a good staple.
As far as the lighting i have had TON of trouble out of the ZooMed fixtures. I'll post a link to a thread i had on them. A lot of folk here say they have ok luck with them, but now i just don't trust them. You can get the Arcadia t5 12% desert at petsmart.

 

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
Also you said she gets trembles, that can be an indication of mbd, you also said you changed the bulb recently?
Did you check the uvb output before or after? If the old bulb was insufficient it could have caused issues.
 

Brad85

Member
Original Poster
please no more dubias they will make the gout worse -- please switch to a different insect staple like BSFL or silk worms or crickets - flagging Tracie so she can help too
@Drache613
Her main thing is BSFL. They are so small I’m not sure how many to give her though in a day. I only give her dubia once to twice a week and that’s only because her vet wanted her away from super worms and told me that dubia were the healthier choice. She’s never liked crickets since she was a baby, I’ve tried many times and she maybe ate one or 2 out of all I bought. I’ll look for silk worms. Any idea how many she can eat? Is it ok to still give her bsfl with them?
 

Brad85

Member
Original Poster
Really odd case...my baby who had gout (found out it was from congenital kidney disease) had VERY high uric acid levels. Your guy doesn't. Mine had swelling at the joints, juncture where the hand meets the arm.
Very odd presentation!
Your baby is beautiful by the way, and I hope he can get a good diagnosis and relief soon.
Everytime they do labs it comes back uric acid is fine. Takes about a week to be seen though so not sure if that plays a part in it.
 

Brad85

Member
Original Poster
Also you said she gets trembles, that can be an indication of mbd, you also said you changed the bulb recently?
Did you check the uvb output before or after? If the old bulb was insufficient it could have caused issues.
We did measure before the change of bulb and where she was laying most the time she could get a range of 2-4 on the solar meter (had to call my friend to find the name or it). I like changing the bulb every 4 months or so to be safe. The new one she’s like sitting on her new hut I got her that just under the edge of the bulb, probably 6 inches or so above her spot and she gets anywhere from 4-5 range on the solar meter depending where her head is. Still around 2-4 in her original spot. Is the Arcadia outputs much more? I don’t want to have her getting to much especially if sitting that close.

She eats BSFL as her main but usually only around 10 a day or every 2. I’ll try to find silk worms. How many should I feed and is it safe to give them with BSFL? Her calcium is always showing to high in blood work but like I said she had tremors last time it was high and they put her back on calcium so I want to be sure I don’t overdo it.

She had X-rays many times. Her bones are very bright and look good from what I been told so they don’t think she has mbd.
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
We did measure before the change of bulb and where she was laying most the time she could get a range of 2-4 on the solar meter (had to call my friend to find the name or it). I like changing the bulb every 4 months or so to be safe. The new one she’s like sitting on her new hut I got her that just under the edge of the bulb, probably 6 inches or so above her spot and she gets anywhere from 4-5 range on the solar meter depending where her head is. Still around 2-4 in her original spot. Is the Arcadia outputs much more? I don’t want to have her getting to much especially if sitting that close.

She eats BSFL as her main but usually only around 10 a day or every 2. I’ll try to find silk worms. How many should I feed and is it safe to give them with BSFL? Her calcium is always showing to high in blood work but like I said she had tremors last time it was high and they put her back on calcium so I want to be sure I don’t overdo it.

She had X-rays many times. Her bones are very bright and look good from what I been told so they don’t think she has mbd.
We need Tracie to look at the blood work and respond to that --- the Arcadia is a great bulb - usually a distance of 12-15 inches is recommended if its inside the tank - BSFL and silk worms can be fed together - usually around 3 large silk worms every 2-3 days and the BSFL depends on how many you want to feed - they are small so if not using as a main staple they would be fed in less amounts - the 10 is pretty low for feeding -- so I would definitely add silk worms to the diet --
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
It's not really that the Arcadia is stronger, it's just been much more dependable. I had 5 ZooMed fixtures fail in about as many months.
As far as the silkworms, yes you can feed along with the bsfl, silkworms are a good source of nutrients that other feeders don't have, like ash for instance. They grow fairly quickly, but not as fast as hornworms. I would offer 2 to 4 per feeding depending on how big they've gotten.
 

Brad85

Member
Original Poster
It's not really that the Arcadia is stronger, it's just been much more dependable. I had 5 ZooMed fixtures fail in about as many months.
As far as the silkworms, yes you can feed along with the bsfl, silkworms are a good source of nutrients that other feeders don't have, like ash for instance. They grow fairly quickly, but not as fast as hornworms. I would offer 2 to 4 per feeding depending on how big they've gotten.
Only Arcadia bulb I could find was this one that would fit the fixture I currently have.,it’s a 34” fixture for a 48” long cage. Hopefully it’ll work. Going to try and see if it helps. Ever since my beardie first starting having the issues I switched from a coil bulb to the zoomed. So hopefully it’ll make a difference if i try a new one.


It did say it’s a d3+. Do they do one not d3? Should I still offer calcium with d3? What about in summer when I take her outside if she feels better? I just want to be safe and make sure she doesn’t get to much. Sorry for all the questions.

Also is there a good site to get silkworms from? Local pet store is out and not sure when they will have any in or how much since they never order in bulk.

Thank you
 

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