Possible RI, how do I ensure he’s okay tonight before I take him in tomorrow?

Worrywart

Member
Beardie name(s)
Alex
My dragon might have an RI. I don’t know for sure but it seems likely, he’s gaping way more than normal and his breathing seems heavier than normal. It doesn’t seem too bad from what I am tell, only the bottom part of his beard puffs out a little when he breathes, and it’s only sometimes, not all the time. But I want to know if there’s anything I can do for him until we (hopefully) get him to the vet in the morning (they’re closed now) is there anything I can do to help him out tonight? I think I know why it happened and I feel stupid for not doing more to prevent it.
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
My dragon might have an RI. I don’t know for sure but it seems likely, he’s gaping way more than normal and his breathing seems heavier than normal. It doesn’t seem too bad from what I am tell, only the bottom part of his beard puffs out a little when he breathes, and it’s only sometimes, not all the time. But I want to know if there’s anything I can do for him until we (hopefully) get him to the vet in the morning (they’re closed now) is there anything I can do to help him out tonight? I think I know why it happened and I feel stupid for not doing more to prevent it.
Keep him a little warmer than normal overnight, not hot, just a bit warmer.
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Make sure your husbandry is up to par. A lot of times URI's only can be treated through supportive measures and proper environment. Unless the vet is able to determine that the dragon has a URI, AND the vet is able to determine the URI is caused by a bacteria, antibiotics will have no effect.

Use a CHE at night to keep temp around 70-80. You don't want any light disturbing their sleep.

-Brandon
 

Worrywart

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Alex
Make sure your husbandry is up to par. A lot of times URI's only can be treated through supportive measures and proper environment. Unless the vet is able to determine that the dragon has a URI, AND the vet is able to determine the URI is caused by a bacteria, antibiotics will have no effect.

Use a CHE at night to keep temp around 70-80. You don't want any light disturbing their sleep.

-Brandon
Thank you, I have one coming in tomorrow. And I plan on having my family keep a closer eye on his temp moving forward.
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Let us know how things go at the vets. Be sure the humidity is lower overnight & as everyone
suggested. try to keep it a bit warmer overnight for him.
A lot of times, respiratory infections if very minor can be treated without medication.

Tracie
 

Worrywart

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Alex
Make sure your husbandry is up to par. A lot of times URI's only can be treated through supportive measures and proper environment. Unless the vet is able to determine that the dragon has a URI, AND the vet is able to determine the URI is caused by a bacteria, antibiotics will have no effect.

Use a CHE at night to keep temp around 70-80. You don't want any light disturbing their sleep.

-Brandon
Hello,

Let us know how things go at the vets. Be sure the humidity is lower overnight & as everyone
suggested. try to keep it a bit warmer overnight for him.
A lot of times, respiratory infections if very minor can be treated without medication.

Tracie
Hello, forgive me if I sound stupid, but what other treatment options are there? Everything I can find online talks about them getting antibiotics.
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello, forgive me if I sound stupid, but what other treatment options are there? Everything I can find online talks about them getting antibiotics.
That is because most vets aren't going to test to see if the issue is viral or bacterial. It's scientific fact that antibiotics only work on bacteria, not viruses. So if the RI is viral, antibiotics aren't going to do anything.

Either way, most vets are just going to prescribe an antibiotic. It either works because the infection is bacterial, or it doesn't work, and the body fights off the infection itself. The end result is the same though, the vet and the owner (and likely the stories you are seeing on the internet) believe that the antibiotics were the cure.

You would never take antibiotics for the flu or a cold because it's common knowledge that these sicknesses are viral in nature. The difference is most humans feel its acceptable for a Dr. to tell them to get some rest, eat healthy, and let the virus run it's course. Most pet owners do not feel it's acceptable to bring their pet to a vet and the vet say the same thing..

Don't get me wrong, if the RI is caused by a bacterial infection, antibiotics will 100% work and are 100% the right course of action, but it seems typical in our experience here that RI's are more often viral.

Additional supportive treatments for an RI would be nebulizer treatments, supplemental nutrition if the dragon isn't eating well on their own, supplemental hydration, and increased heat overnight to keep the immune system more active.

-Brandon
 

Worrywart

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Alex
Ok I just got back from the vets, they did some bloodwork and a fecal sample but we don’t have the results yet. They did prescribe an antibiotic and I’m trusting them on it, I’ve been using this vet for a long time and they have yet to steer me wrong. And they are very well reviewed in my area. The vet even made a comment that most of her patients are bearded dragons. So I trust her decision.
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Which antibiotic did they prescribe for him? We all just try to suggest all options. Too often antibiotics are automatically prescribed & sometimes not justified.
Did they feel he had a respiratory infection?
Let us know what the blood test results are, when you get them in. I hope he is doing better soon!

Tracie
 

Worrywart

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Alex
Hello,

Which antibiotic did they prescribe for him? We all just try to suggest all options. Too often antibiotics are automatically prescribed & sometimes not justified.
Did they feel he had a respiratory infection?
Let us know what the blood test results are, when you get them in. I hope he is doing better soon!

Tracie
Yes they think he has a respiratory infection. The antibiotic is called Fortaz. (Not sure if I spelled it right.)
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Ok, the Fortaz is routinely used for respiratory infections. Be sure to keep him well hydrated as best you can. Are you able to keep him a little warmer in his tank overnight, too just to help boost his immune system?
Keep us posted on his progress..

Tracie
 

Worrywart

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Alex
Hello,

Ok, the Fortaz is routinely used for respiratory infections. Be sure to keep him well hydrated as best you can. Are you able to keep him a little warmer in his tank overnight, too just to help boost his immune system?
Keep us posted on his progress..

Tracie
Yeah I’ve been keeping him warmer with a CHE. I’ll be sure to make sure he’s hydrated.
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Excellent, he should pull through perfectly fine for you then. Usually around 75-80F overnight
when they are not 100% is good. Hydration will help out a lot too. You can use a mix of water &
apple, grape or cranberry juice for some flavor for him.

Tracie
 

Worrywart

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Alex
Hello,

Excellent, he should pull through perfectly fine for you then. Usually around 75-80F overnight
when they are not 100% is good. Hydration will help out a lot too. You can use a mix of water &
apple, grape or cranberry juice for some flavor for him.

Tracie
Ok, is the juice needed or just a suggestion if he won’t drink? Cause the vet didn’t mention it. And are baths ok? I know they’re good for hydration but it seems risky here. And should I worry about his water bowl making the tank too humid and making him worse? Sorry for all the questions.
 

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