Probably Gout, Please Help!

Eliza.768

Member
Original Poster
After scouring these threads for all information regarding swollen legs, I'm guessing that my baby bearded dragon named Cherry has gout. On Wednesday of this last week (Oct 3rd), my husband noticed that their back left leg was a bit swollen, while I noticed that they were favoring their front right leg (no swelling at that time). We immediately got them a vet appointment for the next day, where they assumed we didn't have the correct UVB (which was correct, we did not have adequate UVB and have since replaced with an Arcadia 12% bulb in a T5 fixture above their tank as of Oct. 6th-yesterday). They sent us home with some calcium spray, vitamin A supplements, and said get better UVB and see them in two weeks. We feel as though this isn't MBD (which the vet seemed to assume, but didn't outright say), and especially after seeing so many posts with pictures similar to our beardie, we believe it to be gout. We understand that the lack of proper UVB, plus their genetics/diet has most likely caused this. Between their vet visit and today, their front right limb has some swelling, and they are definitely favoring it along with their rear left leg.

We are hoping to call a different vet tomorrow--as the first vet didn't seem to even consider gout and we aren't sure we want to go back to him--to hopefully get them on Allopurinol as soon as humanly possible. We have 100% black cherry juice and tonight was the first night we gave them anywhere between .5-1 ml. So we have corrected the UVB situation, have gotten the black cherry juice, and are looking for anything else we can possibly do for them?

We purchased our bearded dragon on June 22nd, and have had them between 4-5 months now (we aren't exactly sure how old they were when we got them). We love Cherry dearly, and are heartbroken that they seem to have developed this condition. They were on a diet of some greens and mainly crickets since they went through a massive growth spurt (sometimes mealworms when they were on food strike). About two weeks before this swelling, they did have some vomiting, but we assumed it was due to over-feeding and a supremely difficult shed that seemed to stress them out. We have also fed them dubias, and a couple of butter worms once we thought they were doing better (after the vomiting, but before the swelling). It's been a stressful month to say the least, and any help is greatly appreciated!
 

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KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 3
Hello Tracie,

Yes, Cherry is eating their greens, which we are thankful for.

Cherry is on antibiotics for septic arthritis (which is why the joints are swelling). The MBD seems to be somewhat secondary to the infection at the moment, seeing as Cherry's bones are straight. They did not give her liquid calcium but recommended that we continue dusting our feeders. (I think the early catch of MBD was obviously the improper UVB that we have already corrected). So, we are focusing on getting the infection sorted out with the injections.

-Elizabeth
What kind of UVB and where is the UVB? Brand and bulb please and is it on top of your tank or inside the tank? Placement and distance is key here for the UVB bulbs
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 3
Hi Karrie, you've already asked all of those questions, and the answers are up above in the previous posts on this thread. :)
Sorry -- so the Arcadia is on top of your screen? What kind of screen if its a fine mesh like a screen door it would need to go inside -- the screen is blocking 30% of the UVB rays --- 12-15 inches directly above the basking decor piece --- I will flag to Tracie
@Drache613
 

Eliza.768

Member
Original Poster
Sorry -- so the Arcadia is on top of your screen? What kind of screen if its a fine mesh like a screen door it would need to go inside -- the screen is blocking 30% of the UVB rays --- 12-15 inches directly above the basking decor piece --- I will flag to Tracie
@Drache613
Hi Karrie, again, you've asked me this already. I understand it's hard to keep track of all the people posting on this site :) It's a wide-mesh, and it's about 10 inches from their basking spot. At that spacing, it doesn't need to go in their tank, which we agreed on earlier in the thread.

This was just an update to Tracie's questions about the prognosis and the antibiotics they chose to provide for the septic arthritis that Cherry is dealing with.
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello Elizabeth!

Ok, just making sure. Septic arthritis is elusive & many times what looks like an infection is just
metabolic bone related. Antibiotics for extended amounts of time are hard on them so hopefully
Cherry wont have to be on them for long.
Since you did get the UVB switched out she stands a great chance of a full recovery. Keep us
posted on her progress, bless her!

Tracie
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Did you get your dragon started on Allopurinol? If so, let me know the type, etc & if you need help with compounding it,
dosing, too. Did they do a blood test on Cherry?
How is your dragon doing?

Tracie
 

Eliza.768

Member
Original Poster
Hello Elizabeth!

Ok, just making sure. Septic arthritis is elusive & many times what looks like an infection is just
metabolic bone related. Antibiotics for extended amounts of time are hard on them so hopefully
Cherry wont have to be on them for long.
Since you did get the UVB switched out she stands a great chance of a full recovery. Keep us
posted on her progress, bless her!

Tracie
Hello Tracie,

Just wanted to give an update since it's been a while. We were diligent with Cherry's antibiotics, but unfortunately it wasn't enough. The septic arthritis most likely spread to their organs, and they would not eat for us for the last 6 weeks (a bug here and there, barely taking the critical care diet mix the vet gave us, maybe a few leaves, just very little food) and lost the weight they had gained and more. They continued to be dehydrated while consuming large amounts of water (with that coming out as they went to the bathroom). Cherry's poor little body just couldn't take the infection anymore.

My husband and I made the extremely tough decision with our vet to put them down today. It's been a rough go of it, and we really hoped they'd make it through, but we are grateful that we had such a kind and caring vet to see Cherry through to the end.

Not the update we would have hoped for, but I've read so many threads that never came to a resolution, so I figured I'd share Cherry's sad news. Thank you for all of the advice and help that you gave us early on.

-Elizabeth
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello Eliizabeth,

Oh I am sorry Cherry didn't make it. It is so hard to lose one, very devastating.:cry: You did your best & sometimes no matter what you
do, their body just wont heal. I know that he was happy & enjoyed the time spent with you & your husband.
I am sorry for your loss, my condolences.

Tracie
 

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