Puzzled. Old age or...?

Edwtampa

Hatchling Member
So figured i would try to decipher what is going on. My Gypsy girl is about 12- 13 years old. Never changed much over her lifetime and she was always fat and happy. Got a 150 watt ZooMed uvb basking bulb. Added a ceramic heat emitter when i moved from Florida to North Carolina on account of the colder winters. The temperature when i had sensors was about 90's to early 100's Fahrenheit in the hot side, and her tank is about 3 to 4 feet long so plenty of temperature variation.

Always kept Fluker's adult buffet blend in her food bowl to graze on. Would feed her collards whenever i had them on hand, as long as they'd last before disintegrating into goo. Varieties of insects in rotation over the years. Superworms, crickets, hornworms especially as she loved these and i loved the fact they had no risk of impaction.

Until about earlier this year. I noticed she was keeping one of her eyes most of the time. Sure she'd open it sometimes but close it again quickly, and her aim was getting pretty bad. And her fatpads on her head weren't as full as they used to be and her legs seemed a bit...thinner. Her eye looked okay. But took her to the vet anyway. I was concerned about her eye and weight.

But vet examined her and declared the eye must be a behavioural issue. Gave her an xray. No issues, bones looked solid where they should be. Fecal came back parasite free.

Started trying to feed her a thawed pinkie once a week to build her fat back up. Did this twice, maybe 3 times. She gulped them down easy. Did some crickets twice, dusted with calcium powder. She finished the first batch, not the 2nd.

Then her weight loss got worse. I could see her hips and the beginning of her tail bone. She was also pooing a bit excessively but mostly the white part. I researched and ordered the Oxbow critical care food, herbivore and carnivore.


However Wednesday when i finally got them but hadn't had a chance to feed her yet. Came home and saw her with her mouth open and shaking her head. When i researched, found someone who had posted online about the same actions but their dragon had died. I became fearful Gypsy was dying. Especially when i held her and she became limp and unresponsive, taking a breath once every 20 seconds or so, a big one. Mouth hanging open. Really thought she was dying and i had just gotten the food to help her.

But to my surprise, she was still holding on in the morning. Moving a bit, holding her head up. So i started feeding her the Oxbow. 3 1/4 tsp of herb to carn with enough water to make a paste.

The first feeding, by spoon, she fought me but i was able to get her to eat some. 2nd feeding by syringe, still being difficult but got a little in her stomach. Today i did a feeding and got her to gradually eat all of it. She was holding her mouth open a lot during and after but i don't think she aspirated any of it (i hope). Gave her a warm bath after every time, to hydrate and help clean her up. She typically does a little poo, she had a bit more today. Last feeding and bath i swear i heard her do a tiny fart. Then i put her back on her hot side.

Checking on her now, about an hourish after feeding and bath, she's moved to her cool side of the tank again. Heads up, breathing slow and steady. Eyes closed.

So what the heck? Also i hate the fact i can't find anything on how to comfort or ease the passing of a beardie from old age. All the articles are " sick beardie and how to fix it!" Nothing about just "my beardie is old"

So any thoughts would be appreciated.
 
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AHBD

BD.org Sicko
Hi there, your girl Gypsy has lived a long beardie life no doubt due to great care and genetics. It does sound like what you suspect so it may be best to only offer food a couple times a week at most and let her go naturally while still offering a small amount of food. By reducing the frequency of feedings it will probably reduce the stress if she actively resists the feedings. Letting her lay where she wants is also good, although if you're very gentle she may enjoy laying flat on your stomach or chest. I'm sorry that this time has come [ it seems but no one knows for sure ] but you are a great beardie owner and it sounds like Gypsy has had a great life. Best wishes to you both through this process.
 

Edwtampa

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Thank you so much for the kind and helpful response. I've been racked worry, did i do more harm than good with the pinkies? Did i give her enough calcium or too much?

I did scooch her back to the warm side an hour ago before i left for work. She had an eye open a little. I'll keep it to about two feedings a week, i definitely don't want to stress her out. I know she has to go sometime and i just to make it as easy as possible.
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
You're welcome, and no, you didn't do anything wrong at all. A pinkie mouse is good protein + calcium, although not used often . I know this is a very delicate subject and also would be emotionally draining. My suggestions are just that, suggestions mostly based on what we know about the dying process of a pet or even with humans. You want them to be comfortable and not use too many " life-prolonging " interruptions that may extend a life by a few weeks or months but might make them more uncomfortable. So it seems that minimal interference is the best, aiming for comfort and peacefulness as best we can achieve for them. Gypsy could fool us and make a rally but it seems unlikely, only time will tell.
 

Edwtampa

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
They seem like very reasonable suggestions. I've only ever dealt with the death of a 15 year old dog, and two baby beardies due to utter inexperience, so not familiar with it.

She certainly did fool me Wednesday night. I honest to god thought she'd had a seizure or was in the throes of death. I was getting ready to buy her ashes box. And then find her still breathing and kicking the next morning. I was gobstopped, i really didn't know what to think.

I'm glad for the Oxbow though. I think that'll be just the ticket for her right now, regardless of how much time she has left.
 

Edwtampa

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Oh absolutely, my mom and MIL always talked about how sassy she would get looking at them if they happened to disturb her sleep. And she's such a ham, she KNOWS if you're taking pictures of her. She lifts her head and tilts it towards you.

And she is soo good with kids. She can be surrounded by kids petting her and she is so chill. An absolute sweetheart through all the years.
 

Edwtampa

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
And it was as expectedly. I checked her just now because i noticed her eyes were half open...she's stiff. Gypsy is gone.

Rest in peace, my Gypsy girl.
2018-2022
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
Aw, I'm sorry for your loss . I know that Gypsy was your special scaly friend and that this will cause a lot of grief + sadness. :( My condolences go out to you and any other family members that loved little Gypsy.
 

xp29

Gray-bearded Member
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby & Snicker Doodle
Im sorry to hear your girl passed, my condolences 😔.
 

Groggyfroggie

Hatchling Member
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Draco
Heartbreaking to hear that 💔 She shared such a long journey with you, and so well taken care of til her last days, I’m sure she’s had a wonderful life. My condolences.
 

Edwtampa

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Thank you, everyone. I take condolence in the fact i realized she lived to the very ripe age of 14 years old. I took the very best care of her, the care every beloved spoiled fur, feather or scale baby could ask for. But i will miss her very much. Her quirks, the way she tilted her head, how she loved swimming in the bath.

May she happily feast on insects and bask in beardie heaven.
 

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