dragonmastriss

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Ichigo, Mango
This is a very tough post to make, so please be kind, but I need some opinions on the quality of life of my guy. If anyone else has a Dragon with some very specific, specialized caretaking requirements, I'd appreciate some insight, if you can offer some. Or if you've had a quality of life conversation with your vet about a beardy, that would be helpful too.
...
I have a vet appointment today, to talk about this too, a message in with another, and I posted this same discussion on the facebook group Bearded Dragon Network, but just think that getting lots of feed back from multiple sources will help me to make the best choice possible.
Months ago, my boy, Ichigo, was having episodes that looked like seizures.
Since that time, we've had tons of vet appointments, blood work, fecals, etc. etc.
Everything has come back negative, which is good! And the seizure episodes have mostly stopped, also good! (although tests for the adenovirus didn't go through, as the sample was lost in transit/ruined before they could test. I don't remember which).
However, since these events, he's changed a lot. He still twitches occasionally, and still has a dark beard most days at some point during the day. He is effectively blind - his eyes, as far as we can tell are fine, but he doesn't respond to visual stimulus. You can wave things around, move slowly, and even touch his eyes without him reacting except to close them if you touch. He no longer basks on his own and he barely moves around his enclosure.
The episodes have mostly stopped, and although he's mostly still, he does black beard and spends time in a strange, half curled position some days, like he's tilting either the right or left half of his body up to the sky. Especially if I move him, or when I take him out of the enclosure to feed him, and put him back.
I have to hand feed him, since he can't see his food, and the hand feeding is difficult, but doable, so I don't mind it. The vet prescribed him a liquid diet that I spoon feed.
I've tried to encourage him to drink water the same way and he will occasionally drink if I give him a bath.
With all this in mind though, he doesn't really live the life of other bearded dragons. My other dragon, Mango, is extremely active, and other than an eye infection we are battling (stuck shed, just right, got some substrate dust in her eye) very healthy. So I have a constant comparison of what his life is supposed to be like.
Does anyone else have a blind dragon? Or one who is different than others? Does anyone have thoughts about the quality of life for these wonderful creatures?
Please be kind. Thanks in advance.
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
Hi there, I'm so sorry to hear what a tough time Ichigo is having. Does he willingly eat the supplemental food and is it Critical Care formula ? I just wanted to mention that some dragons will not focus or care about what is in front of them, I see this in my own dragons and although it'd not so extreme as Ichigo it is something to consider. One of the mods here works directly with a lab that studies Atadenovirus so you can get a test done by the experts and at a very low cost. Here is her info:

BTW, everyone here is kind + friendly, you won't get any mean people here. The mods. don't tolerate it one bit.
 

dragonmastriss

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Ichigo, Mango
Hi there, I'm so sorry to hear what a tough time Ichigo is having. Does he willingly eat the supplemental food and is it Critical Care formula ? I just wanted to mention that some dragons will not focus or care about what is in front of them, I see this in my own dragons and although it'd not so extreme as Ichigo it is something to consider. One of the mods here works directly with a lab that studies Atadenovirus so you can get a test done by the experts and at a very low cost. Here is her info:

BTW, everyone here is kind + friendly, you won't get any mean people here. The mods. don't tolerate it one bit.
Some days he eats just fine! Some days he refuses. Almost every day, he gets very upset when I have to move him to feed him. It is Critical Care, yes! with some additional calcium supplement, per the vet instructions.
Thank you for the info for that mod.
And thank you for letting me know that people are kind here. It's encouraging, for sure!
 

xp29

Gray-bearded Member
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby & Snicker Doodle
Im sorry to hear about your boy, i know its hard when they are sick, you feel helpless. I would encourage you to talk to Drache613 also and get the adv test done. Some of his symptoms sound like adv. Dragons can live a decent and decently long life with it, i hope your is one of those dragons.
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
You're welcome. :) How much does Ichigo weigh, and has his weight been stable ? Can you post pics to show his body condition and also his enclosure ? Beardies usually get a little unhappy when they get hand fed, is that when he gets a blackbeard ?
 

dragonmastriss

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Ichigo, Mango
You're welcome. :) How much does Ichigo weigh, and has his weight been stable ? Can you post pics to show his body condition and also his enclosure ? Beardies usually get a little unhappy when they get hand fed, is that when he gets a blackbeard ?
He's dark well before being fed, unfortunately. I don't have a current weight on him, but I'll get one this evening at his appointment.
His enclosure is very minimal right now, due to the episodes he was/is having. I keep it minimal to minimize danger.
But here's a picture of it, and a picture of him, where's he been all morning....
 

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dragonmastriss

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Ichigo, Mango
Im sorry to hear about your boy, i know its hard when they are sick, you feel helpless. I would encourage you to talk to Drache613 also and get the adv test done. Some of his symptoms sound like adv. Dragons can live a decent and decently long life with it, i hope your is one of those dragons.
Thank you. I hope so too.
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
Aw, poor guy is really very distressed. That severe head tilt is probably a serious neurological problem. It may be like the bearded dragon equivalent of a stroke. Since this has been going on for months I might lean toward euthanasia. I feel terrible saying that and the difficult choice is up to you. I wish you all the best in making a very tough decision.
 

dragonmastriss

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Ichigo, Mango
Aw, poor guy is really very distressed. That severe head tilt is probably a serious neurological problem. It may be like the bearded dragon equivalent of a stroke. Since this has been going on for months I might lean toward euthanasia. I feel terrible saying that and the difficult choice is up to you. I wish you all the best in making a very tough decision.
We suspect neurological too. Especially since when it all started he had these episodes, at random, of what seemed like panicked running all over his enclosure. That's mostly stopped, but he still spends a lot of time during the day looking like that. :(
Thank you for your insight and response.
 

RangoRocky

Juvie Member
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Rango Rocky Balboa
Awwww poor baby. I would test for the virus to rule that out before making a decision. If that come backs negative then I would consider the other option so he doesn’t suffer. But I say pray on your decision either way.
 

dragonmastriss

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Ichigo, Mango
Awwww poor baby. I would test for the virus to rule that out before making a decision. If that come backs negative then I would consider the other option so he doesn’t suffer. But I say pray on your decision either way.
Thank you for your insight. I will be praying for clarity and peace, for sure.
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Wow, I am so sorry he is having so much trouble. How long has he been blind & do you know
the cause of his blindness?
Which UVB lighting are you using?
Since he is having some issues with twitching, it sounds like he could be having some trouble
with calcium absorption. Are you able to give liquid calcium for him.
You can go to my website for help with testing at:
www.thepats.info

The test is only $21. When you sign up/fill out a contact form, be sure to include your mailing
address for me. It is possible he could have Adeno but I would have thought he would have
had trouble before now, but all cases are different it seems.

Tracie
 

dragonmastriss

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Ichigo, Mango
Hello,

Wow, I am so sorry he is having so much trouble. How long has he been blind & do you know
the cause of his blindness?
Which UVB lighting are you using?
Since he is having some issues with twitching, it sounds like he could be having some trouble
with calcium absorption. Are you able to give liquid calcium for him.
You can go to my website for help with testing at:
www.thepats.info

The test is only $21. When you sign up/fill out a contact form, be sure to include your mailing
address for me. It is possible he could have Adeno but I would have thought he would have
had trouble before now, but all cases are different it seems.

Tracie
Thanks you for responding!
He's been blind since the episodes started. And we're leaning toward it being a stroke of some kind. That's part of why we think at this point everything that's going on is neurological, because as you implied, my vet confirmed, if it was Adeno, we would have seen some significant downward condition. Instead, Ichigo has plateaued.
He has a Reptisun 10.0 UVB, T5 HO. Changed every 6 months. And he does get an extra liquid calcium treatment with his food. Additionally, although his calcium numbers at his last bloodwork weren't in ideal ranges, they weren't low enough to cause harm (same for his bone density) but we're still administering the extra for now and we have blood work coming back this week to see if there have been any changes.
 

dragonmastriss

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Ichigo, Mango
An update to all.
First, thank you for your words, information, etc. Having lots of opinions and resources, as well as kind words has helped a lot.
Unfortunately, Ichigo's vet called me back with blood work and tests results today. Ichigo has a gastrointestinal neuroendocrine tumor. Extremely elevated sugar levels, as well as other markers that signify some untreatable and eventually fatal (and likely painful) conditions. It's unusual that neurological symptoms came first, before the blood sugar and other blood work, but. that's where we are now.

I will be laying Ichigo to rest in the next week.
Again, thank you all for your support.
Sending love and positive health to all your dragons. From me and Ichigio.
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
Wow, I'm so sorry to hear all that you and Ichigo have gone through and how painful this is to you. I must say that you really dug deep to explore every option and that's how pet lovers are, we want to see if there's a chance, some little bit of hope to save them. You did your very best so I commend you and also send my deepest condolences that these things happened to your boy, my heart goes out to you. :cry:
 

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