Seizure...Stroke?

bayoupig5

Sub-Adult Member
Apologies for the long post. It has been a rough night so far and to compound the issue I just lost Akasha to an unknown illness about 5 weeks ago, and now things do not look great for Littlefoot.

Littlefoot is 10.4 years old, and this year had been tough as after 2 weeks of being awake from brumation she laid her first clutch of eggs. She then proceeded to lay 4 more clutches with the last one happening about 4 weeks ago.

I honestly thought I was going to lose her after the last clutch, as she had lost about 50 to 70 grams during the whole egg laying season. She was so skeletal looking, and so tired, she just laid in one spot for 4 days, but she bounced back.

During this whole egg laying process I had upped her calcium dosage to 6 days per week, with a multi 1 day per week. I was also much more generous with the calcium than a small dusting to ensure her stores were being replenished. I used Zoomed calcium with D3 more in Feb, March, and April, but gave her regular Zoomed calcium May, June and now as I have Littlefoot outside about 2 to 3 times a week depending on the weather.

I had to assist feed Littlefoot a lot during egg laying as she just was never hungry enough on her own. She got Repashy veggie burger, beardie buffet, grub pie, and a mixture of slurry veggies and dubias, phoenix and supers. She finally seemed to have stopped egg production and had recently gained about 25 grams and was looking really well. Today was bug day and I was so happy to see that she ate 15 supers and 4 phoenix worms on her own..... and then....

About 10 pm tonight I heard a snap, or crack sound and my dogs were barking at my front door, no one was there, but while walking by Littlefoot's viv I saw she was wide awake 1 hour after her lights were out. I went to pick her up and she almost bent herself in half backwards, gaping, legs stretched and shaky. I put her down and she seemed ok for a bit. I picked her up once more and again this happened. I was completely terrified. Then she had one last episode where she actually flipped herself over. I righted her, placed her on a fleece, covered her, and placed two rolled towels on either side of her. I stroked her head and after about 15 minutes and she finally seemed to fall asleep.

It is now midnight and she seems to be settled...I am not, really not tired after that adreniline rush. I will see if I can get her to a vet tomorrow (Sunday), but there may not be a reptile vet available. I doubt there is little I can do.

Is there anyway this could be MBD? She has been on vits and calcium since day 1, and I consciously gave her much more calcium than required over the last 4 months. She has always had high quality UVB tubes (Reptisun and the last 3 years Arcadia). The UVB is mounted to the inside of the viv, has a reflector and is within 15 inches of the basking spot and 16 inches everywhere else (Arcadia 12%). Basking area is black slate and ranges from 100F to 104F with temp gun. UVB is new and was replaced June of 2022.

I am really worried for her, she already had trouble walking with her previous septic arthritis in 2018, and even though the sepsis healed her walking ability got worse over the years and she became a little unstable. Given that the walking and stability has been off for a while I am now thinking this seizure is just the end to something neurologically wrong with her.

Any thoughts?, gonna check on her once more and try to sleep tonight.
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

I am so sorry your Littlefoot is having a terrible time! That is a lot of eggs so it is possible that she
has developed metabolic bone disease from the egg laying.
Your Arcadia D3 12% is that a regular T8 or a T5 tube bulb?
Does she still have issues with sepsis right now?
Poor girl, it sounds like she had some type of seizure. Is her beard normal color?
If you could take a video of her that might be good if possible. It does sound like she is having some
neurological problems. I will try to help as much as I can.
Maybe consider getting her on a liquid calcium, instead of powdered, it usually absorbs faster.

Let us know how she is doing.
Tracie
 

bayoupig5

Sub-Adult Member
Original Poster
Her bulb is a T5. I phoned around 2 months ago to all my vets in the hopes of buying liquid calcium, but no one had any. My local reptile stores do not carry it either. I would have to order online, but it may be too late for that. Her septic arthritis totally cleared and she has been recovered with no further incidents since 2018. Her beard is not black, now, but I could not really tell last night as I was in a state of panic and a little shock, but I do not think so.

Both vets are not open today. I have shut off her lights today, hoping to keep her asleep and calm. She is sleeping and if I can I hope to keep her this way for today. I am so worried for her and do not want to add any stress.

Update - well despite trying to keep her asleep, she woke up and moved out of her bed. She is not black bearded and is basking. I am checking on her every 30 min, with fingers crossed.
 
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AHBD

BD.org Sicko
Wow, that's scary ! It may have been some type of seizure but not sure if she was possibly over supplemented with D3 for a while. Her age complicates things too, all animals change as they get older so who knows if the egg laying itself brought enough strain to cause a light stroke. I say light because thankfully it seems like she started doing O.K after. How is she doing now ?
 

bayoupig5

Sub-Adult Member
Original Poster
Her bulb is a T5. I phoned around 2 months ago to all my vets in the hopes of buying liquid calcium, but no one had any. My local reptile stores do not carry it either. I would have to order online, but it may be too late for that.

Wow, that's scary ! It may have been some type of seizure but not sure if she was possibly over supplemented with D3 for a while. Her age complicates things too, all animals change as they get older so who knows if the egg laying itself brought enough strain to cause a light stroke. I say light because thankfully it seems like she started doing O.K after. How is she doing now ?
Thanks, it was terrifying, and the anticipation of it happening again is worrisome.I am going to get her bloodwork tomorrow, just to see where her levels are.

I only give the Repashy Calcium Plus once per week. The rest of the time she gets regular calcium. As I mentioned it was 6 to 7 days per week at the ridiculous egg production period. Since she seems to have stopped that I am down to 5 to 6 days per week of calcium.

It is hard to know if I am giving her too much calcium as she had one toe on her front foot very recently that would flick or tremor (same toe all the time, looked like she was tapping it). Thought, calcium issue. However, she has had little strange intermittent tremors since the septic arthritis in 2018. Her tail rocks slightly back and forth when it hangs sometimes. Her stomach area between her hind legs also gets a twitch on both sides sometimes. She over shoots her steps when walking, lifting her right hind leg way high quite a bit, can be a little clumsy at times and on uneven surfaces can flip herself over. Most of her issues have been hind quarter related, long term and mostly stable with little change over the last 4 years.

It would break my heart if it was a deficiency, as I know I have been giving more than advised to compensate for all the eggs. At her last blood work 2 years ago, her levels were normal.

In rectrospect, what I maybe chalked up to damage from the arthritis (nerve, bone and muscle loss), may actually have been a slow and progressive neurological issue.

I have been watching her every 30 to 45 minutes today. She is walking to her basking area, to her cool area, walked to the usual spot in her viv to poop (which looked great), drank a little water from a syringe and actually ate some superworms! She is of normal color, venting appropriately, and there is no black beard. She is responsive, and head is upright It is almost like nothing happened. No sign of further seizure activity yet.

I pinched each of her feet for response, and she pulls all away quickly, except for the front right ( the one with the tapping toe) which is more delayed in response.

This is how she looks this evening.
 

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xp29

Juvie Member
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby & Snicker Doodle
She is a very pretty dragon. I have no idea how to help her, but i did want to say we are all pulling for her!!!! I hope she recovers and thrives!
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

She does look great, how is she doing tonight?
So she hasn't had another seizure today? Poor thing, I hope she doesn't have another one,
because they are exhausting for them.
If you still need any liquid calcium supplement, I do carry it on my website.
I don't think she would have had any D3 toxicity, with you giving the D3 only once a week.
Let us know how things are going.

Tracie
 

bayoupig5

Sub-Adult Member
Original Poster
Update - vet feels very strongly that this is MBD, part of me is happy as I know this can be reversed. The other part of me is upset, despite my 7 day a week calcium schedule, she remains deficient. I was given liquid calcium glubionate and was lucky as the clinic just ordered it in. Apparently, it has been hard to get as of late. I wished I was able to deal with this a month ago when I knew how sick she was after her last clutch, but the vet was away for a month....both of them....sigh.

We will know for sure in a couple days as they were able to get a blood sample. The other concern is possibly for kidney disease which she said older dragons are prone to. I lost Emmalee to acute kidney disease. Vet said Littlefoot looked a little dehydrated. I am not sure how this is possible either, as she is eating slurry 5 days per week, although she does pass a lot of water along with urate. I also gave her 2.5 mls of water yesterday.

Two other possibilities are tumors or something to do with cholesterol build up....I can't remember what she called it.

Any how, so far no more seizure activity, keeping my fingers crossed. I made a nice veggie slurry when I got home with organic carrot tops, organic radish tops, and escarole. Got a good watery 8 mls in her, along with her first dose of the new calcium. I will update if anything new happens or when the blood results come in.
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
Glad that she hasn't had another episode, that would be so stressful for both of you. With all the calcium you were giving her and if her lights were up to par she shouldn't have MBD unless she for some reason wasn't able to absorb it. Hopefully things will improve and the seizures won't pop up again.
 

bayoupig5

Sub-Adult Member
Original Poster
Glad that she hasn't had another episode, that would be so stressful for both of you. With all the calcium you were giving her and if her lights were up to par she shouldn't have MBD unless she for some reason wasn't able to absorb it. Hopefully things will improve and the seizures won't pop up again.
Yeah, I asked her about that as well,so she said she may not be absorbing due to a kidney issue, or that the "great" amount of eggs and her age just totally depleted all her stores, meaning that all the calcium was going to egg production.

Littlefoot is enjoying some natural UVB today, so hopefully this will do her some good.
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

That is definitely a better diagnosis than gout, or cancer, etc. I agree that egg development
can definitely interfere with calcium absorption. That's great they were able to get some liquid
glubionate for you. Eggs will zap them especially if they have larger clutches or repeated bouts
of laying.
I hope the sun helps out Littlefoot, it is so good for them!

Tracie
 

bayoupig5

Sub-Adult Member
Original Poster
Hello All,

Well I got the blood results back. Good news is, she was not as calcium deficient as they had expected. Ratio was about 1.6 : 1, vet would prefer to see 2: 1, but considering her predicament that is a pretty good number. Likely her shaky legs and seizures are not from calcium deficiency.

But they are now ruling in/out a bacterial/viral infection as opposed to neoplasia, plus poor electrolyte balance which may point to adrenal disease.

I have been giving her quite a bit of slurry veg though, as she will not eat veg. on her own no matter what I do to entice her. As she had been losing so much weight since the egg laying I had increased veg. slurries and Repashy Foods up to 25 mls 5 days per week. the other two days she would get bugs if she wanted. I do not think this would dilute her electrolytes (sodium), but it is more water intake than she has had over the years. She does pass about 1-2 tsp of water with each bowel movement and her urates are either semi formed, formed or soft, with 1 bowel movement per day...usually. That is unless she is about to lay and then it can be up to 4 small bowel movements a day. Lately, she had gone every day or every second day. The vet suggested I strain the veggie slurries and add a little Pedialyte instead to see if that helps restore the balance. I thought what I could do is spoil my Littlefoot this month and just go ahead and provide more bugs, and do slurries about 3 times per week and less, in quantity... about 10 mls. I do not want to give her too much Pedialyte and cause an imbalance in the other direction. Any advice as to how to feed during this treatment would be greatly appreciated.

Bad news is this could be cancer given high WBC, they are concerned about a reproductive cancer or a cancer of the brain, that would not be great, but there is nothing I can do.

In order to rule this out, I have been given my favorite Ceftazidime injections...yay me! I will start these tomorrow. If this is an infection or bacteria, the hope is the antibiotics will wipe it out and the WBC should go down. Another reason I would like to spoil my little girl while I can. Between all the injections and the possible cancer diagnosis, I want to give her the best I can for the next 4 weeks.

Here are the results CPK was very high too. I read that this is usually due to muscle injury....does anyone know about this lab result?

Total Protein - 48 Range 33 - 73
Albumin - 21 Range 15 - 37
Globulin - Range 13 -3 9
AST (SGOT) - 75 Range12 - 107
BUN - 0.5 Range 0.4 - 1.4
Phosphorus - 1.47 Range 0.84 - 3.02
Glucose - 9.6 Range7.1 - 16.3
Calcium - 2.40 Range 1.7 - 5.68
Sodium - 138 Range 143 - 173 LOW
Potassium - 5.4 Range 2.6 - 6.1
Chloride - 108 Range 103 - 145
CPK - 7278 Range 17 - 3421 HIGH
Uric Acid - 228 Range 71 - 500
WBC Estimate - 21.0 Range 2.8 - 14.6 HIGH
Hematocrit - 25 Range 23 - 39
RBC Morphology - Normal
Blood Parasites - Negative
Het/Poly - 42
Absolute Het/Poly - 8.82 Range 1.15 - 6.24 HIGH
Toxic Changes - None Seen
Lymphocytes - 52
Absolute Lymphocytes - 10.9 Range 0.36-8.17 HIGH
Monocytes - 1
Absolute Monocytes - 0.21 Range 0.01 - 1.08
Eosinophils - 1
Absolute Eosinophils - 0.21 Range0 - 0.36
Basophils - 1
Absolute Basophils - 0.21 Range 0.01 - 0.82
Azurophilic Monocytes - 3
Absolute Azurophilic Monocytes - 0.63 Range - 0.01 - 1.54
Thrombocyte Estimate - Adequate

Comments - leukocytosis with heterophilia and lymphocytosis
Diagnosis: infection/inflammation (bacterial/viral) vs neoplasia

Na/K ratio 25 - poor electrolyte balance? adrenal disease?

Does anyone know what Absolute het/poly means when it is high?

Now when I compare Akasha's results (the dragon that recently had to be euthanized), I see a lot of things for her actually did point to a type of cancer, High WCB, High Eosinophils, High Basophils, extremely low glucose...sigh.

Littlefoot is still doing ok, but she still has tremors, she had some twitching in her back thigh and her right toe often twitches up and down (like she is impatient), but no seizure as of yet. I hope it stays that way. I have heard some infections cause neurological issues. I hope this is what it is for her and can be fixed. She ate 5 canned silkworms today, she got 10 mls of mixed veg by syringe yesterday (escarole, radish top, carrot top), and is in the middle of a major shed.
 
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AHBD

BD.org Sicko
The WBC is just VERY slightly above the numbers, I don't think it's going to be anything serious, hopefully not. Usually with cancer the glucose astronomically high but hers is within the norm so that's a good thing ! I agree to give her live food regularly and not excessive amounts of the smoothies or Pedialyte. Right now it sounds as if she has a good appetite. Beardies always lose a lot of weight after laying eggs, it's a large mass that has collectively passed from her body.

Can you post a few pics of Littlefoot ?
 

bayoupig5

Sub-Adult Member
Original Poster
Recent Pics for AHBD, this is after injection this morning.
 

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AHBD

BD.org Sicko
What a sweet face and a look of " what now ? " :) She looks good but a little underweight, understandable after laying eggs. Hopefully increasing the insects along with the smoothies will help her gain weight. How long will she be getting injections ?
 

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