Seizures, head tilt, clumsy walk

I have a male, he is 2.5 years old. In August, he had something like a seizure, where he threw himself on his back. Then everything was fine until one night in October when out of the blue he started doing the same thing. We went to the vet and they found nothing, except that he is low on potassium, which I have been giving him ever since. Everything was fine until January, but one evening he had bad balance, his head tilted to the right, he walked awkwardly, he walked in circles, but it was not as serious as the first two seizures in August and October. Since then, I have noticed that his head is often tilted and that he walks clumsily, sometimes more, sometimes less. Besides, he has an appetite, he just hasn't pooped for a while now. I took him to many vets who did various tests, blood tests, x-rays, atadenovirus test...they found nothing. Just in one blood test, the doctor said there was a group of "cells" or something that shouldn't be there, but we don't know what it is. I also observe for a very long time that he rubs one part of his head either against me, against the wall, against the ground…

I’d post videos, but the site says files are too large.

Please, has anyone experienced a similar situation? I love my little guy with my whole heart and I will be grateful for any advice.

Timeline:
16.8. 2023 - first seizure
20.10. 2023 - second seizure
16.1. 2024 - clumsy walking, head tilt
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
So sorry to hear this ! It could be other things which we'll try to rule out but it's possible that he had a stroke, or two. Can you post pics of his entire enclosure, including the lights, what his temps. are , diet, calcium schedule, hydration ?
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
I have a male, he is 2.5 years old. In August, he had something like a seizure, where he threw himself on his back. Then everything was fine until one night in October when out of the blue he started doing the same thing. We went to the vet and they found nothing, except that he is low on potassium, which I have been giving him ever since. Everything was fine until January, but one evening he had bad balance, his head tilted to the right, he walked awkwardly, he walked in circles, but it was not as serious as the first two seizures in August and October. Since then, I have noticed that his head is often tilted and that he walks clumsily, sometimes more, sometimes less. Besides, he has an appetite, he just hasn't pooped for a while now. I took him to many vets who did various tests, blood tests, x-rays, atadenovirus test...they found nothing. Just in one blood test, the doctor said there was a group of "cells" or something that shouldn't be there, but we don't know what it is. I also observe for a very long time that he rubs one part of his head either against me, against the wall, against the ground…

I’d post videos, but the site says files are too large.

Please, has anyone experienced a similar situation? I love my little guy with my whole heart and I will be grateful for any advice.

Timeline:
16.8. 2023 - first seizure
20.10. 2023 - second seizure
16.1. 2024 - clumsy walking, head tilt
The best way for videos is to make a youtube account, upload them there and post a link to it here.
Tracie @Drache613 sells an adv test kit(I think). What your describing sounds neurological to me and adv definitely has a neurological component to it.
Even though the vet said it wasn't I would retest for it. Or it could be like AHBD said and was strokes maybe. Whatever it is, I hope you can get him the treatment it sounds like he needs.
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

So sorry your dragon is having this type of trouble.
As AHBD suggested, a stroke is always a possibility.
He doesn't have metabolic bone disease. Do you have
a copy of the blood test by chance that you could post
here for us to see?

Tracie
 

danekov.tatiana

Member
Original Poster
So sorry to hear this ! It could be other things which we'll try to rule out but it's possible that he had a stroke, or two. Can you post pics of his entire enclosure, including the lights, what his temps. are , diet, calcium schedule, hydration ?
Of course.

Temps - right under the light around 33 degrees, in other part of the tank around 27/28.

Diet and calcium - i feed him every other day two dubia roaches. i tried teaching him to eat greens, but he simply doesn’t want them. i provide calcium during every feeding, the vet said his calcium levels are good. i also supplement a bit of potassium, because he had low levels of it in october. i also add a little bit of vitamin D around once a week.

Hydration - I provide fresh water during every feeding. he drinks from a syringe. thankfully, he’s never had problems with drinking.

Enclosure - many people say it’s bad he doesn’t have sand, but I have read multiple times that it’s one of the most common causes that leads to constipation or other problems, so I went for a rough tile, so that he can walk without slipping. he has towels underneath the light so that the tile won’t get boiling hot. every vet i have consulted his tank was fine…

The first pic is of the enclosure he’s had for about two, and the second is the one we have rearranged a few days ago so that he can have one side of his tank that is a bit colder.
 

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danekov.tatiana

Member
Original Poster
The best way for videos is to make a youtube account, upload them there and post a link to it here.
Tracie @Drache613 sells an adv test kit(I think). What your describing sounds neurological to me and adv definitely has a neurological component to it.
Even though the vet said it wasn't I would retest for it. Or it could be like AHBD said and was strokes maybe. Whatever it is, I hope you can get him the treatment it sounds like he needs.
I don’t know about adv, for what I know is that beardies get it from other beardies and he has never been in contact with one, only for one month when he hatched. ever since we took him when he was 1 month old he’s never been in contact with other beardie. the adv test was sent to Netherlands to some specialized lab, so I think the results that he doesn’t have adv are correct (i hope so)

if you think it’s a stroke, can he live normal life? does he know something is wrong? is he in pain?
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
Of course.

Temps - right under the light around 33 degrees, in other part of the tank around 27/28.

Diet and calcium - i feed him every other day two dubia roaches. i tried teaching him to eat greens, but he simply doesn’t want them. i provide calcium during every feeding, the vet said his calcium levels are good. i also supplement a bit of potassium, because he had low levels of it in october. i also add a little bit of vitamin D around once a week.

Hydration - I provide fresh water during every feeding. he drinks from a syringe. thankfully, he’s never had problems with drinking.

Enclosure - many people say it’s bad he doesn’t have sand, but I have read multiple times that it’s one of the most common causes that leads to constipation or other problems, so I went for a rough tile, so that he can walk without slipping. he has towels underneath the light so that the tile won’t get boiling hot. every vet i have consulted his tank was fine…

The first pic is of the enclosure he’s had for about two, and the second is the one we have rearranged a few days ago so that he can have one side of his tank that is a bit colder.
Please get rid of the coil UVB ---- this is a big problem -- coils are inadequate and will cause all kinds of health issues --- thus the issues your having - -- it needs to go inside the tank directly above the basking decor I would get it approx 13 inches above --
Arcadia Pro T5 UVB Kit - Desert 12%
Please get 2 digital probe thermometers they are the most accurate
Exo Terra Digital Thermometer
and you want a digital probe hygrometer for humidity placed on the back center wall --
Swell Digital Hygrometer
Please get the UVB your dragon is getting sicker w/ improper UVB - he has not been able to utilize his the calcium hes been getting w/ the coil bulb ---
the 33 C is not warm enough for surface basking temps - it should be 95-100 F - cool side 80ish F
ambient temp around 100 F on the hot side
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
I don’t know about adv, for what I know is that beardies get it from other beardies and he has never been in contact with one, only for one month when he hatched. ever since we took him when he was 1 month old he’s never been in contact with other beardie. the adv test was sent to Netherlands to some specialized lab, so I think the results that he doesn’t have adv are correct (i hope so)

if you think it’s a stroke, can he live normal life? does he know something is wrong? is he in pain?
I don't think he has ADV either but a stroke shouldn't cause pain, but the it could cause the symptoms he has.

I agree that your temp. is too low, get the basking spot up to 36 C, cooler side around 27C.
Your set up for him is nice, it's always good to add one large flat rock to help keep the nails trim.
The coil uvb DOES give off uvb but not enough so it might be part of the problem if he can't absorb calcium because he's not getting the amount of uvb.

A stroke is still far more likely and yes , they can live with it if they are still eating. You would just watch to see if his condition gets worse and if his quality of life gets where he is suffering, not eating, black beard, etc.
 

danekov.tatiana

Member
Original Poster
I don't think he has ADV either but a stroke shouldn't cause pain, but the it could cause the symptoms he has.

I agree that your temp. is too low, get the basking spot up to 36 C, cooler side around 27C.
Your set up for him is nice, it's always good to add one large flat rock to help keep the nails trim.
The coil uvb DOES give off uvb but not enough so it might be part of the problem if he can't absorb calcium because he's not getting the amount of uvb.

A stroke is still far more likely and yes , they can live with it if they are still eating. You would just watch to see if his condition gets worse and if his quality of life gets where he is suffering, not eating, black beard, etc.
Yes, the coil itself might not be enough, but he has another two bulbs, one with UVB and the other is purely for heat, so I’m not sure if calcium related problem might be the cause.

However, I’m confused. The vet said it shouldn’t be a stroke, because he reacts with both sides of the brain when she tested his reactions, like she put it. It’s frustrating, not knowing the cause, meaning that I don’t know what to do. I just want him to feel happy and as healthy as he can.
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
I don’t know about adv, for what I know is that beardies get it from other beardies and he has never been in contact with one, only for one month when he hatched. ever since we took him when he was 1 month old he’s never been in contact with other beardie. the adv test was sent to Netherlands to some specialized lab, so I think the results that he doesn’t have adv are correct (i hope so)

if you think it’s a stroke, can he live normal life? does he know something is wrong? is he in pain?
As I posted please get rid of the coil UVB - the other bulb w/ heat and UVB is what brand? We recommend either a PowerSun or a Mega Ray for those and we always recommend a back up UVB like the one I posted -- those MVB I posted are great for heat and you need those digital probe thermometers if your going to stay w/ those types of bulbs - you dont want to burn him up -- the UVB is ok w/ the MVB but in time they get weak and those bulbs do need to be changed out in 6 months if your relying on them for UVB - the heat part is good but UVB not so much ---
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
Vets
Yes, the coil itself might not be enough, but he has another two bulbs, one with UVB and the other is purely for heat, so I’m not sure if calcium related problem might be the cause.

However, I’m confused. The vet said it shouldn’t be a stroke, because he reacts with both sides of the brain when she tested his reactions, like she put it. It’s frustrating, not knowing the cause, meaning that I don’t know what to do. I just want him to feel happy and as healthy as he can.
The veterinary field dealing with reptiles is not as advanced as with mammals so even the experts don't know everything that comes their way .

I did just remember another condition that might cause this. An inner ear infection. If you haven't asked about that yet , see what your vet thinks about the possibility. There was a dragon here years ago that was like this and it was cured.
 
Last edited:

danekov.tatiana

Member
Original Poster
Vets

The veterinary field dealing with reptiles is not as advanced as with mammals so even the experts don't know everything that comes their way .

I did just remember another condition that might cause this. An inner ear infection. If you haven't asked about that yet , see what your vet thinks about the possibility. There was a dragon here years ago that was like this and it was cured.
I thought it was inner ear infection too, because I researched and beardies with it have very similar symptoms to my own little guy, so I asked the vet and she checked his ears, but found no sign of infection. But thank you for your suggestion. I appreciate it
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
I thought it was inner ear infection too, because I researched and beardies with it have very similar symptoms to my own little guy, so I asked the vet and she checked his ears, but found no sign of infection. But thank you for your suggestion. I appreciate it
I don't know that ear infection is something always visible. Was he in the water in the recent passed ? Even if not I think they can develop ear infection from unknown causes. Being as you have no answers it might be good to put him on antibiotics .
I'm really sorry he's going through all of this, I know it's hard on you as his owner watching this . What is his name ?
 

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