Senior beardie - Health/Egg problems (Xray & bloodwork)

cozydragon

New member
Beardie name(s)
Bindi
The backstory on Bindi is I rescued her off Craigslist in 2018 from truly deplorable conditions. She had old fractures from MBD in her wrists and base of her tail that caused deformities. I thought she was a male but when she saw a vet it was confirmed she was female. From 2018 to now she has laid two infertile clutches with no real issues. She hasn't laid any in years. Up until now she has been healthy all things considering, always ate her salads great and bugs. For the past few months she has gone downhill.

It started with being more lazy than usual, keep in mind she is 10 years old now (guesstimate) and didn't have good mobility to begin with. Suddenly she stopped wanting salad's which was a big red flag for her. It progressed into her being so lethargic she just sleeps under her hammock by the heat lamp in the corner most of the time. She gets super excited for bugs or repashy, but nothing else. She poops perfectly fine. Her water intake has gone way down, no more drinking in her bath. I syringe her water, she hates it at first, but then will calm down and drink. She has muscles tremors, most noticeable when she is upset. Her breathing is much deeper than it used to be, she gets winded very easily. She has fluid accumulation behind her front legs, like the armpit area, that comes and goes. She looks unhappy most days, just tired eyes. When I take her out she immediately wants to sleep.

In July I took her to a reptile vet. She was worried about fatty liver disease due to being overweight and fed superworms quite often. She noted her mouth was a bit yellow. We got an xray done and found out she had an egg. It could not be palpated and seemed to be just one. The vet noted her uterus looked quite enlarged, mentioned reproductive cancer. We were hoping to get a look at her liver but it didn't show up good on the x-ray. I was basically told to give her lay box and return if it gets worse or she doesn't pass the egg. I started to put her in a lay box daily but she had no interest and would just want out right away.

In August I ended up going to one of the best exotic vet's in the area for a second opinion. She hadn't gotten worse but wasn't any better, still no egg or even hint at wanting to lay. At first the vet was concerned for her heart, because she noticed fluid on her sides and in her beard. The outlook wasn't great. We got bloodwork done and fully expected the worst only to find out her bloodwork wasn't that bad?

According to the vet the results were mildly high liver and cholesterol values with low calcium. I'm a bit confused though because looking at the bloodwork myself, her cholesterol doesn't show as high and her calcium doesn't say low? 🤷‍♀️ Some inflammation and infection markers were elevated (likely autoimmune/age related they said). They took another xray out of curiosity at no charge and said the egg was still there. She got a shot of B vitamins (at my request) and some sub q fluids. She also got some medicine to kill a parasite that was seen in her fecal but I sadly don't remember what kind.

The treatment plan has been as follows:
  • Milk Thistle - 0.04 cc once a day for two weeks, then every other day for 2 months
  • Liquid Calcium - 0.27 cc every 2 days for 2 weeks, then every 3 days until eating well and normal activity
  • Omnivore Critical Care - 3 to 5 cc a day
  • Keep offering lay box
So I've been doing all that, she hasn't improved or got worse. The egg is just still there I guess? I've spent almost $1k between those two vets and feel like it has amounted to very little. I would get an ultrasound but cannot afford it at this point. I feel like any kind of surgery to remove the egg would not be a good idea either because she is 10 years old with poor mobility/health concerns. Plus I don't even know if she's actually egg bound, she shows no signs of wanting to lay. I'm just looking for some advice on where to go from here. I've debated about giving her a Vitamin B complex once a week, or even Serrapeptase.

She's actually having a good day today, sitting under the heat lamp with her head up and some spark in her eyes. It's so lovely to see.
Here is a picture of the old girl 💗

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J4ckdaw-

Sub-Adult Member
Beardie name(s)
Leo
The backstory on Bindi is I rescued her off Craigslist in 2018 from truly deplorable conditions. She had old fractures from MBD in her wrists and base of her tail that caused deformities. I thought she was a male but when she saw a vet it was confirmed she was female. From 2018 to now she has laid two infertile clutches with no real issues. She hasn't laid any in years. Up until now she has been healthy all things considering, always ate her salads great and bugs. For the past few months she has gone downhill.

It started with being more lazy than usual, keep in mind she is 10 years old now (guesstimate) and didn't have good mobility to begin with. Suddenly she stopped wanting salad's which was a big red flag for her. It progressed into her being so lethargic she just sleeps under her hammock by the heat lamp in the corner most of the time. She gets super excited for bugs or repashy, but nothing else. She poops perfectly fine. Her water intake has gone way down, no more drinking in her bath. I syringe her water, she hates it at first, but then will calm down and drink. She has muscles tremors, most noticeable when she is upset. Her breathing is much deeper than it used to be, she gets winded very easily. She has fluid accumulation behind her front legs, like the armpit area, that comes and goes. She looks unhappy most days, just tired eyes. When I take her out she immediately wants to sleep.

In July I took her to a reptile vet. She was worried about fatty liver disease due to being overweight and fed superworms quite often. She noted her mouth was a bit yellow. We got an xray done and found out she had an egg. It could not be palpated and seemed to be just one. The vet noted her uterus looked quite enlarged, mentioned reproductive cancer. We were hoping to get a look at her liver but it didn't show up good on the x-ray. I was basically told to give her lay box and return if it gets worse or she doesn't pass the egg. I started to put her in a lay box daily but she had no interest and would just want out right away.

In August I ended up going to one of the best exotic vet's in the area for a second opinion. She hadn't gotten worse but wasn't any better, still no egg or even hint at wanting to lay. At first the vet was concerned for her heart, because she noticed fluid on her sides and in her beard. The outlook wasn't great. We got bloodwork done and fully expected the worst only to find out her bloodwork wasn't that bad?

According to the vet the results were mildly high liver and cholesterol values with low calcium. I'm a bit confused though because looking at the bloodwork myself, her cholesterol doesn't show as high and her calcium doesn't say low? 🤷‍♀️ Some inflammation and infection markers were elevated (likely autoimmune/age related they said). They took another xray out of curiosity at no charge and said the egg was still there. She got a shot of B vitamins (at my request) and some sub q fluids. She also got some medicine to kill a parasite that was seen in her fecal but I sadly don't remember what kind.

The treatment plan has been as follows:
  • Milk Thistle - 0.04 cc once a day for two weeks, then every other day for 2 months
  • Liquid Calcium - 0.27 cc every 2 days for 2 weeks, then every 3 days until eating well and normal activity
  • Omnivore Critical Care - 3 to 5 cc a day
  • Keep offering lay box
So I've been doing all that, she hasn't improved or got worse. The egg is just still there I guess? I've spent almost $1k between those two vets and feel like it has amounted to very little. I would get an ultrasound but cannot afford it at this point. I feel like any kind of surgery to remove the egg would not be a good idea either because she is 10 years old with poor mobility/health concerns. Plus I don't even know if she's actually egg bound, she shows no signs of wanting to lay. I'm just looking for some advice on where to go from here. I've debated about giving her a Vitamin B complex once a week, or even Serrapeptase.

She's actually having a good day today, sitting under the heat lamp with her head up and some spark in her eyes. It's so lovely to see.
Here is a picture of the old girl 💗

View attachment 84106
Tracie needs to see this
@Drache613
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Did your vet say whether or not they felt her eggs had dropped enough to be able to give
Oxytocin to help with muscle contractions for laying. Her calcium is high but that's because of the egg production. I agree, the AST levels aren't
too bad but a little out of the range. That could be from stress on the liver from yolk development.
The Uric acid readings can become elevated when they are under stress, but hopefully she hasn't
started developing gout.
The fecal results aren't terribly high. The Metronidazole is a good medication for flagelletes so it
should clear up any issues.
Are you able to keep her warm overnight, to help boost her immune system?
I would setup a laybox for her in case she might want to start digging, unless you have already
set one up for her.

Let us know how she is doing.
Tracie
 

cozydragon

New member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Bindi
Hello,

Did your vet say whether or not they felt her eggs had dropped enough to be able to give
Oxytocin to help with muscle contractions for laying. Her calcium is high but that's because of the egg production. I agree, the AST levels aren't
too bad but a little out of the range. That could be from stress on the liver from yolk development.
The Uric acid readings can become elevated when they are under stress, but hopefully she hasn't
started developing gout.
The fecal results aren't terribly high. The Metronidazole is a good medication for flagelletes so it
should clear up any issues.
Are you able to keep her warm overnight, to help boost her immune system?
I would setup a laybox for her in case she might want to start digging, unless you have already
set one up for her.

Let us know how she is doing.
Tracie

Thank you so much for responding! It helps to give me piece of mind that my vet is doing the right things. They did not mention her eggs having dropped enough or not.

The really concerning and strange thing for me is that egg you can see on the x-ray has been there for over 2 months? How is that even possible? She still shows zero signs of wanting to lay (she has a lay box).

I've become extremely concerned about her quality of life this past month, especially this past week. She always looks exhausted with dull eyes. I have to move her to bask, if I don't she will literally just sleep in the corner. Mobility has always been an issue for her but these days it's very bad. She stays on the warm end and the most she will do is turn around to be a bit under the heat lamp or in her corner under her hammock. That is it. She's constantly got her eyes closed. Even in her bath where she used to enjoy moving around and digging in the water, she just sleeps.

At her age... with these egg problems, mobility issues, and surgery being a unrealistic option... I'm seriously starting to think about euthanasia. She is miserable and it breaks my heart. :cry:
In my mind the only thing left to try is the Oxytocin and maybe some pain meds to try and get the egg(s) out? I plan to call the vet on Monday.

How warm do you recommend she be at night? I can get her a ceramic heat emitter and I have a temp gun.

Thanks so much!
 

J4ckdaw-

Sub-Adult Member
Beardie name(s)
Leo
Thank you so much for responding! It helps to give me piece of mind that my vet is doing the right things. They did not mention her eggs having dropped enough or not.

The really concerning and strange thing for me is that egg you can see on the x-ray has been there for over 2 months? How is that even possible? She still shows zero signs of wanting to lay (she has a lay box).

I've become extremely concerned about her quality of life this past month, especially this past week. She always looks exhausted with dull eyes. I have to move her to bask, if I don't she will literally just sleep in the corner. Mobility has always been an issue for her but these days it's very bad. She stays on the warm end and the most she will do is turn around to be a bit under the heat lamp or in her corner under her hammock. That is it. She's constantly got her eyes closed. Even in her bath where she used to enjoy moving around and digging in the water, she just sleeps.

At her age... with these egg problems, mobility issues, and surgery being a unrealistic option... I'm seriously starting to think about euthanasia. She is miserable and it breaks my heart. :cry:
In my mind the only thing left to try is the Oxytocin and maybe some pain meds to try and get the egg(s) out? I plan to call the vet on Monday.

How warm do you recommend she be at night? I can get her a ceramic heat emitter and I have a temp gun.

Thanks so much!
I’m so sorry you’re going through this! Whatever you end up doing, I’m confident that it was the right choice- I can tell you really care for this sweet girl. 10 years is a good life, you’ve done everything you could.

As for temps, the ideal core temperature is 97f which can be achieved by a basking spot of 107.6f but a basking spot of 95-110f will also suffice (that applies for all ages).

Temp guns are commonly inaccurate, digital probe thermometers are ideal as they provide the most accurate reading. Stick-on thermometers are a no-no as well.

Good luck!
 

cozydragon

New member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Bindi
I’m so sorry you’re going through this! Whatever you end up doing, I’m confident that it was the right choice- I can tell you really care for this sweet girl. 10 years is a good life, you’ve done everything you could.

As for temps, the ideal core temperature is 97f which can be achieved by a basking spot of 107.6f but a basking spot of 95-110f will also suffice (that applies for all ages).

Temp guns are commonly inaccurate, digital probe thermometers are ideal as they provide the most accurate reading. Stick-on thermometers are a no-no as well.

Good luck!

Thanks very much, that means a lot. 💗

In regards to temp, I actually mean at night. It seems Tracie was recommending I provide some extra warmth at night to help her immune system? Unless I misunderstood. My house gets around 76F at night this time of year so that is probably around what her tank is at.

I don't know why I was under the impression temp guns were more accurate. 😅
Good thing I also have a digital probe thermometer I can use.

Thanks for the help!
 

J4ckdaw-

Sub-Adult Member
Beardie name(s)
Leo
Thanks very much, that means a lot. 💗

In regards to temp, I actually mean at night. It seems Tracie was recommending I provide some extra warmth at night to help her immune system? Unless I misunderstood. My house gets around 76F at night this time of year so that is probably around what her tank is at.

I don't know why I was under the impression temp guns were more accurate. 😅
Good thing I also have a digital probe thermometer I can use.

Thanks for the help!
Any time! 76f isn’t too bad, in the wild their burrows can get as low as 50f without issue but if you’d like to provide a bit more heat that’s perfectly fine, night temps should never be higher than 80 degrees though!

To add those extra 4 degrees you should probably not get a repti-heat emitter, that’ll probably up the temperatures to 85-90 degrees which is far too high. Just raise your home temperature a little bit.

With night temps at 80+ degrees, don’t be worried if she doesn’t bask much if at all the next few days. Warmer nights cause less basking. 76f shouldn’t mess her system up but Tracie is a vet so I’d listen to her advice.

Haha 😂 yeah, temp guns aren’t the way to go- they’re designed for cooking! I used one for the longest time and it read 145f on my boy’s basking spot but it was actually 38 degrees wrong. His temps are 107f.
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

The 76F is perfectly fine for overnight temperatures.
How is she doing today?
I'm just a tech, LOL
Temp guns are great for spot checking but most of us use temp guns in combination with a digital probe
too if needed to double check the temperatures.

Keep us posted on how things are going.
Tracie
 

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