Septicemia

CurlyShark

Member
Please I need some advice for my boy. It's a long story of how we got to this point (which I will get to after) but the urgent point is he has septicemia and I have no way of getting him treated until Monday evening when his vet opens.

I have some antibiotics left over that are still within their dates that he has taken in the past for unrelated issues. One is Orbax (orbifloxican) solution. The other is a nebulizer solution mix of Gentamycin/Aminophylline. Can either (or both) of these be used to treat him until I can get him properly taken care of? I feel like I am racing against the clock and I can't bear to lose the little guy. He's getting a little worse every day. He's still taking his syringe feedings; I am giving him a slurry mix for sick dragons I found online which the vet said was fine.. Critical Care, butternut squash, and bee pollen. He is still pooping a couple times a day and the poop looks normal for what he is eating; urates are white and soft so I don't think he is dehydrated. (Had a BM this morning.)

His beard is constantly black, even when sleeping. He has bursts of activity, and he will still move to bask under the light, and move to a cooler area as he needs to. But aside from that, he is sleeping most of the time. He is alert and responsive even when sleeping, so I hope that is a good sign.

Sometimes he goes pale, but that seems to be only when stressed or when he's been basking and about to go cool off. Otherwise his color is normal. Pink tongue, faint stress marks, no red spots or other discoloration. No swelling, etc.

His info: He is a nearly 5 year old male; I got him at a year old as a serverely underweight Craigslist rescue. He has a history of digestive issues and allergic asthma, which I have managed to control both and he has had no symptoms of either for over a year.

Currently he is 18.5 inches and weighs 355g (Down from 405g at his last healthy weigh-in which was the beginning of March.)

Current situation:
He'd stopped eating around the 15th of March, but was otherwise acting normal and very active. I had an appointment for the evening of the 25th to get him checked out, but then my other dragon had an emergency we had to rush her to the hospital for. (Blood clot, she passed away.) My boy got worse and started blackbearding immediately after. (Even though they were housed separately, they were very close and bonded; I will even dare to say they were friends.) I got him to the vet who checked him out and said everything is fine with him.. No parasites, physcial looks great, she figured it was probably a mix between hormonal and grief. So I was to keep up with syringe-feeding baby foods (chicken, butternut squash, and pumpkin.) I'd managed to keep his weight steady; he he was still active, so no one was worried.

A couple weeks after he started losing more weight and blackbearding more. I brought him back in. She did an xray and said everything looks perfect. She offered a blood draw, but thought it was a trauma he didn't really need to endure, especially on a Friday cos the lab wouldn't process it until Monday anyway. That weekend he seemed to improve, so we decided against the blood work. But by Wednesday he started blackbearding constantly and became a lot less active and sleeping more. (Not quite lethargic, but definitely a major difference for him.) So we brought him in for the blood tests.

They got the results on Friday; it took until almost 9pm for the vet to phone us with them. She said he has septicemia, but the lab only sent half the results and she needs those before she can tell what treatment to give him. She said other than his WBC and RBC counts, everything looked normal on what she did have. She said the lab would be open in the morning (which was yesterday) so she'd call to get the other results, and then phone us with what the next steps would be.
We never heard from her yesterday at all and couldn't reach her. We tried every contact number and email. Her practice is not open on the weekends and her after-hours emergency line goes to a hospital that does not treat exotics or reptiles at all, and claimed to have no way to reach our vet.

The only other vet who treats reptiles within 50 miles of me is a hospital that has very bad reviews and I have also had quite bad experiences with a few times. I really do not trust them to treat my boy correctly, and you would not blame me if you knew my last experience with them. The only other places I could take him to are almost 100 miles away and not open on the weekends.

I would walk to the ends of the earth to help my boy, but sometimes the mountains aren't mine to move and I do not have unlimited funds or the ability to take him far away for treatment. I KNOW he needs a hospital, but my hands are tied until tomorrow evening when his vet opens and I have no way of getting him to a hospital nearly 100 miles away on Monday.

So please, I need advice. TIA

The obligatory info:
Housing: 24x48x18 wooden vivarium, housed alone
Substrate: Washable carpet
Lighting: 60w incandescent basking bulb, 36" T5 Reptisun 5.0 HO (2 months old), gets 1-2 hours unfiltered sun daily (We're in Florida)
Temps: 102f basking, 98f hot side, 83f cool side (temp gun)
Nighttime usual 74f (ambient house temp), but he is currently set to 80f using a CHE since learning he is ill.
35-38% humidity
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 2
Please I need some advice for my boy. It's a long story of how we got to this point (which I will get to after) but the urgent point is he has septicemia and I have no way of getting him treated until Monday evening when his vet opens.

I have some antibiotics left over that are still within their dates that he has taken in the past for unrelated issues. One is Orbax (orbifloxican) solution. The other is a nebulizer solution mix of Gentamycin/Aminophylline. Can either (or both) of these be used to treat him until I can get him properly taken care of? I feel like I am racing against the clock and I can't bear to lose the little guy. He's getting a little worse every day. He's still taking his syringe feedings; I am giving him a slurry mix for sick dragons I found online which the vet said was fine.. Critical Care, butternut squash, and bee pollen. He is still pooping a couple times a day and the poop looks normal for what he is eating; urates are white and soft so I don't think he is dehydrated. (Had a BM this morning.)

His beard is constantly black, even when sleeping. He has bursts of activity, and he will still move to bask under the light, and move to a cooler area as he needs to. But aside from that, he is sleeping most of the time. He is alert and responsive even when sleeping, so I hope that is a good sign.

Sometimes he goes pale, but that seems to be only when stressed or when he's been basking and about to go cool off. Otherwise his color is normal. Pink tongue, faint stress marks, no red spots or other discoloration. No swelling, etc.

His info: He is a nearly 5 year old male; I got him at a year old as a serverely underweight Craigslist rescue. He has a history of digestive issues and allergic asthma, which I have managed to control both and he has had no symptoms of either for over a year.

Currently he is 18.5 inches and weighs 355g (Down from 405g at his last healthy weigh-in which was the beginning of March.)

Current situation:
He'd stopped eating around the 15th of March, but was otherwise acting normal and very active. I had an appointment for the evening of the 25th to get him checked out, but then my other dragon had an emergency we had to rush her to the hospital for. (Blood clot, she passed away.) My boy got worse and started blackbearding immediately after. (Even though they were housed separately, they were very close and bonded; I will even dare to say they were friends.) I got him to the vet who checked him out and said everything is fine with him.. No parasites, physcial looks great, she figured it was probably a mix between hormonal and grief. So I was to keep up with syringe-feeding baby foods (chicken, butternut squash, and pumpkin.) I'd managed to keep his weight steady; he he was still active, so no one was worried.

A couple weeks after he started losing more weight and blackbearding more. I brought him back in. She did an xray and said everything looks perfect. She offered a blood draw, but thought it was a trauma he didn't really need to endure, especially on a Friday cos the lab wouldn't process it until Monday anyway. That weekend he seemed to improve, so we decided against the blood work. But by Wednesday he started blackbearding constantly and became a lot less active and sleeping more. (Not quite lethargic, but definitely a major difference for him.) So we brought him in for the blood tests.

They got the results on Friday; it took until almost 9pm for the vet to phone us with them. She said he has septicemia, but the lab only sent half the results and she needs those before she can tell what treatment to give him. She said other than his WBC and RBC counts, everything looked normal on what she did have. She said the lab would be open in the morning (which was yesterday) so she'd call to get the other results, and then phone us with what the next steps would be.
We never heard from her yesterday at all and couldn't reach her. We tried every contact number and email. Her practice is not open on the weekends and her after-hours emergency line goes to a hospital that does not treat exotics or reptiles at all, and claimed to have no way to reach our vet.

The only other vet who treats reptiles within 50 miles of me is a hospital that has very bad reviews and I have also had quite bad experiences with a few times. I really do not trust them to treat my boy correctly, and you would not blame me if you knew my last experience with them. The only other places I could take him to are almost 100 miles away and not open on the weekends.

I would walk to the ends of the earth to help my boy, but sometimes the mountains aren't mine to move and I do not have unlimited funds or the ability to take him far away for treatment. I KNOW he needs a hospital, but my hands are tied until tomorrow evening when his vet opens and I have no way of getting him to a hospital nearly 100 miles away on Monday.

So please, I need advice. TIA

The obligatory info:
Housing: 24x48x18 wooden vivarium, housed alone
Substrate: Washable carpet
Lighting: 60w incandescent basking bulb, 36" T5 Reptisun 5.0 HO (2 months old), gets 1-2 hours unfiltered sun daily (We're in Florida)
Temps: 102f basking, 98f hot side, 83f cool side (temp gun)
Nighttime usual 74f (ambient house temp), but he is currently set to 80f using a CHE since learning he is ill.
35-38% humidity
@AHBD
@Drache613
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello!

Sorry I didn't see your post. How is your boy doing, do you have pictures of him & the tank setup
we could see?
If you have a copy of the blood test, please post them here & I'll take a look at them. Is there any
swelling on his hands, feet, etc or not?
I think nebulizing with the gentamicin/aminophylline would be fine. What strength is it? For now,
keep him a little warmer overnight right now to help boost his immune system. Usually around 75-
80F is ideal.
Let us know how he is doing.

Tracie
 

CurlyShark

Member
Original Poster
Hello!

Sorry I didn't see your post. How is your boy doing, do you have pictures of him & the tank setup
we could see?
If you have a copy of the blood test, please post them here & I'll take a look at them. Is there any
swelling on his hands, feet, etc or not?
I think nebulizing with the gentamicin/aminophylline would be fine. What strength is it? For now,
keep him a little warmer overnight right now to help boost his immune system. Usually around 75-
80F is ideal.
Let us know how he is doing.

Tracie
Thanks for responding; sorry I haven't replied sooner today as I'd been spending the day trying to contact his vet (who we did get to see tonight.)

Since he was so poorly Saturday, in desperation I went ahead and gave him 0.1ml of the Orbax on Sunday. By the late afternoon he seemed to pick up some, and today has had a little more energy and took his syringe feedings willingly, but is still very tired and has the constant black beard. He still has no swelling of anything at all and besides the black beard, his coloration is normal (still only mild belly stress marks.)

I am not able to take a pic right now of his whole setup, but I do have a pic in my photos here on the site of his enclosure (dunno how to post that in here though since the site has changed since my last post!) Sorry I couldn't get a better pic of him; he wasn't in the mood for photos. But this is him today.

IMG_2581.jpg

As you can see, he looks pretty normal, just lost a lot of weight and has the black beard.

At his vets this evening, she said the lab still hadn't sent the rest of the results and has not responded to their calls and messages. She gave me what she has and I'll post that. It was 3 pages, but the 2nd page came blank. We're going to be trying to contact them as well for the rest of the results tomorrow.

2022-04-25_200003.jpg

2022-04-25_195630.jpg

I confessed to giving him the Orbax, which she said was fine. While there she gave him a large shot of fluids with Baytril and b vitamins, and has me giving him 0.1ml daily of the Orbax starting tomorrow. But she says she needs the rest of the results, so I don't know what's more right now :(
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

How is he doing tonight, after the Orbax, Baytril & fluids? His body condition looks good but he does
have fat pads on his head that are a bit down. Did she say anything about getting him in again for more
fluids or mention how much oral fluids to give, at home?
Yes, I only see the white blood cell counts, but not the rest. Hopefully you can get the other page with
the calcium, liver, kidney results, too.
Let us know how things are going.

Tracie
 

CurlyShark

Member
Original Poster
He's really not doing well today. After the injection last night, he went pale and has been that way all day. He's also been very lethargic.

He woke up a bit midmorning for a poo and 1ml of pumpkin baby food (refused his critical care slurry, but did take the pumpkin well from the syringe) and then went back to sleep and has been sleeping all day. He's still responsive and will occasionally shift positions to get warmer/cooler/more comfortable, but he's really sleepy and weak. I doubt I will be able to get any more food or fluids into him today.

His vet called earlier this afternoon in tears.. Somehow the vial of blood the lab needed for the second part of the test never made it there, so those tests never got done. The vet said she does not want to take more blood from him cos he's too weak. So she just advised us to keep up with his feedings and whatever we can do to keep him comfortable and hope the antibiotics work quicker than the infection. She did say the Baytril could make him lethargic, so some of what he's going through right now may be from that. We're to call tomorrow when they are open to give her an update on how he's doing. (Her office is only open evenings Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.) Besides that, she didn't really have much else she could offer.

Is there anything you can think of we can do to help his little body fight this and/or to be more comfortable? I've already been including bee pollen into his critical care slurries and I have some probiotics on order that should be here Thursday or Friday. Is there anything else I could try?

I am so worried for him. Of course without those results, his vet can't give us a prognosis or even know if what we are doing is truly the appropriate thing. I lost my baby girl, best friend dragon a month ago today (from a blood clot) and I really can't bear to lose my best buddy as well 💔

This is the two of them, Curly (my best friend, rest in peace) and Ajkula, my boy.

IMG_1541.jpg
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
Aw, I don't have too much of a helpful reply but I'm wishing for recovery and for now comfort for your dragon. It may be the added stress of the vet visit and the injection. Just like we can get a shot that hurts or one that doesn't [ my first Covid shot was not painful, second was for some reason ] so it is with animals, especially a very small one . What was the injection , was it Baytril ? Is he getting 2 kinds of antibiotics ?
 

CurlyShark

Member
Original Poster
Aw, I don't have too much of a helpful reply but I'm wishing for recovery and for now comfort for your dragon. It may be the added stress of the vet visit and the injection. Just like we can get a shot that hurts or one that doesn't [ my first Covid shot was not painful, second was for some reason ] so it is with animals, especially a very small one . What was the injection , was it Baytril ? Is he getting 2 kinds of antibiotics ?
She said it was Baytril with some fluids and B vitamins. It was just for the one time in her office. At home I am to give him 0.1ml daily of Orbax, which I am glad for cos he willingly takes that medicine and it doesn't seem to have as bad of side-effects for him. (His vet had prescribed it in the past for a URI when he started spitting out the Baytril like it was poison! He is a bit of a drama queen, my little emo boy)

She did say it could be what is causing this drastic change of lethargy today, and I did read these baytril injections are pretty harsh :(
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
O.K, hopefully he'll get through this hard time and be receptive to the Orbax. If he's not up to eating every now + then, that's O.K too. Tracie will be on in the evening for more support.
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Oh no, that is too bad the other portion for the blood test didn't make it. I wonder how the
vial got separated from the other one, to the lab? I agree, taking more blood at the moment
wouldn't be a good idea.
So for now he is on the Orbax & not the Baytril, that should be fine for now. Keep him well
hydrated while he is on those meds. How is his appetite? Baytril is pretty harsh but if you have
ever tasted it the taste is quite bitter. That is probably one reason why he doesn't like it either.
I hope he starts feeling better soon. Has his beard lightened up at all?
Be sure to keep him warm overnight to keep his system optimal righ tnow. Let us know how he
is doing.

Tracie
 

CurlyShark

Member
Original Poster
He awoke a bit better this morning; he was awake from about 8am to noon and eagerly ate just under 2ml of his critical care slurry. He also took his Orbax dose with no resistance. But that was all he was willing/able to take. His color was a little better, but he was still very weak and still has a constant jet black beard.
This was him this morning.

F76C2580-E307-414D-8732-4F2BA1C31886.jpeg


Then at 3pm he went like he was yesterday.. very pale and barely responsive, and that lasted until about 6:30pm. He’s still sleeping, but shifting around a bit and a little more responsive. He also tried to poo a few times, but nothing came out.

Do you have any advice or tips on how to get more fluids into him? He’s just so weak.. after he got tired at noon, there was no way he was going to swallow anything and I don’t want to risk forcing it. He’s never taken water from a dropper or syringe, but I still try. So I’ve been adding extra water to his slurry.

I have some serrapeptase my husband bought from your site in the beginning of his ordeal, just incase he might have had an irritated belly. I stopped giving it to him as soon as we learned he has septicemia. Would it help to start giving it to him again? I read it’s mostly for inflammation and pain, but that it can also help the immune system?

I just feel so helpless and so sad for him. And so confused.. I don’t know how we got to this point so fast. It’s not like he lives in filth or has the wrong setup, or I don’t pay attention to him, or never take him to the vet.. he’s been seen 5-6 times since this started! It’s crazy and heartbreaking 💔
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
Aw, poor Sharky buddy. :( I know it's hard to go through this and wait to see what each hour brings. It's good that he's taking the C.Care and just keep adding a little water with it. I'll defer to Tracie on the question about serrapeptase but I'm pretty sure it would be fine. His black beard is still because of not feeling well, antibiotics can upset the tummy. A wee bit of raw unpasteurized honey mixed with a few drops of water might help a little.
 

CurlyShark

Member
Original Poster
Aw, poor Sharky buddy. :( I know it's hard to go through this and wait to see what each hour brings. It's good that he's taking the C.Care and just keep adding a little water with it. I'll defer to Tracie on the question about serrapeptase but I'm pretty sure it would be fine. His black beard is still because of not feeling well, antibiotics can upset the tummy. A wee bit of raw unpasteurized honey mixed with a few drops of water might help a little.
Thanks, I’ll see if I can find some honey and try that. He does like sweet stuff and likes bee pollen, so hopefully that would help encourage him.

I just only seem to have a brief window around 10am when he’s able and willing to take feedings.
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
O.K, look for honey that is actually unpasteurized. A lot of store bought honey will say " pure" but that's not the same. If you can't find any, that's O.K . It's not like it's important . It's good that he'll take bee pollen though !
 
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