Something is wrong with my beardie’s back

My bearded dragon is 4-5 months old. Since having him, he has been diagnosed with early MBD and possibly gout due to high uric acid levels. He also had a broken wrist possibly a complication of the MBD but it seems to be healing okay. He is on allopurinol for his gout and his calcium levels are at a good range. He has been doing ok but other than his joints getting very swollen from the gout, but as of about 3-4 days ago I noticed that his back is curved and it looks like there’s a bump in his shoulder. I don’t think his back is broken because he is eating, pooping, getting around as normal (his normal is not what a normal beardie’s is). He isn’t black bearding or looking stressed. I’m not sure if it is urgent but I am worried about him and I can’t get an appointment with the vet for at least a week.

Here is his husbandry:
40g tank (until he gets bigger)
100w basking bulb that gets his basking spot to 100•F
T5 UVB tube
He has a hide on the cool and warm side
Calcium dusted daily, vitamins once a week
Gets a mix of dubias, crickets and mealworms daily
Gets greens daily (usually kale, collard greens, butternut squash, blueberries)
 

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CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Poor guy, hopefully the shoulder bump isn't a skeletal problem. I don't see it in the photos. Has he started responding to the allopurinol treatment for the gout? Hopefully that will keep it in check. Did the vet suggest using a liquid calcium supplement? Soemtimes they can be absorbed more easily than the dust/powder. It's good that you have a T5 UVB light for him. Does your fixture have a reflector behind the bulb? How far do you keep it above his main basking area?
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 2
My bearded dragon is 4-5 months old. Since having him, he has been diagnosed with early MBD and possibly gout due to high uric acid levels. He also had a broken wrist possibly a complication of the MBD but it seems to be healing okay. He is on allopurinol for his gout and his calcium levels are at a good range. He has been doing ok but other than his joints getting very swollen from the gout, but as of about 3-4 days ago I noticed that his back is curved and it looks like there’s a bump in his shoulder. I don’t think his back is broken because he is eating, pooping, getting around as normal (his normal is not what a normal beardie’s is). He isn’t black bearding or looking stressed. I’m not sure if it is urgent but I am worried about him and I can’t get an appointment with the vet for at least a week.

Here is his husbandry:
40g tank (until he gets bigger)
100w basking bulb that gets his basking spot to 100•F
T5 UVB tube
He has a hide on the cool and warm side
Calcium dusted daily, vitamins once a week
Gets a mix of dubias, crickets and mealworms daily
Gets greens daily (usually kale, collard greens, butternut squash, blueberries)
Wow your doing a great job w/ him -- poor baby! Make sure his T 5 is inside his tank directly above the basking decor 12-15 inches - I would get it 12 for the MBD -- and his basking bulb should be a CLEAR bright white basking bulb - NO day time bulbs colored or off white or yellowish - are you getting his temps w/ a digital probe thermometer? You want surface temps not air / or ambient temps- other than that I think your on the right track -- I think AHBD and Tracie should chime in here and see what they say about him
@AHBD
@Drache613
 

shelbymarie

Member
Original Poster
Poor guy, hopefully the shoulder bump isn't a skeletal problem. I don't see it in the photos. Has he started responding to the allopurinol treatment for the gout? Hopefully that will keep it in check. Did the vet suggest using a liquid calcium supplement? Soemtimes they can be absorbed more easily than the dust/powder. It's good that you have a T5 UVB light for him. Does your fixture have a reflector behind the bulb? How far do you keep it above his main basking area?
The bump is part of the spinal curve, it is kind of hard to see in photos. It has only been about a month or so since he has started the allopurinol, so I haven't seen much of a difference. He is on a liquid calcium supplement every other day and gets calcium dusted bugs daily. The UVB fixture does have a reflector and it is about 8-9 inches above his basking area
 

shelbymarie

Member
Original Poster
Wow your doing a great job w/ him -- poor baby! Make sure his T 5 is inside his tank directly above the basking decor 12-15 inches - I would get it 12 for the MBD -- and his basking bulb should be a CLEAR bright white basking bulb - NO day time bulbs colored or off white or yellowish - are you getting his temps w/ a digital probe thermometer? You want surface temps not air / or ambient temps- other than that I think your on the right track -- I think AHBD and Tracie should chime in here and see what they say about him
@AHBD
@Drache613
The T5 is on the outside of his tank on top of screen mesh lid, it is 8-9 inches away from his basking spot. And I do have a clear white basking bulb. I used a laser thermometer and got 100F
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 2
The bump is part of the spinal curve, it is kind of hard to see in photos. It has only been about a month or so since he has started the allopurinol, so I haven't seen much of a difference. He is on a liquid calcium supplement every other day and gets calcium dusted bugs daily. The UVB fixture does have a reflector and it is about 8-9 inches above his basking area
Please get a reflector --- its going to benefit him tremendously especially w/ the MBD - you want those rays directed downward toward him --
Arcadia Flourescent Lamp Reflectors ** NEW & Hot Item! Increase Light and UV! ** states website
Search results for: 'reflectors' UK
I dont know if your in the states or UK but here is a website for both
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
8-9'' through a mesh top with a reflector should be just about right in terms of UVB output. It sounds like your setup is in good shape, so hopefully he will respond to treatment soon.

Is he having any issues moving around or accessing basking areas? Hopefully he is and will remain pretty mobile. If he does show signs of struggling to climb or move around, you may need to adjust everything to be a bit flatter and more easily accessible.
 

shelbymarie

Member
Original Poster
8-9'' through a mesh top with a reflector should be just about right in terms of UVB output. It sounds like your setup is in good shape, so hopefully he will respond to treatment soon.

Is he having any issues moving around or accessing basking areas? Hopefully he is and will remain pretty mobile. If he does show signs of struggling to climb or move around, you may need to adjust everything to be a bit flatter and more easily accessible.
He does struggle, but as I mentioned, he has gout which has caused his joints to be very swollen, so he does struggle walking a bit, but he gets around and is able to get to his basking spot and food/water
 

Gormagon

Extreme Poster
Is the t5 tube a 5.0 or a 10.0
If it is the one that came with the fixture (reptisun t5 hood) it will be a 5.0 and it is not really strong enough for your dragon.
 

shelbymarie

Member
Original Poster
Here’s some pictures I just took of Bindi, you can really see the curve in his spine here. He is starting to struggle to walk, but it’s more so with his front legs, rather than the back. He is still acting normal, eating, pooping, no black bearding.
 

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Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

So sorry Bindi has gout. That is a hard condition to treat sometimes.
I am glad that they did put him on Allopurinol to help. You can also get him started on black or tart cherry juice extract, to
help his kidneys. How much protein do you give him, estimated number of insects daily?
I would avoid the dubias right now, because they are naturally high in uric acid. Try to focus on hydration & vegetation & if at
all possible, decrease protein to minimal right now to help.
Also, the calcium powder you are using, does it have D3 in it? For now, since you are using a liquid calcium supplement for him,
I would cease using the calcium powder. I think it is proving to be too much for his system. Can you post a picture of the liquid
calcium label for me, & his dose as well so I can be sure he isn't getting too much. What is his weight?
Too much calcium can lead to softening of the bones or the development of nodules on his cervical or spinal column or even on
the ribs due to deposition. It can contribute to softening of the bones or calcification of the organs, if in excess.
Since you are using the Arcadia D3 12% T5 tube, he wont need any D3 at all.
Is there a way that you can mount the tube bulb directly underneath of the screen, to make sure he is getting enough UVB?

Tracie
 
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