Sunken fat pads after leaving her for vacation..advice?

lizdragon

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
I really wish I had gotten her spayed earlier. I'm kicking myself for that. What was holding me back was the risk of surgery on her body, but now it's even riskier. A vet (who was not an exotic specialist) told me that surgery on reptiles was extremely risky and they usually don't survive, so that's what was keeping me from doing it.

As for when the vet wants to do the surgery, that's what I'm a bit confused about. I'm been communicating with her via message and she told me she needs more time to see how she responds to care and that if she’s still very weak in the morning (now), we'll need to re-evaluate if she can get surgery. So if she's still weak, I don't know if the vet will just send her home and hope she can lay on her own or recommend euthanasia. I want to explore as many other options as possible before resorting to that.

She also told me some of the results of her blood work. She said that her bloodwork shows decreases in values associated with no eating, which isn't great but I guess not surprising. And that her gallbladder enzyme is elevated (she said the enlarged gallbladder could be due to eating while trying to lay, I believe?) but the white and red blood cells are stable. Not sure what that means regarding the white and red blood cells.
 

lizdragon

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
I'm sorry for writing another reply so soon. I just got off the phone with the nurse. She told me that the doctor believes that she is not a good candidate for emergency surgery and honestly thinks that her quality of life is not good and that we should euthanize her. I asked if it's possible that she could still lay the eggs and we could build her strength up again, and she said it's possible she could lay but she just would still not have a great quality of life due to the bad husbandry she endured in her youth that's contributed to her MBD. I think we are going to go through with the euthanasia, but maybe take her home for a few days first because I can't get to the hospital tonight due to a stupid class I can't miss. I'm completely heartbroken. I feel incredibly guilty for not getting her spayed earlier but I won't go into those feelings now.

But before we definitely go through with the euthanasia, I just wanted to get the board's opinion on whether or not this is the right decision. I think it is but I just want to be sure others agree and would make the same choice. Thanks everyone.
 

bayoupig5

Sub-Adult Member
I can relate to this...and I feel for you. I know how stressful this is on you and her.

I can lend you some advice based on experience. I had two females who laid clutches every three weeks for 5 months. It takes a toll on them for sure. Especially as they get older. I will share my tips with you, and hopefully you can use some of this to help.

# 1 - Not eating at all
I have invested in a Magic Bullet blender, especially for my beardies. But any old small blender will do. I would always make my own slurries, and the ladies got bugs, 5 times per week while I was trying to get their weight up. Best choices for bugs are wax, silks, butters. As you are increasing the bug intake in an adult dragon, do not use super worms too much, once per week at most as supers are higher in phosphorus. You can also blend two types of bugs together or add in crickets and roaches. I always stick to good veggies in the mix, collard, endive, dandelion and mustard. I do not feed any calcium binding veggies at this time, for instance kale, chard, beet greens. Feed this blend (bug/veggie) 5 times per week by syringe, as much as they want to eat, but anywhere between 5 and 10 mls, 2-3 times per day. Once a day is not normally enough for weight gain. If you are using powdered calcium you can safely give calcium to her 7 times per week, it is safe, trust me. I have tested my dragons for calcium at that time and none of them ever had hypercalcemia. Vet also agreed it would be difficult to have this happen in a deficient egg laying female. I have also made this slurry with and with out bugs, and two days of the week, I would feed just the veg mixture with your standard multivitamin (1 to t times per week).

#2 - Eating a Little - Keep feeding slurries about 1 to 2 times per week as above, as you want to ensure all the weight comes back, with a little more to ensure there are plenty of fat stores for them.

#3 - In place of the veggie only slurry - I have recently started using Repashy products - (Veggies Burger, Beardie Buffet). I used these in place of the veggie slurry only days. They have all the vits and minerals they need (D3 too), it blends really well in to a slurry and I added a little calcium to this as well.

#4 - Calcium - I have mentioned calcium a lot above. I need to stress this is calcium without D3, you do not want to give calcium with D3 this often. D3 is given 1 - 2 times per week when using Repashy as stated above, or you can add the calcium with D3 twice a week to the slurry on the multivitamin day/s. I strongly suggest trying to find a liquid calcium and use that instead. It just works better for this type of issue with the female dragons. They can metabolize it far better, and I used liquid calcium 7 days per week for 3 months without any ill effect or signs of hypercalcemia.

I could not spay my older dragon either, but definitely got her weight up with this continued process. If she is not black bearded all the time, seems otherwise normal (if not a little tired), I would try. I personally know with perseverance it can be done.

You know your dragon best, so it would ultimately be up to do in regard to what decision is best for both of you.

Best of luck and do not hesitate to ask me anything.
 
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xp29

Gray-bearded Member
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby & Snicker Doodle
I agree Bayoupig5, if she isn't in pain i would give her every fighting chance. I have come to almost ABSOLUTELY hate vets. Nearly every time i go in the first words out of their friggen mouth is that i should euthanize my pet. I have started warning them up front that,that recommendation is going to eqaul a broken nose(I'm being serious) that seems to get their attention. I think in most instances they recommend it because of their on inability to understand and to treat reptiles. It's easier to put our pets to sleep than admit they are clueless. (Before i get attacted here, and i keep saying this, I know not all vets are bad, BUT not all vets are good either). Use your own best judgment, you know your beardie better than anyone else. Don't be pressured either way, do what YOU think to be right. God bless both you and your beardie, you will both be in my prayers.
 

lizdragon

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Thank you both very much.

bayoupig5, those are wonderful tips and I'll absolutely keep them in mind if I ever adopt another dragon or I'll pass them along to someone whose beardie is struggling with the same issue.

xp29, I totally agree that I would want to give her every fighting chance however the doctor told me that she is in pain and will continue to be in pain. I also have taken her to some vets who clearly didn't know anything about reptiles but this time she saw the reptile specialist at AMC, which is supposed to be one of the best veterinary hospitals in the world so this time I do think I trust their opinion. I really don't want to euthanize her. I've been beside myself this entire day. I'm waiting for the doctor to get back to me but I'm hoping we can take Liz home today and have her put to sleep in a few days, keeping her comfortable with pain medication until then.
 

xp29

Gray-bearded Member
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby & Snicker Doodle
If she is going to be in chronic pain, thats the right thing to do. I truely am sorry you both have had to go through that.
 

lizdragon

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
If she is going to be in chronic pain, thats the right thing to do. I truely am sorry you both have had to go through that.
Thank you. I spoke with the doctor again and because we don't want her to be in pain any longer than she needs to be, we have decided to have her go to sleep tonight. I'm totally heartbroken and my face is in pain from crying all day, but I think this is the right thing to do. Thank you so much for your kind words and advice.
 

lizdragon

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Thank you. She's gone. There is a huge hole in my heart right now. I'll probably write up a little memorial for her on the Beardie Memorial forum and link it here in case anyone cares. She was my first and only beardie and I knew it would hurt when she left but this is really awful.

Happy Liz.jpg
The last happy picture of her from this summer.
 
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Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Oh no, I am so sorry, bless her. I hate to hear you had to go through all of this only to lose her. :cry:
No matter what the situation is, losing them is one of the worst feelings in the world.
My condolences to you. She was very well loved, by you.

Tracie
 

lizdragon

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Thank you so much. After we said goodbye, my husband and I started looking at older pictures of her before she went on a laying rampage, and she really looked like an entirely different dragon. Her laying seasons in 2021 and 2022 really did a number on her. I don’t think we realized how bad she looked; we had just gotten so used to it and we thought she was okay because she always managed to lay and would regain strength between clutches. And I swear, before we left her with family for our wedding and honeymoon she did not look this bad. She looked how she normally did when laying and I even checked to make sure her fat pads were not deflated before going. I honestly wish we never went on our stupid honeymoon so we maybe could have brought her in earlier when she was still strong enough to survive surgery. I hate that she was in pain this long, and for all the other clutches this year too. I wish I could go back in time and spay her, but I was always scared of losing her due to the riskiness of the surgery.

Anyways, I’ll stop my rant now. Thank you especially Tracie, since you have given me advice on Liz for literally years now. I honestly think she lived longer thanks to these forums.
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

You are welcome. Somehow that doesn't seem like enough....I wish that I could have helped more.
Losing a precious dragon is equivalent to your soul shattering into a billion pieces. It is definitely not
your fault. It's easy now to look back & think what you could of or should have done. Surgery always
comes with risks but sometimes it really pays off. I hope that you can find peace during this time. If
you have a lot of pictures of her, you could make a little photo album in honor of her, a tribute to her.
She will always be with you & I know for sure you will see her again. She will seek you out because
her soul will wait for you.

Tracie
 

lizdragon

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Hello,

You are welcome. Somehow that doesn't seem like enough....I wish that I could have helped more.
Losing a precious dragon is equivalent to your soul shattering into a billion pieces. It is definitely not
your fault. It's easy now to look back & think what you could of or should have done. Surgery always
comes with risks but sometimes it really pays off. I hope that you can find peace during this time. If
you have a lot of pictures of her, you could make a little photo album in honor of her, a tribute to her.
She will always be with you & I know for sure you will see her again. She will seek you out because
her soul will wait for you.

Tracie
Sorry for the delayed response, I took a break from the forum because it was making me too sad. I appreciate all your advice over the years! And thank you for the kind words. I'm doing a lot better actually but I still miss her tremendously. We just got her ashes back two days ago and are looking for a nice urn that represents her to put them in. It really did shatter my heart. I keep forgetting that she isn't here and I haven't been able to touch her tank yet. It feels like she was just here. Ah well, it'll get easier day by day..
 

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