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URGENT VERY ILL DRAGON

Kchacon54

Member
Original Poster
Hi guys I wanted to update you my bearded dragon seems to not be doing well. He is not eating and drinking the green juice as well as he did before. He was having good solid poops but recently he has been doing very small poops (sometimes just urate) often. His head swelling is growing as time goes on and there are some dark red scales towards the back of his head on the swollen part, could this be blood/internal bleeding? I am concerned and i do not know if he is suffering too much. He is pretty alert most of the time and he moves around but there are times where he gets tired and will just lay down. He is also breathing hard. Thank you.

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kingofnobbys

BD.org Sicko
My advice - learnt the hard way - find an expert reptile surgeon - not just a hack vet who dabbles in reptiles.

See my thread about my Puff who I lost a few hours after surgery to drain and debride what the vet thought was an abscess but discovered was a huge aneurysm on his left jugular . Puff died due to severe blood loss in surgery while he was being kept in overnight in ICU under observation from what the vet claimed was heart failure ( due to low blood volume ) …. I believe incompetence
>> misdiagnosed ( I strongly suspected he had an aneurysm when I took him to them )
>> inexperience in dealing with bearded dragon aneurysms
>> never even suggested harvesting Puff's blood for storage over a month or so to have sufficient blood to transfuse him during the surgery ( they told me he had an abscess , despite my research indicating an aneurysm ).

Puff never lost his appetite.
Puff never behaved sick , even when he ruptured his left eye who's eyesocket was very swollen ( fluid buildup due to the aneurysm ) , irritated him and he bashed it in hard corner of his fake grotto .

Get on top of this ASAP , it wont go away by itself .

Be aware , the prognosis is not flash , unless the reptile surgeon is very experienced.

Be aware , there is a strong likelihood of future aneurysms for him for the rest of his life .

Be aware , it's wise to keep his stress level low while he has an aneurysm else he is a risk of a fatal stroke.
 

Kchacon54

Member
Original Poster
Hi kingofnobbys

I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your experience with me. I have a similar situation in which the vet was not listening to me. I had a vet who refused to do any scans because he was so confident that he had a massive tumor in his mouth and to spend as much time as we could with him. I did not trust this because it did not make sense how a huge tumor could appear out of nowhere and he did not want to prove it to me. I am having a lot of difficulty finding a vet that actually knows about bearded dragons in my area, a lot of them do not even do ultrasounds on bearded dragons. I also do not know how to confirm that he has an aneurysm. Would I ask for an ultrasound? I am also struggling with determining the cause of this because this swelling appeared immediately after he received an injection of vitamins A and D. Or I am not sure if it is a coincidence and that he developed this due to genetics? My plan is to take him to an emergency vet on Friday from your experience what should I ask for to confirm that this is an aneurysm? How were you able to find an experienced reptile surgeon in your area?

Thank you
 

kingofnobbys

BD.org Sicko
AHBD":10g2srfl said:
Hi there, sorry to hear about your dragon ! I know that vitamin A can cause beard swelling but have never heard of it causing a lump on the head . Get lots of fluids in him and find another vet to do an x-ray of his head. Best wishes to your handsome boy !
Looking at the side view of the swelling in the crest ---- brings bad memories of how Puff's problems started.

If you can't get him to an experienced (EXPERT) vet soon , I strongly recommend
1) using a permanent marker to mark the periphery of the swelling ( close as you can tell ) NOW.
2) then take photos from above , the side , behind and infront so you can have a reference to refer to .

This way you can monitor how the swelled area is growing .
Check how it feels regularly too, is squishy / soft , does it stay pressed down for a long time or does it quickly spring back to original shape and size ( full of blood with an active blood supply _= BAD ), does he react to it being gently pressed .
 

kingofnobbys

BD.org Sicko
Kchacon54":2q16rh03 said:
Hi kingofnobbys

I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your experience with me. I have a similar situation in which the vet was not listening to me. I had a vet who refused to do any scans because he was so confident that he had a massive tumor in his mouth and to spend as much time as we could with him. I did not trust this because it did not make sense how a huge tumor could appear out of nowhere and he did not want to prove it to me. I am having a lot of difficulty finding a vet that actually knows about bearded dragons in my area, a lot of them do not even do ultrasounds on bearded dragons. I also do not know how to confirm that he has an aneurysm. Would I ask for an ultrasound? I am also struggling with determining the cause of this because this swelling appeared immediately after he received an injection of vitamins A and D. Or I am not sure if it is a coincidence and that he developed this due to genetics? My plan is to take him to an emergency vet on Friday from your experience what should I ask for to confirm that this is an aneurysm? How were you able to find an experienced reptile surgeon in your area?

Thank you

Small needle aspiration - was not conclusive - even on the day of Puff's fatal surgery .
Ultra sound will show if there's an active blood supply.

There's an expert in USA who I contacted , Prof Tosdic ?? ( will be in my thread ) contact her , she'll give a lead on a nearby vet she's trained.

I still miss Puff , he was special very smoogy boy and I carry a LOT of guilt letting the vet ( who claimed they were experts ) take him away to "butcher" him .
I'll never do that again . I've lost my confidence in the local "expert reptile vets" IMO all of them locally are incompetent.
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Please keep us posted on your precious boy. I hope you are able to find a vet who will take
him on. As suggested, it is imperative that you do get him to a vet as soon as possible.

Tracie
 

Kchacon54

Member
Original Poster
Hi all I wanted to update you. Today my beardie went to the vet. The vet believes it is an aneurysm. They want to see how anemic my beardie is and then if he is not anemic they are considering aspirating the bump on his head as a solution. Vet said aspiration is very risky because he could bleed out and die. She said that he looks very well that this bump is not interfering with his life. He is eating very well and pooping well. They are going to draw blood and do an X ray. We are still deciding if aspirating would be a good choice or not. Any advice would be appreciated again I want to thank you all for your help :)
 

kingofnobbys

BD.org Sicko
Kchacon54":2y3i2rr3 said:
Hi all I wanted to update you. Today my beardie went to the vet. The vet believes it is an aneurysm. They want to see how anemic my beardie is and then if he is not anemic they are considering aspirating the bump on his head as a solution. Vet said aspiration is very risky because he could bleed out and die. She said that he looks very well that this bump is not interfering with his life. He is eating very well and pooping well. They are going to draw blood and do an X ray. We are still deciding if aspirating would be a good choice or not. Any advice would be appreciated again I want to thank you all for your help :)

Ask the vet about blood harvesting and storage prior to the aspiration procedure. My understanding is the "expert" vet recommends either a sacrificial donner dragon to provide blood via transfusion or pre-procedure blood harvested from the dragon in the weeks before the procedure.

So if there is a large volume of blood loss during the procedure transfusions of the dragons own stored blood can be used to keep the blood pressure up , else you will likely loose the dragon in the procedure or in postop ICU overnight ( my Puff died from a heart attack due to low blood volume/pressure after his procedure according to the vet).
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Let us know how the vet visit goes. I agree, if he is not anemic he may be able to go through
the procedure without any problems. As suggested, blood harvesting can definitely save his
life or at the very least give you peace of mind in case it is needed.
I'm glad to hear he is holding his own & still doing well right now, eating, etc. Is his beard a
normal color too?

Tracie
 
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