Vet couldnt diagnose my 3 year old beardie, im afraid meds may cause more harm than good, please help if you can!!!! Please!

Puff is my first ever bearded dragon. He has sparked a love in these reptiles which has really grown. Pre covid it was not what it is now trying to get in to a vet. I have a vet who does treat reptiles and is quite good only a mile away. Since covid 19 she is booked weeks out and is really not much of an option anymore. I called about 15 hospitals last week when I noticed something was off with Puff. He lives in my room, I knew instantly when I got home from work last Tuesday. It was 8 pm so all I could do was Google his symptoms and I was up every little while checking He was alive. Wednesday morning I went to work to cancel my appointments while calling hospital after hospital. I found one an hour away that wouldn't answer their phone but the site said they took walk ins. I took my chance and went home to pack up Puff and we were on our way. We waited in the waiting room, it was almost two hours after arrival before we were seen. I can't complain about this because it was the only option I had. Long story short, I know my Puffadoodles, I feel this is an issue with his belly. Obstruction maybe? His symptoms presented were black beard and shoulder pads and tail tip dark. Sad looking droopy eyes. Lethargic. Wouldn't eat. Realized he hadn't pooped in a few days and he ALWAYS would let me know when he wanted to come out to poop. I agreed to anything the vet wanted to do, I just wanted my baby saved, I would have found a way to pay whatever it cost. She wanted x-rays, fluids, and a fecal I'd possible. I agreed. Came back with x-rays and says she is not a reptile vet, she's a general practice but that she was extremely concerned about his lungs. Now that was a shocker because I've dealt with uris several times before and this was not that! A week later and I still don't think it's his lungs! He has managed to pass some liquid and a bit of diarrhea, honestly looks like bird poop. She wasn't able to acquire a fecal at the time. She gave him an antibiotic injection, clindasomething, they stay frozen until you thaw them, every three days, switching arms. Puff has moments of alertness, but she told me to soak him every day and this is where I get stumped...his body almost freezes, I literally had to hold his head above the water while he did most of his soak, then he would stand. He won't eat or drink much. He has had 3 injections so far. I finally got sent his x-rays right now after sending another email asking where they were. No apology from hospital or anything after requesting them three times, simply a reply saying they are sent. I'm literally willing to zelle someone money to help me with this! I don't have much but it's worth whatever it takes to me. He is in a 40 gallon, 100 watt che, t 5 10 watt Arcadia strip light I believe? He has never been sick before, he's my baby, please please help!!!!
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 2
Puff is my first ever bearded dragon. He has sparked a love in these reptiles which has really grown. Pre covid it was not what it is now trying to get in to a vet. I have a vet who does treat reptiles and is quite good only a mile away. Since covid 19 she is booked weeks out and is really not much of an option anymore. I called about 15 hospitals last week when I noticed something was off with Puff. He lives in my room, I knew instantly when I got home from work last Tuesday. It was 8 pm so all I could do was Google his symptoms and I was up every little while checking He was alive. Wednesday morning I went to work to cancel my appointments while calling hospital after hospital. I found one an hour away that wouldn't answer their phone but the site said they took walk ins. I took my chance and went home to pack up Puff and we were on our way. We waited in the waiting room, it was almost two hours after arrival before we were seen. I can't complain about this because it was the only option I had. Long story short, I know my Puffadoodles, I feel this is an issue with his belly. Obstruction maybe? His symptoms presented were black beard and shoulder pads and tail tip dark. Sad looking droopy eyes. Lethargic. Wouldn't eat. Realized he hadn't pooped in a few days and he ALWAYS would let me know when he wanted to come out to poop. I agreed to anything the vet wanted to do, I just wanted my baby saved, I would have found a way to pay whatever it cost. She wanted x-rays, fluids, and a fecal I'd possible. I agreed. Came back with x-rays and says she is not a reptile vet, she's a general practice but that she was extremely concerned about his lungs. Now that was a shocker because I've dealt with uris several times before and this was not that! A week later and I still don't think it's his lungs! He has managed to pass some liquid and a bit of diarrhea, honestly looks like bird poop. She wasn't able to acquire a fecal at the time. She gave him an antibiotic injection, clindasomething, they stay frozen until you thaw them, every three days, switching arms. Puff has moments of alertness, but she told me to soak him every day and this is where I get stumped...his body almost freezes, I literally had to hold his head above the water while he did most of his soak, then he would stand. He won't eat or drink much. He has had 3 injections so far. I finally got sent his x-rays right now after sending another email asking where they were. No apology from hospital or anything after requesting them three times, simply a reply saying they are sent. I'm literally willing to zelle someone money to help me with this! I don't have much but it's worth whatever it takes to me. He is in a 40 gallon, 100 watt che, t 5 10 watt Arcadia strip light I believe? He has never been sick before, he's my baby, please please help!!!!
@Drache613
I am sorry to hear about puff- I would upgrade your uvb to a 12% bulb-- where is it in the tank top of screen or inside- and your screen is it fine mesh or wide hole type- this really important to his health
 

Kmarusarz77

Member
Original Poster
It may be that, I will check, we have over 20 reptile habitats in the house and I know his is a t5, not t8, it's the one for desert , not tropical, it's on top and it's fine mesh.
 

Kmarusarz77

Member
Original Poster
Yeah, so his wasn't one of the Arcadias, I remember having to order his on amazon and they didn't have Arcadias available so I had to buy the reptisun. I finally got him to take down some unflavored pedialyte, he's been fighting me for eating yesterday and today, but he got his injection about 4 hours ago so I don't know if that had anything to do with it. I've been trying to get down grub pie mixed w the pedialyte. Touch of bee pollen (good lord I'm stressed, I actually typed pee bollen and had it to fix it!) Little reptaid immune support and little critical care carnivore. He had taken some without much fight prior to yesterday since he has been sick. His belly just feels like he does when he's in the tub, but constantly. Now I have another male Marz ,named after my dad, ironically this is my dad's death anniversary 7 years ago :( ,who just always feels thick and solid like this. But Puff normally feels "a Lil flabbier" and not as muscular as this blown up feeling he feels like now.
 

Kmarusarz77

Member
Original Poster
Just checked, his current bulb is reptisun10.0, changed out within the last three months
I thought these bulbs can't be that close to the basking area? I thought these were the type that are supposed to sit on top? That's why I chose the t8s for my stacking cages because they are inside mounted? But I don't mind, I'll do whatever it takes, just don't know how to safely get the light inside. I hope I'm not mixing up the sizes I'm telling you . My stack cages have the fatter bulbs and this is the skinnier bulb. Just did a USB check and it had come out very strong and done about 4 inches below screen. Not questioning you at all, just want to make sure I'm doing everything correctly and not mixing my facts up, ya know?
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Sorry your boy is having a terrible time right now! What foods/insects do you normally feed him? Are you also
giving calcium for him frequently? If you feel he could be impacted, you can try giving soft foods for a few days
such as canned pumpkin, sugar free apple sauce, mixed with a few drops of olive or coconut oil to help move things
along.
Are you still giving the Clindamycin or Ceftz antibiotic, or not?
Try to keep him warm overnight, around 75-80F to help boost his system while he isn't 100%.

Tracie
 

Kmarusarz77

Member
Original Poster
Thanks Tracie, yes, he has his heat emitter on all night. Still giving the antibiotic. I lightly dust the insects every day, our staple is super worms lately because I went through a lot of our dubia colony last month so I had to leave that alone to let it build back up. We get hornworms delivered once a month but the last two shipments of those haven't been great and they didn't grow very big at all, during the warmer months they got to feast on the big juicy ones. I'm no longer allowed to buy crickets because they would escape and make their merry way into the other apartments. It took forever to get rid of them chirping especially in the basement apartment. Occasional bfl and wax worms, I save mostly though for the smaller reptiles. Did the pics of him and his x-rays show? I included them on original post but don't see them now. I will try the pumpkin today. Ordered veggie burger for them, he hasn't wanted to eat anything but I did get some pedialyte in him last night, had to force it at first though. I so appreciate your reply, I've been spending every spare minute trying to help him and trying to research this, and reading other people's posts as well. I wish I knew how to read xrays.
 

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KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 2
I thought these bulbs can't be that close to the basking area? I thought these were the type that are supposed to sit on top? That's why I chose the t8s for my stacking cages because they are inside mounted? But I don't mind, I'll do whatever it takes, just don't know how to safely get the light inside. I hope I'm not mixing up the sizes I'm telling you . My stack cages have the fatter bulbs and this is the skinnier bulb. Just did a USB check and it had come out very strong and done about 4 inches below screen. Not questioning you at all, just want to make sure I'm doing everything correctly and not mixing my facts up, ya know?
T 8's are a fatter bulb -- they need to be inside the tank screen does not matter they must be inside the T 5's are a stronger bulb and depending on the screen they can sit on top -- but your screen MUST BE a wider hole type of screen -- and the distance would be different for the T 5 to be on top of the screen -- you can use this stuff to hang w/ I use it in my tanks and it works good its like a Velcro strap cut into strips the wrap around your fixture GE 15 ft. Cable Ties, Hook and Loop Spool, Black-10375 - The Home Depot
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

As long as the tube bulb is mounted alongside of the bright basking light, a distance of 6-8 inches for a Reptisun 10
T8 tube is acceptable. If at all possible, that would be great if you could get it mounted underneath of the screen top
to get better UVB exposure. What was the UVB reading that you took, at the distance?
How is he doing today?

Tracie
 

Kmarusarz77

Member
Original Poster
Hello,

As long as the tube bulb is mounted alongside of the bright basking light, a distance of 6-8 inches for a Reptisun 10
T8 tube is acceptable. If at all possible, that would be great if you could get it mounted underneath of the screen top
to get better UVB exposure. What was the UVB reading that you took, at the distance?
How is he doing today?

Tracie
Ok so my son corrected me, he said the top we have IS the bigger hole kind, not the fine mesh. When I looked at the whole size on that compared to the screen on the insect totes we have it is much bigger. The Uvb tester is used was one of the card type. I know it works, it's new and I tested it on other lights. Puffs is one of the newer ones, I actually put this one in in November. The uvb detector changed to a bright purple which is good. I have been nursing him to health as much as I can, he still won't eat willingly and he really is fighting and keeping his jaw clamped...shoot, I used to hand feed baby birds and sick birds and sick reptiles and never had one fight me as much as my stubborn little bugger! I tried pumpkin puree w a little coconut oil and a little repaid today, don't know how much actually made it in, I would say not much. I took him into my reptile room to see how much interest he would show in seeing the other dragons and he showed some which was would good but normally he would be stomping and head bobbing like crazy. But my good news (I hope) is that he finally FINALLY passed some poop! I know the vet did say she was concerned about his lungs but also admitted she really had no clue. I know it's gotta be his tummy. Has anyone noticed anything from the xray about obstruction? He passed the poop in the tub after I gave him a little firmer tummy massage than I have been because I just want him to get some relief. The stool did have a touch of blood in it after I inspected it, I really did not see much as far as insect parts but he hasn't eaten any in over a week now. His cloaca had some of the whitish poop on it with a streak of blood as well. I'm hoping though that if he is constipated he passed the first part and the rest will start coming now and not that he has internal bleeding. I know we can have blood when we strain to poop, it's red blood, not brown or black. I appreciate everyone who is chiming in, having this site is absolutely priceless, especially nowadays when it's hard to find help with anything, especially reptile experts. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

It sounds like he is making some progress which is good to hear! They do tend to respond slowly so that makes it hard to be
patient. His lungs appear clear as best I can tell from the x-rays. It's a little hard to tell whether or not there is a full impaction.
They can have partial impactions & still pass things through but with some difficulty. He could just be dehydrated, or low on
calcium reserves, which can contribute to impaction trouble.
Did he like the pureed pumpkin? At any rate, it is at least healthy!
Keep him a little warmer overnight so his system will stay optimized.

Tracie
 
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