Violent thrashing and hacking???

ToothlesssMom

Member
Beardie name(s)
Toothless
Help!!! Violent head thrashing (seizure?) and hacking/ coughing. Looked in his throat, nothing there. Light coughing the last few days, made appointment with vet, but they can't see him until tomorrow. Suddenly got much worse after they closed. Beard is pitch black, tail is dark, ears look dark, rest of his body is lighter than normal (it does look like he might shed soon). Head thrashing side to side violently fast. Happened twice, didn't get it on video. Emergency vet can't see beardies. I'm so scared he is choking or going to stop breathing overnight!

Background: Toothless is a 8 year+ rescue. Metabolic bone disease and general malnutrition when we got him 7 years ago. One of his legs grew in twisted. No health problems since except for a seminal plug last month (vet removed it). He has barely been eating (a few worms and almost no veggies) and having fewer bowel movements (3 in the last 4 weeks) for several weeks. Vet thought it was the seminal plug and that he would gradually return to normal.

Diet: daily butternut squash and collard greens. Other fruit and veg mixed in on rotation, but he picks around it. 3 Super worms or meal worms dusted in Ca powder 2 times a week, multivitamin powder once a week. He has been refusing crickets for the last 5 years.

Environment: Reptisun UVB 10.0 (replaced annually), daytime heat lamp over basking rock, night time ceramic infrared heat lamp. Temp ranges from 80-high 90s F. Humidity 30-40. Screenshot of the monitor attached. Substrate is a rough turf material. Has a hammock and a 'cave' under his rock. Bath and full tank cleaning once a week, occasionally more warm soaks throughout the week. He spends about an hour outside his tank during feeding a few times a week and explores the house.

I'm attaching a healthy picture for color/appearence comparison. He has been in full UV all day in the pic and video.

Please give share any experience or advice you have. The whole family is distraught over his condition.
 

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KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 2
Help!!! Violent head thrashing (seizure?) and hacking/ coughing. Looked in his throat, nothing there. Light coughing the last few days, made appointment with vet, but they can't see him until tomorrow. Suddenly got much worse after they closed. Beard is pitch black, tail is dark, ears look dark, rest of his body is lighter than normal (it does look light he might shed soon). Head thrashing side to side violently fast. Happened twice, didn't get it on video. Emergency vet can't see beardies. I'm so scared he is chocking or going to stop breathing overnight!

Background: Toothless is a 8 year+ rescue. Metabolic bone disease and general malnutrition when we got him 7 years ago. One of his legs grew in twisted. No health problems since except for a seminal plug last month (vet removed it). He has barely been eating (a few worms and almost no veggies) and having fewer bowel movements (3 in the last 4 weeks) for several weeks. Vet thought it was the seminal plug and that he would gradually return to normal.

Diet: daily butternut squash and collard greens. Other fruit and veg mixed in on rotation, but he picks around it. 3 Super worms or meal worms dusted in Ca powder 2 times a week, multivitamin powder once a week. He has been refusing crickets for the last 5 years.

Environment: Reptisun UVB 10.0 (replaced annually), daytime heat lamp over basking rock, night time ceramic infrared heat lamp. Temp ranges from 80-high 90s F. Humidity 30-40. Screenshot of the monitor attached. Substrate is a rough turf material. Has a hammock and a 'cave' under his rock. Bath and full tank cleaning once a week, occasionally more warm soaks throughout the week. He spends about an hour outside his tank during feeding a few times a week and explores the house.

I'm attaching a few healthy pictures for color/appearence comparison. He has been in full UV all day in all of these pics and videos.

Please give share any experience or advice you have. The whole family is distraught over his condition.
The 10.0 is a coil or a long tube fixture? Where in the tank is it?
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 2
I can't tell if you screen is a wide hole or fine mesh so I would recommend you take the screen off and place it width wise across him over his basking decor 12-15 inches- start there and I am going to flag your post to our vet tech she's on late at night-
@Drache613
 

ToothlesssMom

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Toothless
I can't tell if you screen is a wide hole or fine mesh so I would recommend you take the screen off and place it width wise across him over his basking decor 12-15 inches- start there and I am going to flag your post to our vet tech she's on late at night-
@Drache613
16524087474547504667584512828421.jpg
does this look right? The top is a fine mesh. thank you so much!!! So grateful for your advice
 

ToothlesssMom

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Toothless
Oh my god. My husband just realized it hasn't been changed in over 18 mo!! Its a T8. It didn't arrive on auto-order because they were no longer available from that company. Thank you so much!!! We will put in a new one asap!!! Does this seem like UV deficiency to you? Is there anything we can do for him right away?
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 2
Oh my god. My husband just realized it hasn't been changed in over 18 mo!! Its a T8. It didn't arrive on auto-order because they were no longer available from that company. Thank you so much!!! We will put in a new one asap!!! Does this seem like UV deficiency to you? Is there anything we can do for him right away?
Yes this would be the reason - please get a 24" zoo med fixture this will come w/ a 5.0 bulb please get a reptisun 10.0 T 5 or get a Arcadia pro T 5 w a 12% bulb - both are good bulbs - check www.pangeareptiles.com- they are fast and good- you want the upgraded fixture and bulb-- you can check your petstores but most do not carry those mainly T 8's- please either get the bulb you have now or get him outside for direct sunlight in a plastic tote no glass- temps should be 65 + degrees do not leave him supervise him or you can have him sit on you for at least 15 min or longer- please let me know what you get and I be will help you set it up for your tank- distance for the T 8 is 6-8 inches directly above the basking decor- the bulb should be changed out in 6 months for the T 8 I recommend 5
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
The violent head shaking is how they vomit so he's having trouble digesting something and probably trying to throw it up. Although it's no fun for you or the dragon, they can recover well as long as there are no underlying serious health problem. What did he eat recently ?
 

ToothlesssMom

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Toothless
Yes this would be the reason - please get a 24" zoo med fixture this will come w/ a 5.0 bulb please get a reptisun 10.0 T 5 or get a Arcadia pro T 5 w a 12% bulb - both are good bulbs - check www.pangeareptiles.com- they are fast and good- you want the upgraded fixture and bulb-- you can check your petstores but most do not carry those mainly T 8's- please either get the bulb you have now or get him outside for direct sunlight in a plastic tote no glass- temps should be 65 + degrees do not leave him supervise him or you can have him sit on you for at least 15 min or longer- please let me know what you get and I be will help you set it up for your tank- distance for the T 8 is 6-8 inches directly above the basking decor- the bulb should be changed out in 6 months for the T 8 I recommend 5
Do these look right? We've got 4 people to keep him outside as often as possible until everything comes in. Vet tomorrow and will discuss his diet too!
 

ToothlesssMom

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Toothless
The violent head shaking is how they vomit so he's having trouble digesting something and probably trying to throw it up. Although it's no fun for you or the dragon, they can recover well as long as there are no underlying serious health problem. What did he eat recently ?
He's barely been eating. I think he has only eaten 2 pieces of greens in the last few days. Every time I coax him into eating something, he spits it back out. Been going on for several weeks. Do you think digestion could still be involved? Thank you for the help!!
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
You mentioned that he roams the houde and this is when a lot of beardies eat a foreign object like a rubber band, small toy, coin, or a whole lot of other possibilities. Hopefully it's not that and he'll be O.K !
 

ToothlesssMom

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Toothless
You mentioned that he roams the houde and this is when a lot of beardies eat a foreign object like a rubber band, small toy, coin, or a whole lot of other possibilities. Hopefully it's not that and he'll be O.K !
Ah! I hope that isn't it! He doesn't have full access to the house. Only the large main rooms with clean hardwood floors and I always sit in the floor and watch him. I really hope that didn't happen, but I appreciate you pointing out the possibility!
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Bless him, he is probably having a hard time digesting, as well as getting around a little bit.
The Reptisun 10 T5 tube bulb is a great bulb so we definitely recommend that one. You can
mount it around 8-10 inches away, alongside of the basking light.
Have you had a fecal done on him? He could have worms or parasites affecting him also.
Since he hasn't had very strong UVB it's possible he has developed metabolic bone disease,
& might be having some pain, too.

Let us know how he is doing.

Tracie
 
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