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Xrays & lab results in comments!

MissCutiePatootie

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
She sent me his labs. I'm not sure if this is the complete panel or not. She sent it pretty quick. This is what it's looking like.

Maybe someone can make sense of it enough to have a good idea of what's going on.

They're giving me the option to go to a place for exotic veterinary care that's about an hour away. I might try to make this happen next but I'm running out of funds for this right now.

Here are the lab results.


1y7bhmm.png
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hi there,

The blood work kind of points towards some type of autoimmune disease or inflammation/infection. But not very strongly. Has he ever had blood work done before to compare to? I remember we talked about it as part of your testing the CBD oil, right?

The Glucose is out of range, but not by much. I'd keep an eye on it though as we've seen more and more evidence of high Glucose levels being one of the first signs of GNT.

Liver values are not too bad, even though the ALT is labeled high, it also isn't actually too bad.

The other chemistry issues could all be related to him being out of your care for awhile, and may go back to normal in a few weeks. I would go for blood work again in a few weeks, at the least to check on the glucose level.

I'm not good at reading x-rays really, Tracie is much better at it.

-Brandon
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
All in all it doesn't look too bad, a few things are off but not by much. If you look at all the values, the vet has put a letter H or letter L in front. That tells you what is a bit high or low. The AST liver enzymes are slightly high, when Tracie checks it out she might offer some advice for you. EDIT....Brandon typing his message as I was starting.
 

MissCutiePatootie

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Well that's relieving to hear. I did look each one up myself and was convinced it was cancer and liver issues.

I'm very interested in what Tracie will think when she is able to go over it.

I had to go back in time to find his old blood panel. This is what I found.


QdokNsQ.png
 

MissCutiePatootie

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Just wanted to give an update on Malachi's case.

It's a waiting game now with the vets. I hope his flipping is over now. Below is what I feed him each day. He will eat anywhere between 10-20mL in a sitting. I usually just feed him once a day unless he only took half his meal in one sitting then I feed again later in the afternoon when he's receptive again. How does this look? Any suggestions or tweaks? I know honey was suggested but I'm staying away from sugar as much as possible. His blood glucose has always been on the higher end. However the vet seems to thinks that the glucose level is at least partially from a stress response to the vet.


What he gets every day right now;
Unflavored Liquid calcium (given separately)
Unflavored Liquid Serrapeptase (given separately)

Liquid VitB Complex (For his tremors)
Tart Cherry Juice (inflammation)
Bee Pollen (vits)
Probiotics
Butternut squash and sweet pea baby food (Base)
Rephashy Beardie Buffet (Protein)

Things I swap or mix it up with throughout the week;
Calendula Powder (Nutrients & Inflammation)
Milk Thistle (For Inflammation)
Spirulina (For vits)
Electrolytes
Egg Whites Powder (extra protein source)
Alfalfa Powder -
Dandelion Powder -
Wheat Grass Powder - (Flavor & Nutrients)


Things I've noticed...

Yesterday, he was crunching in on his right side very slowly but unnaturally deep like he was in pain. He did this at least 2 times.

His poops seem to be a mix of liquids coming out and about the quarter of the size amount of feces as his normal poos go. Not very much urates I'm noticing the last couple of days. The last time I seen urates they were liquidy as well.

For days now he has been partially black bearding off and on running around for days now while being super brightly colored. This is how he behaves after brumation typically. Makes me think he's horny but really? Right now? Are you sure buddy? :? If only his problems were just baby fever lol!

I could start to see somewhat and definitely feel his spine at the base of his tail. Not like a injury lump or anything. This is new, his tail is usually plump and can't even feel the spine but it appears to have lost some of it's plump on the sides literally overnight but he doesn't appear dehydrated and gets fluids every day with his feedings.

Today he started to be reluctant towards his feedings but could just be that he's not that hungry yet. Tomorrow will tell.

I been up all day and night watching in case he flipped himself over again and he has not. I'm going to keep watching him for the next couple days just in case and if he doesn't do it again then this is making me think the antibiotics caused this to happen even more. Which will be relieving now that he is off of them.
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

That is a complete blood test since it includes the haematology report also.
It does look like he may have a low grade infection possibly but nothing major. His
calcium needs to come up some though, the level is on the lower end of the normal
range. So that has thrown off the calcium to phosphorus ratios which can affect his
calcium absorption.
The ALT which is one of the liver enzyme markers is a bit high but not too bad but the
AST (another livery enzyme marker) is in normal range.
I agree, stress can elevate the glucose levels as well as the CPK levels, just from a simple
blood draw, too.
The uric acid levels are a little low which can indicate dehydration (not likely), or a vitamin
or mineral deficiency. If he hasn't been eating much, then that would be plausible. I don't
think it looks to be cancer. Your supplement & feeding schedule is fine there. Which dry
powder are you feeding him, something from the vet?
You mentioned he isn't producing much in the way of urates, but just has excess fluids come
out?
Did you have x-rays? I don't seem them here, or am I missing them?

Tracie
 

MissCutiePatootie

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
@Drache Heyy...

The only thing that hasn't been done yet is a fecal and I haven't treated him for any parasites but I do have meds for it now. Could the low grade infection be caused by parasites? I want to give his system some time to rest before treating for parasites, but how long should I wait for if he's not worsening anymore?

I believe his calcium levels and such are recovering from the 9 months of being in my mothers care but should be climbing back up now.

Yeah the uric acid levels are low and it's definitely to do with his diet I believe. I think the uric acid levels are from not eating many bugs. I'm waiting for the holidays to end so I can order some for him. But typically I give him protein in powder form mixed with his food.

I use Repashy Beardie Buffet and egg white powder for protein sources. Then when I am able to get some bugs I also hand feed those to him. He doesn't take them quite readily though and I don't like forcing him. I'm thinking of getting a cheapie blender just for his bugs as a work around.

Yes that is correct on the urates. I can't remember if I seen any yesterday... I don't think I did. I think it was the day before and it was liquidy urates and not very much either. And today there was no urates with his movement. I'm just seeing excess fluids come out.

I posted the x-rays, you may have to go to the first page.
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello Tina,

I have been talking with you on fb messenger. I didn't realize you were the same person as
on here! Sorry...
I hope that Malachi is feeling better, I hate to hear he is having so much trouble right now.
We do need to get his values more balanced, quickly.
Parasites can definitely cause infection, is the vet going to do a fecal to check on that for
you?
I will look over your schedule that you sent me, for him again to double check it for him.
Are you keeping him a little warmer overnight too?
If he wasn't getting enough food, for too long of a period of time or not basking pretty
regularly, that can affect the liver. This is different than a slowed up system due to a
brumation phase.

Keep us posted on him.

Tracie
 

MissCutiePatootie

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Hey Tracie!

Oh sorry! I didn't even think about it lol! I should have told you, that's my bad. This morning Malachi is actually looking slightly better. They really can surprise you sometimes! But I do believe he is dehydrated. I wish we could give fluids but the vet says in his state that it would shock his system too much. On the up side, he hasn't flipped in like 3 or 4 days now! And his tremors don't seem any worse or better than they were before. Hopefully it stays that way.

I am taking in a fecal sample today. I got the timing on it perfect so that I could. The vet is also doing repeat xrays because his last ones people got the impression he had bad stomach mobility cuz I had just fed him lol. So he's been fasting a day for his next one. He's also getting his glucose levels checked again today to see if they have gone down to try and rule out GNT possibly.

I wish I knew exactly what happened over the 9 months I was gone. All I can say that is for sure is that one of his heat bulbs blew out for an unknown amount of time. He was definitely colder for an unknown amount of time however, the summer heat probably kept him warm because I don't have an AC. He had UVB most of the time I was away BUT possibly not adequate enough for just 2 months because that is the amount of time between when his lights had to be disassembled in case of evacuation until I came home. I was told he got his calcium while I was away in powder form. I feel differently towards that seeing his calcium levels in his lab work. I actually feel like he wasn't fed nearly as much as he was supposed to be. I'm refraining from letting my anger get to me. :banghead: It wasn't planned for me to be away for so long, it just happened because of COVID. Right now it's just about helping him because I can't change the past as much as I wish I could.

I have a CHE on him for night time. His tank doesn't drop below 78F that I've seen, do you think that's warm enough? I really hope he isn't suffering too much.
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
I very very much doubt that he is dehydrated. Haven't his stools been filled with fluid? That, and his low electrolyte counts would lead you to believe that overhydration is more likely than him being under hydrated.

Remember, skin and eye lids are not indicators of hydration status. The stool is the biggest (and really only) indicator you have at home. Overhydration is an issue too.

Let us know how the parasite counts come back, and the glucose level. And just a reminder, parasites don't need to always be treated, especially if the counts are low.

It would be great once you are able to get feeders again to see malachi eating live food. Do you ever offer him salads?

-Brandon
 

MissCutiePatootie

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
@Claudiusx, sorry if it sucks we disagree. I believe without proper electrolytes, you can drink as much as you want but won't be hydrated. So even though his poops have water/fluids/whatever you wanna call it, I can see that it doesn't necessarily mean his body is able to stay properly hydrated.

I gave him pedialyte with some water about 50/50 ratio yesterday and see a slight improvement today in the way he looks. Probably about 4mL of it. I've looked into the skin and eyelids thing and the internet seems to disagree with that. It's also something my vet is really concerned about and asked that I start bumping up his soaks and add electrolytes to his bath water but I haven't done that yet because I personally do feel like he should be getting adequate hydration with the care he is given already. It's just the electrolytes I think he needs.

He's a difficult case and I am fearful of losing him because things are steering downward more and more. I do offer him greens still. Not everyday but probably once a week to see if he will go for them or even just show an interest at all. Right now it's not worth withholding any feedings in his condition but if he was doing better then I would attempt another strike. But I can say that he still shows no interest in his greens. He doesn't show interest in crickets either.

What I'm going to do is start making my own baby mash for him and add fresh bugs to it. Hopefully that makes a big difference for him. I've decided to wait to treat any parasites for now until I think he's doing a little better and that it's necessary. But we still don't know what's causing his issues and if the vet thinks the benefits outweigh the risks then I will proceed to treat parasites. I am having a fecal done today so we should find out soon. I feel terrible that he's in this state. I will for sure update you guys on any tests I have done, even if it's just to help someone else who has a dragon like him to compare to. I should think of a better name for the title of this post.
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
It's fine to disagree, it's how discussion and learning starts :)
If you or your vet could provide any scientific literature that shows that either of those are indicators of dehydration (in any reptile, let alone just bearded dragons) I would love to see it. Not trying to be argumentative at all here, sorry if it's coming off that way. But since you brought up you've seen that on the internet, i'd like to read it too if possible. My own experience over the decades and with thousands of dragons on this site, show me that dehydration has nothing to do with that, as we've seen dragons who are clinically dehydrated, and show neither of those signs. But I digress, and won't get into a debate/discussion on this, unless you'd like to via pm or in another thread as to not get this one off track.

MissCutiePatootie":2sya9o0o said:
my vet is really concerned about and asked that I start bumping up his soaks and add electrolytes to his bath water
This is an exact case of why the internet and vets aren't always right. Vets are humans too, and are only as good as the information they know. I hope what this statement is implying is that your vet is expecting your dragon to actually drink his bath water, because it has been lab proven that dragons DO NOT absorb water through their vent or their skin. So electrolyte baths do nothing at all, unless the dragon drinks the bath water. Not to discredit your vet at all, just illustrating the point that just because they are a vet, doesn't mean they are right 100% of the time. And if your vet does actually expect your dragon to drink the bath water, well feel free to disregard that whole paragraph :mrgreen:

MissCutiePatootie":2sya9o0o said:
Right now it's not worth withholding any feedings in his condition but if he was doing better then I would attempt another strike. But I can say that he still shows no interest in his greens. He doesn't show interest in crickets either.
Oh I wasn't suggesting you withhold any feedings, I was just curious if you offer them at all. If it's not too much of a hassle I'd probably keep a salad available to him daily, even if he isn't eating.

A lot of times, syringe feeding just causes loose stools, no matter what is actually being fed. When I was syringe feeding one of my girls, her poo's never firmed back up until I slowly started transitioning her back to whole foods. Not suggesting you do this again, just sharing experiences.

Curiously, how does he take to being syringe fed? Does he seem to enjoy it?
How have his activity levels been?

I know you've gone through a lot with him, and just want the best for him. We all do, so just remember that :)

-Brandon
 

MissCutiePatootie

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
@Claudiusx I'm not looking to debate anything. I don't have any scientific papers to bring up either. I would just suggest looking up why electrolytes are important for hydration. Also I personally feel that baths are more good for exercise if they enjoy it and cleaning off messes or help with shedding. Thats basically the only reasons I have done them for. He has drank from his baths too but not often. I was just trying to show that it is a concern from my vet more so than what I have to do for him. And I am aware of misinformation from vets so don't worry haha I always triple check everything I do. I just try to collect as much knowledge I can and take what others say for what it is. I've also kept dragons for almost 15 years and have a strong interest in collecting information about them too. I appreciate your passion for them as well.

Also his stool seems to only change form when I change the base of his meals. His body seems to do really well with baby food mixes I make compared to your experience. His poos aren't runny. Just well formed. I think sending pictures would be easier than explaining to you. I'm on my phone right now outside the vet office but if you want you can add me on FB so I can easily send you what I'm talking about. Just PM me for info. Its difficult to navigate on my phone.
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
I am very well aware of the relationship between electrolytes and hydration, you must have misunderstood/misread my statement :)
I was asking for your source for the other topic I was discussing, skin and eyelids, since you mentioned reading it on the internet, I figured you had a website where you saw it, or an article. but I won't mention it again as it's clear you don't want to discuss it.

-Brandon
 

MissCutiePatootie

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
@Claudiusx

I meant that if I was to have a discussion about why I think what I do, I'd just tell the person to simply google why electrolytes are important for proper hydration. I just thought that you wanted to discuss it so just letting you know it wouldn't be as engaging as you'd like. Sorry if I came off short, I was typing pretty quickly because I was expecting the vet to call me for the visit. And I don't assume you didn't already know about electrolytes haha I'm just saying that would be my response. I'm not into debates when I disagree with someone but I am open to have my mind changed if you understand what I mean. I didn't misunderstand you I was just responding to you. I don't mind talking about it but yeah, I don't want to water down the thread by getting side tracked either.

I see I missed responding to some of the things you mentioned... I'm back from the vets so I can take my time now lol sorry.

As I've mentioned before he's really good with the syringe! Probably mostly due to me giving him his supplements via syringes most of his life just to get him accustomed to them to start with. I haven't ever had to force a syringe with him.

My method for this madness… I made this out nice and neat for my vet to go over and have on file.
https://i.imgur.com/mDSCujw.png

He's insanely active.... Wakes me up at 7am every day running around and jumping off his log and rock. You wouldn't think he would be so active with everything going on. This morning he was rather calm though. Looked better but way calmer than he has been. He keeps changing so it's hard to keep up with.

I appreciate everyone who has cared enough to help<3 I love you guys for it. Even if we don't always agree, I am truly grateful to have the extra brain power to look out for him and I certainly know we all want what's best for our lovely beardies. I hope that some day this post might help someone looking for answers possibly when we get to the bottom of it.
 
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