Help for a sick Bearded dragon

Discussion in 'Australian Lizards and Monitors' started by Angiedun, Mar 15, 2016.

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  1. Angiedun

    Angiedun New Member

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    Hey guys
    I have a 4 year old Eastern Bearded Dragon who in the last 3 weeks has stopped eating. I took him to the vet who confirmed constipation but this was last week Saturday and since then he has not been to the bathroom or eaten anything. Nothing in his tank has changed. Temp still the same. I am wondering if there is anyone who I can see to assist me with this.
    Thanks in advanced.
     
  2. saikrett

    saikrett Well-Known Member

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    UVB globe still good? Could just be brumation...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Did the vet do anything for his constipation?
     
  3. kingofnobbys

    kingofnobbys Suspended Banned

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    If he's impacted, as indicated by the vet, what did the vet advise you to do ? do it.

    A few mL of olive oil given orally by syringe (tastes nice so you probably will find he likes it) once a day might help lubricate his plumbing and get things moving.

    Probably a good idea to cut the solids and only give liquid / pureed food / slurries until the impaction is cleared.

    Bump up the enclosure temperatures maybe 5oC.

    Luke warm baths with tummy rubbing (maybe for 20 minutes) might help brake up the blockages.

    Don't let the vet do an anema , it can kill the lizard in very short order, it's a last resort.
     
  4. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    Constipation and impaction are not one in the same thing. Compaction is where faeces or something that was swallowed forms a hard, compacted lump, large enough to block the bowel and not able to be moved along.


    The most common cause of constipation is inadequate hydration. I was told by an experienced reptile vet that unlike humans, reptiles should not be given oil in an attempt to 'lubricate' their bowels. Use only water, as the oil can do them harm. To encourage drinking, change the water daily, maybe try putting an air stone in the water bowl, as they are more attracted to drinking moving water, or give a light spray to form localised water droplets they can lap them up. Probably the best treatment is give them a tepid bath for 20 to 30 minutes once or twice a day, deep enough so the vent is covered but the head can be easily held out of the water. Lift the base of the tail slightly so the vent is open enough to allow water to enter the cloaca and rectum. Given that dehydration results in loss of electrolytes from the body, addition of some Staminade to the bath water will help to replace these.
     
  5. Angiedun

    Angiedun New Member

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    Hi All
    Thanks for the assistance. Vet gave him some caster oil and a vitamin B injection and advise he should pass the blockage the same day. This didn't happen. I have got a new heat/UV light and changed the reptile grass he had in his tank to newspaper for now and within 10 min he passed the blockage. This morning saw him drinking his water for the 1st time since having him (2 years). However he is still not eating his greens - not giving him live food right now just to be on the safe side. He is now staying at the cooler end of the tank. He isn't even eating his favorite treat - strawberries. I will keep you all posted how it goes today. Thanks for all the advise, should have joined this forum sooner, rather then take him to the vet who only wants the $$$.
     
  6. PythonLegs

    PythonLegs Very Well-Known Member

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    Don't fall down that trap- yes we have some knowledgable people on the forum, but presenting in person to a vet is always preferable if possible. Good idea to get some pointers here before you go, though, and try and take it to one of the experienced reptile vets if you can. No matter how many paragraphs bluetongue1 writes for you, it doesn't compare to seeing the animal in the flesh.
    How is he behaving now? Would you say there has been any change in behaviour?
     
  7. kingofnobbys

    kingofnobbys Suspended Banned

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    I think the commonly held belief that reptiles can be rehydrated via immersion of their cloaca and rectum in a water or staminade solution bath and letting them soak has been debuncked scientifically , it simply is waste of time , only easy way to rehydrate a reptile is via it's mouth.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2016
  8. mummabear

    mummabear Well-Known Member

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    Kingofnobbys is right, hydration goes in the mouth not up the cloaca.
    But bluetongue1 is right about inadequate hydration.
    Never assume a bearded dragon will drink from standing water. You need to spray the animal (if adult at least once a week) to instigate a drink response.
     
  9. kingofnobbys

    kingofnobbys Suspended Banned

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    My big girl Rex gets water once every week or so via water dripped on her snout and allowed drain to her lips from an eyedropper or from a spray bottle 1 or 2 drops at a time.

    Never seen her (even as a hatchling) drink from standing water either when bathed (very infrequent , only when soiled or to help with stubborn shed on tail) or when I had a water dish in her enclosure (she preferred to sit in it (to cool off I think or to deposit poos in the water).

    Unlike my skinks who all love a good guzzle.

    I'm curious - how do tell if a beardie is in need of hydration ? Signs to look for . Nice wet poos a good indication of good hydration I assume ?
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2016
  10. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    @Angiedun. Really good to hear that it has passed the blockage. While it is highly likely the problem was inadequate heat and/or hydration, for the moment it might be better not to just assume that was the case and still be a little open-minded. Given the stress of what he has been through, it might take a few days before he gets his appetite back fully. Just so long as he is still eating in the meantime. If this does not happen, then contact the vet and ask his/her advice (as part of the follow up to the treatment you have already paid for). Just out of curiosity, did the vet advise you to not to use live food initially? I would have thought that the stimulus of movement would have helped to develop a more normal feeding response.

    @PythonLegs, you clearly have an issue with me as an individual. Care to enlighten me via PM so we can discuss it?
     
  11. GBWhite

    GBWhite Well-Known Member

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    Angie,

    Constipation in captive adult Bearded Dragons is usually a result of over feeding and lack of exercise, especially when maintained in an indoor enclosure. Exercise stimulates bowel movement.

    Seeing yours is 4 years old I would suggest this would be the cause in your case.

    Now that it's passed the blockage it might be an idea to review its diet as well as the regularity and size of the meals offered. It might not hurt to consider boosting up the temp at the basking spot in an attempt to increase its activity and hopefully avoid the problem in the future.

    If it's lasted this long without previous or consistent hydration problems then it's highly probable that its been drinking ok all along.

    Hope things go well with your critter.

    Cheers,

    George.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2016
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