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Rehomed EWD with swollen foot, kinked tail and toe nails falling out.

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HoodieBeast

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Hello, I recently took in an EWD from a friend. He is around 6-8 years old and measures roughly 20cm, which to my knowledge is half the size he should be, probably more? He was in a small tank with no UV or water to submerge in, fed on meal worms and pellets.

I had him in a temp 3ft tank and moved him into an outdoor aviary but he developed a swollen toe and I couldn't monitor his eating properly. His now back inside in a large 5ft long enclosure with a tub of water, branches and some rocks. (I'm keeping an eye out for more suitable enclosures)

I have a UV light on him and his basking spot is roughly 27-28'C and cool end is 24'c it's a hot day, I still need to get a thermostat for him. I'm trying to give him crickets dusted with calcium, still hasn't taken any yet but he had four normal crickets yesterday.

I think he might have metabolic bone disease as his tail has a nasty kink in it, his also developed a swollen toe/ foot (read thats linked to MBD?) and his toenails fall out very, very easily.
My main concern is his feet, I'm going to remove as much from his tank as I can so he has less to get caught on, I'm not sure what to do for the swelling? I read warm soaks and massages but I'm worried its a break. The swelling has been there for over a week, and in recent days has gotten worse. I can't see any stuck shed on it, or bites, cuts, etc.

Three photos on of his good foot, one of the bad foot and both with his tail kink.
ewd1.jpgewd3.jpgewd2.jpg

Thank you in advance for an replies and let me know if any further info is needed!
I really want to help get the poor lil guy back on track!
 

kingofnobbys

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I'd have a vet check water dragon , and see what he says. (Wont cost much - only maybe $60 for the consult and for him to do a physical examination and maybe some bloodwork). Better than flying blind IMO.

Might be worth trying handfeeding him (?) some dusted crickets and maybe getting some silkworms to give too (they can help with reducing inflammation from what I've read and I've never heard of a dragon knocking back silkworms once they've tasted them - must be yummy !)
 
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HoodieBeast

Not so new Member
I managed to hand feed him once, but no luck since. I tried some boiled egg today to see if something smelly would entice him, definitely see if I can find some silkworms though thank you! :)

Ah, looks like Wyoming Greencross vets has a good reptile vet too, I'll look into that for sure!
 
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kingofnobbys

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I managed to hand feed him once, but no luck since. I tried some boiled egg today to see if something smelly would entice him, definitely see if I can find some silkworms though thank you! :)

Ah, looks like Wyoming Greencross vets has a good reptile vet too, I'll look into that for sure!
Probably will need to be persistent and stubborn with the handfeeding to get him to regularly take food that way, he'll eventually come round that way.

HerpaBoost might be useful to help build him up too.

If you've not had him very long, he ,might be off the food as well as being because he is suspicious of new foods or doesn't know they are food, along with being stressed after the change in his living conditions ie new enclosure, new set up inside it, new house, new people and new household routine (might take a while to settle in).
 

JKretzs613

Well-Known Member
Hello,

The swelling on the toe could also be the beginnings of gout too. You could consider getting a blood test done on him to test
the calcium levels, as well as uric acid & protein levels, etc.
Based on the previous poor husbandry, I would say that he didn't have high enough humidity levels & proper hydration either.
The protein levels may have been too high without the balance of a good fluid intake. If he wasn't kept at proper basking
temperatures that can also contribute to renal issues & bring on gout symptoms.
How is he doing today?

Tracie
 

HoodieBeast

Not so new Member
Probably will need to be persistent and stubborn with the handfeeding to get him to regularly take food that way, he'll eventually come round that way.

HerpaBoost might be useful to help build him up too.

If you've not had him very long, he ,might be off the food as well as being because he is suspicious of new foods or doesn't know they are food, along with being stressed after the change in his living conditions ie new enclosure, new set up inside it, new house, new people and new household routine (might take a while to settle in).

I'll see if he takes anything tomorrow, had to work back late and his fast asleep now, I'll grab so Herpaboost too thank you!
I've had him about a month now I think. So he'd understandable be a lil confused, the first few times he took food I think he was pretty starved too :(
I think he only sees mealworms as food so I'll try those next time too.
 

kingofnobbys

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You might try giving him his mealworms with Ca and Vitamin dusted medium crickets inbetween each mealworm, that way he's getting food he is used to and likes and you might be able sneak the crickets into his mouth when he expects a mealworm (pays to be sneaky sometimes) , is he eating any greens ? are you offering moistened lizard pellets and moistened beardie pellets (a dash of something sweet - ie juice can make them more interesting to a fussy lizard).

My little water skink often goes on strike with her crickets, I offer her some mealworm pupae or a mealworm lavae and she's happy and then takes her crickets. Spoilt.
 

HoodieBeast

Not so new Member
Hello,

The swelling on the toe could also be the beginnings of gout too. You could consider getting a blood test done on him to test
the calcium levels, as well as uric acid & protein levels, etc.
Based on the previous poor husbandry, I would say that he didn't have high enough humidity levels & proper hydration either.
The protein levels may have been too high without the balance of a good fluid intake. If he wasn't kept at proper basking
temperatures that can also contribute to renal issues & bring on gout symptoms.
How is he doing today?

Tracie

Yeah maybe being outside made it more noticeable? I'm so surprised at how healthy he looks considering how filthy his old home was, when I collected him the tank stank of urine. Gout sounds quite possible.

- - - Updated - - -

You might try giving him his mealworms with Ca and Vitamin dusted medium crickets inbetween each mealworm, that way he's getting food he is used to and likes and you might be able sneak the crickets into his mouth when he expects a mealworm (pays to be sneaky sometimes) , is he eating any greens ? are you offering moistened lizard pellets and moistened beardie pellets (a dash of something sweet - ie juice can make them more interesting to a fussy lizard).

My little water skink often goes on strike with her crickets, I offer her some mealworm pupae or a mealworm lavae and she's happy and then takes her crickets. Spoilt.

Ahah starting to sound like sneaking my parrot medicine in jam :D
He isn't eating anything else, he came with a water dragon pellet mix but never saw him eat any.
When I feed my Blue tongue I usually give half to the water dragon too, mostly boiled veggies which I mush up extra for him. Though he isn't too sure what a food dish is meant to be yet.
 

kingofnobbys

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Yeah maybe being outside made it more noticeable? I'm so surprised at how healthy he looks considering how filthy his old home was, when I collected him the tank stank of urine. Gout sounds quite possible.

- - - Updated - - -



Ahah starting to sound like sneaking my parrot medicine in jam :D
He isn't eating anything else, he came with a water dragon pellet mix but never saw him eat any.
When I feed my Blue tongue I usually give half to the water dragon too, mostly boiled veggies which I mush up extra for him. Though he isn't too sure what a food dish is meant to be yet.

Once his quaranteen period is over (new lizard in the house with dubious health status), you don't think he might benefit from sharing feeding time with the BTS , he might learn that the stuff in the feeding dish is food if he sees another lizard eating it. Guess you'd have to be cautious about it though in case they came to blows.
 

HoodieBeast

Not so new Member
Little update, I got some mealworms finally and he was very excited to see them, scoffed four of them from tongs. Slipped in three crickets too but he was very hesitant at first, I'll keep alternating between the two till his on crickets and I'm going to try hand feeding him some greens too. Probably between insects. His perked up a fair bit and his foot looked a little less swollen today too.
I'm not sure either of them would be out together but once all is done I'll have the tanks next to each other so he can seen my BTS eating.
 

kingofnobbys

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Banned
Little update, I got some mealworms finally and he was very excited to see them, scoffed four of them from tongs. Slipped in three crickets too but he was very hesitant at first, I'll keep alternating between the two till his on crickets and I'm going to try hand feeding him some greens too. Probably between insects. His perked up a fair bit and his foot looked a little less swollen today too.
I'm not sure either of them would be out together but once all is done I'll have the tanks next to each other so he can seen my BTS eating.
:) .... a step forward.

I don't know what others do . but I gut load my crickets (I only buy these in bulk from Frog Arcade) with puk choi leafs, carrot and adult beardie pellets. This way my dragons and skinks get good stuff and extra vitamins and Ca via their crickets.
 

JKretzs613

Well-Known Member
Hello!

Just wondering how he was doing now? So the swelling looks like it may be going down some already? That is great
news!
I am happy to hear he is eating a little bit for you. I hope that he continues to improve for you & has an increased
appetite, also.

Tracie
 
B

Bluetongue1

Guest
Lack of vitamin D is likely the major cause of the apparent MBD symptomsdescribed. Even with more than enoughcalcium in its food, an animal lacking vitamin D will suffer from calcium deficiency. This is because vitamin D is required for an animalto be able to absorb calcium from its gut, into its blood stream and body. Vitamin D is also essential for animals to beable to use calcium inside the body, otherwise it will be excreted as waste. So irrespective of how much calcium an animalis fed, without vitamin D it will still suffer from calcium deficiency.

UVB light absorbed by the skin enables vitamin D to bephotosynthesised there. So exposure to acertain amount of UVB light is essential for good health in those animals thatdo get sufficient vitamin D through their diet. The process of photosynthesising vitamin D isvery temperature dependant, so correct basking temperatures are required inconjunction with exposure to adequate levels of UVB. So combining both at the basking spot is mosteffective way to ensure the animal gains full benefit from its UVBexposure. This is particularly important for your EWD givenits past treatment.

Access to unfiltered natural sunlight (i.e. not through glass, perspexor the like) is an excellent alternative or adjunct to artificial UVB lightexposure. Half to one hour, late morningor mid-afternoon (or even midday in the cooler autumn conditions) at least 3times a week, will work wonders. When allowing animals to natural sunlight, itis essential to ensure they ALWAYS have access to shade and cooler temperatures. It is strongly recommended that you keepregular watch on any animals temporarily placed where they can get access tosunshine. Also, it should only be doneif it can be achieved without stressing the animal unduly ? otherwise the gainis not worth the cost.

EWDs have an average preferred body temperature around 30[SUP]o[/SUP]C. Therefore a thermal gradient in ambient airtemperatures in their enclosure should range from about 25[SUP]o[/SUP]C at thecool end to 32[SUP]o[/SUP]C at the warm end. The basking spot, however, needs to be warmer at around 35 ? 40[SUP]o[/SUP]C. Clearly the combination of exposure to UVBand raising body temperatures to an appropriate level, are going to be mosteffective (for vitamin D production) if both happen together at the same timei.e. at the basking spot.

Adding calcium supplement to every feed can actually have anegative effect. Geckodan pointed outthat maintaining a continuously high level of calcium in the blood can beinterpreted by the body as having an excess of calcium. In response to a perceived excess of calcium,the body will excrete it rather than store it. So a continually high level of supplied calcium can result it being continuouslygotten rid of, ultimately resulting in calcium deficiency and the inability toaccess stored calcium when required.

Geckodan recommends calcium supplements given at most everysecond or third feed. This will still providemore than ample calcium to meet an animal?s needs. Vitaminsupplements, if used, should be given no more often than once a week. This avoids any potential toxicity problemsthat can arise when certain vitamins are taken in, in excess amounts.

As an alternative to dusting food items with calcium, groundcuttlefish bone placed in its own small, separate dish, will often be eaten bydragons. It provides not only thecalcium they need, but a number of other minerals to boot. You might like to try putting a layer ofground cuttlebone in a feed bowl and then placing a live mealworm on top. Dragons will often ingest some of thecuttlebone when they grab the moving mealworm. Additionally, wetting the mealworm first helps by getting the ground cuttleboneto stick to it. You can also try thesame technique using the mashed vegies. Thistechnique has been known to help dragons and skinks develop a taste for eatingthings like cuttlebone or vegies on their own.

Good on you for rescuing the critter and the best of luck with its rehabilitation. You truly deserve it!

Blue
 
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