Hello, I have a 4-year old male dragon that hasn't displayed an interest in food for the past 2 weeks. He has refused fruits and vegetables since he was a baby and has only had interest in mealworms and crickets. I picked him up tonight to feed him and noticed a large sore (about the size of my pinky nail) on the top of his thigh on his underside, right where his thigh connects to the hip. There is flesh exposed underneath the sore. He appears to have lots of energy and is currently soaking in lukewarm water in the bathtub. I am very concerned about this sore that I just noticed and about the fact that he doesn't seem interested in food. Please help. He is alert and energetic; eyes, nose, and mouth are all clean and healthy looking.
Pet's Gender: Male
Pet's Age: 4
Offering worms and crickets. He has never eaten fruits or vegetables.
Hello,I'm sorry to hear your dragon isn't well. Some additional information will be useful.What substrate do you use on the cage floor?Do you have a heated rock?Is the sore oozing fluid? Thank you.Anna
Hello, Anna -
It doesn't look like my response went through so I am trying again. I use the "eco earth" substrate (it's called something like that); I know it is a blend of coconut fiber and other things and looks like brown dirt. I have been using it since he was a baby. I keep it moist with water. I do not have a heated rock, and I cannot tell if the sore is oozing fluid. Can I attach a picture of the wound? would that help?
Thank you for getting back to me - no your first response didn't come through. You can upload a photo by clicking on REPLY, then at the top of the area where you would type is a tool bar with icons. Click on the little paper clip icon (it's right next to the YouTube icon). Instructions will pop up. On some browsers, this doesn't work. if that happens, you can put your photo on one of the free photo sharing websites, such as www.photobucket.com. Then come back here and paste the link to your picture in a REPLY.Anna
Thank you Anna. Here is a picture of the sore. I'm also concerned about dehydration and malnourishment since I don't know the last time he's really eaten a good meal, so any suggestions for slurry to force-feed are greatly appreciated.
Thank you for the photo. It blurs when I enlarge it, but from the small photo, it appears that it may be an infected wound. An infection would also account for the appetite loss. I'll give you some first aid measures in a moment, but I recommend making an appointment with a reptile vet. The wound can be treated (and perhaps stitched) and prescription antibiotics orally or by injection may also be needed. This link will take you to a directory of reptile vets:http://www.anapsid.org/vets/index.html#vetlistYou're right to be concerned about dehydration. however, force feeding isn't agood idea unless you've had the technique demonstrated by your vet. It too often leads to aspiration into the lungs, which can be life-threatening. Instead, give your dragon a special soak. Buy some unflavored Pedialyte (yes, the kind for human infants). Prepare a shallow bath consisting of 1/2 water and 1/2 Pedialyte. Soak your reptile for about 20 to 30 minutes twice a day. Reptiles can absorb the electrolytes and fluids through their vents (where droppings pass out), so make the water deep enough to cover the vent. This will help with dehydration. Be sure to supervise closely. After the soak, you can clean the wound with Betadine (available in the first aid departments of discount stores and pharmacies). A very thin layer of plain Neosporin may also help. Another first aid measure for a water dragon that is ill for any reason is to make sure the temperature in the enclosure is kept at 85 to 90 degrees day and night. While it's usually recommended that the temperature be lowered at night, when they're sick, it's better to keep them warm all the time. Normally, you’ll want daytime temperatures between 84* and 88* F and night time temperatures between 75* and 80* F . The above measures are first aid only, and I believe it is most important to make an appointment with a vet in the morning. If you have more questions, let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope your dragon will reach a full recovery.Anna(The above answer is intended for informational purposes only. If your pet is ill, you should consult a veterinarian. If you find my answer helpful, please click on the green ACCEPT button. Thank you.)
Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
Thank you so much for the help and for the link. Have a wonderful evening.
You're most welcome. You have a nice evening, too.Anna(There's no need to click on accept again. Thank you for accepting above).