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Joan
Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 17416
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 20+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
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My bearded dragon has been moving in a strange way

Customer Question

My bearded dragon has been moving in a strange way for almost a year now. Specifically, she seems to have trouble using her left arm. She cannot use it to support her weight, causing her to tip over when she tries to eat. When she walks, she can move the arm but it stays bent, like an army crawl type of move.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.
Hello,My name is ***** ***** I have been a Vet tech for 30+ years with special interest in reptiles and reptile rescue.Can you tell me about your set up?Substrate? Diet prey/veggies?Supplements?UVB, how old, strength, linear tube or compact coil, brand?Basking bulb?Temps in basking area, warm side and cool side of tank?How long has this been going on?Is it just the one leg?Joan
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sure thing.Substrate: slate tilesDiet: phoenix worms, superworms, greens (mustard, collard), blueberriesSupplementation: calcium and vitamin dusting on superworms, vitamin dusting on phoenix wormsUVB: Reptisun 10.0 UVB tube, changed every 6 months (presently 4 months old) and mounted in tank.Basking bulb: Zoomed 100 watt bulbTemps: 110 in basking area, 95 around the basking area/warm side, 73-80 on cool sideThis has been going on for almost a year now. It appears to be just the one leg. Around the time it started happening I did observe her have an episode in which she rolled onto the floor of her tank, with her head twisted up and to the side. It seemed to pass after a couple of minutes and I don't know if it is related but I thought it worth mentioning. I have not seen it happen before or since that time.
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.
Hi,Please give me some time to look over the information and I will be back with an answer soon.Joan
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.
Hello,The symptoms you mention are all indicative of Metabolic Bone Disease which is a possibility in this case right down to the episode of rolling on her back with her head twisted. However this could be an injury to the spinal neck area which can also cause the leg problem and the episode, which seems neurological. This may be something that stemmed from the egg causing a deformity in the leg or spine and as she has grown it has showed more.This is something that does need to be addressed by a Herp Vet, to locate the exact cause of the leg issue and the episode in rolling over. Your husbandry is primo and which is refreshing to see, so this does not seem if it is remotely husbandry related, so we need to look deeper into other medical issues that can cause this problem.HI wsih I could give a more concrete answer, but without blood work and a hands on exam by a Herp Vet it s impossible.JoanIf you do not have a Herp Vet I can locate one for you with a State or country.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Joan. I have taken her to the vet once since the seizure/episode and they didn't find anything wrong with her then. They did x-rays, a fecal, and the vet (they specialize in herps) observed her walking and playing and gave her a clean bill of health. I had taken her in that time because she hadn't pooped in forever. I feel she has deteriorated since then to the point that i am not confident she can feed herself the prey insects she needs. Can anything be done if there is a problem such as those you suggest?
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
If it was my Dragon, I would strat her on calcium Glubionate, which is a higher potencu calcium supplement: http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Calciumglub.html
I would also switch to a Mercury Vapor Bulb Vs the Reptisun IVB. THis will take the palce of both the UVB and Basking bulb. This should offer the extra calcium that the Dragon may need.
I would also as a PCR be done to rule out Adnovirus. In the past 15 years I have her of multiple cases popping up and some of the Neurological symptoms can be a sign of Adenovirus.
I would also have blood work done to see if something shows any abnormality.
You can start a slurry to supplementally feed, buy using a chicken baby food, calcium, Reptiaid and soem Royal Jelly which can be found at health food stores and is a high potency suppleent. It is fed to the queen bee by the workers and will help with appetite and immunity support.
Joan
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Joan