My juvenile bearded dragon has been impacted for a few days and she has lost function in her back legs. Today, we found

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Customer: Hello, my juvenile bearded dragon has been impacted for a few days and she has lost function in her back legs. Today, we found her flipped over inside of her viv gasping for air, we got her out as quick as we could but she is still gasping for air and her belly feels sort of hard. she is swallowing now but still gasping with her mouth open with her eyes closed please help
Answered by Anna in 10 mins 8 years ago
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Anna
30+ years of experience
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17,054 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Reptile Veterinary, Herp Veterinary, Exotic Animal Medicine, Amphibian Veterinary

Hello and welcome. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a biologist with a special interest in reptiles. I'm sorry to hear of this incident. I will give you a first aid measure, but first some additional information will be helpful.

What do you feed Bowser? Has she been eating at all?

What substrate do you have on the cage floor?

What are the temperatures under the basking light and on the cool side of her cage?

Thank you.

Anna
Customer

We feed her crickets dusted with fluckers calcium with d3 phosphorus free she also has collard greens summer squash carrots occasionally and endive dusted with calcium she has reptile carpet for her substrate and the cool side of her viv is around 80-84 and her basking side is around 105-110 she has a 10.0 uvb reptisun light, she is in a 20 gallon tank we have been giving her daily baths to help with the impaction and she also had a bowel movement before she got turned over on her back

Thank you for getting back to me. For the most part your husbandry sounds good. So after she had a bowel movement, she still seems impacted?

Does she get the calcium with D3 every day?
Customer

yes she still seemed impacted, and yes she gets the calcium everyday. but she is not moving at all right now she is kind of stiff with her eyes closed and gasping for air at times, there are no veterinary clinics close to me and I'm afraid of her dying. her tummy is kind of hard and she's kind of biting her tongue some

OK, this almost sounds like a seizure. I'm concerned she may be getting too much D3. That has been linked to neurological disorders. I'll give you a first aid measure for the impaction. Buy some Pedialyte (yes, the kind for human infants), and prepare a shallow warm bath consisting of 1/2 warm water and 1/2 Pedialyte. Soak your dragon for about 20 to 30 minutes. After the first 10 minutes, with her still in the water, gently massage her underside from front to vent for an additional 10 minutes. That may be enough to help her pass some feces. Be sure to supervise closely. Hold her head up. This will also help with any dehydration that is present.

I'm afraid there is no first aid measure for seizures. Stop giving calcium with D3 at once. Flukers makes a plain one. You can get it here:

http://www.flukerfarms.com/vitaminsandhealth.aspx

You are right to be concerned. This is a very serious situation. If you'll give me your location, including zip code, I'll try to find a reptile vet who sees emergencies.
Customer

ok, we did do a bath day before yesterday with the pedialyte and warm water and that seemed to help her some, the problem I'm having is where she was on her back now she's having a hard time breathing and she is not being responsive at all just opening her mouth every once in awhile and swallowing from time to time but no movement at all and eyes fully closed, and half open at some points. we tried soaking her and giving her a tiny amount of karo syrup in case her blood sugar was low from all the activity but I'm honestly scared she is dying. we live in bristol tn and the closest vet is 2 hours away that could see her I'm afraid she won't make the trip.

There isn't any for gasping and biting her tongue. She is very, very sick, but the soak is the only first aid.There aren't a lot of reptile vets in your area, but give me a few minutes, and I'll see if there are any possibilities.
Here's one that should be less than an hour away, and she sees emergencies:

Teena L Foster, DVM
PO Box 874
Rogersville, TN 37857
Telephone:(NNN) NNN-NNNNbr/>Emergency:(NNN) NNN-NNNNbr/>
You may be right that bowser won't survive the trip, but form your description of her condition, I don't think she will survive the night, so the trip is the lesser of two evils. I would call the vet first and make arrangements. If it's chilly, warm up the car before taking Bowser out. You can take a clean sock, and fill it 2/3 with plain, raw white rice. Tie the open end and microwave it for about 1 1/2 minutes. Then shake to distribute the heat. Make sure it's not so hot that it could burn your her. Put it in the travel box for added warmth.

I hope you'll be able to get there in time.
Customer

ok i called the telephone number and no one answered and i called the emergency number and they said I had the wrong number?

Oh no. Let me look some more. OK - this is supposed to be her pager: Tel:(NNN) NNN-NNNNemergency pager

Anna41685.171553588
Here is a list of Tennessee vets who see reptiles:

http://www.anapsid.org/vets/tenn.html


http://www.tortoiseforum.org/archive/index.php?thread-29729.html

I so desperately want to find one who will see her. I don't want you to lose her.
Customer

the page number doesn't work, I don't see anyone closer than 2 hours.

I wonder why none of her numbers work? I found her in several different directories. If you can't drive 2 hours tonight, all you can do is provide another soak for Bowser, and hope she makes it through the night. I feel so bad for you. you have done almost everything right for her, and yet here she is, critically ill. It's even possible this is some kind of inherited neurological condition. If that's the case, even a vet won't be able to help. It's so sad.
Customer

Thank you for all your help, we found a local vet who has a reptile vet in the morning, hopefully she makes it until then. Thank you for all your help

You're welcome. I feel like I couldn't do enough for her, and that's frustrating. But I think we exhausted all the options. If you want to, let me know how it goes tomorrow.

Anna
Customer

she passed away around midnight

I was afraid that might happen because her symptoms were so severe. I'm so sorry. You did everything you could for her when no vet was available. You obviously cared very much for her, and provided an excellent home. I know there are no words that can really help, but all I can do is offer my sympathy.

Anna
Customer

Thank you very much, yeah we had gotten really attached to her, but she had problems from day one. It is better that she is no longer suffering. we are going to try to rescue a dragon, try to give a dragon that has had it rough a good life. Its the least we can do in memory of her. Thank you for all of your advice it is very much appreciated.

The Cooper's

That's interesting that she had problems from the time you got her. Young dragons (often sold too young) can have a condition called failure to thrive. One thing after another goes wrong, they may have a poor appetite, constipation or diarrhea, etc.That could well be what was wrong with Bowser.

I love your idea of rescuing a dragon in her memory. I looked for rescue groups in TN, but only found one:

The Ark R.A.I.N. Foundation
Po Box 721
Brownsville 38012
1-888-Ark-RAIN (1-888-275-7246)

Of course, you may also find a beardie in need of a home in the classified ads or on pet store bulletin boards. So few beardies end up in really good homes, so it will be one lucky dragon that you take home.

Anna
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