How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Joan Your Own Question
Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 18343
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
Type Your Reptile Question Here...
Joan is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Our 2 year old beardie has had a swollen leg week now.

Customer Question

Our 2 year old beardie has had a swollen leg for a week now. He is eating and using the bathroom normally, he just has a slight limp when he walks, almost as if he is dragging it. We can't afford to take him to the vet. Is there anything else we can do to help him?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Joan replied 2 years ago.
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?
Can you tell me what type of UVB light you are using, strength and is it a linear tube or compact coil and brand?
Basking light?
Temps in basking area, warm side and cool side?
Diet Prey/ type of Veggies?
Could you please post a picture of the area? You can use the paperclip Icon in the tool bar above the text box.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He is in a 50 gallon tank with sand. We adopted him when he was 1 year old with the sand and he seemed to be fine with it. We have a uvb light which is 100w by exo terra, and a red basking light and a regular heating light. The temp is 80 and the humidity is 50. He eats crickets 2-3 times a week (dusted with calcium once a week). We tried to feed him vegetables but he just leaves them back.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The Uvb light is a compact coil.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Actually his foot and the lower leg attached to the foot is what is swollen.
Expert:  Joan replied 2 years ago.
How old is the UVB bulb?
What type of sand is it? Calci sand or play sand?
Can you get me a better pic of the swollen area?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The UVB light is only a few weeks old. It is calci sand. He is also shedding skin in this picture in which his foot is swollen.
Expert:  Joan replied 2 years ago.
Thank-you for the information. We may be dealing with one of two issues. The first is an infection in the foot. This can happen from of the feeders biting the foot causing an infection, or constricting bands of shed causing the swelling in the foot. The other possibility could be Metabolic Bone Disease:
You do have a couple of issues that need corrections. The Calci sand is very dangerous can cause intestinal blockages, corneal ulcers and skin problems with shedding and infections. This will give you an idea about Sand as a substrate:
I suggest Tile, paper or cage carpet for the safety of the dragon's health. The UVB light is fine, but the coil type can cause Photo Kerato conjunctivitis, which can cause the eyes to swell: Compact UVB problems: The UVB I recommend is a linear tube which runns the length of the tank. It is the Reptisun 10.0.
As far as diet, it is important to have veggies in at all times. You should be feeding Collard greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens, escarole and curly endives. Butternut squash and various berries are great for a treat. The Veggies should be put in fresh daily, and done about an hour after lights on. They need 80% veggies daily and 20% live prey over a year of age.
The live prey should include crickets, silk worms, roaches, goliath worms and phoenix worms .Meal worms are high in chitin which is the outer shells and can cause a blockage.
Super worms and wax worms are like giving the Dragon candy. All veggies and prey should be dusted with calcium daily 5 days a week and vitamins 2 days a week.
For now we need to give the Dragon a soak in warm water to help loosen the shed and while in soak, gently massage the foot. Please soak at least 30 mins.
I do suggest it be looked at if it does not improve and the swelling continues or does not go down. I am hoing if we can get the shed off and with the warm soak and massage it will improve. I can locate some herp Vets for you with a State if you would like to have a list on hand.
Please let me know. If I have addressed all your concerns, please take a moment to rate my service Positive, so I can be compensated for my time and answers.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So all in all you are not sure what it is except that you think the foot may be infected. Everything else you stated we are aware of and have chosen not to follow due to out beardies preference. If there is nothing else that comes to mind then I thank you for your time but you have not led us closer to any type of solution .
Expert:  Joan replied 2 years ago.
It is impossible to diagnose without a hands on exam. Nobody can. All I can offer is suggestions as to what I see and the possibilities. As far as the suggestions, for feeding and care, I gave the information based the healthiest diet and substrate. The longevity for a Dragon's life is based on the best husbandry and diet. With this said, please do not rate my service and I will leave this open for other Experts to assist you.