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Ask Kelly Hill Your Own Question
Kelly Hill
Kelly Hill, Veterinarian
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 601
Experience:  full time veterinarian at Tender Touch Veterinary Hospital
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Bearded dragon 8 years is not able to move back legs, I am

Customer Question

Bearded dragon 8 years is not able to move back legs, I am force feeding right now and He doesn't move around a lot. Have seen a vet and everything came out normal. X-rays were good, blood test was ok. He can't poo on his own, I am giving calcium and an antiinflamatory medicine. Not sure what it is.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The veterinarian will know how to help the dragon. What is the dragon's name?
Customer: We did not name him.
JA: Is there anything else the veterinarian should be aware of about the dragon?
Customer: No I have told them everything, they said I could get more tests done to rule out parasites, virus, or neurological problems but I have spent close to 1000 dollars already. I am going to get him medicine for parasites and try that but he looks to be in some pain.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Kelly Hill replied 11 months ago.

Hi this is Dr. Hill I am so sorry that your Beardie is having this issue. Since bloodwork and X-rays were good that rules out a couple of possibilities. I would not deworm him just yet. You can see rear limb paralysis in these guys with sciatic nerve compression from prey that is too large. Does he eat large crickets? You don't want to feed anything that is longer than the distance between his eyes. Sometimes the exoskeleton of the cricket can get stuck in the pelvis and cause sciatic nerve compression. I would do twice daily warm soaks to help with hydrating the cloaca. It may resolve when he is able to have a bowel movement. If he is not wanting to eat on his own, you can try Zilla Appetite stimulant, available on amazon. What are the temps in your terrarium? What is his normal diet?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
He eats veggies and super worms, I don't feed crickets anymore found as he got older he wasn't eating them. I have been soaking him daily for 10-20 min at a time. The vet game him an anenema and he pooed, they also had to scoop out his poo the last time I was there and I have been doing that also on recommendation of the vet, as he doesn't seem to be able to get it out himself.
Expert:  Kelly Hill replied 11 months ago.

Did you see any improvement at all after the enema and bowel movement? Is he completely paralyzed in the back legs?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
He is completely paralyzed still, he doesn't seem to be as irritated since the bowel movement, yet if you touch the back of the tail area he seems to not like that thinking he might have some pain there however I am giving him pain medication.
Expert:  Kelly Hill replied 11 months ago.

I am so sorry that he is still not well. Have you considered having blood cultures drawn. This is the best way to identify infection in reptiles. Unfortunately, I would also consider humane euthanasia if his condition deteriorates. Again I am very sorry.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
We were going to try de worming him do you think this is a good idea? The vet did say they could do more tests - not sure what to do - she also suggested putting him down if he doesn't get any better, I just want to make sure I have done everything possible before making that decision.
Expert:  Kelly Hill replied 11 months ago.

I understand. Deworming is certainly not going to make matters worse, but I would be surprised if it helped. Blood cultures are strongly recommended in reptiles because it is so difficult to diagnose bacterial infections and then determine what is the best antibiotic without them. Trust your gut, you will know what is the right choice. Take care

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you!
Expert:  Kelly Hill replied 11 months ago.

Your welcome