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Old 09-10-02, 09:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: May-2002
Location: Czar, Alberta
Age: 43
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Well, everyone - this hasn't been a good week. One of our
bearded dragons (6 months) and our dwarf rabbit (4 years) died a week ago. A couple days ago, another
dragon (about 4 months, unrelated) smacked himself up so bad he knocked
himself out. Blood was seeping out of his ears and mouth, his respirations
were so slow - I thought he was dead. He has perked up, is moving fairly
well, but is not eating or drinking. Last night, one of the tortoises (9 months) died - out of
the blue. With every animal there has been no signs of infection - and they
were fine (eating, drinking, active) the day before. Cage mates are fine
for now...

I'm SCARED!!! I am confident in my husbandry - I've gone over everything!!
No gas leaks, no carbon monoxide. We are tearing out the carpets and
scrubbing the house & cages down with disinfectant today (it's nice out &
everyone is going outside) - I'm worried about dust and molds. The kids
only handle the beardies - and I am meticulous with hand-washing between
species. The chams and leos seem fine. It has only been the herbi/omnivores
affected - maybe some bad produce?? Any suggestions - no matter how obvious
or silly?

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Old 09-10-02, 09:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Oh my that's awful! Has there been any pesticides sprayed recently? Could you perhaps have had some contaminated greens? I owuld take one or mreo of them into the vet to have a necrpsy done for sure. Good luck. So sorry all this is happening!
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Old 09-10-02, 10:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Do you spray Lysol in the house?? Lysol is fatal for reptiles.. is offline  
Old 09-10-02, 10:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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As stated above, You should go to the vet and get some work done. You have to get to the source of the problem.
Hope everything goes well.
I look Fear straight in the eyes and laugh my head off!!

Last edited by KaHane; 09-18-02 at 01:30 PM..
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Old 09-10-02, 10:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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You'll see this same reply in the Chameleon Journals, but it's worth posting here, in case it might jog someone's memory, or lead to a train of thought.
If you're thinking produce, is it safe to assume all the affected critters ate some of the same fruit or veggies? And if you use the same food for crickets and other cham food, if there is a food connection, the chams might be affected via the crickets.
Can you recall if all the animals affected ate one particular food (say lettuce, carrots, squash)? This is really a long shot, but some of the produce might have been exposed to insecticides. Even though some chemical sprays are labelled as safe for human foods, they usually need a specific time between spraying and harvesting. I'm thinking possibly the time lapse might not have been enough. Even though humans eating the food might not be affected, we're a bigger body mass than your animals, it wouldn't take as much to cause them some harm.
There's also the possibility of storage inadequacies at the store (or produce wholesaler). Some mold and fungus spores can sit on food and never cause problems, until the right conditions happen, usually in storage. Grain products are often infected with specific spores which can become deadly in humans, so possibly smaller animals can get a lethal dose much faster. Right now I can't recall the name of the spores I'm thinking of, it's common in grain and improperly stored animal feed with a high proportion of grain ingredients. I'll look for the name if you think it's a possibility.
If it's produce or other commercially bought food, there should be other cases in your area, if you haven't heard of any mysterious illnesses or deaths in herbivor/omnivore pets, chances are it's more likely something from your house, or coincidence.

My first step would be to make a list of as many types of food each animal ate in the last couple of weeks, and where/when it was purchased, was it fresh, frozen, commercial brand pet food, etc., and see if there's a common connection. Also consider bedding, air fresheners/sprays used in your house, cleaning agents, and the like, anything that could end up being inhaled or could have settled on their food and drinking water. Another remote possibility is something coming in from outside (open windows) - maybe wind carried sprays, pollution etc.

Have you checked for carbon monoxide (furnaces, gas water heaters, fumes from a connected garage)? And the really far out thought - there is a whole subdivision in this town that was built on a former landfill site. The gases from the decomposition seeped into the houses, and now they're being demolished. Any chance of that around your area?
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Old 09-10-02, 01:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks so much DragnDrop! I really appreciated your post!! Here's the same reply I gave on CJ's:

"All of them had dandelion (from our yard - the neighbours don't spray, but I
suppose drifting is possible), Swiss chard (from our garden - same scenario)
and romaine (from the grocery store - and I must confess I don't wash the
inner leaves). One of the kids and my husband have been sick with stomach
cramps over the past few days... We all ate the same (yes, we eat
dandelions - not that hubby knows that). So food is a good possibilty.

Crickets have dry gutload and thawed cups of blended veggies for moisture -
so that's a good thing.

No grain or comercial foods were fed - however the dragons were fed
superworms housed on a bran/oatmeal mixture.

We lived in a fairly isolated small community - but have several gas (some
sour) wells in the area (yesterday I noticed a strong rotten egg smell while
driving past one). Purely anectodal, but there is a moderate rate of
depression and fibromyalgia in the communty - which some attribute to the
wells. I suppose that is a possibilty.

The reason I am somewhat concerned with molds/mildew is we renovated the
bathroom this past spring. The insulation and wood behind the tile were
black with mold.

All dead are in their graves. If (please no!) another dies I'll have a
necropsy done.

Cleaners could be a possibilty - my son cleans his glasses with Windex and
could have gotten some in the torts water(the other 3 are fine). Not the rabbit's or the
beardies', though. I wonder about scented candles??

I pray this is limited and/or a coincidence..."

Jeff, we don't use Lysol ... do you know the ingredient that is in it and I can double check on our other products. We use Windex and Fantastik for general house cleaning - although I'm very careful not to spray around the critters (aside from a case of mistaken bottle identity and Fantastik was sprayed on some little chams - weeks ago and they are OK).

Thanks for all and any ideas and your kind words!!

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