border
sSNAKESs : Reptile Forum
 

Go Back   sSNAKESs : Reptile Forum > Community Forums > General Discussion

Notices

Closed Thread
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-10-02, 08:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
Member
 
wolfchan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul-2002
Age: 33
Posts: 21
Country:
Smile Not a snake, but still a herp....rescue BD

I rescued a bearded dragon awhile back. He is old, and he was in a tank with a bunch of young spry beardies who were getting all of the food. He was declining rapidly. Here he is the night I brought him home:



He ate once, threw up, and refused to eat again. I force-fed him a few doses of a commercial reptile appetite stimulant, and didn't give him any more mealworms. He has been eating salad supplemented with a few waxworms and the occasional pinkie mouse. His appetite returned after three days with the stimulant. While I wouldn't say he eats like a beardie should, I am thrilled that he is eating something!

It's less than a month since I brought him home, but I wanted to show off the improvement I have seen in him so far. He has filled out a bit, and his color has gotten darker. While he was totally listless at first, I took him out in the sun today and saw a big change. I set him down and sat down a few feet away. He walked over and climbed up in my lap! I guess force feeding him didn't make him hate me! *happy* After a few minutes I set him on the ground again, and he spread his tummy out and puffed up his beard! His beard darkened, and he sat staring off into space for awhile. (Daydreaming about his younger days perhaps...?)

Once he was relaxed again I gave him a good soak and took his picture. The back of his head still has two concave areas where it should be pillowed out, but he looks much better overall! Here is 'Magoo' at about 11:30 this morning:

wolfchan is offline  
Login to remove ads
Old 12-10-02, 08:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
Member
 
Jeff_Favelle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar-2002
Location: BC
Posts: 9,740
Send a message via AIM to Jeff_Favelle Send a message via MSN to Jeff_Favelle Send a message via Yahoo to Jeff_Favelle
!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Holy smokes! I thought that was a Tuatara at first!!
__________________
www.jefffavelle.com
Jeff_Favelle is offline  
Old 12-10-02, 09:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
Kat
Member
 
Kat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec-2002
Location: Near Ottawa, Ontario
Age: 39
Posts: 139
Country:
Send a message via MSN to Kat
You've done a totally remarkeble job! You;d hardly know it was the same BD. Keep up the good work, we need more people like you in this world!!
__________________
Love all, Trust few, Harm none
~Kat )O(
Kat is offline  
Old 12-10-02, 10:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
Member
 
eyespy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep-2002
Posts: 2,125
Great job!! His condition is improving rapidly. It's nice to see the tail base getting chubbier, he's getting some of his nutrient reserves back already.

I'd hold off on the pinkies though. A beardie who has been starved usually has some digestion issues and its body has a tough time breaking down large chunks of animal protein and fat at a time. Rescue beardies who are fed pinkies have a much higher rate of fatty liver disease because of this than the rest of the bearded dragon population. Pinkies are a pretty common source of liver disease even in otherwise healthy dragons.

If you are lucky enough to get him to eat his greens, aim for about 50% salad and 50% gutloaded insects like crix, silkworms, butterworms and the occasional superworm. Some watered down chicken baby food smeared on the greens might convince a reluctant salad eater if needed.

I'd push as much water as I could get him to drink as well. Those sunken fat pads show significant dehydration. Flavor it with a little white grape or apple juice to see if that will convince him to slurp up a good quantity of fluids. Greens like collard and mustard will really help with hydration as well.

Good luck and keep us posted on his progress.
__________________
The Zombie Mama is here!

http://www.thebeardedlady.org
eyespy is offline  
Old 12-11-02, 01:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
Member
 
wolfchan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul-2002
Age: 33
Posts: 21
Country:
Thanks for the advice eyespy. I had been giving him a pinkie every two weeks, but several people have advised me against it, so I'm going to stop.

I will definitely flavor up his water! I have been wondering how to get him to drink more since he soaks a LOT but doesn't seem to drink much.

The biggest problem right now is that he can't catch most of the bugs I give him and he won't take anything out of my hand. I will have an opportunity to pick up some silkworms tomorrow night, so I'll give those a try as well. Do you recommend against waxies?

I'll also pick up the greens you recommended. I've been giving him freshly rinsed greens every day to get him to take in water with those. He's been okay with eating his salad until today. After I took him out into the sun he PIGGED OUT! Needless to say he will definitely be getting more sun.

Since he reacted so much to the sunlight does that mean I should improve my indoor lighting for him? He's got a UVB light and a basking light, but now I'm worried that it might not be warm enough or something. Perhaps he just enjoyed the activity.

One more thing: I was told originally when I brought him home that it would probably be best to keep him in a smaller tank until he recovered some. At what point should I move him into the 4'x2'x2' tank that I'll be getting? Or should I get the tank ASAP and put him in? I got mixed messages on this....
wolfchan is offline  
Login to remove ads
Old 12-11-02, 10:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
Member
 
eyespy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep-2002
Posts: 2,125
wolfchan, there's no good substitute for natural sunlight. If your UVB light is more than 4-5 months old it could probably do with replacing, but even with brand new lights most beardies respond much better to sunlight than any so-called "full spectrum" bulb. There are wavelengths in sunlight that are good for psychological health as well as vitamin formation and the UVB bulbs don't necessarily provide that.

You're very lucky to live where you can give this sweet boy some sun in the winter and I'd say go for it as often as possible! Your basking spot can go as high as 115-120 and I'd say try bumping that up nice and high. Once you see him gaping and moving away from the hot spot, then bring it down a few degrees until you see him spending lots of happy time in the warm spot. A rheostat or dimmer switch is very useful in times like this. Some folks also say a higher watt bulb dimmed back some seems to last much longer than a lower wattage burning at full strength. Unless you are using a mercury vapor bulb, they cannot be dimmed. You want his digestion to really get a kick start and nothing like a good hot basking spot to do the trick, especially if he can also get natural sunlight regularly.

Do you have any small rubbermaids you could use as a feeding tank? I often use sweaterboxes as feeding stations with my hatchlings and rescues so that they don't have a big trek to hunt down their prey and you don't have the stress of too much handling at feeding time. That might help him catch more bugs at a time. Silkworks are an excellent food source, much better than waxies which are mostly fat and not much nutrition. I'd use waxies just as a treat.

Great to hear about the greens! They will really help bring up the hydration status and provide some good nutrients too. See if you can get some orange squash into him as well, it's a big nutrition hit also and most beardies I've met love orange foods on sight. Many tongue-flick my nails if I'm wearing a nail polish that's kind of orangey.

It's a hard call about the bigger tank. If he's doing well in a smaller feeding station I'd say give him the bigger space so that he has the least amount of stress and maximum potential for good thermoregulation and exercise. That's just my gut feeling, though. There are some animals that really need a smaller, darker cage while rehabbing or they don't feed well. You'd be the best judge based on his feeding, basking and hiding patterns. If you can find a small enough rubbermaid, you can put his feeding station right inside his tank so he feels less stress.

I'm glad to hear he tolerates soaking well, he'll absorb a decent amount of water even if he isn't a big fan of drinking. It can literally take months for sunken fat pads to fill back in if dehydration was bad enough to compromise kidney function, but most times it reverses within a few weeks in my experience. If the fat pads are very slow to fill out, blood work from a vet to assess kidney function is very important for his long-term health. He may need to go to a low protein, almost all salad diet to avoid stressing the kidneys. If he starts losing weight, goes off food, or refuses to bask get the blood drawn immediately otherwise you can probably hold off and see how time and fluids work. Blood draw and vet visits are so stressful that it would probably set his recovery back a few days at least.
__________________
The Zombie Mama is here!

http://www.thebeardedlady.org
eyespy is offline  
Old 12-11-02, 06:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
Member
 
wolfchan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul-2002
Age: 33
Posts: 21
Country:
I was worrying about the vet situation....I wanted to take him in but he was so stressed even by the initial car ride home that I am wary about it...I am going to wait until he puts on a bit more weight, but I will definitely get the blood work done. (So much for quitting my job to concentrate on school next semester -_-)

Eep, I didn't think about his kidney functions possibly being compromised....that's pretty scary.

I picked up a dozen silkies today, and if he eats those I'll get more this evening when I go to get rodents. Unfortuantely I also got a container of waxies today, but I'll just give him a few and bring the rest in to work tomorrow...

Judging by the fact that he gets pretty active when he is taken out of the tank I think I'll spring for the larger one. I may have to wait a few weeks, but I think it'll be a good thing...

Here's another random question for you....Why was it that when I got him he was so pale in color that he could have passed for a Snow dragon? I have never heard of a health problem causing these guys to lose their color, but apparently that's what's happened to him...He's darkened up a good deal.
wolfchan is offline  
Old 12-11-02, 09:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
Member
 
eyespy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep-2002
Posts: 2,125
wolfchan, he was probably trying to go as light as possible to reflect excess heat, and that means he was really bad off. He was probably trying to let his body shut down and die more quickly than starvation would kill him. Not basking would hasten the process.

It was a terrific thing you did taking him in and giving him a chance. Just seeing the color come back means he is turning around and wants to fight for his health now.
__________________
The Zombie Mama is here!

http://www.thebeardedlady.org
eyespy is offline  
Old 12-11-02, 10:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
Member
 
Jotun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun-2002
Location: Virginia
Age: 32
Posts: 316
Send a message via AIM to Jotun
wow that;s awesome man! i have alot of respect for anyone that rescues herps such as yourself, bravo
__________________
:grab: Ze Jotun :grab:
If it smells like HyGhBr|d, and tastes like HyGhBr|d.......it must be HyGhBr|d
Jotun is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On




All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:04 AM.

Powered by vBulletin®
©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2002-17, Hobby Solutions Inc.

right

SEO by vBSEO 3.1.0