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Wobbly walking/curved spine/limited back leg function

hippiehoe

Bearded Dragon Egg
Messages
17
Hello,
My beardie Zeke has been walking wobbly for about 3 weeks now, I took him to an exotics vet (turns out she isn’t the most knowledgeable and thinks beardies can drink with their cloaca and can’t be sexed correctly) who didn’t want to take x rays yet but instead test for ADV which he showed no symptoms for, and was negative. I will be taking him elsewhere Im just living paycheck to paycheck at the moment and it’s been incredibly difficult. I asked if parasites could cause something like this, to which she said “good idea” and gave me a fecal cup. He does have a LOT of pin worms which I’ve treated him for now. I took it upon myself to take x rays at my place of work, a feline only vet clinic. And I was hoping if anyone could see anything in these x rays? There’s a spot I circled right before his spine curves that looks interesting to me. The vet recommended meloxicam so I had been giving that until recently since he wasn’t supposed to be on it for too long. Looking at tramadol or possibly more meloxicam now.
As far as lighting goes, he has a reptisun 10.0 tube UVB mounted inside his enclosure. However a few months ago I switched to a 5.0 thinking the 10.0 was maybe too much since it was so close to him when he’d climb up to it. I quickly changed it back to a 10.0 when he started showing symptoms. His basking temp reaches 105-115 F, cold side between 70-80 F and ~82F overall at night. He’s never been one to eat greens however I have been making more of an effort to offer them and he did eat some a few times but now looks at me like “where my bugs at???” Again lol. He gets dubia roaches, and everything is dusted in calcium of course.
TIA!! Would really like to know what I’m dealing with here.
PS, the top of him is angled toward the left a bit but the curve on his lower back is what he looks like in real life too. I’ll be retaking x rays next week hopefully as well.
 

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Sadie

Bearded Dragon Veteran
3 Year Member
1,000+ Post Club
Messages
10,595
Hello,
My beardie Zeke has been walking wobbly for about 3 weeks now, I took him to an exotics vet (turns out she isn’t the most knowledgeable and thinks beardies can drink with their cloaca and can’t be sexed correctly) who didn’t want to take x rays yet but instead test for ADV which he showed no symptoms for, and was negative. I will be taking him elsewhere Im just living paycheck to paycheck at the moment and it’s been incredibly difficult. I asked if parasites could cause something like this, to which she said “good idea” and gave me a fecal cup. He does have a LOT of pin worms which I’ve treated him for now. I took it upon myself to take x rays at my place of work, a feline only vet clinic. And I was hoping if anyone could see anything in these x rays? There’s a spot I circled right before his spine curves that looks interesting to me. The vet recommended meloxicam so I had been giving that until recently since he wasn’t supposed to be on it for too long. Looking at tramadol or possibly more meloxicam now.
As far as lighting goes, he has a reptisun 10.0 tube UVB mounted inside his enclosure. However a few months ago I switched to a 5.0 thinking the 10.0 was maybe too much since it was so close to him when he’d climb up to it. I quickly changed it back to a 10.0 when he started showing symptoms. His basking temp reaches 105-115 F, cold side between 70-80 F and ~82F overall at night. He’s never been one to eat greens however I have been making more of an effort to offer them and he did eat some a few times but now looks at me like “where my bugs at???” Again lol. He gets dubia roaches, and everything is dusted in calcium of course.
TIA!! Would really like to know what I’m dealing with here.
PS, the top of him is angled toward the left a bit but the curve on his lower back is what he looks like in real life too. I’ll be retaking x rays next week hopefully as well.
Please go back to the 10.0 bulb --- it needs to be in the tank approx 12-15 inches directly above the basking decor - I would shoot for a distance of around 13" --- if hes having difficulty walking or falling have the distance from floor to bulb 13" -- make sure your changing the 10.0 bulb out every 10-11 months- why are you giving the pain meds? Never mind I just read you changed the bulb back-- good!! Surface basking temps should be taken w/ a digital probe thermometer and should be 95-100 - the 115 is way too hot - night time temps ambient should be 65-75 82 is too warm unless he is sick --- I am going to have Tracie look at the X rays and advise on the calcium- shes a vet tech on the board -- do not go back to the vet you took him to--- shes a quack and does not know what shes talking about I am posting a website for you to find a reputable vet in your area -- if your in a small town/ area type in the biggest cities zip code -- www.arav.org
@Drache613
 

hippiehoe

Bearded Dragon Egg
Messages
17
Please go back to the 10.0 bulb --- it needs to be in the tank approx 12-15 inches directly above the basking decor - I would shoot for a distance of around 13" --- if hes having difficulty walking or falling have the distance from floor to bulb 13" -- make sure your changing the 10.0 bulb out every 10-11 months- why are you giving the pain meds? Never mind I just read you changed the bulb back-- good!! Surface basking temps should be taken w/ a digital probe thermometer and should be 95-100 - the 115 is way too hot - night time temps ambient should be 65-75 82 is too warm unless he is sick --- I am going to have Tracie look at the X rays and advise on the calcium- shes a vet tech on the board -- do not go back to the vet you took him to--- shes a quack and does not know what shes talking about I am posting a website for you to find a reputable vet in your area -- if your in a small town/ area type in the biggest cities zip code -- www.arav.org
@Drache613
The UVB was about half that distance from him, which was why I thought 5.0 would be ok but I’m not sure if that caused something?? I was giving pain meds because he didn’t look comfortable to me. His basking spot is typically less than 110F I just added the high end I’ve seen it on. I’ve been having trouble with his temps at night and thought it might be a bit cold so I added the ceramic heat emitter. Thank you, I look forward to hearing from Tracie and will look at that website.
 

hippiehoe

Bearded Dragon Egg
Messages
17
The UVB was about half that distance from him, which was why I thought 5.0 would be ok but I’m not sure if that caused something?? I was giving pain meds because he didn’t look comfortable to me. His basking spot is typically less than 110F I just added the high end I’ve seen it on. I’ve been having trouble with his temps at night and thought it might be a bit cold so I added the ceramic heat emitter. Thank you, I look forward to hearing from Tracie and will look at that website.
Just looked at the website, absolutely nothing is popping up in any radius for me. I’m in NKY.
 

Sadie

Bearded Dragon Veteran
3 Year Member
1,000+ Post Club
Messages
10,595
Yes I typed in Cincinnati’s and still nothing came up even in 200 mile radius :/
Wow --- that is terrible -- try getting a recommendation from either pet rescue centers or other reptile owners if you know of any -- I am going to post on another forum for some recommendations
 

Sadie

Bearded Dragon Veteran
3 Year Member
1,000+ Post Club
Messages
10,595
Please go back to the 10.0 bulb --- it needs to be in the tank approx 12-15 inches directly above the basking decor - I would shoot for a distance of around 13" --- if hes having difficulty walking or falling have the distance from floor to bulb 13" -- make sure your changing the 10.0 bulb out every 10-11 months- why are you giving the pain meds? Never mind I just read you changed the bulb back-- good!! Surface basking temps should be taken w/ a digital probe thermometer and should be 95-100 - the 115 is way too hot - night time temps ambient should be 65-75 82 is too warm unless he is sick --- I am going to have Tracie look at the X rays and advise on the calcium- shes a vet tech on the board -- do not go back to the vet you took him to--- shes a quack and does not know what shes talking about I am posting a website for you to find a reputable vet in your area -- if your in a small town/ area type in the biggest cities zip code -- www.arav.org
@Drache613
I flagged her again
 

Drache613

Hatchling Dragon
Messages
221
Hello,

Poor dragon, how is she doing today?
As Sadie suggested, please change to a higher UVB tube bulb, the Arcadia D3 12% or 14% T5, or
the Reptisun 10 T5 either one.
The spot on his spinal area looks deviated & probably injured or has grown improperly. Are you giving
the powdered calcium supplement 4-5 times weekly? I would recommend a good liquid calcium to start
helping him absorb calcium more efficiently. If you need help finding some, I have a great formula on my
website for reptiles.
For now, be sure to keep his basking spot on the bottom of the tank for safety. So you will need to
adjust the UVB & basking lights accordingly.
The Meloxicam can be helpful for pain, short term but I wouldn't keep him on it for long term use.
He is eating well right now, which is positive then, does he eat greens often as well?

Tracie
 

hippiehoe

Bearded Dragon Egg
Messages
17
Hello,

Poor dragon, how is she doing today?
As Sadie suggested, please change to a higher UVB tube bulb, the Arcadia D3 12% or 14% T5, or
the Reptisun 10 T5 either one.
The spot on his spinal area looks deviated & probably injured or has grown improperly. Are you giving
the powdered calcium supplement 4-5 times weekly? I would recommend a good liquid calcium to start
helping him absorb calcium more efficiently. If you need help finding some, I have a great formula on my
website for reptiles.
For now, be sure to keep his basking spot on the bottom of the tank for safety. So you will need to
adjust the UVB & basking lights accordingly.
The Meloxicam can be helpful for pain, short term but I wouldn't keep him on it for long term use.
He is eating well right now, which is positive then, does he eat greens often as well?

Tracie
As I mentioned in my post, I did change it back to 10.0. And his tank is all one level, I changed that shortly after I noticed his walking. He’s still stable, the same as before. And he doesn’t like eating greens very often, I offer almost every day but he only eats a few bites if that. My question was about the x rays though?
 

Sadie

Bearded Dragon Veteran
3 Year Member
1,000+ Post Club
Messages
10,595
As I mentioned in my post, I did change it back to 10.0. And his tank is all one level, I changed that shortly after I noticed his walking. He’s still stable, the same as before. And he doesn’t like eating greens very often, I offer almost every day but he only eats a few bites if that. My question was about the x rays though?
Deviated spine is what Tracie sees-possibly from a injury --- is that what your referring to?
 

hippiehoe

Bearded Dragon Egg
Messages
17
Deviated spine is what Tracie sees-possibly from an injury --- is that what your referring to?
Yes, I think he injured himself as well. What are the chances of recovery? What I’ve heard and read it seems he might have a deficit for the rest of his life :( is there anything to help a deviated spine?
 

hippiehoe

Bearded Dragon Egg
Messages
17
Not a vet tech but... possible hereditary trait, scoliosis?
His spine never curved before, I honestly think he fell while trying to turn around and hurt himself. His enclosure is all on one level now, but even if it was scoliosis I don’t think he’d be walking so off :/
 

hippiehoe

Bearded Dragon Egg
Messages
17
Also wanted to mention, just now while petting his back on his left side he kept twitching in some way? Maybe an indicator of pain or discomfort? I fear he’s going to get worse and I just don’t know what to do. I’m terrified of going to another vet that will just waste my money, which I barely have to begin with. I love my boy and I just want to help him but I really don’t know what is going on with him, if it truly is injury or something else.
 

hippiehoe

Bearded Dragon Egg
Messages
17
I’ll attach a picture of him too, he’s also starting to get a divot (second photo) on that left side on his stomach. It’s hard to see from this photo but it’s not just from the log hes sitting on, he makes his stomach that way. I’ll get a better photo tomorrow. I’m just freaking out at this point from lack of sleep, and lack of adequate care from the vet I took him to before.
9724EEBC-7C69-43C6-8DDC-42A8F063C5E0.jpeg
01EA9EB6-CAEB-4267-AC7F-5E43BA5F86FF.jpeg
 

hippiehoe

Bearded Dragon Egg
Messages
17
Hello,

Poor dragon, how is she doing today?
As Sadie suggested, please change to a higher UVB tube bulb, the Arcadia D3 12% or 14% T5, or
the Reptisun 10 T5 either one.
The spot on his spinal area looks deviated & probably injured or has grown improperly. Are you giving
the powdered calcium supplement 4-5 times weekly? I would recommend a good liquid calcium to start
helping him absorb calcium more efficiently. If you need help finding some, I have a great formula on my
website for reptiles.
For now, be sure to keep his basking spot on the bottom of the tank for safety. So you will need to
adjust the UVB & basking lights accordingly.
The Meloxicam can be helpful for pain, short term but I wouldn't keep him on it for long term use.
He is eating well right now, which is positive then, does he eat greens often as well?

Tracie
Do you see any sign of MBD in those x rays though? That vet said he’s good on that front, unless it is?? I do supplement powdered calcium yes. Sorry for not answering that before. I’m hesitant to try a liquid calcium because I don’t want to overdo it, I offer greens almost every day if not every other day and feed dubia roaches twice a week. All dusted in calcium.
 
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