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Chinese Water Dragon Mouth Problem (Please Help!)

Discussion in 'Water Dragons' started by The, Oct 18, 2009.

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  1. The

    The New Member

    To All Who Might Help,

    I have a Chinese Water Dragon named Takeo that seems to be having some problems- with his mouth. I noticed he had been holding his mouth open an awful lot one day while feeding him. At first I didn't think much of it, but upon further inspection I found his mouth seemed to be sitting in his jaw wrong, and there seemed to be some sort of film around his 'lips'. I opened his mouth to see if it was some shedded skin or cricket pieces snared on his teeth- but no such luck. My Mom is worried we can't afford to take him to the vet as they charge a lot of money for exotics, so I was wondering if anyone could advise me on how I might help him? I have included pictures- please take a look! Thank You.

    God Bless,




    Attached Files:

  2. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    It`s difficult to see properly, but it seems like a "scab", has the lizard been rubbing against the front of the enclosure, also if you can see inside the mouth, have you noticed anything unusual, like a "cheesy" substance around the gums? Can you give details of how you keep him/her, temps, humidity, cage size etc. Also foods offered. Thanks!
  3. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    It also looks as if the lower jaw is swollen. You are going to need a vet for this.
  4. shwknight

    shwknight Elite Member

    Vet visits aren't that much. You need to take him to a certified exotic vet tho, not just a dog/cat vet that will see exotics. The general check up at my vet is only $45 dollars and the vet will be able to tell you what is wrong with his/her jaw
  5. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    It's hard to tell. CWD's can get a whole host of problems that manifest as mouth problems (Mouth rot, MBD, respiratory infections, to name a few). Other things that can cause mouth problems but are not necessarily diseases are improper temps, poor shedding, improper enclosure.

    Mouth rot (Infectious stomatitis) can cause the gum's to get soft and cheesy looking, and even start bleeding and swelling, and in some cases, falling off in pieces. This is a very serious disease that requires antibiotics - and is pretty much fatal without treatment.

    Metabolic bone disease is caused by calcium deficiency, which in turn is a result of poor diet or lack of UVB or both. It causes the bones to soften, and often deform or break, and can seriously disfigure or paralyze a lizard.

    Respiratory infections are an infection of the lungs, which will also require antibiotics - but often causes the animal to "gape" or breathe withthe mouth open. It is often accompanied by wheezing, popping, or gurgling sounds.

    A reptile that is too warm will also gape "breathe with mouth open" to help dispel extra heat - in other words, when it is too warm.

    Unshed skin built up around the nose/face can force a lizard to breathe with an open mouth, simply because the nares are blocked up.

    A CWD in an enclosure that is mostly glass (example: aquariums) tend to develop snout rub. They rub their faces on the glass excessively, often causing permanent damage to the snout and jaws.

    If I had to give you my best *GUESS* I would say it looks like a little MBD going on. My CWD had the same thing when I got her, but we would need to know a LOT more about how you are keeping your lizard. Everything:

    How big is the enclosure, and what it is like?
    What are your temps at the basking spot, and the cooler parts of the cage? During the day? During the night?
    What does your humidity range?
    What are you feeding the lizard?
    What kind of bulbs are you using, and how old are they?
    what kind of supplements or vitamins you are using, if any?
    What kind of substrate is in the enclosure?
    How old is the lizard, and how long have YOU had it?
  6. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    I would call around to a few vets. You may be surprised and how inexpensive it is. My vet only charges $35 for a visit for any animal, be it dog, cat, ferret, frog or lizard. Don't just let your mom write it off as "its going to be too expensive" when you really don't know how much its going to be in the first place.

    Its also possible is is due to some housing issues, so please give us a run down on your setup.
  7. DragonFamily

    DragonFamily Elite Member

  8. SavageWolf

    SavageWolf Active Member

    Agree with the vet visit as well. I had seen a few with that same problem and it turned out to be metabolic bone disease, which is treatable depending on the stage of the illness.
  9. iguanaluva

    iguanaluva New Member

    the last time I took my water dragon to the vet they told me to keep him warmer, and gave him some fluids and antibiotics and that cost me 200 dollars, it must depend where you go. however my dragon has been having a problem with a sort of "scabing" around the inside of the lips, when I look up symptoms for most of the diseases mentioned i find that the symptoms dont match up with the symptoms my dragon has. he has no white cheesy pus, nothing appears to be swollen but when i clean the scabs out of his mouth with a cut off q-tip end he closes his mouth and seems to feel better, I have also treated him with wound healing aid for his snout rub problem. I worry that perhaps he has some kind of fungal infection or systemic infection from rubbing his snout, i plan to take him to the vet soon but i am having trouble finding a reliable exotic vet in my area.
  10. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, if your lizard has been rubbing his snout it may be mouth rot, he needs a vet asap so the specific bacteria can be identified and the appropriate antibiotic administered. Any vet should be able to help, or at least put you in touch wth someone who can.
    You must also find a way to prevent him from rubbing it again, maybe covering the bottom of the glass with something, what type and size of enclosure is he in just now? By the way, this thread is almost a year old.
  11. cslammon

    cslammon Elite Member

    Wow!! Get him to the vet asap.. please for the sake of the little guy/girl! Even if you have to put off some other things for a while, it's well worth the health of the dragon. Good luck
  12. iguanaluva

    iguanaluva New Member

    opps, sorry i was looking up his symptoms on google when i found the thread and it seemed to be the only decent source, i have covered all the glass sides with cloths to make them opaque. i am in the process of designing large two chambered hexigonal tank for him and my iguana to live in but right now he is in an enclosure that is about 3 ft by 1 1/2 ft, he is about two feet from his snout to the tip of his tail. when he came to us actually he already had a chunk missing from the front of his snout from rubbing wherever he was before, i took him to the vet last winter after we took him in when he had similar symptoms and the symptoms subsided until now. frankly i felt that i knew more about water dragons then the vet. this is the first water dragon i have ever had though i have cared for iguanas for years. I heard somewhere using betadine on his mouth can help.
  13. iguanaluva

    iguanaluva New Member

    i spend at least 3 hours of my day taking care of my two lizards its not a matter of me putting anything before them, i just wanted to get an idea of what he had before i went to a vet so i wont get charged two hundred dollars and be told "just turn up the heat" again. i am in massachusetts and there is not alot of vets experianced with these animals even in the city. I am planning to take him to the vet instead of taking classes in college so clearly i always put my animals first. i just want to spend my two hundred dollars on a real cure this time.
  14. cslammon

    cslammon Elite Member

    Didn't mean to sound mean about it.. Just sayin
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