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CWD Symptoms: Need Advice

Discussion in 'Herp Health' started by h20dragon2010, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. h20dragon2010

    h20dragon2010 Elite Member

    I have an ill female CWD that is about 3 years old. I have had her for 2 years now and have not had a problem like this until fairly recently. Everyone I have spoken too that does reptile rescue, exotic vet (2 different docs), a respectable man dealing with reptiles for 40 years, and more (including myself with only 2 years of real reptile experience) are all stumped as to what is wrong with my CWD. I desperately need some ideas of some kind to help her so if anyone has anything to throw out there that we can look into, please do. I need ideas to throw out there to my vet in case they are missing something. Here goes:

    - Was diagnosed with MBD due to multiple fractures and vet believes that it started after she laid her eggs last May. She had new fracture in tail, fractured pelvis, fractured finger, and a dislocated toe. You wouldn't know looking at her because she walked fine and no other physical changes except dangling toe which is why the appointment was made. We noticed due to x-rays from her dislocated toe. Doctor put her on pain meds, baytril, and oral calcium. After a few weeks she slowly on and off went downhill. I bought all new lighting because I thought mine was defective bc my enclosure is set up accurately. I ordered a 160 watt mega-ray this time as I always use MVB's.
    - By her check up date, she was army crawling. She was very inactive and would hardly eat though she looked great. She developed tail tremors and literally just walks on her elbows though she prefers not to move much at all and does not climb.
    - Check up revealed that she was relatively healthy. Ultrasound showed no eggs. X-rays showed healing fractures and strong bones but also infection in the dislocated toe and possibly calcium buildup in tummy. Blood work showed calcium at like a 14 and phosphorous about a 3 or 4. All other things in blood work were normal range except only one little thing. The one that represents muscle deterioration. The doc said that it shows this high in animals who are literally starving to death and the body begins to eat the muscle or in an animal that has been severely wounded. It is normally around 100 or slightly higher. Ormarr's was at 400. The vet said that was really high. We put her on injectable antibiotics and amputated the toe far above the infected region. The antibiotics were to last a month.
    - Antibiotics were officially finished on Tuesday. Aside from one moment where she lifted one elbow off the ground, she has not improved. She refuses all food except pinky mice which the vet wants me to feed every few days. She is not active. Color is great as usual. No climbing. Some basking but a lot of hiding and some soaking. Army crawling continues. Tail tremors continue. Before and just after she dislocated the toe, she acted normal and walked perfectly. Weeks later the crawl started. Absolutely no improvement in about 4-6 weeks. The vet said if it was caused by her toe, she would be recovered after being treated......

    -----To sum up symptoms-------
    - Hides
    - Rejects all food but pinky mice
    - Army Crawls
    - When balancing in my hands or anywhere she feels unstable, she will not use front legs. She will spread back legs out all the way and use them to balance.
    - Fingers curl under a good bit more than my other 2 water dragons. Maybe not important, but vet caught that one too and wasn't sure why.
    - Tail tremors
    - Beautiful coloring
    - Can't climb
    - Extremely heavy breathing like she has been running but x-rays reveal clear lungs but smaller than what appears to be normal lungs.
    - infection in toe but amputated and treated with antibiotics.
    - Holds nose more so aimed towards sky all the time.
    - Not producing eggs. Last production was May of 2011. My other healthy water dragon female is already laying again and they laid the same time last time....not sure if they should differ.
    - Originally diagnosed with MBD and placed on oral calcium due to multiple fractures. Revoked diagnosis several weeks later when they did blood work and found her tummy had lots of calcium sitting in it and her blood work revealed calcium at 14 and phos at 3 or 4.
    -Only thing abnormal in blood work was high level of thing that represents muscle deterioration..... She is far from starved and unless semi-older fractures or a recent dislocated toe could spike it, there was no severe trauma. The vet saw nothing that they thought would be significant enough to spike it.
    - No improvement on antibiotics. Was on Baytril for several weeks and after toe amputation was put on an injectable antibiotic that stays in freezer (never remember the name) and that was for a month. Done with antibiotics as of last Tuesday. No improvement.

    If I remember anything else, I will add it. Hoping someone can add something that I can look into. I hate to feel like she is suffering. She really does try to get around and I feel like she is miserable. Could it be a brain problem? Maybe head trauma that was somehow not caught? I don't know where to take this but I feel like I am getting nowhere fast. Please try to help Ormarr. She is seeing a vet so I am not looking for a free diagnosis. Even if someone nails it we will go to the vet every day if necessary until she is all better. I just need someone to throw out suggestions at the least that I can discuss with my vet. I am so desperate. Please help. Thanks to whoever even made it this far reading this.
  2. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Is there some sort of parasite that could do this?

    I really hope that you find out what is wrong with Ormarr, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
  3. h20dragon2010

    h20dragon2010 Elite Member

    Thanks mld. I do not know. I will definitely ask the vet. My only thought though would be that if it was a parasite, would it not affect both since my two adult females live together? They use the same water source to potty and drink. My other female is 100% healthy and was seen the last time by my vet. She will be going with Ormarr tomorrow because I want x-rays of her since she is bulging with eggs but not laid yet. Last visit (a month ago) the vet said Saphira was great.
  4. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    Remember that it's definitely possible for one captive to be affected by parasites though a tank mate may not be. Infection by parasites is influenced by the immune system. If she's immunologically compromised but her tank mate is not, she is more susceptible to disease and parasitism.

    I'm just throwing this out there, but she sounds like she has vertigo.
  5. h20dragon2010

    h20dragon2010 Elite Member

    Oh. I did not know that. I will discuss that with the vet and see if I can try and get a fecal sample. If I do not have one by appointment time, I can always run one up there. Thank you!
  6. h20dragon2010

    h20dragon2010 Elite Member

    I wanted to say that Ormarr's vet appointment was very enlightening...thanks to a girl who unfortunately injured her water dragon just a couple weeks ago. When we discussed all of Ormarr's symptoms again, we finally made a break through. Ormarr is army crawling and curling under her fingers because both of her elbows are popping out of joint on her front legs. Unfortunately, the how or why we cannot figure out. However, I am relieved to know what is causing her to crawl so we can fix it while we still dig for the cause. The vet said if it was one elbow then he would have figured it was likely that she somehow got injured. But being that it is both, he believes it is from some underlying cause. He has put her anti-inflammatory/pain meds for now and splinted the worst leg and is hoping the meds will help the leg that isn't too bad. It would have been more difficult on her to have both legs splinted. She is not happy, but I did finally get my hands on some wax worms and she actually ate a few tonight. I have to help her move around the enclosure and I have to bring the water to her because "no soaking allowed." I think her heavy breathing and possibly the angle she holds her head could also be attached to this joint issue we have. I am sure it is a physical sign of pain or discomfort. Her next check-up is Thursday. Praying for improvement so we can get her out of this custom sling. Hoping we will find some more answers soon as to what is up with her. We did another ultrasound and we can barely see follicles forming in her ovaries. It is possible that we may need to spay her but we are not diving into anything just yet. We will be keeping a close eye on her so she can hopefully recover and lay on her own. Or at least recover before going through surgery if that becomes necessary. I will keep everyone updated who may be curious as to what happens with her. Thanks.

    ps- Not quite sure what the other symptoms are from but the doctor and the assistant got to see the tremors in her tail and back legs today. Although her blood work revealed great cal/phos ratio, it could still be possible that she is struggling with MBD...nothing definite yet and vet didn't see any reason to put her back on calcium.
  7. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Well, that went better then expected! Glad you got some answers!

    Did they rule out gout? I've heard that it can effect joints

    Sending well wishes and prayers your and Ormarr's way! Good luck with the next appointment.

    BTW, did you bring Saphira in today also?
  8. h20dragon2010

    h20dragon2010 Elite Member

    I did ask about gout once we discovered what was going on with her elbows. The doctor was not ruling it out. I do have some knowledge and experience with gout because I have a leopard gecko I adopted almost 2 years ago that is in renal failure and has both kinds of gout (none of this was caused by me, it was the pet shop I got her from and she was also egg bound). My leo is doing amazingly well and the vet is shocked that she is still alive. Her kidneys have been barely functioning since I got her. They wince and hesitate every time they ask about her. But she is great. Anyways sorry I got a little off topic. LOL. I guess with Ormarr we will just have to maintain bloodwork and look for shifts. Her elbow joints only are swollen and knobby but that could be just from them being irritated for so long popping out of place.
    I was going to take Saphira in since she has not laid eggs yet, but when I got home to grab them for the appointment, she had been digging in the egg box and buried Ormarr so I thought it may be better not to stress her and give her another chance to lay on her own. If no eggs by next Thursday, she will be going in to the vet for an x-ray/ultrasound or whatever when I take Ormarr unless she worries me then she will go in right away.
    Thanks so much for all the prayers. We definitely need it. I am finally feeling like I can breathe a little at least knowing something. I am so glad that I have amazing doctors so close and they really stay on top of things.
  9. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Amen to that!
  10. h20dragon2010

    h20dragon2010 Elite Member

    Just posting another update. Ormarr had another vet check today. Her home-made splint was thankfully removed (bet that felt good) and her worst elbow is back in place. Since it still needs to heal more before she can safely use it, the doctor put her in a little mini cast. I never knew a cast could be done so small. She has to wear it until about March 15 so scar tissue can form around it to hopefully heal it. The doctor would prefer to not end up doing surgery because their joints are so small. He said he will if this route doesn't work for her, but he feels good about it because he has seen many lizards with similar issues and theirs heal up fine. We still don't have any new information as to what is going on, but the doctor wants me to continue with her routine because she is still slowly gaining weight (not that she really needed to) and he feels that their are not other signs to make him feel that we should do any different at this time. Her next check up will be when we remove the cast. Hoping things continue to get better for her even if we never do have an answer.
    Also, Saphira is digging up a storm so I think her eggs will be dropping very soon. She gets in position in her nest but nothing yet. She has been eating great the last few days so I am going to give her some more time to lay. The enclosure floor is covered in dirt from her digging.
  11. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Great news all around!
    That cast must be some small:)
    Hopefully Saphira will lay her eggs soon, sounds like she is having fun with the digging, lol

    Best of luck with everything and thanks for keeping us updated.
  12. h20dragon2010

    h20dragon2010 Elite Member

    Yeah that cast is small. It reminds me of those rubber pen/pencil gripper things. You know the ones that fit snuggly around the pen/pencil so you can comfortably write? Well it reminds me of one of those just bent in an "L" shape. I took pics but I always get my husband to upload them to the computer. If I can get him to help me, I will try to post at least one of her.

    Also, thanks mld for caring so much to check on her updates. :D
  13. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    Glad to hear she is doing better!
  14. h20dragon2010

    h20dragon2010 Elite Member

    Thank you! She is actually walking really well on her casted leg. I am quite surprised she can get around so good on it. She even walks over to the wall and stand up against the wall on her two hind legs which I have not seen her do in quite some time. Maybe the metacam makes her feel good....
  15. h20dragon2010

    h20dragon2010 Elite Member

    UPDATE: Ormarr had her cast removed and her leg looks great. The doctor wants me to keep and eye on it just in case it starts back up. We still have no clue what caused the problem. She is eating great, etc. She was boarded with my vet (also Saphira) for the last almost week because we went out of town. They did a thorough exam on her today. We are leaving things "as is" at the moment.
    Saphira still has not laid any more eggs. The vet wants to spay her as it is taking a toll on her body. I have been waiting on her to lay since OCT/NOV but we were not concerned as she still had an appetite. She finally dropped 4 eggs a couple weeks ago but shows no signs of laying any more. She is still eating but is losing weight. The vet feels that if we wait there may be damage done to her body that could be avoided now. I know a lot of people are against spaying unless it is absolutely necessary, but I trust my vet and if he says it is time, then it must be. She is going in for surgery on the 28th.
  16. mercy009

    mercy009 Member

    Just read the whole post. I have 2 water dragons, so thought maybe I could help. I have never heard of seen anything like what poor Omarr went through. I was so glad when I read the last update!! I bet you can finally breathe now!!! My female Kiysohi is pregnant's my first egg laying so I'm quite nervous. She is getting pretty round too.

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