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Problem with hind legs

Discussion in 'Bearded Dragons' started by jadewtch, Feb 18, 2015.

  1. jadewtch

    jadewtch Well-Known Member

    I hope someone here can help me. My beardie is having some sort of issue with his back legs that is affecting mobility. I can't be sure if its one or both that's having issues.

    Here is the basic info:
    He's about 6 months old.
    His cage has both uvb and heat at the right temps.
    He's fed mostly dubia's with additions of phoenix worms or mealworms for variety. He also likes to eat kale but so far hasn't shown any interest in carrots or collard greens.

    I thought at first that it might be impaction but he is pooping just fine and pretty much has been all along. Although he's been 'regular' all his life I've been soaking him since this started and made sure he did his business because he hasn't been eating regularly. I think that's because he's having trouble getting to his dish. He's more than happy to eat if I bring food to him.

    I'm reluctant to bring him to the vet, not because it's expensive although I'll admit that's part of it, but more that I don't think the vet knows what he's doing. I asked my usual vet about it when my cat had a urinary tract infection recently and they pretty much told me I was sol when it came to them and herps.
     
  2. DragonSlayer

    DragonSlayer Established Member

    Sounds like MBDA, do you give him a Calcium Suppliments? If not start to do so now. I would dust his food at every feeding for a while, then every 3 feeding.
     
  3. DragonSlayer

    DragonSlayer Established Member

    And stop the Kale NOW! Not good for him, feed collard or mustard greens.
     
  4. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, just for the sake of asking, can you give details of the temps and humidity plus put a few photos up of the whole enclosure?
     
  5. jadewtch

    jadewtch Well-Known Member

    The heat is about 105 in his basking spot and about 85 - 90 in his cool spot. Humidity is around 50%, not because I am keeping it humid but just because this is Oregon-the land of rain, and the whole house is like that.
    I attached a photo.

    Oh - I don't normally give calcium directly. He gets gut-loaded dubias as his main staple and they're fed calcium rich food by me personally. I also give phoenix worms which are high in protein and calcium so I've never really worried about it.

    Really, he should be healthy as a horse. I can't understand what's going on or why.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2015
  6. DragonSlayer

    DragonSlayer Established Member

    They need calcium supplements. Every care guide says to give it.
     
  7. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Thanks for the photo and more details. You mention the temps are "about" 105f at the basking site and 85 to 90f in the "cool spot". How are you measuring the surface and ambient temps plus the humidity range, and what type of basking bulb and UVB bulb are you using (brands and wattage), and does the tank have a screen top?
    The humidity is perfectly acceptable if that is an accurate reading (50%), there is much misinformation on the internet about what the humidity should be, the correct range is between approx. 30 to 50%+ (which is low to moderate), it can get over 60% in some parts of their range in the wild at times, plus the retreats they use can be significantly higher than the above ground figures.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2015
  8. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member


    Hi, absolutely anyone can write a caresheet, mostly they copy each other, so if there were some unreliable info it would just get passed on as "reliable" because a number of people agree. Some of the authors can be quite inexperienced.... ;)
    Supplements for the most part are simply guesswork.
     
  9. jadewtch

    jadewtch Well-Known Member

    I'm measuring temps with an acurite thermometer. His bulb is a 100w MVB one, but I can't remember the brand, it's something generic. The tank does have a screen top. Unfortunately none of the temps are reliable right now because I had to take out his basking rock. He kept slipping off it while climbing up or down and even flipped over once. He has a low one now that I'm hoping will work until I get this resolved but of course all the temps have lowered as well. I'm hoping that covering the top of his cage with tinfoil will bring things up to where they were.
     
  10. jadewtch

    jadewtch Well-Known Member

    Oh, I've also switched to collard greens and started powdering his dubias with calcium powder. I have to say though (and that's not to imply that these changes are unnecessary or anything) that I'm really skeptical that its MBD. I'm watching the little bugger constantly and it seems like one day he was fine and then wham! and this started. It makes me wish he were more like my cat because I'm having a really hard time telling how bad it is or sometimes even exactly what's going on. Sometimes it's painful to watch him struggle to get around and then he'll eat and poop like a champ and I'll think "thank god it seems like he's getting better" I think something is damaged inside him because he'll eat fine, but only with my help because he can't get into his dish. He poops as well, but again only with my help. (I've been soaking him in the sink and rubbing his stomach) He may be able to poop without my help, but I haven't wanted to let it slide more than a day without in case that caused more problems.
    So there you have it, all my lizard issues. If nothing changes by monday I will likely search out a good herp vet in my area and bring him in.
     
  11. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    If you have a digital thermometer/hygrometer why are the temps not reliable?
    How many inches or cm is the face of the MVB from the closest surface of the lizard when basking (throughout the period you`ve been using it), also, how small are the holes in the screen and how big is the fishtank?
     
  12. jadewtch

    jadewtch Well-Known Member

    I meant that now that I've lowered his basking area about 3 inches it's no longer at 105 because of the distance change
    I don't know how to measure the holes but the tank is a 20 long
     
  13. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    This fishtank is not big enough at only 30L x 12W x 12H (inches) for an adult Bearded dragon, it`s also difficult to get a suitable temp gradient in these very small tanks.
    The minimum distance from the face of most MVB`s to the closest surface of the animal is usually 30cm (12inches), judging by the photo it was much closer than that (and the screen will block some of the UVB and heat plus lower the humidity), I think these things have undoubtably had an effect on the lizard`s health.
    It`s extremely important that you provide suitable basking surface temps @ between approx. 40 to 45c (105 to 115f) otherwise the animal will not be able to function efficiently (which it cannot do from what you`ve said).
    Edit: If the coolest ambient (air) temp in the enclosure is between 85 to 90f it`s too warm, it only needs to be around 21 to 24c (72 to 75f) during the day.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2015
  14. DragonSlayer

    DragonSlayer Established Member

    My care guide was given to me by my vet, Dr Stahl, who made it up himself and he had just updated recommending specific Vitamin Supplements too. The practices website is: Stahl Exotic Animal Veterinary Services | Herp Center
    From what I was told by a local vet I first took my Dragon too, that Dr Stahl was one of two Reptile vets know as the best in the country. Not sure if that is true, but anyplace I go and ask about what vet to go to, they all say that Dr Stahl is the one to go to for Reptiles.

    Know I have a Water Dragon and not a Beardie, but he was adamant about using a calcium supplement every 3rd feeding for all reptiles.
     
  15. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    I cannot see a careguide by Dr. Stahl? When you say he recommends offering regular supplementation to all reptiles in captivity are those his exact words (ALL reptiles)?
     
  16. DragonSlayer

    DragonSlayer Established Member

    Will try and scan the care guild and post it. No he did not say all, he said most reptiles diets need supplemented with calcium and a vitamin supplements because of what they are being feed. He did stress no Vitamin "A" for my guy.
     
  17. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    What you are describing sounds very much like what happens when you feed insects that are too large. They form a type of impaction that puts pressure on area. If this is the case it may subside on its own.


    I have no issue with regular supplementation. It's a good idea.

    Dragonslayer I went to the site and looked at his "caresheet" for bearded dragons. The first thing I saw was
    That right there is a red flag for me.
    Those temperatures are no where near sufficient.
     
  18. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    Unfortunately I lost a monitor last year with the same symptoms. Raised the exact same as the others but he developed hind leg paralysis. He still had feeling in them but just dragged them behind.
    His appetite slowly decreased until he just wasn't eating at all.
    Diagnosis was too much calcium or inability to process the calcium properly.
     
  19. jadewtch

    jadewtch Well-Known Member

    I can't help but think that he broke or hurt one of his hind legs as the other seems ok (I think) and is just being affected by the hurt one. He's excited about eating and poops fine, but both can only be done with help, as I mentioned before. He is going to see the vet on Monday which is the earliest appt I could get for him and will let everyone know how things go.
     

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