EMERGENCY: Bearded Dragon Seizure(s)!!!! Please Help!!!!

ARACHNO-SMACK48

Arachnoknight
Joined
Oct 29, 2013
Messages
284
Hello All,

As of right now this bearded dragon has been in what appears to be some sort of seizure related to metabolic bone disease since 11:00 last night. I discovered him flipped on his back seizing up. After about 15 minutes he stopped moving and appeared to have stopped breathing so I assumed he had died... went a checked on him a bit later and he was still not breathing.... so I went to bed. In the morning I went to look and oddly enough he was still twitching on his back in the same position.... he had been seizing up all night. After a while he stopped moving and appeared to not be breathing again and remained in this state for the entire day until his cage was moved and he began twitching again. I decided to flip him over and he opened his eyes and is now looking around seeming fairly normal.... well normal for a sick beardie.... I was hoping that he would just die in peace but he is definately still alive..... what should I do?

The story: I have taken in a bearded dragon while a friend of mine is out of town. Before I took him in he had been without UVB for several months and had been eating only small amounts of mealworms, waxworms, and crickets. Needless to say he was/is in pretty bad shape. He now has a reptisun 10.0 UVB bulb and a regular red heat light.... I realize these conditions are not ideal but his basking spot appears to be at a decent temperature and he is getting UVB for most of the day and night now. He is showing very obvious signs of MBD and had a seizure a few weeks ago. I started leaving his UVB light on all 24 hours for a few days immediately after his first seizure and also mixed some calcium carbonate powder with water, sucked it up into a small synringe, and gave him about three syringes full per day orally for the first two days after his seizure and then once this past week. I have also given him dusted crickets and some greens as well. He has eaten the greens and also possibly some of the crickets (but it is hard to tell). I think I definitely should have been giving him more calcium and perhaps in a different form and should have brought him to a vet but seeing as he is my friends lizard I did not want to take him anywhere, worry about medical bills, getting payed back, etc. Yes I know this sounds bad.... but he seemed to be on deaths door and vets tend to charge ridiculous amounts of money just for diagnoses. Anyway.... that's what happened.

Advice?
 

shining

Arachnodemon
Joined
Jul 15, 2011
Messages
755
He really needs a vet if he is flipping over and having seizures. I don't believe there is anything you could do on your own besides what you were doing, maybe boosting the temperatures and uvb and staying far away from spinach and kale.

Bright side: if he is still eating on his own and can stand he has a chance of survival. Granted it will be a long road to recovery but possible.

Dark side: An agonizing, prolonged decline.

I suggest you talk to your friend and in a non confrontational way tell them what needs to be done. If they arent willing to handle it you should pay the vet fee and keep the beardie. Your friend doesn't deserve to keep him if he/she isn't going to care for it properly.



Disclaimer?: I have never owned a beardie but have friends who do. I do own a few reptiles and they can also fall victim to MBD as well, just not as easily as beardies.
 

Ellenantula

Arachnoking
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Sep 14, 2014
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2,007
The seizures are probably calcium related and only a reptile vet could assist you in getting this BD's diet right. Obviously the UVB is a good start to managing his care; but MBD requires a specific diet -- BD's kidneys could fail if you just dose him without knowing the proper amounts his ravaged body can handle.
I would hate this BD to not get the veterinary care he deserves just because his original owner refuses to do right by him -- the fact he was deprived of UVB alone makes his owner unfit.
Unfortunately YOU are now in the position of doing right by him -- or surrendering him to someone who will provide the care he needs.
The BD has no control of his care -- he is relying on you to do the right thing.
 

Ellenantula

Arachnoking
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He has eaten the greens and also possibly some of the crickets (but it is hard to tell).
Advice?
Wow -- this just jumped out at me -- either feed him outside his enclosure or do a thorough search for crickets that might remain in enclosure -- they can nibble BDs while they sleep. -- especially horrible for one with compromised health.
 

ARACHNO-SMACK48

Arachnoknight
Joined
Oct 29, 2013
Messages
284
Wow -- this just jumped out at me -- either feed him outside his enclosure or do a thorough search for crickets that might remain in enclosure -- they can nibble BDs while they sleep. -- especially horrible for one with compromised health.
Okay thank you! Also I am meeting with his owner early tomorrow and I believe we will be taking him to a veterinarian as well so long as his owner approves.
 

Toxoderidae

Arachnoprince
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Messages
1,011
Okay thank you! Also I am meeting with his owner early tomorrow and I believe we will be taking him to a veterinarian as well so long as his owner approves.
Even if he doesn't, still take him. The owner doesn't seem that qualified to own a beardie if he won't even supply it with a proper light.
 

ARACHNO-SMACK48

Arachnoknight
Joined
Oct 29, 2013
Messages
284
He really needs a vet if he is flipping over and having seizures. I don't believe there is anything you could do on your own besides what you were doing, maybe boosting the temperatures and uvb and staying far away from spinach and kale.

Bright side: if he is still eating on his own and can stand he has a chance of survival. Granted it will be a long road to recovery but possible.

Dark side: An agonizing, prolonged decline.

I suggest you talk to your friend and in a non confrontational way tell them what needs to be done. If they arent willing to handle it you should pay the vet fee and keep the beardie. Your friend doesn't deserve to keep him if he/she isn't going to care for it properly.



Disclaimer?: I have never owned a beardie but have friends who do. I do own a few reptiles and they can also fall victim to MBD as well, just not as easily as beardies.
I supposed I was just being cheap and lazy.... assuming that there is not much that a vet can do that won't be ridiculously expensive. But I need to do the right thing here. I will get him to a vet one way or another and assess what can be done.
 

ARACHNO-SMACK48

Arachnoknight
Joined
Oct 29, 2013
Messages
284
His owner is just ignorant.... after I told him that he needed a UVB bulb he ran out and got one the very next day.
 

magicmed

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jun 4, 2016
Messages
403
I rescued a beardie a few years ago that was having some bad seizures. Previous owners were not providing uvb, calcium dust, or vitamin dust and were feeding only crickets. Kept the poor thing in a 15 gallon. I began using proper 10.0 uvb, basking temp at 110, transfered him to an 80 gallon, started him on a daily salad dusted every day but alternating dusts (one day use calcium, the next use vitamins). Along with superworms to put some fat on him. The seizures cleared up in about a month and he has been happy and healthy from then on. He is incredibly docile now, he will happily hang out with me when I watch tv.
 

shining

Arachnodemon
Joined
Jul 15, 2011
Messages
755
I supposed I was just being cheap and lazy.... assuming that there is not much that a vet can do that won't be ridiculously expensive. But I need to do the right thing here. I will get him to a vet one way or another and assess what can be done.
I understand, sometimes we don't have the money and you were only supposed to be reptisitting. It should be a reasonable price in the ballpark of between $40 and $100. Call around but make sure the vet has experience in herpetology.

His owner is just ignorant.... after I told him that he needed a UVB bulb he ran out and got one the very next day.
Unfortunately, some people are like that and those ones shouldn't keep any pets if they don't take the time to understand them.

This is just an all around difficult situation.
Difficult, yes, impossible, no...
Hopefully your friend receives and handles this well otherwise, you do what you have to do. :/
 

Ellenantula

Arachnoking
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@magicmed Glad you have a success story. BDs can be such special pets.
I recommended a vet visit for OP because we cannot know the extent of the MBD; an exacting/perfect/balanced (and/or supplemented) diet gives the BD the best chance to have his MBD managed. A vet could determine the extent of the MBD, and also determine if BD might already have some renal damage, infection, parasites, YF, etc..
 

Trenor

Arachnoprince
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
1,879
Also remember that UVB bulbs have a lifespan (usually between 4-6 months). Don't forget to note your started using date and swap them out as needed. Just because they are still giving off light doesn't mean they are putting out UVB.

Hope he gets better.
 
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