Help! Sick lizard!

GartenSpinnen

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
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Aug 17, 2005
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1,408
Well i bought a mountain horned dragon this last weekend and everything was great then he got really sluggish and tonight when i got him out he wouldnt open his eyes or barely move. Finally i brought him out and held him for awhile and he opened one eye (cant seem to open the other) and started moving around sluggishly. Hes not very big and im temporarely housing him in a 10 gallon enclosure (only while im at work, otherwise he gets free roam of the whole bedroom), i have a heating mat, and i have a large water dish with a air stone in it to keep water moving so he drinks (they like moving water i hear), im using a reptile substrate like you use for snakes that consists of peat, vermiculite, and bark. In with him i have a live plant called a kalanchoe. Im wondering if he has some sort of eye infection in the one eye seeing how he cant open it at all? can i use neosporin or a triple antibiotic ointment on a lizard? I feed him medium sized crickets every 3 days or so. Also the room stays at a steady 75-78 degrees not counting the heating mat that is in with him. Any help or advice would be appreciated!
 

K-TRAIN

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 7, 2006
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359
Well i bought a mountain horned dragon this last weekend and everything was great then he got really sluggish and tonight when i got him out he wouldnt open his eyes or barely move. Finally i brought him out and held him for awhile and he opened one eye (cant seem to open the other) and started moving around sluggishly. Hes not very big and im temporarely housing him in a 10 gallon enclosure (only while im at work, otherwise he gets free roam of the whole bedroom), i have a heating mat, and i have a large water dish with a air stone in it to keep water moving so he drinks (they like moving water i hear), im using a reptile substrate like you use for snakes that consists of peat, vermiculite, and bark. In with him i have a live plant called a kalanchoe. Im wondering if he has some sort of eye infection in the one eye seeing how he cant open it at all? can i use neosporin or a triple antibiotic ointment on a lizard? I feed him medium sized crickets every 3 days or so. Also the room stays at a steady 75-78 degrees not counting the heating mat that is in with him. Any help or advice would be appreciated!

i would get the lizard checked out by a vet. i mean, wait for other advice first but closed eyes can mean serious problems from what i know.
 

AneesasMuse

Arachnoangel
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Jul 31, 2006
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838
How big is he? Snout to vent... nose to butt... err, without tail? What is the space between his eyes? When did he start acting sluggish?

Do you have a UVB light source? Is it on during the day? Is there a gradient in his tank? Can he get to a cooler spot in his tank?

Is the substrate small enough to get in his mouth? Do you feed him inside his enclosure? Are you dusting his food items?

Can you feel a hard mass in his stomach area? Around his cloaca/anus? Have you tried soaking him in warm ...80ish F... water?


Sorry for all the questions, and random at that... but this will give me some idea of whether he needs to go to the vet RIGHT NOW or can wait or possibly not need to go at all.

~Aminah
 

Avic_Addict

Arachnosquire
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Apr 2, 2007
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84
Indeed, we need more information before we can really offer any useful advice, but you need to find a good vet ASAP and get him booked in.
 

GartenSpinnen

Arachnoprince
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1,408
How big is he? Snout to vent... nose to butt... err, without tail? What is the space between his eyes? When did he start acting sluggish?
About 6" without tail. He started acting this way a few days ago.
Do you have a UVB light source? Is it on during the day? Is there a gradient in his tank? Can he get to a cooler spot in his tank?
No UVB light source. Pet store guy said i didnt need one if using a heating mat for this guy. There is a gradient, i have a cool side and a warm side setup on the tank.


Is the substrate small enough to get in his mouth? Do you feed him inside his enclosure? Are you dusting his food items?
The substrate is not small enough to fit into his mouth, some of the bark is kinda sharp now that i actually go through the substrate and look! Maybe he poked himself in the eye trying to catch a cricket and got an infection? Can i put neosporin on his eye? I feed him inside his cage. I have not been dusting food items (only had him for less than a week) but im going to start tonight.

Can you feel a hard mass in his stomach area? Around his cloaca/anus? Have you tried soaking him in warm ...80ish F... water?
Cant feel a hard mass that is irregular, i dont think he has a compaction or anything like that.

Im pretty sure its the substrate that im using that is the problem. I didnt realize it had some sharp pointy bark pieces in it. Im pretty sure that he poked himself in the eye and just wasnt feeling good because of it. It doesnt look like there is much swelling or anything around the one eye, he just keeps it completely closed. I think triple antibiotic would be good, but i want the ok first from someone else that knows reptiles better than me.

Thanks...
Nate
 

AneesasMuse

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
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Jul 31, 2006
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838
If you are pretty sure it's an eye infection and his lethargy is a side effect of that infection, then he needs to see a vet. Any OTC (over the counter)
"-sporin" type ointment or triple AB ointment is not going to be potent enough to kill the bacteria causing the infection or the possible septicemia, etc.

I'd find the Exotic Vet and get him there pretty quick. I'm no expert... I do have lizards... and I will self diagnose and medicate for some things....

...but this one is really for a Vet.


Good Luck!

~Aminah
 

Avic_Addict

Arachnosquire
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Apr 2, 2007
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84
No UVB light source. Pet store guy said i didnt need one if using a heating mat for this guy. There is a gradient, i have a cool side and a warm side setup on the tank.
Its so worrying when ignorant people work in petshops. Please, please, please do not just listen to what pet shop staff tell you - always research the animal you are intending to buy for at least 2 weeks before you get it so you know exactly what its requirements are. :wall: :wall: :wall: . This species DOES need full spectrum UV lighting (providing UV lighting and a heat source are two different issues and you DO need both). It is possible that the lack of UV has caused the little chap to regress into a brumation (like hibernation) status which accounts for his sluggish behaviour. Also, without UV he will be unable to synthesise his own vitamin D3 which is essential for correct skeletal development and maintenance. Without UV, he will rapidly develop metabolic pathologies such as oesteomalacia and SNHP (Secondary Nutritional Hyperparathyroidism),his bones will turn to mush and he will eventually die.

Also, if you are only providing a heatmat for warmth it is likely he is unable to thermoregulate correctly, as heatmats are only intended to provide a secondary background warmth and will not provide the full environmental heat he needs.What is the temperature at the warm end of his vivarium at the moment? Does he feel cold to the touch? If so, you may need to install a basking spot light at one end of the vivarium, run on a reliable thermostat and protected by a wire cage.

So, to sum up - You need to get a UV light source in there ASAP, and possibly a basking bulb also. You also need to get the animal to a vet urgently - preferably within the next 24 hours. A good vet may be able to treat any early stage metabolic disorders with subcutaneous mineral injections, and give antibiotics to fight any opportunistic infections that may have taken a hold.
 

markface

Arachnoknight
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Apr 19, 2007
Messages
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avic addict is correct . the uvb lighting is a neccesity for mhd's . also a heat mat is pretty much useless for this animal as it is an arboreal lizard . a heat lamp set on a t-stat is what it needs . another thing that you might try is feeding it earthworms . thats their prefered food . sometimes they wont eat crickets especially when they are young . a vet visit IMHO is needed at this point .
 

GartenSpinnen

Arachnoprince
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I appreciate all of your help. I got ahold of the petstore i purchased the lizard from today and he gave me a good reptile vet to get ahold of, so im gonna do that ASAP. I have done the following to help the lizard out as much as i can...
New substrate (coconut fiber)
I am adding some stuff to the water made especially for reptiles to increase d3 and calcium, and also dusting crickets regular.
The lizard gets full contact to real sunlight during the day... isnt that UVB?
The heating mat is placed on the side of the enclosure near one of the lizards favorite live plants, it does warm up that particular area very nicely.
 

markface

Arachnoknight
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Apr 19, 2007
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the direct sunlight is not going to do anything if it is coming thru any kind of glass . that includes the window glass and the tank glass , uvb doesnt penetrate glass . you really need a seperate uvb lamp to keep your mhd healthy .
 
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