Monday, October 20, 2014

Sweet Xena

Xena grew weaker and more lethargic over the weekend. She was obviously dehydrated and not absorbing any nutrients or fluids from being force fed Critical Care. Her eyes looked sicker & sicker. 

This morning Xena's little beard was black and I knew it was time to let her go. My vet put her down at 9 am this morning. She was semi-comatose by the time I got to the vet. 

Poor little girl is now free. No more sickly body that won't work right. :) 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tiger & Bugsy-- these two could be twins

Tiger has been in our family for months now-- and won't ever leave because my daughter has latched onto him, and Bugsy came last week. They are about the same size and same temperament. They even have similar patterns with different coloring.

I had to wait until they were both asleep in their blankies to take a picture because they would NOT like each other one bit.

Baby Steps

Baby bearded dragons are HARD! They are so small that there is no room for error. A big beardie with some fat could go a few days or weeks without the risk of a dying. A baby beardie doesn't have that luxury- malnutrition, dehydration, and poor lighting have an immediate and profound effect.

I've lost more babies than any other age of beardie since I started my rescue. Sometimes we try to save babies that are genetically unable to survive to adulthood and end up prolonging a life that would have ended quickly in the wild. It's so hard to know when to actively rescue or when to provide "comfort" measures. 

Usually, I tell my beardies (especially the babies) that I won't quit until they do. 

Xena seems determined to stay alive and I'm just as determined to help her. She's had 3 doses of Lefeber's Critical Care carnivore formula given to her in a syringe. She has pooped twice and appears to be more active. 

Today she is 8 grams. I didn't weigh her yesterday because so was letting her adjust to her new environment.

It is a matter of baby steps forward now, trying to keep her warm and hydrated and fed. Hopefully the extra high-quality nutrition is all she needed to start to thrive. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Xena, rescue number 65

Xena has had an amazing owner who has researched and studied and tried SO hard to get her to be healthy, but nothing has worked. She won't eat on her own and isn't growing normally. He'd been giving her a drop of baby food every day because that is all she would take. :(

I think Xena is a classic case of "Failure to Thrive." For whatever reason (genetic), she is not healthy and doesn't have the drive to eat. I suspect it has a lot to do with the inbreeding it took to get her "fancy" colors and such. 

For now, she's in a sick tank and I'll force feed her Critical Care twice a day to see if we can get some nutrition into her. Some times babies get so depleted that they don't have the energy to eat and then they just spiral downwards. Or, it's possible, the nutrition will expose a genetic flaw internally that will end her life. It's hard to say at this point. Only time will tell. 

Babies are tricky. An unhealthy mother or an undernourished pregnancy and pre-pregnancy can create deficits in the babies that no one can over come. That's why education is SO important before breeding! 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Tiger waiting to be Tamed...

I decided to be brave and put Ramses in the bath tonight. 

He was NOT amused. 

And I only bled a little bit- sharp claws! 

After the bath, I let him crawl up into the side. 

Slowly I reached out to pet him. 

It worked!!

I ended up wrapping him up in the towel and trying to give him more loves. 

He let me love on him for about 10 mins! Progress! 

At first, I could tell he was conflicted- like he couldn't decide if he wanted to bite me or let me pet him. After awhile, his tongue flicked out and he gave me a kiss. 

I love how he is holding my hand here. 

Baby steps forward... At least for a few moments, he want plotting my death. :)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Wilson, rescue number 64

Today I picked up this little cutie Wilson, a 6 month old beardie. 

Immediately I did a wellness check on him and was saddened to find his bones were flexible! Uh oh! The dreaded Metabolic Bone Disease. Blast! 

He had a UVB light, but it was a cool bulb and not strong enough to help him metabolize calcium. Coil bulbs are NOT worth the money!! Invest in a straight UVB bulb always!! 

Luckily the people taking him were willing to treat his MBD and take good care of him. I think we caught it soon enough that he should be fine. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Doing a Check up on an "Extremely Aggressive" Iguana

A friend rescued an iguana and asked me to take a look at him. He was surrendered by his owner because he was a mean & wild & aggressive iguana. 

Um. Sure. 

Absolutely ferocious, huh? (eyes rolling) My whole family loved on him and could swear he was purring. 

But then he left. <sigh> 

And I went upstairs to see if Ramses would respond the same way. 

"I vill eat you!"
Nope. He whipped his tail at me a couple times just to be clear where I stood with him. 

<sigh> Maybe by Christmas, right?? 

Ramses, rescue number 63

I adopted Cole out to a lady and took the crazy aggressive iguana she had rescued and couldn't handle. I figured I could slowly work with the little iggy and help him to be more tame. He was in a temporary 40 gallon tank downstairs until last Saturday when Fido went to his new home. 

Then he got put in a 55 gallon tank in my craft room. 

Ramsey still pretty much hates me. When I look at him, he appears to be plotting to kill me in my sleep.  See? 

Don't worry-- I think I'll be able to tame him down eventually. Maybe by Christmas he'll stop whipping his stumpy tail into the glass when I walk by. Maybe. 


We named him Ramses after this guy from Nacho Libre (one of our favorite movies!): 

Bugsy, rescue number 62

Bugsy came to me in a strange sort of way. I was trying to find a bigger tank for Fido and I saw an ad online for a juvenile beardie with an 80 gallon tank. That's great, I thought. I'll buy the set up and swap the beardie for a 40. So I got in my car and drove 30 minutes north through rush hour to pick it up.

The second I pulled up to the curb, I knew I was in trouble. It was only a 40 gallon tank. Blast! I did NOT need another 40! But I got out anyways and looked at the beardie. Poor thing had never ever had a UVB in all his 9 months of life. His eyes were goopy and he didn't look good. 

And because I am a sucker :) for beardies, I bought it anyways. Now I had three iguanas and a 7 beardies. Oy bay! 

On the way home, Bugsy pooped and had blood in his stool. Uh oh. 

I got him home and started to clean out his eyes and he started gasping for breath. Double uh oh. 

I had a 40 gallon (that I didn't need) and a juvenile beardie with MBD, an eye infection, a respiratory infection, and blood in his stool. I had a bit of an emotional meltdown. I was tired and hungry and overwhelmed. And I still didn't have a big tank for Fido. 

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Bugsy started antibiotic injections that night but I wasn't sure if he'd make it through the night. He did. I gave him a squirt of calcium in his mouth and put him in the sunshine for two days in a row. 

The first day, he hardly moved at all, but he loved the sunshine

The second day he started to move some

Bugsy went to the vet yesterday and got a clean bill of health. He has two more injections to go and should be completely recovered soon. He has a great UVB light and plenty of chances for sunshine. He eats like a pig and loves to swaddled in a blankie at night. 

So while I wasn't planning on taking this guy on, I'm glad I did. He can live healthy & happy with someone soon. Plus, he's got amazing colors.