Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Humpty Dumpty

I had to discuss Humpty Dumpty with Dr Folland today. The poor turtle's eyes keep getting stuck shut. 


So now I get to put the antibiotic drops in his eyes twice a day. And starting tomorrow, Humpty will be in outside in a little plastic wading pool I got. He needs more sunshine therapy to heal. 

Midnight

Our "Honeymoon" period ended. Midnight has grown comfortable here and shows me an AT-TI-TUDE! 


Mostly I laugh at him and pet his head to make him close his eyes in bliss. 


And a little while later, he will bob his head at me and try to be dominant. Silly boy! I don't submit to iguanas! 

At night, he thinks he should sleep like Spider-Man. 


I let him cool down and then I put him back under his heat lamp. 


Flame at the Vet

Flame is the only reptile of the 11 Fire Victims that I'm choosing to keep. He did test positive for adenovirus and, in the last three months, he's had problems with head tremors.

I talked to my vet about it last  month and he recommended we test Flame's calcium levels to rule out tremors caused by calcium deficiency. Since I was taking the two chams in today, I brought Flame along for the ride.

While he was at the vet, I was able to take a video of his head tremors. This is moderate for him-- so sometimes it's less noticeable and sometimes it's worse.


The calcium levels are right on track and so the vet tested the phosphorus levels (which can indicate kidney disease which also causes tremors). The phosphorus levels were right on track too. That leaves us with our original guess-- that he has a neurological issue due to inbreeding.

It is VERY common for "Fancy" bearded dragons to end up with genetic problems because of too much inbreeding. When you want a specific trait (like a leatherback or translucence or red coloring), you must use a specific set of genes to get it. There's not as much variation in the gene pool for these traits. With "Normal" colors, there are hundreds of thousands of beardies to chose from and there are far fewer problems that manifest. Silkies (what you get sometimes when you breed two leatherbacks) are, in my opinion, the most genetically messed up beardies. They have the most problems and difficulties.


So Flame is not fixable and, based on my previous experience with translucents with tremors, is not likely to have a long life. He will be loved and cared for while he is here. I won't adopt him out because of how valuable he would be as a breeder. It would be absolutely WRONG to breed him since he's already genetically messed up. To make sure that never happens to him, he's staying with me. Plus, I finally got him to let me pet his head without him biting me. I can't pet anywhere else, but I can give him loves on his head.

Checklist for Head Tremors-- 
1- rule out Metabolic Bone Disease caused by calcium deficiency (blood test)
2- rule out phosphorous deficiency caused by kidney disease (blood test)
3- conduct an overall blood panel test to make sure there are not other underlying issues
4- look at genetics

Benign head tremors are really only a problem when they are unable to control their heads enough to eat. If this happens, the beardie will have to be assisted with its food (like crickets on tongs) or tube fed.

Lotus & Akime *back* to the Vet

Akime pulled the wrapping off her arm and Lotus has been hiding at the bottom of her cage (always a bad sign) so they went back to the vet today.


Akime got a new wrapping, and she pretty much hates it. But it's the only way to help her arm heal.

Lotus had a small growth in her mouth that the vet removed only to discover a pocket of pus building under her gums. So he scraped all of it out and found another infected spot on the other side of her mouth. Oy vay! This girl can't seem to get a break.


Now in addition to her antibiotic shots every 3 days, I will be force feeding her Critical Care twice a day and putting an antibiotic drop in her mouth twice a day. Poor girl. She already hates everyone and this won't help. Luckily, when she starts to lunge for me, I can put drops or stick a tube down her throat. Makes it easier for me!

Overall, her surgery incision looks great and her colors are good. The vet just suspects she's not eating because her mouth hurts.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Akime Update

Akime is doing great. Her arm is healing. She eats like a pig! Somehow she managed to pull her wrapping off last night and I need to rewrap it today. 


She still can be fairly clumsy as she moves around, but her tongue aim is straight on. Last night, she snatched a cricket off my thumb without any hesitation. 






Lotus this Morning

I found a sick Lotus on the bottom of her cage this morning very dehydrated. I tried getting her to drink some sugar water from a syringe but she wouldn't have it. She spit most of it back out. She *hates* when I touch her! 

I got her fogger going and let her dripper run fully too. She did drink a little off the leaves, but not enough. 

I finally chose to give her a saline injection to help rehydrate her. A cc of warm saline on each side above her arms. She had little "shoulder pads" for a little bit. I hesitated to do it for fear the stress of holding her while injecting her would kill her. So far, she seems to be okay. 

She certainly is a difficult chameleon! I have part of her cage covered to hold in the humidity better and I'll keep checking on her today. She's supposed to get her second antibiotic shot today, but I may wait until tomorrow to limit her stress. 


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Lotus Update

Lotus is doing okay after her surgery. She's been eating and drinking on her own. She's on antibiotics. She still hates me and everything about me. ;) I can handle it. I have tried to limit my interactions with her so she has less stress. 


Her surgery ultimately cost me $670. The thought of spending that much on her to have her just die on me is a painful thought. I did what I had to do to save her life at the time without paying attention to the cost. My rescue credit card is back over $2,000, but it's only money-- right? ;) 




Midnight Snuggles

Midnight has been testing the wings of his independence for the past 2 weeks. And I'm afraid to say that he's been a brat! 

My teen son made him mad and Midnight chomped him. :( 


I had to take away some of his independence and make him spend more time in his cage. He hates it! 

Unfortunately, he rubbed the scabs and newly formed skin off his mouth. 


He spent the last two days in his age while my family and I went on an End of Summer trip to the lake. He was much nicer when I returned. 


It's SO hard! I hate locking him up, but I can't have a tyrannical iguana roaming around and biting & whipping. I'm hoping that he'll settle in and be less defensive. If he stays grumpy, I'm going to have to rehome him and/or keep him locked up all the time. 

At least tonight, he let me love him when I put him to bed. 






5 Shifts

We do sometimes go out of town. Yes, it's extremely stressful and anxiety producing. 

Luckily, I now have a pet sitter who also works at a vet's office. He's super qualified. 

It takes 5 shifts to replace me everyday. :) 

See? 


This was a checklist I made in June and quickly updated for this weekend so I could do this-- 


I paid $20/day for 2 days. Totally worth it to get a mini break before my kids start back in school next week.