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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

So recently our bearded dragon (Tyrone) has not been able to poo properly (still poos but tiny). Took him to the vet's (on the 5th) and he said that Tyrone has a mild impaction (on X-ray it looked small) but he's seen worse and we got prescribed liquid food and baths daily . We immediately removed all he calcium sand and replaced it with reptile carpet. We have been feeding him the liquid food daily and I've been blending up fruits and veg for him to feed with the syringe. He's been eating the liquid food. Since going to the vet's he has pooed twice, however it has been tiny and more wee than food. I'm generally concerned he's going to die as he has not pooed properly in weeks.

Apart from the pooing, he's walking fine. However, he's very black on the beard.

Should we take him back to the vets or keep trying the liquid diet.
 

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Sorry to hear your Tyrone is poorly. Did the vets say how long to carry out the treatment they recommended? Also what type of vet are you seeing? Are they specialized in reptiles?
 

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Hi,

So the vet said to us to do it for 7-10 days if there is no result after that then to take him back. The vet...not sure how specialized he is in reptiles. He's the only one at the vet's who looks at the reptiles.
 

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If its only been a few days then I would carry on with what the vets has said. We have in the past used a little vegetable oil (on recommendation from our vet) to help them pass a poo. You could try a small amount of that.

Keep up with the baths etc. Dont expect him to poo everyday, especially if he is generally eating less.

Making sure he drinks is essential, although he will get fluids from the liquid food you are giving him. Have you been prescribe Reptiboost? Thats a vitamin supplement you put in the baths. You will have to bath in a smaller container though as you can get through it quick otherwise.

Where abouts are you based? Someone might be able to assist with a reptile vet if we know where you are.
 

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Calci Sand is quite literally dangerous stuff, it amazes me that ANY good pet store would sell it, the stuff is a disgrace.

The extra liquid should hopefully help ease the impaction and if its from ingesting the calci sand then hopefully help it actually dissolve a little more.

Its not the only thing that could have caused it however and i would go through your ENTIRE vivarium setup to ensure the conditions are right, impaction generally only occurs when the diet is incorrect, poor hydration or something is ingested to physically block the intestines like a plastic leaf for example.

Look at everything from the humidity you have the vivarium at, the basking spot temperature, the cool end temperature, what UV you are supplying, how you are supplying water, what you are feeding and the times at which the lights are on. Even the actual vivarium setup itself will have an impact on how it can bask, absorb heat and digest as well as remain hydrated or regulate its temperature.
All of these things are important.

For starters, i would get rid of the reptile carpet too, you should be using a mix of quality topsoil and washed play sand (limefree sterilsed topsoil and fine grain washed sand) both of which are cheap and easily available from places like garden centres or even argos.
About 3 inches deep, and sprayed with water every morning.
Humidity should peak in the mornings, and average at around 40% to 50% over the day, personally i wouldnt let it drop below 40% and the sand/soil mix will help maintain and establish a suitable humidity. The bottom of the viv should be sealed to stop moisture leaking into the open edges of the wood in the viv and humidity should be measured from the cool end of the viv. The sand soil mix should be firmly pressed down and this will help hold some moisture in and then spraying will replenish the top layer. They are animals that will naturally dig and create burroms to hide/live in and this are significantly higher in humidity than outside conditions, the basking spot will supply a drier area this way with a gradient as it goes into the cool end.

I wouldnt be surprised if you have had the humidity too low, its a common mistake.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Haven't been prescriped Reptiboost. But I'm considering buying some.

Got prescriped with Ox brow. He did a poo today bigger than yesterday. :). In regards to his set up. The UV had recently been replaced. Just checked his tempatures. He has various places on the hot side he can climb. It ranges from 40-45c .Cool side 28 c. Just put back in the humidity measures as when we upgraded him to a big tank. We. Didnt move it over and didn't keep up with spraying the tank. Now I can monitor the humidity and make sure it does not drop below 40%. Think it's a combination of low humidity, too many worms and the sand.Been giving him two baths a day. Glad to know that the sand will break up. As I was concerned it would all come out at once. Once, the treatment is finished we are taking him back to the vets to get another x-ray. Really hoping it will pass naturally.
 

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. He has various places on the hot side he can climb. It ranges from 40-45c .Cool side 28 c. Just put back in the humidity measures as when we upgraded him to a big tank. We. Didnt move it over and didn't keep up with spraying the tank. Now I can monitor the humidity and make sure it does not drop below 40%. Think it's a combination of low humidity, too many worms and the sand.Been giving him two baths a day. Glad to know that the sand will break up. As I was concerned it would all come out at once. Once, the treatment is finished we are taking him back to the vets to get another x-ray. Really hoping it will pass naturally.
Hi, the cool side temp is a little too high, it only needs to be between approx 21 to 24c, if the other figures are ambient (air) temps they are also too high, how are you measuring the basking surface temp, and what is it?
 

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Are you also aware that bathing will not rehydrate him?
Its a very common myth that it will, the only way it can lead to hydration is if they drink the bath water and there are other ways that are far better to achieve this. Most of their water comes from food, and a good mixed supply of fresh veggies will achieve this, alongside maintaining the correct humidity levels in the vivarium which helps slow down water loss. If they actually need to drink then this can be achieved by dropping water on their snout or when misting if you mist them as well (dont use cold water, use room temp water) they will lick moisture off their snout (again, then spraying/dropping more water onto their snout while they lick and they will drink or by providing a small stream of water they can drink from/waterbowl etc)

Bathing can be stressful for them and they dont tend to like it unless specifically made to become accustomed to it, and even then they will tend not to drink from pools of water/stagnant water as they naturally avoid this.
 

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The important point here is that impaction is caused by a mix of internal and external factors.

Impaction is caused by 4 main things.

Improper provision of heat, That is to the wild level and also radiated upwards from natural stone to provide natural belly warmth.

Improper provision of hydration and humidity. A daily spraydown of the viv and over the dragons head will help greatly with both. this will allow the animal to use wild developed water collection methods to top up hydration.

A lack of essential nutrients. Vitamins and minerals to allow vital organs to function. For example if there is a shortage of CA then muscles cannot contract correctly, this slows down the digestive tract. B vitamins are chronically undersupplied for in captive collections and again play a huge part in organ function and digestive health. A natural full spectrum clay based powder could help alongside a full and varied diet. I have updated my thoughts and guidance on B vitamins in my new book.

And finally a poor choice or unnatural substrate. A substrate is the base of an ecosystem. In the wild it where many minerals are found and contains a vast array of micro and macro nutrients, not to mention some B vitamins. As such animals will eat it, especially those with a deficiency of minerals anyway. They are not stupid, if they think that they have a shortage they will eat more substrate to top up, this is when impaction occurs. It is a mix of an animal trying to stabilize itself but not being able to. Wild Re-Creation is the key, wild like heat, light and UV levels mixed with great hydration and humidity, a natural substrate and fantastic nutrition.

Many of these sands are simply not sand at all, they clog together and are of too greater density to move through the gut properly. A good Organic substrate will help to mimic wild surroundings and will be safe to pass through the system. In fact we need to start to think of a substrate being part of the full nutrition cycle. this can only be the case when all three of the other parameters mentioned are being catered for

Not many reptiles at all actually live on sand! most live on mineral rich earth. As example the BD lives in scrubland areas. No sand at all.

In truth, these plastic or lino floor covering may present a greater risk to heath through VOC release than a loose substrate anyway...

John
 
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