Obviously I’m changing tanks and cleaning her in a soaked and electrolyte bath first.
Long story short 5 years ago an ex and I left a reptile expor with an odd orange bear die. Being told nothing about tits “genetic mutation” is what someone told me it was finally once it never grew horns and just kinda looked like an odd lizard.
We break up, three years later she no longer wants the beardie… this morning I picked up the dragon thinking sure man I’d love to get it back….
Little to my knowledge was the conditions it was in, my ex claims to have found out it’s sex since she works at a vet clinic. Female silkback beardie is what I got told eventually.
Now I did my how to take care of a baby silkie back years ago. But any tips before I schedule the vet appoint,Emt on how to improve her conditions, hand fed her whole life unless it was live crickets Dubai’s etc, so loves to go for fingers, mostly lethargic from what I can tell, dark grey colors in her orange/yellow pattern seems maybe she’s been malnourished and stressed. Idk I’m taking guesses mostly because ex said they took great care of her and had no problems but the receiving looks seem much different from my minimal silkie knowledge.
It is extremely underweight and dehydrated. Get electrolytes for reptiles and do daily soaks for 30 minutes at a time with 85 degree water. get wax worms, hornworms, and black soldeir fly larva, also called calci-worms, and make sure to get as much food (veggies and bugs) in her as possible. add a little iceberg lettuce to her food until she is back to a healthy point as it contains almost all water with next to no nutrients but is good for hydration. Put her on paper towel and replace UVB (who knows how long ago it was replaced) with an Arcadia 14% dragon UVB that is the same length as she seems to have started to develop MBD. get in with an exotic vet asap. others may be able to add more but this is extremely serious and concerning. Your Ex should be out of a job and on the streets (Sorry).
I would also recommend keeping the enclosure as basic as possible so you can monitor poop and activity. Paper towel substrate, large water bowl, food bowl, a couple hides and a basking spot. There is also a chance that she is impacted. It wouldn’t be an issue to have loose substrate (no calcium sand!) if she was healthy but It appears to be calcium sand witch is very good at causing impactions and especially since she is very unhealthy it increases the risk by a lot. definitely ask for an x-ray. if you can change the enclosure today and explain to the vet how bad the situation is and they may be able to sneak you in sooner
@logar is right out of the gate with some fantastic advice.
Defo do some warm baths, especially to help with the shedding (its unclear if its stuck or not, since beardies shed in clumps like that, right?)
I will note, she will probably either drink in the bath, or poop in it, probably both. If she decides to drink, let her finish completely and allow her to tip her head back to swallow before picking her up. If a beardie’s drinking process is interrupted, they can’t close the valve in their throat properly and they could drown.
Also, the lettuce is a great idea for hydration, the bugs for fat and protein, but some ‘treat’ foods might help right now too to get her interested in eating. Maybe a small cut up strawberry on her veggies, or some fatty veggies like squash for those good fatty acids.
This poor thing looks miserable, I’m glad you got her out of there and into better hands!
Yeah everything @logar said looks good. I definitely recommend hornworms because most bearded LOVE them and will eat them until they burst lol. Just make sure if you do feed it fruits and treats like that you don’t feed too much and you’re using correct amounts of calcium/vitamin supplements. I agree with the lighting advice and keeping the enclosure basic, especially paper towels for substrate. I hope your beardie starts to get better!
To be honest I have never owned a beardie but anyone can see that this poor animal is nearly dead. @trauma808 I hope your vet will hospitalize this animal to treat it. I can definitely see a layer of stuck shed which is the very least of this animal’s problems.
Imho this looks like an extreme case of animal neglect. Euthanasia may be the kindest treatment but others may be more optimistic than me……I do hope so……
That poor baby… she’s definitely in rough shape. Thank you for already wanting to help her so badly.
You already got some other great advice. Be careful with the electrolytes in the soak for her tho because they can make the water sticky. Her skin will be more delicate and it can possibly lead to injury if her skin is thin from malnourishment she’s obviously had.
You can offer some Pedialyte from an eyedropper to drink though!
She will definitely need some vitamins and calcium in her… the swollen eyes can be caused from either.
Another thing that can help, especially if she does have a bit of MBD and her jaw is swollen or weak … find some veggie or fruit baby food that she will eat. Maybe try a little applesauce in the meantime…just make sure there’s no additives like extra sugar. And sprinkle a little of the vitamins in. That way she gets a bit of a jumpstart.
Oh fantastic points! My leo had some eye and shedding issues from a lack of vitamin A (I was using a powder supplement with an ineffective form of Vit A, lesson learned!) so that’s an important one to check on, along with calcium and managed D3.
Can’t add much on how to treat this little one as you’ve gotten plenty of great advice here from folks more knowledgeable than me. That said, if your ex still works at a vet clinic, if it is in any capacity that has her in contact with animals, I would consider taking photos of the beardie and sending them to her employer, as someone who allows their own animal to get like this needn’t be working in the field.
To be honest, I’d be very surprised if this darling pulls through, just based on the current body condition. I’d also consider contacting authorities if your area has animal cruelty laws, because this is neglect, plain and simple.
100%!!! I’m a retired veterinarian and your ex is a disgrace to the veterinary medical field. If she is a licensed veterinary technician, please report her to her state Department of Health’s VT licensing board. At the minimum contact her employer. This is criminal animal neglect and is a misdemeanor in most states in the USA, a felony in a few. Personally I would report her to the police as well.
I understand that things can be complicated between two people and that you share a history. But this is greater than how two people think of each other, this is about preventing that kind of treatment to more animals in the future. If you report her now, it will hopefully dissuade her from ever doing anything remotely like this again. It may also result in the revocation of her right to legally keep any animals of her own for a few years, which would also be a step in the right direction. If she faces legal and licensing repercussions, it may get through to her that she is doing something truly terrible.
Just an absolute disgrace, I am ashamed to see someone in the field doing this. It’s even worse than stealing controlled drugs in my opinion, just disgusting. Good for you for moving on from a person that would do something like this- you are much better off!
As an aside, I don’t think euthanasia should be assumed as the best option @caron . Reptiles can rally after terrible treatment and an exotic vet’s assessment will be much more accurate than some dudes online looking at a few pics, myself included.
Im gonna play devils advocate here, why would anyone try to ruin someone’s career from only one side of a persons story, that’s just crazy to me. I’ll never understand that logic without ALL FACTS present with parties known.
That said, OP, hope yor dragon gets the care it needs as its in rough shape. Youve got some good advice by very knowledgeable people here.
Normally I’d agree… but if this person’s job is to care for your animal and this is how the animal they owned is kept? This should be reported and looked into. Just as any issues with the care of your animal at the hospital or local pet shops should be reported. After that she may not even get a slap on the wrist. I’ve had animal control just flat out say, “Well… you can’t prove it” When reporting dead animals and inhumane conditions before
Also… look at all the bad stuff that went down with a particular snake breeder 2 months ago. There’s another ‘one side only’ that no one believed for a long time.
This will be getting a bit off topic so this is my last bit on it. If you let yourself out, sorry to see you go.
They asked for advice. If someone brought that animal to me as a rescue or adoption while I was still working veterinary care? I would recommend reporting the owner. That’s that. Hell, I got my own HR manager fired because of an issue at work. Did I ruin her life if she was going to let us work around high pressure equipment with no protection? You mess around, you find out.
I couldn’t prove that a vet I saw yank a 7 pound dog from a waist high kennel to the floor by a slip leash (think noose) after major abdominal surgery…so he’s still practicing. =/
I was one of the people who tried not jumping to terrible conclusions about a family with their first snake on another post. But when a person with an animal that looks this way is in the animal care field, then it’s another issue entirely. Some people consider pets family. Would you leave a child with a person who’s child was abused? You would report it.
All the employer needs to do is check records and see if the animal had been receiving treatment with them or another vet. Same thing with animal control. If she was and the animal is just a failure to thrive, which can happen with silkback beardies, then rehoming because she doesn’t have time is the correct option and she’ll be fine. If she hadn’t then it’s better than having her cause a malpractice issue to a pet that isn’t hers.
@mblaney I was only suggesting euthanasia as a LAST resort if it was too late to revive it. I never advocate euthanasia over healing in any way. I have worked as a vet assistant for a reptile vet and I have seen cases like this one. Some survive by a miracle but others……None of us know the actual severity of the condition of this poor baby just by looking at pictures anyway.
However I think this poor baby deserves a chance to fight for her health with every resource possible and should be given one. I was merely trying to prepare her new owner for the worst case scenario but also hoping for the best possible outcome. I think a lot of doctors do that including vets…….
Actually I was thinking the same way as you @dsed about this. Yes it is extremely alarming and disturbing to see animals in this condition. I can’t even watch the ASPCA commercials! Should the person/persons be held accountable for the violation/condition of this animal? Absolutely! But first and foremost ALL of the facts should be collected and then proper action taken.
My first thought was put that poor baby out of its misery so I don’t think its wrong of you to suggest that. A lot of people struggle with that decision even though its the best decision for some animals. Been there personally with my beautiful pit, I miss her dearly.