Sonny Visits the Vet (warning: some grossness ahead)   Leave a comment

Sonny is…okay, guys. Just okay.

He had a big poo today, and I had to give him a bath afterwards. He started acting odd as soon as the bath started. He made himself as wide as possible, and started drinking heavily (bearded dragons drink by sticking their head underwater and licking, but only in the bath). This is pretty typical, but he normally only does it for a minute. He did it for several minutes, until I finally splashed enough water on his face and back to get him to stop. Then he sort of floated, still as wide as possible. He wasn’t really playing like he normally does. I got paper towels and started wiping poo off his tail and foot, since he was being so weirdly calm.

After I got done, I threw the paper towels away and washed my hands. Then I turned and looked at him again, and noticed gray stuff around his mouth. Concerned that I may have dropped a towel in the bath (although I didn’t remember doing that), I picked him up and started wiping around his mouth.

Then he straight-up vomited crickets. Entire crickets.

I put him back in the tub and freaked out. James rushed in and started cleaning up, assuring me that everything was fine, he probably drank too much, etc etc. Combined with Sonny’s weird behavior, I knew something was wrong. I called the first exotic vet Google listed, made an appointment for 45 minutes later, and then picked up Sonny and left. James offered to come with me; I went back and forth on the issue and decided that I didn’t really need him, not even for moral support.

I found the vet alright. Funnily enough, the person in front of me also had a pet named Sonny, although that Sonny was a parrot of some sort. After the parrot was seen, my Sonny and I talked with the nurse. She weighed him (he’s 370 grams, on the lower end of average) and took an account of the last few hours, the feeding schedule, and Sonny’s tank setup (specifically lights and substrate — a heat lamp, UVB, and stone tile). Then she left.

A minute later, the doctor appeared. The doctor inspected Sonny, wiggling his limbs, poking at his belly, and trying to get Sonny to open his mouth. She asked me more questions about the feeding schedule and the events of the last few hours. She also asked if I had a temperature gauge gun. I said no.

The results of the visit are this:

Sonny is skinny for his weight. The nobs behind his eyes are sunken, his spine sticks up, the fat stores near his back legs are nearly gone. He is not being fed properly, and since we don’t know the temperatures in his cage, he might not be processing food correctly. Since I didn’t have a fecal sample, we couldn’t test for parasites. But it was most likely that, with the odd feeding schedule, he was probably impacted. I feed him too many crickets at once; he can’t process all of them; he doesn’t digest properly. Likely the big poo that prompted the bath was the body releasing the impaction. The stress of bathtime caused him to need to release his food the other way.

So I need to adjust his feeding schedule. Less crickets, more vegetables. I need to start measuring the temperature of his tank. I should start giving him a bath once/twice a week, to give him regular chances to poo. In a month, I should bring him back to the vet, to see if he’s gained any fat.

James and I are preparing to go to Petsmart to prepare for these changes. Actually I’m holding up the move. I will end the entry here. A less disgusting post next time, I promise!

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