So after three years of waiting, I decided to purchase another bearded dragon, while I was down at the San Diego Reptile show. I purchased a super cute month old citrus hypo juvie (crossed with a leather back). Near the end of July, I noticed a slight discoloration on almost the middle of the tail, a little higher up toward the base (not at the base). I disinfected the tank, and didn't think much of it, thinking it was shed. At the time I was having some retained shed issues with him. Until he became less active and started losing weight and peaked my concern. The tail discoloration was now moist, and I put a triple antibiotic ointment on it. I was recommended to take him to the vet, which I did. By the vet appointment, he was getting very underweight.
One look at the tail and he pulled the skin right off him, which I was not expecting. The vet couldn't give me any information of what was causing this, but we put him on oral antibiotics and a topical cream for the tail. I went back and disinfected the tank. The substrate in his 30 gallon is paper towel only. He has not been interested in salads, but was always eating his bugs, crickets and dubia roaches. After his vet appointment he was 13 grams, active and eating bugs and sometimes fruit. However, the tail was not getting better.
If anything the tail was getting worse. the tail was discolored in a sheen of grey. Not necrotic and black, just gray over the original color. During soakings the scales would come off, and it was just generally irritated. But he was regaining weight, so I figured things look worse before they heal. So far no research could provide any similar cases. So with the improvement of his weight, no signs of lethargy, and daily medications, I wasn't too worried, but still agitated that I was having so many costly issues with a breeder bought beardie.
The discoloration started spreading through the tail (everything below the initial wound, so down all the way to the tip), and I knew that this wasn't a good sign. This was not the same as what happened with the original wound, nothing festered, or became moist with what I assume to be puss, or something of that ilk. Honestly it's been quite baffling. The tail is soaked everyday and then dried, and just thoroughly kept clean in general. Then literally overnight, he dropped all the weight, his tail completely depleted, and just overall emaciated. The next morning I was shocked to discover this drastic turn in health.
Made a vet appointment, couldn't get an appointment until three days later. Two days before the appointment (8/23) he was barely eating, and extremely lethargic. Almost thought he wouldn't make it through Sunday. Kept positive, continued to give force feed his medication, CGD, and water to keep him hydrated.
Day of the vet appointment, once again no answers, being told things I already know. Brought in three different fecal samples, the vet decided that a fecal wasn't necessary. Saturday's fecal was an undigested fecal of perfectly formed dubia roach clumps and Sunday a CGD like fecal. On Monday, the morning of, the fecal was clear liquid. I believe we're basically just trying everything at the moment, since the vet doesn't know what is wrong. Two new oral antibiotics: Panacur and Metronidazole.
I've been given the "optimistic" assurances before, but I believe that anything can happen. He was given an hydrating shot and an antibiotic shot at the vet, along with his first dosage. And he definitely seems to have gained more energy and is eating. I'm happy with this progress, considering his state on Sunday. He was breathing rather heavily on Monday during the vet appointment, he said possible signs of pneumonia. I even got some betadine, just on the off chance that this is still just a skin issue. He's weighing in at 10 grams.
I really just want to know what's going on. I would post pictures, but I currently have no pictures, due to camera issues. But will hopefully get some soon, maybe even a vid. Any information of what could be possible causes? Treatments? I've never had any issues with my other beardie, so this has definitely blindsided me. Both beardies have identical setups. It's quite frustrating. I spoke to breeders at the San Jose Reptile fair, I've searched online. I have not contacted the breeder yet, not sure what I will get from them, considering no one else knows what is wrong. I really am just trying to get this little guy healthy. So any help would really be appreciated!