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Strange Chinese Water Dragon X-Rays

Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:24 pm
by Fossil
I was once the owner of a beautiful orange throated chinese water dragon. He was with me for 6 years but died fairly recently from an infection. I took him to the vet for a strange lump at the base of his tail. Blood tests showed an abnormality and he was given sub-dermal antibiotics for over 2 months( 1 round, another blood test and then was given a second round) and though he showed signs of improvement (weight gain, changing colors), he died in his sleep in late September. He was the most wonderful pet. He never bit, he would curl up next to me when I let him out, and even my mother was fond of him. He would sit on her shoulder when she did the laundry. However, something about him still seems strange to me. You see, his back left foot was completely deformed, but nothing else was. I bought him from a chain pet shop (I didn't understand how bad that was back then) and I can only assume it was injured there when he was really young. When I got him he could not have been older than 3 years old. But the thought that anything happened to that sweet lizard pains me. It wasn't very noticeable when he was little. Heck I didn't realize his leg was messed up until after I brought him home when he tried to climb a branch in his cage and fell.

Here are the x-rays. (please keep in mind that these were all taken after he got sick so he's a bit skinny)
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x-ray 3.jpg

X-ray 2.jpg


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His death honestly came as a shock to me, I thought and I hoped he was getting better. I wasn't ready to let him go.

Moving forward, what do you think caused the weird leg? The growth plates were damaged but not in a way you would expect a break or a fall to cause. They're almost sharpened to a point. Could it have been crushed? Is it genetic? Have you seen anything similar before?

Re: Strange Chinese Water Dragon X-Rays

Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:07 pm
by kingofnobbys
Birth defect ?

What did the vet say about it ?

Re: Strange Chinese Water Dragon X-Rays

Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:26 pm
by Fossil
kingofnobbys wrote:Birth defect ?

What did the vet say about it ?


Vet said nothing about it. He actually asked me if I noticed that he had it even though I had asked him about it multiple times. When I first got the lizard I asked if the leg should be amputated. The lizard couldn't move it and it was pretty much useless. However, he said it wasn't necessary and never spoke of it again.

I've been moving more towards birth defect as the cause. Do you think it's almost a sort of club foot?

Re: Strange Chinese Water Dragon X-Rays

Posted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:35 pm
by Janella
First and foremost let me say how deeply sorry I am for the loss of your dragon. CWD make absolutely wonderful pets and I miss mine terribly also. May his loving memories live on in your hearts forever.

His poor leg, that looks aweful! It had to be extremely painful at some point in his life. I can't believe your vet never did anything about it. It very much to me looks like it was crashed or broke and healed wrong (I am a LVT). My CWD was a rescue from PetSmart as well and I knew his story. He was purchased originally for a little boy. Unfortunately that little boy abused him and pulled his back legs right out of their sockets. His mother returned him to the store because he was defective. The lizard was then brought to my work and we figured it all out. It was aweful. The poor guy was the sweetest thing and went through 4 months of treatment where I fell in love with him. He came home soon after treatment was done. The point of my story is that most big chain stores don't treat their animals or reptiles very well and who knows what happened to your guy. Just know in your heart you gave him love and I am sure he treasured that till the end
Again I am so sorry

Re: Strange Chinese Water Dragon X-Rays

Posted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:41 pm
by Fossil
Janella wrote:First and foremost let me say how deeply sorry I am for the loss of your dragon. CWD make absolutely wonderful pets and I miss mine terribly also. May his loving memories live on in your hearts forever.

His poor leg, that looks aweful! It had to be extremely painful at some point in his life. I can't believe your vet never did anything about it. It very much to me looks like it was crashed or broke and healed wrong (I am a LVT). My CWD was a rescue from PetSmart as well and I knew his story. He was purchased originally for a little boy. Unfortunately that little boy abused him and pulled his back legs right out of their sockets. His mother returned him to the store because he was defective. The lizard was then brought to my work and we figured it all out. It was aweful. The poor guy was the sweetest thing and went through 4 months of treatment where I fell in love with him. He came home soon after treatment was done. The point of my story is that most big chain stores don't treat their animals or reptiles very well and who knows what happened to your guy. Just know in your heart you gave him love and I am sure he treasured that till the end
Again I am so sorry


I'm so sorry to hear of the death of one of your dragons. I'm sure you know the sheer intelligence and kindness of this species. They don't deserve to be sold is chain pet stores with diseases and signs of past abuse. It's absolutely horrible what happened to yours. I'm glad he got to spend the rest of his life with someone as dedicated to animal welfare as you are.

I feel like part of the reason that the vet did not pursue further action after seeing the leg is because when I brought it up to him, Emmy was still so small that there wasn't any obvious stunting or bone damage. It really just looked like a dislocation, which they said would be more harm than good to amputate since he still used the foot and leg to climb and scratch, and it was so far dislocated that even if it was fixed he wouldn't be able to use it normally. He also never showed any outward signs of pain. If I poked it or moved it he wouldn't flinch, close his eyes or react at all really. The nerves probably went numb after a while. He was unable to move his knee or foot and was basically reduced to moving the entire leg as a whole from the hip. I'm really hoping that he wasn't in much pain but I know at some point there had to be at least some pain as it set and rehealed.

Re: Strange Chinese Water Dragon X-Rays

Posted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:26 pm
by Janella
Thanks for the reply. That makes sense about your dragon. Again, I am deeply sorry. Chinese Water Dragons are amazing lizards.

Re: Strange Chinese Water Dragon X-Rays

Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:41 pm
by Scotts1au
Probably from a break when younger. Sorry for your loss.

Re: Strange Chinese Water Dragon X-Rays

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:40 pm
by splashy07
Very, very sorry for your loss. I kept these in the past and found them to be wonderful pets. I don't want to upset you but these are wild caught in a very inhumane way, many are 'noosed' and this could have been the case where the noose missed and grabbed his leg and caused a dislocation. I've seen them come in with noose scars and resulting broken front legs. They are such a wonderful species to own, and unfortunately cheap imports have limited the number of captive bred animals. Most captive bred are never seen in stores, they are kept by hobbyists like ourselves who breed our skinks and trade amongst eachother. Again I am so sorry, I still miss a favorite of mine from back in the 90's who was a rescue and passed from complications with MBD.