Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

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Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby Richard.C » Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:00 pm

sounds like the vet i use,he always wants to learn,had a couple of snakes die so he did free post mortem examinations after asking me first if that was ok,just so he can learn more,one snake had a blood disease never seen in reptiles before,they do it to help you treat your animal,but also they like to learn more to
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Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby Susann » Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:30 pm

Sigh...
Just read all this again, and remembered I was supposed to look up a bunch of info...

Just for now, here's an easy "compilation" of my threads on Joey. I know it's a lot to read, but REALLY, the injections we were doing at the end were the ONLY thing that EVER brought an improvement.
...of course, then he suddenly died just when he was looking so good... but THAT too may give a veterinarian some info, you never know.

Joey's husbandry:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=18761

Joey update:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=18593

Could it be MOLD?:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=17144

We still keep fighting:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=16564

Sick little guy:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=16019

Kat, I will PM you the info on my vet, and when I see him on Wed I will ask him if he minds me putting his name out here publicly.
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Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby Scotts1au » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:38 am

I think the issue of cure being the eventual cause of death is a real one.
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Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby Richard.C » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:49 am

theres always that possability scott,

are these animals always like this from the word go,or does it develop after being apparently healthy for a year or more

only seems to be in imports,some imports,maybe the stress of how they get here is just to much for them,psychologiclly speaking,supressing the immune system which predisposes them to many ailments otherwise not normally at risk from
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Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby Susann » Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:16 pm

Richard, Joey was an Irian Jaya, bred and raised for his first 7 months by Zach. He was the picture of health until I'd had him for 3 months, and then symptoms started developing slowly.
So not from the get-go, and not just imports. Seems to be mostly IJs and Meraukes though.
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Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby Cricket » Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:47 am

Cricket was captive bred. I purchased her in November at around 8 weeks of age, and she was fine up until early March.

There have been a few times I thought I was about to have to say good bye, and she's rallied back. Saturday I received a bottle of Reptaid in the mail, which I purchased as a last ditch attempt. So far, it's possible either the Reptaid is doing something to help, or came at the time Cricket's body began fighting back a bit more. She is significantly more active - she had just been laying around without moving much, and now she's back to being all over the place and not being pleased about being picked up.

When all is said and done, it looks to me like she'll have 3-4 toes left, if that. We've gotten past the eye issues and mouth rot. I am trying to determine what changes I should make to her enclosure. She burrows under her aspen like any good skink, but I feel as if she has a hard time getting around without the aid of her toes.

Has anyone else with one of these little ones had to make any adjustments? If so, what have you done? My instinct is to take out the aspen and replace it with a regular bath towel that can be changed daily. I'm just not sure Cricket would appreciate that change.

I'm also curious for those of you who have dealt with this - do you have other skinks? My husband and I had talked about acquiring a second BTS but now I'm obviously quite hesitant.
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Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby Richard.C » Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:17 am

ok,thanks guys,that rules out the wild caught stress then,might not help some,but doesnt explain how captive breds can get it to ,i was thinking something like diamond python syndrome?but its only a small percentage of animals suffering this yes,when others of the same types seem to thrive
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Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby xxmonitorlizardxx » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:19 pm

@cricket thats pretty late for a baby. Are you sure its captive bred and not captive born?
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Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby Susann » Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:59 pm

Cricket--have you by any chance discussed the Vitamin A and Calcium w/D3 shots with your vet? It might be worth a try. Especially if your little girl takes a turn for the worse again--which I'm sad to say, tends to be the case with this horrible disease.
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Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby El Lobo » Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:02 pm

Our parrot requires very high levels of vitamin A in her diet. We achieve it by making up a mash of carrot, butternut squash and kumara. Kumara is a sweet potato which may be called American Beauregard variety in NA (according to Wikipedia). :oops: All are extremely high in vitamin A. Some fruits that might be of benefit are passionfruit, grapefruit, mango, cantaloupe, bell peppers and papaya. We have fed our blueys butternut squash and papaya at almost every meal for the four years we have had them and had no real problems with acceptance.
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Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby Katrina » Sat Apr 21, 2012 1:44 pm

Norm - I was asked by my vet about supplements I use and vitamin A. The reptile multivitamin I have has vitamin A in the form of beta carotene. He said there was some evidence that not all reptiles can use beta carotene and so I switched to a brand that has vitamin A and not beta carotene. Have you heard anything like this? I would assume that papaya, carrots, butternut squash would have beta carotene.

I haven't noticed any difference but I just switched vitamin powders. I was also trying to feed foods high in vitamin A in case it does some good (rather than just supplement). Lots of butternut squash, bell peppers, escargot, etc.

Edit to add: I had to laugh, was at the vet today for the laser treatment... have been giving these 3x per week. Had a very enthusiastic, new vet tech giving the treatment, same as last Thursday. When she gave him back she asked, very seriously, if I had noticed any change in him. I said no, not really, he has been doing well lately. Why? Well, she had weighed him and he had lost around 10 grams since the last visit, not even 48 hours ago. She asked how his appetite was and if he had been eating daily. :lol: I had to explain that he hadn't eaten since Thursday because he hadn't been offered food - that he eats with gusto but weekly or maybe twice a week, so if he had lost 10 grams it would be due to poop. He is over 800 grams, so definitely not wasting away! If anything, he could be a bit chunky.

Fed today, he should have gained back those 10 grams at least! I feel bad laughing, she was very sweet but obviously not used to reptiles.
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Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby El Lobo » Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:17 pm

Kat - I had to do a bit of reading as I was of the view beta carotene was simply the precursor of vitamin A. Nothing specific to reptiles but I did find that some mammals can't convert carotene to vit. A. Ferrets can't convert at all and cats not sufficient for daily needs. On the other hand it is the carotene which causes flamingoes to have their distintive pink feathers. I have only ever supplemented the blueys with calcium + D3 as I'm generally not a convert to food suplementing unless a specific deficiency is detected. That said, I always have supplemented the Eclectus parrots, the latest one even more so. It is perplexing whether it is always the right thing to do so I rely heavily on my avian specialist for guidance. I am convinced by him and as he is considered one of the world's leading authorities on the species I am unlikely to disagree.

I hope this does not open a can of worms, but the vegetables highest in beta carotene are recommended on all our caresheets. They are, inter alia: peppers, kale, dandelion greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, pak choi, swiss chard and collards.

Some vets can be so steeped in their protocols for treating dogs and cats they attempt to inappropriately transfer that knowledge and experience to other species. We have a converse situation to your experience regarding eating with the rabbits. If a vet tells you not to feed a rabbit after 8pm if it is to undergo a GA the following day, you look for another vet. Rabbits can't vomit and not allowing them to eat overnight is most likely to reduce peristalsis of the GI tract and induce life-threatening gut stasis.

Sidenote: I have been doing a little more research on Eclectus as they share much of the territory of the tropical blueys, particularly the species to the islands north of Australia. They also have sub-species with distinguishable physical traits varying from island to island, such as is the case with the BTS.
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Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby WanderingChai » Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:45 am

So really, all in all, we still have absolutely no idea what's causing this?

Could it be a deasese transmitted via food? Do insects carry it? Is it a deasese that mammals cannot catch, but is deadly and lurks in dog and cat food?

I think our best bet is a process of elimination. I cannot imagine what I would do of my baby caught this. I do not wish it upon my WORST enemy.
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Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby Richard.C » Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:13 am

doubt it would be dogfoods,would affect way more if it was

judging by the symptoms and up and downess of it,sounds like immuno suppressed,only seems to affect a percentage of indo,s,if it was food based,why do the other indo,s not get affected or other tiliqua species

another thing with reptiles,they do well to hide sickness till its quite advanced,and alot of illnesses lead to similar symptoms

also ailing reptiles are more exposed to other illnesses,i still think it has to be stress based,maybe conditions arent right for some in captivity,could also explain there inconsistant captive breeding,are they kept to dry,to damp,to hot,not hot enough and why doesnt it seem to affect tannies,another species imported from that neck of the woods,could explain why vets have issues diagnosing it?
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Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby Spindown » Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:41 pm

didnt read the whole thread, cant think about this right now or i'll cry, but I saw septicemia listed in this ridiculousness, and i didnt realize that went along with this whole mess before. The vet kept acting like i was a horrible parent because my skink was septic AGAIN and still dealing with the mysterious toe/eye issues too! For anyone who wasnt following my threads about Baneling (or forgot its been forever) I had this same mess with my IJ, who is now being treated at the vets as her personal pet.

*edit* i made myself read it, and it does NOT only happen in WILD CAUGHT/IMPORTS.
My Baneling was a captive bred skink from a very reputable breeder in the area, and I had her since she was 2 months old. I did call the breeder and ask if he had ever heard of this, and he had never had any of his skinks show signs of this or had anyone contact him about this issue.

Is it a deasese that mammals cannot catch, but is deadly and lurks in dog and cat food?
I highly doubt it, since i feed all my skinks the same things and have NEVER ever had this issue with anyone else, and I have a indo and merauke that should have gotten this if it was from dog/cat food.

I didnt get any more recent pics as she was so badly off I just couldnt bear it, but these were some pics of her when it first started to happen. These are sad, but not nearly as sad as she looked like before she went to live with the vet. She had gotten to the point where she refused to use her right back foot, she had rubbed her eyelids completely off, but at least the mouthrot was gone X_X


and before you guys ask, none of that was from stuck shed. There was no previous constriction of the toes. There was nothing caught on them or hairs, or coco fiber or anything. they started to swell and then desiccate. None of my other skinks have any toe issues what so ever except my old skink has some weirdly thick nails.

This is the early stages of it. This was during a bath to get those eyes open.
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Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby Katrina » Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:25 pm

WanderingChai wrote:Could it be a deasese transmitted via food? Do insects carry it? Is it a deasese that mammals cannot catch, but is deadly and lurks in dog and cat food?


I think we can rule all those guesses out, as I have 13 BTS and only Nemo and Riff-Raff have had this issue. Both came to me with health problems, Nemo was captive born to a WC mother and starting showing issues within 8 weeks of birth. I don't think it is easily transmitted to other BTS, or else the few BTS that we had when we had Nemo would likely have acquired it because there was times when we thought Nemo was cured and healthy and so weren't careful with quarantine.

All my skinks have the same diet and are exposed to the same things, so if any of those were possibilities then it wouldn't make sense for only the two to have this issue and for 12 to be perfectly healthy. Nemo wasn't alive long enough before showing symptoms to really be exposed to anything. I would think that it is something that lots of gigas BTS have / carry but it only become an issue when the immune system is weakened. We tried ruling out a lot of environmental things and I think we can safely do so because Sapphire, Susann and myself all have other BTS that are very healthy. If it were environmental, infectious, or in the food etc. then we should be seeing it in more BTS. Both Nemo and Riff-Raff came to me with no toes and previous eye problems.

Norm - my vet wasn't assuming anything, just figured that because some animals can't convert beta carotene that there was a possibility that BTS would also need vitamin A rather than beta carotene. He was more curious as to if I had been supplementing and then figured trying something with vitamin A couldn't hurt (he has been looking for things that may help and can't hurt). My view on supplementing is similar to yours - I rarely supplemented multivitamins, but when Riff-Raff started having problems I starting adding some multivitamins to his food just in case. I couldn't find any info on reptiles and beta carotene as well, but I haven't had time to look into it much.
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Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby Fatal_S » Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:26 pm

I haven't mentioned it before since I'm not sure it's the same thing, but I have Clue, a caramel northern, who shares many of the same symptoms. Mouth problems, eye issues, and toes that get messed up for no good reason. He also has MBD. I also have his same-litter sister who's in top-notch health and is breeding.

I will say Clue has been improving this spring. He had an RI over the winter and was on baytril for a while, and I'm thinking that may have helped with his underlying issues (he's had baytril before though w/o improvement). He's never been in terrible shape, but he's also never been really healthy. I call him my derpy skink.

I'll see what pictures I have when I get home.
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Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby WanderingChai » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:08 pm

So we've ruled out dog and cat food(and anything else concerning food?), and WC. This may sound ridiculous, but what about excersise? The amount of space? Being exposed to something outside of the tank?

I'm extremely curious and a little bit desperate to find out what causes this- I don't want any more skinks to be affected by it. It's very sad and like I said before, I don't know what I could do if my girl got it.

Let's find out what causes this.
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Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby xxmonitorlizardxx » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:25 pm

SapphireTigress wrote:
Is it a deasese that mammals cannot catch, but is deadly and lurks in dog and cat food?
I highly doubt it, since i feed all my skinks the same things and have NEVER ever had this issue with anyone else, and I have a indo and merauke that should have gotten this if it was from dog/cat food.

I don't think this has happened with indos, only Meraukes, IJ's and the in-between skinks. If this has happened to any indos please tell me.
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Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby Richard.C » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:59 pm

not sure it would be an exercise thing,its definatly an odd issue,when so many others of there kin thrive with similar conditions,have any that have passed had autopsys done

interesting re the northern mel,could quite easily be in other types to,i cant remember ever hearing of it in australia though

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