Tremors-Metabolic or Neurologic?

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Rush
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Tremors-Metabolic or Neurologic?

Postby Rush » Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:55 pm

I would have preferred not to post in this section again since the passing of Glenn, my Indo put down recently, but I need some stories and/or advice on tremors in skinks before I take Rush to the vet in a few days.

Rush was purchased as a baby from a reputable shop in 2009. He was listed as captive born (no way of knowing for sure) and was very healthy and flawless when I got him. Throughout his entire life he has been treated like a king with large 4x2 enclosures and much variety in his diet. His diet consists of fresh cooked beef and turkey, dark greens, variety of squash and other veggies, dogfood, store purchased snails, worms, roaches, insects ect. I provide UVB lighting with a reptisun 10.0. I do supplement every meal (every 3-5 days) with calcium w/d3 and a nutrional supplement about every 2 wks.

Up until recently, I have witnessed Rush "twitch" about every other day with 3 twitches being the most in one night. They are strong twitches too. One night for example, I could see and hear his big body jerk "twitch" very hard against his cave wall making a loud banging sound. Also, he hasn't been eaiting the same since the twicthing. For the past month he's been skipping meals and only eating half portions when he does eat. And he's been looking a bit on the skinny side lately too. The colder weather could be a factor in the eating but Rush didntgo into brumation till after January of last year.

I know tremors can be either metabolic or neurolgic.I really cant say which one if even that till after the vet visit. But I'm sure its probably neurological in nature because his diet, according to my knowledge, has always been well rounded.

I'm very worried...


Has anybody ever had similar issues??
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Re: Tremors-Metabolic or Neurologic?

Postby Richard.C » Fri Nov 02, 2012 1:09 am

Odd,he looks in great shape,you would think if it was metabolic there would be signs,but from your pic he looks picture perfect,have u actually witnessed twitching in person,some things irratate them enough to cause them to appear to twitch,flying insects especially,but they more aggressively swing about

Let us know if vet finds anything,hopefully hes just acting odd
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Re: Tremors-Metabolic or Neurologic?

Postby Spindown » Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:10 pm

My guess is its probably neurological. I know in snakes this can be caused by too high of temperatures, dont know about lizards though. I'm also not a vet. I'd be very interested to know what the vet does say however.
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Re: Tremors-Metabolic or Neurologic?

Postby Scotts1au » Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:41 pm

Car breaks down, check for fuel and spark. 90% ile problems first.

Most likely causes are probably a localised irrigation, but could be worse. Give him a look over for mites, ticks any other obvious nasties, deformations in the skin that might indicate a parasite subcutaneously.

Check in the ears for stuck shed, look for any signs of inflammation that might indicate a small infection site etc. If you can, take a look in his mouth - check that there are no wounds, inflammation etc.

Would be god to get a vets opinion, especially if the episodes are getting more frequent or intense.
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Re: Tremors-Metabolic or Neurologic?

Postby Lea » Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:17 am

There are subtle differences between a neurological cause for a tremor or twitch and a metabolic one. It would be hard to say which might be causing Rush to have problems, if either. Best to take him to a vet, just to rule things out.

However, that in mind, it's worth noting a few things, so you can perhaps have a better understanding, should you be confronted with a diagnosis.

Neurological causes for tremors and twitching are usually due to a break in the pathway of communication from the brain. For example, in Parkinson's, where there is impairment of the micro RNA, which results in the neurones responsible for dopamine production (a neurotransmitter) undergoing a premature death and therefore the degenerative conditions which produces tremors and motor impairment. These neurological causes are often inconsistent, with the body initially attempting to compensate and use other pathways to get the "job done" or action completed, effectively. As the condition advances, the interruptions become more and more frequent until they appear to become one continuous deficit, as each interruption is too close to the next, to differentiate them.

With a metabolic cause, the interruptions usually display as a constant impairment, a continuous tremor, motor deficit or even hemiplegia. The deficit is often exacerbated during periods of activity due to the demands made by the cells for electrolytes etc, of which it may be in excess or deficient. The deficit will be at its least noticeable at rest. On an increase in activity, the cells potassium/magnesium and calcium demand increase due to the exchange of ions at a cellular level, which makes the "display" of symptoms more visible to the naked eye. It is primarily diet related, but some have pathological causes also. A pathological cause could involve both neurological and metabolic origins, with one or both being the instigator or a primary cause for a secondary problem- for example, a tumour on the pituitary could interfere with production of the growth hormone, therefore chemically altering the body and/or it can actually put pressure on the optic nerves, resulting in headaches, eye twitching and blackouts.

I am not saying he has a tumour, I am merely pointing out that a set of symptoms can be the result of vastly different causes, so definitely seek veterinary advice, to get peace of mind and eliminate painful and worrying guesswork.

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Re: Tremors-Metabolic or Neurologic?

Postby Rush » Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:59 pm

Rush was taken to the vet specialist two weeks ago...

His fecal exam came back negative.

The vet believes Rush's condition is most likely neaurologic and not diet related. He based that on the fact that Rush's twitching ( 1-2 strong twicthes every other month, and now up to 1-2 strong twitches every 1-3 days) has been going on since Rush was a baby and that the most serious tremor cases arrive with a sudden onset. Since he has had it for almost four years and has been healthy for all those years, he believes Rush's problem is brain related and hereditary, and there really isn't a way to diagnos it because the technology and research isnt there. He did, however, recommend a blood test down the road if the problem gets very bad and Rush seems to be in bad shape.

The vet did prescribe baytril for Rush's 3 week long diarrhea episode and he is now pooping healthy sized ones again.

He is also eating better and putting some weight back on again...

Not so sure about hus future after what happened with Glenn. I hope his twitching is something he can live with and not an underlying serious problem or illness.

Sorry forgetting to mention Rush's history with the twitching in my first original post...I didn't want to be judged, especially after having my other skink put down recently.
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Re: Tremors-Metabolic or Neurologic?

Postby Rush » Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:38 am

Correction from last post a few paragraphs down. He is in "good" shape
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