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Sick little guy?

Posted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:33 pm
by Susann
Joey is about 10 mos old, previously healthy and eating well. About a month ago I saw a dry, crusty, scab-looking thing on his upper lip that kept his mouth from closing all the way on that side. I picked it off with my nail, but as I saw nothing resembling a wound underneath, I was not too concerned. Around that same time I started seeing what resembled spit-bubbles at the corner of his mouth off and on.

Now the scabbing is back on both sides of his mouth, bubbles appear any time his tongue starts going, and his right eye is crusty as well.


I don't hear any wheezing, he doesn't appear to have difficulty breathing, and he seems plenty active when out of his cage. His appetite is not quite as healthy as before, but he does eat.


Has anyone got an idea what is wrong with my little guy? Do I need to take him to a vet?

Posted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:37 pm
by xxmonitorlizardxx
Yes you should take him to te vet for the crusty eeye bberry had the same problem or something like it. They should give you some ointment to put on it and it should heal in a few days. I dont know what to say for the lip other should know what to do though.

Posted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:29 am
by zakkhogan

Posted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:18 am
by Tattoo
Lower lip looks like stuck shed. I would wipe the face, eye, lips with saline with a q-tip a couple of times per day and see if you have improvement. What is your blue eating? If you are feeding sloppy foods it could be the cause of the mouth problem. If cleaning up the area and the diet doesn't help I would consider the vet.

Posted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:31 am
by Susann
Thank you guys!! I love that I can count on experienced owners here, and not just have to trust what a vet says.
He can barely get that eye open this morning, so I'm taking him in to a herpie vet, but who knows how much experience he has with blueys....

Posted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:45 pm
by Katrina
zakkhogan wrote:Worth reading this maybe

Definitely not mouth rot.

Have a quick read of the medical advice sticky, there is a bit regarding mouth issues.

Unfortunately the eye issue looks similar to Nemo's. We had success previously with antibiotic eye drops and then a shed clearing everything back up but Nemo is kind of a special case with ongoing problems due to a rough start in life.

I would follow the vets advice on the eye and if that doesn't work then please contact me and I can update you on everything we have tried for Nemo. :) If the eye is stuck shut then you can use tear gel (a saline gel sold at any pharmacy) to help moisturize and open it. This was recommended by my vet and work well - you can use as often as needed.

Good luck, hope you clear all this up quickly! :D

Posted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:07 pm
by Zach
We have a big female Northern (Pearl) who has this same sort of mouth thing. It never seems to go away, but she's as healthy as can be aside from that.

Still sick little guy

Posted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:35 am
by Susann
I took Joey to an Exotic vet a couple of weeks ago who didn't seem to think that there was any major problems with him, but due to the crusty eye gave an antibiotic (Baytril) that would also deal with a respiratory infection, if Joey was cooking one of those.

The crusty eye has not improved at all, and overall I think Joey is doing worse. I am, right now, waiting for the vet to call me back, as I think Joey needs to be seen again.

What I am worried about is the vet's knowledge about Blueys.
If anyone out there has any experience, advice, or suggestions, PLEASE help us, as I am getting really worried. We lost a recently adopted Merauke earlier this year and really do not want to go through anything like that again.

Thank you all for the advice I've been given so far.

Lots of love, a recently new Bluey owner.

Posted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:18 am
by oldnotdead
I don't know where you live in Utah but I have had good experience with the Centerville vet listed above. I know that several other vets in the SLC/Ogden area consider themselves reptile qualified but Dr Folland impressed me. Of course, my animals he treated were geckos not BTS. Perhaps he is the one you went to...

Posted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:58 am
by Susann
I'm in Spanish Fork, and in an emergency had to drive to Creekside Animal Hosp in Draper as there was no other exotic vet to be found working that day anywhere closer to me. I LOVE Dr Orr and all the staff there, they are AMAZING!

I just don't know if what Joey is dealing with is something that's a "general" lizard thing, or speciffic to Blueys...? And am worried about ANY vet's Bluey experience--cause how could they have seen enough of them to know? ...unless maybe they went to school in Australia.

Thank you so much Jim for recommending Dr Folland. Distance is no problem, I'll drive anywhere to get Joey good care.
If he doesn't improve soon I might consider driving to OR to have his very experienced first owner, Zach, take a look.
Hey Zach, will tomorrow work? LOL!

Still haven't heard back from the vet.

Very sick little guy

Posted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:07 pm
by Susann
Joey has pneumonia.
Wow! What a couple of weeks it's been. And I'm thinking it's far from over.

Again, here are his symptoms: one eye would build up dry, crusty discharge now and then, and he would get what looked like spit-bubbles in the corners of his mouth--but only when his tongue really got going. THAT'S IT!

Now, I'm very new to BTS, only dealt with Boas prior to this, so chances are great that I missed some signs. But as far as I could tell--and I first noticed symptoms last part of May--there was no discharge or bubbles from his nose, there were no sounds nor appearance of difficulty with breathing, no significant decrease in eating or activity.

I took him to the vet two weeks ago when he got up one morning and his eye was crusted shut. And, like I mentioned before, the vet at that time could see nor hear anything to be concerned about--other than the discharge from the eye. Got an antibiotic that, just in case, would deal with any respiratory infection as well as an infection of the eye.

I posted to the forum again yesterday as I was waiting for the vet--off duty--to give me a call back as I was fearing that Joey was not getting any better but rather worse. Vet never called back.
As I got Joey out for his evening dose of antibiotic his eye was crusted shut again--which was unusual as this was just a morning ocurrence. As I was soaking his eye with a Qtip I noticed he was breathing faster than usual. Figured he was a bit nervous, as I imagine any animal would be not being able to open an eye. But as I observed him I quickly noticed that his lungs were not expanding with his breaths! There immediately was not a question in my mind that he had pneumonia.

Had to call 5 different "after hours" ERs before finding a vet who would see a reptile. It was a pet hospital an hours drive away.
Didn't take long to get the diagnosis. Pneumonia.
I now have to give him antibiotic shots for a month.

Yes, I know that I tend to be very overly cautious (my husband--lovingly mind you--calls it paranoid, but whatever!) when it comes to my children or pets having any kind of problem. (I've even taken newborn hamster babies to the vet!) But, HOW did this happen??? How did he get pneumonia? And what do I do now?

I know what you're going to want to know: he lives in a large reptile terrarium, aspen shavings, large water dish and plants to hide under on cool side, basking rock on warm side, good sized hide between warm and cold sides, warm side consistently 95-100 degrees, cold side about 75 degrees, 12 hr lightcycle. I cook up chicken or turkey that I moisten with HALO brand catfood, mix that in with chopped up greens and veggies, give him about a tablespoon every 2-3 days depending on how much of the tablespoon he eats, plus he gets a little bit of our Crested geckos mashed fruit, and a chunk or two of snail (Can 'O Snails) as a treat about once a week.

Do we have him out of his cage too much? Does he get too cold when he's out? We live in Utah (106 out yesterday!), keep our house cooled to 78-80 in the summer, warmed to 70-72 in the winter.

HELP!! What can I do differently now to make sure this does not happen again?

Posted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 3:23 pm
by Tattoo
The living conditions you describe should be optimum for keeping a skink. Usually being wet and cold for an extended period of time will bring on respiratory issues. I can't imagine how he got sick under those conditions. I'm sorry to hear he is ill but glad you got him to the vet. Please keep us posted. Hopefully others will have thoughts as to how he could have fallen ill.

Posted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 1:05 pm
by Zach
What antibiotics were being used? Was Batryl mentioned?

Posted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 1:08 pm
by Susann
He was on Baytril 10mg for two weeks, now I give him Ceftazidime 100mg by injections

Posted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 2:28 pm
by Susann
This is Joey today.

This morning the crusty discharge glueing his eye shut was bloody!
But I think it might be from him rubbing it.

The battle against pneumonia continues...

Posted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 3:06 am
by Leigh
I am NO VET but, was the dose rate of the initial Baytril measured right? It has been reported that this drug can knock a skinks system side ways a little as it's a strong antibiotic. You should try to keep the heat up 24-7 during the healing time as heat promotes better healing.

What did the rescue Merauke have that finished him off, is there any chance of cross contamination???

Posted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:53 am
by El Lobo
Disclaimer: I am NOT a vet.

I posted the below on another thread a few weeks ago relating to metronidozole which may or may not be useful regarding administering antibiotics:

"This is a quote from notes given to me by a vet. It refers specifically to enrofloxacin, but the principle should still hold for metronidozole. The actual measured dose is not quoted.

"The elevated dose rate (xxxx/kg) ensures the peak level achieved is well above the MIC required for efficacy and the decreased frequency (q48hrs) accounts for the slower metabolism of antimicrobials seen in reptiles.....

The use of Baytril for extended treatment periods (3 weeks) appears to be well tolerated in reptiles."

The skink referred to was a female highland blotched, but not either of mine.

MIC = minimum inhibitory concentration
q = each or every"

The dosage quoted of 100mg Ceftazidime daily does seem incredibly high. The recommended dosage for snakes is 20 mg/kg, IM, SC, every 72 hrs.
Please check if this is in fact a typo or what the vet recommended. I am not disputing the choice of drug, only the dosage.

Link to Merck Veterinary Manual for reference: ... 171407.htm

Posted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:12 am
by Susann
Wow, that does seem very high! THANK YOU!! for bringing that to my attention. I have to wait an hour before they open, but will call both vets I use plus the one who perscribed the medication.
I'll let you know.

Posted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:54 am
by Susann
Oh, sorry, forgot to answer Leigh's question.

There is NO chance of cross contamination, even though we got little Joey within a week of loosing the other.
The other skink had been badly neglected, I had been up all night trying to save most of his toes, so when I finally decided to give the poor guy a break and let him sleep, I forgot to put the heatlamp back up on top of the lid after I took it off to open and close the tank.
All lamps were on a timer, they came on and the heatlamp left on the floor burned the carpet. We were extremely lucky I wasnt gone as the whole house would have gone up, but before I noticed the smoke the melting plastic fumes had already gotten poor Anakin. He fought valiantly at an exotic animal hospital for 3 days.

So there is little chance of Joey's problem stemming from Anakin's tragic accident
....even though the accident-DoDo is still here, she is being carefully watched....
Don't feel bad for asking! It was an extremely valid question and I appreciate it very much.
We learn from our mistakes. Having to watch Anakin die for 3 days due to my mistake is one of the most horriffic experiences of my life. I had never met an animal this amazing--and I've had LOTS! And to be the one to cause its death is a pain unlike any other that I'll carry with me forever.
And, YES, due to that I realize that I'm more than likely EXTRA sensitive. But that's not gonna change any time soon....if ever!

XOXO to all helping us out.

Posted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:06 am
by El Lobo
Susann, I hope I didn't frighten you over the dosage. I was reading the thread and that number of 100mg jumped out. I know very little about reptile medicine but I'm used to calculating dosages for mammals in the 2-3Kg weight range.

I agree with Leigh too about keeping the temperature up to help the abs to work. Aim to keep at preferred body temperature. I have Highland Blotchies and their PBT is 32-33°C; most likely your little one would need to be a couple of degrees higher. Hopefully someone will see this and be able to advise you of the appropriate PBT.

Maybe the vet might consider doing a culture of that crust forming on the eye and mouth in case it is bacterial.