R.I. and no vet around

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Pascal Paradis
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R.I. and no vet around

Postby Pascal Paradis » Sat May 04, 2013 5:18 pm

Hello fellow blue tongue lovers, I need your help. My merauke is showing signs of a respiratory infection. Bubbles spour out from his eyes when he sneezes; a crackling sound is emitted when he breath and his nostrils are partially clugged. Those symptoms are worse at morning but decrease during the day.

It lasted for 5 month. When I saw those bubbles for the first time, I was alarmed as I recognized the sign of a R.I. But then I thought it was substrate in his nose, then I suspected a blocked tear duct but now I came back to my inital R.I. hypothesis but should he not be dead by now? He has a voracious appetite and bask for hours. He leaved a dog sized poop every day. Maybe that indicate an accelerated metabolism and his immune system is therefore at maximum effiency?

Basking temperature is 92-88 and cool side is 71-75. I can only maintain humidity around 40-50. I changed the substrate for towel. I keep the night temperature at 74-76. Should I allow the nigth temperature to drop?

The nearest veterinary clinic specialised in exotic animal is 654km away and I can't get there as I don't have a car. A friend of mine could get me antibiotic, amakacin. I would have to give the shot myself. I know it is dangerous and you would not recommend this but this is my only option left? Do you have another alternative or will someone explain to me the procedure to follow to make a safe injection but is amakacin even appropriate and what woud be the dosage?
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Re: R.I. and no vet around

Postby El Lobo » Sat May 04, 2013 6:38 pm

With one exception none of us are vets and cannot advise regarding treatment with any medication, particularly one which is Rx. Although amikacin is shown as suitable for reptiles in several online publications rarely is there notation as to its side effects. It is probably better classified as a "when all else fails" abx due to its nephrotoxicity potential, as well as hearing and balance side effects. There are many safer options available to licenced vets.

If your friend acquired this drug by prescription then it should be noted on the container or data sheet that the prescription and dosage has been made for the person/animal described on the label and should under no circumstance be transferred for the use of another.

Any vet can treat something as relatively simple as an RTI. If they don't feel confident there is always the option of a telephone consultation with a specialist, many of whom readily offer this service.
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Re: R.I. and no vet around

Postby Dakota » Sat May 04, 2013 6:38 pm

I believe in Meraukes, to high of night time temperatures can cause signs of RI (or the so called mystery sickness). Maybe dropping the night time temperatures to around 70-73, and raising the basking temperatures slightly.
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Re: R.I. and no vet around

Postby kl » Sat May 04, 2013 6:55 pm

El Lobo is correct in that there are a few vets who do telephone consults, often times for a small fee. Here's another idea. Is it possible to bring the animal to a local vet that typically does not treat exotic animals but will consult with a reptile vet by phone for instructions on proper diagnosis and potential treatment ideas. You may have a dog or cat vet near where you live that will, under your circumstances, let you bring an animal in even if they are not use to dealing with that type of animal.


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Re: R.I. and no vet around

Postby Richard.C » Sat May 04, 2013 7:07 pm

X 2 what kl said

a normal vet is your best bet,they can consult with exotic vet

dakota,u believe or you heard someone else say that?
5 months of showing signs could have infection spread enough that simple changing of temps wont cure it
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Re: R.I. and no vet around

Postby El Lobo » Sat May 04, 2013 7:15 pm

Membership of the V.I.N. (Veterinary Information Network) is also an option for licenced vets.
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Re: R.I. and no vet around

Postby Pascal Paradis » Sat May 04, 2013 9:53 pm

Thank you for your assistance. You were really helpful.

6 month ago I went to see the local vet with my snapping turtle and he couldn't help. He didn't think to consult another veterinary. Monday, I will visit him again and see if he is always so helpless.

Really, anybody in the hole I live can act as a specialist and offer bad services without his business suffering consequence because they just have no competition. I hate this place. I am so eager to finish my studies here and say goodbye to this annoying hopeless town and go for a civilised place with my reptiles.

So, if the vet will refuse his help again I will consult another by telephone. How long it take to a R.I. to overcome a skink? Is there a way to know if it turned to pneumonia?
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Re: R.I. and no vet around

Postby Lea » Sat May 04, 2013 11:48 pm

The length of time can vary, but I've seen skinks go from looking slightly doe eyed one day to next to death's door in less than 12 hours. The faster you act, the better. Some skinks will tick along with snuffles and runny eyes for a bit, but it's not worth the wait to find out.

Once it develops into a full pneumonia, the long term effects are scarring, lung collapse and reduced elasticity of the lung tissue, making breathing more difficult once an infection has gone and also leaving the skink more prone to another infection, which will likely kill the animal very fast. Again, time is of the essence to nip an infection in the bud, before it can damage the lungs.

I hope your vet gives some help this time.
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Re: R.I. and no vet around

Postby Bird_Brain » Sun May 05, 2013 5:53 am

I can't ad much more o what the others said, but have moved to the general discussion forum. Good luck with your skink.
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Re: R.I. and no vet around

Postby Dakota » Sun May 05, 2013 8:01 am

Richard.C wrote:dakota,u believe or you heard someone else say that?
5 months of showing signs could have infection spread enough that simple changing of temps wont cure it

Yes, Merauke Mama (Susann).
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Re: R.I. and no vet around

Postby Katrina » Sun May 05, 2013 8:25 am

Dakota Nivens wrote:
Richard.C wrote:dakota,u believe or you heard someone else say that?
5 months of showing signs could have infection spread enough that simple changing of temps wont cure it

Yes, Merauke Mama (Susann).


Dakota, please don't give any kind of medical advice without experience. If Susann has advice based on her experience, she can post it herself. But you repeating something you heard, possibly out of context, when someone is asking for medical advice is a very bad idea. We need to be especially careful with giving advice when a medical issue is involved. Most vets would recommend raising the temperatures for night when RI is involved (although I do trust Susann's experience - just not third hand advice).

Remember, you have no experience with this other than one skink dying of something potentially similar. :?
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Re: R.I. and no vet around

Postby Spindown » Sun May 05, 2013 9:17 am

I have never heard of night drop giving skinks an RI. Low temperatures in reptiles can lower their immune systems sometimes, but not normally the small amount used to create night drop. If that were the case, everyone who did night drop (which is a lot of people, including myself, would have animals with RI.

I HAVE heard from many sources that raising the temperature in the cage to the higher end of the range of comfort for the species can help with RI's somehow, but I'm not sure on that. Someone else would have to pop in and clarify for me.
I really hope your vet can help, as RI's, like mentioned, get really bad, really fast.

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Re: R.I. and no vet around

Postby Richard.C » Sun May 05, 2013 10:14 am

Dakota Nivens wrote:
Richard.C wrote:dakota,u believe or you heard someone else say that?
5 months of showing signs could have infection spread enough that simple changing of temps wont cure it

Yes, Merauke Mama (Susann).


dakota,Susann(merauke Mama) actually said she cured it by adding a mister to enclosure to raise humidity

i believe it was bluish whom mentioned dropping overnight temps when signs of ri,s are first noted in his animals,mostly wildcaughts ,and thats cleared it up with out needing to see a vet,when temps were manipulated when first signs of issues were noted

5 months of signs of ri,s isnt when first noticed,not only did you use someone elses advice but you got person wrong and you left out some important parts of it,eg adjusting temps early in the peice not to mention stating that that came from someone else,not making it sound like its your advice
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Re: R.I. and no vet around

Postby Fatal_S » Sun May 05, 2013 10:19 am

I have personally tried boosting the heat for RIs a couple times, and it only ever seemed to make the animal miserable. It was definitely not a cure. But, I've heard other people have some success with this. My tanks are already on the warm side of optimal temps, so the added heat was probably just brutally warm. The added heat even seemed to prolong the treatments needed for my IJ lass. If the setup is already correct (check and check again! Be honest with yourself here) then I would not recommend messing with the heat.
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Re: R.I. and no vet around

Postby Spindown » Sun May 05, 2013 10:57 am

Thanks Mel, that is very good to know! I have to wonder if in most cases where heat boosting helped, if the temps in the tank were previously on low side of optimal (or even lower than) before the boost?

I have had a few animals that had RI's, 2 of the 3 were from shipping/expo cold temps. The 3rd was my IJ. Turned out her temps were off from what the accu-rite thermometer said by a LOT. All three were treated with anitbiotics (baytril), temps were corrected when needed (IJ), and that was easy. The injections were a bit hard at first, but all three improved very rapidly. However, I also caught it immediately.

What are you using to measure temps with? I absolutely think people need to have at least ONE infrared heat gun of some type. Probes and things just arent as accurate.
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Re: R.I. and no vet around

Postby Richard.C » Sun May 05, 2013 11:09 am

ri are often caused by suboptimal temps,hence boosting of temps early canrectify issues,but its not always just temps,desert animals suffer to if humidity is to high,rainforest species csn struggle if kept to warm and to dry

one of the reasons i like big temp gradients,bit warmer than it needs at one end,a fair bit cooler than it needs down other end,ultimate goal being who are we to say what they need,give them choices and let them decide,like they can in nature,if they eant hot they go to it,if they want to cool right off the csn if u supply that,if they want in between thats there to,they know what they need and use it,well if we give them those options of course
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Re: R.I. and no vet around

Postby Bluish » Sun May 05, 2013 12:15 pm

The 2 sayings that come to mind with this thread are "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" and the importance of "nipping the problem in the bud".
My advice to new skink owners that may come across these threads is to source out a reputable herp vet in your area when you first buy the animal BEFORE it gets sick. Here in the frozen north we seem to have very few real/qualified/experienced herp vets. I think one reason for this is that we have very few native species and until fairly recently a very small reptile community.

As far as the heating and cooling goes it can be very species specific. My Northerns generally don't mind heat and will often hang out on a warm spot overnight if I provide it for them whereas the Meraukes migrate to the cool side of their enclosure overnight. The Northerns also spend far more time basking or hanging out on the warm side than the Meraukes during the day. If one of my Northerns were to develop an r.i. I would treat it quite differently than the Meraukes.
My recommendations on night temps were for the first signs/onset of the problem. A few of my Meraukes were in less than perfect health when I got them. I learnt pretty quickly that keeping them too warm at night didn't help matters. The ones in rough shape need to be able to cook during the day and be cool at night.
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Re: R.I. and no vet around

Postby El Lobo » Sun May 05, 2013 4:28 pm

I would think that when an exotherm's core temperature drops below that of preferred temperature there is a corresponding slowing of metabolism. Given that most medications including abx require metabolism for efficacy, not maintaining sufficient overnight temperature might hinder recovery and possibly allow the medication to reach more toxic levels before natural flushing.
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Re: R.I. and no vet around

Postby Pascal Paradis » Sun May 05, 2013 4:58 pm

Then would you recommend avoiding night temperature drop while the treatment is in progress?
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Re: R.I. and no vet around

Postby Bluish » Sun May 05, 2013 5:54 pm

El Lobo wrote:I would think that when an exotherm's core temperature drops below that of preferred temperature there is a corresponding slowing of metabolism.


What is a Meraukes preferred core temperature? :noknow:
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