Respiratory disease, urgant, no vets available

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Respiratory disease, urgant, no vets available

Postby Robert » Sun Jun 23, 2013 6:34 am

Hello, Just created this account to get this question out here, I live in remote Australia, and my Eastern Blue tongue (2.5 years old) has developed a rather serious respiratory infection, his breathing is extremely laboured, his mouth is open with his tongue hanging out to the side, he is completely limp, eyes are closed and only hisses, lightly sneezes or exhales/inhales every minute or two, and does not respond to stimuli (being picked up, touched or rubbed) is there anything I can do to assist or help him recover, it's midnight here and there are no vets open within driving distance (closest is Sydney, that is ~400-500 kilometres away), anything helps, If I lose him I don't know what I'm going to do.
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Re: Respiratory disease, urgant, no vets available

Postby Richard.C » Sun Jun 23, 2013 6:54 am

my suggestion is up its temps,is it indoors or out?

if outdoors bring it in,they are prone to ri if temps arent to there liking and cold damp is prevalent,best thing to do is bring them indoors,and if already indoors,try upping temps,hot basking spot but also raise the ambient temp if you can,often they come good if you do that and it hasnt progressed to far

welcome to bts.net

ive moved thread to general discussion forum as thats the place for it,keep us posted on how it goes

a tip with questions like this is explain how its being kept ect,makes it easier togive more accurate answers which ultimatly benefits the animalin the long run

ive seen this case in easterns alot that i have kept outdoors ,bringing them indoors and heating them has remedied the issue in the majority of cases,for a cold climate species they certainly dont handle the cold all to well compared to blotchies,in nature they seek out areas offering slightly elevated temps than what nature offers by itself
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Re: Respiratory disease, urgant, no vets available

Postby El Lobo » Sun Jun 23, 2013 6:59 am

As Richard said try to get him warmed up.

Short answer try ringing:

NORTH SHORE VETERINARY SPECIALIST CENTRE (VIEW MAP)
a 64 Atchison St, Crows Nest NSW 2065 Australia
t 02 9436 4884 f 02 9906 5710

Specialist clinic manned 24/7.
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Re: Respiratory disease, urgant, no vets available

Postby Robert » Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:02 am

Thank you so much for the number, I'll be giving them a call ASAP, he is indoors, he's in a separate tank I keep for situations like this, soft cotton tower, water-dish is by his side and a heat lamp (tank is at 27 degrees)
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Re: Respiratory disease, urgant, no vets available

Postby El Lobo » Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:10 am

Robert,

I would suggest trying to bump the heat spot up a bit higher, closer to 33°- 36 °C.

Longer answer.

Respiratory infections shouldn't come on to be life threatening very rapidly. It does seem apart from a respiratory infection it could be effects of a toxin. Has he eaten anything or come in contact with anything today that may have been toxic? May seem a silly thing to ask, but has he been near a venomous snake?

Good luck, I hope you can get him through this.
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Re: Respiratory disease, urgant, no vets available

Postby Richard.C » Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:14 am

is 27 the hottest spot temp ?

they have a preffered body temp in the mid 30,s

if hotspot isonly 27 theycant raisebody temp any higher then that,id beaiming for basking spot temp close to 40 degrees,maybe bring back ground temp to around 27 during the day if you can,main thing is have an area it can easily raise body temp to preferred body temp ,has tobe hotter than preffered body temp so it can easily reach that temp,added bonus is it will also benifit a recovering lizard
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Re: Respiratory disease, urgant, no vets available

Postby Robert » Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:23 am

the tanks ambient temp is 27 degrees, hot-spot is in the low thirties (31 degrees) I'll bump it up higher as you guys have suggested. He shouldn't have been exposed to anything toxic, diet consists of steamed vegetables, boiled eggs, crickets and mealworms dusted in calcium supplements and fruits, and he hasn't spent too much time outside lately as it's almost the middle of winter. the vet's reptile specialist isn't there so they cannot help me, but as of posting this, he has started moving, but breathing has not improved. It's starting to sound hollow and wheezy.
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Re: Respiratory disease, urgant, no vets available

Postby Richard.C » Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:50 am

will take a while to show improvement,ok yes,just raise basking spot temp,if its got good weight on,hopefully the temp raising will be enough,a vet visit maybe a good idea for peace of mind

with ri,they are often quite lethargic,holding head in an elevated position,open mouth breathing,weezing,eyes staying shut,sounds like typical eastern symptoms of ri,seems to knock them around pretty bad compared to other tiliqua,but in saying that ive never had to bring one to vets to make a full recovery,but have had totake other species
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Re: Respiratory disease, urgant, no vets available

Postby El Lobo » Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:06 am

Seems fairly sure to be respiratory with wheezy breathing.

A course of antibiotics might be advisable to support the immune system. All vets will carry enrofloxacin (Baytril) so nearest vet will do, doesn't have to be a reptile vet. Calculating the dosage is the only thing to be cautious with.

Recommended dosage:

http://www.anapsid.org/resources/rxdose.html

Scroll down to the section on pneumonia for more information on respiratory diseases.

http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/exotic_ ... l#v3309304
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Re: Respiratory disease, urgant, no vets available

Postby Robert » Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:16 am

I'll be staying up all night/morning and watching him, I'll be getting him to a vet as soon as the nearest one to me opens, there is a reptile vet and sanctuary in Canberra (closest city to me). Other than keeping his temperature up with water available, is there anything else I can do? And thank you guys very much, went from being frantic to reasonably calm in the past hour, losing him (Riley) would be absolutely devastating, I don't need to tell you guys how wonderful these creatures are.
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Re: Respiratory disease, urgant, no vets available

Postby Robert » Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:25 am

Things haven't progressed well over the last hour, he's gone completely limp, no longer responds to stimuli (being stroked or presented with water) and an inhale is happening maybe once every second minute, when he does inhale, he has a full chest, neck and shoulder contraction/convulsion and looks to be in incredible pain, mouth is wide open, tongue occasionally twitches but for the most part, it's slumped out of his mouth, eye are closed again and won't open.
Last edited by Robert on Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:56 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Respiratory disease, urgant, no vets available

Postby Richard.C » Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:39 am

any discoloring on its stomach?

especially the middle of stomach?

the pain thing,tongue hanging out doesnt sounds normal ri symptom,unless its really struggling to breathe,though wide open mouth and convultions doesnt sound typical ri symptom either

fingers crossed im wrong,but could be a bacterial gut issue as well
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Re: Respiratory disease, urgant, no vets available

Postby Robert » Sun Jun 23, 2013 11:06 am

I'm starting to lose it, he isn't getting any better, worse if anything and I've got another 4 hours to wait before any vet near me opens up. He is struggling hard to breathe when he goes for one, periods between inhales are still around the two minute mark. He wasn't showing any signs of being ill until about 5pm this afternoon, it didn't progress too fast until about 11pm-12 am, illness has been steadily increasing until around 2:30am-3:00am where he's steeply declined since, does that sound like bacterial infection progression alongside his respiratory issue?
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Re: Respiratory disease, urgant, no vets available

Postby Susann » Sun Jun 23, 2013 12:21 pm

I don't have much to offer other than my sympathy and best wishes,
and to tell you to maybe already be outside the vet's office slightly before they open (if you are able to keep Riley nice and warm during that time). As soon as you see people start to show up let them know you have an urgent case; be banging on the door when you see lights coming on inside.
I feel for you; I've been in your case myself.
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Re: Respiratory disease, urgant, no vets available

Postby El Lobo » Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:14 pm

Really sorry to hear Riley's condition deteriorated overnight and I hope he has managed to pull through in time to get to a vet.

It really is necessary for a vet to examine him as the symptoms described could be indicative of a few different conditions. Animals that are obligate nose breathers like BTS are in distress when they are forced to mouth breathe, it is indicative of insufficient oxygen in the blood stream, called hypoxia. The laboured breathing could be caused by fluid building up around the heart restricting its normal expansion and contraction. Likewise fluid can also build up in the lungs and cause a similar effect.

It's difficult when pets get ill, they can't tell us what is wrong. It's even harder when their natural instinct is to disguise symptoms.

I really hope Riley pulls through.
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Re: Respiratory disease, urgant, no vets available

Postby Scotts1au » Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:42 pm

Sorry to read that Robert, I've only just read this thread. Yeh any vet can administer Baytril. From the sounds of it things arent too good. From experience, they normally get worse before they get better. Hopefully this is the worse. If you can get it to a Vet ask about what else can be done, such as fluid removal (probably require an invasive procedure), hydration, corticosteroids, O2 administration etc. I've found that oral administered Baytril normally takes 3 days before significant improvement injected will be quicker but riskier. His body temp should be around 33C any more than this may cause excess 02 use which might make things worse. Please let us know how you get on.
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Re: Respiratory disease, urgant, no vets available

Postby Robert » Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:54 pm

Riley managed to make it the vet, but that's the end of the good news. The vets think the underlying issue is neurological, as he is completely limp, unable to move/respond to stimuli (such as being poked or pinched or picked up or stroked), unable to do anything aside from wheezing once every 2 minutes. He has been put in a 02 tank with heat and was started on a round of antibiotics, but if he continues to deteriorate or show no signs of improvement over the next 24 hours, I'm going to have to put him down, something I really don't want to do.

I will suggest fluid removal and corticosteroids, but aside from that, there's nothing more than can be done.

I would also like to thank you all again, as much as this situation sucks, it would have been worse without you all pointing me in the right direction.
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Re: Respiratory disease, urgant, no vets available

Postby Scotts1au » Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:04 pm

Thanks for the update, sorry to read about your little guy. Ask the vet whether there is a posbility of infection by clostridium botulinum.
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Re: Respiratory disease, urgant, no vets available

Postby El Lobo » Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:35 pm

Hi Robert,

The fact you went to so much effort to get Riley seen by a vet makes you the right kind of person to be caring for pets in my view. I know you understand Riley's prognosis is not too good but he is in the right place to give him any opportunity to pull through. I'm hoping for the best for you both.

You can see it is very difficult to diagnose over the internet, particularly without veterinary qualification or experience. Only a full veterinary examination can help to join all the dots. Although the symptoms you described seemed to fit a diagnosis of a respiratory infection I had one lingering doubt and that was the limpness of his body. That is why I asked if he could have been in contact with anything toxic. My reasoning was because I have seen a wild blotchy after envenomation by a Copperhead and body flaccidity was a prominent symptom as the neurotoxin took hold.

If there is fluid present around the heart the vet may prescribe furosemide, which is a diuretic often used to treat oedema associated with congestive heart disease.

Please let us know if there are any changes in Riley's condition.
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Re: Respiratory disease, urgant, no vets available

Postby Richard.C » Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:22 pm

fingers crossed robert,your doing all you can,definatly keep us posted on how riley is going

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