Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

This Forum is for scientific, medical, pathological, environmental, etc. discussions.
Rules are different for this forum, be sure to read through them inside.
Forum rules
The rules for this forum are different from all the others on this site.
1) Questions regarding sick skinks do not belong here.
2) If you are not sure if your topic is OK here, post it in the General Discussion forum; a moderator can then move it here if appropriate.
3) This forum is for advanced discussions, such as scientific, medical, reproductive, pathological, environmental, etc.
4) PROOF, FACT, and BACK IT UP are three things to keep in mind when posting.
5) Comments need to add to the discussion. “Good job”, “I agree”, or “Nice skink” etc, do not add to the discussion and are not allowed here. If stating an opinion, back it up with what experiences have led to that opinion.
6) The 3 month rule is not in effect; you may post on any thread no matter how old it is.
User avatar
Katrina
The Daredevil
The Daredevil
Posts: 9767
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 3:34 pm
Country:
Location: Alberta, Canada

Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby Katrina » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:16 pm

* By gigas BTS, I am including IJs such as Joey and potentially Marvin on the list - so gigas + T. species.

I'm looking for information on the eye / toe / RI / septecemia issues that seem to occur in Indonesian species of BTS. This thread has some examples: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=19596 It seems like some skinks will develop eye issues, lose toes, etc and not really respond to antibiotics. They may get better and then relapse etc. I had one, Nemo, that we couldn't figure out what was wrong and was eventually euthanized and I know Susann had a very similar case with Joey. Neither of these skinks lacked in veterinary care, we just couldn't figure out the problem soon enough.

It seems like now I am dealing with the same problem with my little houseguest, Riff-Raff. He came to me having previous health issues, no toes etc but no evident issues at the time of acquisition. After 10 months of being healthy, his eyes started having issues / crusting over etc. I thought it might be simple, so I took him to the vet and we tried antibiotic eye drops and did a culture to see if any certain bacteria could be isolated. No helpful results from the culture, no improvement from the eye drops. Moved on to oral baytril for 3 weeks, trying longer courses in case of resident infections. No improvement at all during the course of baytril. From reading old posts on Baneling and Joey and from prior experience with Nemo, it seems like the exact same thing.

So now, instead of trying different things, we are assuming all of these BTS may have had the same problems. Seems too coincidental, and I'm sure others have had similar problems but may not have stuck around and posted to follow up.

Any additional information or ideas would be appreciated. Susann - if you read this, could you send me your vet's info so my vet could possibly contact them to see what tests were run etc? If anyone else has helpful suggestions it would be great! Right now Riff-Raff only has crusted over eyes, he lost all his toes prior to coming to us and has a good appetite, is alert etc otherwise. :)
User avatar
Karen
Bluey Addict
Bluey Addict
Posts: 477
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:41 pm
Country:
Location: Jacksonville, FL

Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby Karen » Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:35 am

Has anyone dealing with this gotten a blood test done to check if the skinks are suffering any vitamin deficiencies? Vitamin A deficiencies in humans have some interesting symptoms:

Dry, rough, or cracked skin, dry mucous membranes including the inside of the eye, slow healing, nerve damage, reduced ability to taste, hear, and smell, inability to perspire, reduced resistance to respiratory infections.

Of course I'm not sure how this would apply to skinks, but the eye problems and respiratory infections caught my eye. Is it possible the toes issue is a circulation problem?

I think I remember seeing that someone got some vitamin injections, was that you Kat?
• 0.1.0 Merauke - Sylvia
• 0.0.1 Northern - Tiberi
User avatar
Katrina
The Daredevil
The Daredevil
Posts: 9767
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 3:34 pm
Country:
Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby Katrina » Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:07 am

That was Joey, Susann had blood work done and did the vitamin injections. We also did a blood work on Nemo but not on Riff-Raff this time. I remember reading about vitamin deficiencies and so I've been trying to feed Riff-Raff foods high in vitamin A as well as supplement vitamins more often for him that I usually do. I haven't noticed a difference, I've been trying to supplement more vitamins as well as increase the humidity since this started. Canned escargot is high in vitamin A and is very well received. Good point though, I forgot to mention the vitamins.
User avatar
Kbell31
Bluey Addict
Bluey Addict
Posts: 484
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:12 pm
Country:
Location: Ohio

Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby Kbell31 » Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:28 pm

Could these issues be a fungal matter and not so much bacterial? Could it be that is why regular antibiotics do not help?
When life gets difficult, always remember you are being planted NOT buried!
User avatar
Katrina
The Daredevil
The Daredevil
Posts: 9767
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 3:34 pm
Country:
Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby Katrina » Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:33 pm

There is the article on fungal issues / toes loss in T. s. scincoides, I think it is in the articles sticky. I passed that on to my vet, he is also looking into viral.
User avatar
Alioop
Loopy De Loop
Loopy De Loop
Posts: 2648
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 7:37 pm
Country:
Location: Buffalo, NY

Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby Alioop » Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:59 pm

I don't have anything helpful to add, I just wanted to say Kat that I LOVE your vet! He sounds like a really great guy!
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
-Alie-

1.0 Irian Jaya
1.1 Easterns
User avatar
El Lobo
The Blotched Brigade
The Blotched Brigade
Posts: 3405
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:49 pm
Country:
Location: Blue Mountains Australia

Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby El Lobo » Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:22 pm

I don't have anywhere near enough knowledge of reptile disease to have any answers as to what is occurring with selected skinks. As so many are wild caught it is highly unlikely these medical conditions can be isolated to any specific geographic locality, which could be one means of identifying a problem.

Something I thought about when Joey had all his problems that seemed to bear so many similarities to Nemo's symptons was could this be something dormant in certain skinks that erupts into a full-blown medical condition when a circumstance permits. Because of the fact these two skinks were cared for so well and there was no question about husbandry practices I thought it unlikely. Thinking about it now as more cases seem to be occurring I don't necessarily think this should be ruled out. The immune system can be suppressed by many factors that are not always readily identifiable, including small changes to environment.

I have to use rabbits as an example as my knowledge of them is a little better. There are two predominantly significant conditions which can affect the domestic rabbit: 1) the bacterium Pasteurella multocida and; 2) the parasite Encephalitozoon cuniculi (E.C.). One rabbit can carry either or both yet live a long and healthy life, whereas another can be health compromised by either affecting longevity. It is acknowledged that carriers can comprise 80% of all domestic rabbits. Veterinary opinion is both pasteurella and E.C.activate when the immune system comes under stress by such factors as:

"Stressful conditions may reduce host immunity and precipitate the development of clinical signs; such stresses include experimentation, shipping, inclement weather, nutritional stress (inadequate nutrition), poor management and environment, changes in management and social changes.

Normal physiological stresses such as pregnancy, parturition and lactation may also increase susceptibility." 1

The parasitic infection Encephalitozoon cuniculi is typically acquired by ingestion of spores as with other parasites, but significantly it is now thought the parasite is also be passed in utero when the mother is a carrier.

"Encephalitozoon cuniculi is an obligate intracellular microsporidian (Microspora) protozoon parasite." 1

"Most infections are actually asymptomatic or remain asymptomatic until the animal becomes immunocompromised with stress or debility or age etc." 1

I am in no way trying to suggest that skinks are infected with either of these conditions, only to suggest it could be different bacterial or parasitic infections being dormant in certain skinks and being activated by some of the antagonists previously mentioned. The common features of these conditions of rabbits and skinks is how they present. Pasteurella presents as a severe RTI with rasping breathing, eyes weeping and secretion from the nares. Crusting is rare but rabbits continually groom around their eyes and faces so that fluids don't always have the opportunity to crust. The symptoms of Encephalitozoon cuniculi do not correlate with the symptoms described by those who have experienced these significantly health compromised skinks with the exception of an eye disorder (uveitis), but maybe it could still be a parasitic infection of an entirely different species.


1. All quoted references are from the electronic library of wildpro.twycrosszoo
There are 10 kinds of people in the world; those who understand binary and those who do not.
User avatar
Linnea
Swedish Flower
Swedish Flower
Posts: 1781
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:34 pm
Country:
Location: Sweden

Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby Linnea » Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:35 pm

is there a HIV virus that goes on reptiles? on bts?

are they being easily infected, more and more over time until death? i know that your immune system can be worse when stressed and after just regular diseases too and so on.

- it lies dormant for periods and keep coming back

- it doesnt seem to make other skinks sick on contact or in the same room/air. anyone though blood transmitted?

- blood samples show nothing, is it hiding....?

i apologize for my spare knowledge of everything, i just wanna think outside the usual box. i initially suggested allergies but it didnt seem quite right, and youve tried for vitamin defiency and antibiotics and taken lots of samples.
all i know is that monkeys and some other mammals have their own version of this virus.....and theres so many variations of the virus affecting us humans that i wonder if there isnt several, if not more, reptile versions too?

autoimmune, or a hiding virus that kicks in whenever the skink is feeling bad?
Litchie, northern 1.0
Pomme (Pomelo), northern 1.0
User avatar
Richard.C
Kimberley Klan
Kimberley Klan
Posts: 10474
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2005 3:37 am
Country:
Location: melbourne australia

Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby Richard.C » Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:18 pm

great thread,

seeing the condition of how they go from being caught in the wild,held prior to export,then from importers/wholesalers ect ect,could be a mix of things that they are exposed to,not to mention other species that get sent with them,its amazing so many can pull through,maybe the stress of it all is to much for some,imune system drops and they are prone to alot of things

hopefully we can learn more about these symptoms,there causes and ways to fix it
User avatar
Katrina
The Daredevil
The Daredevil
Posts: 9767
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 3:34 pm
Country:
Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby Katrina » Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:47 pm

Linnea - all of those were considered, but no one knows anything about viral issues for BTS. It isn't exactly easy to research or test for either. We did try immunosuppressants with Nemo with no improvement.

We are going to try an antiviral ointment called Idoxuridine to see if there is any improvement for the eyes. I also have L-Lysine to supplement to slow down viral reproduction. Unfortunately I can't fill the prescription until Monday, but if there is improvement I will let others know.
User avatar
Kbell31
Bluey Addict
Bluey Addict
Posts: 484
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:12 pm
Country:
Location: Ohio

Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby Kbell31 » Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:38 am

I have to give l-lysine to one of my cats who has feline herpes, if she starts to be symptomatic I will supplement her with this and always see a great improvement
When life gets difficult, always remember you are being planted NOT buried!
User avatar
El Lobo
The Blotched Brigade
The Blotched Brigade
Posts: 3405
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:49 pm
Country:
Location: Blue Mountains Australia

Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby El Lobo » Sun Mar 11, 2012 5:58 pm

This study on rats found lysine beneficial in reducing anxiety and stress related intestinal illnesses. I wonder if that is the vet's reason for prescribing.

'Lysine has a known anxiolytic action through its effects on serotonin receptors in the intestinal tract. One study on rats showed that overstimulation of the 5-HT4 receptors in the gut are associated with anxiety-induced intestinal pathology. Lysine, acting as a serotonin antagonist and therefore reducing the overactivity of these receptors, reduced signs of anxiety and anxiety-induced diarrhea in the sample population. Another study showed that lysine deficiency leads to a pathological increase in serotonin in the amygdala, a brain structure that is involved in emotional regulation and the stress response.' (1)

(1) Smriga, Kameishi, Uneyama, and Torii (December 2002). "Dietary L-Lysine Deficiency Increases Stress-Induced Anxiety and Fecal Excretion in Rats". The Journal of Nutrition 132:3744-3746 (12): 3744–6. PMID 12468617
There are 10 kinds of people in the world; those who understand binary and those who do not.
User avatar
xxmonitorlizardxx
Walks with Squirrels
Walks with Squirrels
Posts: 4050
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:06 pm
Your Facebook name: Jeremy Johnson
Country:
Location: NJ, USA

Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby xxmonitorlizardxx » Sun Mar 11, 2012 5:59 pm

Found this a while ago.
Skink with similar problem.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Merauke Blue Tongue Skink Breeder
https://www.facebook.com/JJReptiles/
User avatar
Katrina
The Daredevil
The Daredevil
Posts: 9767
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 3:34 pm
Country:
Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby Katrina » Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:27 pm

That picture is awful. Thankfully Riff-Raff isn't nearly that bad. Poor little skink.

Norm - my vet said that the lysine should slow down viral replication especially if it is herpesvirus, which is suspected. I think there are other potent benefits, but that is the explanation I got. Thanks for the info, that is good to know.
User avatar
Karen
Bluey Addict
Bluey Addict
Posts: 477
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:41 pm
Country:
Location: Jacksonville, FL

Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby Karen » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:28 pm

xxmonitorlizardxx wrote:Found this a while ago.
Skink with similar problem.


Jeez that picture is awful... Where did you find that ML?

I hope that lysine helps out Kat. It would be great to find a solution to these issues.
• 0.1.0 Merauke - Sylvia
• 0.0.1 Northern - Tiberi
User avatar
xxmonitorlizardxx
Walks with Squirrels
Walks with Squirrels
Posts: 4050
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:06 pm
Your Facebook name: Jeremy Johnson
Country:
Location: NJ, USA

Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby xxmonitorlizardxx » Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:01 pm

Karen wrote:
xxmonitorlizardxx wrote:Found this a while ago.
Skink with similar problem.


Jeez that picture is awful... Where did you find that ML?


I searched something about merauke on google and found that. There was another picture from after the vet visit but I lost it...
Merauke Blue Tongue Skink Breeder
https://www.facebook.com/JJReptiles/
Cricket
Bluey Beginner
Bluey Beginner
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:22 pm
Country:
Location: Arizona

Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby Cricket » Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:20 pm

I'm both saddened, and almost relieved to see this.

My IJ is going through this exact same thing. After 2+ weeks of Baytril, I haven't seen any real improvements. At this point, she doesn't seem to be getting worse, per say - but definitely no drastic improvements.

Cricket is in the neighborhood of 6 months. Up until two and a half weeks ago, had been as happy as can be. Growing well, eating like a piglet and doing fantastically. One morning I came in my home office (where she resides) and noticed that she looked off. She had seemingly developed the start of mouth rot overnight. I called the vet and made an appointment that we left for within 3.5 hours. In that time, she seemingly developed an upper respiratory infection.

She also appears to have a bit of swelling under her chin, comparable to where we humans would have enlarged lymph nodes if we were fighting off an infection or the like. Her mouth has not gotten any better, even with the vet prescribed care. Her eyes occasionally end up crusted over, which I clear and apply the prescribed antibiotic eye drops to.

No toe loss and it doesn't look like any is coming...

My vet feels like we're at a loss. Cricket continues to eat well (I've switched her over to a mixture of baby foods as her mouth rot seemed to make her unwilling to eat her regular foods - she sure doesn't mind licking up the baby food!) and is responsive and is learning to hide when she sees me coming.
User avatar
Scotts1au
Great Scott
Great Scott
Posts: 4360
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 2:19 am
Country:
Location: Central Victoria, Australia

Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby Scotts1au » Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:05 pm

I'll start by saying that I don't know what the cause of the problem is but I do know that there are a vast array of bugs out there, many of which us and animals live with when we in optimal health and are held at bay by immune systems through our lives including things like strep, staph, pneumococcal, psuedomonas, klebsiella bacteria to name a few that will kick us in the butt when we are down. Sometimes infections such as Staph can become resident in tissues which just can't be reached by normal modes of treatment even with antibiotics, particularly in the brain cavity and in bones. In small animals the forms of treatment that would be applied to humans in similar circumstance just can't be used, firstly because they are incredibly expensive, require prolonged treatment and are in themselves poisons - have to be administered intravenously and place even mammal (human) patients at significant risk of liver problems or other complications.

If these symptoms were found in a human I'm sure the most likely culprit that would be examined is Staph aureus (golden staff). Note that diseases such as necrotizing faciitis and severe lung infections are all associated with Staph infections.

I would be interested to see if there are any blook culture results that have been done on these animals.
If you wait, all that happens is that you get older. M. Andretti
User avatar
Katrina
The Daredevil
The Daredevil
Posts: 9767
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 3:34 pm
Country:
Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby Katrina » Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:46 am

Thanks Scott - I was hoping you would post. I think that Susann did blood cultures with Joey? I haven't, we did a culture from the eye only.

A bit of an update - we switched to antiviral and it has been 9 days since we started with it. He is now in the past couple days showing some improvement - his eyes have been staying open lately. I'm optimistic, although these improvements have been seen in the other cases. We are going to continue with the antiviral drops and lysine for 4 weeks and will talk in another week or two to see how things are going.

Again, with Riff-Raff the eyes are the only signs of concern. His appetite, activity level, responsiveness is all great.
User avatar
Katrina
The Daredevil
The Daredevil
Posts: 9767
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 3:34 pm
Country:
Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: Eye / toe / RI issues in gigas BTS

Postby Katrina » Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:02 pm

Another update - antiviral was promising but doesn't seem to have had any lasting effects. He has been on it for 3.5 weeks and is much the same.

Just spoke to the vet - he would like to try laser therapy. He said it is normally used for skeletal / muscular problems but seems to have really good immune system response. I'm going to read more into it, but he said there is a vet that has used for lots of exotics with great results. There isn't always a lot of good data on what to do for reptiles if the usual medications don't work, but this seems to have no negative side effects unlike lots of the other experimental things he could try. So we will need to bring Riff-Raff in for 10 short sessions, 3 per week for 2 weeks and then 2 per week for another 2 weeks.

Scott - I mentioned Staph aureus, so he will take that into consideration.

Edit to add: My vet is absolutely amazing. Because this is experimental and kind of pricey he is doing it for half price and is willing to refund half again if there is no positive results. He really has gone above and beyond, with all the time spend researching, talking to me etc. and all he has made off of it is the one initial check up cost. Everything else I have paid is for the various medications.

Return to “Advanced BTS Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests