Our bearded dragons teach us so many things. I have learned so much from them. I have four bearded dragons.Two girls and two boys. I write about their antics here.
|Posted by Brian on February 19, 2018 at 12:35 AM||comments (1)|
Well, we meet again. Today is February 18, 2018. I renewed this site, and decided to catch you up. I moved from New York to North Carolina. Life has been challenging to say the least. I lost Daisy Juanita from a prolaps, and Angel Lynn from his heart being lower than it should have been. With Angel he was labored in his breathing. Daisy kept prolapsing. I have photo's and xrays of both. Daisy was harder to take. Not that I loved one more than the other, Daisy was happy, Angel was not. Angel Lynn was constantly tired. Daisy was fine, but the prolaps. I will share the photo's and reports, what was done and what happened.
My Best to you, Brian
|Posted by Brian on January 11, 2014 at 4:25 AM||comments (1)|
Posting the Necropsy photo's of Val was harder than I thought. I have been procrastinating in posting them for a very long time. I have scanned in the actual "report" that the Doctor's prepared, and I will get that on this site as soon as I can. (to be found on the Necropsy page).
The final conclusion of Valerie's death was Salmonella I believe. I will re-read the report. I find it hard to swallow, being that all tests on the fluid that was apirated from her gullet over the past 11 months came back negative for any bacterium. However, I realize that bacteria in the "fluid" vs. bacteria in the "blood" are two totally different things.
I noticed that in t hose photo's of Val, I see "black" inside of her. Seeing the black color is of course a "red" flag to me. The location of the "black" coloring was a surprise to me, as it was up and down the sides of her body, and not near her gullet where the outter physical problems were.
I kept Val on paper towels, and changed them often. I was especially careful NOT to allow bacteria in her hom, or food/water dishes. I took special care, and prided myself as such. So this, was a huge kick in my face, and an embarrassment of sorts as well.
Someone said, "she could have gotten a bad cricket" or a "bad worm". Perhaps her immune system wasn't the same as your other dragons, therefore, she succummed where the others didn't have a problem at all.
Whenever I think back on Valerie Rose, I smile. I remember what a character she was, and how close we became in her time of illness. I think of our trips to the park. I think of all of the trouble only she would get into!
I think of handing her off to the Vet tech in Cornell saying "Go on Bal....Be a good girl, now you go"....and never seeing her again.
I think why the hell didn't I do something else sooner? 11 months of aspirating the fluid from her gullet? REALLY? 11 months?? Why didn't I go somewhere else and try something different?
Why did I ever let her out of my arms that night?
I "should have" just let her pass away in my arms, close to my chest, warm, and loved with her Daddy.
I should have.
Why didn't I ?
Well, I can't go back in time. So I have had to let that go. I have come to accept that Valerie is with me ALWAYS in spirit, and I wear her ashes around my neck whenever I go anywhere.
I only "hope" now, that her story can help somehow.
I can only "hope" that I WILL see her again someday.
|Posted by Brian on February 19, 2013 at 8:05 PM||comments (0)|
I decided to build a "portable" playpen for my dragons. A playpen on wheels (thus the "portable") that can be rolled inside, and back outside for basking in the real true sunlight. The costs of buying these types of enclosures is so exadurated it is hard to afford them. A sheet of good plywood costs $20.00. The hardware, netting or chicken fencing, depending on what you decide to pick, can run $50.00. Wheels, again, depending on what you choose, can run anywhere from $5.50-to $20.00 each. Stain for protecting the wood, can run $8.00 per can or more again, depending on the stain, and the size of your enclosure.
Here is what I came up with:
|Posted by Brian on October 21, 2011 at 9:30 PM||comments (0)|
I haven't been keeping current with this site. Forgive me. In all honesty, I have been losing weight, doing more, and trying not to sit at the computer for to long.
But this needs to be said. We have been going back and fourth to the vet for a total of 11 months with Valerie Rose to get her neck/beard/throat area aspirated.
In the end, Val passed away at Cornell Emergency Veterinary Hospital in Ithaca, NY, at 12:30 am Thursday the 20th of October, 2011.
I ordered a Necropsy (autopsy) done on Valerie. I also DEMANDED Photograph's or Video of that process. This is something I HAVE NEVER DONE on ANY of my animals.
But....There is SO LITTLE out there by way of information on Lizards/Bearded Dragons that I NEEDED to have this done. For all those dragons that are still with us.....This information is PRICELESS.
I will write more soon.
I do have everything in Chronological order as to Valerie's case.
I am going to share EVERYTHING, INCLUDING THE PHOTO'S.
|Posted by Brian on April 20, 2011 at 12:02 AM||comments (0)|
My wife and I had to take Valerie Rose to the vet a few weeks back. In November of 2010 Valerie had that hanging incidient....Well, as time passed, her gullet (throat/beard area) started slowly growing larger.
Dr. L. took out 20 cc's of a green/black fluid. The fluid was tested for EVERYTHING. The results came back clean. Nothing wrong, no infection, no cancers, no bad "juju" at all.
Well....with 20 cc's of fluid out of her gullet, Valerie was feeling her oats!
I had to leave the day after Val's vet visit. I got a phone call from my wife..."Honey I am glad I was home, because we could have lost Valerie"....In all honesty. This line has been said so much, that I knew Valerie would be okay.
The saying in our home is...."If anything is going to happen, you can bet it's going to happen to Val!"
Turns out Valerie decided to shimmy and twist her way DOWN TO HER BROTHER Angel Lynn on the level below her. (a problem I "fixed" or so I thought.) When my wife noticed this, Angel Lynn was on top of Valerie whispering "sweet nothings" in her ear!
Since my wife grabbed Angel off of Val.....both dragons have been HIGHLY liquered up & pissed off! (I can't blame them!) I have been home from North Carolina for a week and Angel Lynn is STILL p.o'd!
Now, Valerie Rose may be pregnant. I have NEVER bred my dragons. I don't have a desire to. I am NOT and NEVER will be a breeder.
Because Valerie may be pregnant with Angel Lynn's babies, I was actually thinking of saving the eggs and incubating them. I HAVE NO CLUE HOW TO DO THIS.
"IF" Valerie is going to lay the eggs anyway......I WILL save them.
We had to take Valerie back to the vet a few days ago. The fluid in her gullet came back. The Doc. aspirated ANOTHER 20 cc's! I asked the Doctor then, if there was a way to surgically make Valerie "stop" laying eggs. Basically, the surgery is to risky, and I just won't do it.
So.........on that note. God only knows if Valerie and Angel are going to be parents. If they are, I truly need any advise anyone can give me on incubating and hatching these precious creatures.
Thanks for reading,
|Posted by Brian on January 10, 2011 at 1:49 PM||comments (0)|
As you know, my wife and I have five Bearded Dragons.
We keep four out of the five in a converted trophy case in our living room.
(Puff Puff has his own tank on the other side of our living room.)
I like to rotate the dragons with "time out" of their enclosure.
Valerie Rose was next to have a few hours out to roam the house.
Now, don't get me wrong. I am not a complete idiot. I am right here in the living room to supervise Val. We have had our dragons for almost three years now. I have made it "routine" to allow them "out" time.
My wife didn't feel well, so she was in bed when I let Valerie out.
I was on my laptop finishing up an article, and my wife got up.
I heard my wife in the kitchen, and I continued typing on my laptop.
The next thing you know, I hear OH MY GOD!! Valerie!! Oh NO!!
I leaped out of my chair and my wife brought me Valerie's limp body.
I had forgotten to tell my wife Val was out roaming.
My wife had STEPPED on her.
When I looked at Val, she was alive, her beard was gray,
and her anus was popped out of her body.
I had NO CLUE what to do.
I prayed to my God. I stood in the living room holding Val, and looking to Heaven.
"Jesus please tell me what to do, I don't know what to do, PLEASE Father help me".
I asked my wife to bring me a tray table, a towel, a spray bottle filled with water, Q-Tips, and rubber gloves.
I put the towel on the table tray, I put Valerie on the table, and I spoke to her in a soft voice. I said, "Your gonna be okay baby girl, please bare with me, we will do this together".
I lifted Val's tail slowly, and saw the large red bubble with fecal matter on it. I gently sprayed the bubble with water to clean it off and keep it moist. After that, I looked up to Heaven to ask WHAT DO I DO NEXT??
Before I could think on my own. I put on my rubber gloves, and with my middle finger, (my "middle" finger is wider and I needed the "width" to cover the whole side of the bubble.)
I SLOWLY, and GENTLY (but firmly) guided the bubble back into Valerie's anus.
Val's beard was a darker shade of gray by now, and her tail even turned a gray/black.
I wrapped her in her small blanket, and held her for a few hours.
This was a Saturday night. Our Vet wasn't going to be open until Monday morning.
I did not trust the emergency vet. I have had BAD experiences here, and I knew in my heart I could care for Val better myself. I loved her. I trusted my God, and my Gut.
As I held Val in her blanket, I went online to www.justreptile.com and told the story of what just happen to "Joan" a vet tech. Joan was AWESOME! According to Joan I did the right thing in those circumstances (if the vet was open, I WOULD HAVE taken Valerie there immediately, and YOU SHOULD TOO if you can.) I told Joan that my wife and I were going to take Val to our vet first thing Monday morning.
On Monday morning we took Valerie to our vet. I told the Doc everything.
X-rays were done on Val to make sure her insides were in order, and that no bones were broken. We were all SHOCKED to see that everything was FINE. I worried that when I put her "insides" back , I could have damaged another organ, or pushed something out of place....but ALL was fine.
Soon Val would start eating again, and she did her first poop!
Today Valerie is just GREAT!
Here is a Video of Valerie's FIRST time eating AFTER her injury.
(**Dated: Nov. 18, 2009.)
***LESSON: If you wish to let your reptile "out":
ALWAYS KEEP YOUR EYE ON YOUR PET WHEN THEY ARE OUT OF THEIR ENCLOSURE. Always TELL everyone in the household when the pet is out.
Perhaps purchasing a playpen or play tunnel that is self contained would be better.
|Posted by Brian on December 7, 2010 at 9:05 PM||comments (0)|
I decided to TAKE THE PLUNGE!
I have been looking for new enclosures for our dragons.
Being that Christmas is nearing, I thought that Santa Clause could help me out.
I searched the internet.
I searched Amazon, eBay, and other sites.
I toured Cages By Design, Zilla, Big Apple Herp.....All of them.
I find that the reptile world is lacking in Bearded Dragon housing.
Let me re-phrase that.
I find that the reptile world is lacking in AFFORDABLE Bearded Dragon housing.
I saw individual enclosures (stackable) that were 48"L x 18H x24D.
Mind you, Bearded Dragons, or Uromastyx need the "long" and deep"
more than they need the height. So, This would be GREAT!
But.... I need FIVE. These were on eBay for $320.00 each.
With shipping the total would be $2,026.30.
The seller did tell me that he would take $10.00 off each enclosure.
I am not a builder. I have many talents, but construction is NOT one of them!
I REFUSE to pay $1,000.00 - $3,000.00 for an enclosure!
A year ago,
I won the bid for a Trophy case on eBay for $22.00
A school was getting rid of their old trophy cases, and I got a GREAT DEAL!
I rented a U-Haul van, and drove the hour and a half to pick it up.
Between gas and the rental and the actual Tophy case I spent $177.00.
The conversion was easy.
I went to Lowes and they custom cut the four shelves
to the measurements I needed. I bought molding for $2.89.
The light fixtures and lights were the big deal.
Now you are looking at $250.00.
I would even say I had spent another $100.00 in misc. stuff.
So the total for my enclosure $529.89.
Our 4 dragons were good to go! UNTIL....."PUFF" came into the mix.
This was my need for a new enclosure.
|Posted by Brian on November 19, 2010 at 5:59 PM||comments (0)|
Yesterday was another tough day for me. Since I have been on my new medication this past week, my body just isn't right. I was energetic the first three days, and then I went downhill to tired all the time.
The day started out slow. I could barely keep my eyelids open when my wife tried to wake me. I was supposed to take her to the Doctor, but I just couldn't get out of bed.
After some time had passed I finally got myself out of bed. I woke to an empty house. My wife had gone to the Doctor, the dragon lights were all on, and the dogs were in the hallway to greet me.
I went to the kitchen and got a cup of coffee. I put the coffee cup down at my laptop computer desk, and turned to say good morning to my dragons.
I was horrified to find my youngest female "Valerie Rose" HANGING by her neck. Val's beard was fat and light grey/black and her eyes were closed. My oldest male "Angel Lynn" is beneath her in the enclosure, and he was bumping her body "up". I opened the sliding glass door slowly to where Valerie was wedged.
I grabbed her gently, and put her to my chest as a tear rolled down my cheek. I looked up to Heaven and said "God Please??" I then placed her in front of me to see if I saw any "breathing".
Not only did I see breathing, but she opened her eyes, and tilted her head as if to say "is there a problem Daddy?"
I sat with Valerie in her "blankie" for hours. I was afraid to let her go. All of the dragons were calm. No black beards. No "glass dancing". Just calm.
I fixed the small "gap" that Val had got herself caught in between. I also inspected the enclosure carefully. Any potential problems have been eliminated.
The photo below was taken today. Valerie is STILL trying to find a way to get to her brother "Angel Lynn"!! Sorry Val.....PROBLEM FIXED!!
**** PLEASE REMEMBER that no matter the "size" of the dragon, they have a tendency to "wiggle" or instinctively "dig". Some dragons are not as determined as Valerie was, but please NEVER take the chance. Make sure your enclosure is sturdy and has NO GIVE. Trust me if it has the slightest "give" your dragon(s) WILL FIND IT. - Brian.
AFTER her Suicide Attempt, SHE'S AT IT AGAIN!
NO VALERIE! You cannot wiggle between the glass and your shelf anymore! Daddy fixed the problem! (she is as thick as a brick! I think she's Italian!)