‘Now We Know’
Caring For Creatures
Toby has been acting more energetic in the last few days and eating decently.
Last week I wouldn’t have been able to say that.
Even though I read all the pamphlets at the pet store, learned all I could from the reptile owners I knew and Googled all the must-do’s and must-not-do’s when it came to caring for a bearded dragon.
‘Beardies’ are apparently on the easy-care list of all the reptiles.
Still, even being on the ‘easy’ list they require particular tank temperature and UV exposure, a broad variety of fruits, squash and leafy green vegetables, a decent supply of mealworms and crickets, fresh water daily, vitamin supplement and added calcium to their diet.
I should have known when we bought Toby that he would be a picky eater…it runs in the family.
That said, our beardie doesn’t eat as much food variety or as much food in general as he should…and never has.
It’s common for a bearded dragon to get dehydrated easily too as they usually aren’t big on drinking water straight from a dish.
Well, I learned something new last week at the expense of poor Toby.
Even though we tried our best and did all the right things for him, he got sick.
One day I noticed Toby was acting a bit odd. He wasn’t running after the crickets like he normally did and didn’t care for the arugula I was hand-feeding him. I thought maybe he was in shed as they lose their appetite when they shed their skin as they grow.
A day or two went by and I noticed a few more things. Toby began to gulp air…a lot. He had tremor-type movement of his limbs, he was lethargic and still wasn’t eating or drinking…that I noticed. I also noticed his tail was crooked at the end and it hadn’t been before and he was acting so strange…like he was out of it completely.
To Google I went.
I love animals. However, (and I know I might get judged for this) when it comes to certain animals like reptiles, rodents or fish, paying large vet bills for acute care is simply not in the cards. Daisy makes the cut but I was determined to find a solution to help Toby on my own.
Typing in the symptoms I observed, I came across MBD — Metabolic Bone Disease. Toby had every symptom.
Knowing his little appetite and lack of thirst, it made sense as to why he was acting that way. The cure?…or at least I hoped?…Syringe-fed calcium and vitamin supplements dissolved in water.
The literature said that if they aren’t too sick, the method would help them recover and they would slowly get their appetite and energy back.
After the first day, we thought we noticed a difference. The second day, we definitely did.
The hand-fed ‘bottle-feeding’ and caring for that creature was working.
Today, Toby seems like he is feeling the best he’s felt in a long time. He’s eating, running around and fairly back to normal…thankfully.
Now we know.