Reptiles/Need Help!!!!!


QUESTION: hey tracie I noticed that you are on a lot of beardie forums. so my lil guys foot is swollen and kinda split open on top. the botton is swollen and almost looks like a bruise. I have all the proper lighting and basking lights, and supplement with calcium and he has a varied diet between crickets, worms(green), lettuce, fruits, and other veggies. he still has an apitite but he does not put any weight down on his foot or let you touch it. o believe he hurt his self on a log because I noticed blood on the log and then this has slowly gotten worse. I went to my local reptile store and they said to just cut his hand off :/
I gave him a warm bath and put anti biotic cream on it but it does not seem to be helping.
please if you can help I would really appreciate it. they are my 3 year old sons and would hate to have to explain to him that his baby illa went bye bye.

ANSWER: Hello Stormi,

Wow, it sounds like he may have gout, or a bacterial infection.  Do you have any pictures of him & how old is he?
Which UVB light are you using, is it a fluorescent tube bulb or a compact/coil light?
What are the temperatures like for him?
What type of calcium do you use, a powder or liquid?
What kind of substrate do you have, carpet, paper towels, sand?  

First, if you can go get some black cherry juice to help with high uric acid levels, that should get him started.  Give daily for him, to help with swelling.  You could give a daily bath, too.  If it looks like gout based on pictures, I can recommend getting allopurinol, for full blown gout.  You can purchase it online without a prescription.   
You can also get some antibiotic ointment to help in case it is getting infected, too.  Do you leave crickets in the tank with him for long periods of time?

Let me know how he is doing.

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foot and leg
foot and leg  
QUESTION: So it's a normal uvb light compact coil. It seems as if the bath is making it worse and I've put the antibiotic ointment isn't helping either. His Temps are anywhere between 80 and 90. And no crickets are not in there with him for long periods of time. He's still a baby I got him maybe 3 months ago. And I have carpet substrate and calcium powder here is an image of it. It seems now it's splitting open worse....

Hello Stormi,

I recommend changing his compact/coil UVB light out, to either the Reptisun 10 tube or the Arcadia D3 12% tube for a much better UVB exposure.
For basking, he will need a basking range/temperature of around 95-110 along with a cool end of 78-82 measure with a temp gun or digital probe.
How long do you leave crickets in there with him, do you think they could have bitten him?
Is the one foot the only extremity that is swollen right now?
Which antibiotic ointment are you using?  I would try getting some silver cream that you can find at CVS or Walgreens.  It should be in the area where the antibiotic ointments are, without a prescription I believe.  
It doesn't look like gout, since no other areas are swollen right now.  How long has it looked like this?

Let me know how he is doing.


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Tracie Kretzschmar


I can answer questions pertaining to health, UVB specifics, overall husbandry care & supplementation, analysis of blood test results, and behavioral problems & handling. I can answer questions pertaining to bearded dragons, leopard geckos, iguanas, uromastyx & ball pythons. I can answer adeno virus related questions in bearded dragons, & then specifically about the testing methods as well. I am beginning an Pogona Adeno Testing Society in 2008 which will help to begin to start some standardization within the bearded dragon colonies of the breeders who choose to test.


I have been working with bearded dragons for over 5 years now, as well as leopard geckos, too. I am currently doing rescues, as well. I hope to be able to educate people prior to them purchasing an exotic pet in order to avoid any health crisis with them.

I have a master's degree in sports medicine & physiology, & 1 year of vet tech schooling, & am currently working on a reptile certification through the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.

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