In the past 24 hours my iguana has caught a really bad respiratory problem. I mean, really frightening to look at him gasp for air with foam, bubbles and phlegm oozing out of the mouth.

My question is , what is the usual protocol in treating this situation? I ask because I'm a very suspicious person about professionals fleecing me because "they know they can." Money really is no object but I don't want to come across as such.
What am I looking at for a vet bill? Will this be a painful series of Baytril shots? Is there any alternative to shots, period?

Thanks for ANY advice in the next hour!
P
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Iguana lover (Email Removed) typed this:
In the past 24 hours my iguana has caught a really bad respiratory problem. I mean, really frightening to look at him gasp for air with foam, bubbles and phlegm oozing out of the mouth.

I'm sorry to hear that! However if the RI is advanced to the point of major foam, bubbles, and phlegm, it has probably been growing for a lot longer than 24 hours. Reptiles take a loong time to show serious symptoms of illness and weakness, it is behaviorally understandable considering most reptile's range of predators. They will try to hide it for months!
My question is , what is the usual protocol in treating this situation? I ask because I'm a very ... because "they know they can." Money really is no object but I don't want to come across as such.

Have you got a vet that you TRUST? Any vet with personal recommendations from other herpers in your area?
What am I looking at for a vet bill?

Without a discount, me + the herp society paid a total of $365 to treat acute pneomonia in a 16 pound snake. I also had to pay for anethesia twice, to draw her blood.
She was worth every penny, she's 24 lbs and my best beloved snake, now! Emotion: smile

Will this be a painful series of Baytril shots?

They might try that! In many cases Baytril is uneffective against respiratory infections... you might request that they try an alternative, like Amakacin. Baytril is a vile substance and causes necrosis on injection sites, ow! IMO it would be wise for the vet to run a bacterial swab/culture and a complete blood panel, considering how far along the illness is.
Is there any alternative to shots, period?

Oral antibiotics, in some cases. Could be quite a large amount if your animal is heavy.
Thanks for ANY advice in the next hour!

fr0glet
They might try that! In many cases Baytril is uneffective against respiratory infections... you might request that they try an ... for the vet to run a bacterial swab/culture and a complete blood panel, considering how far along the illness is.

I don't completely agree with the above statement. I would modify it to say something like "Baytril is occasionally* ineffective" and that it *occasionally causes necrosis at the injection site. For the most part it is a pretty safe and effective drug when used correctly.

Just my .02...
-Z
Money really is no object

Interesting statement. I know a man who paid in excess of $900.00 for a vet bill at Angell Memorial Hospital in Boston many years ago for treatment of a young iguana, whose problem I have since forgotten. The iguana died.
I consider this man an expert in the keeping of green iguanas.

(Jamie Gordon, if you're out there, help me out !)

I'm almost 38 years old and when I started keeping exotics (back then an exotic reptile was a boa constrictor found at the dock in Charlestown hidden in a bunch of bananas), I had no knowledge of treatments for any ailments especially respiratory problems, and there was nothing reliable in print to refer to.
My own treatment, passed down from "Those Who Know More" (thank you Rick and Mary Stafford) was to crank up the temperature in the enclosure to 92-95 degrees F.
That's air temperature, by the way. Not the measurement of some heat pads hotspot. I've cured many a reptile respiratory infection with this method and the only cost is a moderate increase in the electric bill. One to two weeks at high temps and make sure there's plenty of water.

Baytril works, and most vets will let you take the injections home with you, but you will still have to crank up the temperature somewhat while treating the animal.
Cheers,
Kurt Schatzl
http://www.neherp.com
bumper sticker, Honda Accord, Huntington Ave, Boston, MA: "If you Drink, Don't Park. Accidents Cause People"
Zetekitoxin (Email Removed) typed this:
They might try that! In many cases Baytril is uneffective ... a complete blood panel,considering how far along the illness is.

I don't completely agree with the above statement. I would modify it to say something like "Baytril is occasionally ineffective" ... the injection site. Forthe most part it is a pretty safe and effective drug when usedcorrectly. Just my .02... -Z

I'll settle for that... I've only injected Baytril into 7 animals and it caused necrosis in all of them. I'm sure there are animals out there it doesn't respond so negatively with, I just haven't met them yet. Emotion: smile
One time, I accidentally scratched the tip of my pinky finger with a Baytril needle... my whole pinky finger swelled up and it turned black and blue all the way down to half-way down the side of my palm!!

fr0glet
Well, everyone, I'm back from the vet (that was yesterday) and I let the animal stay over night for observation and today he's going to get Xrays.

It seems, if you believe this because i don't, the animal is stopped up, as in, hasn't crapped in two days and he got very bloated in the abdomin.

Someone, of there in reptile forum land, please tell me, so i can understand, HOW getting constipated results in symptoms that mimic respiratory ailment? PLEASE!!!
I've phoned in twice today to get un update but no one has "time" to explain anything to me.
So my question is how did this happen and what should i do to keep the vet in line and not take advantage of me. I act real cheap and stingy by asking him the price everything and I get the feeling they must think I'm *** to even worry about when it comes your cherished pet, Am i right about that?
Thanks, ya'll!! I\'ll check back soon!
you might request that they try an
alternative, like Amakacin. Baytril is a vile substance and causes ... complete blood panel, considering how far along the illness is.

Dear Z,
This is what i have learn thru 1800petmeds.com. Baytril IS available in tablet form in 22.7 mg for small animals like mine @ $1.00 per pill per day for 10 days so why would my vet be insistant on me using the syringes? Is this just to make money off me (since the shots are not available online) or is there some medical logic or rationale to why a shot and only shot NO PILLS.
I'm going to pick up my 16-pounder tomorrow and i want to go in there "armed" with knowledge unlike the *** I was a few weeks ago when I paid $30 for a 3.5 MG tube of $5 on-line generic ointment . I'll be damned if I'm going to get fleeced again and, more importantly, put my pet thru possible necrosis and pain for no good reason just to make vet richer.

So if anyone out there has some wisdom they would like to share, I'm here!!!
Thanks
What a gorgeous snake, Fr0glet, though I've told you that before. Emotion: smile

I'd opt away from Baytril too. It's very effective on dogs, although not the MOST effective any more, and very expensive, and the necrotic injection sites plus the dubious value makes it not the antibiotic of choice, IMO.
Iguanas with advanced respiratory infections usually need to have the disease attacked using a combination of treatment modalities. First you need to raise the ambient temperature as well as the humidity. This is imperitive for the iguana's recovery. The warm temps will boast the immune system as well as allowing any medications to work properly. The cage temp should be in the mid-90's F with a humidity in at least the mid-80's ramge. To ensure the greatest rate of survival an antibiotic given by injection is absolutely necessary.

Oral antibiotics do not work well in reptiles because they don't absorb them from their GI systems as do mammals. Baytril usually is completely useless in lower airway infections as it is not an effective treatment against gram-negative rods which are usually one of the bacterial culprets that are attacking the iguana's lungs. If a vet or herpetoculturist recommended any oral antibiotics I would find another professional pronto! Oral antibiotics are useless in reptiles.

The only oral meds that reptiles should receive are the ones that treat parasitic infections. Injectable antibiotics have been used with success in mammals that have a temperature in the 90'sF or even 100'sF. Thereby in order for injectable antibiotics to work properly the reptile's temp must also be maintained into the mid-90'sF. Many reptiles can't handle temps much over 95-100F without causing other problems. Remember they are ectothermic. Which antibiotic to use is the next question.

The best thing to do is to have cultures taken of the reptile's nasal & oral discharges. By culturing the nasal/oral discharges you will have concrete evidence of the best antibiotics to use. Once the cultures are taken antibiotics should be started immediately to afford the lizard/snake the best chance of recovery. Aminoglycosides (i.e. Amakacin or gentomicin) are the drugs of choice. However these drugs have some serious side effects especially to the animal's kidneys.

Often veterinarians will alternate the aminoglycosides with another antibiotic that poses less risk to the kidneys. Because aminoglycosides pose serious risks to the kidneys proper hydration is imperative to prevent serious & permanent renal damage. I use & recommend giving fluids directly into the abdominal cavity but unless one is experienced in this procedure they could cause more harm than good. It's easy to nick the liver or other vital organs leading to the animal's demise.

Establishing an IV line in a reptile is next to impossible. Simple hydration methods include soaking the animal in either tepid H2O or unflavored Pedialyte or giving fluids via gastric tube. Giving fluids via GI tube presents some risk of getting fluids into the reptile's lungs which could also prove fatal. Again it is best to have someone experienced in reptile husbandry help you with this procedure. In summary the best treatment to date is 1) keeping the reptile warm at 90-95F with a humidity in the mid-80% range or higher.

2) Taking cultures of the oral & nasal discharges before starting any antibiotics. 3) Giving a proper antibiotic or combination of antibiotics after appropriate cultures have been taken. Usually a combination of Amikacin with another antibiotic are the drugs of choice. 4) Maintain proper hydration. 5) Start chest physiotherapy to help move secretions up & out of the respiratory tree. Again consult a vet or herptetoculturist experienced with this procedure.

Good luck, snake lady
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