Sunny - my Beardie - is having life saving surgery

I Like Rare Fish

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When you voted for the pet of the month, you may have seen my story. It was sad, because my lizard was dieing. My pet of the month entry story was this:

So, about a month ago, My bearded Dragon Sunny was assessed by a local exotic animal vet. We noticed he had a mass on his lip. He was diagnosed with Advanced Pariondontal Disease. This stemmed from the pet store he was kept at. He wasn’t kept at the right humidity, and it resulted in fungus around his mouth and periodontal disease. So, we took him to a separate animal vet that I used for my tortoises before. He specializes in Desert Reptiles. Without putting him under sedation, he noticed something terrible. His jaw bone was protruding from his gums. In other words, his bone was fractured. After further investigation, he noticed he had very advanced bone infection. The bone infection attacks Bone marrow, and spreads all over around the body, overall killing his bone marrow, thus killing him. They are very aggressive, and can only be taken out surgically. Unfortunatly, this surgery is very expensive, and costs 3k. I don’t know about you, but i don’t have 3k lying around. He is in pain, and at the end, I decided to euthanize him. I’ve had him for 6 years. He is the best lizard ever. He chases vacuums, eats Dubia Roaches with a passion, loves sweet potato, and absolutely adores the sun. The euthanasia is happening sometime in the next week. I’m absolutely heartbroken 💔. He is eating, and loving his last few days, he sits next to 2 of my Desert Tortoises, not having enough energy to chase them away from his micro green Pile. I was going to put in a different picture, but I feel I need to commemorate this guy and post a picture of his last few days. Everyone hates to lose pets. Thanks for reading 🙏

For those who haven’t seen the edited part, he is going to live!

But, under further investigation, the surgery will cost 1k. The original thought was that he had a bone infection on both sides of his jaw. From what it looked like on X-rays, that's what it was. But I decided to pay 200 dollars for exploratory surgery. I did this because I wanted to know I did everything to help him. They put him under and poke around in his mouth. Instead of bone infections on both sides, they found bone infections on the jaw bone and a different bone that is hard to pronounce.

The surgery price went down by almost 2k. They do need to remove a mass caused by the Periodontal Disease.

My thought process was: He was my first pet. His personality is great. The probability I will own another beardie is low. I want to do whatever I can to help him. I have a lot of things I can sell to get to 1k. Basketball hoop, drum set, and tons of different things I've outgrown over the years. My parents will not pay 1 penny. All my friends love him. They love feeding him, and he has became popular around my neighborhood because I have him out in the front. He chases vacuums, which is something special. I love him.

The vet who will do the surgery is the #1 Reptile vet in the US, and I use him for yearly checkups for my tortoises. I entirely trust him. So, with tears of joy in my eyes, I make this post. I'm going to keep him alive

Im so excited. Sorry for the long post, but this will be a thread for his surgery And recovery. Surgery is happening in the next 2 weeks.

Thanks for reading,
I Like Rare Fish
 

wasmewasntit

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Like I said in your other thread....

As much as I admire your passionate care for this animal, I cannot help but wonder about the quality of life after surgery

Animals cannot make us truly aware of their pain threshold, their emotions or any of their physical/mental problems and needs.

We as humans like to think that we know when our pet is happy or sad or hurting, but deep down we really don't

My fear for this animal is that you go through with the surgery and it gives you a false hope that all will be as it was before the problems started. Sometimes you listen to what you are told but not always hear anything more than you want to hear.

I understand that you trust the vet implicitly. It is a good thing to have a strong relationship with any medical professional but that can sometimes cloud judgement

Personally I would seek a second and third opinion. Not just on what is wrong but what course of action they would suggest.....if they all agree that the surgery is doable and has at least an 80% chance of survivability and a 95% chance of not decreasing quality of life then, great, stick with the vet that you know and trust, raise the funds and go for it......though always remember that success percentages are very much tempered according to the individual animal, its age, its overall health etc.

Sometimes our heart and good intentions can make decision making very muddy. It is abundantly clear that you love this animal to bits and you do not want to go down the road towards euthanasia, I understand that. But at the same time you must place your own feelings and wishes aside and think about the actuality and aftermath of surgery on this animal, you and the vet have no real idea what physically and mental effect it will have. Reptiles are notoriously difficult to handle anaesthesia. This is where having more than one vet opinion is crucial...your trusted vet is probably wonderful but can you be 100% sure that what he is saying will happen or is he just saying it cos its you and he is saying what he knows you want to hear?

You would be devastated if this beloved animal didn't make it through surgery or passed in the weeks/months afterwards....you have built your hopes up so much by the words of this one vet that you trust so much. This is why you really need another 1 or 2 opinions (preferably 2 more) so that you are fully educated of every potential eventuality and can then make the right choice by weighing up everything on behalf of the animal and not your heart.

JMO.
 
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I Like Rare Fish

I Like Rare Fish

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The leading reptile vet seems to think he will do great in the surgery. Beardies will change behavior when in pain. Like, he doesn’t have very much energy.
 

wasmewasntit

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The leading reptile vet seems to think he will do great in the surgery. Beardies will change behavior when in pain. Like, he doesn’t have very much energy.
Well, as harsh as this might sound, I sincerely hope you and your favoured vet are right.

Cos to be perfectly honest with you, I feel that you are placing your own hopes, wishes and passion for this animal above the actual animal's future welfare and health

The reason I say that is simply cos there is no vet on this entire planet who can absolutely guarantee success in any form of treatment, cannot absolutely guarantee a recurrence of the issues, cannot absolutely guarantee that the animal will not suffer detrimental effects or a good quality of life during or after surgery. Which is why when contemplating such invasive surgery, you should always get 2 or 3 opinions and not stick with the one vet you have used for years who will tell you what you want to hear.

Sometimes its kinder to let an animal go with dignity, than to furnish one's own feelings and wishes to keep it alive. It is an exceptionally difficult choice to make, in particular to this animal where its invasive surgery on the mouth....are you fully prepared to deal with the very real potential that it may never be able to feed itself due to nerve or bone/cartilage damage that occurred during surgery?

Don't get me wrong, I really do understand that you love this animal massively....but are you absolutely sure that your decision is based on its needs or are you being blinded by your own needs, wishes and desires to keep it alive at all costs regardless of what doing so affects the animal and its quality of life?
 
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I Like Rare Fish

I Like Rare Fish

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Well, as harsh as this might sound, I sincerely hope you and your favoured vet are right.

Cos to be perfectly honest with you, I feel that you are placing your own hopes, wishes and passion for this animal above the actual animal's future welfare and health

The reason I say that is simply cos there is no vet on this entire planet who can absolutely guarantee success in any form of treatment, cannot absolutely guarantee a recurrence of the issues, cannot absolutely guarantee that the animal will not suffer detrimental effects or a good quality of life during or after surgery. Which is why when contemplating such invasive surgery, you should always get 2 or 3 opinions and not stick with the one vet you have used for years who will tell you what you want to hear.

Sometimes its kinder to let an animal go with dignity, than to furnish one's own feelings and wishes to keep it alive. It is an exceptionally difficult choice to make, in particular to this animal where its invasive surgery on the mouth....are you fully prepared to deal with the very real potential that it may never be able to feed itself due to nerve or bone/cartilage damage that occurred during surgery?

Don't get me wrong, I really do understand that you love this animal massively....but are you absolutely sure that your decision is based on its needs or are you being blinded by your own needs, wishes and desires to keep it alive at all costs regardless of what doing so affects the animal and its quality of life?
I’m confident in his skills. He has done many procedures on my desert tortoises. I talked to the vet, and he said everything will be normal after his long recovery. He’s done “many surgeries with positive outcomes. I’ve only had reptiles die from uknown complications. They will almost always recover fine”. If I can cure him from his pain, I will.
 

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