October 31, 2007

Tycho's Decline

Tycho, our much-beloved bearded dragon, injured himself yesterday. He somehow managed to pull one of his claws out. Afterward, he looked far more listless and dejected than he should have. LL found a local vet who treats reptiles and so we took him in for an appointment yesterday afternoon. The results of his examination were not good.

It seems that Tycho's advanced age is beginning to catch up with him. The most worrisome diagnosis was that his kidneys may be failing. He's dehydrated and having problems with excretion due to this. The vet also detected a thickening in his intestine which may be a simple impaction, a blockage due to a foreign body, or potentially a cancerous tumor.

He's been given some shots, including vitamins A & D, calcium, and water to help bring his hydration back up. The vet suggested running a bunch of tests including radiology and suggested that he may need surgery.

The thing is, as much as we love our lizard, the bill for yesterday's trip to the vet has already totaled over $500. The additional tests would send us over the $1000 mark. We simply don't have that kind of money. Tycho is also 11 years old; he's already passed the typical lifespan for his species in captivity. Even if we did have the money for all of this, the likelihood is that it wouldn't buy him more than a few months. If we had the resources, we might still do it... but spending that much money right now would make things like rent and food a difficulty.

Sadly, all we can do is hope for the best. We'll change Tycho's diet and do what we can for him. I'm worried sick about him, of course. He's been with LL and I for as long as she and I have been together and it would be nice if Tycho could live as long as we will.

But he's a lizard, and now he's an old lizard. It may be that his time is coming soon. It's hard to imagine life without Tycho, but we may very well have to start thinking about it.

One thing that LL and I have decided is that when Tycho goes, whenever that may be, we're not going to get another reptile, at least not for a long time. We were very lucky with Tycho; he's been a great pet and companion. It's very unlikely that we'll find another like him, and if we got another reptile that's exactly what we'd be looking for. That wouldn't be fair to either the new reptile or ourselves.

I'm hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. For now, we're just going to keep him comfortable and perhaps get him a new satin blanket. He's always had a thing for satin.

Sphere: Related Content