A few days ago I took my bearded dragon, Brutus, to the vet. I had the appointment scheduled because he has been gaping a little when not over-heated, and made a weird gurgling-snorting wheeze the other day.
When we first got there, Brutus was a happy shade of brown. Bearded dragons show how they are feeling by their color. Happy dragons in the mood to run around tend to be (unless there is a color-morph present) light brown to medium brown with a light beard. Angry beardies are black or dark grey on their back, limbs, head, tail, and a blackish beard. Beardies sunning themselves are darkly colored and spread their ribs to absorb more light, and have light colored beards.
Brutus's lungs checked out clear, and blood tests came back healthy, besides being a little anemic. He is underweight, though, so I will be having a fecal test done for parasites sometime this week. The sample was collected today, but the vet is a bit of a commute from the well. The sample will be kept cool for two days until I can drop it off. Lizards don't usually poop everyday like most pets, because they have slower digestive systems than mammals and birds.
One thing that puzzled the vet, though, were his thick cornea. The cornea is the clear "lens" that forms the outer layer over the eye. Brutus's cornea are thick enough that you can see through them from behind and in front. It projects from his eye like a thick lens made of tears. The vet thought it may be kidney disease, but the blood tests dispelled that idea. In the end, the veterinarian settled on that Brutus simply is "a funny looking lizard."
Brutus had his eyes poked and pressed during examination. The vet opened his mouth by pulling the skin on his chin, and held him belly-up for longer than Brutus liked when showing me his single set of male glands. After scaring Brutus more than he had ever been scared before, the vet sat him on a heat-pack wrapped in a washcloth on the examination table. Shamed and cold, Brutus crouched low and turned a stormy grey. The vet saw this, and said he seems depressed. But wouldn't it be easier to gauge an animal's overall happiness before violating the said animal's space?
Brutus was the runt of the litter, and a pet-store dragon. Small size at birth and unhealthy stock may be the reason for his thinness. Genetic mutation and poor breeding may explain his unique eyes. I will be adding more insects to his diet to help him put weight on, and some spinach for iron. Once I get the fecal test results and speak with the veterinarian, I will make an educated decision on continued course of action.