How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Joan Your Own Question
Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 17781
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
Type Your Reptile Question Here...
Joan is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

my bearded dragon wont poop

This answer was rated:

my bearded dragon wont poop ive gave him warm baths he is a geman giant looks to be in good health and is happy and eyes sparkle he still eats and just today he started to dig im worried hes sick but he looks fine except he was just laying in the same spot all the time i mist him daily and feed him vitamins he has a heat light (Red) and a spot light for basking also a uv light or the long tube light ment for him

Hello and Happy New Year,

Can you tell me about the set up?

Are you sure of the sex?

Diet Prey/Veggies?


Heat source and temp?


UVB light? How old? Type coil or tube?


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
hi happy new year to u too.i have him in a 4 foot long by two feet wide by two fet deep fish tank fully vented top there is reptile sand i bought from the pet store i have a large water dish big enough for him to lay in a basking area with a sun glow 120 w on a spacific area. there is another spot with the heat lamp light infrared heat lamp i try to keep th temp a consistant 90 to 100 in the basking area and that light turns off at night the heat light always stays on and keeps that area at 80 then he has plenty of cool down spots the last light is a tube light repti glow 10.0 is what it says on it its been suggested to me he has the bumps on his back legs that im told prove hes a male he is under a year old but hes like a foot and a little bit long my last berdie never got as big as him i feed him butter worms and lots of different veg somtimes crickets he likes butter worms the best somtimes the pet store has horned worms and silkworms too i get thoes i try different things i got given on a list from the pet store from somone whos found what is saf for them to eat but he eats lots of butter worms his supplements are calcium+d3 and herptivite with beta carotene wich it says is a multivitamin the sand used to be the red calcium san and i cleaned out his tank and replaced it with a reptile sand called desert sand (black) from exo terra says its natural i also just recently moved him by a window whe on the upper level laying around area that is wood and rock he has been just not pooping for the last few weeks maybe month he used to poop every two to 5 days at least once a week he seems to be in good health and is happy he is moving around and being by the window seems to be enjoyful for him with the sun light on him i close the blinds at night half the tank is at the bottom of the window frame so he can still go to the sandy area and be away from the window opening or light from outside when the window blinds are open i also want to add i just 4 or 5 days ago put him by the window his tube light ive had for a few months


The first issue that you have is the Calci Sand. It is sold as a safe substrate, but is actually deadly to reptiles. I will give you a linksf or the two most deadly substrates:

Walnut shell Graphic: calci sand

I suspect your Dragon may be getting blocked from the sand substrate which would account for the lack of stool. It actually takes 7 years for the sand to completely move through the system. We can try some first aid to get the stool going. Please put your Dragon in a solution of 50/50 warm water and plain pedialyte. While in the soak please gently massage the abdomen. This should stimulate the passing of stool.The diet should not be Butter worms as that is like feeding candy. The silkworms, crickets, phoenix worms and roaches are a great staple prey. You can also add some butternut squash to the diet.

UVB light should be changed every 6 months as it looses potency, and UVB cannot penetrate glass as it is filtered. I am going to give you my care sheet and also a link to sexing the dragons, as your boy may be a girl since the digging you have described. Joan


Bearded Dragon Care Sheet

  • Bearded dragons should be housed alone.

  • Ages of bearded dragons follow these guidelines:

1. 0-3 months- baby
2. 3-12 months-juvenile
3. 12-18 months- sub adult
4. 18 months + -adult

  • Bearded dragons live as much as 10-12 years if well cared for properly.
  • Bearded dragons have a very good temperament as long as they are cared for and handled.
  • When you bring your baby home, it may be quite stressful to him/her to get use to new home. May not eat well the first 2-3 days. They may not need to be handled the first 2-3 days if skittish and nervous.
  • Never use sand or any other type of loose substrate: Loose substrates can cause impaction (not being able to go Poop) in all ages of bearded dragons- they lick their environment to explore .It is difficult to keep germ free and clean. Ceramic tile, newspaper, non adhesive shelf liner and reptile carpet is what is most recommended. Use paper towels for the little one and as they get bigger you can change to something else.
  • Be sure you keep your beardies home as clean as you can. Clean up by spot cleaning when needed. Clean & sanitize entire tank every 10-14 days. A good cleaning solution is a 20% bleach solution. If you choose to use wood climbing branches etc, these should be soaked in the bleach solution and rinsed well. Then bake in 250 degree oven for 30 minutes.
  • Need a climbing accessory: to bask and to warm up under basking heat light and lower branches or platforms to come down and cool off.
  • A hide of some sort like a cave.
  • A food dish and water dish.
  • Plastic spray bottle
  • Can use artificial plants when they get older- 3 months or so.
  • Digital thermostat and/or temp gun
  • Tank size: Minimal size tank for this age is 20 gallon long
  • Minimal size for older beardie: 4 months of age: 40 gallon breeder is the minimal tank size for older dragon. Can divide a 40 gallon breeder for a smaller dragon. Must have two lights for your beardie.

1. A UVB light source-best is 10.0 Reptisun that runs the length of your tank. Your dragon must have this light to metabolize calcium. If not he will get metabolic bone disease, a serious condition. You can also take your beardie outside to bask in the sun for 15 minutes each day if your temps are 80 degrees or above outside. You can purchase cages or reptariums from your pet store. Never leave a beardie outside unattended.
2. A basking type light that puts out heat and warmth above basking spot. Your beardie must have warmth to digest food & thrive.

  • Lights should be on for 12-14 hours each day. Follow the seasons and light timers are a great luxury if you can get them. 6 dollars at Lowe's. No lights or warmth needed at night unless your temperatures get below 62 degrees. If they do, there are ceramic heat emitters that put out no light, only heat. Use these at night if temperatures fall below 62 degrees.


  • Temperatures have to be kept at the following ranges during the day:

Babies: Warm basking log: 105-125 degrees F
Cool side: 85-90
Adults: Warm basking spot: 110-115
Cool side: 80-85
Measure temperatures with a digital probe type thermometer or a temp gun-these are most accurate. Stick on thermometers unreliable.

  • Feeding a Beardie: Beardies eat live prey consisting of crickets, roaches and/or silkworms. Never feed any size of mice to your beardie. Never feed meal worms. They also must be given greens/veggies everyday. The younger they are the more live prey they should have. As they grow older the live prey decreases and the veggies/greens should be the major part of diet. Never feed anything bigger, than the space between your beardie's eyes. This includes both live prey and pieces of veggies/greens,
  • A chopper or food processor is a huge help when your beardie is small. Always offer greens and veggies: collard greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, cabbage, red cabbage, fresh green beans, yellow summer squash, butternut squash, sweet potato, cactus pad. Apricots, strawberries, apples, blueberries, raspberries, cantaloupe- fruits are treats only.
  • What is live prey? The easiest and less expensive live prey is crickets when you have a young or first beardie. The other live preys you can feed are silkworms, and special types of roaches. You can learn to raise your own live prey. Treats can be wax worms, super worms, and tomato/Goliath worms. You may find that ordering live prey from the internet is the way to go..... Never leave live prey or greens/veggies in tank overnight. . Crickets can bite your beardie when sleeping.
  • Babies should get 80% live prey, and 20 % greens/veggies. But since the greens/veggies are a must when they are older, get them eating their greens/veggies very early. Give greens/veggies in small pieces everyday. You should eventually start decreasing your older dragon's protein intake when they are about a year to 15 months old. Their protein intake decreases to 20 % live prey and 80% veggies/greens.
  • A baby eat 50-75 crix a day depnding on the size of the crickets. Never feed crix or veggies bigger than the space between your beardie's eyes. Use this guide when buying crix or chopping your greens/veggies.
  • You must provide calcium dust without D3 and multivitamin dust for your beardie. You should dust the live prey with calcium one time a day, and vitamins 3 times a week. Just collect your live prey into baggie and add enough calcium and vitamin to dust them. Then pour a few at a time into your tank. Some people feed their beardie in a separate tank so that no crickets can hide. Or some take out "furniture" from tank and feed this way. As they get older, 4-5 months or so dust live prey with calcium 3 times a week.
  • Feed the veggies/ greens 1st thing in morning after lights on for one hour at least. Then after 2-3 hours offer crix. Then freshen green/veggies. Then give more crix. Make sure after last crix feeding there is at least 1-2 hours of lights so that they can digest their food before night time.

*Beardies over the age of one year old during the winter months will go into a Brumation like most Reptiles and Herps. It is a form of Hibernation that is governed by the weather and time of year. The lights should be on a shorter period at this time. Fresh greens should be available during this period. Do not feed live prey during Brumation.

Water: Mist your little one with the spray bottle 3-4 times a day. You can also offer a small dish of water in your enclosure but be sure your dragon is not too small to drown in it. It is recommended that when your beardie is 2 months old you can bathe your baby in a small plastic container with warm water- not hot. It will help them to stay hydrated. As they get older you can move up to the bathroom sink and then to the bathtub. Very important for bath enclosure to be thoroughly cleaned and rinsed prior to bath time. Clean between dragons too if bathing more than one.

If you have any further questions feel free to ask. I like to start people off with proper husbandry and then see if I can further assist. This is for fruits and Vegetables



Sexing bearded Dragons:


compact UVB problems:

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
i dont understand how he was pooping fine with the sand b4 0this only just started to happen why do they tell me that its the best thing for them to have on the ground and this spacific type of sand and its safe?
do i try to get him to eat the pydialiyte with water mixture ?


Pet shops give information to sell a product. As you can see from the links the result of ingestion of the sand, I suggest cage carpet, tile, paper, or non stick shelf liner for a solid substrate. The sand builds up over time in the intestinal tract and becomes like concrete when ingested. Cage carpet sells for about $5.00 ,but the sand sells for about $8.00+ a bag and takes about 5 bags. It is all about the money. The soak should help the stool pass. If he is not eating you can try to mix some meat flavord baby food with calcium and drop on the snout and allow the Dragon to lick it off. If the Dragon is eating, you can dip a super worm in some Mineral oil and feed it and then put him in the bath and get him swimming. The swimming and mineral oil should get things moving and promote a pooh. Joan

Edited by Joan on 1/7/2011 at 11:28 PM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
thank u for ur info ive vacumed out the sand and am in the process of washing all his stuff not gonna lie to u thoes pics have made me worry hes gonna die or somthing how long sould i wait if he doesnt poop to take him in i really love him allot and will be devastated if he dies is there a way for me to keep in contact with u i would like to if i could

is the baby food somthing i can feed him allot cuz i can get him to open his mouth to dump food in there thats how i get him to eat his herbative

( Please put your Dragon in a solution of 50/50 warm water and plain pedialyte.)
should i feed him this solution too?
and how much mineral oil is too much to give him ?


You can always open the question so bookmark this page. Hopefully we can get a bowel movement without any mineral oil. I would prefer you see the Herp Vet rather than give it, because it can be aspirated into the lungs and also can cause diarrhea. The baby food can be given in small increments throughout the day. The Pedialyte and warm water will be absorbed through the Vent area to prevent dehydration, so you do not have to give the Pedialyte orally. I am going to give you a link for Herp Vets in Canada: If he does not start eating and pass stool by Monday I would get him into the Her Vet as another issue may be a parasite issue. This way the Herp vet can test for those as well. I did not mean to scare you, but seeing is believing when it comes to loose substrates. I have fought with Pets shops over the sand and have been on the phone with Corporate offices of Petco about it. Please let me know if he passes a stool after the soak. Have him swim too as it helps things move. Joan

Joan and 2 other Reptile Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
how much can i exspect it to cost if i have to take him in ?

i will let i know our progress im off to get the pedialyte

is it ok for him to get the holes on the side of his head wet or water in them ?


The Vet visit should be about $65.00-$75.00. I prefer to not get water in the ear holes, but my Dragons will dive under the water and swim like an alligator, when I put them in the tub. I look forward to the progress and hope we can get your Dragon back on track. Joan

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
ur right hes a she well what i thought was he is a she EmbarassedSmile
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
ur right hes a she well what i thought was a he is a she EmbarassedSmile and i did the pedialyte and massage she drank it right away for some reason allot too i put her in a large glass casserole dish 50/50 like u said and she pooped yay im so happy it was allot too some of it was like it was in a sack almost wierd looking the first bit almost compleatly covered in some kind of membrain then the next to come out was just like solid regular poop really it looked to be and then there was like i cant really discribe it like tea in a tea bag or like a wheat grain but lots i thought it was the parasite or what ever it was in the picture but there was so much for the last bit of the poop and it wasnt moving very stinky the first bit that came out when it first was coming i thought was an egg but then more came out i wonder why she drank so much like she actually put her head down in the water and drank for a good 2 to 5 min ive never seen beardies drink water ive had one b4 but ya so yay im gonna start a new diet for her just wondering your feeding routine for you beardies ? im gonna give her some of this baby food. thank god it was so relieving when she pooped i never have been so excited to see poop lol thank u so much im still gonna keep this so i can talk to u if u dont mind


Is she starts getting anxious and starts digging, she may lay eggs. Dragons will lay eggs without a male being present. If that happens, let me know and I will walk you through it. You most likely had seen sand in with the stool. It will come through.

My diet is AM collard greens, mustard greens escarole, curly endives and Butternut squash and some assoted berries for treats. In the aftenoon I feed silkworms, Phoenix worms, crickets or roaches. I dust all prey with calcium as well as the Veggies 4 days a week and the Vitamins 2 days a week. As you can see when I tell you something it is always for the good of the animal and the owners education. You can always ask for me or reply here. Joan

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
i was also wondering if i can put that pedialite in the water all the time it seems to make her more enticed to drink it ? im still not 100 % if it is a girl there is almost like a bump and a dimple but i cant see bumps on ither side


It is hard sometimes and I have seen many mistakes. You can bathe daily in the 50/50 mixture, rather than leaving the pedialyte in the water. I will be here if needed. Glad we were able to get a pooh. The tea like substabce I suspect was the sand passing through. Joan

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
cool thanks ur awsome glad to know u ill keep in touch

thank u so much

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
cool thanks ur awsome glad to know u ill keep in touch

thank u so much