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Anna
Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 9373
Experience:  Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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My bearded dragon is about 9 months old, she eats and sleeps

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My bearded dragon is about 9 months old, she eats and sleeps and acts normal but she is not pooping. I have her in a 40 breeder two 75 watt basking lamps on one end and a UVA/UVB 15.0 tube lamp on the other. Her poops started to get smaller and smaller until she finally stopped pooping all together. Its probably been about two weeks since she last pooped. I've given her warm baths and rubbed her tummy, I can't feel any hardness that would indicate compaction. She has a reptile carpet on the floor and a branch that reaches pretty close to the basking lamps, probably within 6 inches. I am at a loss, can you help me figure this out?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

I'm sorry to hear that Ziggy is having a problem. Some additional information will help me to answer your question.

What do you feed her?

Exactly what temperatures do you maintain under the basking light and on the cool side of the cage?

When you say the UVA/UVB light is 15.0, is that watts, inches long, or UVB output?

Thank you.

Anna

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I feed Ziggy live crickets and then veggies. Usually collard greens w/ peppers, carrots, cabbage, and apples. I dusk her crickets with vitamins 3-4 times a week.


 


The temps are usually 90 on the heated side and about 80 on the cool side. She has a climbing limb in her basking area which would put it hotter than the 90 degrees since it is higher and closer to the heating lamps.


 


The UVA/UVB I use is Desert Series 50 T8 18" 15 watt florescent tube.

Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for getting back to me. I’m working on your answer and will post it as soon as I have it typed up.(I am not a fast typist. Please don’t respond to this post as that can lock me out of the question. I’ll be back shortly.

Anna
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for waiting. I suspect you got your information on care from a pet store. Most people do. While we should be able to rely on such information, unfortunately, it is often wrong. They sell people the wrong lighting, advise the wrong foods, and often don't know the correct temperatures for the various reptiles. After months of things not being quite right, the animal becomes ill. Even though you have been trying so hard to keep Ziggy healthy, when you didn't have correct information to begin with, things are going wrong. I'm going to give you some measures to take.

The biggest problem is that she is cold. A beardie who is cold will not be able to properly digest its food, and will not poop normally. The very coldest part of her cage should be 85*F to 90*F. For a youngster his age, the basking spot should be at least 110*F. The latest research on bearded dragons has shown that they can't even begin to digest their food properly until their internal body temperature reaches 98*F. Being cold-blooded, the only way for that to happen is for them to lie in a very hot basking area.You can increase the temperature by using a higher wattage bulb in the basking light fixture, lowering the fixture itself (but not so low that she can be burned on it), or by adding a second fixture. If you need a second fixture, you don't have to buy something expensive from a pet store.If you live in an area that has farm stores, you can buy a clip-on metal light fixture made to keep baby chicks warm for just a few dollars. Don't buy the accompanying bulb, however. You need an ordinary incandescent bulb in the basking light. Hardware and home improvement stores sell similar light fixtures as work lights. Use your thermometer to measure the temperature on the basking log, too, so you know how warm it is.

Next, you're on the right track with soaks, but I'll tell you a way to make them better.Buy some Pedialyte (yes, the kind for human infants). Prepare a shallow bath consisting of 1/2 warm water (100*F) and 1/2 Pedialyte. Soak Ziggy for about 20 to 30 minutes twice a day. Reptiles can absorb the electrolytes and fluids through their vents (where droppings pass out), so make the water deep enough to cover the vent. After the first 10 minutes, with her still in the water, gently massage her underside from front to vent for an additional 10 minutes. That may be enough to help her pass some feces. Try to get her to swim while she's in the water, as that can help, too. Be sure to supervise closely.


Make sure the crickets you feed are not too big, as that can lead to poor digestion, too. Crickets that are no bigger than the space between your beardie’s eyes are about right. Silk worms are another excellent food. Some of the veggies you're using aren't very good choices. The collard greens are great, but I'm going to give you a link to a reputable and easy to understand site for information on feeding because there is too much for me to explain here:

http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Nutrition.html

Check your UVB bulb to make sure it is no older than 6 months. After that, they still look fine because they are producing visible light, but they no longer produce sufficient UVB light. When you replace it, I recommend the Reptisun 10.0 in the straight tube style. Ziggy's crickets also need to be dusted in plain calcium powder. Without calcium, the UVB light does little good - the two work together

I recommend increasing the temperature and doing two long soaks with massage per day. If that doesn't help Ziggy poop, she may actually be impacted even though you don't feel anything hard. In that case, you'll need to see a reptile vet. This link will take you to a directory of such vets:

http://www.anapsid.org/vets/index.html#vetlist


Because you've been given so much incorrect information, I’m also sending along a care sheet, courtesy of Joan, another of our experts. Joan has many years experience keeping and rescuing beardies. I suggest that you use the care sheet as a check list to provide the best possible care for Ziggy. If you have more questions, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope your dragon will soon be able to pass normal droppings.

Anna

Please be sure to rate only SMILEY FACES to complete this transaction, or, if you need more help, click on REPLY and let me know what else you need. Thank you.

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: 110-125 degrees F (43.5* to 51.5*C)
Cool side: 85-90 (29.5* to 32*C)
Adults: Warm basking spot: 105-115F (40.5*C to 46*C)

Cool side: 80-85F (27*C to 29*C)

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 mealworms. 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 waxworms, 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 can eat 50-75 crix a day. 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.
Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 9373
Experience: Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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