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Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11065
Experience:  Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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Hi, I have two beardies, a male and female. they will be a

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Hi, I have two beardies, a male and female. they will be a year old in September. I had them both in the same enclosure up until about two months ago. when they were together they both ate great! both crickets and veggies. were also very active. since I separated them they've become inactive and hardly eat anything. the female hasn't touched a veggie since I gave her her own home. both enclosure are set up to specs. I used to dust crickets with calcium but since they hardly eat I've began to use calcium liquid. "giving that is NO fun" I also give them liquid vitamins. I keep there enclosure's very clean. I've tried all sorts of different greens. I've tried baby food. store bought bearded dragon complete diet etc. I always keep a small dish with live Dubia roaches in the enclosures also. I'm at a complete loss as to what else I can do. I haven't taken them to a vet because of the expense. I was only to find one herp vet in my area, after calling I found that the cost is overwhelming. please help  I also bathe them 3 times a week and handle them regularly.

Hello and thank you for requesting me to help with your beardies. Some additional information will be helpful.

What exact temperatures do you maintain under the basking lights and on the cool side of the cages?

Are the beardies passing normal droppings?

What substrate do you sue on the cage floor?

Have they lost a lot of weight?

Thank you.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

110 an 80. Ceramic tiled floors.haven't lost any weight. And they only move there bowels about once a week now


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.

Thank you for waiting. Bearded dragons are solitary in nature, so being separated shouldn't have had a bad effect on them. However, it is possible that competition for food made them eat more eagerly. Still, I think something else must be going on. I have few suggestions you can try.

I would increase the temperatures a bit. At this age, the warm side can be up to 120*F and the cool side 85*F to 90*F. Then I would give them a special soak. Buy some Pedialyte (yes, the kind for human infants). Prepare a shallow bath consisting of 1/2 water and 1/2 Pedialyte. Soak them 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. Be sure to supervise closely.

They must actually be eating more than what you see or they would be losing weight. As growth slows, they often need less food, so that may account for part of the problem. You might try some other foods. Silkworms are relished by most beardies. If you can't get them locally, there are companies that ship worldwide. Here are some of them:

Normally, fruit should only be used as a sometime treat, but with appetite problems, we can sue it to encourage eating. Most dragons love raspberries. Get some of the 100% fruit spread (raspberries). You can put a thin layer on some greens to see if that w ill entice them to eat. Another trick is to mix some calcium powder into some plain meat baby food. Then drop a small dollop right on the end of their snout. Many times they will lick it off.

Intestinal parasites can cause appetite loss and lethargy. Any vet (not just a reptile vet) can check for these with a fecal flotation test. You'd need to take in a fresh sample of droppings in a clean plastic bag. As far as how often they are passing droppings, many beardies do only pass them once a week. It varies with how much they eat.

In summary, I would increase temperatures a bit, try different foods and different methods, give Pedialyte soaks, and arrange to test for intestinal parasites.

If you have more questions, let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope your beardies will soon be eating well.


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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I've tried the pedialyte and raising the temps. they don't seem to be eating more but they've moved around the enclosures a lot today.

That's a good sign that they're more active. This is not very likely at such a young age, but during breeding season, dragons tend not to eat very much. If their cages are where they can see each other, move them so they can't, just in case that's the problem.

Also, don't leave food available all the time. They should be fed twice a day. Remove any uneaten food after about 10 to 15 minutes. If you leave food in the cage all the time, you can't monitor what they eat. They are less likely to ignore food if it isn't there all the time. In addition, uneaten crickets will bite lizards while they're resting. Their bites are tiny, but very prone to infection.

Thank you for the update.