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Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 17300
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 20+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
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My baby bearded dragon is refusing to eat. We got him about

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My baby bearded dragon is refusing to eat. We got 'him' about a week ago and the first day we brought him home he ate a few crickets, but I haven't seen him eat anything since then. He's still defecating fairly regularly, however.

We've attempted feeding him shredded kale, shredded carrots, and thinly sliced strawberries (with seeds removed), along with offering him crickets throughout the day.

We have him housed in a 20-gallon long tank, with 'reptile' carpet as a substrate. We have a UTH, infrared basking light, and a UVB coil light (will be replacing with UVB fluorescent tube on Friday, July 19th).

I'm guessing that he is approximately 5-6 weeks old, he's around 7 inches long.

He still seems to be fairly active, and we take him out of his housing several times a day to let him get accustomed to us, although he's not the least bit skittish.

I'm hoping that this is just relocation anxiety still, but I want to be sure that we're doing everything we can for our beardie.


My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am A Vet tech with spacial interest in Reptiles and reptile rescue.

Can you tell me if you have a white basking light?

What are the temps in the basking area, warm side and cool side? How are they measured?

What strength and brand UVB tube are you planning to get?

Have you tried any other type prey?

What size crickets are you feeding?


Is he passing stool?


Customer: replied 3 years ago.



Although the basking light claims it is infrared, it does give off a great deal of white light. It came in the starter kit that we bought from Petco.


Even with the heat sources we have, the heat hasn't been getting higher than 102* or so, and seems to stay around 97*-99*. The basking point stays a few degrees higher, but I haven't seen it get over 105*. The cool side has been around 85*. We have two digital thermometers, one on the hot side and one on the cool side, and we also have an infrared thermometer 'gun'.


I have some mealworms on order, and they will be shipped on Saturday (which means they'll show up end of next week, I think) and the crickets started out as pinheads, but are now a bit larger but I've been careful to not give him ones that are bigger than the space between his eyes.


For supplements, I've been dusting the crickets with calcium powder and we have a vitamin powder that I've dusted them with once or twice. Since he hasn't eaten any since the first day, I don't think he's gotten any of this.


He is still passing stool, at least once a day.




The UVB needs to be changed to a reptisun 10.0 florescent tube. It is very important that you use calcium to work with the Reptisun tube to prevent Metabolic Bone Disease and to help with the immune system of your Dragon.
You need a full spectrum spotlight type basking light to supply the proper lighting for the Dragon. If the lighting is incorrect, the Dragon will become lethargic and not eat. I would not use the red light. I would also remove the UTH since Dragons sense heat from above and do not need a heat rock which is dangerous por a UTH. Do not feed meal worms. They are too high in chitin which is the outer shell and can become impacted. I suspect the problem right now is improper lighting. The Dragon should be eating 80% live prey and 20% Veggies. I suggest silk worms, phoenix worms and dubia roaches for feeders as well as small crickets: - are two places to order feeders. The information given at pet shops is poor at best because they do not have the Training in the care, only sales. For veggies, I suggest collard greens, mustard greens, escarole, curly endives, butternut squash, and some raspberries for a treat. This is a nutrition list:

I suggest a soak in a 50/50 warm water and plain Pedialyte soak that comes up mid way up theleg for 20 mins to help prevent dehydration. This will help to perk up your Dragon. I would get the lighting changed asap, and I think you will notice a maked improvement. Please let me know if you have further questions. Joan

Joan and 3 other Reptile Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

With raspberries, do we need to worry about the seeds? I read somewhere that even with strawberries, beardies can have trouble digesting the seeds, so I would think that would remain true with raspberries.


I have a reptisun 10.0 tube light showing up on Friday that I will be using right away.


Thanks for the help.


The seeds are not an issue on straberries or raspberries. The Meal worms are more of a concern because of the hard outer shell. I would replace the Basking light asap with a Full spectrum basking spotlight, which will be much more effective. The red bulbs can cause thermal burns. Please do not forget to Rate my service. My goal is to give you Excellent service to help you and your pet. Joan