Have Reptile Veterinary Questions? Ask a Reptile Expert.
My name is ***** ***** I have been a Veterinary tech for 30+ years with special interest in reptiles and reptile rescue.
Can you tell me about the set up?
UVB light, how old, Linear tube or compact coil, strength and brand?
Temps in basking area, warm side and cool side?
How are temps measured?
Has your Dragon has a fecal check done?
What is usual diet?
You have some serious husbandry issues and could be a big part of the problem. Dragons need UVB bulb and calcium to work together in the body to prevent Metabolic Bone Disease. The UVB metabolizes the Calcium into D3. The UVB bulb should be a reptisun 10.0 linear tube. the 5.0 is not strong enough and they need to be replaced every 6 months. They lose Potency after 6 months. This is info on MBD: http://exoticpets.about.com/cs/reptilesgeneral/a/metabolicbd.htm
Next issue is Sand it is deadly over time it causes a blockage in the intestinal tract. This will give you an idea about Sand as a substrate: http://www.beardeddragon.org/articles/impaction/?page=3
Another issue is a Dragon over the age of one needs 80% fresh veggies and only 20% live prey items. we normall to not recommend Super worms as they are very fatty and can cause liver issues.
The first thing I would like you to do is pinch the back foot and see if you get a reflex action where he pulls away from you. If he does we can go on with some treatment. He will need to see a Herp Vet but we can offer some immediate first aid to help him if he has not passed. Please let me know, if he has some movement when squeezing the back foot. Then we can go on and help him.
I will post instructions for you and you can get back to me tomorrow and let me know how he is doing. I am also going to give you a link to locate some Herp Vets for a check up and fecal. The husbandry will need to be corrected, but we will ty and help him.
This is a link for Herp Vets in Fl. http://www.anapsid.org/vets/florida.html I suggest switching the sand to a solid substrate asap. I recommend cage carpet, tile or paper to prevent an impaction. Next to help with appetite and lethargy, the UVB should be replaced with a Reptisun 10.0 linear tube running 12-14 hours a day. You will need to add a Plain calcium supplement into the diet. I suggest as soon as you can get the Dragon eating that you start with 80% veggies to include Collard greens, escarole, Mustard greens, butternut squash and some assorted berries for a treat. The prey can include dubia roaches, silk worms, phoenix worms and crickets. This is a link for food. Please follow the green foods: http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Nutrition.html I suggest a dail soak in a 50/50 warm water and Pedialyte to help with hydration and electrolytes. For feeding mix baby food and calcium together and drop on the snout and allow the Dragon to lick it off. I am hoping with the change in husbandry he will start responding to the UBV light and the calcium. I do suggest the Herp Vet visit asap, for blood work, exam and a fecal. Without the proper UVB and calcium we may be dealing with Metabolic Bone disease.
I am so sorry you lost him. He was very ill and you did the best you could for him. I suspect he was in organ failure when you contacted me. The fact his body went white and his beard black indicates some internal issues, that he may have been dealing with for a while. Dragons will hide illness very well and are very stoic, until they can no longer hide the illness. Please accept my condolences. I was hoping we could help him hold on until you could get him into the Herp Vet.
Most likely would not have found a Herp Vet last night open at 8:23 on a Sat night. It takes a special Vet to treat them with reptile knowledge. When you contacted me you thought the Dragon may have been dead already. I can only offer basic first aid because I am not there hands on. I explained the husbandry takes a toll on their health and I suggested blood work and a fecal. We did all we could at home to help him.
Sorry for the loss. I did my best to try and help and I understand it is hard to loose a beloved pet.