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Ask Joan Your Own Question
Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 17760
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
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Our bearded dragon only eats meal worms and refuses to eat

Customer Question

Our bearded dragon only eats meal worms and refuses to eat veggies. He has not gone to the bathroom in weeks despite warm baths...
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. There are all sorts of infestations the dragon can pick up. I'll have you talk to the Veterinarian who'll sort out what is wrong and help you decide what to do about it. What is the dragon's name and age?
Customer: His name is ***** ***** he is almost 3. He always has constipation issues, but usually will go if we give him a bath.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Spike?
Customer: Just that he refuses veggies, and always has. We are worried (he is my son's pet).
JA: Our top Veterinarian is ready to take your case. Just pay the $5 fully refundable deposit and I'll fill the Veterinarian in on everything we've discussed. You can go back and forth with the Veterinarian until you're 100% satisfied. We guarantee it.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Reptile
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Our bearded dragon hasn't gone to the bathroom in weeks.
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.


My name is ***** ***** I have been a Vet tech for 30+ years with speicial interest in Reptiles and reptile rescue.

Can you tell me about the set up?

Diet prey/Veggies?

Supplements and when started?

Basking light?

UVB light linear tube or compact coil, age of bulb, strength, brand?

Temps in basking area, warm side and cool side?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sure. He is in a 40 gallon tank with both a nighttime and basking lamp (daylight)- both are 100 watt bulbs. He is almost 3 and only eats meal worms and occasional crickets. He does not eat veggies. We have always had constipation issues with him, but usually a warm bath relieves it. The only supplement he has is calcium powder on occasion.
I am unsure of the temperatures, but he does situate himself in different spots during the day. He has not gone to the bathroom in weeks and we are worried.
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.

Do you have a UVB light linear tube or compact coil, age of bulb, strength, brand? You do not mention it justa basking bulb and heat lamp/

What is the substrate?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We have a UVB light, the bulb is only a few months old (or less). The brand we think is All living things? Not sure..
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.

Is it a linear tube or compact coil and strength?

What kind of substrate do you?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We have a reptile carpet. It's an incadescent bulb. 100 watt. We bought at Pet Smart.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are you still there?
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.

Working on your answer. Please give me some time.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. I just wasn't sure how this worked and if I was still connected.
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.


You have some husbandry issues. The bulb you have is not a UVB which is a big issue. UVB is a must to prevent Metabolic Bone Disease. The UVB bulb works with a Calcium supplement 5 days a and a Vitamin 2 days a week. The Bulb I recommend is a Reptisun 10.0 linear tube that will supply adequate UVB ray. the other bulb is nothing but a basking bulb.

The next issue is we never feed meal worms to Dragons. The cause impactions due to the high amount of chitin in the hard outer shell. We feed crickets silk worms, Phoenix worms, Dubia Roaches and goliath worms. Over the age of one year old the Dragon should be on 80% Veggies and 20% live prey to avoid Kidney and liver issues. You can try a variety of veggies to include escarole, collard greens, Mustard greens, curly endives, romaine, Butternut squash, green beans.

Right now we can try and promote a stool by giving 1 cc of baby food prunes and, wait an hour and then place in a warm soak and massage the abdomen to try and promote a stool. If it does not work the first day please try again the next day.

The temps in basking area should be 105*-110*, the warm side 90's and the cool side should be in the 80's. If the the tamps are not correct, then the digestion can stop. The warm temps are needed.

To get the Dragon to eat the veggies, you can use fruit baby food like a salad dressing and withhold live prey for a few days. They will eventually eat with some tough love.

If the prunes do not work the Vet may need to do an Xray and also an enema, or give something stonger to break the stool loose. If you do not have a Herp Vet I can locate some with a State.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We have been trying the baby food prunes the last few days. We will continue to try. Our pet store does not sell any of the live worms/insects that you recommended (except for crickets). We will keep trying to add the veggies.
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.

The silk worms can be gotten from or

The Phoenix worms can be purchased from the

If you need a Herp Vet, I can locate one with a State. I do suggest that you get a UVB bulb. The reptisun 10.0 is one of the best. the Linear tube is what I suggest vs the coil type bulb.