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Anna
Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11133
Experience:  Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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Just bought my bearded dragon two days ago, it won't eat,

Customer Question

Just bought my bearded dragon two days ago, it won't eat, lethargic, diarrhea. Gave it pumpkin and it's not completely digested and it had traces of blood in it.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help the dragon. What is the dragon's name?
Customer: I haven't named it because I'm scared it's not going to make it.
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the dragon?
Customer: Black under eyes. It will drink water when I bath it
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Anna replied 1 month ago.
Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with a special interest in reptiles. I'm sorry to hear your new beardie is sick. Unfortunately, it's far too common for pet stores to sell sick lizards. I'm working on some information for you, and will post it as soon as I have it typed up. I appreciate your patience, and will be back shortly.
Expert:  Anna replied 1 month ago.
Thank you for waiting. First of all, you probably do have the option of returning the dragon to the store. Most pet stores will let. You return an animal within 3 to 5 days. If you prefer to help him, I can give you some first aid measures, but you will need to see a vet.You can start with a special soak. Buy some Pedialyte ( yes, the kind for human infants). Prepare a bath consisting of 1/2 Pedialyte and 1/2 water at about 100*F. The water should be deep enough to cover the beardie's vent (where droppings pass out) because lizards can absorb fluids and nutrients through the vent. Diarrhea usually causes dehydration, which is life- threatening, and this soak will help with that. Soak him for 20 to 30 minutes twice each day. Be sure to supervise closely.After the soak, make sure he is warm enough. Pet stores often give out wrong information on temperatures. Right under the basking light it should be 105*F to 110*F. The very coolest part of the cage should be 85*F to 90*F. Warmth gives the immune system a boost.Blood in the stool often indicates parasites or a bacterial infection. If you go to the vet, take along a sample of the beardie's droppings in a clean plastic bag. A fecal exam can be used to diagnose the reason for the blood and digestive problems. This site has a directory of reptile vets:http://www.anapsid.org/vets/index.html#vetlistBecause pet stores give out 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.Her care sheet is used on some reputable websites, so you may have even seen it before. I suggest that you use the care sheet as a check list to provide the best possible care for your beardie. If you have more questions, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope your dragon will reach a full recovery.AnnaMy goal is to provide you with excellent 5 star service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Please remember to rate my service after you have all the information you need. I will greatly appreciate a positive rating as that is the only way I am compensated. Thank you!Bearded Dragon Care Sheet
Bearded dragons should be housed alone.
Ages of bearded dragons follow these guidelines:
0-3 months- baby 
 3-12 months-juvenile 
12-18 months- sub adult 
18 months + -adultBearded 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.
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: 105-115* degrees F (40.5 - 46*C)
Cool side: 85-90 (29.5 - 32*C)Adults: Warm basking spot: 105-110*F (40.5- 43*C)
Cool side: 80-85 (26.6 - 29.5*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 meal worms. 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 wax worms, 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 eats 50-75 crix a day depending on the size of the 
crickets. 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.
Fruits and Vegetables:http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Nutritionframeset.htmlWalnut Shell Graphic:http://mrskingsbioweb.com/beardeddragngrossanatomy.htmSexing Bearded Dragons:http://repticzone.com/articles/sexingbeardeddragons.html