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Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 18361
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
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I have a young bearded dragon, and just recently ...

Customer Question

I have a young bearded dragon, and just recently treated my cat for fleas. I believe the fles have caused my dragon some infection. I have cleaned out his tank, new bedding, and all that, however, he seems very lethargic. He will not eat his greens and his stool is soft and runny... not typical for him. I am nervous for his health, and am having a hard time finding a vet that treats reptiles. Any advice on how to help my dragon in the meantime?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Joan replied 9 years ago.


I need infomation on the habitat.

What type of substrate are you using?

What is the lighting? UVB ? UVA?

What are you feeding?

What chemical did you use for fleas?

What type of greens are you feeding?


City, and State for Herp Vet location?

Any Breathing problems?

What is the Dragon's age?



Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Joan's Post: What type of substrate are you using?
repti sand natural substrate
What is the lighting? UVB ? UVA?
heat light and uva lamp during day
What are you feeding?
romaine lettuce, collard greens, mustard greens, carrots daily; and crickets 4-6 every other day
What chemical did you use for fleas?
Hartz flea and tick spray for the cat, now she has a flea collar
What type of greens are you feeding?

calcium poder for crickets
City, and State for Herp Vet location?
Chicago, IL
Any Breathing problems?
not that i have noticed
What is the Dragon's age?
i am guessing about 10 mos.
Expert:  Joan replied 9 years ago.


First ditch the sand. The Prepared sands can impact a beardie. You will need a UVB light for the dragon and the diet is not very good. The Dragon and cat should be no where near Hartz products which can make you cat sick let alone you Beardie. The Dragon will need to see Herp. Vet for possible Toxicty from the Hartz products. Please do not use it on your cat either. The flea collar is useless. Get the Frontline for cats much safer. I will give you my care sheet, find you a Herp Vet and a link for diet as well as loose substrates.

Substrates: graphic warning! graphic warning!

  • Bearded dragons should be housed alone.

  • Ages of bearded dragons follow these guidelines:

1. 0-3 months- baby
2. 3-12 months-juvenile
3. 12-18 months- sub adult
4. 18 months + -adult

  • Bearded 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 beardie's 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.

1. 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: 105-125 degrees F
Cool side: 85-90
Adults: Warm basking spot: 110-115
Cool side: 80-85
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 mealworms. 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 waxworms, 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 the size of yours can eat 50-75 crix a day. 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 Hibermnation that is governed by the weather and time of year. The lights should be on a shoter period at this time. Fresh greens should be available during this period. Do not feed live pery 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.

If you have any further questions feel free to ask. I like to start people off with proper husbandry and then see if I can further assist. Joan This is for fruits and Vegetables

Herp Vets.: Chicago in Bold print

Animal Care Clinic

* Stephen Barten
Vernon Hills Animal HospXXXXXbr />Mundelein 60060(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

* Karen Shaw Becker
Natural Pet Animal Hospital
S. Harlem Ave
Tinley Park, 60477(NNN) NNN-NNNN fax(NNN) NNN-NNNN

XXXXX XXXXX, Leanne Donovan, Scott McDonald, Richard Nye
Midwest Bird & Exotic Animal Hosp
1923 S Mannheim Rd
Westchester 60154(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

J.B. BruederleXXXXXWest
Arlington Hgts 60005

Charles Burmeister
All Pets Veterinary Hospital
1225 West Loucks Avenue
Peoria 61604(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

Jospeh CaffariniXXXXXbr />Chicago Hgts 60411

Byron de la Navarre
Animal House of Chicago
2752 West Devon Avenue
Chicago, Illinois. 60625(NNN) NNN-NNNN/strong>

Scott E. Demanes, Holly L. Masepohl
Demanes Animal Hosp
3035 N. Wisconsin Ave
Peoria(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

* Sandra Durst
227 N. Alpine Ln
Rockford 61107(NNN) NNN-NNNN

Robert Eirmann
Worth Animal Hosp
11010 Southwest Hwy
Palos Hills 60465(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

N.L. Earp, E.L. Zuercher
Holly's Animal Hosp
6115 N. Sheridan
Peoria(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

Joyce Etsinger
Atrill Vet Clinic
115 N. Republic Ave
Joliet 60435(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

Dundee Animal HospXXXXXbr />Dundee 60118(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

Gery Herrmann
Mundelein Animal Hosp
1133 W. Maple
Mundelein 60060(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

Roger Hitt
Timberline Animal Hosp
950 NE Frontage Rd
Joliet(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

Shawn Hohulin
Kruger Animal Hosp
1801 West Hovey
Normal 61761(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

* Susan Horton
Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital
3735 W. Dempster St.
Skokie(NNN) NNN-NNNN/strong>

Susan Kyle
Channahon Animal Hosp
14 N. Independence
Joliet(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

Daniel J. Markwalder
3 S. Randall Rd
(Algonquin x Randall Rds)

Scott Michaels
POB 657
Island Lake(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

Roberts Road Animal Clinic
103rd and Roberts Road
Chicago(NNN) NNN-NNNN/strong>

2930 Evergreen Lane
Aurora 60504

Robert Ness
Ness Exotic Wellness Center
Lisle 60532
630-(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

Brian Norton
Northgate Pet Clinic
2800 North M.L. King Jr. Drive
Decatur 62526(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

Diane Poliakoff, M. Minuskin
Family Pet Animal Hospital
1401 W. Webster Ave
Chicago 60614(NNN) NNN-NNNN FAX(NNN) NNN-NNNN/strong>

Todd Prince
Animal Medical CenterXXXXXbr />Skokie 60077(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

Robert Reich
Armstrong-Reich Vet Clinic
2834 North 12th St
Quincy 62301(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

* Samuel Ristich
Indian Prairie Animal Hospital
621 Route 59
Aurora 60504(NNN) NNN-NNNN

Tri-County Animal Emergency Clinic (an after hours clinic)
2026 N. University
Peoria(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

Kathy Van Buer
North Brady Animal Hospital
6011 North Brady Street
Davenport, Iowa(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

Mary Beth Wajda
Lincoln Way Animal Hospital
Matteson 60443(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

Michael Wells
Lincolnway Animal Hosp
6363 Lincoln Hwy
Matteson 60443(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

Sandra Yi
Golf-Mil Animal & Bird HospXXXXXbr />Niles 60714(NNN) NNN-NNNN