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Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 18214
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
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I have a 10 year old, male Bearded Dragon that will not eat

Resolved Question:

I have a 10 year old, male Bearded Dragon that will not eat his greens or fruit/vegetables anymore. He will only eat crickets and meal worms. This has been going on for about 6 months now. I have noticed his left eye waters every now and then since he stopped eating his veggies. I was told hes old and I should just fee him what he wants and to rinse his eye with saline solution. I'm just worried something might wrong. Is there anything more I could do?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Joan replied 7 years ago.


Can you tell me about the set up?

Diet? Prey/Greens?



UVB? Type coil or tube? How old?

Area to locate a Herp Vet?

Temps and how measured?

Passing stool?


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
He has play sand as substrate which was recommened by a reptile specialist.
He will only eat crickets and meal worms dusted in Herpcare cricket dust. The crickets diet is Fluker's high calicum cricket diet and cricket quencher.
I use a 100W self-ballasted Mercury Vapor UVB Lamp which is above a rock for him bask in.
Passes stool roughly once a week during soaking time.
I use a digital thermometer made for reptiles and his temp is usually 85 degrees on the warm side of the cage now during the winter months. summer is usually 100 degrees.
Expert:  Joan replied 7 years ago.


It sounds like everything is pretty good. I disagree with the sand as I like a solid substrate because of impaction, but that is my personal choice.The washed and sifted play sand is the safest of the loose substrates. The sand may have also be causing an irritation in the eye causing the tearing. I always suggest a good calcium to dust the prey in and I do not feed meal worm because of the chitin can also cause intestinal blockages with the sand you may want to switch to super worms or silk worms which are a better choice. The temps are a bit cool and should be up in the 110* temp range to help with digestion of food and to help with the appetite. At 10 years old your Dragon is up there is years. Mine at 12 and 13 years old. I usually use a diet og 80% veggies and 20% live prey since the prey diet is rough on the kidneys and live in an older dragon. As you said at this age it is hard to get him to change his diet and it seems like you have done all you can. The saline is a good option when the eye waters, as short of an prescription drop there is nothing else to use.

The only changes I would make at this point is to use a plain calcium dust on the crickets as well as increasing the temps a bit. It seems like you have doen a wonderful job and if he wants to eat prey instead of veggies at 10 years old that is fine. You may want to also get some Royal Jelly Capsules at the health food store as it helps with appetite and health. Hope this info has helped, but you are doing a great job! Happy New Year! Joan

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I live in Buffalo, NY and getting his temperature up is quite difficult during the winter. He has slowed down a bit and pretty much stays on his heating pad under his hut coming out a couple time a week to bask. Which I was told is somewhat of a hibernation state. I would like to know how would I use the royal jelly capsuls? Crack open and apply to live prey?
Expert:  Joan replied 7 years ago.


This is called Brumation. Very common for a dragon over a year old. The Royal Jelly is sprinkled over the prey. You can also soak once a week in 1/2 Pedilayte and 1/2 warm water. Thsi improves any chance of dehydration. If you need a Herp vet this is a link for all in NY. Joan

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