Our little one has been home for about three days now-- was very alert and jumping around the first nite-- and now

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Customer: our little one has been home for about three days now-- was very alert and jumping around the first nite-- and now unresponsive--hardly opening the eyes at all-- the first nite and next day he ate quite well-- several mealworms and many crickets-- we put greens in as well--he was soaking in the water bath as well--but now-- he appears almost lifeless-- very little activity--the temp is around 90 during the day and about 80 at nite
Answered by Jav917 in 19 mins 12 years ago
Pet Specialist

27,324 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Reptile Veterinary, Herp Veterinary, Exotic Animal Medicine, Amphibian Veterinary


What type of reptile is this?

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?



Baby bearded dragon--purchased from very reputable pet store--10 gallon tank with reptilite calcium substrate on the botton with a heat pad on the botton of the tank-- under the climbing tunnel/rock with a climbing rock that has a water dish on the bottom--we have the reptisun 10. uvb on and it has been on the entire time since we got him--we have a basking light as well and that is only on from 7 am to 8:30 pm the temp in the tank is about 85 and he has passed two nice stools that i can see so far--we got him on monday nite and he ate 2 or 3 mealworms that nite--then the next nite we put about 24 to 30 crickets in the tank and he ate quite a few--he also had some lettuce greens in the tank--he was very active the first nite home-- jumping around and climbing and the same the next day-tues--then wed nite and all day today he started to be less responsive--we have tried holding him a bit tonite--but his eyes barely open-- we even tried spraying him with a bit of water-- and again his eyes only barely open--he is shedding as well--he was opening and closing his mouth a few times and sticking his tongue out about 5 minutes ago--my 13 yr old daughter is so worried that he wont make it thought the nite---we are in chicago


The calcium sand is a BIG No No. It can make a Reptile very ill as I will show you in some information. The temps you have are way too low for a baby. The meal worms are also bad as they are very high in Chitin(outer shell) which is hard to digest. Lettuce is a poor choice for a dragon as it has no value. You need collards, mustards, dandelion greens, butternut squash, and other misc. greens that will not bind calcium. You also have not mentioned a calcium supplement, which is essential for the health. I will start you with my care sheet. Hit reply when done. Please read all links as they have diet and other important info. Joan


Bearded Dragon Care Sheet

  • 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 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.

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 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 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 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.

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. http://www.repticzone.com/articles/fruitsandvegetablesrated.html This is for fruits and Vegetables




Walnut shell Graphic: http://mrskingsbioweb.com/beardeddragngrossanatomy.htm


http://www.beardeddragon.org/articles/impaction/?page=3 calci sand


sexing bearded Dragons: http://repticzone.com/articles/sexingbeardeddragons.html


compact UVB problems: http://www.uvguide.co.uk/phototherapyphosphor-info.htm


is there anything i can do now for him? or do i just wait it out?--the petshop has been around for at least 30 years and had all their babies in the sand?? should i go back and talk to them in the am??? -- i guess my main concern is getting him through the nite and figuring out what will make him better--i understand getting the sand out right away-- and also getting the temp up right away--does the opening of the mouth or sticking the tongue out mean anything? she is so upset-- she wont do her homework and is just sitting by the tank---he has plenty of crickets in there-- so if he were hungry he could eat-- but he just is totally unresponsive??? thanks so much for your help


Do not leave prey in with him. Put him on paper towels which is much safer. The calci sand link show how dangerous it is. The raising the temps will help, as they slow down when the temps are too cool. I would also have a fecal done asap. This will allow you to know if there is a Parasite issue. Stress can cause a parasite bloom. You can try a warm soak in 1/2 warm water and 1/2 plain Pedialyte. while in there gently massage the abdomen. This should promote a bowel movement. I can locate a Herp Vet with a State or County. The mouth opening can be symptoms of various problems, to include a respiratory infection, or even possible reguritation. make sure you are using a digital probe thermometer as the stick on type can be off 20* either way. Joan

thanks for the help-- i will toss the paper towel in on top of the calcium for tonite-- since i dont want to disturb him too much--he did get up and move about three inches and is sitting with his head up a bit-- the crickets are just walking around the tank-- some even crawling over him--yuck--i dont know how to get them out of the tank though--without them going all over the house--will they cause a problem for him?--the are eating on the strips of lettuce in there


The crickets will bite the dragon if not removed. I always feed i n a separate container when young, so they are never left in with the Dragon. Twill help and the soaks will help and should be 20 mins at a time. Dragons can absorb fluids through the Vent area. I still would have the dragon in for a Herp Vet check asap, as they do carry parasites and can take over if stressed. Joan

ok-- just dumped out all of the sand and all of the crickets into a big garbage bag and threw it out in the trash-- so now he is in the tank by himself on the paper towels and we put two crickets in to see if he would eat-- but head is now laying flat on the ground--will put him in some warm water-- no pedialyte here--only gatorade --but not sure that would work--thanks so so so very much for your time and help-- will get a call off to the vet asap in the am--if he makes it---


Sorry was with an Emergency. The gatorade will work for now if you want to use it. I do suggest a 20 gallon tank for now as the temps will be easier to regulate. If you need a Herp Vet let me know and I can locate one for you. I hope this information has been helpful and the baby will pull through. I see this all too often with new Beardie babies. Please let me know how things work out. Joan

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