I have a (about) 5 year old female beardie. she has always been very active and healthy never a problem then just the

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Customer: i have a (about) 5 year old female beardie. she has always been very active and healthy never a problem then just the other day my boyfriends mother decided to turn off her lights when the window was open. yesterday it was no warmer then 50 degrees so it got cold quick for her. when we got home she was flat and pail. i right away turned on her light and picked her up so to give her some warmth from my hands. then i started to feel her not being so cold i put her back in her cage she didnt get her color back or regain function. over night his mother AGAIN turned off her light still with the window open. we woke up again to a pail flat beardie. today is our usual day to get all the animals food we feel them every 2 weeks and get her about 200 crickets 2 dozen worms and she always has some kid of greens in her cage. she is now not eating and isnt warming up or regaining her color. when i tried to pick her up today she just went limp no matter how i moved her or held her (including turning her to her back which when i had done it before was the only time she has ever bit me... hoping the irritation might liven her up) and she isnt eating. she is the greatest lizard we have ever had and i would like to know what i need to do to get her to eat. im very worried that she will die soon if i dont get her to warm up and eat.
Answered by Anna in 9 mins 12 years ago
30+ years of experience

17,046 satisfied customers

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


I'm sorry to hear of this incident. Some additional in formation will enable me to better help you.

What is the present temperature under the basking light?

Is your beardie under the light now?

Thank you.

it is about 80 degrees in the cage and it kinda seems like she is trying to aviod the lights (she has a regular heat lamp and a red night heat lamp) but she isnt regaining her color and she is very skinny.
Thank you for getting back to me. I'm going to give you two steps to take right away. 80*F is still too cold for a beardie. That is the coolest temperature you want on the cool side of the cage. The area under the light should be 105*F to 115*F. Beardies came from a very hot desert, and they thrive in those warm temperatures. You can warm up the cage by lowering the basking light (but not so low that your dragon could be burned on it), using a higher watt bulb, or adding a second light to the cage.

She is probably dehydrated from not eating. Buy some unflavored Pedialyte (yes, the kind for human infants). Prepare a shallow bath consisting of 1/2 water (at 90* to 100*F) and 1/2 Pedialyte. Soak your dragon for about 20 to 30 minutes twice a day. Reptiles can absorb the electrolytes and fluids through their vents, so make the water deep enough to cover the vent. Since she is lethargic, supervise closely to keep her head out of the water.

It's very important to make sure your beardie doesn't get chilled again tonight. If the open window/lights off incident is likely to be repeated, move her cage to the room where you'll be.

Give her a soak like this right away. Then put her back in the cage as it warms up so she can gradually become accustomed to warmer temperatures as they increase. If these two steps are going to help, you should notice an improvement within a few hours. If her color improves and she perks up a bit, you can attempt to feed her. Buy some plain chicken baby food. Drop a small dollop right on the end of her snout. Most of the time they'll lick it right off. If there is no improvement, she is probably too sick to be helped by any home remedies. You'll need to take her to a reptile vet for supportive medical care. This link will take you to a directory of vets:


I’m also sending along a care sheet, courtesy of Joan, another of our experts. Joan has many years experience keeping and rescuing beardies. 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 you'll get good results with the first aid remedies above.


(If you find my answer helpful, please click on the green ACCEPT button. Thank you.)

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: 110-125 degrees F (43.5* to 51.5*C)
Cool side: 85-90 (29.5* to 32*C)
Adults: Warm basking spot: 110-115F (40.5*C to 46*C)

Cool side: 80-85F (27*C to 29*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 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 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.

THANK YOU SO MUCH i just have 1 question... where are the lizards vents? are they the ones on the side of the face?
more info!!!! we put her in the bath and like i said when we pick her up she is completly limp but when we put her in the bath she woke up violently and tried to climb out but she would only stay awake for a minute or so and quickly go back to being limp. every time we added a little bit more of hot water to keep the temp up she would again quickly wake up try to get out and then fall back asleep and would almost pass out and if we werent watching she would drop her head into the water. after a 1/2 hour we returned her to her cage with a little chicken baby food right infront of her. every about 10 minutes she quickly wakes up then passes out again. please let me know if there is anything else i can do to try and get her to start eating and stay awake please let me know
The location of the vent is a common question. That si the opening under the tail where droppings pass out. If you haven't gotten the cage warmed up under the basking light to 105*F, it's very important that you do that. Don't try to feed her any more unless she seems to improve - she probably can't eat in her present state. The baths and the warmer temperatures are all you can do for now. She's still in critical condition, but these steps may eb enough to get her through the night. If there's not a big improvement by morning, it would be a good idea to see a reptile vet. If you need additional help finding one, give me your zip code.

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