I am at my wits end trying to figure out what or if there is anything I can do for my 8 year old son's beared dragon. We

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Customer: I am at my wits end trying to figure out what or if there is anything I can do for my 8 year old son's beared dragon. We purchased it about a month and a half ago and it seemed to be doing fine. For the past few days, it will not eat and has not defacated. I have tried to adjust temperature and have bathed it in warm water each day for about 15 minutes, and still nothing seems to help. It's tail and part of it's beard are turning black and it appears to be smaller. It is lethargic and keeps still with its eyes closed most of the day and can barely move. Is there anything I can do? My son is devastated and I am very frustrated as I am sure it is only a matter of time before it dies. Any help?
Answered by Jav917 in 2 mins 12 years ago
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Jav917
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27,324 satisfied customers

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

Hello,

How old is the Dragon?

can you tell me about the set up?

Diet? Prey/veggies?

Substrate?

Supplements?

UVB light? Tube or Coil? Strength?

Temps and how measured?

Joan

Joan40490.9322690972
Customer
Hi, I am not sure how old the dragon is. We bought it from petco about a month ago and they didn't say specifically how old it is. I think they said around 18 months?? It is of medium size and they told me it would get about 18 inches in length or more. It is in the bearded dragon aquarium setting that was a kit they sold as a complete set. I have had to change the bulbs a few times and the person working told me what to buy. It has a red Night light, a blue day bulb and another bulb that is white with coils. I'm not sure of the wattage of any of them except the blue one I recently replaced which was 100 watt. The floor bottom is an orange sand type that the salesperson told me was usable for the dragon. It has a water bowl, a meal worm dish, a veggie dish, and a small fake plant. I purchased a haet rock a day or so ago when I noticed the dragon becoming more lethargic. It has been fed crickets, lettuce, a dry complete meal mix that you add warm water to, meal worms, and superworms. It is currently eating nothing. I fear that my son may have put too many crickets in one day ( I removed the excess since then) I also have added small red pellets to the dry food mix that is supposed to be a supplemental diet/nutrients? There is also a wooded log type thing in the habitat that the dragon can hide underneath.

Hello,

Buying from Petco, you got a lot of wrong information. The bulbs are all wrong you can use a ergular household bulb for heat and basking and you need a tube type UVB 10.0 Reptisun. The coil type causes an eye problem called Photo Kerato Conjunctivitis. Next either cut the cord off the heat rock or return it, as they will cause thermal burns and are extremely dangerous. The Orange sand that is in the tank is calci sand and That may be the whole problem as it can cause a problem called an impaction. It hardens in the gut and causes the Dragon to go off food and not eat leaving the Dragon weight loss and lethargic. I am going to give you some first aid measures, but if the Dragon has ingested a lot of the calc sand it may need to see a Herp Vet, to help it pass, or may require surgical intervention. I would like you to get the temp up in the basking area to 110*F. As I said you can use a regular Household bulb 100 watt. Get rid of the red bulb as that too can cause thermal burns. Next make a soak of 1/2 warm water and 1/2 Plain Pedialyte. Place the Dragon in the soak and try and get him to swim. Alos while in the soak gently massage the abdomen. We want to try and get him to pass as much of the sand and stool as possible. The Pedialyte will be absorbed through the vent to add fluid into the bowel and rehydrate the Dragon. Please do this 2-3 times a day. The diet should be 80% Veggies and 20% live prey. If you need a Herp Vet please supply a city and state and I will locate some for you. I am also going to give you my care sheet. Please open all links. It is very important you get the correct husbandry to help this Dragon. Hit reply for further help. Joan

 

Please Read this http://www.beardeddragon.org/articles/impaction/?page=3 calci sand*******

 

Walnut shell Graphic: Please Read this http://mrskingsbioweb.com/beardeddragngrossanatomy.htm *******

 

 

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 depnding 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.

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

 

http://www.beautifuldragons.503xtreme.com/Nutrition.html

 

 

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

 

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

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