My bearded dragon is not coming out of a corner cave, not eating and is molting on his head right now. very inactive for

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Customer: my bearded dragon is not coming out of a corner cave, not eating and is molting on his head right now. very inactive for a couple of days. is this normal during molting or is something else going on?
Answered by Jav917 in 16 mins 11 years ago
Pet Specialist

27,324 satisfied customers

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


Can you tell me about the set up?




UVB Light? How old? Tube or Coil?



I feed Spike twice daily, crickets and then leafy greens (usually spincah) sometiems some fruit. I was gone for a couple of days and not sure if my familoy was as dilligent as I am in the feeding or the quantity. Spike is in a 40 gallon tank, with Zilla brand substrate of ground english walnut shells. I have 2 light that I use during the day. One is a coil, repti Glo 10.0 UVB. The other is a fluker 60 watt regular bulb in a basking kind of lamp. I use a red lamp at night, it is ZooMed 75 watt bulb. The day bulbs are a few months old (maybe 6 months), have not burned out. The red one was replaced recently. I use calcium supplement a couple of times a week. I don't konw what the temps are, I don't have a guage. I also have a heated rock that he usually sits on, but he has not gone near it for a few days. Is hiding behind a rock/cave like structure.


The first thing is get rid of the walnut substrate It can perforate the intestinal tract and cause a blockage. You can read about the loose substrates here:

Walnut shell Graphic: calci sand


The next issue is the UVB should be a tube which is much more effective and will not cause eye problems like the coil type. I suggest a 10.0 Reptisun tube.UVB bulbs should be changed every 6 months as they loose potency.

I would get rid of the heat rock as they cause thermal burns as dragons do not really sense heat from underneath.

The Veggies should be collard greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens, escarole, curly endives and butternut squash. The spinach binds calcium and is only an occasional veggie. The calcium should be given daily.


We can try some first aid by giving a soak in a solution of 50/50 warm water and plain pedialyte. While in the soak, gently massage the abdomen. This should promote a stool.

We need to be sure the walnut shell has not caused an issue. Make sure your temps get measured with a digital probe thermometer as the need to be at 110*F-115*F. If the temps are too low Spikey will shut down. If he does not repond with the soak and husbandry changes, then a Herp Vet visit may be needed. I can locate one for you with a city and state. Joan

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