I got a Chinese Water Dragon for Christmas about a week ago. Up until last night, he was very in color, breathing

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Customer: I got a Chinese Water Dragon for Christmas about a week ago. Up until last night, he was very brown in color, breathing spuratically, staying in one spot, and sleeping most of the day. I haven't seen him eat anything, but I've noticed that the contents of his food dish (Reptile Munchies: Omnivore Mix) are being sprawled around his tank. I also offer him live, gut loaded crickets, coated with calcium and a multi vitamin supliment. He may be eating some of those, but there are still some running around his tank (sometimes they even climb all over his body and face, and he doesn't even move). This morning he was moved from his starter 10 gallon tank to a 45 gallon tank. The tank has three live tropical plants, a decent size pond, a fairly tall log for basking, a wooden cave, moss, and bark mixed with coconut shell substrate. He has an under tank heating mat, a day blue bulb with UVB rays, and a red bulb. I also spray him and his tank several times a day with Tropical Mist to help get/keep the humidity up. Currently, the temperature is 90 degrees and the humidity is only at 50%. The hunidity was at 76% in his smaller tank, but is proving to be difficult to keep up in his bigger tank. I am trying to keep the humidity up by spraying mist, keeping the substrate moist, covering half of the tank, and keeping the live plants and moss watered.

As soon as he got put in his larger tank, he began to walk and climb a lot. It's the most I've seen him move since getting him, but he is doing all of this with his eyes closed. He is taking big steps to feel where his logs and things are. He is also trying to climb the glass walls, but is obviously having no luck. Why are his eyes closed? Is he sick? I've been wanting to take him to the vet, but many reptile owners I know keep telling me that he just needs time to adjust to his new environment and that he's probably just stressed. I hope this is true. Since it is freezing outside (I live in New England), I am worried that the trip to a reptile vet might make things worse.

Any help or suggestions would be great! I just want my little guy to be healthy!

Thank you,

Keely and Sir Balthazar Impresario
Answered by Jav917 in 8 mins 9 years ago
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Jav917
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27,324 satisfied customers

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Hello,

Can you tell me more about the lighting?

Is the Bulb you are using for UVB, is is a florescent tube or compact coil bulb?

What is the bulb strength and name brand of the bulb?

Do you have a white basking bulb for heat?

Are you just misting your water Dragon or using a misting unit?

Are the eyes swollen?

Joan

Customer
The light fixture I have is a Combo Deep Dome by Zoo Med. One bulb is 100 W and is called Night Black Heat Incansescent Spot and I was told to leave it on for 24 hour heat. In addition to that, I have a Day Blue Light that is 50 W and the box says that it gives off UVA rays. The bulbs are not tubes or coils. They are both made by Zilla and look like everyday light bulbs, but one is tinted blue and one looks like a black light.

I do not have a white basking bulb for heat. I keep the red bulb on all day with the day blue light, and then turn the day blue light off at night. So, for heat at night, he has the red bulb and the heating mat under the tank.

I am not using a misting unit. I am misting him by hand with Tropical Mist Humidifying Spray by Zilla (it is in a spray bottle).

His eyes do not look swollen, however this is my first time owning a reptile, and I didn't think he looked very well the day he was given to me.

I also forgot to mention that he is still pretty brown, almost grey, and has a light grey/whitish patch down his spine. Could he be getting ready to shed? I really hope that's all this is!

Thank you,

Keely

Hello,

The first issue is that you do not have a UVB light. The UVB bulb is most important for the health of the WD. UVB supplies an artificial sunlight that turns the calcium you use as supplements into vitamin D3 in the body. The UVB also controls the way a WD is feeling. They need to be run 12-14 hours a day. It acts as the daylight cycle. The one bulb I suggest is a florescent type tube called a Reptisun 10.0 strength. The bulb needs to run the length of the tank and needs to be changed at 6 months of age. Without the UVB bulb the WD is susceptible to Metabolic Bone Disease which can cause loss of bone mass, abscesses, organ failure and weakness in the immune system. This is some information on reptile lighting: http://www.anapsid.org/uvtable.html The other bulb that should be used in conjunction with the UVB tube is a Basking bulb which is a full spectrum bulb that goes in a dome for basking and also runs 12-14 hours. It also supplies a white light and offers a warm spot to sit under. The UVB should be no more than 12" from the WD. The bulbs you were sold are nothing but bulbs for heat and do not supply the necessary lighting that is needed to keep the WD heathy. This is some infotmation from a well know authority on Water Dragons: http://www.triciaswaterdragon.com/enclosur.htm#Lighting

What we can do is try and help your WD is start some first aid, but it is not a replacement for a hands on Reptile Vet exam. Please set up a shallow soak with a 50/50 warm water and plain Pedialyte(infant electrolyte replacer) and give your W a nice long soak for 20 mins. Thsi will help warm him up and help with any dehydration. Next I would like you to take some sterile saline eye drops without preservatives and place one drop in each eye. This should soothe the eyes and also help remove any debris. For feeding ony give a dusted cricket one at a time to be sure he is eating them. Leaving live prey in the tank can bite your WD causing infection. We are going to supplement feeding by mixing some chicken baby food with calcium and drop on the snout and allow the WD to lick it off. This will be besides try to feed live prey. Continue to mist several times a day and if you cannot get the humidity up, please get an auto mister which can help with that. If you tell me which state you are in I can locate a Herp Vet for you and also give instructions on transport to keep him warm. It is a possibility there is a paraiste issue or an eye infection going on, but the Vet would have to determine that with a hands on exam and fecal sample. This is a care sheet on WD for you: http://www.triciaswaterdragon.com/dragoncr.htm

Please let me now if you have further questions. I will be happy to continue with you. My goal is 100% excellent service. Joan

Customer
Okay, thank you so much. Right after I read UVA on the box, I knew it was supposed to be UVB. I will go buy that light today and first aid supplies, and look into a mister. I live in Massachusetts, close to Boston.

Hi,

This is a link with the Reptile Vets in MA: http://www.anapsid.org/vets/mass.html There is one in Boston and plenty of others listed, hopefully one close by. If you find you need to get him in, just respond to this thread and I can give you instructions to transport him safely. I am hoping with the proper lighting, that he will perk up. Many times these guys come out of the pet shops ill, but hiding it and when they get stressed, it starts showing. My goal is 100% Excellent service and I hope I have met that goal today. Joan

Customer
Thank you for your help! His eyes are now open and he has become more active. He is still not very green, but I think he's getting there. I purchased the white basking light and the UVB tube. I also soaked him in the pedialyte and warm water, and flushed his eyes out with saline. He seems to be doing a lot better. If I have anymore questions, I will certainly come back to you. Thank you! Keely and Balthazar
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