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Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 18526
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
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Hi, I bought a healthy lively bearded dragon 2 days ago.

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I bought a healthy lively bearded dragon 2 days ago. Yesterday I fed him crickets during the day and he ate well. He went to sleep very early and has been sleeping the whole day today and very lethargic. Today he hardly ate - 2 crickets and a tiny bit of veg. I have fed him calcium and have the correct lighting which was set up by the reptile vet I bought him from. I have a UV light and a basking light for the day and red night light. I am very worried there is something wrong. Could it be stress from the change? Please help!!! Thank you!


Can you tell me the strength of the UVB bulb, the name of the bulb, is it a florescent tube or coil?

What type of substrate are you using?

Diet prey/vegggies?


Temperature in the basking area, cool area and warm area?

Have you had a fecal done?


Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Joan
UVB light- exo terra brand : repti glo 10.0. 76cm 25W.
It's a fluorescent tube. I also have a basking light bulb that I turn on during the day.
Substrate is reptile carpet.
I have fed him Basil leaves, sugar snap peas, kale, sprouts.
Ate Approx 15 crickets yesterday and no veg. Today a little veg and about 2 crickets.
I have dusted his veggies and crickets with calcium powder.
He made a poop yesterday but nothing today.

Thank you

Hi Lisa,

Do you know the temps under the basking light, the warm side of the tank and the cool side of the tank? This is important as it may play a role in what is happening. Joan

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks Joan
There is a thermometer in the middle of the tank. It has stayed at 30 degrees Celsius/83 degrees farenheight. I left the basking light on yesterday but turned it off and just left the UV light on midday today. I thought he may be too hot. I also sprayed him with a bit of water in case he was dehydrated!


The problem may be Jimmi is too cold. Dragons cannot Thermoregulate their body temperature, so thet need heat lights which is the basking lamp to help them. The temp in the basking area should be 105*F-110*F, on the warm side the ambient temperature should be in the 90's and the cool side mid 80's. Without this heat a Dragon will shut down and sleep and cannot digest the food. They need to have their lights 12-14 hours a day. Along with the tank being too cool the stress can add to the inactivity. I would get the Basking and UVB light on and get him warmed up asap.

To prevent dehydration, you can give a 20 min soak in warm water and an infant eletrolyte solution. In the US we have Pedialyte and in the UK there is Dioralyte. It needs to be mixed 50/50 with warm water and while in the soak, you can gently rub Jimmi's abdomen to help promote a bowel movement. The soak will also warm him up. Reptiles absorb fluids through the vent area.

I want to go over diet with you: Collard greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens, escarole and curly endives. Butternut squash and various berries are great for a treat. The Veggies should be put in fresh daily, and done about an hour after lights on. They need 20% veggies daily and 80% live prey under a year of age and over a year the percentages reverse.

The live prey should include crickets, silk worms, roaches, goliath worms and phoenix worms. Meal worms have little nutritional value and arehigh in chitin which is the outer shells and can cause a blockage.Super worms and wax worms are like giving the Dragon candy. All veggies and prey should be dusted with calcium daily 5 days a week and vitamins 2 days a week.

If the problem continues after you do the heating and lighting revisions, I would have a Fecal done by a Reptile Specialist and rule out any parasites that may have been brought on by stress.

I really suspect that once the temps are raised, Jimmi should respond and start perking up, Please let me know if you have further questions. My goal is to give you 100% excellent service. Joan

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks Joan.
I am in South Africa and it is now almost 8pm. Can I turn the basking light and UV light on now at night? When I called the store today they said that he may be too hot. I am not sure... Should I get another thermometer for the 2 areas or an automatic thermostat??


I suggest a digital probe thermometer which can check the area more accurately: two of thesewould be more accurate. The stick on type can be off as much as 20* either way. I would use the Red light tonight and in the Am, turn on both the UVB and basking light and leave them on for 12-14 hours and if the temps is too cool use a bigger bulb for the basking light. It is ok for him to slow down at night, but during the day he needs to be active. It the temps are too low he will not digest and pass stool. Joan

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks so much for your help. Just one more question. Could it be that he is too hot? Yesterday both the UV and basking light were on and he was still lethargic last night.
Thanks again for your great advice


A Dragon if too hot will gape, which means his mouth will be open under the heat lamp or he will move to the cool side of the tank. UVB does not give off heat, so the temp at 83* is way too low and has shut him down. He needs the temps as I described to be active.


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