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Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 18363
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
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I have two concerns - both psychological. It seems that when

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I have two concerns - both psychological. It seems that when my 8 month old bearded dragon sees his reflection in the terrarium glass he scratches at the glass and becomes frantic to get to it. He becomes obsessive and doesn't eat. Are you familiar with this behavior? Also, I keep him in my classroom where he is happy. On extended holidays, such as a two-week spring break, I bring him and his terrarium home. He seems depressed. He lays in a corner and doesn't move or eat. He has gone from about 25 crickets a day to one. He will eventually eat a few blueberries. I called the pet store and they said he should come out of it in another week - that would be two weeks of depression and very little eating. He (or she) is worrying me.


I will be happy to assist you, but I want to ask some questions about husbandry.

Can you tell me about the set up?

UVB light? How old, florescent tube or coil, strength, and name brand?

Basking light?

Temps in basking area, warm side and cool side?



Diet Prey/veggies?


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I got all my supplies at a reptile store - "LLL Reptile" in Escondido, CA.

The lamp says 120v -160w bulb. It's a heat/light. About 3 mos. ago I added another heat only lamp. This brought the temp. up to about 85 to 101 degrees. I took the extra heat lamp off last month because the weather is warmer. Now it is registering 75-79 degrees in the enclosure. He eats (usually) about 25 crickets a day and blueberries - 1 to 4 a day and lettuce - about once or twice a week. Most of the crickets are coated in MINER-ALL.

His cage is floored in wood shavings.


Do you know if the bulb is a Mercury Vapor Bulb which would be self balasted?

How do you measure temps?


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I'm sorry, I don't know about the bulb; but, I got it at the reptile store.

I have a temp. gage that sticks to the back wall of the enclosure. It's mid level, near the center.


Husbandry can play a big part with what is going on as well as the fact he is going through Puberty.

Let me start with lighting. Reptiles need a UVB source. They need either a UVB bulb with would be a florescent tube Reptisun 10.0 or a compact coil which I do not suggest or a Mercury Vapor bulb which I suspect you may have. The UVB works with a daily calcium supplement to metabolize the calcium in the body to prevent Metabolic Bone Disease. This is some information on lighting: The temps and lighting can play a major part on appetite. The temps you are giving me ar a little low and can affect the appetite as well as activity level. The Balsing area should be 105*F-110*F, the warm side in the 90's and the cool side in the mid 80's. I suggest a Digital probe thermometer which can give a more accurate reading. The stick ons can be off as much as 20* either way.

The loose bark bedding is very dangerous. It can be ingested and cause a blockage. I suggest a solid substrate like tile, cage carpet, or paper. The diet should be 50% live prey and 25% veggies. This link will give you an idea of staple foods that can be fed: fruits and Vegetables

I like to feed collard greens, mustard greens, dandelion breens, butternut squash, and various chopped berries for a treat. For prey I use crickets, silk worms, dubia roaches, phoenix worms, and goaliath worms fror treats.

The Dragon could use a soak in a 50/50 warm water and plain Pedialyte to help prevent dehydration and while in the soak gently massage the abdomen.

As far as the glass dancing, that can be resolved by putting some darl paper on the glass. That is something all dragons will do. They love to be handled, but do need 12-14 hours of UVB lighting a day. If he does not start responding, I do suggest a Herp Vet visit for a parasite check. I can locate one for you with a State. 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! What is "darl" paper? And, about the soak - do I submerse him in a pan of water? Do I hold him up side down and massage his abdomen; or, reach under with my fingers? How often does one do this? Will he like his bath?

Thanks so much. Someone just told me last night about their beardie that ingested wood bark and died. However, since the reptile store sold me aHUGE sack of the wood bark, I would not have thought to change to something else if you had not suggested it. Thanks. Is there a "cage carpet" I can buy, and, does it clean up easily? Kate

Hi Kate,

The post was suppossed to read Dark Paper(I have arthritis in my hands) just like construction paper. As for the soak he may be a bit apprehensive but it is important to do soaks on a regular basis. I just do a shallow warm 50/50 soak an gently reach under them with my fingers and massage the abdomen from snout to vent. This helps promote a bowel movement too. The cage carpet can be gotten at most Pet shops or reptile supplies. I use ceramic tile and Cage carpet in my tanks. Loose substrates like calci sand, reptis sand, desert blend and bark are all dangerous, but sold as safe substrates. Joan

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