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Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 3747
Experience:  Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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Our bearded dragon looks like its

Customer Question

Our bearded dragon looks like its dying we don't know what to do
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Joan replied 2 years ago.
Hello,My name is ***** ***** I have been a Vet tech for 30+ years with special interest in Reptiles and Reptile Rescue. Bearded Dragons are one of my specialties.Can you tell me about the set up?Do you have a UVB light, linear tube, compact coil strength, or Mercury Vapor Bulb, age of bulb and brand?Basking bulb?Substrate?Normal diet prey/Veggies?Supplements?Temps in Basking area warm side and cool side?What is going on with the Dragon?Joan
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks Joan,

The dragon has all of that. She's lost quite a bit of weight and was seen yesterday. We've been force feeding her since yesterday and today we found her unable to move her mouth opens every now and then like she's trying to gasp for air. she's not moving at emergency vets are answering their phone

Expert:  Joan replied 2 years ago.
Hello,The questions I asked are very specific because the husbandry can be pert of the problem. If you can give me the answers to the above questions it would help me.What are you force feeding?Was the Vet you had seen a reptile specialist?Did they run any tests like a fecal or blood?Did they give any fluids?Joan
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Do you have a UVB is linear tube... age of bulb= 2 months and brand= reptisun
Basking bulb=yes
Normal diet prey/Veggies= hasn't been eating (usually meal worms), wouldn't eat veggies at all and recently wouldn't eat worms
Supplements= wouldn't take any Just started force feeding National Geographic bearded dragon entree
Temps in Basking area warm side= 110-120 and cool side=75 ish

Sorry...I'm just in a panicked state

Vet is a specialst didn't run blood or give fluids. We have fluids here because my daughters are vet techs and we have needles but don't know how to use them

Expert:  Joan replied 2 years ago.
Hello,Force feeding can cause aspiration Pneumonia, and from what you have described, it sounds like that is what is going on right now. The Dragon should have had fluids at the Vets office. Legally I can not prescribe fluids, but we can start a therapeutic soak in a 50/50 warm water and Pedialyte soak. This is important to help get fluids into the Dragon without pushing fluids. For feeding we are going to use some Chicken baby food with some plain calcium mixed in without D3. Feed in small increments like 2-3 mls and stop and then 2 hours later again. This is much thicker and should not go into the lungs.If the UVB light is older than 6 months it needs replacing. I suggest the Reptisun 10.0 Linear tube. It is very important for the Dragon to be getting adequate UVB and a calcium supplement. Metabolic Bone Disease not only affects the bones, but also the organs, so if the Dragon does not have UVB and a calcium supplement, this can be part of what is wrong right now. We can only give supportive care until the Reptile Specialist can be seen. They need to do a blood test, fecal and a full evaluation. If you would like I can see if I can locate some Herp Vets with your State as once may have an oncall emergency Vet on. When in the soak support the Dragon so she does not go under. You can also take her in a steamy bathroom to inhale some steam for the lungs and outside for short periods to get some natural sunlight.Joan
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you but she passed away. We took her to the emergency vet to check her heart just to be sure.

Expert:  Joan replied 2 years ago.
Hi sorry for you loss. My condolences.Joan