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Ask Joan Your Own Question
Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 18370
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
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There, my beardie has been ill since we picked him up from

Customer Question

Hi there, my beardie has been ill since we picked him up from his holiday boarding at a garden centre whilst we were in Greece for 2 weeks. He hasn't been right since we got back. He hasn't eaten, hardly moved and barely kept his eyes open. I have been bathing hin twice a day and his stomach didn't feel impacted. This morning he seemed to have made a bit of progress and had moved around the tank a little. I have got back from work and he has died. His eyes are open but very sunken in, he has a mouth full of the substrate which is all sticking out the sides, he just doesn't look like he has 'died quietly' if that makes sense. What could have happened to him? I have 3 dragons and a chameleon and know the basics about reptiles so all of his viv and died etc was fine
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.Can you tell me about the set up?Normal diet Prey/Veggies?Substrate?Supplements?Temps in enclosure in Basking area, warm side and cool side?How are the temps measured?UVB Light age, strength, Linear tube or compact coil and brand?Basking light?Was he passing stool?Joan
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi,He ate crickets/locust/worms with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. He has a 6 foot tank which he shares with my other two, which has 100 watt heat lamp and an arcadia uv bulb which is 2 or 3 months old. His food was always gutloaded with plenty of calcium. I don't think it was his set up or diet with me, I have had all sorts of reptiles for a long time with no problems what so ever. I think something has happened whilst he was at the garden centre boarding facility. He passed 2 very small stools since Saturday, this was whilst I was bathing him and rubbing his belly. He has only been home with me since Saturday. When I found him dead he has a mouth full of substrate, but died with it in his mouth? The substrate used was Pets at Homes own brand called Aspen Bedding. My other 2 dragons and chameleon are all as normal.
Expert:  Joan replied 2 years ago.
Hello,What type of substrate do you use? Do you know the temps in the basking area, warm side and cool side?We rae having bad storms and will get back to you asap.Joan
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The hot end is 105, not sure about the cool end. This is a link to the substrate I use
Expert:  Joan replied 2 years ago.
Hello,Loose substrates are notorious for problems. I always recommend that a solid substrate be used. Cage Carpet, tile, or paper is all I suggest. I suspect that the Dragon may have had some bedding lodged in the throat or even ingested a large amount of it causing a blockage. When he regurgitated the food and bedding he may have choked to death. This is only speculation, since it would take a Necropsy to determine the full cause. I cannot say what may have happened when he was boarded and what he may have eaten or got a hold of. The sunken eye are signs of dehydration, so that is another clue of what may have happened. This could have been the Kidneys shut down, which also can cause vomiting and pain. I wish I could give you more closure, but some many variable at play, I can only speculate on Cause of death.Joan