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Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11461
Experience:  Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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My bearded dragon seems to not leave s de. She will sit on

Customer Question

My bearded dragon seems to not leave his hide. She will sit on her rock for a few minutes, and then go back inside and seem to just sit in there.
Her last stool was runny. I just upgraded the basking light to 150 watts because the cage was not hot enough. I'm not sure if mine is in brumation, or if she has parasites or just doesn't feel good. She eats a decent amount. About 10-20 large crickets when I feed her.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Reptile
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The substrate the beardie is on is crushed walnut shells (I know its bad for them) I will be changing that to childs play sand sifted and washed eventually. I have the 10.0 reptisun tube over the length of the cage. She is fed once a day. Greens have been relatively hard to keep in her cage. However, I will be getting more of a variety to keep for her.
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome. I apologize that no one responded to you sooner. Different experts come on at various times. I just logged on and saw your question. My name is ***** ***** I' a biologist with a special interest in reptiles. This post is not your answer, but is a request for information. So don't rate my service yet - we're just beginning. What temperatures do you now have under the basking light and on the cool side? Is she still eating well now? I can tel you that she is not brumating. Beardies under one year don't brumate. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That is the thing, I am not sure if she is under one year or if she is exactly one year. When we picked her up from Petco she was relatively bigger and she seemed to have been returned because of her aggressiveness(we worked through it.)When I left this morning after installing the light it was 90 degrees and that was at 9:00 this morning. It's not 5:45 so I am unsure of the temperature at this time.
She is still eating about 20-30 crickets a day. (Will be getting rid of the crickets shortly with Dubia Roaches)On the cool side I know its about 80 degrees.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I know that she should be about 110-115 on her basking platform, however, I believe it was about 90-95 degrees before upgrading the 100 watt bulb to a 150.
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for getting back to me. I'm working on your answer and will post it as soon as I have it put together and typed up.

Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for waiting. As you already know, it's crucial to get the temperatures up. A temp of 90*F is cool enough to lead to lethargy, but that is not brumation. Even during brumation, they need to be warm enough. If you decide she is brumating, she will require some special care. Their bodies slow down in response to the shorter days of winter, even when they live in our houses. During brumation, you shouldn't feed any live prey, but make fresh greens available. Once a week, take her out for a soak to keep her hydrated. Supervise the bath carefully since she is sluggish. As the days grow longer again, she should come out of this.

However, I don't think she is brumating. Start by getting the temperatures up to the proper level. A runny stool can be caused by parasites, illness, or a partial blockage. Crushed walnut is notorious for causing blockages. When there is a partial blockage, only very runny stools can pass through. I'll give you a first aid measure to take. If she is not blocked, this measure will not hurt her. Get some prune baby food. Drop a small dollop right on the end of her snout. Many times, they will lick it off by reflex. If she does, wait one hour before taking the next step. If she won't eat the prunes, just proceed. Buy some Pedialyte (yes, the kind for human infants), and prepare a shallow warm bath consisting of 1/2 warm water and 1/2 Pedialyte. Soak your dragon for about 20 to 30 minutes. After the first 10 minutes, with her still in the water, gently massage her underside from front to vent for an additional 10 minutes. That may be enough to help her pass some feces. Try to get her to swim while she's in the water, as that can help, too. Be sure to supervise closely.

I would get rid of the walnut right away. You can use paper towels as substrate until you can get something safer.

After you take all of the above measures, you may see a rapid improvement. If you don't, it would be best to schedule a vet appointment. When you go, take along a sample of her droppings to be checked for parasites. This link will take you to a directory of reptile vets:

Once the vet examines your beardie, checks for parasites, and possibly does blood work, you'll know if she's ill or if she's brumating. It can be really difficult to differentiate, but I am concerned because of the runny droppings. That isn't a normal part of brumation.

If you have more questions, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope your dragon will be fine.


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