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Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 18208
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
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We have a 5-6 month old bearded dragon and over the last

Customer Question

Hi Anna,
We have a 5-6 month old bearded dragon and over the last week and a half he started acting very lethargic, just laying around and he became very limp when in his tank. We noticed some bubbles around his mouth and immediately brought him to a rep that specializes in reptiles. she was thinking that he may have a respiratory infection so she put him on antibiotics. He was only eating a little if we put the food in front of him but even that seemed like such an effort for him. He has a bit more spunk when you pick him up but resorted back to the same lethargic behavior in the tank. We have been doing research and I went out and bought a stonger UVB light and bulb set up, as to my disappointment, the set up the pet store sold us only had a 5UVB out put and it was the coil light. Today he ate 7 crickets which is more than he has and was able to slowly attempt to walk over to eat them. Is it possible that the weak UVB output could have made him
Sick with Musculoskeletal disease
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.


My name is ***** ***** I have been a Vet tech for 30+ years with special interest in Reptiles and Reptile Rescue.

You are indeed correct the UVB being too weak and a coil bulb can definitely affect the Dragon's mobility, activity level and overall health. Along with the UVB the Dragon should be getting Calcium 5 days a week and a vitamin 2 days a week. The UVB and calcium work together to prevent Metabolic Bone Disease. Which affects the skeleton as well the organs.

Since he is on antibiotics, you need to add a Probiotic like Benebac to aid with the gut flora that is killed off by the antibiotic. I also suggest to bathe the Dragon is a 50/50 pedialyte and warm water. This helps dehydration caused by the antibiotics. You need to also be feeding 20% fres veggies to include collar greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens, butternut squash, escarole, and curly endives. The prey can include silk worms, crickets, dubia roaches and Phoenix worms. They can give variety in prey items and well accepted by most dragons.

I am hoping these few tweaks will help the Dragon.

One last note is the Baskin area needs to be 105*F-110*F, the warm side in the 90's and the cool side in the 80's. The temps can influence the activity level, and ability to digest food.

Please let me know if you have further concerns or need clarification. If I have addressed your concerns, please take a moent to rate my service 5 stars.


Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.


I am checking in today to see how the Dragon is doing and to see if you started a Probiotic. That will help with the Gut flora.


Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about Ralphie. How is everything going?
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.

How is the Dragon doing? It has been a while since we talked.