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Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 20071
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
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We got a baby bearded dragon the beginning of December. Not

Customer Question

We got a baby bearded dragon the beginning of December. Not long ago he ate oversized crickets. Now he has hind leg paralysis. From reading, I assumed it was from impaction. I have given him several warm baths per day for the last three days and every time I put him in the bath he poops. But his hind legs still are not working. I dust his crickets with calcium and he has both flights overhead. He is in a 40 gallon tank.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Joan replied 2 years ago.


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 UVB light, is it linear tube or compact coil, strength, brand and distance fro the Dragon?

Type of supplements you are using?

Feeding any Veggies?

Are the stools hard or normal?

Is Junior eating normally?

Coul he have taken a fall?

If you pinch a back foot does he try and pull away?

State to locate a Herp Vet?


Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The UVB is a coil light - it came as a set from the pet store. It is a good distance from his basking rock though… Maybe 8–10 inches. He refuses to eat any of the supplements/prepackaged food from the pet store. He will eat shaved vegetables if we feed him by hand. His stools were a little runny before this occurred. Now I can't really tell because he poops in the water… They've been a little orange, but I have also given him a lot of extra veggies including carrots because I thought that would help him with the blockage if that's what it was. I just tried pinching his feet and he does pull them back! Both of them! I hope that's good news! We live in a little town called Brooklet Georgia it's just outside of Statesboro Georgia… I checked and I don't see any herp vets here
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I do dust his crickets with a calcium powder… It does not have D3 in it.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Not long ago his basking lamp bulb broke. I did not know if I had 100 W or 150 W. So I ended up going with the hundred watt bulb. That was just a couple weeks ago… I was thinking of going and getting the higher wattage ball today along with a thermometer as ours is lost
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Also, about the lighting, The lights sit side-by-side and the basking light is over the rock and branch where he spends most of his time. So I'm not sure how he gets much of the UVB light anyway?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He passed three stools the day before yesterday… His eating was slightly reduced before that, but for the last couple days, he will eat whatever we feed him.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Oh. And I don't think he has fallen. Unless he fell and we did not see it
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I just checked the UVB light – it is made by all living things and says 26W UVB 10.0
Expert:  Joan replied 2 years ago.

What type of greens do you give? Do you feed any spinach or kale?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I give him pieces of organic mix that we eat for salad. I'm not sure what all kinds are in there.
Expert:  Joan replied 2 years ago.


It is possible that there is some pressure on the spine, but he does have movement which is great. My concerns like your is an impaction or the onset of Metabolic Bone Disease. It is possible that the UVB light you are using is in effective. I like to use a linear tube Reptisun 10.0. The coil bulbs have a lot of problems. It is good you are doing soaks. and he is passing stool.

The carrots is an occasional food as is the mixture you are feeding. The carrots can cause eye problems. . He should be getting collards, mustard greens, escarole, curly endives, butternut squash and dandelion greens. Spinach and kale bind calcium so only occasional veggies. Right now he needs 80% live prey until a year of age and then the percentages switch to 80% veggies. The pelleted food is useless. Nutrition Guide color coded:

Please when you put him in the soak support hi where he tries to use the back legs to keep them moving. He definitely needs to see a Herp Vet to see what is causing the inability to use the legs.

This is a list of GA Herp Vets: You may have to travel a bit but in this circumstace I am concerned on several levels. The orange in stool is a sign of dehydration. Loose stool can indicate a blockage or Parasites, so with this information, I feel it is important next step. I would also replace the UVB light with the Reptisun 10.0 linear tube to make sure you have the best output of UVB for the Dragon.


Customer: replied 2 years ago.
there's nothing else I can do or no way it will resolve on its own? I was contacting you so I didn't have to pay for an exotic vet visit that's 45 minutes away.
Expert:  Joan replied 2 years ago.

I understand. As I said there are a couple of possibilities. You can try the new UVB bulb, along with exercising the legs in the water. If a Blockage that should help it to pass and also strengthen the legs. If MBD Junior may need a shot of calcium. Make sure if he is eating that he is getting the calcium on the food 5 days a week and 2 days a Vitamin. The UVB should be no more than 12" from Junior. This may resolve itself, but without a hands on exam to know exactly what is happening it is impossible to say. Try and give it a week and if it does not resolve, Then a Herp Vet visit will be needed.


Expert:  Joan replied 2 years ago.
Hi Krista,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Junior. How is everything going?
Expert:  Joan replied 2 years ago.

How is your Dragon Doing? I wanted to check and see if you have been into the Vet with the Dragon Please let me know what the Vet said.