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Ask Joan Your Own Question
Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 18355
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
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Over the past few days to a week my year old dragon hasn't

Customer Question

Hi over the past few days to a week my year old dragon hasn't eat but been drinking.about an hour ago we came in and its beard has slightly gone grey want waken but breathing slightly we tried to waken after alittle while it started to stick its tongue out at the same time as breathing.we had to get a new basking bulb could it be going into brumation due to the bulb dying off
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the dragon?
Customer: It was eating as normal when the bigger beardy went into brumstion but he woke everyday to eat and drink.little guy is very Lim we thaught he was gone but noticed him breathing as said above
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
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.

Can you tell me about the set up?

Diet specific Veggies /Prey?


UVB light, how old, linear tube or compact coil strength and brand?

Basking light?

Temps in basking area, warm side and cool side?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Wooden tank with glass front think 40/50 litre.100w basking lamp not coil heat mat on cool temps are 35degrees baskin and about 20 ish on cool fluctuates alittle .dragon was in a real worrying state when we got it 6mnths ago big guy was good but little 1 was real skinny we managed to nurse to a good state and eating crickets and hoppers with waxworms nown again but stopped eating ect but drinking
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.

What substrate do you use?

Do you have any UVB?

Diet Prey/Veggies?



Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sand bottom calcium grapes hoppers crickets wax worms nown again no uvb pets at home adviced just baskin
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
O and dragon food with vitamins and trace elements lima beans rice bran soya bean meal ect thru it
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.

I will be going to dinner shortly, but you have some major issues that need correcting. While I am gone please remove the sand asap. It is deadly and can cause intestinal impactions. The other thing I ask is while I am gone, please go to nearest Pet shop and pick up a Reptisun 10.0 linear tube UVB and the holder. I will go over all when I get back and post a detailed answer.

I will be back in about 2 hours. I have been on steady since 8am and now 5:30 est will post your answer at that time.



Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.

As I mentioned earlier you need a UVB bulb. It needs to work with a Calcium supplement to keep the Dragon from Metabolic Bone Disease: The UVB helps control the activity level as well as appetite. This UVB is so important and have a great bearing on the health of the Dragon. Whoever neglected in telling you that you need a UVB light did you a grave disservice.

As I mentioned the sand is deadly. It turns into concrete in the abdomen. Ceramic tile, paper or cage carpet are the best substrate.

The temps in the basking area should be 105-110*F, the warm side should be 90's and the cool side should be in the 80's. The temps affect activity and also digestion of food. We need to make sure the temps are correct. At this age the diet should be 80% veggies, which should include collard greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens, escarole, curly endives, butternut squash and for a treat you can use a small piece of strawberry or raspberry. The prey should include crickets, dubia roaches, silk worms and phoenix worms. Wax worms are find as an occasional treat but very fatty. We never feed any meal worms or super worms they are too hard to digest the chitin hard outer shell and fatty which can cause liver disease.

To help the Dragon we need to give a nice warm soak in a 50/50 Pedialyte and warm water soak. Get the temps corrected, the UVB bulb and basking light and correct the diet. I believe with these changes you will see a big difference.