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Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11545
Experience:  Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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We went away weekend & took our bearded with us. We didn't

Customer Question

we went away for a long weekend & took our bearded with us. We didn't bring crickets only super worms, which he loves & arugula. This was almost a month ago. Since then he is pretty much refusing to eat his veg. I have tried everything - collards, mustard, celery leaves, cucumber, bell pepper, strawberries, like everything!
He doesn't do much during the day, but he never really did. He got semi excited for some crickets last week, but then did not want them after he had them one day. He gets excited for him worms.
Near as we can tell he is 15 months old. He used to poop every day (and it was nasty!!!) now he only poops every 2-3 days & only when he is in the bath. It is a lot harder now, looks like normal poo.
Thoughts? Thanks!!!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with a special interest in reptiles. I'm sorry to hear your beardie is having some problems. Some additional information will be useful.On your long weekend, did you keep him in a temporary enclosure, or did you take all his equipment with you?What temperatures do you normally maintain under the basking light and on the cool side of the cage?What brand and size of UVB light do you have? How old is the bulb?What substrate do you use on the cage floor?If you are asked to rate my service, please don't do that just yet since we are just beginning. Thank.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We took his travel enclosure which is smaller, but we have used it several times. We bring his 'bed' and the uvb & heat lamp.
The basking is 105 & the cool spots are 87. We have a mercury vapor bulb Solar Glow 125w. The bulb is about 2-3 months old at best.He has a sand bottom - always has, even when we bought him.Thanks for your help!
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for getting back to me. I'm glad to her you have a mercury vapor bulb - they're great. I'm working on some information for you and will post it as soon as I have it typed up. I appreciate your patience, and will be back shortly.
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for waiting. Your temperatures are perfect, which is a relief, because being cold is one of the most common causes of appetite loss.

Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

There are a few possibilities for what is going on. Superworms are high in chitin, which dragons can't digest well. They're fine for some other lizards, but not beardies. The chitin accumulates in the intestines, and eventually causes constipation and appetite loss. Sand as a substrate is another potential cause of this. Dragons often accidentally ingest some as they are eating or exploring. It, too, accumulates. I'll give you a measure to try for this.

Buy some baby food prunes and some Pedialyte (yes, the kind for human infants). Drop a dollop of the prunes on the end of his snout. Most of the time, reflexes will cause them to lick it off. Wait about 45 minutes, then 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 him still in the water, gently massage her underside from front to vent for an additional 10 minutes. That may be enough to help him pass anything in his intestines. Be sure to supervise closely.

The smelly, runny poop often indicates parasites or a bacterial infection. Normal is neither runny nor hard and dry. For that reason, it would be a good idea to take a sample of fresh poop in a clean plastic bag to a reptile vet for a fecal exam. This link will take you to a directory of reptile vets:

If the soaks and massage don't help, Mongo may be sick. In that case, he will need to be seen by a vet. Regardless of what happens, I'd stop the superworms. stick to crickets, Phoenix worms, or silk worms. Here is an excellent site that will show you all the variety you can feed. I refer to it often.

I would also switch out the sand for reptile carpet or ceramic or slate tiles. Despite the fact that pet stores recommend them, the sand and other loose substrates almost always lead to trouble in the long run.

I hope it will turn out that Mongo is just a little constipated and the above measures will help. If you have more questions, just let me know.


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