How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Joan Your Own Question
Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 18518
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
Type Your Reptile Question Here...
Joan is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

He's a baby bearded dragon. He is active and can hold

Customer Question

He's a baby bearded dragon. He is active and can hold himself upright, but won't really eat and hasn't been growing at all. I got another one the same day and she is growing perfectly fine and healthy.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the baby's name and age?
Customer: His name is ***** ***** he is about 7 inches long. Ive had him for a month, I guessed he was about 2 months when I got him.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Ray?
Customer: He is just incredibly small and refuses to eat for the most part.
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.

Are the Dragons housed together?

Can you tell me about the set up?


UVB light linear tube or compact coil, strength, age of bulb, brand?

Basking light?

Diet prey Veggies?


temps in basking area, ambient temps and cool side?

How measured?

State to locate Herp Vet if needed?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, they are no longer housed together. I put him in a tank that is about 30 or 40 gallons. His UVB light is a zilla slimline and his basking light is 100 W. His thermometer is located a little bit lower (about halfway down the tank) and says its about 90 degrees, but I think its a faulty thermometer. I originally got him small crickets but he refused to eat them so the only thing he will eat is a few live meal worms a day. I put veggies in his tank; kale, butternut squash, carrots, and strawberries occasionally. He won't touch any of them. I've been dusting the worms in calcium and I've been putting liquid multivitamins on his veggies, but again he won't touch them. I tried giving him a tiny bit of jumpstart to try and get his appetite going, but he still only ate one small cricket afterwards. I really only measured him being that he is the length of my hand. I like is South Carolina.
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.

what substrate do you have for the tanks?

what is the strength of the UVB bulb? Is it a 2.0, 5.0, 8.0 or 10.0?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
His is sand, and the UVB is 10.0
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.

Please remove the sand asap. It is deadly and may be a part of the problem. Sand is sold as a safe edible substrate but turns into a concrete like substance in the gut causing lack of appetite. Next issue is diet. We never feed meal worms or sure worms. They are high in chitin the hard outer shell and not digestible. You should be feeding dubia roaches, crickets, silk worms or Phoenix worms. The Veggies are also an issue. Kale and spinach bind calcium. Acceptable vegges include collards, dandelion greens, mustard greens, escarole, curly endives, butternut squash ans some berries for treats. You need to bump up the the temps. Basking area needs to go up to 105-110, the ambient temp at mid 90's and cool side at 80's. A digital probe thermometer or temp gun are most accurate.

If it is as I suspect ingested sand we need to continue the soaks at 90*F and massage the abdomen. We need to start some emergency feeding by giving some chicken baby food mixed with calcium and drop on the snout and allow it to be licked off. This also may be a parasite issue. I do suggest a Herp Vet visit and I can locate some for you with a State.

I am hoping with the few changes it will help, but husbandry plays a big part in the heath of the Dragon. Please let me know about if you need a Herp Vet. When I have addressed your concerns, please take a moment to rate my service 5 stars, so I can be compensated by the site for answers.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How do I increase the temperatures? Do I buy a new basking bulb?
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.

Two ways of increasing temps, Use a second basking bulb or higher watt bulb and the other way is to use a mercury vapor bulb which not only acts as a basking bulb, but it also has a nice UVB output and is good for a year Vs the linear tube which is only good for 6 months.