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Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11428
Experience:  Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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My bearded dragon once a week and she stop eating crickets

Customer Question

My bearded dragon poops once a week and she stop eating crickets she'll eat the freeze dried ones and she eats the buffet blend but will not eat vegetables. What should I do
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the dragon's name and age?
Customer: Her name is ***** ***** she is 11 months old
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Sassy?
Customer: She is in a 45 gallon tank and has a 150 watt bulb.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Anna replied 11 months ago.
Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with a special interest in reptiles. Some additional information will help me determine the best steps for you to take to try to improve Sassy's appetite.What are the temperatures directly under the basking light and on the cool side of the cage?Do you have any other lights besides the 150 watt? A UVB light, for example?What substrate do you use on the cage floor?When you try to feed live crickets, what size do you use?If you are asked to rate my service, please don't do that just yet since we are just beginning. Thank you.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Sassy has a uvb along with 150 watt bulb. I use paper towels as substrate. I use large crickets when I feed her. Her cool side is 80 and basking side is 120
Expert:  Anna replied 11 months ago.
Thank you. What is the brand of your UVB, and how old is the bulb?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
ReptiSun 10.0. It may be time for a new one it think I have had it for 6 months
Expert:  Anna replied 11 months ago.
Thank you. Yes, it is time for a new one. They are only good for 6 months. I'm going to work on some information for you now, and will post it as soon as I have it typed up. I appreciate your patience, and will be back shortly.
Expert:  Anna replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for waiting. Those freeze-dried crickets and the buffet blend are not very nutritious foods. Nothing is left of the crickets but the hard dried shells, and then they spray them with some cheap vitamins. When only eating dry foods, a dragon can easily become dehydrated. Pooping once a week is normal under those circumstances.

I’ll start with a first aid measure.Buy some Pedialyte (yes, the kind for human infants). Prepare a shallow bath consisting of 1/2 water and 1/2 Pedialyte. Soak Sassy for about 20 to 30 minutes twice a day. Reptiles can absorb the electrolytes and fluids through their vents (where droppings pass out), so make the water deep enough to cover the vent. Be sure to supervise closely.

After she has had a couple of long soaks, you can try feeding. Get some plain meat baby food. Drop a small dollop right on the end of Sassy's snout. Most of the time, reflexes will cause them to lick it off. This will be a temporary method until we can get her eating prey insects again.

There are two potential problems with crickets that may have caused her to stop eating them. Crickets should be no larger than the space between Sassy's eyes. If they are bigger than that, she can have trouble swallowing them. Secondly, even crickets of the proper size can cause trouble if live crickets are left in the cage. Uneaten crickets bite. The bite wounds are so small that we can't see them, but they can be enough to make a beardie stop hunting crickets. The best way to feed crickets is to only give as many as she will eat in 15 minutes, then remove the rest.

At this point, it may be difficult to get her to eat crickets again, so I recommend trying some different prey. Don't use meal worms or superworms, though. Both are high in chitin, which dragons don't digest well. They're fine for some other lizards, but not beardies. Wax worms are too high in fat, but can be used as a rare treat. I recommend you try silk worms or Phoenix worms. Most dragons absolutely love them and they are very nutritious.If you can't find any locally, there are companies that ship worldwide. Here are three of them:

I would also try introducing some produce, such as collard greens, dandelions, summer squash, etc. Young dragons are often not interested, but it's a good idea to make them available, since she will need them as she gets older.

I'm going to give you a link to a reputable and easy to understand site for information on feeding because there is too much for me to explain here. It is color-coded and explains which foods are OK, and how often they should be fed.I refer to it often.

If you have more questions, just let me know. I hope Sassy will soon be eating well.


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