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Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 18370
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
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We found my baby beardie flipped on his back and very still.

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We found my baby beardie flipped on his back and very still.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the baby's name and age?
Customer: Yoshi, we just got him about a week ago with a pets in the classroom grant but haven't taken him to school yet.
JA: How old is Yoshi?
Customer: Not sure since he came from Petsmart, but his body is about 4" long. His color is dark and he occasionally gasps.
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Yoshi?
Customer: He's had a rough week. We're in the flooded area of NC and had to move him to someone else's house because we lost power. He's been home about 2 days.


My name is ***** ***** I have been a Vet tech for 30+ years and I have worked with Dragons over 40 years.

I need to ask some questions to best assist you.

Can you tell me about the set up?


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

Basking light?

Diet Prey/veggies?

Temps in basking area, ambient temps and cool side?

How measured?

Passing stool?


Customer: replied 10 months ago.
He's on repti-carpet and we went with the ZOO MED™ Reptihabitat Bearded Dragon 20 Gallon Terrarium Kit as per my grant, not sure of the wattage of the bulbs but all three are Zoo Med. He's been fed Rep-Cal juvenile food as in the store. I don't think he has eaten today. Due to the storm the live dubia roaches I ordered just came in today. The temp on the cool side is between 75-80, not sure about the basking side. He has been going to the bathroom. Yoshi also has a shallow water dish he drinks distilled water from, and we mist him with it as well. His color got very dark then pale. He just tried to stand but his legs wobbled and he fell down again.

I would like to try and be specific on the UVB if possible.

Any supplements?

Do you have power back?


Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Reptisun 5.0 UVB
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Have calcium for his bugs but again, haven't had the chance to give him any. Yes, we have power. He just crawled to the front of the tank like when he wants to be picked up, but collapsed again.

Yoshi, is showing signs of MBD which is Metabolic Bone Disease. This can ocur from lack of UVB and a calcium supplement. This is some information on MBD: THe UVB light you have is way to weak. These Dragons need a Reptisun 10.0 Linear tube. The temps under the basking light should be 105-110, the warm side should be 90's and the cool side mid 80's.

The UVB need to work with a plain calcium supplement. The UVB metabolizes the calcium into D3 in the body. The weakness in the legs and flipping over are all signs of MBD. I suspect he may also have parasites. Most of the Dragons coming out of the Pet shops do.

Diet should be 80% prey which includes dubia roaches, crickets, silk worms and Phoenix worms aka calcium worms. No Meal worms or super worms for dragons. The Veggies should be 20% including collard greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens, and butternut squash. over a year old the percentages change to 80% veggies and 20% live prey. This is a diet sheet color coded:

Your Yoshi will eventually need a 40 gallon breeder tank.

He will to have a Herp Vet check and if you supply a state I can locate some for you. He will need to be put on a high potency calcium and most likely need to be treated for parasites if some are found in the stool. I would like to start some first aid for him. First we need to change the type of water you are giving him. Distilled takes out the electrolytes, so get him on purified or spring water. We need to give him a soak in a shallow container of water and support him in the soak. To this soak put a pinch of calcium in the soak. Reptiles absorb fluid through the Vent area. Next if he is not eating we need to start supplemental feeding. Please let me know and I will give you a formula on that. WE need to get him under a stronger UVB light as soon as you can. He will have to have food dusted with calcium 5 days a week and 2 days with a Vitamin.

Please read though this information and hit reply with questions an a State to locate Herp Vets.



Customer: replied 10 months ago.
We are in Goldsboro, NC.Needless to say, I'm more than a little upset since the pet store employees both claimed to have used the lights in the tank for their own beardies. Should we be looking at taking him back there?

Something is wrong that he is showing signs of MBD. The fact they sold you a set up with a light that is not strong enough, to me speaks volumes that they do not know their products.It is totally up to you on returning him. I always recommend to all new owners they have their Dragons seen for a Fecal because most come out of the Pet Shops with some type of parasitic infestation. If he is not eating we need to start feeding. You can do this with some chicken baby food stage 1 and add a pinch of calcium and drop on the snout and allo him to lick it off. Right now he cannot chase prey, so it is important to get food into him. It may be worth seeing the Vet as soon as you can. The darker color is stress and being cold. Please be sure to change to spring water or purified water to drink. This is a link for Herp Vets in NC: I did not seen any in Goldboro, but one may be close in another city. Please hit reply for further questions. My goal is to assist you and Yoshi. I strive for excellent service and to earn a 5 star rating.


I wanted to check in on Yoshi. How is he doing? Did you have him seen or did you take him back to the Pet store? Please let me know I have been concerned about him.


Joan and 2 other Reptile Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Regretfully, Yoshi passed away that night. It was a horrible time for all of us, my students didn't take the news well, and the people at Petsmart didn't make it any easier. They were too busy complaining about taking everything back to even care when we tried to warn them about the poor lighting and lack of calcium for the beardies they still had. As a result, I have decided to give up my Pets in the Classroom grant, buy a new setup (after extensive research), get one from a reputable breeder, and pay for everything out of pocket. Two of our friends that have both owned various reptiles for years will be going with us to pick one.

There is Dale's Beardies and Daciu who are both good Breeders of Bearded Dragons and have a health guarantee. I can help with my care sheet if needed when you are ready. I am so sorry that you had to go through that with Yoshi. I see this on a daily Basis and I personally have fought with Petsmart, Their Vets and the stores. I was even ask to leave when shooting pictures with my phone of deplorable conditions. Please come back and Post a question for me and I will be happy to walk you through the set up diet husbandry and help as much as I can.