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Ask Joan Your Own Question
Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 18646
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
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It's a bearded dragon that has quit eating and just stick

Customer Question

It's a bearded dragon that has quit eating and just stick around barely moving and almost has no strengtg
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with the dragon?
Customer: He barely has any strength and just sits around and won't eat
JA: What is the dragon's name and age?
Customer: Almost a year
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the dragon?
Customer: This is rge third dragon in like a year and a half that's doing the same tging
JA: What is the dragon's name?
Customer: Iggy
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Joan replied 10 months ago.


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

Can you tell me about the set up?

Age of Dragon?

UVB light, linear tibe or compact coil, strength, brand and age of blb?

Basking light?

Diet prey/Vegges?


Temps in Basking area, ambient temp and cool side?

How measured?

Has weather gotten cooler where you are?


Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Age about 11mnths white light and red heat light heating pad under tank eats mostly meal worms with vitamin dust occasionally some veggies 70 and 100 are Temps and it's been cool here a while we're in Iowa
Expert:  Joan replied 10 months ago.

Do you have a UVB light or is the light you are using a UVB and not have a Basking Bulb? This is very important in knowing what is happening.

Type of substrate used?


Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Basking and uvb and redhead light
Expert:  Joan replied 10 months ago.

Please stop the meal worms as they are not a suitable feeder for Dragons. The acceptable feeders are Silk worms, Phoenix worms, Crickets, Dubia roaches and goliath worms. The meal worms are too high in chitin and can cause blockages and the super worms are too high in fat content.

What you are describing sounds like brumation (reptile hibernation) which is common in Dragons over a year old, but can come sooner. This happens when the weather starts to get cooler. That is why he is not eating or drinking. This can last 2-4 months during the colder periods.You need to reduce the lighting to 8 hours a day from 12-14 hours a day. This allows for the Dragon to rest properly. You UVB light should be replaced every 6 months as they do loose potency. I suggest a Reptisun 10.0 tube bulb.During this time we usually give a soak once a week in 1/2 warm water and 1/2 Plain Pedialyte (infant electrolyte replacer).What you want to do is keep track of the Dragons weight and if there is weight loss then you will need to see the Dragon Vet. If there is no loss just bathe in the above solution once a week and allow the Dragon to go back to the sleep This is some information on Brumation: hit reply top further discuss this information. Joan
Expert:  Joan replied 10 months ago.

Did you have questions about this information or need further help?


Customer: replied 10 months ago.
This may be the case but he also has gotten a lump in the middle of his back and its back legs are swollen
Expert:  Joan replied 10 months ago.

Thank-you for that information. What you just described is a sign of Metabolic Bone Disease. UVB lights are only good for 6 months. Can you tell me the strength, Brand, age and is the UVB a linear tube or compact coil? Do you use a calcium supplement and how often do you give it?