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Ask Joan Your Own Question
Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 18343
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
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My beardie has been seeming to be way more lethargic as of

Customer Question

My beardie has been seeming to be way more lethargic as of late. Won't really open his eyes much. Not super interested in food either. Breathing seems normal and when taken out of the cage and bring held he is a bit more responsive
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help beardie. How old is beardie?
Customer: Less than a year. Will be a year in August
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about beardie?
Customer: When my dad was taking care of him for two days, he confused the UV light for the heating lamp, so he was heat deprived for 2 days or less
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Joan replied 2 months ago.


My name is ***** ***** I have been a Vet tech for 35+ years and have worked with Reptiles 40+ years.

Can you tell me about the enclosure?


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

Diet Prey/veggies?


Temps in ebasking area, ambient temp and cool side?


Customer: replied 2 months ago.
He has the sand in there that isn't supposed to harden if accidentally digested, he's has that for a while and seems to like it. I'm not sure about the UV lamp or heating lamp, the pet store we're the ones that recommended them when I first got him. The inclosure is about 85-90 degrees during the day, and 70 at night when the lamps are off. I'm thinking it has to do with something in his inclosure because I have had him out now for about 15 minutes and he seems to be a bit more alert and responsive. Acting more like himself. He has never seemed to have an issue with the cage before this weekend though, always seemed like himself until just these past few days. Oh and I feed him primarily veggies now (he isn't too fond of crickets any longer) so he gets those about once or twice a month
Expert:  Joan replied 2 months ago.

I really need specifics on UVB because we have found poor advice coming out of the Pet supply like the sand they sold you is deadly. If is not a safe edible substrate it is calcum carbonet and causes impactions, as well as corneal abrasions and skin issues. I suggest repoving it asap, and use cage carpet, tile or paper.

Do you use supplements?

What veggies do you feed?

If you can give me any info on the UVB, it will help.


Customer: replied 2 months ago.
There's nothing on the lamp, it's just black but I'm 100% willing to get another just for safe measure. The sand is ground walnut shells, and I give him mixed veggies. Lettuce everyday for water and then any variation of tomatoes, greens, bell pepper, green beans, etc
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
What UV lamp do you suggest
Expert:  Joan replied 2 months ago.

Walnut shell is the deadliest of the lse substrates. It can not only cause an impaction it can perforate the intestinal tract. Please get rid of it. I have some graphic autopsy pictures, if you need to see them.

The Black light is not a UVB and is nothng more than a night time light. I suggest a Reptisun 10.0 T5 Linear tube to run the length of the tank. You also need an incondescent basking light that is full spectrum. The UVB ad basking light need to run 10-12 hours a day. The temps in basking area should be 105-110*F, the ambient temop should be mid 90's and the cool side mid 80's and no lower than 78 at night.

The diet over a year should be 80% veggies to include collard greens, mustard greens, dandlion greens and flowers, esarole, curly endives, greenand red pepers, Butternut or acorn squash. No Tomatoes. The prey items can include all live at 20% of the diet crickets , silk worms, Phoenix worms, and dubia roaches. All foods shuld be dusted with a plan calcium 5 dyas a week asn 2 days a week with a Vitamin. NO Lettuce, it has no nutritional value. No meal worms or super worms.

WE need to correct all thises issues asap.

Now for first aid. Please get the Dragon in a soak of 50/50 warm water and plain pedialyte. This will hydrate the Dragon. While in the soak gently massage the abdonen from snout to vent, This should promote a stool.

THe UVB bulb should also be changed every 6 months.

Hopefully with the proper lighting, diet and supplements the Dragon will respond. Lighting nd temps paly an extreme bearing on activity, appetite and lethargy.

It seems the pet shop gave you very poor information which has put your dragon in jeaopardy.

If the Dragon does not resond to the changes, then a Herp Vet visit will be needed. I can locate some for you with a State or Country.

Please hit reply to discuss this information. I will be happy to assist you.


Expert:  Joan replied 1 month ago.

How is your Dragon doing? Did you make recommended Changes I suggested?