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PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 9146
Experience:  15 years experience in veterinary medicine, special interest in reptiles and arachnids.
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We have a Bearded Dragon – and are very concerned about her:

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We have a Bearded Dragon – and are very concerned about her:Her tongue is white, she has no appetite, she is looking a bit emaciated, and is very lethargic.She is about 10 years old (she was about 10” when we got her from a pet store and was not a juvenile). She is 7oz in weight right now and 16” nose to tailtip.We feed her crickets (from pet store) dusted in calcium powder, mealworms, blueberries and greens. She went from mostly crickets to mostly greens at about 5 years and back to not touching the greens about 2 years ago. We’ve tried the “bearded dragon mix pellets”, but she pretty much ignores those.We had no idea of her gender when we got her, but she laid eggs after 2-3 years. Not again, though.She used to climb up a large wooden structure in her tank, but not at all in the past 2-3 years. Now she spend most of her time lying under a rock “cave”.Her tank as 36” wide, 18” deep, 24” tall. Left half is calcium sand with a climbing structure, right half is tile with a rock cave, water and food dishes.Normal daytime temp is 90-95, normal night is 75-80.There are several lights/heat emitters above the screen on top:
- three 100w ceramic infrared heat emitters (left-back, left-front, right-front),
- one 150w Desert UVB coil bulb (center-back),
- one Solar-Glo 125w UVB+heat mercury vapor bulb (right-back)
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help the dragon. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the dragon?
Customer: I put everything I could think of in that note...

Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

1) How long has she been without food?
2) When did the white tongue appear?
3) Has she been examined by your vet yet?
4) What foods have been tried to entice her?
5) How recently were the UVB bulbs replaced?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
1) she is never without food as I keep a dish of dried crickets/mealworms/pellets available to her. She did not eat her live crickets this morning. She ate 2 of 3 blueberries last evening, three 1 back up.
2) Uncertain.
3) No
4) Live crickets, blueberries, mealworms.
5) 6 mos

It looks like autocorrect may have been involved here. Does "three 1 back up" mean that she vomited 1 of the blueberries back up?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.


Vomiting is a major concern in bearded dragons and may indicate a wide range of concerns from an upper respiratory tract infection to a gastric blockage/mass. The white tongue may further indicate a problem, such as anemia, which needs to be addressed promptly. Because she has vomited, it would be ideal to opt for an exam before feeding her more as this may cause more cases of vomiting/regurgitation in the future. If this cannot happen, I would recommend using pureed baby food in chicken or turkey flavors and placing small dollops on her snout for consumption. I would also soak her in a 1:1 dilution of water to unflavored pedialyte twice daily. This solution should be lukewarm, come about halfway up on her body and soaking should occur for 15-30 minutes while under direct supervision.

I would like to also send you some veterinary resources. Please reply back with your state of residence.

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Customer: replied 2 months ago.
thanks - we are in North Carolina (Chapel Hill). I will do the baby food and pedialyte as well.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
What additional can we do to address the white tongue issue?

Happy to help. Here's a list of reptile vets in your state:


I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?