How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask PitRottMommy Your Own Question
PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 10807
Experience:  15 years experience in veterinary medicine, special interest in reptiles and arachnids.
Type Your Reptile Question Here...
PitRottMommy is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

He has a respiratory infection. Bearded dragon- he is being

Customer Question

he has a respiratory infection
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What sort of animal are we talking about?
Customer: bearded dragon- he is being treated by the vet- he had his first dose of medication yesterday- but he still has labored breathing and isn't eating I read that they can't cough so I should give him a warm soak to losen mucus- but that worries me b/c of water and humidity
JA: OK. Coughing can be worrying. The Expert will know what you should do. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the dragon?
Customer: he hasn't coughed-his breathing is labored- and his beard is black which tells me he is in distress I was curious if I should force feed him- and how-, or just keep giving him liquid vitamins
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 5 months ago.

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.

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 5 months ago.

1) What is the ambient temp, cool spot and hot spot temps in the habitat?

2) What substrate is being used?

3) When did he last eat?

4) What bulbs are being used for the habitat?

5) How long have you had him?

6) What does his diet consist of?

7) What vitamin supplementation are you using, if any, and how often is it provided?
8) What medication is being given and how often?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
His temp is 120-125 on hot side 89 on shade side
He has carpet
Power sun and UV light
Sunday he last ate
He is 4 years old
Vitamin A and C- not often
Calcium gut loaded crickets
Meal worms and roaches
Collard greens
They gave him ceftazidime
-- I want to give him his best chances of surviving- he has 2 more shots to go- I'm not sure how long it takes for the antibiotics to really start working- we noticed his breathing Sunday got him in Tuesday. What things can we do at home to help him if he won't eat
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 5 months ago.

Is the hot spot at the level he's resting?

Can you clarify what lighting you're using? UVA? UVB bulbs?

What are you using for the gut loaded crickets?

Have you had him his entire 4 years?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
He rests up high or low- his branch goes from floor to top of the tank- he has the option to climb to reach the hottest temp- or low if he's too hot-
We gur load with fluckers and sometimes we dust the crickets. His main diet is collard greens.
We have the power sun bulb at 100watts by zoomed which is heat and UVB and a coiled reptisun bulb that is no heat but UVB light- he also has a coiled lamp kept to the side to heat the tank at night- we run AC so we want the tank to remain warm at night.
We bought him as a baby he is 4 years old.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
The vet says he has a respiratory infection- he got his shot yesterday- but are there other ways to help him- I saw soaking in warm bath to loosen mucus but I wasn't sure if that was right.
Should i force feed him and if yes how?
I'm not sure how long it takes for meds to start working
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 5 months ago.

I apologize for the delay. The website did not notify me that you had responded until just now.

We typically recommend no higher than about 110 on the hot side at the level the animal can reach. We can increase that slightly (1150) during cases of suspect upper respiratory. I am concerned that 125 may be too warm for him on that side of the habitat.

Humidity can definitely help loosen mucous, so soaks up to 2x daily in tepid water for 15-20 minutes would be recommended. Medication for reptiles can take as long as a few weeks to work, but we typically see benefits within 3-5 days.

As far as feeding, I would urge you to begin hand feeding pureed baby foods in chicken, turkey, squash and similar flavors as often as he'll take them. Room temp is typically the most efficient temp for feeding and you'll do so by placing small amounts on the tip of his snout.

I hope this information has been helpful. I will be standing by if you have other questions. Let me know if I can help further. Also, before signing off today, please take the time to use the star rating system at the top of the page to leave a rating for me (bottom of the page if using the app). A 5-star rating is appreciated as top notch answers are my focus. If you feel you have received anything less, please reply so that I may help until you’ve received the assistance you need. Until you issue a rating, the website will not compensate me for helping you. You will still be able to chat with me even after issuing a rating at no further charge on this thread.

I will also check in with you over the next few days to be sure you don’t need any additional assistance. If you would like to request me in the future for pet-related questions, you can do so by accessing this page:

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 5 months ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
He is still struggling- we have taken him to a specialist in Virginia and are waiting to see the vet
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 5 months ago.

Keep me posted on your progress. I hope all goes well.

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 5 months ago.

Checking in. How is your companion doing?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Squixen passed away Saturday- he did not have an upper respiratory infection- he had a fungal infection- the vet he was seeing misdiagnosed him- when we went to the specialist in another state- we decided to let him go
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 5 months ago.

I'm so sorry to hear this.