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We are fairly new beardie owners. Our bearded dragon quit…

We are fairly new...

We are fairly new beardie owners. Our bearded dragon quit eating earlier this week and my son researched and thought he was bromating because it was so cold. Tonight we got home and he was stiff and not moving. We have put him directly under heat lamp and on a heating pad. My son is crying and I’m afraid it’s too late. His back legs are soft but his arms stiff. He’s movie his head a little. I’m scared he might not make it and am just trying to figure out what to do until I can get him into a vet

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help the bear. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the bear?

He has been a great eater and very active until earlier this week. I feel terrible because I didn’t realize he was cold. And my son is beside himself

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Answered in 2 minutes by:
1/12/2018
Joan
Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 19,574
Experience: 35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
Verified

Hello,

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

What is the Dragon's age?

What are the temps in the enclosure?

Joan

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
He quit breathing. We think he died. His front legs are curled funny and he’s so stiff. The temperature was around 90 before we took him out and tried to revive him

I was going to suggest a warm soak to gradually warm him up, but it sounds like he has passed. A Dragon under a year of age does not brumate, so that woud not have been it if he was a juvenile.

They cannot withstand temps below 75*.

Joan

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From What you described about going off food, suggests he was sick possibly when you purchased him. Dragons like all reptiles are stoic and prey animals and hide illness. Once they stop eating and become lethargic, you have a limited amount of time to get them help before they go down completely.

The Dragon may have been sick for a week or two prior to this happening.

I can go over husbandry with you if you would like, to rule out an issue with care.

Joan

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
That would e awesome. My son was so good about feeding him vegetables and calcium and crickets and superworms m. He had been super active until we had to board him when we went on vacation. He was boarded at a place specifically for reptiles, but he was returned to us with a broken leg and he was not the same after that. They never could tell us how the leg was broken and we would never trust them with another pet again. My daughter’s snake also came back aggressive.
That being said we took the beardie to the vet and he got medicine and ointment and was a bit more active and alert but never ate as well or moved the same upon his return. I appreciate any advice you could share. He is so concientous and caring and that dragon was his first pet and he nurtured him and loved him like crazy. We visited the animal store and did every thing that was suggested and he really feels like a failure.

I see an issue with Diet. Superworms and meal worms should never be fed. They a.re not digestable, high in chitin and can cause liver damage.

Acceptable prey are crickets, silk worms, pjhoenix worms and dubia roaches

The Veggies should include collard greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens, butternut squash, escarole and curly endives. No Spinach or Kale as they bind calcium.

Temps in the enclosure should be 105-110 in basking area, ambient temp in the 90's and cool side mid 80's/

The UVB should be a Reptisun 10.0 and replaced every 6 months. a Linear tube is preferred.

Substrate should be a solid one. Paper, tile, or cage carpert are the best.

I would not use that boarding facility again. The Dragon may have picked something up there. Should be no excuse that the Dragon came home injured and the snake aggressive. This sounds like they were abused while there.

This is my Personal care sheet for Dragons. It is seen quite often on the internet because of use.

Bearded Dragon Care Sheet

  • Bearded dragons should be housed alone.
  • Can live aslong as 10-12 years if well cared for properly.
  • Bearded dragons have a very good temperament as long as they are cared for and handled.
  • When you bring your baby home, it may be quite stressful to him/her to get use to new home. May not eat well the first 2-3 days. They may not need to be handled the first 2-3 days if skittish and nervous.
  • Never use sand or any other type of loose substrate: Loose substrates can cause impaction (not being able to go Poop) in all ages of bearded dragons- they lick their environment to explore .It is difficult to keep germ free and clean. Ceramic tile, newspaper, non adhesive shelf liner and reptile carpet is what is most recommended. Use paper towels for the little one and as they get bigger you can change to something else.
  • Be sure you keep your beardies home as clean as you can. Clean up by spot cleaning when needed. Clean & sanitize entire tank every 10-14 days. A good cleaning solution is a 20% bleach solution. If you choose to use wood climbing branches etc, these should be soaked in the bleach solution and rinsed well. Then bake in 250 degree oven for 30 minutes.
  • Need a climbing accessory: to bask and to warm up under basking heat light and lower branches or platforms to come down and cool off.
  • A hide of some sort like a cave.
  • A food dish and water dish.
  • Plastic spray bottle
  • Can use artificial plants when they get older- 3 months or so.
  • Digital thermostat and/or temp gun
  • Tank size: Minimal size tank for this age is 20 gallon long
  • Minimal size for older beardie: 4 months of age: 40 gallon breeder is the minimal tank size for older dragon. Can divide a 40 gallon breeder for a smaller dragon. Must have two lights for your beardie.

1. A UVB light source-best is 10.0 Reptisun that runs the length of your tank. Your dragon must have this light to metabolize calcium. If not he will get metabolic bone disease, a serious condition. You can also take your beardie outside to bask in the sun for 15 minutes each day if your temps are 80 degrees or above outside. You can purchase cages or reptariums from your pet store. Never leave a beardie outside unattended.
2. A basking type light that puts out heat and warmth above basking spot. Your beardie must have warmth to digest food & thrive.

  • Lights should be on for 12-14 hours each day. Follow the seasons and light timers are a great luxury if you can get them. 6 dollars at Lowe's. No lights or warmth needed at night unless your temperatures get below 62 degrees. If they do, there are ceramic heat emitters that put out no light, only heat. Use these at night if temperatures fall below 62 degrees.
  • Temperatures have to be kept at the following ranges during the day:

Basking area 105*-110*F

Wanm side mid 90's

Cool side: 85*-87*F

Measure temperatures with a digital probe type thermometer or a temp gun-these are most accurate. Stick on thermometers unreliable.

  • Feeding a Beardie: Beardies eat live prey consisting of crickets, roaches and/or silkworms. Never feed any size of mice to your beardie. Never feed meal worms. They also must be given greens/veggies everyday. The younger they are the more live prey they should have. As they grow older the live prey decreases and the veggies/greens should be the major part of diet. Never feed anything bigger, than the space between your beardie's eyes. This includes both live prey and pieces of veggies/greens,
  • A chopper or food processor is a huge help when your beardie is small. Always offer greens and veggies: collard greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, cabbage, red cabbage, fresh green beans, yellow summer squash, butternut squash, sweet potato, cactus pad. Apricots, strawberries, apples, blueberries, raspberries, cantaloupe- fruits are treats only.
  • What is live prey? The easiest and less expensive live prey is crickets when you have a young or first beardie. The other live preys you can feed are silkworms, and special types of roaches. You can learn to raise your own live prey. Treats can be wax worms, super worms, and tomato/Goliath worms. You may find that ordering live prey from the internet is the way to go..... Never leave live prey or greens/veggies in tank overnight. . Crickets can bite your beardie when sleeping.
  • Babies should get 80% live prey, and 20 % greens/veggies. But since the greens/veggies are a must when they are older, get them eating their greens/veggies very early. Give greens/veggies in small pieces everyday. You should eventually start decreasing your older dragon's protein intake when they are about a year to 15 months old. Their protein intake decreases to 20 % live prey and 80% veggies/greens.
  • A baby eat 50-75 crix a day depending on the size of the crickets. Never feed crix or veggies bigger than the space between your beardie's eyes. Use this guide when buying crix or chopping your greens/veggies.
  • You must provide calcium dust without D3 and multivitamin dust for your beardie. You should dust the live prey with calcium one time a day, and vitamins 3 times a week. Just collect your live prey into baggie and add enough calcium and vitamin to dust them. Then pour a few at a time into your tank. Some people feed their beardie in a separate tank so that no crickets can hide. Or some take out "furniture" from tank and feed this way. As they get older, 4-5 months or so dust live prey with calcium 3 times a week.
  • Feed the veggies/ greens 1st thing in morning after lights on for one hour at least. Then after 2-3 hours offer crix. Then freshen green/veggies. Then give more crix. Make sure after last crix feeding there is at least 1-2 hours of lights so that they can digest their food before night time.

*Beardies over the age of one year old during the winter months will go into a Brumation like most Reptiles and Herps. It is a form of Hibernation that is governed by the weather and time of year. The lights should be on a shorter period at this time. Fresh greens should be available during this period. Do not feed live prey during Brumation.

Water: Mist your little one with the spray bottle 3-4 times a day. You can also offer a small dish of water in your enclosure but be sure your dragon is not too small to drown in it. It is recommended that when your beardie is 2 months old you can bathe your baby in a small plastic container with warm water- not hot. It will help them to stay hydrated. As they get older you can move up to the bathroom sink and then to the bathtub. Very important for bath enclosure to be thoroughly cleaned and rinsed prior to bath time. Clean between dragons too if bathing more than one.

If you have any further questions feel free to ask. I like to start people off with proper husbandry and then see if I can further assist.

Fruits and Vegetables

http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Nutrition.html

Walnut shell Graphic: http://mrskingsbioweb.com/beardeddragngrossanatomy.htm

Sexing bearded Dragons: http://repticzone.com/articles/sexingbeardeddragons.html

Metabolic Bone Disease: http://exoticpets.about.com/cs/reptilesgeneral/a/metabolicbd.htm

If I have addressed your concerns, please take a moment to rate my service 5 Stars. If you have questions, please hit reply.

Joan

Joan
Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 19,574
Experience: 35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
Verified
Joan and 87 other Reptile Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you for your help. We did mostly feed the crickets always with calcium powder, greens and then, he supplemented with super worms. His bedding was carpet. Ironically enough when we got back from the boarders they had changed the carpet to loose sand and the vet told us to get him carpet again immediately. Which we did. We gave him baths and water regularly. He had grown well and gained weight appropriately The vet said that we had done a good job of nourishment but I really don’t think he was ever the same after he returned. It is a shame. I am glad you sent the list and I hope I can work with my son to try to be a pet parent again. He has really lost his confidence and cried himself to sleep. 😢. Thank you again for your response.

I truly believe that whatever may have caused this problem stemmed from his time when you were away. Please let me know if I can even assist you. Just request me by asking for joan only. IfI have addressed your concerns, please take a moment to rate my service 5 stars. I am not paid by the site until I get a positive rating.

Joan

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