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My bearded dragon Torunn has a black beard and the end of…

My bearded dragon Torunn...

My bearded dragon Torunn has a black beard and the end of her tail is black this morning. She seems very weak and has her mouth partial open. Please help!! I'm scared something is really wrong

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What seems to be the problem with the dragon?

She has seemed very weak for the past 2 days and hasn't been eating much. I have tried to give her baby food or ReptiAid and she just keeps getting worse.

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the dragon?

She also has some saliva at the corners of her mouth

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Answered in 2 minutes by:
1/18/2018
Anna
Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11,949
Experience: Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with over 20 years of experience keeping reptiles. I'm reviewing your question now, and will be right back.
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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
OK thank you. I'm really worried! !
OK, from what you have described, you are right to be concerned that something is wrong with Torunn. She is going to need to be seen by a reptile vet, but there are probably things you can do to help her until then. Some additional information will help me determine the best steps for you to take.How old is she?What temperatures do you maintain under the basking light and on the cool side of the cage?Has she been passing normal droppings?What do you feed her? Any supplements?What brand of UVB light do you have ? How old is the bulb?Thank you.
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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
She is 2 years old. We feed her super worms with calcium powder and we give her ReptiAid for past 2 days. She also likes apples, kale, squash. I'm not sure what brands are of her lights. She has a day and a night light.
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
She has normal droppings and just had a big one yesterday. It is the Temps the beardie dragon sights say to keep it at.
Thank you for getting back to me. Please let me know what the temps are. There are all kinds of recommendations out there, and many of them are not right.
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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I just checked and cool side of her tank is 73 and warm side is 84
Thank you. I'm working on some information for you now, and will be back as soon as I have it typed up. In the meantime, I'll give you a site with a state-by-state directory of reptile vets, so you can check for one near you.http://www.anapsid.org/vets/index.html#vetlistI'll be back.
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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
No vets in my area say they deal with bearded dragons. What should I do???? Please help
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
OK thank you so much!!!
Try the directory I just gave you. When e have exotic pets, we often have to drive awhile to find a vet. I have a two hour drive for my nearest reptile vet. If the directory doesn't help, let me know and I'll try some other options.
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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
The closest one is 5 hours away according to the directory.

OK. Where do you live?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Idaho Falls, ID

Thank you for waiting.

I was afraid you got your information on care from a pet store or a less than reputable website. Most people do. While we should be able to rely on such information, unfortunately, it is often wrong. They sell people the wrong lighting, advise the wrong foods, and often don't know the correct temperatures for the various reptiles. After months or years of things not being quite right, the animal becomes ill. Much of what you have been told is wrong, and I suspect that is why Torunn is having so much trouble. Even though you have been trying so hard to keep her healthy, when you didn't have correct information to begin with, things are going wrong.

I’ll start with a first aid measure to take as soon as possible. .Buy some Pedialyte (yes, the kind for human infants). Prepare a shallow bath consisting of 1/2 water and 1/2 Pedialyte. Soak your reptile for about 20 to 30 minutes twice a day. Reptiles can absorb the electrolytes and fluids through their skin and vents (where droppings pass out), so make the water deep enough to cover the vent. Be sure to supervise closely.

When I know where you live, I'll go to work on the vet.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Torunn also has like thick kind of saliva slime in corners of her mouth. I noticed it when I just gave her a bath. I'm running to get the pedialyte now

Here is a closer vet, but I found her in one of my older directories. Give her a call to see if she is still practicing.

Dr Crystal Shropshire
Alameda Pet Hospital
1000 Pocatello Creek Rd # E3
Pocatello, Idaho 83201
Phone: (208)(###) ###-####/strong>

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From your description, I suspect Torunn has infectious stomatitis, commonly called mouth rot. It's caused by a bacteria that may get into a small wound and multiply. Here's a page where you can read about mouth rot:

http://www.anapsid.org/stomatitis.html

If you can look inside her mouth, check for other signs of mouth rot. Look for any growths or a coating that is cheesy in appearance. Blood coming from the gums is another sign, as is a bad smell in the mouth. If you see mouth rot, you can clean the mouth with a cotton swab dipped in hydrogen peroxide, but that is only a temporary measure until you can get to a vet. Stomatitis often spreads through the body to become a systemic infection. Prescription antibiotics, given by injection or orally are needed to treat it.Besides cleaning the mouth, you can be sure a bowl of fresh water is always available.

The biggest problem with the habitat is that Torunn is freezing cold. A beardie who is cold will be lethargic, not want to eat a lot, and is likely to get sick. The very coldest part of the cage should be 80*F to 85*F. The basking spot should be 105*F to 110*F. The latest research on bearded dragons has shown that they can't even begin to digest their food properly until their internal body temperature reaches 98*F. Being cold-blooded, the only way for that to happen is for them to lie in a very hot basking area.You can increase the temperature by using a higher wattage bulb in the basking light fixture, lowering the fixture itself (but not so low that she can be burned on it), or by adding a second fixture. If you need a second fixture, you don't have to buy something expensive from a pet store.If you live in an area that has farm stores, you can buy a clip-on metal light fixture made to keep baby chicks warm for just a few dollars. Don't buy the accompanying bulb, however. You need an ordinary incandescent bulb in the basking light. Hardware and home improvement stores sell similar light fixtures as work lights.

I'll give you this much now, but will be back again.

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I would discontinue the super worms (also no mealworms). They are not a good food because they contain too much chitin and can't be digested properly. They're OK for some other lizards, but not for beardies. Superworms may have bitten the iside of Torunn's mouth. Crickets that are no bigger than the space between your beardie’s eyes area better choice. Silk worms are another excellent food. Kale binds calcium because it contains too many oxalates. That makes calcium unusable by the body. Collards, turnip greens, green beans, and summer squash are better choices. I'm going to give you a link to a reputable and easy to understand site for information on feeding because there is too much for me to explain here:

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

It's extremely important that you buy an additional light that produces UVB rays. A Reptisun 10.0 is a good brand that does. If you choose another brand be absolutely certain it provides UVB rays. Don't take the word of pet store personnel, but read it for yourself. Full-spectrum, DayGlo, daylight, UV, and UVA are NOT the same thing. I'm putting a lot of emphasis on this because it's crucial to a reptile’s health. Without this light, Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) will develop because they won't be able to produce vitamin D. Vitamin supplements are not a good replacement for the proper lighting. MBD causes a very slow and painful death. UVB bulbs must be replaced every six months as they lose their effectiveness after that, even though they may still look fine. Light that comes through a window isn't sufficient because the glass filters out the UVB rays. Torunn probably already ahs MBD developing, but it can be reversed.

Because pet stores give out so much incorrect information, I’m also sending along a care sheet, courtesy of Joan, another of our experts. Joan has many years experience keeping and rescuing beardies.Her care sheet is used on some reputable websites, so you may have even seen it before. I suggest that you use the care sheet as a check list to provide the best possible care for your beardie. If you have more questions, or need more help finding a vet, just let me know. I hope Torunn will reach a full recovery.

Anna

My goal is to provide you with excellent 5 star service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Please remember to rate my service after you have all the information you need. I will greatly appreciate a positive rating as that is the only way I am compensated. Thank you!

Bearded Dragon Care Sheet
Bearded dragons should be housed alone.
Ages of bearded dragons follow these guidelines:
0-3 months- baby 3-12 months-juvenile 12-18 months- sub adult 18 months + -adult

Bearded dragons live as much 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.

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:

Babies: Warm basking log: 105-115* degrees F (40.5 - 46*C)
Cool side: 85-90 (29.5 - 32*C)

Adults: Warm basking spot: 105-110*F (40.5- 43*C)
Cool side: 80-85 (26.6 - 29.5*C)
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 eats 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.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I appreciate all your help so much. I'm at store getting Pedialyte now. Also have an appointment for her today at 3:30 with one I was able to find in town. It's going to be more expensive, but Torunn is worth it! Thank you again so much!!

You're very welcome. If the local vet isn't sure what to do, they can also call one of the reptile vets for a phone consultation. I just hope Torunn will be all right.

Anna
Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11,949
Experience: Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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