Reptile

Have Reptile Veterinary Questions? Ask a Reptile Expert.

Ask an Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Reptile
This answer was rated:

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

Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Reptile Question
Answered in 2 minutes by:
1/18/2018
Anna
Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11,726
Experience: Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
Verified
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.
Ask Your Own Reptile Question
Customer reply replied 1 month 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.
Ask Your Own Reptile Question
Customer reply replied 1 month 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 1 month 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.
Ask Your Own Reptile Question
Customer reply replied 1 month 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.
Ask Your Own Reptile Question
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
No vets in my area say they deal with bearded dragons. What should I do???? Please help
Customer reply replied 1 month 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.
Ask Your Own Reptile Question
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
The closest one is 5 hours away according to the directory.

OK. Where do you live?

Ask Your Own Reptile Question
Customer reply replied 1 month 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.

Ask Your Own Reptile Question
Customer reply replied 1 month 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>

Ask Your Own Reptile Question

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.

Ask Your Own Reptile Question

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.

Ask Your Own Reptile Question
Customer reply replied 1 month 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: 11,726
Experience: Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
Verified
Anna and 87 other Reptile Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Was this answer helpful?
Ask Anna Your Own Question
Anna
Anna
Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11,726
11,726 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.

Anna is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Thank you so much. Great knowledge of reptiles! Will use JustAnswer again if further problems arise.

StephanieKY

I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there.

Alice H.Jacksonville, Fl.

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion.

JustinKernersville, NC

Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around.

EstherWoodstock, NY

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Anna

Anna

Reptile Expert, Biologist

11,726 satisfied customers

Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.

Joan

Joan

Veterinary Technician

8,046 satisfied customers

35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.

PitRottMommy

PitRottMommy

Veterinary Nurse

228 satisfied customers

15 years experience in veterinary medicine, special interest in reptiles and arachnids.

Dr. Dan

Dr. Dan

Reptile Veterinarian

57 satisfied customers

12 years private, wildlife and zoo experience with reptiles, PLEASE rate my service when satisfied.

Dr. Andy

Dr. Andy

Medical Director

551 satisfied customers

2003 Graduate

Dr. Gary

Dr. Gary

Veterinarian

343 satisfied customers

DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ

Dr. Bruce

Dr. Bruce

Veterinarian

194 satisfied customers

15 years of experience in emergency, surgery and medicine

< Previous | Next >

Related Reptile Questions
It seems that our snake is dead, but his body is not stiff,
It seems that our snake is dead, but his body is not stiff, and I do not want to assume that he is dead if he is just in a hibernating state. He is a baby bull snake who got into our house once winter… read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
228 satisfied customers
My bearded dragon is. She is abou nine months. Our light
My bearded dragon is young. She is abou nine months. Our light keeps burning out and then we have to get another one. Originally we had a 150w basking bulb and an additional uva light. She hasn't been… read more
Anna
Anna
Reptile Expert, Biologist
11,726 satisfied customers
Alligator snapping turtle has mucus on his nose is lethargic
Alligator snapping turtle has mucus on his nose is lethargic and hasn't eaten in weeks … read more
Joan
Joan
Veterinary Technician
Private
8,046 satisfied customers
We have two whites tree frogs and one is very skinny and
We have two whites tree frogs and one is very skinny and doesn't seem to be eating.. seems very sudden … read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
228 satisfied customers
My single male bearded dragon's beard is turning black, and
My single male bearded dragon's beard is turning black, and he seems lethargic. He is eating. Could these symptoms be due to dehydration possibly? … read more
Joan
Joan
Veterinary Technician
Private
8,046 satisfied customers
My bearded dragon had become lethargic and her joints are
My bearded dragon had become lethargic and her joints are swelling, she's in a 40 gallon terrarium, she pooped yesterday after a soak, she won't eat. Her UVB bulb that I put in 2 months ago is 10, but… read more
Joan
Joan
Veterinary Technician
Private
8,046 satisfied customers
My red eyed crocodile skink is acting odd. Recently has been
My red eyed crocodile skink is acting odd. Recently has been out, as if he was trying to bask, so I bought a UVB bulb. I think it was too close to his cage though for the past few days and now he won'… read more
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
Associate Degree
228 satisfied customers
My chameleon has severe something. I think we didn't know
I think we didn't know about calcim, she ate like a pig and grew too fast and now she's just at the bottom of the cage and can't move … read more
Joan
Joan
Veterinary Technician
Private
8,046 satisfied customers
My turtles been acting weird these days, not moving much,
Hey! My turtles been acting weird these days, not moving much, not as interested in food. It's a spiny softshell turtle, the eyes are clear, snout is clear of any mucus, shell and skin are fine. He ju… read more
Yankmedic911
Yankmedic911
Wildlife Veterinarian
Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and
13 satisfied customers
Why does my gekko keep turning over on it's back? Spots,
She was eating fine, crickets dusted with calcium. This just started yesterday.… read more
Joan
Joan
Veterinary Technician
Private
8,046 satisfied customers
I have a red eared male turtle that has had its eyes closed
I have a red eared male turtle that has had its eyes closed for days. Today its dick (penis) is out and has been for some time as he is basking. This is not normal for him. Should I do anything? … read more
Joan
Joan
Veterinary Technician
Private
8,046 satisfied customers
She has a lump in her front arm. Chameleon she's not using
No. She seems ok she's having difficulty using that arm to climb… read more
Joan
Joan
Veterinary Technician
Private
8,046 satisfied customers
We thought our leopard gecko was dead this morning. She was
We thought our leopard gecko was dead this morning. She was cold pale and not moving. She was in the middle of a shed and I noticed her poo was stuck under the shed. I cleaned her up but nothing. So w… read more
Joan
Joan
Veterinary Technician
Private
8,046 satisfied customers
I have a male 2yr old panther. His right eye is closed and
Hi, I have a male 2yr old panther. His right eye is closed and flat to his head. Took him to vet last Friday. Started him on antibiotic eye drops. Hasn't seemed to help yet. He's eating and moving aro… read more
Joan
Joan
Veterinary Technician
Private
8,046 satisfied customers
Beardie, changed to larger tank. has not eaten in 3 days.
Young beardie, changed to larger tank. has not eaten in 3 days. Put back in original tank. Now sitting on the bottom of his tank, eyes closed. … read more
Joan
Joan
Veterinary Technician
Private
8,046 satisfied customers
He appears to be constipated, as he has poop stuck in his
he appears to be constipated, as he has poop stuck in his anal opening … read more
Joan
Joan
Veterinary Technician
Private
8,046 satisfied customers
I am concern about my bearded dragon. She was injured under
she was not bleeding or limping. she didn't move much … read more
Joan
Joan
Veterinary Technician
Private
8,046 satisfied customers
I have a red eared slider and his eyes are shut. He opens
I have a red eared slider and his eyes are shut. He opens them sometimes but not very wide. … read more
Joan
Joan
Veterinary Technician
Private
8,046 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x