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My bearded dragon doesnt want to eat or drink, and over the…

My bearded dragon doesnt want...
My bearded dragon doesnt want to eat or drink, and over the past few weeks he has lot enough weight to where i think i can see the edges of his pelvis through his skin around the base of his tail.. he has a UVB bulb, a basking lamp, water, daily worms, i try to give him greens (mainly spinach and "spring mix" salad) he hasnt had much interest in eating anything or drinking the past few weeks, he has been sleeping a lot. i know he may be bruminating but im worried. his supplement i give him on his worms is repticalc with D3 by zoomed, i just gave him some water though a plastic dropper which he seemed to take no problem
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
his substrate is just a green felt carpet mat, he pooped a few days ago
Answered in 7 minutes by:
3/17/2018
Anna
Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11,927
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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I'm sorry to hear of these problems. This is not brumation. Some additional information will help me determine the best steps for you to take.

What brand is your UVB light? How old is the bulb?

What temperatures do you maintain under the basking light and on the cool side of the cage?

What kind of worms do you feed him - silk worms, super worms, meal worms, Phoenix worms, etc.?

Thank you.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
3 month old exo terra uvb 100, the basking light is a 75 watt basking spot lamp, not sure what temperature, but for the past 5 years there has been no issue. the light falls on top of a cut out log that he can go inside, he basks on top of the log under the 75w and uvb light. under the cut out log is a reptile heating pad for when he wants to sleep in the log. i feed him exclusively superworms with the repticalc d3 on them
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
basking light is zoomed brand
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
cool side of the cage is room temp
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
18x36 inch (base) x 19 inch height exoterra terrarium
Thank you for getting back to me. I'm working on some information for you now, and will post it as soon as I have it typed up. I appreciate your patience.
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Thank you for waiting. Regardless of the reason, your dragon is critically ill at this point and needs to be examined by a reptile vet. The symptoms you described could be caused by parasites, organ failure, or even cancer. a vet will need to do a fecal exam and blood work to reach a diagnosis. Depending on those results, more testing may be needed. This link will take you to a directory of reptile vets:

http://www.anapsid.org/vets/index.html#vetlist

There are first aid and supportive measures you can take at home in the meantime.

Buy some Pedialyte (yes, the kind for human infants). Prepare a shallow bath consisting of 1/2 water and 1/2 Pedialyte. Soak your dragon 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.

I would double check the temperatures. It can take years for temps that are a bit too low to cause problems. When dealing with reptiles, it's almost never safe too say something hasn't caused a problem before. With their slower metabolism, and being cold-blooded, it can take a long time for issues to come up. Also, if there is some other source of stress, such as minor illness or even actual brumation, the cool temps can complicate things. The area right under the basking light should be 105*F to 110*F. The cool side should be 80*F to 85*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 t he fixture itself (but not so low that he 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.

Diet may be a factor in the problem.

Superworms (and mealworms) are not a good food because they contain too much chitin and can't be digested properly. They are also so high in fat that if fed over a period of months to years, they can cause liver disease. They're OK for some other lizards, but not for beardies. Crickets that are no bigger than the space between your beardie’s eyes area better choice. If he will only eat worms, silk worms and Phoenix worms are excellent foods. A dragon this age should be eating 80% produce. Thsi is another reason to check on your temps. when a beardie is chilly, it is more likely to prefer prey insects and ignore greens. Variety of greens is important. Collards, turnip greens, dandelions, green beans, and summer squash are good. 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

Plain calcium is a better option than that with added D3. D3 fed as a supplement has been linked to kidney failure.You can read more about D3 and kidney disease here:

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

The Flukers company makes a plain calcium.

http://www.flukerfarms.com/vitaminsandhealth.aspx

Until your dragon is eating normally, you can use an alternate feeding method. Buy some plain meat baby food (chicken, lamb, etc. You can also mix in baby food green beans or squash. Drop a small dollop right on the end of his snout. Most of the time, reflexes will cause them to lick it off.

Sometimes soaks, warmth, and feeding can result in a turnaround. However, if you don't get results this weekend, I would schedule a vet visit on Monday. If you have more concerns, just let me know. I'm glad to help in any way I can. IO hope your dragon will be able to recover.

Anna

Anna
Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11,927
Experience: Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
okay i've fed him 3 dollops of chicken baby food from his snout, gave him some more water to help wash it down, bought him a 100w basking light instead of 75w, got thermometers for the hot and cold side of his enclosure, gave him a pedialite bath, now he's basking again. hopefully he'll start eating soon. any recomendations on where to get silk worms or phoenix worms in bulk? Amazon sells them but they seem to be much more expensive than the super worms. thanks for your help
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
okay i found a good place to buy them, nvm :)
If that place doesn't work out, let me know. There are several. It sounds like you are off to an excellent start. I hope you can reverse the decline.
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
his head has never been droopy, when he basks he holds it high up. i was told that one of the first signs of a major decline is lethargy and a droopy posture, is that true?

Both can be a sign of a major decline or a minor illness. It just means they don't feel good. Lethargy is more significant than a droopy head.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
okay, thanks again
You’re welcome.
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Hi Corbin,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Corbin Chesley. How is everything going?
Anna
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
not good, i gave him the baths, kept feeding him baby food, i cant afford to pay for a herpetologist, i still give him water through a syringe. His status hasn't improved though. I feel like i might be just delaying the inevitable. It sucks to see him like this.
I'm sorry to hear that. What temperatures do you now have under the light and on the cool side ?
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
100-105f on warm side 80f on cool
Thank you. I think you are doing all you can. It sounds like he may have adenovirus or another viral illness. If he is suffering, with no hope of getting better, you may want to consider humanely ending his suffering. Many animal shelters offer low cost euthanization as a public service. You could give yours a call. They might ask you to surrender him to them, but that could be better than watching him suffer. I wish it could give you something else to try, but you have done all you can. I'm sorry.
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
i just got him to eat 2 cc's of pea baby food. if its a virus can they get over it if given liquid and care like humans? or are those virus's fatal? If he starts vomiting back up the food or having seizures or something ofc i will take him in to be euthanized. Is this terrible? Now that i have a syringe thats big enough to give food along with my tiny one for water do you think its cruel to keep trying?
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
i also have some powdered stuff called carnivore care, its like a powder you mix with water for emergency care with high protein and fat and other nutrients, i got it with the larger syringe, might that be a good idea or no?
There is nothing wrong with wanting to keep trying. You had said you felt like you were prolonging the inevitable. That’s why I mentioned euthanasia.The carnivore care would be a good thing to add.As for the viruses, we don’t know for sure that he has one. If he does, these viruses are not like the cold virus. The best we can hope for is a few more months of good life.
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
i know, and i really appreciate your help. just trying to make sure im not being inhumane by continuing to try to help him is all
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
i got him because i thought it would be a cool little pet to have and entertaining but you do end up loving them like a dog or a cat
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you for all your help, i know you get payed to do it, but i appreciate it.
You’re very welcome. Yes, we grow to love almost any animal. I do get paid, but the reason I chose this way to earn a little money is that I love animals.
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