I have a Gippsland water dragon he ingested a lot of sand for some reason which we have no removed from his tank.since

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Customer: Hi I have a Gippsland water dragon he ingested a lot of sand for some reason which we have no removed from his tank.since then he has been not moving a lot constantly closing his eyes and moves his head twisting it to the side.like he has vertigo or something.have given him warm baths and he has pooed a lot of the sand out but is still very sick.we love him and are worried etc thanks
JA: Please give me a sec to read that.
Customer: He is about 2 mouths old.we saved him from the pool he was pretty life less but after we cared for him he was fine eating well etc.we got reptile sand which I think was the biggest mistake.cause the crickets would jump into his water bath,jump out then onto the sand he would then eat them ingesting the sand I guess.then for some reason my wife said she saw he had sand around his mouth
JA: Thanks for your question. We'll do all we can to help. What seems to be the problem with the dragon?
Customer: I just explained sorry?
JA: I'll need a bit more before we can address your question. Where does the dragon seem to hurt?
Customer: Think it's his stomach he twists around closing his eyes
JA: OK. Can you see anything that looks wrong or different?
Customer: No
JA: OK. Nothing visually obvious. Is the dragon eating normally?
Customer: No dosent seem hungry
JA: Is the dragon having trouble peeing or pooing?
Customer: He pooed some sand out but has not pooed today
JA: How is the dragon behaving differently?
Customer: I explained everything in previous messages in detail
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the dragon?
Customer: No
Answered by Jav917 in 51 mins 3 years ago
Pet Specialist

27,324 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Reptile Veterinary, Herp Veterinary, Exotic Animal Medicine, Amphibian Veterinary

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

Is the sand Play sand or Calci Sand>

UVB, strength, age, brand,

Basking light?




Red desert sand
Uvb 150 exp terra
Small crickets doesn't like veg but are ate it couple of times
Calcium powder
You there?
Can you give me some advice please
Do you have a basking bulb?
How often are you getting the calcium?
When you say red desert sand is it something you bought at the pet shop?
I am in the US I won’t get an answer posted till my morning because I have signed off-line in the night but I will soon as I read your answers I will start working on an answer for you
Sorry I didn't know you were in the US .yes I bought the reptile sand from pet barn maroochydoreQueensland australia.i have a uvb bulb only.its effective up to 50cm.my tank set up is fine my water dragon was fine until he ingested sand apparently it can be deadly for there stomachs if they get too much sand in there mouths as I explained earlier.his light is 150 brand exo terra.i dust his crickets with calcium powder.
Thank you for the help

Thank you for the added information. The Water Dragon requires twpbulb a full spectrum baskingbulb which is importantfor digestion and warmth and UVB which is the 150 is equivelebt to a Reptisun10.0/. The UVB bulb isonly good for 6 months and needs to be replaced every 6 months because it gives light but no UVB Rays.

The sand is made of calcium carbonate which is the same thing Rolaids or tums are made of. It hardens in the intestinal tract and stomach and becomes hard when a lot has been ingested. That causes a blockage.

We need to get as much sand to pass through by giving warm soaks and gently massaging the abdomen snout to Vent where they pass stool. To help it pass we cam give some prune beby food on the snout and allow t I would also add a he75 watt basking light to add the warmth.

Calcium should be given 5 days a week and a Vitamin 2 days a week.

Water Dragon to lick it off. wait 45 mins and do a warm soak and abdominal massage. That will help move the sand.

I WE canwold try to see if this helps. If the WD is not eating, we can start some emergency feeding of some chicken baby food and add a pinch of clacium and drop on the snout and allow to lick it off repeat until full and do this a few times a day.

If this does not gethim feeling better then a Herp Vet visit will be needed and I will give you a list in this link for Herp Vets:


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