Is this what a dead bearded dragon looks like?

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Is this what a dead bearded dragon looks like?

Postby mustacheddragon » Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:01 pm

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Jake is my older brother's bearded dragon and is a little over a year old.

The past couple days his beard has been turning black and has stayed that way all day for no apparent reason, and he's not eating. My brother's friend has had a bearded dragon for six years, and he told him it probably just had something to do with his natural hormones. Still, we monitored Jake regularly. He's got a big log is his tank, above which is the heat lamp. Today I saw him staring up toward the log/light opening and shutting his mouth. He did the same thing the day before.

You're going to ask me about temperature, but I don't have any specifics. I can tell you that my brother has really done his homework on bearded dragons as far as how to set up Jake's tank and how to feed him/water him/clean after him, so assume ideal conditions.

While the heating and lighting are as they should be, we thought he might be having a tough time acclimating to the coming winter. We live in Southern California, though, and while the outside temperature has been chillier of late, it's been nothing crazy and the heat lamp is set up as it should be. Still, we've shut the house's windows in concern that he may be getting too cold.

Anyway, after two days of showing his dark beard during the day, now Jake's just lying there. You pick him up and there's no movement on his part whatsoever. Instead, he stays still as dead things do, fairly stiff. What stands out most are his eyes. A couple hours ago they were half-open, and now they're completely open but the eyes are light silver/white...somewhat robotic looking. It looks like somebody just place a small pearl in there where his usual black eyes were...very concerning.

I felt his skin temperature and it appears normal. A few hours ago my brother thought maybe it was too cold in there for him, so he ramped up the house's heater on along with the heat lamp, but there was no sign that it was helping, so we've returned the tank to its usual lighting and heating conditions. Jake's body could be warm because of those efforts, but since we turned everything off over an hour ago, maybe it's just a good sign that he's not cold? Also, his color seems fairly normal...maybe a bit more whitish yellow, but nothing crazy.

There are no signs of breathing, and that's never good, but I've read at other places where people freak out because of that and it turns out that their bearded dragon is still alive.

I'm somewhat of an apologist when things go awry, so I wanted to throw it to the board and ask if Jake is dead or if he's going through some brumation-type thing that is natural for this time of year.

After reading about his appearance, I ask is this what a dead bearded dragon looks like?

We're probably going to take him to the vet tomorrow if nothing changes, but some peace of mind/feedback would be fantastic in the meantime. Thanks.
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Re: Is this what a dead bearded dragon looks like?

Postby Jiffy » Sat Oct 31, 2009 3:59 am

Hello.
What you are describing is definitely not normal behavior. I have heard that it can be difficult sometimes to tell if a bearded dragon has passed away or not. ANd I really cant be of any help in that area, but wanted to post and see how he is doing now, and bump up the page for others to see and maybe offer info.
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Re: Is this what a dead bearded dragon looks like?

Postby Twobeardieguy » Sat Oct 31, 2009 6:48 am

Does he have a UVB light? Also what type and how old is it? I seen you mentioned that he has a heat light. He very well may be going through brumation!
When life closes 1 door, a new window will open up- R.I.P. dad you are dearly missed and will always be loved....... USMC- Until we meet again!!!!!!
R.I.P. my Cali girl.-3-19-13- You will forever be in our hearts, minds and souls. We now know you are resting on dads shoulder. XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX
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Re: Is this what a dead bearded dragon looks like?

Postby Angiecountrygirl » Sat Oct 31, 2009 8:17 am

Did you pick him up... see if you can get any motion out of him what so ever. I was told during brumation they sleep alot w/ eyes closed, what you are describing they seem lifeless :'(
I hope he's okay, but I would personally take him out, wrap him in a burrito and hold him close to see if there is any movement... Good Luck, I will say a prayer for Jake!
ANGIE :Slave too...
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Re: Is this what a dead bearded dragon looks like?

Postby diamc » Sat Oct 31, 2009 2:03 pm

This all sounds very concerning. :( I would suggest that you take him out and give him a nice warm bath tested by the inside of your wrist and see if he responds at all.

Could you ask your brother what size tank it is, what the wattage of the basking bulb is, if there is a UVB light, then the details of that if there is one, as well as the basking & cool side temps and what type of thermometer is being used? We'll start with these questions first, then cover some others after you fill us in on these.
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Re: Is this what a dead bearded dragon looks like?

Postby mustacheddragon » Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:56 am

Just an update: Jake had indeed passed away.

My brother took him to the vet the next morning and confirmed it, but they couldn't tell him what went wrong. It wasn't a parasite, and the tank was set up and regulated as it should have been. When my brother bought Jake, he paid only $50, which he says was pretty cheap for that color of bearded dragon. Also, Jake's color was different than the rest of the litter, so maybe there was something wrong from the start that my brother had no control over?

I don't know. Understandably, my brother's pretty bummed about the whole thing because he had bonded with Jake and had planned for things when Jake was fully grown, but anyway, I wanted to say thank you to everyone who responded and for your very considerate thoughts. Really do appreciate it.
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Re: Is this what a dead bearded dragon looks like?

Postby Twobeardieguy » Mon Nov 02, 2009 11:15 am

So sorry to hear that!! Both of you keep your heads up!!
When life closes 1 door, a new window will open up- R.I.P. dad you are dearly missed and will always be loved....... USMC- Until we meet again!!!!!!
R.I.P. my Cali girl.-3-19-13- You will forever be in our hearts, minds and souls. We now know you are resting on dads shoulder. XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX
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Re: Is this what a dead bearded dragon looks like?

Postby Angiecountrygirl » Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:44 pm

I'm so sorry for the loss of Jake :'(
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