Help!!! My baby beardie isn't eating!!!

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Help!!! My baby beardie isn't eating!!!

Postby solerilina » Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:05 pm

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Hi everybody, sorry this is going to be a long post but, I feel the more details you have the better the answers I get will be. I have a baby bearded dragon that I got about a month ago. I would guess he was 3 weeks old when I got him making him almost 2 months old. Recently (the last week or so) he hasn't been eating much (if at all). I am starting to get very worried about him but the nearest herp vet to me is on vacation for two weeks and the next closest is over 4 hours away on the other side of the state. He is also acting very oddly; he doesn't seem to be as alert as he was a week or two ago and doesn't seem to be growing like he did in the first two weeks. He is acting very tired and limp at times (which may be due to his lack of food) he will sit on his basking stick and lean his head, front legs, and belly against the corner of his viv. He hasn't pooped today (although he has pooped once daily other than today) Which again could be related to him not eating and therefor having nothing in his tummy. I have been bathing him 2-3 times a week and misting him every other day. I have increased to bathing everyday for about 5-10 minutes to try and prevent dehydration. Sometimes he seems to be completely out of it and even petting him or poking him (gently of course) won't make him open his eyes. I fed him a bit of Gerber's Chicken and Veggie baby food last night and he liked about 5 licks off my finger. Right now he is in a 10gal tank (getting a 40 gallon next payday(4/20)) with reptile carpet a 75watt Basking bulb...Zoo-med brand. A 5.0 Repti-glo compact uvb bulb (yes I have heard compacts are bad and am planning on getting a 10.0 repti-sun tube on payday as well) with some fresh collard greens always available. He has a log-like-thing propped up under the basking bulb as well as a sand blasted piece of Zoo-Med Mopani Wood under the basking bulb. He is fed 1/8 inch crickets (i feed them the little green squares dont know if that makes them gut-loaded or not), phoenix worms which he hate for about 3 days then refused to eat, and recently I bought him 10 wax worms which he ate 8 out of the 10. All but the wax worms were dusted in Flukers Calcium +D3 6 days a week and with Reptivite multi-vitamin 1 day a week. (This is all when he WAS eating of course.) Since yesterday when I noticed the limpness and a bigger personality change I removed the UVB bulb completely and instead opted for taking him out into natural sunlight for a couple of hours. The underneath of his neck (his beard) seems to have gotten darker lately and the bottom half of his tail seems to be darker than the rest. He did have an oak branch in there until yesterday when I noticed black sugar ants living in it (don't know if this could be a cause but, I do know the branch never cam in contact with pesticides). Today I picked up some Fluker's Repti+Boost critical care supplement and gave him 3/4cc's as per instructions which he did lick up from the syringe. Also, it may be important to note that about 3-4 days ago he shed his tail but, no other parts of his body. I know their appetites can drop while shedding but, I don't think it is normal for them to quit eating entirely is it? If this is all related to him shedding and I am just over reacting I will feel like such an ***** but, this is my first beardie and I am super worried about him. I do plan on getting him to a vet (I am a responsible pet owner, so lets avoid the "take him to a vet NOW comments; if taking him there NOW was an option I would be there already,) when my herp vet comes back from vacation. I simply cannot drive across the state to do so due to my work schedule...and if I am not going to work I can't very well afford the vet bill can I? LOL. If anyone can suggest what this might be that would be fantastic. I'm worried it may be a URI... which would be bad since no vet is available. So thank you in advance to all the people who answer with any advice... Also, more details about his viv are below.

The temps on the warm side are around 90-95 with basking temp between 100-102. The cool side is around 73-76. His viv drops to about 65 at night on the cool side and 68-70 on the side where the basking light was all day. I use stick on thermometers atm since my rep store was out of digi's at the time. Am getting two asap.

I really just want my little Koopa to be okay, he is such a joy and has grown on me very much. I can't wait for him to grow big and pretty... so if anyone has any advice or this has happened to them I would really be greatful to you all. :)
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Re: Help!!! My baby beardie isn't eating!!!

Postby claudiusx » Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:41 pm

Hi there,

I am glad you decided to turn off the coil bulb. Coils do in fact cause more harm than good, so turning it off was the right choice.

If you are suspecting an URI, you need to stop misting the tank. You shouldn't mist IMO anyways, its un-needed

Ok, if you haven't read this thread yet, I recommend it:
http://www.beardeddragon.org/bjive/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=167279

You need to get a digital with probe sooner than later. I couldn't tell in your post if thats what you meant, that you would be getting one soon.

What substrate are you housing on?

I would recommend getting your temps higher, but since you are using a dial stick on, your temps might already be WAY hotter than that at the moment, so I really suggest getting the digital with probe as soon as you can, like tomorrow would be best if you could. You can find them for pretty cheap too. (in fact at the pet store I went to last, the digital with probes were cheaper than the dials... go figure lol)

How long will it be until you can get the reptisun 10.0 tube?

Shedding does have a tendency to make them grumpy, but they really shouldn't be off food from the shed if they are healthy.

-Brandon
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Re: Help!!! My baby beardie isn't eating!!!

Postby solerilina » Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:08 am

I am using rept-carpet for his subsrate since I know sand can cause impaction in the little ones. I plan on getting the probe thermometer today after work from petsmart but, I am not using a dial one either, the one I have is simply a strip with different colored blocks and degrees on the side so basically if the red box next to 90 is the one with color in it then it's supposedly 90 in there. I don't think they are super accurate but, I don't think they are off as much as the dial ones tend to be. I have used stick on ones before in other setting (mainly greenhouses) and they read fairly well but, regardless I am getting a digi today. I won't be able to get the tube bulb until the 20th of this month since that is my next pay day. I may be able to get it a little sooner if I put in some extra days at work and ask for an advance however, as of right now it is looking like it will be about 2 weeks until I can get it. I have been taking him out into the sun for a few hours a day though just to make sure he is getting some UVB. He seems to be lapping the Fluker's Emergency Care stuff off the syringe pretty well though. Easily getting the 1cc he is supposed to be getting based on his weight. I am hoping in a day or two that without the coil bulb and with the Emergency Care supplement he will turn around. I am wondering though, until I get the Repti-sun 10.0 would a normal flourescent tube work in the mean time? I have had some people tell me they are suitable but, am unsure how they emmit any UVB. Thanks again for all the help.
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Re: Help!!! My baby beardie isn't eating!!!

Postby claudiusx » Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:07 am

Hi there,

Thats great that you will be getting a digital with probe today. Make sure to leave the probe in all three places for 45 minutes to an hour to get an accurate reading.

It is also good that you are taking him out for a few hours of sun a day. That is great that you can do that.

Have you tried any live food again yet?

Normal fluorescents would only provide light to your tank, not uvb.

-Brandon
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Re: Help!!! My baby beardie isn't eating!!!

Postby solerilina » Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:39 pm

I am trying live food still but he seems to ignore it. The same wax worm has been hanging out under his cactus for nearly three days now. (Isn't bothering him at all just wiggling around in the tank). He is lapping up the repti-care and some baby food but, other than that he seems disinterested. I found out the thermometers I have now are Liquid Crystal stick ons... don't know if they are better than dials or not but, the probe will be in my hands as of 8:30 tonight when I get out of work and make it to Petsmart.
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Re: Help!!! My baby beardie isn't eating!!!

Postby claudiusx » Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:41 pm

I wouldn't put much trust in them.

I personally haven't tested them myself (should be the next project I do..) but I can't see how they could be very accurate.

-Brandon
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Re: Help!!! My baby beardie isn't eating!!!

Postby solerilina » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:36 pm

Okay digi thermometer is in... I got a Zilla Digital Terrarium Thermomenter-Hygrometer with 2 remote sensor probes.It has been in there for over one hour as you suggested. Saying the temp near-ish his basking spot (as close as I can get it... he tends to lay about 2 inches from where I have the probes) is reading at 100.2 at the moment (it has fluctuated down to 97 when my AC kicks on). Humidity is reading at 22%. Will check cool side temps tomorrow since his lights are going out soon and I wouldn't get a good idea before they go off of the actual temp. Looking into ordering a repti-sun now... trying to find a place online with reasonable shipping cost since I will be broke for a few weeks. Hopefully he will improve soon... He seems more alert tonight (not as limp and keeping his eyes open while running around crazy on the bed) but not enough to make me quit worrying. He was on his stick a bit ago puffing his tiny beard in and out and then gaping his mouth, not sure if he was too warm so I let him run around on the bed (and me) for a bit thinking to cool him off. Then he got sleepy again so I put him back into his viv and he is sleeping on his sticks with the lights on... not sure if that is weird or not. Thanks again for all your help Brandon. Will keep posting until he is better lol.
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Re: Help!!! My baby beardie isn't eating!!!

Postby claudiusx » Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:10 pm

Hi there,

Great that you were able to find one!

However I recommend placing the probe directly on the basking surface, not just near it. You might have to wait to do this until your can hold your dragon outside of the tank, or while you are giving him a bath so he doesn't go and flop his body over the probe lol! :D

Great that you are seeing some improvement!

Petmountain.com is a good site a lot of members here use it if you haven't already checked it out. They usually have pretty competitive prices.

-Brandon
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Re: Help!!! My baby beardie isn't eating!!!

Postby solerilina » Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:00 am

Oh okay, I will try and get the probe onto his stick asap. They have little suction cups on them so I will have to figure out a way to make it stick there. He still is showing no interest in solid (live) food and will only eat the baby food and Repti-Care from a syringe but, at least he is getting something into his system. I also noticed last night and this morning that his urate (SP?) is a sulfur-yellow color and kinda granular, I have heard this is a sign of dehydration... is there any truth to this? What else could cause yellow, granular urate? If it is simply dehydration then I will try bathing him twice a day for a while (since I have the next 3 days off work this will be much easier).
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Re: Help!!! My baby beardie isn't eating!!!

Postby claudiusx » Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:23 am

Hi there,

Are you adding any calcium dust to his food?
And how often are you bathing?
Usually bathing once a day is good enough for re-hydrating.

-Brandon
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Re: Help!!! My baby beardie isn't eating!!!

Postby solerilina » Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:00 pm

Yes I dust with Fluker's Phosphorus free Calcium with Vitamin D 6 days a week, but was recently told that may be too often so I am going to reduce it down to 3-4 days per week. I don't know how much calcium he is getting now since he isn't eating any solid food... i am adding a tiny pinch to the baby food I am feeding him and I know the Repti-care emergency care supplement has calcium in it.

I was bathing him 2 times a week until he seemed ill, then I started bathing everyday in the hopes of keeping him hydrated. I wanted to add unflavored pedialyte to his baths but apparently every store within 1 hour of here is out of the unflavored type and only have mango and grape flavored.
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Re: Help!!! My baby beardie isn't eating!!!

Postby solerilina » Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:02 pm

I am wondering if the temps are too high can that cause all of this. With the digital probe rigt on his basking spot I have seen the temps go from 102 - 125 degrees and back down. I am thinking that 125 is WAY too high. I also know that he does move up and down on the log-thing he lays on (regulting his temps)... but if they temp is too high what is my best option of fixing that... should I move the light closer the to middle of his viv instead of right over his basking spot?
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Re: Help!!! My baby beardie isn't eating!!!

Postby solerilina » Sun Apr 08, 2012 4:24 am

So update on this... if anyone is reading and cares to know, yesterday he sat outside in the REAL sun all day in a screen enclosure. He seemed much better after a day in the sun and he finally ate two 1/4 inch crickets before he curled up on his stick. So hopefully getting him some UVB not from that death-bulb is helping him to turn around. :D
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Re: Help!!! My baby beardie isn't eating!!!

Postby claudiusx » Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:03 am

Hi there,

Sorry for being late on this, I must have missed it.

Yes, the temp getting up to 125 degrees is WAY too hot! Are you leaving the probe in place for 45 minutes to an hour to get its final reading? How come the temp is fluctuating so much? It should only be changing at a max of around 3 degrees under normal circumstances.

You don't want your temp to go over 110 anywhere in your tank.
You still want to keep the basking bulb on one side of the tank, because you need to provide a temp gradient over to the cool side. There can't really be a cool side if the heat is in the middle of the tank. You will just need to find a lower wattage bulb.

I am glad that he enjoyed some normal sun, I'd continue with that until you can get your bulb on the 20th.
It's great that he ate for you.

-Brandon
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Re: Help!!! My baby beardie isn't eating!!!

Postby 4Vanheap » Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:22 am

My baby bearded won't eat won't move and just lays there. He is also shedding all over. We bought him 8 days ago and I am seriously concerned. I honestly don't know what to do and my son is devastated. Please if anyone can help me or guide me I am so inexperienced and I don't want to find out that there was something i should have done. He has a UV bulb, basking light, night light and multiple places to roam.

Thank you so much

Gayle :cry:
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