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New baby beardie stressing me out, I have some questions

PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:12 am
by Santo

Hello everyone. I am so glad I joined this forum. There is SO much great information on here and being the new owner of a bearded dragon, I had so many questions. I'm used to raising Leopard Geckos, but baby beardies are proving to be much more work. (or at least mine is)
So a quick baseline to let you know what I'm dealing with and what I've done already without trying to drag it on.

I got Baby from PetSmart last Sunday. So I have had her for one week and three days. In this time she has ate very little. I chalked that up to relocation stress. But being the overbearing parent that I am, I refused to let her go with out eating anything. I have given her baby food on a few occasions and she actually takes to the syringe very well. She has eaten 4-6 small crickets on her own on three different occasions and as far as I can tell, none of her greens. I mix a salad of collard greens, shaved carrots, peppers, baby beardie pellets and calcium powder every single morning and leave it in the tank.

I also started giving her Repta Boost on the recommedation of Petsmart. She will take about .5cc a day and I have given her that Monday, Yesterday and today. She has had a bowl movement every time she has eaten, usually within the next 2 days. They are solidish and only a little runny.
She has gotten a bath everyday since I have had her. I also give her water drops from the syringe at least once a day, which again, she takes to very well.

My concerns: Her back legs are always very limp. She does climb and use them, but they are so thin and always seem like her toes especially are just very limp. This could be normal for a baby, but I want to make sure. She doesn't seem to move very much in general. She will spend almost all of the day sitting in her basking spot and then when lights go out she will find a place to hide and sleep like a log until lights come back on in the morning.

The past two days she has started to open her mouth at random times. Usually when basking which I have read is normal to regulate body heat, but she will also do it sometimes even where it's not hot like the cool side of the tank and even when I was giving her a bath. The water was not hot at all. It was luke warm to start and had already cooled off a bit. It doesn't seem like she's gasping for air, she just opens it for a second and then that's it. No abnormal breathing or noise as far as I can tell.

Last thing, she has also started rubbing her face against her tree and the wall of the tank. I'm thinking this is due to possibly getting ready to shed because her tail is pretty grey and she does buldge her eyes every now and then.

Sorry for such a long post, I tried to keep it quick, but before I make a vet apt at the only vet I could find anywhere near me, I want to see if maybe I'm just over reacting. To answer the first questions I'm sure will be asked, here is her set up:

40B Enclosure, 18" Repti Sun 10.0 UVB bulb mounted inside the tank so there is no interferance.
Also have a double shroud with a basking bulb and small 5.0 UVB in it. Basking temps on top of the tree where she almost always sits is 110-115*F there is a lower lever right under this spot that is 100-105*F incase she gets to hot she can move to. Cooler side of the tank is 80-85*F during the day.

It's cold here where I live but my house is always at 70 or higher. Lights go out at 8pm and tank temp drops to 70-75* Lights back on at 7am and she usually takes a good 2 hours before she's up and at it at all. During the day humidty inside the tank stays right at about 30%, but at night it does go up to about 60% I'm not sure how to fix this aside from possibly getting a dehumiditify for the room she's in if anyone thinks that may be needed?

It was warmer today outside so I took her on my shoulder into the sun light and she was kind of freeked out, but at the same time she seemed to like it. She actually pooped right as we were headed back inside. She seemed to be a bit more alert and bouncy afterwards, but she has good UV in her tank, so could just me again over thinking it.

If anyone can give me any good recomendations how to get her to start eating more live food and let me know if the concerns I have are valid or am I just a total noob and this is normal for a baby beardie. I really appreaciate any help for anyone. Thank you!~

Picture of baby with her mouth open:

Picture of her enclosure:


Picture of the poo she took this morning:

Re: New baby beardie stressing me out, I have some questions

PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:19 am
by CooperDragon
Welcome to the forum! It sounds like she is OK. She looks good in the photos, just still very small/young. She probably doesn't need Repta Boost or daily baths. Baths are fine if she likes them but if they appear stressful then they aren't worthwhile. You can offer water by dripping on her nose but if she doesn't take it, that's OK. She will get most of her hydration from food and the poop looks well formed and well hydrated.

Their back legs are usually limp when they bask. They often dangle their legs out behind them when they are relaxing. If she is able to climb and move about without issue, they're probably OK.

The mouth gaping is normal when basking (and sometimes when not basking) to regulate heat as you mentioned. It's a good sign that she is getting the temps she needs to digest and bask.

If she's rubbing her face around on things then that tells me she's about to shed and is trying to loosen the skin. That may also be affecting her appetite. Look for gray/dull skin (similar to a gecko I'd imagine), puffing her body out, and possibly crabby behavior for a bit until the shed completes. Sheds will be frequent when she's young and growing but much less frequent as she approaches full size at around 12-18 months.

Your T8 ReptiSun should be OK where it is as long as it's within about 6-8'' of her basking area. You may want to consider upgrading to a 24'' T5 bulb and fixture in a few months when that one needs replacement. The T5 is more powerful and longer lasting than the T8 bulbs.

Re: New baby beardie stressing me out, I have some questions

PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:57 am
by Santo
Thank you so much. That is some really good information!
I will replace the 18" fixture with a longer one in a few months when it's time to be replaced. This one just came with the tank so I bought the bulb to match for now.
She is definitely gray in the lower half of her body, especially her rear legs and tail, so I agree she will probably shed soon. Bath times are touch and go. Sometimes she is perfectly fine and even to the point where she will start to fall asleep (which scared the crap out of me because her head started to lower) and other times, she seems pretty stressed out. I will cut back on giving her a bath ever day to help not stress her out to much. I do hope that her loss in appetite is due to the move and upcoming shed. Just got in my first batch of dubia roaches, so hopefully she will like them and start eating them soon.
Thank you again!

Re: New baby beardie stressing me out, I have some questions

PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 8:56 pm
by Karebearfreezepop0
You can try just misting her with a spray bottle once a day. I agree with everything the first person just said to you, sounds like you’re doing everything right! I have a baby bearded dragon and it’s definately stressful especially when they aren’t eating as much as all the care guides say they’re suppose to be eating! Lol! I think my baby is about to shed as well and from what I gathered they aren’t as active and don’t eat as much when they’re shedding or are about too! And they can get agitated and irritable. My baby did the eye bulge the other day and it really freaked me out because I didn’t know what he was doing. He was sitting there and his eyes bulged out and looked pink inside and his head looked like it was convulsing a little bit and I was so worried something was wrong with him and then he snapped out of it and I looked up the eye bulging thing on YouTube and of course that’s what they do and it’s normal! Also my baby hangs on his perch with his legs just dangling there and I have been a little worried too but apparently as the person above just explained they are jus relaxing! So I got some answers too! Pretty hard caring for a new baby bearded dragon I must say! A lot harder than I thought it would be! Your tank looks wonderful! You did a good job decorating!