Beardie not eating, dehydrated, bearding

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Beardie not eating, dehydrated, bearding

Postby KatB » Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:54 pm

Our 2 year old beardie has been eating a lot less of her fruit and veggies for the past several months. About two weeks ago she stopped eating veggies entirely and about 5 days ago she started even rejecting her dubia roaches. That's never happened, but I figured maybe she was getting ready to brumate. She was just sitting in one place all day and night and looked dehydrated (wrinkly skin). I gave her a bath just now and she started drinking the bath water even as I was lowering her into the bath! Then she pooped. So I thought problem solved.

Except then she started bearding more, rhythmically like a frog, and opening and closing her mouth and sometimes sticking out her tongue. She wanted out of the bath but did not want to be picked up and almost seemed like she wanted to bite me. She is very used to handling and used to fall asleep in my lap. I've hardly ever seen her beard before. She's not walking well.

Does this sound like she's just dehydrated/hungry or something worse? Since she hasn't been eating veggies much she's not getting the vitamins I spray on them, and now she's not getting the calcium powder on the bugs. Vet trip right away? Problem is, I'm not sure how I can get to a vet before the weekend. Give water, wait and see? Obviously I've got to get to the bottom of WHY she stopped eating, but right now I'm looking to fix the immediate problem. Thanks for any help.

Tank is 48"x18"x18" with tile bottom and rock ramp to sand box, basking area 98 F, 36" Reptisun T5 ho inside the tank, just replaced in December used to eat collard greens/squash/apples mainly plus lots of other things, and dubias.
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Re: Beardie not eating, dehydrated, bearding

Postby CooperDragon » Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:11 am

It sounds like she has multiple symptoms. Since she appears to be thirsty, I'd focus on that because it's an easier one to deal with. Baths are fine if she enjoys them, but you can also drip water on her nose for her to lick up. I've found this to be a very effective way to give them extra hydration. Wrinkly skin is natural for them and not an indicator of dehydration. A better indicator is to look for dry poop vs passing through excess liquid with poop. Also watching their reaction to water, as you've just noticed, is a good indicator.

Has she been losing weight? I'd track her weight as that's a good indicator of overall health. If this is brumation, then her weight should be fairly steady.

I don't like the fact that she is having trouble walking. This can sometimes be due to MBD or atadenovirus or a number of other problems. Since you have a good UVB light and it sounds like she's been getting calcium in her diet, it's not as likely to be MBD related. Her change in mood may also indicate that she isn't feeling well for some reason.

I think it's a good idea to bring her to a vet if you have one nearby who is experienced with treating bearded dragons. They may want to run some tests.

Can you post some photos of her and her setup? You can upload photos here https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploads/ and post them to your thread using the XIMG button when you reply.
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Re: Beardie not eating, dehydrated, bearding

Postby KatB » Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:15 pm

She seems better today. Still in a foul mood, bearding and opening her mouth, but only when we're picking her up or thinking about it. In the pics below, you can see how her beard is kind of puffed out, not actually "bearding," but puffy. She's been looking like that a lot, in addition to full on bearding. At the same time, her belly is fairly white, hardly any stress markings visible. No injuries I don't think, nor any likely way to have gotten an injury. I think she just doesn't want to be messed with. She doesn't seem to mind being held like she did before. She is walking fine. I did give her water twice with a syringe. She is spending her nights in her sandbox but not digging, days under the heat lamp. Still not eating anything.
She hasn't laid eggs or brumated before. I don't feel like I need to rush her to the vet at this point. I did weigh her, 550 grams, but I can't find the sheet where I kept track of her weights as she was growing, oops. But I've got a baseline for now at least. Thank you! I appreciate this forum.

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Re: Beardie not eating, dehydrated, bearding

Postby CooperDragon » Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:56 am

I'm glad to hear she is walking fine and seems to be doing better. She looks pretty good based on those photos. Nice yellow beard and no obvious signs of distress. She's at a pretty good weight and so if she maintains that, then she may be just fine.
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