Beardie is trying to quit on me...

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Beardie is trying to quit on me...

Postby LanterLand » Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:32 pm

First pic is what she used to look like. Last two pics are of my younger male for comparison.

I have a female beardie, Paar, about 6 months old. I also have a male, Crowley, about 6 weeks younger than her. I know his hatch date is Oct. 26th from a breeder and she is a Petsmart dragon who I estimated her age based on size when I got her, so mid September hatch date. They were never housed together.

She used to be a ravenous eater. Would come running as soon as she saw a cricket tube, eat everything in sight. Over the past month she has declined in energy. I wondered if she was trying to brumate but everything I found said she was too young. The male continues to thrive.

She was in a 20 gallon until the first week of Febuary when she got restless in her cage and started digging a lot and hiding in her cave. I immediately moved her to the 40 gallon I had lined up and she still exhibited the same behaviors. She's now been in the 40 gallon over 3 weeks. The past two weeks she hasn't dug as much but still hides. I also blocked her cave off to keep her from hiding inside it all day but she just hides in the corner now. For a few weeks she would sleep(near basking area but not basking) for most of the day before getting a little energy, basking and eating. Now she hides all day and I just see her bask when I place her in her basking spot. She still stays on the hot side of her cage but not in the basking area and she hasn't eaten much, if any, the past few days. About a week ago I encouraged her to eat some Dubia by getting her out, waiting for her to open her mouth a little and sticking them in. It's definitely not efficient.

She poops most days. Her poops look normal, but are very small. They are formed, have some liquid and have white urate. But, they are less than a third the size of the males poops.

They get bathed every 3 days or so. Both have water dishes that they both bath in and drink from on their own. They both typically drink, dunk their heads and swish around in their water bowls once a week at least. She hasn't done this in over a week.

I have been weighing her and the male about every 8 days since the week before she started acting restless. Those weights are below. She visibly looks skinny to me now.

1/30/19
Crowley 50g 8.5"(tail nip)
Paar 62g 11"

2/7/19
Crowley 56g
Paar 58g (4g loss)

2/15/19
Crowley 68g
Paar 60g (2g gain)

2/23/19
Crowley 88g
Paar 66g (6g gain)

3/4/19
Crowley 110g (full)
Paar 66g (same weight as 9 days ago)

Her set up:
40 gallon breeder
Reptile carpet
24" t5 10.0 UVB inside cage with reflector, over basking area (9 inches at closest point of basking spot)
50 watt intense basking bulb exoterra (inside cage mount)
Cool side 72°F
Basking Spot 109°F at hottest spot, gradient on the basking rock itself so most of the rock is high 90s with hottest point being 109
Temps taken with probes and temp gun(I have read the thread on how to take temps properly with a temp gun)
Dial in cage is hydrometer I just use to gauge any major humidity changes
Lights on timer, 13 hours daylight, no light at night
Over tank heating pad stays on all the time for my roaches and keeps night time temps around 60+ in her cage
Has a flaxseed dig box that was added after she was restless, off her food and moved to her 40 gallon. She digs in it, I have not seen any flax in her poop.
I covered 3 sides of her tank to make it less exposed for her.

Diet:
Bugs dusted with calcium+D3 in first feeding of every day
Offer more bugs in afternoon if all the morning bugs are gone
Raised mostly on crickets
Got first Dubia and BSFL on Jan 24th and after BSFL were gone, have had mostly Dubia since then with some crickets mixed throughout. She killed the dubia the first week but went off of them, crickets and BSFL at the same time about a week and a half later.
Fresh salads offered every few days(mixed greens, no spinach or kale)
Rehydrated freeze dried vegetables offered daily(peas, carrot, bok choy, zucchini, green beans)
Grated sweet potato offered a few times a week
Thawed frozen peas offered a few times a week
Every few weeks I do a multivitamin dusting

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And as a little side note, I purchased cleaner bugs with my starter Dubia Colony. I now have these bugs hanging around the food area of the colony. Do these look like cleaner bugs? They look like tiny meal worms to me but they are REALLY tiny and none of the bugs I put into the colony looked like meal worms, just very small black beetles(half my pinky nail) plus the dirt they came in. Are meal worm adult beetles that small?
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LanterLand
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Re: Beardie is trying to quit on me...

Postby Drache613 » Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:42 am

Hello,

She is too young & small to brumate. Though sometimes they do try to slow down some.
Your setup sounds good & the tank looks nice & bright. The tube is directly over head also
which is correct. It's a bit hard to tell but is it in a fixture also?
There is a size difference with them, absolutely. They all do grow in different time frames.
Have you gotten a fecal done on her to be sure she doesn't have worms or parasites that are
affecting her & causing weight loss?
Meal worm beetles are tiny, yes. There could have been a few mealworms that changed. The
common fuzzy worms that come in bug shipments are safe too.
Has she had a black beard at all?

Tracie
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Re: Beardie is trying to quit on me...

Postby LanterLand » Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:57 am

Drache613 wrote:Hello,

She is too young & small to brumate. Though sometimes they do try to slow down some.
Your setup sounds good & the tank looks nice & bright. The tube is directly over head also
which is correct. It's a bit hard to tell but is it in a fixture also?
There is a size difference with them, absolutely. They all do grow in different time frames.
Have you gotten a fecal done on her to be sure she doesn't have worms or parasites that are
affecting her & causing weight loss?
Meal worm beetles are tiny, yes. There could have been a few mealworms that changed. The
common fuzzy worms that come in bug shipments are safe too.
Has she had a black beard at all?

Tracie


The tube uvb is in a fixture with reflector.
We haven't done a fecal. She never has a black beard. I'm hesitant to do a fecal because the vets in my area are not well versed with reptiles. She is on day 3 or 4 of not eating now I believe. Doing daily baths to try and stimulate her and make sure she is hydrated. When I encouraged/force fed her some dubia a few weeks ago she seemed to perk up for a few days so debating doing that again.
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Re: Beardie is trying to quit on me...

Postby Drache613 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:52 pm

Hello,

How is your dragon doing today?
I'm glad to hear she hasn't had a black beard then! You can try getting some bee pollen to help
stimulate her appetite some, it is usually pretty helpful.
I was thinking, that at 6 months, technically they "can" brumate or slow down some, it isn't totally
out of the realm of possibility. Is her weight stable or is she losing weight?
For now, go ahead & try to get some food into her, either hand feeding or syringe feeding whichever
way seems easier on you both.
Let us know how she is doing.

Tracie
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Re: Beardie is trying to quit on me...

Postby LanterLand » Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:34 am

Drache613 wrote:Hello,

How is your dragon doing today?
I'm glad to hear she hasn't had a black beard then! You can try getting some bee pollen to help
stimulate her appetite some, it is usually pretty helpful.
I was thinking, that at 6 months, technically they "can" brumate or slow down some, it isn't totally
out of the realm of possibility. Is her weight stable or is she losing weight?
For now, go ahead & try to get some food into her, either hand feeding or syringe feeding whichever
way seems easier on you both.
Let us know how she is doing.

Tracie


I'll have to get some bee pollen. On Wednesday, I actually tried to force feed her. It was not pretty and had to be stressful for her, not to mention I worry about making her mouth sore and furthering her reluctance to eat. But, I devised a way to feed her with less force. I take her outside and she gets defensive so then I shove a roach in her mouth and stick her back in the cage. 9/10 times she eats the roach and I just repeat the process several times. She was immediately more perky. I did the same thing yesterday and weighed her right after the feeding. 70g, which is the most she has ever weighed. She is still 70g today after her BM so hopefully this can bring her out of what ever is going on with her. She has only maintained or gained weight since the initial loss of weight that I noticed on 2/7.
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Re: Beardie is trying to quit on me...

Postby Drache613 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:26 pm

Hello,

This is so common when trying to assist feed them. Sometimes it goes smoothly but other times
it is a total disaster!
So you were able to get a few roaches into her? Hopefully that helps her out. It's a good sign
that she seemed to perk up afterwards though!
Maybe the bee pollen will improve her appetite again. Let us know how she is doing.

Tracie
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Re: Beardie is trying to quit on me...

Postby LanterLand » Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:39 pm

I'm letting Paar hibernate.

After fighting with her to get her to eat and then also properly bask to digest, I stopped with the force feeding around the 11th of March. I continued to encourage her to bask for a few days after her last feeding. She had a few bowel movements and plenty of baths. Then I opened her cave up and moved it away from the heat. She immediately spent the entire day asleep in her cave.

After a few days, I shut her heat off and have just been running her uvb lights since the 14th of March. She has not lost any weight. She remains 70g. Has not fed in 3 weeks. She just wants to be a sleepy hibernating dragon. She gets baths a few times a week for 30 minutes and is more or less alert but annoyed at me for waking her. She always hops around in her baths. I typically turn the heat on in her cage for an hour after a bath. Normally she goes straight back to her cave but today she chilled. Looked around for about 30 minutes, literally just looking not exploring, before going back to bed so I'm wondering if she might be considering an end to her slumber soon.

Pictures from today before the bath. Her sleepy colors are so pretty to me. Estimating her hatch date to be around September 14th, based on her size when I got her from petsmart, she would be turning 7 months this month and weighs only 70g but solidly sticking there. I suspect she will be stunted some but able to catch up quickly after she comes out of this hibernation.
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Re: Beardie is trying to quit on me...

Postby Drache613 » Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:34 pm

Hello,

Oh my, that is just so tiny to brumate, only 70 grams! Good grief. You are sure she is
maintaining that weight even sleeping but not eating?
She could definitely be a runt which happens. She appears to be a regular vitticeps &
not a Rankins which is smaller looking bearded dragon just a different genus.
Do keep us posted on how she is doing!

Tracie
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Re: Beardie is trying to quit on me...

Postby LanterLand » Thu Apr 04, 2019 5:51 pm

I weigh her weekly on a kitchen scale and she holds steady at 70g. She's definitely a little girl now but we will see how her growth goes when she comes out of brumation. The male, on the other hand, continues to be a pig and is now 176g.
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Re: Beardie is trying to quit on me...

Postby LanterLand » Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:34 pm

She lives! She went completely dormant for about 2 months. Really all together though, 2 months not eating, plus 1 month of force feeding and 1 additional month of her very seldom eating. No eating at all from March 11th to end of May. I left her heat and lights off since she stayed buried deep in her cave, unless I went to retrieve her. She would wake up when I got her out for her baths but definitely grumpy and slow. She maintained 68-70g the entire time. A good long soak would always return her to 70g for several days after the bath even.

Middle of May, she was waiting slightly longer to return to her cave after her baths and since the house could reach 80° during the day anyway, I turned her lights and heat back on. After a few days of being in her now hot cave, she passed a tiny poo but was uninterested in food or even coming out of her cave. I blocked off her cave and encouraged her to bask and offered food for nearly a week. She dropped to 63g so I started forcing her to eat one medium Dubai a day. I was determined to make her stop brumating but I believe she would have happily returned to her slumber if I'd shut her heat off and opened her cave. The force feeding of one bug a day continued for about two weeks and she was 73g by June 9th.

The first week of June, she also started eating a bug by herself here and there. She didn't actively hunt but would bask and after basking for a long time, she would go grab a bug if it caught her eye. She has a no-escape feeder bowl that she was accustomed to before her brumation but now she will not even look at any bugs I put in it. She wanted to hunt lol I've been leaving Dubia loose in her cage and just moving things around so they have to keep finding new spots to hid but I finally decided to get crickets today and try those. They move a lot more and she ate several of them in one sitting so I'm pretty happy. Her cave is still shut off but she doesn't try to hid and she basks a lot. She weighed a whooping 79g today 🤣. My big guy now weighs in at 388g 😳😂
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