8week old beardie dead after 2 days

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8week old beardie dead after 2 days

Postby Kaseychristina » Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:24 pm

Hello, we recently purchased a bearded dragon 2 days ago. We bought him from a known pet store, spoke in length with the “reptile guy”. We went back a couple days later after doing research and got him. Spoke again with the reptile guy who said the 5hr car trip back home wouldn’t be a problem for him, got us set up & we headed home. We got home, set everything up into his tank (20gl) as recommended for the 8week old, didn’t want to stress him with too much space. We set up the bulbs the pet store gave us (2 75wt basking/uva bulbs, they recommended we use the 50w at first, then when we weren’t able to take home the uvb they changed it to 2 75wt while we waiting for the other light) we had bought the uvb but when checking it at the pet store it wouldn’t work so they said they’d sent us another when they got their next shipment that it wouldn’t have an effect of him for at least 2 weeks they recommend we change once of the 75w bulb to the uvb and keep the other on the “basking side” of the tank. We also had a basking rock 10in from the light & a log that got 8.5in from the light (we never saw him on the log, ever), he had water and a ship to climb in a cool trex mouth for him to hide if desired & folded newspaper substrate. We fed him crickets and spring mix as recommended although he didn’t eat anything. We put crickets in 3x a day for 15-20min then would remove them and put in the spring mix until it started looking gross from the heat then we’d put more after the next cricket feeding. We didn’t have a thermometer yet (local pet store was closed Saturday and today after the holiday weekend) but I used my hermit crab one to check temp a couple hours after setting up & it seemed really good around 100 on the one side &, around 70 on the other. Turned the lights off around 10pm-8am as suggested &, the house is set at 73 so no chance it got to cold. The night we got home (fri) and day after we brought him home (sat) we let him get used to his new home. He rarely moved but, he did look around, change basking spots, got into the water a couple times. He looked bad and didn’t seem “happy” so we done some research & it was common for beardies to take some time up to 2 weeks to get used to their new surroundings not to worry. So we didn’t, he seemed much more active sat night we watched him climb his boat and the rock, woke up sun (today) turned lights back on, did morning feeding (didn’t eat) changed water (bottled spring), done lunch feeling, didn’t eat but was sitting with his 1 food in the water bowl, changed crickets for spring mix and let him be. Came back at dinner time &, he was dead. He was laying at the bottom of the tank not breathing, picked him up, stiff. We have no idea what has happened to him, we only had him for TWO DAYS?? We don’t want to replace him if it could have been something we did. & would really just like some help. It’s still in his tank (we don’t know gender) with the lights off for bedtime because I just can bear to tell my son (who we got him for initially) he never even got to hold him but was so excited. I’m just at a loss right now. I hope I answered any questions that needed to be known, we are worried that it was the 75wt bulbs that we should have listened to their initial advice about the 50wt that they may have just been guessing after them running out of uvb. Could he have starved in 1.5 days (he ate just minutes before we brought him home fri evening), was he to hot? The rock never felt that hot but, maybe to him it was? We just don’t know. Any advice or help is appreciated thank you!! Oh &, when we put him in the tank at first his eyes bulged then went back to normal internet said that was normal. Also he was a leather back is I’m not mistaken. I’ll try to include a picture if I can figure out how.
*edited to add he had a BM Saturday, it similar to bird poop consistency although it was dark in color and some thicker areas not much poop maybe a teaspoon? I’ve never seen any other lizard poop so that’s the only comparison I can think of and don’t know if that’s normal.
Last edited by Kaseychristina on Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 8week old beardie dead after 2 days

Postby Kaseychristina » Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:27 pm

[Click image to enlarge]

This was at the pet store, we picked him because when unlocking the cage he was up on the glass wanting out & when I got to stick my hand in to select one (their where several along with a couple silkies) he help real still for me to pick up and then just cling to my fingers and was super chill the entire time I held him!! He only looked this alert & interested a couple times after bringing him home... :(
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Re: 8week old beardie dead after 2 days

Postby Drache613 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:14 am


I am so sorry to hear that this happened to your new little one, how terrible for you. :cry:
Unless he overheated severely, I doubt it was anything that you did. What type of
thermometer did you use, to measure the temperature with, initially?
The only thing I can think of off hand is that he could have drown? How much water was
in the water bowl? The tiny ones can drown in very little water.
He probably had some type of issue when you purchased him at the pet store like a lot of
them seem to have.
Were you using a UVB light for him? Such short term though, it really wouldn't make that
type of difference in two days. Had he been on a loose substrate to where he could have
been impacted possibly, or even eaten too large of crickets & was impacted from that?

I am so sorry for your sudden loss.

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Re: 8week old beardie dead after 2 days

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:55 am

Are you 100% positive he's dead ?

If overheated , and a hatchling is a LOT MORE vulnerable and fragile and frail wrt overheating than a healthy adult dragon , they can become extremely ill and loose the ability to thermoregulate or even use their legs or lift their heads.
If he's been kept in a tank where the temperature is in excess of 44 degC (or 110 to 111 F) , with no access to a cooler area , this is lethal to even an adult bearded dragon. A inaccurate thermometer can be deadly.
If he's not been buried already or placed into the deep freeze , I would turn off the heat in the tank and place him on a piece or absorbant paper towel , he might recover once his temperature comes back down.

I'd take him to a vet ( they can test for signs of life using a doppler ultrasound , if there is any blood circulating he's still alive ).

If you can't get him to a vet right away , if he goes stiff and there's signs of blood pooling in his tummy and discharges from the mouth , nose and rear end are pretty conclusive evidence he's definitely gone.

I would not take a replacement hatchling (if offered under the pet shop's warrantee) from that shop , chances are he was deseased when you bought him and if he was , all the rest you saw are too. You might be able to get a credit to use to buy something else or they may simply refund you.

I STRONGLY suggest you strip EVERYTHING out of the tank that he's had any physical contact with , anything porous goes to the trash can , it can't be sterilized , hard non porous items need to be sterilized as does the walls of the tank , I suggest using F10sc diluted 1:250 in water and spraying everything with this and letting it all AIRDRY overnight, I'd then repeat and let dry again overnight.
This will kill any bacteria, viruses and fungi that might have been cause of the hatchling's sudden death.
I'd do this anyway before you get an other reptile of any species to replace him.
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