Juvenile hasn't eaten on own since June!

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Juvenile hasn't eaten on own since June!

Postby Kronk212 » Sat Sep 05, 2020 9:44 am

Apologies for a long post. We are new beardie owners. We purchased 4-month-old Kronk in early Feb. from a reputable breeder. We had done months of research, but still relied on the breeder to advise us on habitat setup. Kronk never ate greens except for a daily blueberry that I found he loved. But he had a solid appetite for crickets and dubias when we switched to those. He seemed to thrive just fine until late April (3 months of our care). In May he started to become a finicky eater but still ate some bugs. We tried superworms to shake things up and he enjoyed those, but by mid-June, he completely stopped eating. After a week of that, we took him to the ER vet (with some reptile experience). They said he was underweight and suggested a fecal, which resulted in a coccidia diagnosis. After 2 rounds of Ponazuril, we had a clean fecal but still no appetite. We then took him to a reptile specialist in early-July. Xray was taken to rule out blockage. Some digested substrate was evident but vet did not think he was blocked. She told us to avoid calci-sand as his substrate (breeder recommended!) so we removed that. She also tested him for ADV, which she strongly suspected. That came back negative. She did follow-up bloodwork to rule out stomach cancer, liver or kidney failure. All was good except high white blood cell count. She suspected a massive bacterial infection. Kronk went on 5 weeks of Enrofloxacin to combat this unknown bacteria. We started force feeding him Emeriaid Omnivore, which helped him put some weight on. We stopped the meds on 8/25. Still not eating on his own.

So we took a trip back to the breeder (mostly because they had a replacement warranty on our vapor bulb, which died on us after 5 months). We told the breeder what had been happening. He's not a fan of vets and said this was all likely because we were not keeping him hot enough. He suggested trying to keep even the cold side around 85-90 F degrees. Also suggested removing his cave, as he said he's probably trying to die and hiding allows that to happen. We took out his cave, added an additional UVB Repti-Sun T8 directly inside his 40 gal tank, to go along with his Exoterra Solar Globe 125W which sits directly on his screen now and a heat emitter. Basking spot probably hits 120 now and he won't sit there voluntarily. He finds the coldest spot he can find, which registers no lower than 85 during the day. I keep the emitter on all night. Breeder said the higher temps would help his immune system.

(Sorry, this is so long!) His color is better than it was. He seems slightly less lethargic but he still won't eat on his own. We are now force-feeding dubias, waxworms and large mealworms every other day as he clearly hates being force fed. A week ago, we added NutriBACaf sprinkled on the insects to try to boost his appetite. Still nothing. Every day we put greens, fruits, veggies in front of him. We try using tongs and bring food directly to his mouth. It's as if he has no idea what food is anymore. Breeder said that we needed to stop force feeding him or it would kill him, but he's already underweight. We've tried starving him for no more than 3 days in a row. That has also not helped. He is close to a year old, 14 inches and 225 grams.

Does anyone have any advice?!? I feel like we've tried everything...
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Re: Juvenile hasn't eaten on own since June!

Postby KarrieRee » Sat Sep 05, 2020 5:23 pm

Please get that basking spot down to 95-110--- he is too hot and get the cool side of the tank down to 80's during the day and not below 65 at nite ---
Your dragon needs salads every day -- that should of been started the day you brought him home I am sorry to say -- you got some bad advice from your breeder :( please do not listen to him anymore --- here is a website for nutrition ignore the kale thing its a good staple feeder
http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Nutrition.html
I would like for you to order some BSFL and some butter worms and some horn worms small amounts they grow fast ( horn worms) - you can get all these from here they are a little spendy on shipping
www.mulberryfarms.com and they are 2-3 weeks out on shipping too :banghead: you can also go here and get some silk worms
www.reptilianarts.com these people are fast --- they have good silk worms as of now only cupped w/ food they normally have bulb like 50 they come small and you would need to order food and clean containers out daily-- they are a good staple feeder --
Your dragon is too hot that is why he has not been eating --
the MVB is what brand and wattage ? And where in the tank is it - this could be another reason for not eating -- lighting in the tank is crucial
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Re: Juvenile hasn't eaten on own since June!

Postby Kronk212 » Sat Sep 05, 2020 5:43 pm

KarrieRee wrote:Please get that basking spot down to 95-110--- he is too hot and get the cool side of the tank down to 80's during the day and not below 65 at nite ---
Your dragon needs salads every day -- that should of been started the day you brought him home I am sorry to say -- you got some bad advice from your breeder :( please do not listen to him anymore --- here is a website for nutrition ignore the kale thing its a good staple feeder
http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Nutrition.html
I would like for you to order some BSFL and some butter worms and some horn worms small amounts they grow fast ( horn worms) - you can get all these from here they are a little spendy on shipping
http://www.mulberryfarms.com and they are 2-3 weeks out on shipping too :banghead: you can also go here and get some silk worms
http://www.reptilianarts.com these people are fast --- they have good silk worms as of now only cupped w/ food they normally have bulb like 50 they come small and you would need to order food and clean containers out daily-- they are a good staple feeder --
Your dragon is too hot that is why he has not been eating --
the MVB is what brand and wattage ? And where in the tank is it - this could be another reason for not eating -- lighting in the tank is crucial
Karrie


Thank you for replying! We have only had him at those temps for the past 2 weeks due to the advice from the breeder. Previously we had basking spot at 95-105 and cool side around 75-80. We have also offered him greens every single day since we brought him home but he won’t eat any of it, never has, and I’ve tried every green that I’ve read is safe. Blueberries were the only non-insect item he would eat but I only gave him one per day. The MVB is ExoTerra Solar Glo 125 watts and I have it currently sitting on top of the screen top, though before breeder’s advice it was hanging from a mount about 12 inches above the screened top. About a month ago we added an extra uvb bulb ReptiSun T8, 18 inch, inside his cage directly to the left of his MVB. I can certainly try other insects if you think that will help.
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Re: Juvenile hasn't eaten on own since June!

Postby KarrieRee » Sat Sep 05, 2020 5:56 pm

Yes stubborn little buggers :lol: start adding those worms I mentioned to his salads --- use those as lures -- to the salad bowl -- feed first thing in the morning before the staple insects and add them to the that bowl in front of him it will get his attention --- do not dust the BSFL and order large --- you will need a glass or ceramic bowl so they cant get out of
the MVB should be unobstructed -- its basically only giving heat at this point sitting on top of the screen so I would take the screen off and still leave the distance of 12" -- your T 8 is good just make sure you have NO plastic cover over the bulb and its exposed and 6-8 inches from basking decor piece - directly over it - get the UVB situated and the MVB and see if his behavior does not change -- if all this is correct and hes not eating then something else is going on -- I am not sure if its still after effects of the last medication he was on
What is the substrate in the tank now?
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Re: Juvenile hasn't eaten on own since June!

Postby Kronk212 » Sat Sep 05, 2020 6:04 pm

How long does it take for lighting changes to take effect? For most of his time with us, all he had was the MVB above a screen. Again, we were told by the breeder that’s all he needed and it being over the screen was not a problem. Once I get the lighting right, I would assume it would still take some time for his body to get back to where it should have been? I appreciate your help. This has been such a frustrating introduction to reptiles and yet we are so smitten with him and just want him feeling better!
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Re: Juvenile hasn't eaten on own since June!

Postby KarrieRee » Sat Sep 05, 2020 6:07 pm

It should take effect right away --- they start acting differently -- if the lighting is correct like I posted then it could still be the effects of the meds -- Tracie our vet tech mod would need to answer the question about the med -- or AHBD -- I will get them to see what they think - we always need to rule out lighting first as far as appetite - once that is ruled out we can go on to other causes --
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Re: Juvenile hasn't eaten on own since June!

Postby Kronk212 » Sat Sep 05, 2020 6:10 pm

OK, we’ll make that change in the morning and see what happens. Thanks again!
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Re: Juvenile hasn't eaten on own since June!

Postby Claudiusx » Sat Sep 05, 2020 6:15 pm

That's and awfully long time to be on antibiotics. It's no wonder he doesn't feel much like eating.

He probably was fine to begin with, and treating the parasites is what likely started him down this path. Unless his parasite counts were actually high, they don't need to be treated. Many dragons will have parasites, but they only need to be treated when counts grow too high and il effects start to occur.

Can you post a picture of him and your tank?

What does he weigh right now? For his recovery, it will be important to keep track of that.

Can you post the blood results please? That will give us an idea of how things looked at least back then. Was blood work done after the antibiotics? IDK about prescribing such a long course of anti's simply for a high WBC count.

At this point, I don't know if i'd listen to what your breeder or vet says. They both have been wrong about things.

-Brandon
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Re: Juvenile hasn't eaten on own since June!

Postby Kronk212 » Sat Sep 05, 2020 6:27 pm

Claudiusx wrote:That's and awfully long time to be on antibiotics. It's no wonder he doesn't feel much like eating.

He probably was fine to begin with, and treating the parasites is what likely started him down this path. Unless his parasite counts were actually high, they don't need to be treated. Many dragons will have parasites, but they only need to be treated when counts grow too high and il effects start to occur.

Can you post a picture of him and your tank?

What does he weigh right now? For his recovery, it will be important to keep track of that.

Can you post the blood results please? That will give us an idea of how things looked at least back then. Was blood work done after the antibiotics? IDK about prescribing such a long course of anti's simply for a high WBC count.

At this point, I don't know if i'd listen to what your breeder or vet says. They both have been wrong about things.

-Brandon


Thank you for your reply. You can understand how frustrating this is for first-time owners. Everywhere we turn, we are given conflicting advice! I will post a photo of Kronk and his set up tomorrow morning as he’s gone to bed now. Hopefully I can figure out how to do that. I can request bloodwork results as the vet never shared them, only discussed them over the phone due to Covid. The antibiotic was prescribed after the bloodwork. He weighed 225 g this morning.
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Re: Juvenile hasn't eaten on own since June!

Postby Claudiusx » Sat Sep 05, 2020 6:32 pm

Oh I totally understand. Unfortunately we see it a lot. But that's what we are here for :)

Yes definitely get a copy of the blood test results. You paid for them, you have a right to seeing them.

Posting pictures is easy, you can just click on the XIMG button above the post text box, or you can use this link to upload your pictures, and paste the XIMG code into your post.
https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploads/

So he's around a year old now? He is a bit small at 225g but we should be able to get him back on track with a bit of effort :)

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Re: Juvenile hasn't eaten on own since June!

Postby Kronk212 » Sat Sep 05, 2020 6:39 pm

Yes, he has not grown or shed in months. About a year old and 14 inches. I will post photos tomorrow. Stay tuned!
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Re: Juvenile hasn't eaten on own since June!

Postby Drache613 » Sat Sep 05, 2020 11:43 pm

Hello,

Did I read your statement correctly.....the breeder told you to remove the cave because he
was probably trying to die? Wow how sad, I am so sorry he said that.
He may not have had any type of infection, possibly just stress from temperatures or lighting
being off which can elevate the white blood cell count. The antibiotics are so hard on their
kidneys, especially for such an extended amount of time!
How long have you been using the nutribac for now?
You can also try getting some black strap molasses or brewer's yeast to help with boosting his
immune system & appetite.
What supplementation are you giving to him currently, liquid or powdered calcium, any type of
vitamins, etc? What type of gutload are you feeding his insects prior to giving them to your boy?
Are you using a digital probe or temp gun to measure the temperatures?
I agree, adjusting the lighting & temperatures is a start, the 120F is too warm & it is likely heating
up the tank way too much causing him to want to move into a cooler area.
Is he a specialized type of morph such as a hypo/trans, silkback or leatherback?
Looking forward to seeing pictures of him.

Tracie
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Re: Juvenile hasn't eaten on own since June!

Postby Kronk212 » Sun Sep 06, 2020 7:07 am

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Re: Juvenile hasn't eaten on own since June!

Postby KarrieRee » Sun Sep 06, 2020 7:12 am

Is this a current pic? I am not seeing your T 8
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Re: Juvenile hasn't eaten on own since June!

Postby Kronk212 » Sun Sep 06, 2020 7:21 am

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Drache613 wrote:Hello,

Did I read your statement correctly.....the breeder told you to remove the cave because he
was probably trying to die? Wow how sad, I am so sorry he said that. Yes, he said that and if I didn’t change things up, he would die.
He may not have had any type of infection, possibly just stress from temperatures or lighting
being off which can elevate the white blood cell count. The antibiotics are so hard on their
kidneys, especially for such an extended amount of time!
How long have you been using the nutribac for now? I’ve only been using it for a week, sprinkling it on his greens that he won’t eat and dusting insects that we force feed in it.
You can also try getting some black strap molasses or brewer's yeast to help with boosting his
immune system & appetite.
What supplementation are you giving to him currently, liquid or powdered calcium, any type of
vitamins, etc? When he was eating, we dusted calcium powder 5 days/week; vitamin powder 2 days/week
What type of gutload are you feeding his insects prior to giving them to your boy? Dubias get carrots and Fluker’s Cricket Quencher, worms are in a container that we were told contain food for them so I’ve never provided any additional food.
Are you using a digital probe or temp gun to measure the temperatures? Had a probe, but now using a gun
I agree, adjusting the lighting & temperatures is a start, the 120F is too warm & it is likely heating
up the tank way too much causing him to want to move into a cooler area.
Is he a specialized type of morph such as a hypo/trans, silkback or leatherback?A dunner
Looking forward to seeing pictures of him.

Tracie
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