Odd behavior, first time bearded dragon owner

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Odd behavior, first time bearded dragon owner

Postby BrianBlaz » Sat Nov 30, 2013 5:46 pm

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My bearded dragon is about a year old, I'd guess he's between 12-16" in length, had him for 4 months. I just replaced his UVB light with a reptisun 10.0, as I dont think the owner before me ever changed his old one and i noticed him walking on his wrists and tremoring slightly sometimes when he tries to climb his basking branch. I worried about MBD, but his jaw wasn't mushy at all, and he had no lumps on his legs. He eats about 40 crickets every other day, dusted with calcium powder. I feed him kale, collard greens and escarole about twice per week, bath him about every other week. He drinks water from the kitchen faucet sometimes, usually drinks in the bath, and I wash his greens and leave water on those as well. Heat sources are a heat light on a dimmer, a reptisun basking bulb, and another heat bulb for nighttime that emits a very mild purplish light, which Im not wild about but havent replaced yet. I haven't replaced any of those so Im not sure on the wattage. Substrate is reptile padding underneath reptile calcium sand from Petco.

Thats the background. The question is ever since I put in the new UVB light, he spends most of the day lying on the cage floor, sleeping with his nose in the corner of the cage. He's active when I take him out, crawling on me and extremely alert. His eyes are bright and focused. He usually sleeps on his basking branch, sometimes hanging from it by his front legs with the base of his tail on the ground, but lately its on the ground in the corner.

Normal pooping (solid brown with a bit of white), always solid, usually the day after he eats crickets.

Why would he suddenly want to sleep in the corner of the cage so much? I read about brumeration (brumination? Whatever it is), and this could be it, but he has periods of moving around the cage, and when I take him out he's active and crawling (when he isn't hanging off my shoulder and just relaxing). Plus, it's odd that he would JUST start doing this the day I replace his UVB light.

I'm not QUITE worried yet, but I'd love feedback. The tremoring had me worried for a bit, but i only saw that maybe a dozen times, and his jaw seems strong, and his legs are bump free.
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Re: Odd behavior, first time bearded dragon owner

Postby BrianBlaz » Sat Nov 30, 2013 5:59 pm

Crap. He's also eating just fine. He doesn't chase the crickets as often as he used to, but he really doesn't need to once he runs to the spot I dump them, plus when I cleaned his cage out I threw away an extra branch that was cracked, some weird fake leafy thing that served no purpose, and a really tiny feeding dish that did nothing.

If I had to guess I'd say the tank was 55 gallons. No tape measure, it's about three feet long, 18" tall and about as wide, maybe a bit wider. I was looking for the cage set up on craigs list and found the whole setup plus the dragon, so bought it all at once from the former owner.
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Re: Odd behavior, first time bearded dragon owner

Postby kcarello » Sat Nov 30, 2013 6:44 pm

First of all...what type of Reptisun did you buy? Tube type or compact/coil?
Second, you should be feeding your dragon greens everyday and bugs everyday. Have you tried other feeders besides crickets? Here is a food chart for you to use. Kale should only be fed occasionally.
http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Nutrition.html
He could be slowing down for the winter.
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Re: Odd behavior, first time bearded dragon owner

Postby BrianBlaz » Sat Nov 30, 2013 6:52 pm

Fluorescent tube is the UVB.

I tried to feed him everyday, but he generally lets the greens just dry out and doesn't touch them except for the two-three times per week. Same deal with crickets, even when I feed him smaller amounts, he just won't eat them everyday, and I don't want to leave them in the cage crawling all over him, possibly chewing on him (I've had lizards other than bearded dragons, and that was an issue for them).

The previous owner said she fed him about 50+ every other day, along with pinkie mice three times per week, which I won't do because of the fattiness of them. I don't think she fed him greens, or if she did she didn't mention it.

I didn't know kale was only a once in awhile thing, a few care sites I looked at said it was fine for often. I'll cut back on that. Too bad, thats the one I can count on him to pick out and eat all of before picking at the others.

I do give him kiwi every now and then as a treat, once I cut away the seeds. He always eats that right away. Thought I'd mention that just in case.
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Re: Odd behavior, first time bearded dragon owner

Postby destiny1998 » Sat Nov 30, 2013 6:55 pm

Hi. Is the uvb a coil, compact or tube? Sounds like he has mbd thats why he walks on his wrists. Get rid of the subtrate as he can get impcated and it harbors bacteria and it may be easier for him to walk on paper towels, tile, newspapers or non adhesive shelf liner. Get rid of the purple light it disturbs his sleep. A che at night is what you need if your house gets below 65. Beardies need to cool down at night and complete darkness to sleep. His diet should be 80% salad and 20% protein. He should be bathed 3 to 4 times a week. What are your temps and how are you taking them?
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Re: Odd behavior, first time bearded dragon owner

Postby BrianBlaz » Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:16 pm

This is the first I heard of 80% veggie 20% protein for a year old bearded dragon, I've always read it was the opposite and gradually veggies overtake the proteins.

That bathing sounds a bit excessive for a desert reptile, but again, maybe I'm just reading the wrong care sheets. I don't mean to keep disagreeing, but I did look at multiple sources and took the advice that I kept seeing repeated.

Ceramic is what I want for him, obviously, but it's not happening for at least a paycheck unfortunately.

Temps are 95 during the day, 65-70 at night according to the thermometer in the cage. Stuck on the side, about a third of the way up the wall. It won't get any warmer without putting a heating pad underneath the cage (Chicago winter is here), and I dont want to do that in case he digs and gets burned a bit.
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Re: Odd behavior, first time bearded dragon owner

Postby kcarello » Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:30 pm

Yes, adult dragons need the ratio that destiny said, they also need baths,,,minimum 3 times a week..4 is better. It keeps them hydrated...they absorb water through their waste vent. The stick on thermometers can be off up to 40 degrees...they are pretty much useless. You need a digital one with a probe on a wire. You need to take the temps at 3 places, the basking spot surface, the hot end and the cool end. Also, destiny is talking about a ceramic heat emitter, they put off heat but no light, they screw into a regular dome light fixture with a ceramic base. Here is a great care sheet for you to read. there is also a lot of other very useful information on that sight.http://www.everythingreptile.org/bearded-dragon.html
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Re: Odd behavior, first time bearded dragon owner

Postby BrianBlaz » Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:42 pm

What exactly is the cut off for being an adult bearded dragon? I really thought it was way older than barely one year old.

I know what the ceramic heater is, just need to get paid before I can buy one.

Isn't misting how the get much of their water in captivity?
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Re: Odd behavior, first time bearded dragon owner

Postby kcarello » Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:11 pm

Most people consider a dragon an adult at around 1 1/2 years old..but their diet should be changing over to the 80% greens over a period of time not all of a sudden...but they should all be offered greens daily. It works best when they are offered the greens first thing in the morning and the bug later. You can give your dragon drops of water on their nose so it runs down and they lick it up...but as far as misting them in their tank,,,it is not recommended due to it raising the humidity too much. When people say misting,,,they are not referring to spraying down the dragon with a spray bottle. Dragons get moisture by drinking, or by absorbing the water through their waste vent during bathing.
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Re: Odd behavior, first time bearded dragon owner

Postby BrianBlaz » Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:16 pm

clearly ive been reading the wrong things.

I'll start slowly changing his diet. How long does everyone leave the greens in the cage? Four days per week i leave my house at 530 am and dont get back until 730pm for work, i generally leave the greens in for one day until i take them out unless he eats them.

He takes them more readily if I feed him by hand, i can do that more often to get him used to them.

Just out of curiosity, are these things you all are suggesting going to get him out of the corner, or are they just things I've been doing wrong? Not defensive at all, I want him to be getting the right care, but I'm really curious about the timing of this corner sleeping behavior
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Re: Odd behavior, first time bearded dragon owner

Postby kcarello » Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:47 pm

Yes, a lot of dragons take the greens better if hand fed...its a pain,,,wish my two would just eat them like a lot of dragons do!! Most people will leave the greens in all day so their dragons can munch on them if they want to. Now if your dragon is trying to brumate, or even just slow down for the winter...none of this is going to change that. In fact, he may start eating less and sleeping more. Have you had him tested for parasites?
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Re: Odd behavior, first time bearded dragon owner

Postby BrianBlaz » Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:52 pm

No herpetologist near me unfortunately. I called my normal dog vet, he said hed take a look but told me he would probably end up looking things up online because he doesn't get many lizards except for basic sex checks.

My sources are obviously questionable, but I have paid attention to his poops, and like I said above I've had other lizards before, one of which had MBD and another which had parasites (after that I stopped buying animals from chain pet stores). Poop is consistent, low-medium consistent odor, solid but not hard, no half digested crickets or leaves in there.

I'll find a vet and bring him in for a check up just to be safe.
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Re: Odd behavior, first time bearded dragon owner

Postby kcarello » Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:25 pm

Sound like he should be clear of parasites then..I wouldn't worry about it right now. But I would suggest find a good reptile vet before you do need one. here is a list of some..you can also click on the link to try to find one in your area. http://www.everythingreptile.org/reptile-vets.html
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Re: Odd behavior, first time bearded dragon owner

Postby BrianBlaz » Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:32 pm

thanks kcarello, appreciate the help.
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Re: Odd behavior, first time bearded dragon owner

Postby kcarello » Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:34 pm

No problem, hope your little boy is just sleepy..
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