Super Picky Eater... Any Advice?

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Super Picky Eater... Any Advice?

Postby NeoMcCreations » Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:05 pm

My dragon Rex (male) is about 13 months old now, roughly 16.5 inches long (supposedly he should be bigger). Ever since he was younger, he was always a picky eater. I see videos of bearded dragons on YouTube wolfing down crazy amounts of strawberries, blueberries, and even banana with an appetite that doesn't seem to cease. Meanwhile, Rex literally eats nothing but meat. If I try to interest him in the evenings, usually he will eat a modest amount of Phoenix Worms or Waxworms. Sometimes he looks at them and goes "heck no bro, not today."
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I know he needs leafy greens, vegetables, and fruit in his diet. My current method that works about 10% of the time is to drip a bunch of fruit juice on his lips (like a cherry) until he starts licking it. As soon as the mouth opens, I literally stuff it into his mouth and he will usually chew it and swallow. But that is about it. My last few successes were mango, cherry, and banana.

He doesn't have any obvious issues, and he runs around like a wild child during the day and begs to play. He hasn't pooped in a few days, but of course all he has eaten is a few worms since Weds. Rex is my first dragon, so I'm not sure what exactly to do with him and his picky appetite. What do you guys recommend I do?
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Re: Super Picky Eater... Any Advice?

Postby KarrieRee » Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:22 pm

I would get him off the worms and start w/ dubia roaches --- dust them w/ calcium D3 and vitamins alternating them -- offer a salad every day in his tank - try and coak him w/ things like cilantro bee pollen - fresh oregano or basil or mint -- they have a strong odor that may get him to the bowl - if you try and hand feed him greens will he eat at all - mine will not go to the bowl --- maybe once in a while but for the most part if I had feed him greens like collard turnip or mustard he will eat a few bites - some squash but he is very picky as well ---- he does gobble down the roaches tho -- and he does love his butter worms and horn worms-- but they are not fed every day --
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Re: Super Picky Eater... Any Advice?

Postby KarrieRee » Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:36 pm

Oh my I am surprising he is eating at all--------------- please go out and get a UVB ASAP-- they cannot live w/ out this and I am surprised he is even able to walk --- are you taking him outside? 15 minutes in direct sunlight is like 4 hrs under the UVB---- here is some info for the UVB and I recommend you get this now-
Which UVB light should I use?

The best UVB light is a ReptiSun 10.0 fluorescent tube HO (Or Arcardia 12% in the UK). Compact or coil bulbs do not emit the proper amount of UVB light for a bearded dragon, and should not be used. Other brands, such as the Zilla Desert Series and ReptiGlo have been known to cause eye problems and other health issues with bearded dragons, and should be avoided. The reason that some UVB lights (Zilla, ReptiGlo, coils/compacts, ect.) are considered dangerous is because the wavelength of UVB that they emit is shorter and more intense than the wavelength of the "safe" lights (ReptiSun, Arcadia). UVB lights should be replaced every 6 months. The T5’s are a strong bulb and only need to be replaced once a year – the T 8 every 6 months--- where as the T 8 are not as strong—they need to be placed inside the tank the T 5 10.0 bulb approx 10-11 inches from basking spot – the T 8 approx 8-10 inches from basking spot—the cover needs to be off the bulb for full effect of the UVB rays-- this lighting is crucial to their over all health - digestion and behavior --
How are you taking basking temps? You need to have the basking temp around 95-105 - taken w/ a infrared heat gun bought from Walmart Home Depot or Lowes -- it will give you the most accurate basking temps--- the UVB helps them digest the nutrients in their food that is why he is barely eating! Your dragon will not make it w/ out this lighting ----- they are spendy but you need it -- if you can get the hood and bulb from Pet Smart at your local store that would be good - I dont know if you have one or even Petco but it needs to be done right away-
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Re: Super Picky Eater... Any Advice?

Postby NeoMcCreations » Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:36 am

Well now he is not eating anything at all... But he is not losing weight. It's the weirdest thing, maybe he just isn't hungry sometimes?
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Re: Super Picky Eater... Any Advice?

Postby AHBD » Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:58 am

Hi there, Rex is a good looking boy. :) Doi you not have uvb lighting for him ? If not, get a good bulb ASAP as Karrie mentioned. Beardies can seem + look fine but develop serious hidden health problems without uvb that can affect them for the rest of their lives. Without good uvb they can not process calcium which affects every function of the body. Hope to hear a good update soon !
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Re: Super Picky Eater... Any Advice?

Postby claudiusx » Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:54 pm

Agreed, proper uvb plays a large role in his health, appetite, and immune system. Symptoms usually dont start showing until the issue is really bad. Hope you can get him a good bulb soon!

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