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My Baby Bearded Dragon isn't Eating Much

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 3:55 pm
by MarstheDragon

Hello there. This is my first post, and I'm concerned about my little dragon, Mars, who I've had for about a month now. Mars isn't eating much of anything at all. I say "much" because he will occasionally eat a roach, but only if he sees the roach moving, and he won't eat if hand fed. I have also tried crickets, wax worms, mustard greens and collard greens to no avail.

Every resource I've read regarding bearded dragon behavior when they're young has led me to believe that they should have a rather voracious appetite, but all little Mars does is hang out in the cool side of his enclosure. He also still seems rather scared of me, and I'm not quite sure what to do to remedy that.


Here's my setup, don't worry, the white powder is just calcium dust: Image

To sum up what's going on here, It's a 40 gallon tank (which I will be upgrading once Mars gets larger to a 75 likely), with a 22" T5 high output 10.0 UVB bulb, a 150 watt basking bulb on one side hooked up to a thermostat (though I can never really get the probe in a good place, anyone have tips for that?) and a timer (I give him 15 hours of daylight and 9 hours of darkness), and two hides, the top of one of them serving as the basking spot. I can say that the temperatures in the morning tend to be colder on the cool side, and he likes to hang out there a lot, despite his basking spot being only 105 degrees. To get the humidity right, I have a dehumidifier in the room which is keeping the humidity at 40%.

I try to feed him twice a day, but since he's not eating that's been problematic. Up until he started eating a couple dubias, I've had to force feed him as instructed by my vet (we'll get to that in a moment). I gave him a carnivore powder supplied to me by said vet, which I've had to stuff down his throat with a tiny syringe to get him to eat. He would barely touch it if I simply put some on his snout.

I'd like to believe all of that is optimal, but if there's anything you guys can suggest regarding my setup that needs to change, please do. I care a lot about this little guy and I'd hate to be doing something wrong.

What I've Tried

This problem has been going on for a while, really, since I first got Mars. At first I attributed it to him being stressed, but it was clearly not that when he got used to his enclosure. I tried feeding him crickets because I couldn't get ahold of dubias, now I do have dubias, but he will only barely eat those. I did take him to the vet, who was able to tell he had "bad bacteria" (no mention of what bacteria, which I would have appreciated) when they performed a fecal, and supplied me with an antibiotic. They gave him the first dose on the spot, and he ate better for a bit... but then the problem re-emerged. I gave him another dose of the antibiotic recently and that's how I've gotten him to eat 2 dubia roaches, but he's still not eating well.

I took him to the vet a second time to see if the bacteria was still there, and whether that was the problem, but they were unable to get a fecal from him. He's also too small to draw blood, so this was to no avail. I'm not really sure how to get him to eat, or if I should still be force feeding him.

I guess my question now is... does anyone have any advice?

And of Course, Beardie Tax


Re: My Baby Bearded Dragon isn't Eating Much

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 4:02 pm
by KarrieRee
Yes no more fecals or enemas -- it sounds like hes still going thru the stress of that in itself -- he is too young for any of what they performed on him
First the UVB your using now is a what brand and bulb ? coil or tube -- if your using a coil now I recommend you get rid of it right now and the the fixture and bulb you are planning to get -- as of now hes getting little to no UVb at all - basking temps how are you taking them NO stick ons they are inaccurate

Re: My Baby Bearded Dragon isn't Eating Much

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 4:10 pm
by MarstheDragon
So for the UVB, It's a reptisun 22" tube bulb. He should be getting a lot of UVB from it, or at least that's what I'm hoping.

As for the temperature, I have the stick-on's in there, but I use a temp gun to get my temperatures.

Re: My Baby Bearded Dragon isn't Eating Much

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 4:14 pm
by KarrieRee
is the UVB in a reflector fixture? I would invest in some digital probes ... gid=500202
If you dont have a fixture I recommend you get one --
Your gonna need a 24 " fixture ... o-med.html
You can look on line to find one - not sure how fast these people are shipping out - you can call them they are out of CA 916-226-4089