This forum is for urgent health concerns, where your beardie seems very ill and you need immediate help!
So about a week ago we adopted a baby from Petsmart. Everything was well until a few days ago. The little guy started acting really lethargic and not eating. So we took him back to have him looked at as per the adoption policy.
They held him for observation the past couple of days so their vet could check him out. The vet said he didn't find anything wrong and today they let us take him back stating that he had perked up, was running around, and had eaten.
We got him home and he seemed to be doing better at first but now he's gone to the corner of his tank and hasn't moved much since I left for work. I tried offering him some food but he wouldn't take it.
Since the vet has ruled out impaction and MBD does anybody else know what might be causing this behavior? Their thoughts were the sudden temperature change and the start of a shedding but I'm worried about him not eating. He's only a few months old at most so I don't think it could be brumation.
This is him after we got him home today:
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This is him just a few minutes ago after we woke up. Normally the warm end of his tank is 95-100 with the cool side being 80-85. His night bulb only keeps it around 85 which is why the thermometer is reading so low in the pics (we just turned on his day bulbs.)
Just called the pet shop and the representative on the phone said to maybe try replacing the tiles with carpet. Any ideas? Should a baby be acting this lethargic? Is it his UVB? Really getting concerned for the little guy.
he is precious! maybe give him a little time, he is probably trying to get used to his new environment! but, still try to provide him some greens and crickets, maybe he will eventually eat.
also sometimes bearded dragons that are shedding or going into brumation don't like to eat, and rather sleep.
my little squishy likes to eat his greens alone and when i am not looking, but when its cricket time, they (as in lizarto and squishy) chase their food like no tomorrow! this is gonna be a weird question but, has he pooped today, he could have little poo stuck in him. give him a warm bath, let him do his daily water work out, it will make him poop too!
happy and forever bearded dragons! <3
Hi. Can you give a rundown of his set up? How do you take the temps? What kind of uvb? Coil/compact or long tube? Brand? What size enclosure? Also get rid of the night time light. Beardies like complete darkness and a cool down period. As long as your house does not get below 65 no heat source is needed. If it does get colder then a ceramic heat emitter is needed.
Hey. Thanks for the replies. He's currently in a 10 gallon starter tank that we're looking to upgrade as soon as possible. The UVB could probably use replacing as its just the basic bulb that came with the starter terrarium. I have a reptisun 10.0 tube coming this week that I plan to swap in to see if it helps him. Been taking temps using digital thermometers.
If it were summer I'd forego the night light but since we've getting down into the 20-30 F weather lately I'm using it until I can get a ceramic.
Also as an update I took him to our trusted family vet today (they handle all of our animals and actually have an exotics specialist on staff) because I wasn't happy with Petsmart's assessment. She said I was right to be concerned because he's definitely not acting as a baby beardie should. They've sent his stool sample off for testing and if it comes back positive for parasites they'll prescribe him something for that.
In the meantime she said to keep up with his warm soaks and to try force feeding him twice a day as most of his weakness and lack of energy is from not eating. I'm just so very angry with the "experts" at the store. 10 minutes with my vet was all it took to confirm that he's not doing well...I have to wonder if anybody even looked at him >:(
Sorry to hear your baby isn't doing well. It's good that you had him checked by a reptile vet and they did a fecal on him.
I know you said you have him in a 10 gallon tank. Could you fill us in on the wattage(s) of the heat bulb(s)? If that thermometer doesn't have a wire & probe end attached to it, you're not getting accurate readings.
Is the UVB a compact or coil type? If so, and since he's not basking, I would try turning it off for a few days and see if he will then bask. Those UVB's can cause all sorts of health symptoms and some beardies will just totally avoid them and won't go near the lights.
Please answer the questions for us. Hope he starts improving in his behavior soon.
I want to say the basking bulbs are 75W. If not then they are 50W. I can confirm when I get home from work.
I've been suspect of the UVB ever since we got the starter tank kit (hence the reptisun 10.0 tube on order.) It is a coil/compact. I can definitely try turning it off to see if he improves any. He was a bit more active at the vet's office than at home but still not anywhere near a baby should be so it's a possibility. When I get home tonight I'm going to follow my vet's instructions and try to force feed him a small amount of baby food mixed with calcium. I also have some phoenix worms arriving soon so if he can hang on until those get here they should be an improvement over the crickets.
I'm currently keeping him hydrated with warm bath soaks twice a day but I'm really concerned with how little he's eating. Hopefully the UVB change will help or the fecal results come back with something that can be easily treated.
*Edit* The digital on the side is just for ambient temperatures, we have been using one with a probe to spot check temps throughout the day. Luckily the digital seems to be fairly accurate and we only see a discrepancy of a couple degrees where the basking lamp is strongest. Originally the store had us buy an underside heater for the tank as well, but after checking, the temp came out to like 115F or something so we shut that down immediately so the poor little guy wouldn't get burned.
Yep, that's what the vet suggested as well. She also sent me home with some curved syringes to force feed if necessary and showed me the proper technique. She said it's really important that he eat something. So Viserys probably won't be happy but I'll make sure he gets what he needs and hopefully the vet will have more solid answers for me tomorrow.
On a happier note, our other baby we got the same day is doing much better. Chromie is growing like a weed and has almost doubled in size from when we first got him. He already accepts feeding by hand and loves chasing down his crickets. We just finished setting up his new 40 gallon breeder this weekend and he loves it. Once Viserys is better we'll be looking to upgrade his tank as well.
I'm home from work and I've given Viserys his bath and some baby food mixed with calcium. Thankfully he actually took it without needing to be forced. Managed to get around 1mL of the mixture in him before he didn't want it anymore. Not a lot but it's good to see him eating anything at this point.
I also cut off the coil UVB and a couple hours after doing both he's showing a marked improvement. His reptisun tube still can't get here fast enough but I'll definitely take any improvement where I can get it. Here's a pic of him actually standing up a few minutes ago.
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And here's Chromie poking out of his hidey hole after chasing down a cricket.
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Will update again tomorrow if I see any other changes and or when the vet calls.
Vet called and said it was a negative for parasites which is both good and frustrating as the cause of his illness is still a mystery.
He ate twice more today from the syringe and I gave him another bath before I left for work. He seems to have more energy than yesterday now that he's eaten. Hopefully he continues to improve. The vet said for now all I can do is keep giving him the care I am giving him and hope he comes out of it.
My biggest concern right now is that yes he's eating and getting his calcium/calories but the baby food has an awful lot of sodium in it. Not sure what a baby beardies sodium limit is but I'm definitely thankful he isn't going to be on this long term.
Wanted to provide an update. This morning Viserys took an absolutely massive poop and then proceeded to devour 4 of his crickets (The first time he's gone after his prey in almost a week!)
Not sure if it was the change in UVB or if he just had some sort of intestinal trouble but it's definitely good to see him improving.
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