Weird Poop?

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Weird Poop?

Postby Alyssaw » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:28 pm

Okay so I'm new to this website and have only been a beardie owner for about 2years but I feel pretty confident in my ability to take care of both of my beardies.

So this particular problem is about my 1 1/2 year old (Leto) and his recent bathroom problems. I noticed this about 2 weeks ago but his poop has significantly dwindled in size to being practically nonexistent. When he does poop his urate is completely normal but the poop itself is very small chunks and never one big piece. He poops about every other day and it remains to be like this.

As far as impaction/other outside forces go when I said I have 2 beardies they are housed separately but both in 40gal tanks. They both use the pet carpet so there's no sand or anything like that. Leto has the reptisun UVB bar and a heat light on his hot side. He is eating normally considering he's never had a big appetite per say but he has a daily salad (bi-daily dusting) and he's not into crickets. I have recently started feeding him baby squash in hopes of better freeing him up and doing 3x weekly bathes

I don't believe that this is impaction due to there being no curves/bumps on his back or side. He doesn't seem particularly lethargic but he is pretty lazy in general. I also haven't noticed any weight loss. If anyone has any idea what I can do to ease his constipation please let me know. Thanks!!
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Re: Weird Poop?

Postby HylianHealeys » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:25 am

That is worrying. To clarify, is the poo watery/wet, or just urate and little else?

Other questions:
- What are your temps?
- What are you feeding him?
- How's his appetite?
Mariah Healey
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See my research on beardie husbandry in my Bearded Dragon Care Guide
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Re: Weird Poop?

Postby EllenD » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:30 pm

How sure are you that he's a male? I'm asking because at a year and a half females can surely be carrying infertile eggs, which can cause exactly what you're describing to happen. Just an FYI.

Other than that, I'd go over your 3 temperature zones, hopefully you're using either a Digital Probe Thermometer (allow the probe to sit for at least 20-30 minutes on each spot before reading) or an infrared Temperature Gun and not a stick-on thermometer. I'd recheck all 3 zones just to be sure.

Other than that it's most likely a dietary thing. At a year and a half he should still be eating live insects at least 2-3 times a week, if not every day, albeit not as many as he used to because his salad intake should be far greater than it used to be, but they continue to grow up until they are 2 years old and are not considered "adults" until 2 years old, and still need an ample amount of live protein. So he eats no live insects at all?

What greens/veggies does he eat every day, and how much does he usually eat? He may not be getting enough hydration from just the salad, which can cause "constipation", not really impaction...And I'm assuming that just prior to this happening he would poop a normal size bowel movement every day? And then this just started?
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Re: Weird Poop?

Postby Alyssaw » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:11 pm

Firstly, I'd like to thank you guys for taking your time and trying to help me :D I really appreciate it!

As far as temps go they are pretty constant, his warm side of the tank is usually at around 115. His cool side of the tank is around 85-90 degrees. At night the temps get to 75 at the highest and 65 at the lowest but the most common temp at night here 70.

For his salad which gets offered daily, he gets sweet butter lettuce which is a mix of butter and red leaf leaves. With the salad, I offer him finely diced carrots every other day and I've recently been adding small amounts of squash. In order to try and encourage him to eat live crickets, I occasionally sprinkle some of the Fluker's freeze-dried treats which they both seem to like a lot. I'm currently going to offer him some crickets and see how it goes, will update on that, but I'm planning on laying off the calcium and offering the vitamin dusting. His appetite is smaller than some beardies but he still eat's his salad daily and any wax worms that I have to offer him (I only give him like 2 every other day when I do have them). Around a month ago, I bought a container of horn worms from a reptile expo and he did eat his share of them. I always try to encourage live insects especially considering that my other beardie Zeke can't seem to get enough of them. But instead of eating them he would prefer to literally walk on top of them or just pretend they aren't there. Since he likes worms a lot is it possible for me to just feed him more of those in place of the crickets?

I'm like 99.9% certain that Leto is a male. I don't know how to attach images but once I figure that out I can attach his vent area. Even without the flashlight method, it is quite easy to see two distinct bumps below his vent area. For a long time I did struggle to identify his sex, but once he got to be around a year old, it was pretty obvious.

For hydration, the salad I give him should provide him hydration but just to better hydrate them they both get weekly bathes. Leto isn't one to drink in the bath he more or less just panics and splashed everywhere. Since the recent toilet problems, I've been giving him a short bath every day and I've also been using one of those syringes (it doesn't have a needle or anything) to offer him water by the mouth which he occasionally takes.

Yeah, prior to his bowel movements were about average sized and quite smelly but back then I managed to get him to eat around 10 crickets every few days which was a challenge in itself.
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Re: Weird Poop?

Postby Alyssaw » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:31 pm

Live Insect Update: Today I gave him little to no salad in an attempt to spark his interest. Luckily, he is currently eating some live crickets with a bit of effort catching them but its better than nothing. Hopefully, we get a full poop today when I bathe him in a few hours. Fingers crossed :lol:
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Re: Weird Poop?

Postby HylianHealeys » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:35 pm

Is there any way you can reduce the temps on the cool end? 70-80 is usually average for the cool zone of a bearded dragon terrarium. 85-90 is pretty warm, and could be contributing to dehydration — although it sounds like the measures you're taking should resolve that. Juicy bugs like hornworms can also help with hydration.

When was the last time you had him dewormed?
Mariah Healey
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Re: Weird Poop?

Postby Alyssaw » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:52 pm

I can try to decrease the temp on the cool side I'm not 100% sure how but I can try turning down the temp for the top of the house which is where they lizards stay. It's kinda difficult cause all the heat rises to the second floor but it's worth a shot.

I got his fecal and all that stuff was done a while ago, around last winter. At that time I had taken in a baby beardie from Petco (ugh) who was clearly sick and was going to die. So while I was there getting special food for the baby I got him examed as well. To avoid Leto catching anything they were stored in different parts of the house and never made direct contact. Although the baby had a few issues (parasites and a suspicion of star gazing) Leto came up completely clean and healthy.

Granted it's been about a year since he's been examined so I'm currently looking into vet's that can do an exam for both of my beardies sometime in the near future.
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Re: Weird Poop?

Postby EllenD » Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:57 am

Your temps are far too high, on both sides, which is probably dehydrating him a bit. The hottest temp anywhere in a dragon's tank should be no higher than 110 degrees, 115 and up is the lethal range, and honestly, adults that old tend to not like the typical baby/juvenile basking spot temperature between 105-110, but rather 100-105. But either way, 115 is dangerous. And the Cool Side should always be considerably cooler than the Hot side or the basking at all times, so he always has a cool place to go to cool down, between 75-80 degrees absolute maximum! My guess is that you need to go down in wattage of bright white basking bulb if you're using either a Digital Probe thermometer or a Temperature Gun to measure your temps, and not a stick-on thermometer, as they are extremely inaccurate. If he drinks water through his mouth in the bath this will hydrate him, but that's the only way a bath hydrated them, they do not absorb any hydration through their vents or skin at all, that's a myth and biologically impossible (you may already know this and he might be drinking through his mouth in the bath, I'm just making sure).

So his salad may not be providing enough hydration due to the very high temps...He needs a Basking Spot Surface Temp between 100-105 (measured by a Digital Probe or a Gun), a Hot Side Ambient (air) Temp between 88-93, and a Cool Side Ambient (air) between 75-80. So your temps really need to come down quite a bit. That's most likely the issue.

Just an added bit of dietary advice, since adult dragons eat mostly greens and veggies, they must be nutrient-rich and have nutritional value to them...You should not be feeding him any types of lettuce at all, as no lettuce has any dietary value to them, it's only water. And Romaine and other dark green lettuces actually contain a ton of oxalates, just like Kales and Spinach do, which bind to the free Calcium he eats and prevents him from absorbing it, he just excretes it as Calcium-Oxalate. Instead of feeding him any lettuces, any Kales, or Spinach, try Collard Greens, Mustard Greens, Turnip Greens, Dandelion Greens, Escarole, Endive, Swiss Chard, Bok Choy, Oak Choy, and Arugula. They are nutrient-rich, high Calcium, and low oxalate. And for veggies try any type of squash, bell peppers, green beans, peas, and pea pods...Few carrots or broccoli...There a really good list on here somewhere of the nutrient-rich veggies and greens for bearded dragons if you search for it, it's pretty comprehensive...
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Re: Weird Poop?

Postby HylianHealeys » Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:27 am

The vegetable/fruit nutrition chart by Beautiful Dragons is also super comprehensive. It's my go-to list when I'm in the produce aisle. Lettuce could be good for rehydrating your dragon if you suspect dehydration, but it must be given alongside the more nutritious stuff like EllenD said.
Mariah Healey
Author of several care guides on ReptiFiles, The Reptile Blog for Reptile People
See my research on beardie husbandry in my Bearded Dragon Care Guide
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Re: Weird Poop?

Postby EllenD » Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:59 am

HylianHealeys wrote:The vegetable/fruit nutrition chart by Beautiful Dragons is also super comprehensive. It's my go-to list when I'm in the produce aisle. Lettuce could be good for rehydrating your dragon if you suspect dehydration, but it must be given alongside the more nutritious stuff like EllenD said.


Thanks for posting the chart, I couldn't find it, lol. That's a very comprehensive chart and looks very accurate. The point is that since most adult dragons eat mainly greens/veggies and little live protein, feeding them any lettuces is not providing him the calories, fats, carbs, and vitamins/minerals that he needs. It's not hurting him directly (unless you feed Romaine or other dark green, leafy lettuces that will bind all of the Calcium he eats), but it can actually cause malnutrition if you don't feed him nutrient-rich veggies and greens.
"Dance like nobody's watching..."
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Re: Weird Poop?

Postby HylianHealeys » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:28 am

Truth! Thanks for elaborating.
Mariah Healey
Author of several care guides on ReptiFiles, The Reptile Blog for Reptile People
See my research on beardie husbandry in my Bearded Dragon Care Guide
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Re: Weird Poop?

Postby Alyssaw » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:31 am

Thanks for the advice! I have lowered the wattage of the warm bulb and I will re-check the temps in a few.

I have printed out a list of the best veggies and greens and I should be able to go out and stock up tomorrow. While I'm out I will also grab new temp readers cause my hardware store has a bunch of them in order to get multiple sources to read heat from.

As of now he seems to be in a really good mood and is being pretty active so I'm hoping that his behavior will inspire a movement :lol:
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Re: Weird Poop?

Postby Alyssaw » Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:10 pm

Update: I've recently switched them both over to mustard greens as their staple for greens and I have gotten Leto to eat crickets more frequently. Although the size of his poop is still quite small the movements are becoming more frequent. I'm not sure if this is a sign that he's slowly clearing out his system or should I be concerned? Do you guys have any suggestions on what else I could do or do you think the situation is improving?
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Re: Weird Poop?

Postby Alyssaw » Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:22 pm

[Click image to enlarge]


This is Leto BTW. I just figured out how to upload images :lol:
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