My beardie won't walk!!!!!

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My beardie won't walk!!!!!

Postby dmmarshall » Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:00 pm

I've had my bearded dragon for over a year. I adopted him from a friend when they got two and they were fighting eachother. He's missing some toes but it's never stopped him before. But now he won't stand to walk, he almost looks like he's swimming in the sand. He hasn't taken any falls for leg damage. I need help. He's never been sick like this before. I have to put my hand under him and help him hunt his crickets because he can't catch them alone because he isn't quick enough.
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Re: My beardie won't walk!!!!!

Postby destiny1998 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:11 pm

Hi. Sorry he's having issues. Can you post a picture of him and of the setup?
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Re: My beardie won't walk!!!!!

Postby dmmarshall » Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:15 pm

I can tomorrow. He has a breeder tank. Lots of room. I'm gonna try adding another heat lamp because it's such a large tank.
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Re: My beardie won't walk!!!!!

Postby destiny1998 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:19 pm

Do you have a uvb light? If so the brand and kind are important. It sounds like he has MBD.
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Re: My beardie won't walk!!!!!

Postby dmmarshall » Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:27 pm

Yes he has a UVB light. I believe brand is Zilla. I only let one person help me at Petco and he has beardies as well. When I got him a year ago he helped me get everything I needed. I put calcium on his crickets. Im gonna try pedialyte in his water tomorrow to see if maybe his electrolytes are low. Im also planning on removing his sand and putting down sand carpeting. But If anyone thinks not please tell me. He has sandstone for basking, a log, and a hammock. But with not being able to get his feet under him, hes having a hard time getting on anything. He likes to be under his rocks, so grounding them is not much of an option.
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Re: My beardie won't walk!!!!!

Postby destiny1998 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:33 pm

Thanks for answering. What kind of zilla? Tube, coil/compact? Those are not very good uvb lights. You want to replace that with a t5 HO reptisun 10.0 or Arcadia 12% tube. Those are the best. He can also have gout? Are his joints swollen? Feet?
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Re: My beardie won't walk!!!!!

Postby Terry15 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:36 pm

Definitely get rid of the sand, it’s deadly. I would try some non adhesive shelf liner, cheap & easy to clean. You could try feeding him some Repasy grub pie. Maybe some baby food chicken or turkey and a little olive oil mixed in. He could be impacted from the sand. I hope he gets better.
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Re: My beardie won't walk!!!!!

Postby Drache613 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:02 pm

Hello,

Sorry your dragon is having trouble walking! He more than likely is beginning to have calcium
deficiency problems. The Zilla brand of UVB lights, honestly, are not strong enough to really
provide adequate UVB so that he can absorb his calcium.
As suggested, the Reptisun T5 or the Arcadia D3 T5 either one, are very good bulbs. They are
high output bulbs & need a special high output light fixture.
How large of a tank does he have & how are you measuring the temperatures?
It would be a good idea to put in some solid substrate also, to rule out any impaction issues.
How often are you giving him calcium?
If you can, post pictures of him along with his setup too, so we can see his physical condition.

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Re: My beardie won't walk!!!!!

Postby SHBailey » Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:14 am

I agree that it sounds like MBD, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to get him to an experienced reptile vet, just to rule out the possibility that it could be something else. If it is the beginnings of MBD, it responds well to adequate calcium and good UV lighting if you catch it early.
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Re: My beardie won't walk!!!!!

Postby EllenD » Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:13 am

Well first of all, if he has a Zilla UVb tube, the 18" long tube, does the long tube fixture it came with have a clear plastic cover on the bottom of it, that covers the UVB tube inside it? If so, it has been blocking 100% of the UVB light and he's gotten zero. This is a common problem, it's been addressed with Zilla and they don't care. So you must unscrew that damn clear plastic cover from the bottom of the fixture and remove it.

Even if you do remove the clear cover, that Zilla Desert 50 UVB tube is an extremely weak, T8 strength UVB tube, only 15 watts, and completely inadequate for a Bearded Dragon. It must be mounted inside the tank and strapped to the underside of any mesh lid to the tank and there must be nothing between the UVB tube and your dragon, as those mesh lids block 40% of the already too weak UVB light. It also must be within at least 6" of his basking spot/platform, so if you strap it to the underside of the mesh lid, remove that clear plastic cover from the bottom of the fixture, and the now exposed, unobstructed UVB tube is still not within 6" of where he sits to bask, you'll need to find something higher to use as his Basking spot/platform that will put him within at least 6" of the UVB tube. Also, T8 STRENGTH UVB TUBES STOP EMITTING ANY UVB LIGHT AT ALL AFTER THEY ARE 6 MONTHS OLD, AND MUST BE REPLACED ONCE EVERY 6 MONTHS, REGARDLESS OF BRAND. SO IF THE ZILLA DESERT 50 TUBE IS OLDER THAN 6 MONTHS, IT'S NO LONGER EMITTING ANY UVB LIGHT AT ALL, JUST PLAIN LIGHT.

He obviously has severe MBD due to no UVB light at all, having a far too weak UVb tube to begin with, having it mounted wrong, etc. So he's not absorbed or processed any calcium or any other vitamins, minerals, or nutrition from any food that he's eaten or any supplements that you've given him (neither calcium or multivitamin powders), he's just simply excreted it all out. So he's got very, very weak bone density and such a calcium deficiency that he is not partially paralyzed.

He may also be impacted from living in sand, Bearded Dragons should not be living on any loose substrates at all, they come from the Australian Desert, which is not the typical sandy desert you think of, it's a very hard, rocky terrain with vegetation, but no sand. They lick everything, it's a sense of touch for them, and it only tanks them ingesting a few grains of sand to start a bowel impaction, but as you mentioned him "swimming through the sand" my guess is that he's absolutely full of sand. You need to immediately dump all of the sand out, and then completely disinfect the entire tank, both inside and out, and everything inside it (loose substrates also harbor and breed bacteria, fungi, parasites, etc. and they often get both skin and respiratory infections from them too) in very hot water and bleach. Then rinse everything very, very well until the bleach smell is gone, and lay down paper towels or newspaper and replace them daily as they become soiled. This is not optional at this point at all.

Also, his Basking Spot Surface Temperature should be between 100-105 degrees, his Hot Side Ambient (air) Temperature should be between 88-93 degrees, and his Cool Side Ambient (air) Temperature should be between 75-80 degrees. You must have either a $10 Digital Probe Thermometer or a Temperature Gun to even be able to measure his Basking Spot Temperature, which is the most important temperature inside his tank, as if it's not between 100-105 degrees he cannot properly digest his food, which also is causing a bowel impaction and malnutrition, and if any part of his tank goes over a maximum of 110 degrees it's dehydrating and lethal for long periods of time. Stick-on thermometers cannot measure the Basking Spot Temperature because it's a surface temperature, they can only measure ambient (air) temperatures, and they are also extremely inaccurate and dangerous, often off by between 10-20 degrees when tested. So buying a $10 Digital Probe Thermometer, that has a Probe on a wire that you can sit right on his Basking Spot/Platform, let it sit for at least 20-30 minutes, then read to get an accurate Basking Spot Temperature (along with both an accurate Hot and Cool Side Ambient (air) Temperatures) is also not optional when owning a Bearded Dragon, otherwise he will either not be properly digesting his food and will stay malnourished and impacted, or he will be literally cooked to death.

You need to buy a very strong UVB tube, a long tube at least 18" long, this is a must and should be the first thing you purchase, as if there is any chance left to reverse some of the effects of the Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) and get his malnutrition turned around, you need to get him under both an adequate, strong T5 -strength UVB tube and a matching length, T5-rated tube fixture for it, and then a single, correct wattage, bright-white colored Basking Bulb that will put his Basking Spot Surface Temperature between 100-105, and the surrounding Hot Side Ambient (air) Temperature between 88-93 degrees. I don't know what size of tank he's in, but for reference, usually a 40 Gallon Breeder Tank require a single 100 watt or 125 watt, bright-white colored Basking Bulb over the Hot Side of the tank to get those temperatures within the correct ranges. You do not need to buy an expensive, Reptile Specialty Basking Bulb, most of us just buy a regular, household, Halogen Indoor Flood Bulb of the correct wattage, like you can buy at Lowes, Home Depot, or the best price I've seen is at Tractor Supply, they have 2-packs of the par38 Halogen Indoor Flood Bulbs for $10, and a lot of the time they are on sale for $5. Start with a 100 watt and go from there. If you do buy a Reptile Specialty Basking Bulb, it must be only bright-white in color, no red, blue, yellow, green, etc. Bearded Dragon see in full color, and you are trying to replicate natural sunlight over the Hot Side of his tank, directly over his Basking Spot/Platform, and you do this by putting the correct wattage, bright-white colored Basking Bulb right alongside a long UVB tube, both over the Hot Side of the tank, and then position his Basking spot/platform directly under both lights. YOU SHOULD NOT NEED MORE THAN ONE BASKING BULB OVER THE HOT SIDE TO ACHIEVE THE PROPER BASKING SPOT SURFACE TEMPERATURE AND HOT SIDE AMBIENT TEMPERATURE, YOU JUST NEED ONE BASKING BULB THAT IS THE CORRECT (HIGH ENOUGH) WATTAGE.

As far as a proper UVB tube goes, this is the most important and crucial purchase that you need to make immediately and get mounted correctly over his basking spot/platform immediately, as this is the only thing that is going to start to reverse the MBD, if at all possible at this point. At the very least it will restore his appetite and activity levels and also restore his bone density so he doesn't start fracturing bones and hurting himself. The paralysis may not be reversible, but you won't know until you get him under a proper, strong UVB tube and the correct wattage, bright white Basking Bulb and in the correct temperatures, so he can actually start to properly digest, absorb, and use the nutrition that he takes in. Without these changes he's only going to get worse and worse...

Unfortunately I'd not play around with weak T8 UVB tubes at this point, like replacing that Zilla Desert 50 UVB tube, but rather you need to buy a strong, T5 strength UVB tube and a new T5-rated tube fixture for it. This is not optional at all at this point. I can't make you buy the right thing that he needs, but I can tell you what he needs and advise you as to the cheapest place to buy it. It really makes no sense to go to Petco and buy another Zilla Desert 50 T8 UVB tube anyway, because they cost like $27 for a single 18" T8 replacement tube, where as you can order a 22" Reptisun 10.0 T5 High-Output UVB tube on Amazon.com for $23. The only thing is you need to buy a 24" T5-rated tube fixture for the new T5 UVB tube, which will cost you another $26 or so on Amazon.com. So for around $50 on Amazon.com you can buy him the best UVB tube available for a Bearded Dragon, and you'll save a small fortune in addition to helping him immensely, because T5 rated UVB tubes (24 watts vs. the only 15 watts of the T8 tube you have) ONLY NEED TO BE REPLACED ONCE EVERY 12 MONTHS, VS. ONCE EVERY 6 MONTHS FOR ALL OF THE WEAKER T8 TUBES!!! Also, the T5 UVB tubes are strong enough to sit on top of a mesh lid as long as they are within at least 11" of his Basking Spot/Platform (vs. the T8 tubes that must be mounted inside the tank, under the mesh lid and within at least 6" of the Basking Spot/Platform)...

So many advantages to spending $50 now on a 22" Reptisun 10.0 T5HO UVB tube and a 24" T5-rated tube fixture (must also have a metal reflector of some type either with it or you can make one out of heavy-duty tin foil or sheet aluminum to put behind the UVb tube to reflect the UVB light throughout his tank, this is crucial too, but easy to make and rig if you just buy the cheaper 24" T5 rated tube fixture), vesus spending $27 now on another 18" Zilla Desert 50 T8 UVB tube that will not make him better...and just an FYI, you can also buy an 18" Reptisun 10.0 T8 UVB tube at Petco or Petsmart which costs $37.99 just for the tube!!! So you'll almost pay the same price for both the longer, much stronger and more adequate T5 version and a new matching fixture for it...most importantly is that he needs the T5 UVB tube at this point, he's in a bad way...he's a desert reptile, and he needs at least 13-14 hours of very strong, intense UVB light and bright white light at the correct temperatures every single day to survive, you see what happens when they aren't given this...please ask any questions you might have, we're all here to help....
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