10 year old beardie help

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10 year old beardie help

Postby alexismersino » Sat Mar 17, 2018 2:15 pm

Hi all! I can’t ever seem to find much information regarding older bearded dragons but I have some concerns and am hoping I hear back from anyone who can help. My girl turned 10 this January and I have noticed her age very prominently lately. She went into brumation in the fall of 2017 and after waking back up, she has never wanted to eat again. It got so bad that I took her to the vet who doesn’t think there’s is anything wrong with her, she is just getting old. Prior to the vet, I had been syringe feeding her baby food because I was honestly terrified she was about to starve to death. The vet gave me supplies to syringe feed/force feed, along with a calorie dense cat/dog food to get some weight on her. Months later, I am still syringe feeding her the dog food, blended greens, and the occasional worm that I have to shove in her mouth. The vet told me that she knows a woman who always has to force feed her beardies when they get old up until they die. I’m just wondering if anyone has heard this before? Does it seem normal or right for me to just have to syringe feed her until her death? I don’t understand why she just changed almost over night. She was completely normal, went into brumation and has never been interested in food since... any feedback would be appreciated.
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Re: 10 year old beardie help

Postby Drache613 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:18 pm

Hello,

I am sorry your girl is having this problem. Age 10 is old, but, she should still have several
years left. Let's review your tank setup a bit to be sure that everything is correct.
What type & brand of UVB are you using & how old is it? How far is it from her? How often
do you use calcium supplementation?
If you can, please post pictures of her & her tank setup here so we can look it over to make
sure it all is good.
What foods are you feeding her & is she losing weight?

Tracie
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Re: 10 year old beardie help

Postby Drache613 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:25 pm

Moved by Moderator from General to Health
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Re: 10 year old beardie help

Postby alexismersino » Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:51 pm

Drache613 wrote:Hello,

I am sorry your girl is having this problem. Age 10 is old, but, she should still have several
years left. Let's review your tank setup a bit to be sure that everything is correct.
What type & brand of UVB are you using & how old is it? How far is it from her? How often
do you use calcium supplementation?
If you can, please post pictures of her & her tank setup here so we can look it over to make
sure it all is good.
What foods are you feeding her & is she losing weight?

Tracie


Hi there, I am unsure of how to post photos on here. Her tank is a custom built one, it’s about 6 feet long, 3 feet tall, and 2 feet deep, give or take some inches lol. The UV light I use is the retisun 10.0 tube. It is coming up on its 6 months in April and I have a new one to replace it already (I buy two packs). She can get within about a foot to her UV light, and basking bulbs (one red, one white. Both are turned off at night). I use a multivitamin supplement that’s the brand herptavite maybe twice a week. It’s honestly hard to describe when and what I feed her with her having been acting strange for months because everything is hit or miss and all out of wack. I have been giving a few syringes of the cat/dog food (I think it’s called A1 or something) that the vet gave me mixed with water every day, or every other day depending on how busy I am with school. I mix the vitamins/calcium in it twice a week. I have tried multiple times to feed her fruit, greens, meal worms, wax worms, ANYTHING and she has absolutely ZERO interest. Every once in a while I force a worm into her mouth and she even spits them out most of the time. I get one in every once in awhile but it is very stressful for us both. I am very skeptical about feeding the dog food to her and am thinking I may buy critical care or carnivore care. Is that something you would recommend? She seems to not be losing drastic weight but I can see the fat pads in her head have gone down a little bit. I have heard they become less full with age as well though. I honestly don’t understand how she isn’t deadly skinny with how little she has eaten over the past 6 months....
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Re: 10 year old beardie help

Postby alexismersino » Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:06 pm

Got it figured out! Here is her cage (yes I know she is on sand, she has never been fed in her cage all 9 years I’ve had her) and her :)[Click image to enlarge]
[Click image to enlarge]
[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: 10 year old beardie help

Postby Drache613 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:21 pm

Hello,

Terrific! :D You know, she doesn't look bad at all. I had pictured seeing a thin dragon.
Can you get the Reptisun 10 tube within 6-8 inches, unobstructed, mounted underneath
of her screen top?
She has a beautiful tank, too very large! If the sand hasn't caused any issues in the 9 years
you have had her then that is likely not the problem at all.
I would personally get a straight calcium supplement, either powdered or liquid, to give to
her 3-4 days per week right now, in case she needs it.
Has she ever laid infertile eggs?
Do you have the red light on at the same time you have the white one on, for basking? Has
it ever bothered her before? I know with that large of a tank, getting the temperatures to
an optimal range is probably challenging for sure.
The cat/dog food isn't the greatest for her, the protein is too high in purine which is hard
on her kidneys. I would either try to find Oxbow critical care or just use chicken or turkey
babyfood, mixed with sweet potato or squash baby food to make it more palatable for her.
Add in some bee pollen to help boost her appetite & immune system.
Honestly, she looks lovely though. I think she might just need a boost in her lighting & in
some supplementation.
Let us know how she is doing.

Tracie
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Re: 10 year old beardie help

Postby alexismersino » Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:18 am

Drache613 wrote:Hello,

Terrific! :D You know, she doesn't look bad at all. I had pictured seeing a thin dragon.
Can you get the Reptisun 10 tube within 6-8 inches, unobstructed, mounted underneath
of her screen top?
She has a beautiful tank, too very large! If the sand hasn't caused any issues in the 9 years
you have had her then that is likely not the problem at all.
I would personally get a straight calcium supplement, either powdered or liquid, to give to
her 3-4 days per week right now, in case she needs it.
Has she ever laid infertile eggs?
Do you have the red light on at the same time you have the white one on, for basking? Has
it ever bothered her before? I know with that large of a tank, getting the temperatures to
an optimal range is probably challenging for sure.
The cat/dog food isn't the greatest for her, the protein is too high in purine which is hard
on her kidneys. I would either try to find Oxbow critical care or just use chicken or turkey
babyfood, mixed with sweet potato or squash baby food to make it more palatable for her.
Add in some bee pollen to help boost her appetite & immune system.
Honestly, she looks lovely though. I think she might just need a boost in her lighting & in
some supplementation.
Let us know how she is doing.

Tracie


Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to me. I will be ordering critical care and carnivore care online today and use that to feed her from now on. Everything that I have been doing (lighting, supplementation, etc.) is the exact same as I have been doing things all 10 years of her life so I’m not sure why it would be showing/be an issue now? I will still do as you suggest though and see what happens. Thank you again!
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Re: 10 year old beardie help

Postby alexismersino » Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:10 pm

I just wanted to let everyone know that I had to euthanize lizzy today. Yesterday she began to have seizures and had another one today. I don’t think her quality of life was very good anymore so I made the very difficult decision to put her down. I miss her very much but I think it was the best option for her. I took her to a different vet in the area who I didn’t know about before who is a reptile specialist. He said that there was something very wrong with her and he thinks it may have been that her kidneys shut down. I am so heartbroken and angry that the vet I was taking her to before clearly didn’t know what she was doing. She should have ran tests or at least did a fecal. I am thankful that I will know about this different vet in the future....
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Re: 10 year old beardie help

Postby AHBD » Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:18 pm

I'm so sorry to read this. :( You took such good care of her and she looked good in those pictures. All my hearfelt sympathy to you, Lizzy was with you for a good long time and I know you're devastated. Maybe when you're ready there will be a beardie out there that needs you.
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Re: 10 year old beardie help

Postby Drache613 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:40 pm

Hello,

Oh no, I am so sorry you had to put Lizzy down, that is terrible. :cry: She had a great life with
you but too bad the first vet didn't do more diagnostics to see what could have been going on. I
was hoping she had more years left in her.
It is heartbreaking to lose a beloved dragon. My sincere condolences to you. We are here if you
need us.

Tracie
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