Five year old beardie is underweight and won't eat??

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Five year old beardie is underweight and won't eat??

Postby jennyandpika » Fri Jul 20, 2018 1:26 pm

[url][/url] Hi, my beardie's name is Pikachu and I just recently adopted him about a month and half ago, but he will not eat and his ribs are beginning to show. The previous owners left dead dubias around the tank and had coconut shavings as his substrate, which I have replaced with a green carpet-like substrate. I have been able to get him to eat when he begins regulating heat and opens his mouth wide and i'll put baby dubia roaches and arugula in his mouth which he'll eventually munch on, and every night I assist him into eating baby food with carrots, sweet potatoes, and peas in it, and he also will eat applesauce but only if I put it on his snout so he'll lick it off. He definently does not eat well at all and I cannot figure out why. Pika has a Reptisun 10.0 UVB light bulb and his basking area will reach up to 100-108 degrees Fahrenheit. He also isn't very active, all he does all day is hide in the corner under his hammock which has a rock with a tiny cave-like hole in it even though he has a 50 gallon tank where he can move around elsewhere. Thanks for the help :)
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Re: Five year old beardie is underweight and won't eat??

Postby kyleena29 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 1:47 pm

Yes he looks very underweight, the pads on his head are sunken the base of his tail has no reserves.
If you are using a compact uvb I suggest getting the tube type. The reptisun 10.0 T5 HO or the Arcadia 12% T5. The uvb should be placed next to the basking spot and he should be able to get within 10" of it. I'm not sure how close a compact needs to be, maybe 6-8 inches. It also needs to replaced every 6 months and the T5 tubes replaced yearly. You would have to get a new fixture to fit though.

I would probably start out with calcium 5x week and vitamins 2x week till he gets his weight back up.
You can start out with some chicken or turkey baby food, mixed with squash or green bean baby food. Add calcium or vitamin to it. I usually use a syringe and squirt some into the side of his lip so he gets a taste then you can do it on the snout like you do with the applesauce. I would do this a couple times a day till the weight is back up.

You can try feeding him bugs as well. What you can do is set him on your counter, use feeding tongs with a dubia, place your hand under his chin and pull the lower lip down a little and lightly push the roach along his teeth back and forth towards the snout. This usually works for me in getting them to eat. You can also do this with greens.

What are you using to take temps with? I recommend the digital thermometers with the probe, one on the basking spot and one on the cool end.

He definetely needs to eat now. I suggest to also get a fecal sample done to check for parasites. I'm not sure how well your uvb is working for him since I don't know for sure what kind it is and how close he can get to it but I would take him outside for at least 30 min a day for some real sun/uv. Once he has proper uv and food, check for parasites he will hopefully improve drastically. Good luck with Pikachu and I hope you let us know how he's progressing.
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Re: Five year old beardie is underweight and won't eat??

Postby jennyandpika » Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:12 pm

Thank you so much! Yeah, I was somewhat worried he may have parasites and the owner I bought him from told me beardies only live 5-7 years, which is false. I believe they might know that something is wrong but didn't want me to know, and also said "We're really giving away the tank and not the beardie since they don't live that long." (I bought Pikachu and the setup for $60) so it's possible he may be sick but wanted me to buy him. Anyways, yes I mix his calcium with his babyfood and applesauce but haven't tried vitamins yet, I'll definitely look into that. I've also been searching for the tube uvb so I hope that when I get it he'll end up eating again. Thank you so much!
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Re: Five year old beardie is underweight and won't eat??

Postby jennyandpika » Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:52 pm

Thank you :) I have a digital thermometer for his temperatures, but the lighting will surely come in handy!
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Re: Five year old beardie is underweight and won't eat??

Postby kyleena29 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 3:00 pm

Pretty sneaky of them to pass you off with an unhealthy beardie. They should of gave it away to you. Clearly they didn't' want to take care of it properly. Hopefully he or she will do a 180. The poor baby, I hope for the best.
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Re: Five year old beardie is underweight and won't eat??

Postby jennyandpika » Fri Jul 20, 2018 3:20 pm

I really wish they at least told me that he didn't seem to be doing well. They told me that it was weird that he doesn't eat veggies, especially being an adult, but what they didn't tell me is he willingly doesn't eat anything at all. He drinks water fine and I give him baths every other day, but no eating. Another thing that confuses me is they tried telling me he's fine and doesn't like doing anything like it's normal for Pika, although I know adults are usually lazy but not THIS lazy, it's obvious they knew he was at least ill. If I had believed them and just went along with it and didn't feed him, surely he would have lived the 5 year life the previous owners said he would. Pretty sad :(. I'm just hoping I can make him better <3 thank you for your help again, I'll do all I can to make him healthy again and gain some weight.
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Re: Five year old beardie is underweight and won't eat??

Postby jennyandpika » Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:46 pm

I just bought him the turkey and chicken baby food and am feeding him the chicken one right now, he's going crazy for it :)
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Re: Five year old beardie is underweight and won't eat??

Postby kyleena29 » Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:52 pm

That's great! You should mix it with a veggie baby food too though, squash, green beans or sweet potatoes. Don't do too much at once, start with small meals to let his system settle.
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Re: Five year old beardie is underweight and won't eat??

Postby jennyandpika » Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:32 pm

I thought that too, I bought baby food that is chicken with apples and the turkey is mixed with sweet potatoes, but I also got plain chicken and turkey as well.
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Re: Five year old beardie is underweight and won't eat??

Postby kyleena29 » Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:09 pm

I would check what ingredients are in those premixed ones. There might be other stuff added. I would stick with the basic ones.
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Re: Five year old beardie is underweight and won't eat??

Postby jennyandpika » Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:24 pm

OMG!!!! I just held a meal worm in front of him and he willingly ate it!! It was the last one though, the rest died since he wasn't eating them, we're gonna try and get him wax worms to see if he likes those/will eat them :)
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Re: Five year old beardie is underweight and won't eat??

Postby kyleena29 » Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:33 pm

Wax worms do have more fat but he could use it. Later on those are only good as a treat. I would try superworms rather than mealworms. You can try black soldier fly larvae (aka pheonix or calciworms.) That is such good news! It must be so exciting!
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Re: Five year old beardie is underweight and won't eat??

Postby jennyandpika » Sun Jul 22, 2018 1:54 pm

If he eventually gets fattened up I'll definitely use them as treats, I'll also try the super worms. Thank you! I actually started crying when he ate the meal worm :)
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Re: Five year old beardie is underweight and won't eat??

Postby jennyandpika » Sun Jul 22, 2018 9:00 pm

I had to help him eat 3 wax worms and I just gave him chicken baby food and mixed calcium into it :)
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