My beardie is freaking out

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My beardie is freaking out

Postby Mersegum » Sat Oct 20, 2018 3:25 am

My girlfriend and I have several bearded dragons (7 total) and 1 of them has developed some strange symptoms over the last month, the worst and most disturbing of which started happening a few days ago and seems to be happening more and more frequently. We first noticed her acting strange when her mother passed, but that was over a year ago and she wasnt doing anything short of acting a bit depressed. In recent months she seems to have either stopped caring to eat, or maybe she has gone blind and just cant see because she does not even aknowledge her food when I feed her weather it be greens or insects. As a result she lost alot of weight walks around drunkenly and ive had to resort to taking her out to make her eat every day. She did this weird thing once when she could still seem to see her food and would eat on her own, i took her sisters out and put some meal worms in front of her so she could hunt and she started tilting her head up, but then she kept tilting up until she completely arched her back and flipped herself over.Half of her tail is a very dark brown and has been for a couple weeks. She sometimes freaks out and starts running around her cage frantically, but not in any direction in particular as if she were frightened by something and is trying to get away then stops and curls up with her mouth open. As if that wasnt bad enough she developed a new symptom a couple days ago and is doing it more and more frequently. She will be sitting in her cage with her eyes closed apparently trying to rest, then suddenly contort her body and open her mouth as wide as she can and burst out into a full sprint seemingly chasing her tail as if it was attacking her. What is happening to poor Peaches? I need help here, my girlfriend who has been a breeder for 8 years now says shes never seen this before and has no idea what to do either.
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Re: My beardie is freaking out

Postby Drache613 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:22 am

Hello,

I'm sorry Peaches is having so much trouble. It appears to be neurological, simply based on your
description of things.
Can you review your tank setup with us, such as the type/brand of UVB, supplementation, the
temperatures & foods eaten along with some pictures of her & the tank? Then we can be sure
the setup is all fine for her.
How old is she?

Tracie
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Re: My beardie is freaking out

Postby Mersegum » Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:25 am

Pretty sure the viv is fine since shes had hundreds of healthy adults including 2 other perfectly healthy females that are currently in the same cage as Peaches but just for safe measure heres some pictures and info...
Peaches is only 3. She is in a 75 gallon with newspaper substrate, 96 at the very top of the tree in their basking area and 86 on the ground, 80 on the cool side. Pretty sure the heat bulb is 100, ill have to check that tonight when its not on and hot, the uvb is in a 120v zoo med can ill check that later too. Theyve got a pretty healthy diet of primarily kale, dandelion greens, with some occasional meal worms, crickets, beardie buffet, mice, raddichio, sweet potato baby food... how do i upload pictures from my phone on this site? [Click image to enlarge]
this one of Peaches and her 2 roomates came through using ximg but im not sure how i got it there to begin with..
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Re: My beardie is freaking out

Postby JessPets » Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:46 am

Hello, and I am sorry to hear about your dragons issues.


PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE SEPARATE ALL OF YOUR BEARDIES. They are not social with eachother, and should never live in the same enclosure unless they are very young or you are breeding them. Cut out all mealworms and mice, and add more leafy greens such as mustard, turnip, and collard greens. Dandelions are a great green, and kale can be used occasionally and on a rotation with other greens. Please give us more details on your setup: what thermometer do you use to measure the temperatures? Is it a stick on dial thermometer, a digital probe thermometer, or an IR temp gun? Is the UVB bulb a long, tube like bulb or a round one? What are their light schedules, and what are their food schedules? Even if you can't afford brand new enclosures right now for all of your beardies, at least Peaches needs to be in her own enclosure. Go to Walmart and buy the biggest bin you can find, and buy some lights and other things for it.



All the beardies need their own 4x2x2 foot enclosure. Even if you can't afford this right now, it needs to happen ASAP, before anything else goes wrong. More than likely your beardie is simply stressed from living in such a crowded environment with other beardies. They are solitary creatures in the wild, and should never be housed together. Yes, they can live together for years without any 'noticeable' problems. Animals, especially reptiles are masters at hiding these types of things - I can not stress enough the importance of separating all your beardies into their own enclosures.


I am sorry if this came off as harsh, but I truly do care about the well fare of your animals, and want the best for them.

If you haven't already, begin looking for an exotic reptile vet. Beardies need to be taken to a REPTILE VET, not any ol' dog and cat vet. Even if you don't need it right now, it is good to have one on hand in case of an emergency.
Loki The Beardie
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Re: My beardie is freaking out

Postby Aaradimian » Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:47 am

Drache613 wrote:Hello,

I'm sorry Peaches is having so much trouble. It appears to be neurological, simply based on your
description of things.
Can you review your tank setup with us, such as the type/brand of UVB, supplementation, the
temperatures & foods eaten along with some pictures of her & the tank? Then we can be sure
the setup is all fine for her.
How old is she?

Tracie


Hi Tracie,
Is it possible that she has some kind of pain issue that is also causing her not to want to eat? Maybe something like a stomach cancer? If the pain got intense in spikes, I wonder if that would cause her freak out reaction like she's being attacked? That was the first thing I thought of based on the symptoms. I need to point out that I'm a rank amateur here and just interested in your opinion--I'm in no way implying that I actually know what's wrong with poor Peaches :(
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Re: My beardie is freaking out

Postby NikkiandDucky » Mon Oct 22, 2018 6:54 pm

I’m honestly not sure what’s wrong, but I’ve heard about the arching of the back symptom once. I never heard the final diagnosis for the dragon cause she wasn’t mine but both cases sound like they might be mbd. You should follow the advice of Jesspets and separate them and give them more leafy greens occasional kale and no mealworms or nice. Are you using any type of calcium supplement? If so what kind are you using? If at all possible I highly recommend taking her to the vet.
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Re: My beardie is freaking out

Postby JessPets » Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:51 am

Hello OP, do you have any updates on Peaches?
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Re: My beardie is freaking out

Postby Mersegum » Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:38 pm

JessPets wrote:Hello OP, do you have any updates on Peaches?

yes, shes still pretty lethargic and wont eat on her own but has gained some muscle mass, weight and motor function back over the last couple days as ive been feeding her by hand and giving her water too. Her episodes arent nearly as bad when shes on my lap, ie she opens her mouth wide and turns a little for a few seconds as opposed to the frantic sprinting she was doing before. Im positive now that her stomach is whats bothering her as she always twists her self up with her mouth wide open trying to bite her stomach as if shes being attacked, she has shifted from fear and panic to trying to bite back during these episodes when shes in the cage. Her 2 roomies have been a huge help too, they have been cuddling with her which is something these 3 rarely do as they all have their favorite spots in the cage. Jessie(the fattest one of the 3) never comes out of her tree normally, but for peaches she will do it. Cassidy(the other big girl) usually sits on the turtle shell all day and basks but shes also been there for Peaches. I completely disagree with anyone who says Beardies arent social, theyre extremely intelligent and very social if theyre in the correct size tank etc. My setup allows the 2 males across the way see the girls, and they frequently headbob and wave at eachother.

All in all she is doing way better, she almost never freaks out during the day anymore and has regained some weight. I appreciate the concern and advice given by you responders thus far.
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Re: My beardie is freaking out

Postby JessPets » Wed Oct 24, 2018 4:52 pm

I am BEGGING you to listen. Beardies. Are. Not. Social. Yes, in VERY rare cases they can get along, but I do not see this as one of those cases and I wouldn't risk it. Take a look at these threads:

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=231752

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=227522

viewtopic.php?p=1072660

On one thread I found this:

I want to let you know there was a person on this website that had their two bearded dragons together for almost three years.
THREE YEARS

Came home one day to a cage filled with blood, the one dragon chewed the other dragon's tail to nothing, and had to go to the vet to get the rest amputated.
Well the person came home with a hurt bearded dragon and it only got worse. Because of such a high amputation, the testicles fell out of the dragon which had to be amputated as well.

So really just leave them in their separate homes they will be a lot happier.





So yes, they look so cute together, aww they love eachother, aww they are there for eachother, aww they get along so well.



No. They. Don't.

I cannot come and force you to separate your dragons. If you chose to not separate yours, I at least beg you to not share with anyone that dragons live well together. I have been on this form to see enough posts of "HELP, my beardie just bit his cage mate! They lived so well together, what could have come over them?!"



If you want your beardie to get better, separate her and take her to an exotic REPTILE vet.

Once again, I am sorry if this is harsh, but no one wants to be the 'told you so' person when you come back in a week, month, or year with a 'HELP my beardie bit her cage mate' story.


Please, please, PLEASE SEPARATE THEM!!
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Re: My beardie is freaking out

Postby JessPets » Wed Oct 24, 2018 5:06 pm

Also forgot to mention: a 75gallon tank is barely large enough for one beardie, let alone 3. At the bare minimum, each one needs their own 4x2x2 terrarium. If I had to put 3 beardies in the same living space, they smallest I would consider is a room. Yes, a room, and I'm not joking. I know I have said this about a million times already, but PLEASE SEPARATE THEM.
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Re: My beardie is freaking out

Postby JessPets » Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:25 am

Any new updates??
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Re: My beardie is freaking out

Postby Drache613 » Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:28 pm

Hello,

So sorry for not responding sooner, have been over the road & not as flexible of a schedule on
some days.
First, I just wanted to say that I'm glad this thread has not gotten out of control, since most
on here do not condone multiple housings of reptiles due to unpredictable behavior. There are
always exceptions I realize, & sometimes you can have successful housings of siblings, etc.
However, most of the time things end up catastrophic as described in the above posts & links.
Chances are she isn't getting adequate heat or UVB because she has to share with the others
too much. The bigger ones survive while the smaller or weaker ones become ill.
I do think that in this instance, Peaches needs a tank of her own, since she is very thin right now
& could have some health issues going on. The only way to determine what could be going on
would be to take her in to see a vet to get blood work. That would help analyze if the calcium
levels were too low, or she had an infection, or possible tumor, etc.
Are you able to separate her from the other two for having her own home right now? A 75 is
acceptable but a 90 gallon would be a little better.
What type & brand of UVB light do you have, a long tube bulb or a compact/coil type? How old
is it?
Let us know how she is doing.

Tracie
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