Bearded Dragon - hasn't eaten in 6 months....or pooped in 5

This forum is for urgent health concerns, where your beardie seems very ill and you need immediate help!

Bearded Dragon - hasn't eaten in 6 months....or pooped in 5

Postby lynnedays » Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:28 am

My bearded dragon doesn't eat but is not dying either - he is like a zombie or miracle....but I feel like we have tried about everything...except posting any help would be appreciated.

We have had him for a little over 2 years..and got him as a baby from a pet store. The only health "issue" he has had was part of his tail was gone when we purchased him...which is why we named him "Stubs". He has been healthy, good eater, growing/shedding, etc. He went through what I assume was brumation right around a year old...came out of it a few months later...continued to grow, shed, etc.

But, about 6 months ago he stopped eating...then slowly stopped pooping (no surprise considering he wasnt eating much). He used to poop like clock work twice a week when I would give him a bath. I tried switching feeders, veggies, etc. but all he wanted to do was sleep and hide. Wouldn't touch them. It was like he was trying to brumate again - but it had only been 6 months from the last time...and it was also in the middle of the summer didn't make any sense. Nothing I did worked. I took him to the vet - they did blood work, exam, checked for parasites...everything was clean. All his blood work showed was he was a little low on vitamin d and dehydrated - so they gave him a shot and sent me home saying he was fine basically.

Fast forward 3 months change. I think he is surviving on bathtub soaks and sleep. I've double checked all my temps, I swear I've tried every possible tank setup - if you suggest something I probably already have it at this point in my closet (t8, t5, mercury vapor, etc.)... and I'll try again...I just mean I've been reading and buying and switching and trying everything I have read it could possibly be for the last 5 months. It is very frustrating and I dont' want to just watch him waste away...but I don't know what else to do! If I take him out of the cage - he is mobile - he will swim in the tub or run around the room.

- I thought maybe my temps were slightly too warm - so tried lowering them - but that didn't stop him from hiding all the time. Tried upping them - that didn't work either. Tried moving things, changing bulbs, etc.

I read about Repta-Boost a few weeks ago and started feeding him small amounts of that with a syringe (I have to put some in-between his lips to get him started to even eat that) before giving him a warm soak...just to see if it would help get his system going again and he would poop. So poop...but at least he is eating a small amount of that now daily.

This week I moved around some decor things again to see if that would encourage him to come out... and he has a bit more... he will now sometimes go out and bask for like 20 minutes...before hiding again. Doesn't eat anything - but at least comes out - which I feel is a move in the right direction. :banghead: I attached a picture of him and tank this morning. You can see he is actually out - but staying on the cool side/uvb free side.

At this point I am wondering if he is getting too much UVB?? I've been focusing on temps and bulbs up till now...but perhaps it is the uvb? I used to have a t8 10.0 and I switched over a year ago to the t5 10.0...maybe for my height of a tank it is just too much (even though it is over the screen) - or he doesn't like it. I keep reading it shouldn't be too much - but I'm running out of ideas. I checked with a ruler and everything is at least 12-18 inches away height wise. But if I use this chart (linked below) it says that still places most of his warm side of the tank in "open sun" range. Perhaps he doesn't enjoy that? I swear I"m about to just spend the money and get a uvb reader to check - as I'm out of ideas here.

Link: ... edirects=0

Current Setup:

36x18x18 - tank - has reptile carpeting and screen top (all lights above screen). Three digital temp probes - one on basking area, one on warm side (air temp) and one on cool side (air temp). Small water dish.

Warm Side of Tank
-100 watt bulb over basking rock - temp at 100-107 - measured with digital probe
-Ceramic heat lamp - temp set to 87 (daytime) and 75 (nighttime) - measured/auto on/shutoff by digital probe. During day air temps on the warm side of the tank range from 86 - 90.
-T5 -10.0 UVB tube - over 75% of tank - ontop of screen w/reflector. Purchased new one 5 months ago.

Cool Side of Tank:

-digital probe monitoring temp (cool side ranges around 70-73 at night and 75-80 during day)
-part of area without uvb tube

Food (when he used to eat):
Feeders: hornworms, dubai roaches, crickets, silkworms, superworms, waxworms
Veggies: Collard Greens, Bok Choy, Green/red bell peppers, spring greens (no spinach), strawberry, arugula, endive, butternut squash

Any thoughts or ideas appreciated!

[Click image to enlarge]
Newbie Poster
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:29 pm
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Re: Bearded Dragon - hasn't eaten in 6 months....or pooped i

Postby KarrieRee » Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:43 am

It sounds like hes brumating or semi brumating- and he doesnt sound dehydrated if your bathing him - and his metabolism has slowed down -- have you weighed him ? If hes not losing weigh and you had him into the vet then I wouldnt be too concerned - as far as that UVB I am not sure if it should be inside the tank or not - its a T5 - some UVB's are stronger and I know the T5 is one of the stronger ones so w/ this one I am not sure if it should be inside or if its good on the outside of tank -- Hiccup is doing the same thing not eating for a few days or going to the bathroom - he is just a year old tho - yesterday he ate like 5-6 roaches that he hasnt eaten in over a week or gone to the bathroom - yesterday he did both! He is eating more greens than bugs now --- I offer salad everyday and sometimes he eats a few bites and or nothing at all I can always tell when hes ready to eat cuz he comes to the front of the tank and looks at me so I try feeding him roaches and sometimes he eats and sometimes he doesnt -- he lays around -- he is basking and going under his UVB but for eating its hit and miss -- and hes doing alot of sleeping and going to bed early! Yesterday he was rambunctious- I let him out of his tank and he ran the LR floor for awhile before trying to find his favorite place to take a nap- -- on the couch!---- So I would check his weight and see where its at -- but it sounds like a slow metabolism and semi type brumation --

Gray-bearded Poster
Posts: 2078
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:24 am

Re: Bearded Dragon - hasn't eaten in 6 months....or pooped i

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:33 pm

I'd be very careful about how you feed him if you choose to assist or force ( by syringe ) feed him , the sudden influx of protein can damage his kidneys , I suggest you do this under vet supervision.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Fluffy - 4yr rescued lawnmowing accident victim 14Nov17.
Lucky - cat attack rescue, fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
Wriggles - rescued injured ,thought she was a big lizard, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16. .
kingofnobbys Sicko
Posts: 10116
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

Re: Bearded Dragon - hasn't eaten in 6 months....or pooped i

Postby Drache613 » Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:03 pm


That is quite frustrating for sure. Based on the picture, he looks to be in good physical
condition, really.
How close is the T5 to him? It is on top of the screen so it will filter some of the UVB out
but that may not be the issue. Technically you can mount it underneath of the screen top
as long as it is no closer than 10 inches away from him for safety. I don't think he's getting
too much UVB though.
How often do you give calcium or vitamins for him?
Your tank setup does look very good. You are using a regular 100 watt halogen for the
basking light during the day?

User avatar
Posts: 37953
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:33 pm
Location: May, Texas
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Return to Beardie ER

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users