Metabolism vs Weight Gain?

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Metabolism vs Weight Gain?

Postby Blackenedsabbath » Wed May 22, 2019 5:47 am

Hello everyone,

When Pancake was at the vet last month he weighed 277g (he is 16"). I was told he should weigh at least 377g. He did have parasites at the time, but went on medication so he is all clear now. His weight went up to 291g around the end of April, but went down to 281g in early May. I talked to the vet when he went back for his follow up appointment and was told to not be concerned as he appears okay otherwise as beardies may retain fluids and in turn have a spike in their weight.

However, I weighed him yesterday and he is back at 277g. Previously I fed him once every morning, but after the first vet visit I've been giving him much larger portion sizes, refilling his bowl in the morning until he doesn't want to eat anymore, and then giving him dinner around 5PM. Given the increase in the amount of food he's eating, I'm concerned and confused about the weight loss :/

I know people tend to have a weight that their body naturally gravitates towards, does anyone know if this is true for beardies as well? Could he just have a high metabolism?? He still has boundless energy, I asked the vet if this could be why his weight dropped and he said its unlikely (although I think he may have misunderstood Pancake's "running around like a torpedo" as a single occurrence rather than a daily one).

Does anyone have any ideas on if this is normal or how to help Pancake gain weight? What is the appropriate weight range for a 16" adult beardie?
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Re: Metabolism vs Weight Gain?

Postby claudiusx » Wed May 22, 2019 6:35 am

Hi there,

How old is pancake?
Do you have a picture of him we can see?

What's the daily diet look like? Quantities of feeders and salad so we can see what he's eating.

To answer your question, yes they all can be different. 270g doesn't sound bad to me for a 16 inch. It is pretty in range. But like mentioned, there is a wide range of healthy and acceptable weight. The whole push to feed feed feed and put on weight has been causing a lot of harm in this community leading to an increase in liver issues later in life.

If your dragon is healthy just let him be healthy. There's no need to force him to gain weight for ther sake of "health" :)

-Brandon
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Re: Metabolism vs Weight Gain?

Postby Blackenedsabbath » Wed May 22, 2019 7:12 am

claudiusx wrote:Hi there,

How old is pancake?
Do you have a picture of him we can see?

What's the daily diet look like? Quantities of feeders and salad so we can see what he's eating.

To answer your question, yes they all can be different. 270g doesn't sound bad to me for a 16 inch. It is pretty in range. But like mentioned, there is a wide range of healthy and acceptable weight. The whole push to feed feed feed and put on weight has been causing a lot of harm in this community leading to an increase in liver issues later in life.

If your dragon is healthy just let him be healthy. There's no need to force him to gain weight for ther sake of "health" :)

-Brandon


He's around 2 I think, I'm not sure how old he was when I adopted him (although he was 16" at that time too). I've had him since January 2018.

[Click image to enlarge]


Here is a picture I just took of him now, if it would be better to have one where he isn't sitting on something let me know.

[Click image to enlarge]


In case an idea of portion sizes would be helpful too, on the right is the bowl I used to use to feed him every morning, and the one on the left is the one I use now for his breakfast and supper. I fill it to the top with veggies and throw out what he doesn't eat (which looks like it's going to be that spaghetti squash :lol: ). If he eats all of it within 5 - 15 mins I refill the bowl.

For vegetables, I feed him collard greens, escarole, watercress, arugula, acorn squash, spaghetti squash. Collard greens and spaghetti squash are the ones he eats most often as its difficult to find a variety of decent veggies in my area. I recently bought Repashy Veggie burger that I have been offering with his salads once to twice a week. As far as bugs go, the vet was under the impression that I fed him too many insects and asked that I decrease the amount. His staple feeder is BSFL, and I used to put 20 on his salad a day, and I've reduced it to 12 a day. When I have hornworms or silkworms I feed one or two daily (the hornworms are small, largest I will feed him is an inch), and he eats 2 to 3 butterworms as an occasional treat. Dubia roaches are illegal where I live, so those are off the list for potential feeders. I don't feed Pancake crickets very often, I'd say I buy a container of 50 every other month at the most. He has fruit around two to three times a month depending on the season (blueberries, watermelon [no seeds], strawberries, honeydew, raspberries). During the winter I can't get any fruit or silkworms at all, hornworms are also a hit and miss.

When Pancake was on the medication for parasites I was instructed by the vet to force feed him critical care. As one of the side effects of the febendazole was anorexia and loss of appetite I guess it made sense but he thankfully never lost his appetite while on it. The vet told me once he was done the meds I didn't have to force feed him anymore, however after he saw his weight went from 291g to 281g, he suggested that I return to force feeding him. I admittedly haven't gone back to it as I don't really have the time right now plus Pancake has a good appetite on his own.

My mom is on the same page as you, but I'm a bit nervous that the vet's assistant is going to give me an earful the next time Pancake goes for a check up.
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Re: Metabolism vs Weight Gain?

Postby claudiusx » Wed May 22, 2019 7:22 am

Well kudos to you because his diet sounds absolutely wonderful.
I do not feel you were feeding too many insects. Based on what you described, it sounded perfect to me. You could probably up the insects a bit if you wanted to since you're feeding such high quality low fat feeders.

One thing I try to make abundantly clear here is that a good varied diet is the key to health for these guys, and the diet you just posted is the poster child for a perfect diet IMO.

I do agree he doesnt look as filled out as other adult dragons, but that is not a bad thing at all.

-Brandon
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Re: Metabolism vs Weight Gain?

Postby Blackenedsabbath » Wed May 22, 2019 7:35 am

claudiusx wrote:Well kudos to you because his diet sounds absolutely wonderful.
I do not feel you were feeding too many insects. Based on what you described, it sounded perfect to me. You could probably up the insects a bit if you wanted to since you're feeding such high quality low fat feeders.

One thing I try to make abundantly clear here is that a good varied diet is the key to health for these guys, and the diet you just posted is the poster child for a perfect diet IMO.

I do agree he doesnt look as filled out as other adult dragons, but that is not a bad thing at all.

-Brandon


Really? I'm always worried he doesn't have enough variety so that's a relief to hear :lol: Would you say returning to 20 per day is too many for the BSFL? If so, would 15 be more appropriate?

Is it possible that he's stunted? I'm not sure where he was initially from or what kind of care his previous owner gave him apart from no UVB. Looking at some other adult dragons they look like they could squish Pancake into a literal pancake. Would the 377g suggested by the vet the weight of a regular sized adult then?
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Re: Metabolism vs Weight Gain?

Postby claudiusx » Wed May 22, 2019 7:49 am

If he was raised without UV it's very likely hes stunted and at 2 years it's unlikely he will really grow much more.

I would just focus on giving him the healthy diet your doing currently and enjoying him just how he is :)

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Re: Metabolism vs Weight Gain?

Postby Blackenedsabbath » Wed May 22, 2019 7:54 am

Okay, thank you for your reassurance!
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Re: Metabolism vs Weight Gain?

Postby AHBD » Wed May 22, 2019 4:42 pm

I agree with Brandon, his diet is fine, could use a few more insects per feeding but other than that it sounds good. The vet saying to force feed after a 10 gram weight drop was not good advice at all. Ten grams can be lost after an average sized bowel movement so that was no problem at all. Force feeding is always a last resort only for sickly , underweight dragons. Your guy is on the small side but there are very small people that live longer than very tall/hefty people.
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Re: Metabolism vs Weight Gain?

Postby Blackenedsabbath » Thu May 23, 2019 6:45 am

AHBD wrote:I agree with Brandon, his diet is fine, could use a few more insects per feeding but other than that it sounds good. The vet saying to force feed after a 10 gram weight drop was not good advice at all. Ten grams can be lost after an average sized bowel movement so that was no problem at all. Force feeding is always a last resort only for sickly , underweight dragons. Your guy is on the small side but there are very small people that live longer than very tall/hefty people.


I will definitely up the amount of feeders, I'm sure Pancake will be happy about that lol.

The critical care I was given by the vet is also the herbivore version, not the carnivore one. Does that seem correct? When I was looking into it it seemed like most beardies and geckos were getting the carnivore critical care.

This vet is the only one with good reviews in my area, but I suppose I will take his diet suggestions with a grain of salt and stick to what I've learned from this website and researching things on the internet.
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