Behaviour/care during brumation?

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Behaviour/care during brumation?

Postby Tamtam » Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:18 pm

Hi all,
My beardy Oscar has been brumating since the start of March. Normally he sleeps under his newspaper and I don't see him at all but today he's up near the front of the tank. It's his first time brumating, so I'm not really sure what it should look like, but even though his eyes were open he's not really responsive (except for closing an eye when I pet him on top of his head). Could someone advise me as to whether this is normal? Is he just sleepy or should I be concerned? The tank's been a little cooler than it is when he's awake and I've had the uv light off (figured there wasn't much point when he was underneath anyway) but there's a thermostat and an electric blanket underneath to make sure it's always above 18°c.
I'd appreciate any advice - if he's come out should I make the tank warmer? Offer him food? Tuck him back under?
Tamtam
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Re: Behaviour/care during brumation?

Postby cvel » Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:44 am

Hi there,
I’m also new to Brumation but got lots of advice from everyone including my reptile vet. My one, Swift has been brumating for 3 months now and still going. I can tell you what I’ve been doing and perhaps this could help.

I used to take her out of her hide everyday and offer food and therefore bask. But she is not interested anyway and goes straight back in her hide. Only eats once to twice a week. I felt like I was annoying her. So after her last poop I let her her sleep continuously (need to make sure they poop everything out or food left in gut will rot and cause issues). From here you can reduce the light hours or turn off (up to you). I reduced mine to 10 hours. Now I just take her out once a week to bath (very important she’s hydrated) and to weigh her (weight shouldn’t drop too much. If it does then could mean pinworms or parasites, infection etc so need to see vet).

In order for others, to help, can you go over your set up below:

- what UVB lights you are using? Tube or compact bulb etc. (Insufficient UV can cause lethargy)
- is it on a mesh top?
- what are your temps on basking area?
- how old is your dragon? (They shouldn’t really brumate less than a year old, even though some will).
- can you post a pic of your setup?

Cheers
cvel
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Re: Behaviour/care during brumation?

Postby Tamtam » Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:31 pm

cvel wrote:In order for others, to help, can you go over your set up below:

- what UVB lights you are using? Tube or compact bulb etc. (Insufficient UV can cause lethargy)
- is it on a mesh top?
- what are your temps on basking area?
- how old is your dragon? (They shouldn’t really brumate less than a year old, even though some will).
- can you post a pic of your setup?

Cheers


His uv light is an arcadia t5 12%, mounted in the reflector hood (screwed straight into the wood top, so no screen), but because he was sleeping under the newspaper for so long I haven't been turning it on. It's about a year old but hasn't been on for a few months (since early March) so it's not quite due for replacement.
The temps on the basking area are normally about 38-40°, and about 30 on the cool side of the tank, but while he's been brumating it's been cooler than that (I didn't think it was worth the electricity to keep it at 40° when he's sleeping right on the cool side anyway). Like I mentioned, his electric blanket makes sure he's always above 18°, even at night.
He's about 2 and a half years old, it's his first time brumating (I think this might have been caused by moving to Melbourne from the country, because the weather's different here).

I don't have a picture of my setup uploaded, but I can take one tonight to show you. There isn't that much, just the heat bulbs, uv light, a slanted wooden plank where he can bask and a big rock (and newspaper).

I'm thinking I might warm his tank up tommorow and see if he wants anything to eat or drink. I haven't been weighing him so I might have to go buy a scale.

Can I ask, how does your lizard behave when you bathe him? Does he properly wake up or is he kinda sleepy still?

Thanks so much!
Tamtam
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Re: Behaviour/care during brumation?

Postby cvel » Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:07 am

Aah Melbourne. I thought Aussie or NZ by the way you measure temperatures and the timing of Oscar brumating. I’m from Auckland NZ.

Anyway sounds like your setup are all good.

Yes I would buy a scale to check weight. Major weight loss is the first sign of issues when brumating. Can’t be more than 10% of baseline. It’s always highly recommended to have a vet checkup before letting them brumate, because if they have pin worms or parasites, even in small amounts, when they brumate, these can quickly increase at an alarming rate when their immune systems are low.

When I bath Swift, I put her on the basking rock to warm up for 30min or so. (Otherwise pretty cruel to wake her and throw her in a bath for a rude awakening lol). After basking I then place in warm bath. She will just sit their, legs spread out, soaking it up. Head held high and alert. Weird eh. But some dragons WILL be sleeping hence need to supervise at all times or head will be dunked in water.
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Re: Behaviour/care during brumation?

Postby cvel » Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:12 am

Oh adding to my previous message, if you are thinking of seeing if she eats and she does eat, remember to bask so he can digest and Oscar will also need to poop before brumating again. Otherwise any food left in gut while brumating may rot and cause issues.
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Re: Behaviour/care during brumation?

Postby Tamtam » Fri Jun 21, 2019 9:43 pm

I heated the tank up properly today and when I got home in the afternoon he was up basking. He won't eat or drink yet but I might give him a bath later while he's alert. He's looking on the thin side though so might be time for a vet appointment.
Tamtam
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