Neglected Beardie found in Apartment Lobby

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Neglected Beardie found in Apartment Lobby

Postby Bower10 » Wed Sep 04, 2019 2:59 pm

Hello Everyone,

This morning I found a Bearded Dragon in the lobby of my apartment complex. I know nothing of gender so for simplicities sake, I will say "he".
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He looked like he had been there for some time, his tank had all of the food stuffs thrown in haphazardly, he had no water, sand substrate (I know it's bad, I got new sub already), no light or heat, clinging to a branch, and was cold and flat. After checking around for a possible owner, I took him into my apartment to get all set up.

I hooked up his lights and got him going, added water to his bowl and cleaned up what I could. He wasn't drinking so I got a child's syringe and starting getting him some water dropwise until he had 5-10 ml. He immediately looked happy, was licking his lips like a mad man and his tongue seemed "stuck". The tongue moves fine but it looked like dry mouth. He continued to bask in the heat and slowly his little back legs started to move. Finally after some gentle nudging he was able to propel himself off the branch and onto the ground, where he has been hanging out for now. His legs dont look mega bent like you'd see with the MBD, but after talking to a reptile enthusiast she said he may be in the early stages. and judging by his state and lack of previous care, i'd believe it.

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So here's where I need some help. I have purchased liquid calcium, crickets, mealworms, an additional UVB light, (he has a nocturnal and I'm guessing a general heat lamp), some new substrate mat, and a better water bowl. I would really love it if he pulled through, I'm already a little attached, so I would like to know what I can be doing to get him up to full speed without harming him in his fragile state.

I will add an ok photo I took if I can figure out the upload process, any advice is very welcome, and I appreciate you all already.

Thank you for reading!
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**edit - added some photos, theres one of him in the lobby where he was found, right after I hooked everything up, and then after I got the new substrate mat in. The lamps are pretty much positioned like the pre-clean picture, but I have a UVB and heat lamp going right now, and I moved it over him. I will try and take one of the new set up tonight.)
Last edited by Bower10 on Thu Sep 05, 2019 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Neglected Beardie found in Apartment Lobby

Postby KarrieRee » Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:20 pm

https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploads/ click on XIMG at top of message box and bless your heart for rescuing him :) ---- after we see pics of the tank and lighting you have we can better assist w/ this ---- he needs basking temps of around 95 - 105 and temps need to be taken w/ a infrared heat gun or digital probe - heat gun from Lowes or Home Depot for around $10-12 and digital probe from Petsmart etc for around $5---- those are the most accurate way ---- the UVB is extremely important as well so we will see what you have first and go from there as far as what kind etc
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Re: Neglected Beardie found in Apartment Lobby

Postby Drache613 » Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:36 pm

Hello,

Oh bless the poor dragon, I really hate hearing someone just dumped him off like that, how
cruel. I just don't know what's wrong with people!
It sounds like he is in good spirits though & is personable, too. After his ordeal, that is impressive
he is so nice.
Definitely invest in some good UVB lighting for him along with some supplementation also. He
is a lucky little dragon to have been found by someone willing to take him in!
Do post some pictures here by clicking on the XIMG function to upload your pictures to the Image
Gallery, then copy/paste them onto here.

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Re: Neglected Beardie found in Apartment Lobby

Postby CooperDragon » Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:25 am

If he is drinking water on his own like that, it's a very good sign. With proper care he has a good chance at bouncing back and being happy. As mentioned, it's important to get him some high quality lighting that matches the enclosure. If you can post some photos of what you currently have it will be helpful. Then we can help you find a good match for the setup so he gets what he needs. If you can take him outside and give him some time in the natural sunlight (weather permitting) it will also be beneficial for him (As long as he is OK with handling - don't force it).
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Re: Neglected Beardie found in Apartment Lobby

Postby Bower10 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 4:09 pm

Thank you all for the kind advice! I will get temperature gauges to put inside the tank, as well as an IR temp gauge. He's got the UVB light going, and he "ate" a very small squirt of water mixed with an emergency calorie supplement, he had no interest in tiny carrot shavings or taking a bath in some warm water in a shallow bowl. He was able to move (scramble) a bit so all his legs are functioning. He has been spread out soaking up the light! Also, I named him Tobias (Toe-by-us). :D

He's pretty thin so I am weary of picking him up, any thoughts? He seemed fine with the spatula I used to scoop him out of the sand :lol: but i'd rather not subject him to the cold metal any more than absolutely necessary.
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Re: Neglected Beardie found in Apartment Lobby

Postby KarrieRee » Thu Sep 05, 2019 4:43 pm

Did you replace the UVB w/ a tube ? Coils are no good --- they basically give off no UVB rays--- do you have a colored bulb in the tank ? If so please get rid of it --- colored bulbs hurt their eyes and can cause long term eye damage- you need a bright white basking bulb that will keep basking temps around 95-105 -- cool side of tank 80- it will be trial and error w/ the basking light- the UVB you need is a Reptisun 10.0 either a T 8 or a T 5 --- the T 8's need to go inside the tank approx 6-8 from basking area the T 5 's can sit on top of the screen approx 10-12 from basking area--- from the pics he doesnt look that bad --- I would think you could take him out and hold him --- here is a website for nutrition
http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Nutrition.html
he needs bugs 2-3 times a week --- I recommend dubia roaches -- here is some info on them
Dubias
• Wide range of sizes
• Long life span
• Excellent nutrition
• Easy to digest
• High in protein
Convenient for you
• Odorless and soundless
• Will not infest your home
• Can be stored out of sight
• Easy to care for
• Cannot jump, fly or climb
they can be ordered on line if you cant find them in your pet stores there --- kept in a 10 gallon aquarium and fed dubia food and carrots for hydration -
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Re: Neglected Beardie found in Apartment Lobby

Postby Drache613 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:50 pm

Hello,

How is he doing this evening? Were you able to get the temperatures stabilized for him?
Tobias is a great name!
As long as you are careful, you can pick him up with your hands. I wouldn't place him on
your shoulder or anything else high etc, to where he could accidentally fall or try to jump
off & hurt himself. I'm sure the cold spatula didn't feel the greatest. LOL
Did you get any food into him or more syringed food, later on?
I think he doesn't look too bad, but should most likely gain some weight for you once he is
past this phase of being relocated.

Keep us posted on him.
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Re: Neglected Beardie found in Apartment Lobby

Postby Bower10 » Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:23 am

**UPDATE**

Hey Everyone,

I thought it would be nice to drop an update! Tobias is doing really well, he is grubbing down and even chasing mealworms and crickets. I have yet to find some dubia roaches that are still alive, but there's a reptile shop close-by I'm hoping to go to soon. I've held him a couple times and he was pretty chill, super thin, but he handled it well. He's also soaked a coupe times in his water bowl, which was something I was hoping to see in my previous posts.

Upgraded his tank from a 10-15 gallon to a 40 gallon breeder, yes... I am aware it's at the "bare minimum", but once he is healthy he will be free roaming, a lot. I'm slowly building up his habitat, but it's better than he was in a week ago, now he can turn around! :D The hot basking spot is around 105 degrees, and the rest of the tank sits at around 75-85 degrees. He's been able to move and climb to the top of the large branch, so that has been nice to see. He still sits with his feet all bent up and moves like he needs some oil in his joints sometimes though, so I try to help him out.

I shut off the coil UVB light after using it for a day or 2, I don't know if it's related or not, but he seems to be blind in his right eye, he doesn't attack worms until I pass it by his left one. Maybe he's lazy, maybe the coil UVB blinded him? I doubt he got blinded in 1-2 days, but anything is possible. He eats fine and it seems to be getting better, so I'm just hoping for the best. I ordered and am awaiting a 36" t8 light tube for that good-good light, a new basking light, and a no-light heat emitter for night, so his lighting will be good to go now.

I think we are on a good track now! :headbang:

Here are some updated pictures of Tobias!
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Last edited by Bower10 on Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Neglected Beardie found in Apartment Lobby

Postby KarrieRee » Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:33 am

It is good you have improved his habitat I am hoping the UVB is not the full length of the tank -- he needs to be able to get out from the UVB if he wants to --- you can order dubias on line if you want to there are plenty of places to get them from ----- he does need the UVB for digesting his food - so if you -need to take him outside for 15 minutes in the direct sunlight that will = out to around 4 hrs of UVB -- I dont know what kind of weather your having but that is a suggestion ---
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Re: Neglected Beardie found in Apartment Lobby

Postby CooperDragon » Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:17 pm

He's looking good! I'm glad you have been able to make improvements for him. I don't think the coil UVB would have caused vision problems unless you were shining it right at him for some reason. It just may not have been providing strong enough UVB or in a wide enough spread, that's all. The issues with vision and with his arms/legs/joints can likely be attributed to neglect from before you took care of him. Hopefully that will improve over time.
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Re: Neglected Beardie found in Apartment Lobby

Postby claudiusx » Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:16 pm

Hi there,

Thanks for the update! :)

He is looking good and alert! Great that he is eating.
That's too bad about his eye. Keep notice of it and see if anything changes in regards to it.

The 40g breeder is definitely a step up for the 15g. He will do fine in it, especially if hes getting free roam time :)

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Re: Neglected Beardie found in Apartment Lobby

Postby Bower10 » Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:23 pm

*BRIEF UPDATE*

I decided to return the 36” T8 hood and lamp and got a 24” T5 reflector hood with 10.0 t5ho lamp. Looks like I mixed up info on 5.0 and 10.0 with t5 vs t8 and thought t8 was the stronger, lot of info to take in and I impulse bought haha oh and I thought it needed to cover the entire tank for some reason. Whoops. He should be happier now!

Cooperdragon, if you see this, many thanks! I dug through a lot of your old UVB posts and you’re the man!

Thanks all for the help!
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Re: Neglected Beardie found in Apartment Lobby

Postby Drache613 » Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:42 pm

Hello,

He is starting to look much more alert now! Bless him. At least he has made it this far with
your help now.
So you are using the Reptisun T5 tube bulb for him now? Does it stretch half to three quarters
of the length of the tank also?
Hopefully his eye will be fine. I doubt there was any eye damage in that short amount of time,
either. Keep us posted on him & on his progress.

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Re: Neglected Beardie found in Apartment Lobby

Postby Drache613 » Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:20 am

Hello,

Just wondering how your little dragon was doing now, is he still improving for you I hope?
Let us know how he is progressing.

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Re: Neglected Beardie found in Apartment Lobby

Postby Bower10 » Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:08 pm

*UPDATE*

Tobias continues to live on and improve! He's been kicking butt lately. After the first 13 hour day sitting under the T5HO UVB lamp this little dude furiously scrambled after his food and I honestly can't believe the surge in appetite and tongue grabbing speed! :lol: I positioned the lamp a little weird, but it covers most of his basking area (UVI ~2.5 to 7) through the screen depending on how how close he is, with 18" of non-coverage so he should have areas with very little to no UVB on the far left.

He is still pretty flat physically, but tends to puff up at night or when he wants some food. His arm/leg movement is vastly improving, he can hold himself up on a branch by his front arms, and can climb and move about a lot better, though his toes/wrists are still a bit rubbery, and he can't totally get up off his elbows yet. But he is getting there! (C'monnn UVB and Calcium Supplements!)

Had a pretty interesting interaction with our ball python, (the tanks are close together, so he spotted her through the glass, not face to face) he did some pretty intense jaw flicking and head bobbing movements to "fend her off". So now there is a towel between the two so he can't spot her and get all territorial.

He's starting to eat the salad I'm making him (collard greens, kale, and arugula) but I usually have to trick him by dropping a mealworm on top of it so he picks up the salad with it. :lol:

Buuuuut yea! That's the news. Tobias lives on, and I'm stoked every time I get home and get to see his head flick up when I let out a loud "TOOOOOOBIAAAAASSSSSS", he loves it.

Here's a pic (he's a little flat, and I did get that poop out)!

Take care all.

[Click image to enlarge]
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