First year brumation paranoia...

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First year brumation paranoia...

Postby behemuffin » Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:24 pm

So Nara is 9 months old now and showing signs of going into brumation. Less appetite (sometimes not eating for days, or eating a tiny bit), sleeping all day, sometimes avoiding his basking spot. Though he never seems to want to go into an actual hide, no matter what I make for him. He will wriggle halfway in between the layers of his aquarium reef-rock thing and act like he's hidden. :P

(It's sold as aquarium decor, but I bought it for Nara and it's his favourite thing. https://www.petsmart.com/fish/decor-gra ... 13323.html It's like a multi-layered basking rock.)

Anyway, so I'd read about brumation and knew what to expect, so all seemed well. Except that I came across the piece of information a few days ago that STINKY POOP CAN BE A BAD THING. I'd seen other sources saying bearded dragons' poop just stinks. Then, I read something saying it could be parasites.

Paranoia inducing, right? Just as my first beardie is about to go into his first brumation...

I had a fecal and checkup done on him when I first got him, about 5 months ago. It all turned out clear. I sent another one in Thursday and expected the results back Friday afternoon, and when I didn't get a call from the vet, I called them. They said that the lab would have the test results that evening, but they wouldn't send them until Monday because they have a policy of waiting two days before releasing them...? That... seems weird and not what I experienced when I gave his first fecal. True, it's a weekend, but I've never heard that thing about "the lab waits before releasing results" like that. For what reason...?

Anyway, whether it turns up positive or negative, I'm getting him a checkup and I'll see what they say there. The actual vet tech who did his checkup last time seemed really knowledgeable about dragons, and at least one person in there has a certification specifically in reptiles and amphibians, so hopefully they will know what to do.....


Also, adding on the questionnaire to be safe:

How old is your dragon? 9 months
How long have you had your dragon? Since May.
How long is your dragon? 14 in
What is the sex of your dragon? Male
What size enclosure do you have your dragon in? 40gal, though I will be upgrading
What type substrate do you have on the bottom of your tank? Unprinted newspaper from Staples
Do you use UVB lights? Yes
If so, Is it a coil, compact, fluorescent tube, or Mercury Vapor bulb? Fluorescent
What is the brand name and number of your bulb? Wattage (if MVB)? Reptisun 10.0 T5 HO
How old is your UVB bulb? Just replaced it, so less than a month
How close can your dragon get to the UVB? About 3in, if he wants. His preferred basking spots are about 6-8in away.
Do you use a separate basking bulb? What kind and what is the wattage? Is it a white or colored bulb? White, 150w
What are the basking temps? 100-110 depending on day. I try to keep it at an average of 105
What is the cool side temp? 80
Do you take the temps with a stick on thermometer, a digital thermometer with a wire and a probe end or a temp gun? Wire/probe
Where exactly are you taking your basking temps? At level with the log where he basks most often
Do you use a heat rock or heat pad? No
What do you feed your dragon? Please be specific. In order of most frequent to least frequent: dubias, dandelion/collard greens, other recommended greens when I can get them, Fluker's Juvenile Bearded Dragon moist diet as a salad topper, butternut squash, bell peppers as a treat (he loves them), occasional plum/peach pieces as a treat, occasional mealworms as a treat
How often do you feed and what time do you feed (morning, afternoon, night)? I replace his food in the morning and refill at about 3pm.
Do you gutload (feed) your crickets, worms, etc? Yes
Do you use vitamin or calcium supplements? What brand(s)? How many days a week do you use each of them? Rep-Cal Herptivite and Rep-Cal Calcium with Vit. D. Very light sprinkle on bugs, alternate between them, 3-4 times a week. I have heard that I might not want to use vitamins with the Fluker's pellets though, so not sure currently what I should be doing with that.
Is your dragon having regular bowel movements (poops)? Yep
Do you bath your dragon? How often? When he's eating well, I give him a short warm bath daily with Reptisafe in the water (he will glass surf if he needs to poop and bathtime is not forthcoming!) Right now that he's not eating much I'm doing it every couple of days.
Do you mist your dragon or offer water other than in the bath? No, seems like it would be overkill.
Have you gotten a vet check and fecal done? He had both when I first got him in May; just sent another fecal, he's getting another checkup once his newest fecal comes in.
Does your dragon share an enclosure with another dragon? Nope, he is solo and always will be!
Proud first-time parent of Nara, born February 2019!
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Re: First year brumation paranoia...

Postby BeardedDragonSteve » Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:11 am

behemuffin wrote:So Nara is 9 months old now and showing signs of going into brumation. Less appetite (sometimes not eating for days, or eating a tiny bit), sleeping all day, sometimes avoiding his basking spot. Though he never seems to want to go into an actual hide, no matter what I make for him. He will wriggle halfway in between the layers of his aquarium reef-rock thing and act like he's hidden. :P

(It's sold as aquarium decor, but I bought it for Nara and it's his favourite thing. https://www.petsmart.com/fish/decor-gra ... 13323.html It's like a multi-layered basking rock.)

Anyway, so I'd read about brumation and knew what to expect, so all seemed well. Except that I came across the piece of information a few days ago that STINKY POOP CAN BE A BAD THING. I'd seen other sources saying bearded dragons' poop just stinks. Then, I read something saying it could be parasites.

Paranoia inducing, right? Just as my first beardie is about to go into his first brumation...

I had a fecal and checkup done on him when I first got him, about 5 months ago. It all turned out clear. I sent another one in Thursday and expected the results back Friday afternoon, and when I didn't get a call from the vet, I called them. They said that the lab would have the test results that evening, but they wouldn't send them until Monday because they have a policy of waiting two days before releasing them...? That... seems weird and not what I experienced when I gave his first fecal. True, it's a weekend, but I've never heard that thing about "the lab waits before releasing results" like that. For what reason...?

Anyway, whether it turns up positive or negative, I'm getting him a checkup and I'll see what they say there. The actual vet tech who did his checkup last time seemed really knowledgeable about dragons, and at least one person in there has a certification specifically in reptiles and amphibians, so hopefully they will know what to do.....


Also, adding on the questionnaire to be safe:

How old is your dragon? 9 months
How long have you had your dragon? Since May.
How long is your dragon? 14 in
What is the sex of your dragon? Male
What size enclosure do you have your dragon in? 40gal, though I will be upgrading
What type substrate do you have on the bottom of your tank? Unprinted newspaper from Staples
Do you use UVB lights? Yes
If so, Is it a coil, compact, fluorescent tube, or Mercury Vapor bulb? Fluorescent
What is the brand name and number of your bulb? Wattage (if MVB)? Reptisun 10.0 T5 HO
How old is your UVB bulb? Just replaced it, so less than a month
How close can your dragon get to the UVB? About 3in, if he wants. His preferred basking spots are about 6-8in away.
Do you use a separate basking bulb? What kind and what is the wattage? Is it a white or colored bulb? White, 150w
What are the basking temps? 100-110 depending on day. I try to keep it at an average of 105
What is the cool side temp? 80
Do you take the temps with a stick on thermometer, a digital thermometer with a wire and a probe end or a temp gun? Wire/probe
Where exactly are you taking your basking temps? At level with the log where he basks most often
Do you use a heat rock or heat pad? No
What do you feed your dragon? Please be specific. In order of most frequent to least frequent: dubias, dandelion/collard greens, other recommended greens when I can get them, Fluker's Juvenile Bearded Dragon moist diet as a salad topper, butternut squash, bell peppers as a treat (he loves them), occasional plum/peach pieces as a treat, occasional mealworms as a treat
How often do you feed and what time do you feed (morning, afternoon, night)? I replace his food in the morning and refill at about 3pm.
Do you gutload (feed) your crickets, worms, etc? Yes
Do you use vitamin or calcium supplements? What brand(s)? How many days a week do you use each of them? Rep-Cal Herptivite and Rep-Cal Calcium with Vit. D. Very light sprinkle on bugs, alternate between them, 3-4 times a week. I have heard that I might not want to use vitamins with the Fluker's pellets though, so not sure currently what I should be doing with that.
Is your dragon having regular bowel movements (poops)? Yep
Do you bath your dragon? How often? When he's eating well, I give him a short warm bath daily with Reptisafe in the water (he will glass surf if he needs to poop and bathtime is not forthcoming!) Right now that he's not eating much I'm doing it every couple of days.
Do you mist your dragon or offer water other than in the bath? No, seems like it would be overkill.
Have you gotten a vet check and fecal done? He had both when I first got him in May; just sent another fecal, he's getting another checkup once his newest fecal comes in.
Does your dragon share an enclosure with another dragon? Nope, he is solo and always will be!

You need to move the basking spot so its at least ten inches away, you should never let your beardie get 3 inches to it. But I dont think stinky poo should be a problem because my beardie has stinky poo and he has no parasites and is perfectly healthy.
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Re: First year brumation paranoia...

Postby KarrieRee » Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:37 am

It sounds like everything is good --- I agree w/ Steve the UVB needs to be moved it is way too close for the T 5- - and it does need to be 12-15 inches from basking area - so w/ him doing what hes doing I would say hes going into semi brumation --- mine did the same last year as well and he was about same age --- keep an eye on his weight and get him out to weigh him and hydrate him if hes not coming out to eat --- mine was out every few days to eat and bask ---
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Re: First year brumation paranoia...

Postby claudiusx » Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:38 am

Hi there,

Your setup sounds fine, but the T5 really is a bit close to him. Is it mounted inside the tank or ontop of the mesh? If unobstructed and inside the tank, it should really be 12 inches away at the basking site.

I highly doubt that's what the problem is, but it's something to at least look into and it's a possibility he is hiding to avoid high exposure levels. Especially if there is no where in the tank where the levels are low or zero.

Stinky poo can be a sign of parasites, but remember, it's still poo. It's gonna stink no matter what :)
Stinky poo, along with loose unformed stools, for a consistent period of time are decent signs of potential parasites when combined with other symptoms such as lethargy, weight loss or lack of weight gain.
But it's always a good idea to get a fecal done before brumation anyways just to make sure :)

-Brandon
Follow along with all my beardies. Check out my thread here!: Claud's Crew
P.S. We have lots of pictures ;)
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Re: First year brumation paranoia...

Postby behemuffin » Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:34 am

Update: Finally got the test results back (after calling them on Friday and again on Monday...) and it turns out he has pinworms. I hear it's a common parasite, I'm just concerned about him brumating with the pinworms in his system. His fat pads look good so far, but if he is only eating this much on and off throughout the season, I worry he'll get thinner.

I'm taking him in for a checkup today...


The T5 is inside the tank, yeah. His basking spot isn't 3 inches away, it's like 8, but the questionnaire said how close he *could* get, and he is able to crawl up on some objects to get that high if he wants to. At present he is actually attempting to climb up there, oops.

I could move the bridge that allows him to get that high, :idea: but he also seems to like to shelter under it when he wants to avoid the light? So I don't want to take away a shade, either. The problem is he will climb on top of everything I put in his tank... I will shift some stuff around in there and see what I can do to keep him from getting that close.
Proud first-time parent of Nara, born February 2019!
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Re: First year brumation paranoia...

Postby behemuffin » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:44 am

Update 2: Just came back from the vet. She said the pinworm count (3 on the slide) is too low for her to want to treat him, since the meds can put them off their food. I looked into pinworms right after getting the test results back and saw similar answers on this forum, so I'm going to assume she's right.

She has beardies of her own-- her first one lived to 13 and she has a 9 year old now. We gushed about their silly antics a lot. :) She's going to call back in two weeks to follow up, but she says that his health and care is good and he isn't skinny or anything.

So it seems it is really just the season. :) I feel a lot more secure now knowing that!

One thing that she said that confused me a bit. She said I should try leaving the CHE on 24/7 and the basking light off (with UV light on during the day) in winter, as this will keep the temperatures constant between day and night. I forgot to ask why she thought the constant temperature was important-- has anyone else heard anything like this?
Proud first-time parent of Nara, born February 2019!
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Re: First year brumation paranoia...

Postby claudiusx » Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:07 pm

Good I'm glad your vet decided against it! I read the first update and already was about to ask what the counts were lol! A lot of times there will be parasites presents, but a healthy immune system keeps the numbers in check.

Just keep an eye on the weight and make sure it's not dipping too low or too quick.

In regards to the CHE comment, it might have been with the impression that you were going to be keeping the lights off completely, and that would cause temps to rise and fall throughout the day based on your house temperature. So the suggestion to have a CHE on to keep things constant?
I'm not sure exactly what she was thinking either but that's all I can come up with.

You can just leave your lights on though with their normal schedule.

-Brandon
Follow along with all my beardies. Check out my thread here!: Claud's Crew
P.S. We have lots of pictures ;)
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Re: First year brumation paranoia...

Postby BeardedDragonSteve » Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:43 pm

KarrieRee wrote:It sounds like everything is good --- I agree w/ Steve the UVB needs to be moved it is way too close for the T 5- - and it does need to be 12-15 inches from basking area - so w/ him doing what hes doing I would say hes going into semi brumation --- mine did the same last year as well and he was about same age --- keep an eye on his weight and get him out to weigh him and hydrate him if hes not coming out to eat --- mine was out every few days to eat and bask ---
Karrie

My name is not actually Steve but when I came on I could not think of a name so my user name was the first thing that came to my mind but I would not do my real name (at least not yet) for privacy reasons
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Re: First year brumation paranoia...

Postby KarrieRee » Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:00 am

My name is not actually Steve---- oops sorry just didnt want to type the whole thing out so went w/ the shortest---
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