Safe to travel?

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Safe to travel?

Postby beardeddragonnewbie » Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:17 pm

Hello! I have a 2-3 month old baby beardie, she is aprox 7" long from tip of nose to tip of tail, and she is in perfect health condition. So, I am helping out in a zoology class, and I have been asked to bring her in and show the differences between adult beardies and babies. So I was just wondering if its safe to take her? And will she get stressed out? If I can take her, what should I take her in? I do want to note that it will be around 33 degrees Fahrenheit outside. She would be out of her tank for around 4 hours. The building is probably like 72 degrees Fahrenheit.<3
SLAVE To 2 bearded dragons (Opal and Felix)2 fish (Bob and Bub)6 chickens (Pooky, Phil, Rose, Mable, Sweetie and Aunt.B)2 dogs (Luna and Willow) and 1 crested gecko (Moab)

In loving memory of: Daisy the Rat Terrier, Violet and Henny the chickens.<3


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Re: Safe to travel?

Postby Ellentomologist » Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:40 pm

Hello there,

Good on you to help out with this class! To address your questions:

Is it safe to take her?

Short answer: Nothing is safe, but yes. Since you describe the class as "zoology" I'm guessing it's for secondary school and beyond, not rambunctious kiddos? Provided these are sensible and respectful adults or soon-to-be adults it's probably safe enough. Do be careful though if she's to be in close proximity to an adult bearded dragon - they can be both territorial and prone to eatting smaller lizards.

Will she get stressed out?

Short answer: Almost certainly. However this depends a lot on the temperament of the dragon and what's going on otherwise. For instance, my boy Guac shows little to no signs of stress during travel. I have seen some dragons though that get quite upset, but honestly I doubt any lasting harm is done. What your describing is probably no more stressful than a vet visit, after all.

What should I take her in?

You want to treat this similar to if you were shipping her. Primarily, ensure a rigid, securely closing carrier with plenty of air flow. The container should be as small as possible to reduce the risk of the animal sliding around inside the container while allowing the animal ample breathing space and some ability to move around for comfort. You also want a clean, absorbent material in case the animal defecates during transit, paper towel works well - bring spare if you can! The final consideration is opacity - clear containers are better for letting you check in on the animal, while opaque ones are likely to keep the animal calmer. The best solution I've found is to use a clear container for the animal and put that container a secondary opaque one.

For my roughly 18 inch boy, I use one of these with about 2-dozen air holes drilled into the top and sides. Since the container is 14 inches long, Guacamole's tail has to be curved for him to fit in it and he can't slide more than an inch or two in any direction, but he can easily walk around in a circle inside of it, even with a layer of fleece or paper towels beneath him. Finally, this usually is put in an opaque secondary bag. For lower temperatures, with an insulating but air-permeable material placed above and beneath - my go to is folded towels or a throw blanket.

A good alternative is a cotton bag or pillow case tied closed at the top so she can't get out of it placed inside of a closed Styrofoam cooler with air holes punched into it with a pencil or similar-diameter object.

Is temperature a concern?

Yes and no. So long at the Bearded Dragon's body temperature stays above 55 degrees Fahrenheit, she will suffer no long lasting ill effects. Ideally, you want to keep her temperature at least 70 degrees F or above. The temperatures you are estimating inside of the building are absolutely no problem - My house is about 70 F at night and my parent's house about 65 F at night and Guacamole has never had any issues with it. However, you need to be very careful that she is not exposed to the outside air for very long at all.

If she needs to be out of her travelling case in 33 F, I would just flat-out pass on this adventure because it would be too risky for me. However if you can make sure she remains in her travel container inside an insulated bag or wrapped in a blanket, towel, or coat during the period of time you'll be outside (and that period of time is relatively short), you should be fine. It she's at 70 degrees F or above, she can stay that temperature for up to a day or two without any serious complications (assuming her health is as good as you claim it is).

If you want to provide her a heat source during travel, consider getting an oxygen-activated heating pack. If you do this, DO NOT use hand warmers! They get too hot and are a very big risk. Instead, use the kind meant for shipping live animals and plants with, like a uni-heat multi-purpose shipping warmer.

For more information, try checking the following links:
Ship Your Reptiles - A website dedicated to helping people safely ship and move reptiles.
Travelling With Reptiles - Youtube Video by Snake Discovery, a channel run by Emily, a exotic animal educator with a degree in Fisheries & Wildlife.
How to Travel with / Transport Reptiles in Your Car - Youtube Video by GoHerping, a channel run by Alex who currently is one of the people running Emerald Scales which rehabilitates and rehomes animals.

I hope that helps and I'm happy to answer any further questions!
-Ellen
About me: Lab Manager in CDB studying for graduate school. Keep many invertebrates, reptiles, and amphibians, but only one BD named Guacamole. HUGE DnD and tabletop RPG nerd. Sorry if I post the same info right after someone else does, I tend to open many tabs and not refresh.
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Re: Safe to travel?

Postby beardeddragonnewbie » Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:35 am

Thanks so much for your reply!! I live in Michigan so its pretty cold, snowing right now! Anyway, are their any specific things I should look for in my beardie to make sure she's fit enough to travel? As I know she is healthy, I'm just wondering :) and some of the people in the class are a bit rambunctious, however the teachers in the class are great, and keep them under control. And the teachers have over 16 different reptiles and other pets, so they know when the kids are being too loud. :wink: I can post a few pictures of my beardie if needed
SLAVE To 2 bearded dragons (Opal and Felix)2 fish (Bob and Bub)6 chickens (Pooky, Phil, Rose, Mable, Sweetie and Aunt.B)2 dogs (Luna and Willow) and 1 crested gecko (Moab)

In loving memory of: Daisy the Rat Terrier, Violet and Henny the chickens.<3


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Re: Safe to travel?

Postby Ellentomologist » Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:31 am

Hey, I also live in Michigan! Are you a Yooper or a Troll? Troll over here - and worse yet, woefully far away from any of the big water.

As far as "fit to travel", good health is good health. Any known health problems increase the risk, but for most health problems you'd need to travel to go to the vet with. In general, avoid frivolous travel if your beardie has any major health issue. In particular, concerns related to digestion/nutrition should avoid travelling as the animal should be spending it's time under proper light and UVB.

Guacamole has some signs on very slight MBD - that, or he just has bad genetics from being a Petco Beardie. He's got a few minor tail kinks, but doesn't have any jaw deformities or walk/rest on the sides of his feet (all three of these are signs of early MDB). I've never had a problem travelling with him, and for a few years he would actually go on Amtrak (trains for the non-US folks) with me once a month or so to visit my family. This includes during true Michigan winters, and he did fine.

Generally, if you trust the people involved, I think you have an all-clear to go. That said, I would live to see some pics of your dragon! Haha. :-)
About me: Lab Manager in CDB studying for graduate school. Keep many invertebrates, reptiles, and amphibians, but only one BD named Guacamole. HUGE DnD and tabletop RPG nerd. Sorry if I post the same info right after someone else does, I tend to open many tabs and not refresh.
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Re: Safe to travel?

Postby beardeddragonnewbie » Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:27 am

We live right near a huge lake :wink: Anyway, here are some pictures of my babies!

[Click image to enlarge]
Here are all my pictures of Opal the babie!
[Click image to enlarge]

[Click image to enlarge]


Here is Moab, the crested gecko
[Click image to enlarge]


Then comes Felix who is a leatherback, 7 years old. but only 17"
[Click image to enlarge]

[Click image to enlarge]
SLAVE To 2 bearded dragons (Opal and Felix)2 fish (Bob and Bub)6 chickens (Pooky, Phil, Rose, Mable, Sweetie and Aunt.B)2 dogs (Luna and Willow) and 1 crested gecko (Moab)

In loving memory of: Daisy the Rat Terrier, Violet and Henny the chickens.<3


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Re: Safe to travel?

Postby Ellentomologist » Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:02 am

Absolute Cuties! And LOL, Guacemole is only about 18" too. He and Felix are in the Smoll Dragon club. :-)
About me: Lab Manager in CDB studying for graduate school. Keep many invertebrates, reptiles, and amphibians, but only one BD named Guacamole. HUGE DnD and tabletop RPG nerd. Sorry if I post the same info right after someone else does, I tend to open many tabs and not refresh.
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Re: Safe to travel?

Postby beardeddragonnewbie » Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:25 am

Lol how old is Guacamole? Can I see a picture of him? And thanks, I love all my babies!!
SLAVE To 2 bearded dragons (Opal and Felix)2 fish (Bob and Bub)6 chickens (Pooky, Phil, Rose, Mable, Sweetie and Aunt.B)2 dogs (Luna and Willow) and 1 crested gecko (Moab)

In loving memory of: Daisy the Rat Terrier, Violet and Henny the chickens.<3


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Re: Safe to travel?

Postby Ellentomologist » Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:56 am

He's 2 or 3, my records are woefully lacking from that period of my life unfortunately. And I have kind of the worst memory ever - or rather I remember things well, but I can't keep the timeline of my life straight. I tend to talk about things that happened years ago like last week and vice-versa. It's honestly a little bit concerning, but hey - All god's creatures gots their problems. :wink:

Anyway! Here are a few of my favorite pics I've taken in the past few months.

PUFFY BOI

[Click image to enlarge]


So #Majestic

[Click image to enlarge]


High Fashion

[Click image to enlarge]


Just a decent full-body shot

[Click image to enlarge]


I can use that one to point out the curvature in his tail and how the very tip bends oddly (I think it was broken at some point, he also lost about the last 1/8th inch of his tail or so when I had had him for about 18 months or there about).

[Click image to enlarge]


EDIT: Note that he's in a temporary enclosure for all of these pics. He had a 2 foot by 2 foot by 4 foot enclosure I built, but I destroyed it while moving a few months ago. Since then money has been tight due to car problems and my own medical issues. I will be building him a new enclosure sometime next year, but until now he's in a 40-gallon breeder (18 inches by 18 inches by 3 foot) and gets about 1-2 hours to free roam in "The Animal Room" while I'm in there tending to my animals (Turd keeps jumping into my carnivorous plant garden and destroying my sundews/venus fly traps so he cen't be left alone in there).
Last edited by Ellentomologist on Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
About me: Lab Manager in CDB studying for graduate school. Keep many invertebrates, reptiles, and amphibians, but only one BD named Guacamole. HUGE DnD and tabletop RPG nerd. Sorry if I post the same info right after someone else does, I tend to open many tabs and not refresh.
Ellentomologist
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Re: Safe to travel?

Postby beardeddragonnewbie » Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:59 am

Aww he's gorgeous!! I love his purse. And Felix's tail is the EXACT same way!! :o I want to start breeding beardies once Opal is grown up, but I've got a lot to learn.. haha
SLAVE To 2 bearded dragons (Opal and Felix)2 fish (Bob and Bub)6 chickens (Pooky, Phil, Rose, Mable, Sweetie and Aunt.B)2 dogs (Luna and Willow) and 1 crested gecko (Moab)

In loving memory of: Daisy the Rat Terrier, Violet and Henny the chickens.<3


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Re: Safe to travel?

Postby Ellentomologist » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:09 am

Where did you get Felix from?

The tail curving to that degree is such a minor issue it's barely worth really being concerned about. While it might be an indicator of slight MDB, it could also just be the way he is. That picture actually makes it look a little better than it is - Guac's it bad enough that I don't think I'll be breeding him just in case it is genetic (otherwise I might've even though he's a normal due to sentimentality; I haven't done any breeding yet and won't for many a year, but it's definitely something I'll have to do once or twice because that's the kind of weirdo I am). He's a chain-store dragon, though, so it could also be from very early-life nutritional issues that were caught and corrected early enough he's fine now.
About me: Lab Manager in CDB studying for graduate school. Keep many invertebrates, reptiles, and amphibians, but only one BD named Guacamole. HUGE DnD and tabletop RPG nerd. Sorry if I post the same info right after someone else does, I tend to open many tabs and not refresh.
Ellentomologist
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Re: Safe to travel?

Postby beardeddragonnewbie » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:13 am

I bought him from someone off of craigslist last december, he hadn't had a UVB bulb, so I do think it is slight MBD. However now he is in perfect health as I see it, which is great. I'm not quite sure where he was from before the people I got him from had him. I'm guessing a breeder or something, but there's no way I can really know.
SLAVE To 2 bearded dragons (Opal and Felix)2 fish (Bob and Bub)6 chickens (Pooky, Phil, Rose, Mable, Sweetie and Aunt.B)2 dogs (Luna and Willow) and 1 crested gecko (Moab)

In loving memory of: Daisy the Rat Terrier, Violet and Henny the chickens.<3


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Re: Safe to travel?

Postby beardeddragonnewbie » Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:21 am

Just put together a container I'm going to use for her. It's a 7" long 4 1/3" long container with a vented lid, its navy blue solid all around so no way to see through the sides, but you can see through the top easily. Then I put a soft towel in the bottom. Tested the way she fits in it, and seems perfect! wrote LIVE ANIMALS on the top LOL I'm also bringing in my crested gecko, but thats just in his normal tank, since its only 12x12x18, its easy to travel with ;) <3
SLAVE To 2 bearded dragons (Opal and Felix)2 fish (Bob and Bub)6 chickens (Pooky, Phil, Rose, Mable, Sweetie and Aunt.B)2 dogs (Luna and Willow) and 1 crested gecko (Moab)

In loving memory of: Daisy the Rat Terrier, Violet and Henny the chickens.<3


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beardeddragonnewbie
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Re: Safe to travel?

Postby beardeddragonnewbie » Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:20 pm

Hello! We took her on the trip today, she did great. she let the people hold her with no problem, stayed calm, didn't freak out, just chilled. She's a little grumpy now that she's home, won't let me hold her. But thats to be expected, with all the noise that was around her.
SLAVE To 2 bearded dragons (Opal and Felix)2 fish (Bob and Bub)6 chickens (Pooky, Phil, Rose, Mable, Sweetie and Aunt.B)2 dogs (Luna and Willow) and 1 crested gecko (Moab)

In loving memory of: Daisy the Rat Terrier, Violet and Henny the chickens.<3


Homeschooled, Christian girl!
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beardeddragonnewbie
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