4 month old beardie suddenly stopped eating

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4 month old beardie suddenly stopped eating

Postby DiegoHinojosa » Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:40 am

Hello! This is my first time looking for help in the forum, so hopefully people answer. I'll give all the info I can, so I'm sorry if it is a long post.

Situation: My 4 month old beardie just decided to stop eating out of nowhere. He used to eat A LOT every single day but hasn't eaten almost at all during 3 days now (4 counting today). I got him when he was 7 weeks old, and everything has been normal until now, so I am getting worried.

My beardie: He is 4 months old, and measures 11 inches.

Light cycle: Lights on at 7 30, Lights off at 9.

Hydration: I give him a bath once per week, but recently have tried to give him more to see if it helps. I also give him more baths when shedding. I mist him three times per week and give him a bit of drops in his snout every couple of days. He usually goes to the washroom and there is water around the stool, so I think he is well hydrated. I use a water cleansing solution for everything.

Staples: I use 1/2 inch crickets (never bigger than the space between his eyes) as staple and feed him 3 times every day, as much as he wants. I do my best to remove the uneaten crickets after the meal, and a last clean up before lights are off. I feed him calcium dusted crickets 1 time per day, 5 times per week, and herpvite dusted 2 times per week. I also fed him BSFL for a while but they don't ship during the winter, so I had to stop. I used to feed him at 10 am, 3 pm, and 6 pm, but as soon as winter started he began to try and hide and tried to sleep around 5 and by 6 he had absolutely no interest for food, so I changed the schedule to 9 30, 1, and 3. He used to eat around 50 crickets every day. When he used to eat BSFL he ate around 30-50 BSFL and 25-30 crickets.

Extra Insects: I used to feed him wax worms, 1 every 3 days. I have also tried Silk worms and he loved them. I gave him 2 silkworms in 1 day (just one time). I recently tried smallish hornworms but I suspect they might make him feel uncomfortable. I gave him 3 on one sitting last week and then a couple of days after he didn't poop. The day after that, he had loose stool, and I didn't connect the dots at the moment, so I gave him another 3 that day. This is when he stopped eating. He skipped another day without pooping, and pooped a little bit the following day, and a little bit today. The stool looks normal, the urate is a little bit pink, but mostly white. The only thing that is weird is that the amount both days was way less than what he usually poops, but he hasn't been eating for 3 days, so it might be that.

Veggie situation: I've tried everything to get him to eat veggies, but he just is not interested in them. I had some success putting BSFL in his salad, but that was just a couple of times that he actually bite into the salad and it was some months ago. I read here that it is not crucial for babies that small to eat veggies, but I still offer them to him everyday so that he gets used to them and have some if he wants. I give him Arugula or Collard Greens as the main green, and then bell peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, alfalfa sprout, and asparagus occasionally. (I have only seen him eat a couple of bites 2 or 3 times since I've had him).

Stool: Like I mentioned he used to go to the bathroom twice a day in big quantities, but recently he has skipped a day a couple of times and then has pooped a small amount the last 2 days. His stool has always been firm but soft.

Temps: warm side is at 29-30 Celsius (84.2-86F). Cold is at 27-28C (80.6-82.4F). Basking spot is at 39-42C (102-108F). At night time it gets to 23-25C (73.4-77F). I measure temps with digital thermometers with probe.

Husbandry:
Tank: 40 gallon exo terra tank.
Lights and heat: I use a power sun MVB 80 watts for both heat and UV lighting. it is about 8 inches from his basking branch, and there is no screen top, I have it on a mounted base. (according to packaging the safe distance for that bulb is 6 inches). Bought it in September.
I have a resin branch for him to climb, a small bark piece also for him to climb, and a hammock, so he has plenty of climbing space and walking space. I used to have a hide for him, but when winter started he used to hide in it really early in the day, so I took it away so that he gets the light he needs and eats what he needs to eat at that age.
Substrate: Tiles

General attitude: He is usually very active and curious. He doesn't have a strong feed response, he usually just stares for a while at the food and then goes and tries to catch it. He has never been aggressive, and has just hissed one time at me. I handle him every day for a bit and let him out to explore my room. He basks most of the day.

Changes in attitude: About a month ago like I said he started to go and hide around 4 or 5, some days even at 3, so I took the hide away. Now he still tries to hide around 6 and usually tries to go to sleep around 7 and just stays laying there until lights go out at 9. Since he stopped eating he has been a lot more active and is glass surfing quite a bit, so I take him out of the tank and he starts climbing things and just really exploring around haha its pretty fun. He is acting a bit crazy in fact, he jumps from his branch towards the front door of his tank and he just bangs himself against the front door glass... He hasn't been basking as much (still basks quite a bit), but I put him on his basking spot some times to make sure he warms up.
A weird thing that happened is that he didn't eat at all for 1 day, the next day he didn't eat in the morning but then ate one meal as his usual self, just ate a loooot of crickets. The next day, he ate a single cricket, and today he hasn't eaten anything yet.

Questions: should I get worried? What can I do for him to eat again, and what might be the cause of him not eating? Should I try force feeding, and if so, how do I do that, and when do I start?

Thank you very much and I'll upload images as soon as I figure out how.
Last edited by DiegoHinojosa on Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
DiegoHinojosa
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Re: 4 month old beardie suddenly stopped eating

Postby DiegoHinojosa » Fri Nov 22, 2019 9:11 am

Here are pictures of my Beardie Guajillo. The pics are in order of age and the last one is his husbandry. I should also mention that there are no other pets or beardies in the house. Thank you again!

[Click image to enlarge]
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[Click image to enlarge]
DiegoHinojosa
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Re: 4 month old beardie suddenly stopped eating

Postby MCHRKiller » Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:27 am

I would increase UVB...I also use MVBs on all of my dragons but I also have a secondary MVB on them and find that sometimes they just like to bask under the UV by itself. Theyre not the best but since you already have a MVB Id just toss a exo terra spiral on there...issues with them have been fixed so they dont bother the eyes like older types. I run the 200 on taller vivs and the 150 on non-arboreal cages. One thing you also may consider is that parasites can hitch in on crickets...its why i use dubia instead. He could also be doing a small burmation...if he isnt eating after a week or if you notice a weight change I would take him to the vet.

It could also be puberty...my oldest male went nuts about 6mo old. :lol: But give him back his hide...they know what they want to do; its probably only adding stress by not providing him a place to hide out.
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Re: 4 month old beardie suddenly stopped eating

Postby DiegoHinojosa » Sat Nov 23, 2019 8:24 am

MCHRKiller wrote:I would increase UVB...I also use MVBs on all of my dragons but I also have a secondary MVB on them and find that sometimes they just like to bask under the UV by itself. Theyre not the best but since you already have a MVB Id just toss a exo terra spiral on there...issues with them have been fixed so they dont bother the eyes like older types. I run the 200 on taller vivs and the 150 on non-arboreal cages. One thing you also may consider is that parasites can hitch in on crickets...its why i use dubia instead. He could also be doing a small burmation...if he isnt eating after a week or if you notice a weight change I would take him to the vet.

It could also be puberty...my oldest male went nuts about 6mo old. :lol: But give him back his hide...they know what they want to do; its probably only adding stress by not providing him a place to hide out.


Ok, thank you for the info! I decided to give him back his hide, but take it away only when feeding in the evening so he can be a bit more active and the crickets don't all hide in it and nib on him if he decided to go in it and rest haha.

I'll also look into the extra UV light.

Yeah, he has been acting strange. He keeps climbing on everything and launching himself in the air hahaha. He did eat yesterday two full meals, so I am a bit relieved. This morning he didn't eat again, but we'll see if that improves during the day.

Thank you for your help!
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