My bearded dragon won’t grow and is incredibly small

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My bearded dragon won’t grow and is incredibly small

Postby mikey7 » Sun Dec 15, 2019 8:42 am

I have a 7 month old bearded dragon and i got him at about 5 months old. When we got him he had pneumonia but he was treated by a vet soon after. Now, he hasnt grown in size at all and he seems sick with something but I’m not sure what. he has water available and the temperature in his tank is 100 during the day and around 85 at night. The humidity in his tank is about 48 during the day and 55-60 at night. Due to lack of growth I changed his appetite this weekend from crickets (he ate about 10 a day) to superworms (he eats 1-2 per day). He also usually has kale available in his tank to eat. He is 8 inches long. I am not sure what to do and its my first time owning a bearded dragon. I don’t know if he has parasites or if it is something else.

>>After some more research I saw that there are other lizards called Rankins dragons? Do you think there is a chance he is a Rankins dragon? I will upload a picture of him.

>>>> image:
https://www.dropbox.com/preview/image.jpg?role=personal
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Re: My bearded dragon won’t grow and is incredibly small

Postby Claudiusx » Sun Dec 15, 2019 10:02 am

Hi there,

We have to login to view the picture. Try uploading it to the forum or another image hosting site.

Lack of growth almost always comes down to husbandry and diet. So let's just verify those before we move on.

I know you mentioned your temperature already, but can you let us know what your actual basking surface temp is?
And what are you using to measure your temps?

What type of uvb bulb do you have?

Why did you switch from the crickets? Was 10 the max he would eat a day or did you only give him 10? And did you offer him just once a day or multiple times a day?

If you could post a picture of your enclosure too that would help.

-Brandon
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Re: My bearded dragon won’t grow and is incredibly small

Postby mikey7 » Sun Dec 15, 2019 10:56 am

I continually offered crickets until he would no longer eat them about twice a day, sometimes once. We have a family friend who worked at a reptile place who recommended superworms, so we switched from crickets.(With crickets I would dust them in calcium powder every other day, and he seemed to eat more when they were dusted).

I bought the UVB bulb that came with his enclosure a couple months ago when i first got him, and so i dont know what type it is, but i can get whatever brand you recommend and replace it to be on the safe side.

He has a hot spot thats 100 degrees and I use a Zoo Med thermometer that velcros to the side of the tank that measures humidity and tempurature. I plan on getting him a dehumidifier as well.

i cant figure out how to add the pictures to the forum so i will add them to another photo hosting site
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Re: My bearded dragon won’t grow and is incredibly small

Postby mikey7 » Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:17 am

[Click image to enlarge]

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[Click image to enlarge]


another thing was the bones at the base if his tail are clearly visible
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Re: My bearded dragon won’t grow and is incredibly small

Postby Claudiusx » Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:32 am

Thanks for the extra details.

So the biggest issue right now is most likely your temperature. You have no way of knowing what your actual basking surface temperature is as your only thermometer is stuck to the glass just a few inches below the bulb. Those thermometers are extremely inaccurate to begin with, but if it's only reading 100 that close to the bulb it's likely much cooler lower down where your dragon basks.

Luckily, you can buy a digital thermometer with probe end for less than 10 bucks at most petstores. You need to do this as soon as possible so you can check your temperature. Once you figure out what your actual temperature is, we can help you figure out what to do from there. Most likely it is much too cold, but you cant work off that assumption. Temperatures are about the most important thing for a dragon, you have to know what they are and that requires a proper device.

Just to show the importance and how all of this can be related:

If the temperature isnt warm enough to facilitate digestion, the dragon wont be able to digest his food. If hes not digesting then he wont be absorbing nutrients. If he is not absorbing nutrients he wont grow.
If he can't digest he isnt going to eat.

And when hes not eating and not absorbing nutrients, he will become very sickly.

So it really is paramount to figure out what your temperatures are, and then we work from there.

Your uvb bulb really isnt suitable either, but that temperature issue would be number 1 priority for now. I'd suggest reading through the Enclosures section of this site too so you can better understand the importance of proper temperatures and lighting.

Based off the picture though, hes not a rankins.

-Brandon
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Re: My bearded dragon won’t grow and is incredibly small

Postby mikey7 » Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:45 am

Thank you so much! I will run to the petstore tomorrow to get the thermometer and and new bulbs for his tank. I’ll keep it updated once i find out the temperature.

Also I sometimes take him outside to let him bask out in the sun, which was recommended by the vet after he was treated from pneumonia.
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Re: My bearded dragon won’t grow and is incredibly small

Postby Claudiusx » Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:56 am

That's fine as long as the weather is warm enough for him :)

Make sure you either get the reptisun 10.0 long tube, or the reptisun 10.0 HO tube. Unless your petstore carries arcadia bulbs.

You will need to buy a new fixture for the new uvb bulb too as it wont be able to fit into your screw in socket.
If you get the standard reptisun 10.0, you'll want it ideally to be mounted underneath the screen, and 6-8 inches away from the basking site. If you get the stronger HO bulb, you can place it ontop of the screen like you are doing now, and then 8-10 inches from the basking site would be good for that one. You'd probably have to order the HO bulb online though if thata the route you want to go.

But really getting that temperature checked is most important so if anything, definitely get the probe.
For what it's worth, I'd get the probe end thermometer instead of an ir thermometer.

Please let us know once you get the new thermometer and what the temperature is.

Hoping we can get your little guy back on track! :)

-Brandon
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Re: My bearded dragon won’t grow and is incredibly small

Postby mikey7 » Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:33 pm

I ordered a temperature gun and it comes in on tuesday. For the UVB I may wait until after Christmas so i can get put some money together for it, but i found everything i need online and its ready to order once i get the money for it. I got: under cabinet LED lighting 34” / command hooks to hang it up / 6 pack LED bulb 65 watt flood lights / 6 pack dimmable 60 watt halogen bulbs / reptisun 10.0 T5 HO lamp 39 watt 34”

one last question, do i need halogen bulbs and flood bulbs for his tank or is it one of the two?
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Re: My bearded dragon won’t grow and is incredibly small

Postby KarrieRee » Sun Dec 15, 2019 2:05 pm

Please get a hood / fixture w/ a reflector -- the under counter lighting is not really that good --- I would get what was recommended by Brandon or your gonna have issues still ---- a good white basking bulb is going to get the temps what you need --- I hope you didnt get a fixture the same length as the tank --- he needs to be able to escape the UVB rays w/ out having to hide from them - its going to be trial and error w/ your bulbs--- but you definitely need to get basking temps up there along w/ a good UVB and fixture w/a reflector--
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Re: My bearded dragon won’t grow and is incredibly small

Postby jdspdx » Sun Dec 15, 2019 2:37 pm

Nanotech Sunblaster is a good example of a T5 fixture that would be good for your beardie. Based on your picture, probably 24" with bulbs recommended by Brandon.
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Re: My bearded dragon won’t grow and is incredibly small

Postby mikey7 » Sun Dec 15, 2019 2:47 pm

I found a Zoo Med Reptisun 10.0 HO High Output Hood (lamp included) 14”, 24”, or 30” (his tank is 36”). Which measurement do you recommend?

And do I need to order both the flood lamp (65W soft white 6 pack indoor flood light) AND the halogen lamp (60W replacement halogen lamp light bulb soft white) or just one of the two. If I order just one which do you recommend? Sorry for the many questions, just want to make sure I’m getting him the proper things for his fixture.
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Re: My bearded dragon won’t grow and is incredibly small

Postby KarrieRee » Sun Dec 15, 2019 2:56 pm

Can't help you on those flood lamps but I would get the 24" hood you don't want same length as tank---
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Re: My bearded dragon won’t grow and is incredibly small

Postby mikey7 » Sun Dec 15, 2019 2:59 pm

Thanks! I’ll go ahead and order the 24” now, and I’ll order the halogen or flood lamps (or both) later depending on whatever im recommended.

Thank you so much for helping me provide a better fixture for him to help improve his health and size!
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Re: My bearded dragon won’t grow and is incredibly small

Postby KarrieRee » Sun Dec 15, 2019 3:05 pm

Your welcome-- once you get that lighting and basking temps fixed he should grow like a champ
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Re: My bearded dragon won’t grow and is incredibly small

Postby Claudiusx » Sun Dec 15, 2019 3:13 pm

Make sure the fixture combo comes with the 10.0 bulb and not the 5.0 bulb. Seems lately they have been including the 5.0 instead.

And you only need one type of basking bulb. But, I'd recommend just waiting until you get your temperatures checked. You can always run to a home improvement store and buy a few different wattages very cheap so you can find which works best for you.

I do recommend getting the digital with probe end thermometer over the IR thermometer though. Or just add it on since it's so cheap. The ir thermometers can be a bit tricky, and they read different surfaces differently. The digital with probe has no issues with emissitivity like ir guns do.

I'm glad you are so willing to make these upgrades though. So many people are hesitant to do so but always end up wishing they did it sooner.

-Brandon
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