Bearded Dragon Baby not eating ANYTHING.

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Bearded Dragon Baby not eating ANYTHING.

Postby Puffdragonmom » Sat Mar 28, 2020 6:35 am

I will be later posting an extremely detailed post on this, however I’m urgently looking for answers so I’m going to post this short synopsis for now.

I’ve had my bearded dragon for a month now, and to put it blatantly, he’s dying.

Puff absolutely refuses to eat anything, I’ve even resorted to syringe feeding him baby food but even that hasn’t been working well.

I bought the little guy on February 25th from PetSmart. He was a very spontaneous purchase, but the employees assured me bearded dragons were very easy and I didn’t need to go on much for the first month.

When I first brought puff home he was in a 10 gallon tank. It had paper towels for substrate, some hidey holes and basking area. He did have a screen top that I set the lamp on, with a UVB bulb and 75watt basking bulb, both by ZooMed.

Puff never really did eat much. Some broccoli at first, and I did offer him crickets and mealworms. Puff would gobble a couple bugs up and then call it quits after usually 5 or so, and then usually wouldn’t eat much for the rest of the day.

About 12 days ago however- Puff stopped eating pretty much completely. He then started to shed his Left foot and Tail which led me to believe he was just cranky and didn’t want to eat because of it.

His foots shed has not been going well. I’ve since then bought some Shed Assistance and had been offering baths (which he didn’t appreciate but would drink heavily during) almost every day, sometimes twice. His toes swelled up and bands of old skin around them refuse to release.

I discovered there might be issues with his UVB so I moved him to a 20 Gallon and now have it where it’s set up so he has a basking area monitored closely with a temp of about 102-110 (it varies based on our weather outside and how my AC decides the best action to take). His cool side is about 85-90 but he has an area higher up that offers almost a constant 82 if he wants to be cooler.

I also stopped offering him mealworms and only gave him crickets without legs to prevent impactions.

There was a brief time when I offered him Dubia roaches which he liked but they were still pretty big for how small he was and after a day or two he lost interest.

Puff has gone about 8 days without eating solid food. I have been offering him puréed veggies and bugs from a syringe but even then he won’t eat much. He does pass poops however they are no longer solid. Usually they’re very watery.

His shed is almost completely gone now but his food looks like it may have permanent issues and although isn’t swelling really it does still have a band of what I believe to be stuck shed. I can’t remove it without risking hurting him because he’s so small.

Puff has also lost weight. He is very boney which breaks my heart.

I’m at a loss for what else to do. The vets I have in town are overpriced and don’t offer much in the way of reptiles. The best vet I can go to is in Phoenix and currently because of the virus I’m out of both a job and the ability to travel without risking anything.

Im kicking myself for not educating myself more on Bearded Dragons and having everything ready before taking the little guy home. I realize this is most likely my fault for not having more information on hand before I put him at risk for bad lighting and improper diet.

At this point I’m so scared he’s going to die. He’s absolutely so precious and is extremely sweet. He still shows energy when it comes to exploring the house around him but mostly just sits in the warmth of his basking area when he’s in his tank.

My boyfriend has been helping me with Temperatures and puff has been sitting upright and basking happily lately but stuff refuses food and hasn’t been taking in much water.


I am still putting together an extremely detailed post of everything I can think of that I’ve done and how Puff has responded.

I’ve spent hours online and have seen how many people have issues with the babies. I noticed how many people post about the same issues of the babies not eating and most end up dying which had sent me into a panic mode.

At this point I’m willing to risk going to Phoenix to try and get a vet.
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Re: Bearded Dragon Baby not eating ANYTHING.

Postby KarrieRee » Sat Mar 28, 2020 6:58 am

Ok keeping him hydrated is good --- but we need to go over the lighting --- what UVB are you using? NO coils they are killers ---- its possible its the lighting but you could have gotten a sick dragon --- its hard to say ---- how are you taking the basking temps? NO stick ons they are inaccurate-- you need to get a digital probe from Petco / Petsmart for $5 --- those two are the most important things to having a healthy dragon --- please post pics of him --
https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploads/ click on XIMG at top of message box then click on the pic it should post ---- here is a website to find a vet in your area
www.arav.org
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Re: Bearded Dragon Baby not eating ANYTHING.

Postby Puffdragonmom » Sat Mar 28, 2020 7:44 am

Puff Currently:

Image

As you can hopefully see, he’s all skin and bone. He still puffs his body out so he looks fuller but this is him first thing in the morning when he’s still half awake.


Image

I bought this combo box for the lights. I honestly just bought whatever the PetSmart employee suggested.


Image

This image is of his foot when it was at its worst. Its no longer as dark but the toes are still being squeezed. I can upload a more recent photo of his foot when I am home- currently am making a trip to PetSmart to buy more live bugs to try and feed him. A user on my Instagram suggested wax worms or baby hornworms to try and entice him into eating something solid since they’re like a treat.


As for his temps- I have one Hydrometer/Thermometer that is against the glass of his basking spot but it’s only used to check temps at night and the humidity.

I usually use a baking thermometer. I’ve used the same brand before with my aquariums and it always offered the most accurate temperature. The thermometer is in the tank 24/7 and I place it right at his most elevated basking area.
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Re: Bearded Dragon Baby not eating ANYTHING.

Postby KarrieRee » Sat Mar 28, 2020 8:04 am

He doesnt look good ------------- you need to get rid of the coil-------------- Do NOT listen to Petsmart employees they do not know what they are talking about---- you need to replace the UVB w/ a 24" fixture w/ a reflector and a Reptisun 10.0 T 5 bulb or a T 8 ---- -- he is not going to eat w/ out proper basking temps or the correct UVB---- you need to have basking temps 105-110 taken w/ a digital probe --- an aquarium thermometer is not going to give proper basking temps -- it needs to sit on the decor piece he is sitting on ---- please do this right away he will not eat!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would get some raw unpasteurized honey for the foot mix w/ a little warm water and apply w/ a q tip----- do not leave crickets or feed crickets in the tank as they will go straight for that foot-------------- apply a couple of times a day --- it looks like its getting infected but and if it is the honey mixture will kill it
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Re: Bearded Dragon Baby not eating ANYTHING.

Postby Puffdragonmom » Sat Mar 28, 2020 9:48 am

I added the honey onto his foot, although it’s definitely done some healing in its own, no longer black but you can tell it’s still a little raw.

Image

I have changed his tank around and created a better basking area with higher temps (105.6 at the moment).

I went to buy the bulb but they were out of the hoods I need to hook it up and won’t be getting a shipment in for another two days. I don’t have any other pet stores that supply reptile items or are open in my town.

Image

This is his current set up in the mean time. I have it so the basking bulb is all the way over on the left so it produces optimal temps but I’m concerned that since the UVB is the issue that maybe I should switch it around so he has the best chance of getting as much UVB as possible.

I appreciate your help with this. I’m so frustrated that I didn’t try and educate myself more before adopting him.

He hasn’t tried drinking or eating today although he did at least show some interest in the max worms by looking around at them when they moved (something he hasn’t done for a while).

He does still have some energy and will run around if I let him out of the tank, but with how emaciated he is I’m scared he’s going to hurt himself. He does perk up when he’s warm.

Image
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Re: Bearded Dragon Baby not eating ANYTHING.

Postby KarrieRee » Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:03 am

The UVB needs to be replaced --- what size fixtures are they getting in ??? I can give you a website but if you can get the fixture in 2 days that would be best --- even if its a Thrive fixture it will work its the bulb you want --- did they tell you what size was coming in? You want a 24" --- I will give you the website for a fixture they are good and fast they ship Fed Ex--- www.pangeareptiles.com look under fixtures there two one is like a generic for $32 order the 24" then they have the Zoo Med more spendy --- order same size if your gonna go w/ one of those - did you buy the bulb from the pet store ? If not you can get them Retpisun 10.0 T 5 bulb from them order the 22' bulb ---- if its warm where you are 65+ degrees get a plastic tote NO glass put him in it and take him outside for direct sunlight for 15 minutes every day if you can that will equal out to around 4 hrs of sunlight - the black thermometer I am seeing does it have a probe on it?
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Re: Bearded Dragon Baby not eating ANYTHING.

Postby KarrieRee » Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:08 am

Let me know what your getting if you are getting the T 5 bulb they have T 8's as well and work just as good but there is a certain distance these bulbs need to be ---- also keep him hydrated - either syringe feed him water but go slow you dont want him to aspirate ---- keep trying to get him to eat-- if you get him outside for sunlight he will start to eat I am hoping
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Re: Bearded Dragon Baby not eating ANYTHING.

Postby Puffdragonmom » Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:48 am

It’s currently 64•F outside but it should reach 70•F in about an hour and a half.

When I went into the store they only had a ZooMed Fixture but it was too big for my tank. The attendant double checked and said they would be getting a shipment of smaller ones in on Monday. I didn’t ask what brand, figuring no matter what anything would be better than what I have now so I’ll just buy it.

I haven’t bought the bulbs yet. The manager assured me they had plenty in stock and that I would be able to test it out on the lid before buying to make sure it’s what I need. (I’ve had issues where I had to return basking bulbs twice because they didn’t work, and the same lady who helped me is the one who told me she’d make sure that I’d get the bulbs and fixture on Monday)

Puff will drink some water but not a lot. Is it worth soaking him in a warm bath? He really doesn’t like baths very much and I feel awful making him sit in them, but I’ve been told that them soaking in water is a good way to help them stay hydrated.

This is what the thermometer looks like:

Image

It’s the same style I’ve used on my other tanks and provides the most accurate temps for the actual air. I have been assuming it would work the same under a lamp. I was also borrowing a temp gun for a day to measure its accuracy and it matched everything but was off by .2
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Re: Bearded Dragon Baby not eating ANYTHING.

Postby KarrieRee » Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:07 am

Ok the thermometer will work but I would invest in one so you can keep it in the tank--- they are cheap $5 -- when the fixtures come in get as close to 24" as you can get- I think 22" will take a T 5-- if you have to get a thrive brand it will work -- the 18" come w/ a cover over the bulb - if you get a fixture that has a cover take it off leave it off-- let me know what you get so I can help you place it--on or in the tank- if the baths are stressing him out just give him water by syringe or drop water on his nose- wash his salad before serving that will help w/ hydration- are feeding by syringe--? Baby food like squash and baby food chicken watered down .5 ml at a time 3 times per day
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Re: Bearded Dragon Baby not eating ANYTHING.

Postby Puffdragonmom » Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:50 am

I didn’t get any baby food that had meat in it because I got mixed replies on if it was good for him.

I have been syringe feeding him veggie based baby food. Sweet Potato, Peas, Winter Squash and green beans.

I’ve also mixed in calcium and reptile vitamins (ZooMed brand, it’s a trial size) to try and make sure he’s at least getting the nutrients he needs. I was also suggested that I use Flukers Repta-Boost Appetite Stimulant.

I used that twice and he did seem to like it, but because I’m honestly not too sure what it is exactly I haven’t used it much.

He is currently with me outside. It’s a cloudy day and it’s currently 68•F outside. I have a set up with a ceramic heater for him, so that his container is staying at about 90•F

Image

As you can see I do live right next to a road and it’s relatively busy. He’s not too disturbed by the cars noises but I do notice him struggling to get out of the box by “Glass Surfing”. He always gets pretty annoyed with me whenever I put him in the plastic container. I’d take him out but honestly I don’t want to risk him getting the sudden inclination to run.

He drank some water from the syringe about 30 minutes ago and he did pass a poo about an hour after he woke up. The casing seemed to hold up and it wasn’t just water that he passed. I am including a photo so hopefully that’s not too disturbing.

Image
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Re: Bearded Dragon Baby not eating ANYTHING.

Postby KarrieRee » Sat Mar 28, 2020 2:37 pm

We are used to the poop pics --- he should be getting direct sunlight its too bad its not more sunny -- the heat emitter I dont think you need its that direct sunlight -- the reason for the baby food chicken is he needs his protein --- the poo looks moist but there is no white --- the white is urate pee--- you want him to also have pee so keep him hydrated --- keep giving him water ---- but I would get him out tomorrow if you have good sunlight - if there is he should bask in it
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Re: Bearded Dragon Baby not eating ANYTHING.

Postby Puffdragonmom » Sun Mar 29, 2020 3:56 pm

Image


It’s a beautiful sunny day today! 73•F And the sun is bright and hot. He has refused almost any food today, even the purée. He’s had a little bit of water but only if I offer it in the syringe. He was pretty annoyed with me.

Currently he’s very against being handled which isn’t his usual. Still skinny as ever, but I’m trying to spend as much time as I can with him outside!
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Re: Bearded Dragon Baby not eating ANYTHING.

Postby KarrieRee » Sun Mar 29, 2020 4:08 pm

Try feeding him after you take him outside- then if he eats get him outside for 15 minutes then put him under his basking-lamp
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Re: Bearded Dragon Baby not eating ANYTHING.

Postby dudethebeardiee » Sun Mar 29, 2020 9:23 pm

just read through all of this how is puff going?
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Re: Bearded Dragon Baby not eating ANYTHING.

Postby Puffdragonmom » Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:27 pm

Had a bunch of financial issues pop up due to the current coronavirus outbreak in my area.


Currently Puff is still alive and moving but hasn’t eaten anything. I did manager to get a new UVB set up but of course nothing can ever be easy! My PetSmart didn’t have the 24” Fixture so I finally just said screw it and got the 20” with the 10.0 UVB. Both are ZooMed.

I currently have it set up to where it’s on top of a rack, which should work temporarily as long as it is in fact providing proper UVB.

Image

I have been taking puff outside in the sun regularly, he doesn’t show any interest in eating still. Baby food mixed with water and Vitamins has been pretty much his only source of nutrition. He won’t eat very much before he gets overly stressed.

I offer waxworms daily. No longer offering salads because they kept going to waste, so now I offer one small cut up pea, green bean or carrot to see if he shows any interest.

His scales have been getting a Grey tint to them like he’s about to shed again, his foot still hasn’t shed completely which has me very worried.

——

I do have a 10/15 gallon tank I can use for his set up if it will provide a better UVB. If it might be better for me to put him in that tank I’ll move him right away!
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