Feel Like Giving Up

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Feel Like Giving Up

Postby Brittany26 » Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:04 am

Hello, I have a two year old bearded dragon named Squirt. I’ve had him since he was a baby (petco). His setup has been pretty much the same since he was a couple months old: Reptisun t5 HO tube light mounted on top (I recently cut a few holes in the screen). I have made slight changes to his heating bulbs, right now the basking spot is usually in the 100’s. If it’s higher he will stand away from it, most days he even prefers to be at 85 degrees F. I use a CHE for the middle temps and for night time. The middle temperature is 85 F, and the cool side is in the mid 70s (I use a temp gun). Substrate is reptile carpet and he’s in a 40 gallon cage. He’s not hibernating because he isn’t going to the cool side and isn’t hiding or sleeping (every once in a while he will hide for a day or two). His entire life he has never had a huge appetite. Even as a baby he would only eat a few crickets at a time, not the dozens upon dozens that I’ve seen normal baby beardies devour online. But he was growing and gaining weight. Right now he is around 475g, which I was surprised to see he gained weight as he weight 395g last summer. But he is very small for a dragon. I’ve offered him salads since a baby, usually collard greens or dandelion greens, but, I consider it a miracle if I manage to catch him taking just one or two bites of his greens. Lately, I just get tired of buying him greens since he won’t even look at them. Since I’m discouraged by his lack of desire for greens, I probably only give him salads 2-3 times a week now. I feel guilty, but he won’t eat them. He also doesn’t have an appetite for bugs. He used to eat a bowl of crickets everyday but about a year ago his appetite got worse. Everyday I make sure he has bugs in his bowl. I offer him crickets, superworms, Dubai’s (using them now), hornworms, wax worms, earth worms. More recently, it has been normal for him to eat ONE, maybe two roaches/super worms every couple days. This past week, I haven’t seen him eat any of his roaches at all, although he did take two bites of his collard greens and I almost fainted in disbelief! (It’s been a few months since I’ve seen him eat greens). Since his appetite has gotten worse, I’ve been giving him baby food mixed with calcium/bee pollen/vitamins/reptiboost/critical care a couple times per week (I don’t want him to get dependent on baby food..). Despite his lack of interest in bugs or greens, he actually can scarf down quite a lot of baby food (sadly he seems to only like peas/green beans, not a fan of fruity baby food). I use a syringe and put it on his nose and he eats it himself. He also won’t even try to eat (real) fruits such as bananas, strawberries, blue berries, etc. if I put a piece of banana on his lips he’ll try to lick the liquid my soft part but he doesn’t make an effort to bite it. I don’t know if he’s just dumb and doesn’t know what it is or if he just isn’t hungry (Love you Squirt). He also use to poop almost everyday when he was a baby, and then I remember it was slowing down to 1-2 times a week. Last summer of 2019, it had been a few weeks since he last pooped so I took him to the Vet. The vet said he looked good but found a small amount of parasites in him and I gave him the medicine (I think panacur). It did absolutely nothing. His pooping seemed to get a little better, until a couple months ago. Now, it is common for him to poop once a month, maybe even longer. I am a broke college student but I couldn’t bear it anymore and took him to the vet last week (a different one because I didn’t feel confident in the last vet). I heard good reviews about the vets experience with reptiles, and I am much more pleased with this visit. The vet said “For not eating, you sure are chubby!”. The vet said he appeared alert and a healthy weight, and she recommended a blood test. She could not get Squirt to poop there, so she sent me home with dewormer (starts with a F), once a day for three days. I finished the dewormer over the weekend and then he pooped. The poop was huge, he dropped from 502g to 462g. I dropped off the poop to the vet and today I got the results of the blood and fecal test. she said his kidney, liver, and white blood cell levels are good, but she said he is extremely dehydrated. She told me to continue giving baby food and also to soak him everyday. Then she said his pinworm levels are still high, even after the dewormer, so she prescribed me more dewormer for 10 days this time. I don’t know the name of it yet. She said she is worried that he could have an underlying infection that doesn’t show up in blood tests, and she said she also doesn’t like giving out antibiotics like that. I told her if this round of medicine doesn’t work, I will try the antibiotics. I have a copy of the blood results if anyone wants to see them. He black bearded today, hopefully because of spring season, but he’s back to normal too. Also, I forgot to mention that his activity levels have decreased as well. He still will walk/run around when I get him out of his cage, but I remember he used to have more energy. He used to run back and forth in his cage every morning, he also used to gape his mouth open. I haven’t seen him act his old self in awhile. I just want him to be okay. I’m trying the best I can. I wish he would just eat normal food and be active again. Any advice would be helpful.
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Re: Feel Like Giving Up

Postby Sarasttarke » Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:13 pm

Please get rid of the reptisun there not good at all please get a bulb the has uvb,uva,heat. Mine was the same because I didn’t have the right lighting , I got her “powersunUV” best thing ever, I personally have a 160w that was prescribed, and it’s perfect. I wish u luck and ur Beardie
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Re: Feel Like Giving Up

Postby KarrieRee » Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:21 pm

No please dont get rid of the T 5 -- at this time they are the best on the market--- All in Ones are too hard to work w/ if you dont know or not familiar w/ them
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Re: Feel Like Giving Up

Postby Brittany26 » Tue Mar 24, 2020 2:39 pm

Okay so which one of you is right?
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Re: Feel Like Giving Up

Postby KarrieRee » Tue Mar 24, 2020 2:46 pm

Get an answer from Brandon or ahbd - I personally don't like the All in Ones cuz they are too hard to control UVB / with temps- but your better off w/ what you have
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Re: Feel Like Giving Up

Postby AHBD » Tue Mar 24, 2020 3:54 pm

Hi there, sorry to hear about the stress you're going through ! First of all, his weight does not indicate that he's small at all. Some dragons grow very large but just like with people, we are all different heights. If you keep up with the baby food [ which by the way peas + green bean are some of the best, don't bother with fruits ] but you can add squash + sweet potato as well. Mix extra water with any of those and he should poo more regularly. It doesn't really sound like he's sick, just needs a few adjustments so don't give up ! As for lighting, both are good bulbs but the t5 gives uvb over a much larger area. You need a heat bulb with it , the Powersun is the heat AND the uvb. Can you post pics of Squirt as well as his set up ? Here's how :

https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploads/ Then use the XIMG to upload them
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Re: Feel Like Giving Up

Postby Drache613 » Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:55 pm

Hello,

I agree, please post some pictures of your tank setup along with pictures of your boy, too.
The Reptisun 10 T5 is a great bulb. If you want to get a mercury vapor bulb, such as the
Powersun that would be a great complement to the tube bulb. It is a lower output MVB so
using it in combination with the T5 tube for basking would be nice & bright.
If you have a copy of the blood test, maybe you could post them? I could take a look at them
to see if anything was possibly missed.

Tracie
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Re: Feel Like Giving Up

Postby Brittany26 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 5:33 am

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Here is everything! The reason the huge bowl on the right is empty is because I originally put dirt in it to give him something to do because he never moves in his cage, but he wasn’t interested, so then I tried water and that didn’t interest him either. The spot where he is in the first picture is normally where he sits, if you notice, it’s away from the hottest point of the basking spot. I am careful to measure the basking spot temps everyday and adjust it to high 90s to low 100s with my dimmer. But he prefers to be at mid 80s. Although he did gape his mouth a couple days ago for like 5 seconds which is the first time he has done that in forever!
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Re: Feel Like Giving Up

Postby Sarasttarke » Wed Mar 25, 2020 12:14 pm

See I told you the power sun is the one u need💜 good luck :D
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Re: Feel Like Giving Up

Postby Brittany26 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:35 am

Update: The vet gave me fenbendazole to give him for 5 days next week. I have been adding water to his baby food and giving him some through a syringe (just a little). Yesterday he seemed more himself and a little more active, but all he would eat is one superworm. It’s like he will eat one or two bugs and then just lose interest. Hopefully the medicine will work. Do you guys see anything wrong with my current setup? The only two problems I can think of is that I have the heat lamp super low on the dimmer because i think it’s a 75w par 38 bulb so it’s very dim lighting that is coming from it. Another potential issue could be that my uvb is on the top of the screen, but I’ve always heard that’s alright If it’s the t5? I would try mounting it inside but I have the reptisun fixture (see photo) and it’s very heavy and looks awkward to hang, also I already cut holes in the screen (I don’t know how useful that is) so the screen isn’t as strong/sturdy. Lastly, Tracie, would you be able to look over the blood test I posted earlier?
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Re: Feel Like Giving Up

Postby KarrieRee » Fri Mar 27, 2020 5:47 am

You want that basking bulb bright--- it could be effecting his behavior if its dim---- the T 5 is fine on top of the tank --- as long as its 12-15 inches w/ no screen ---
Karrie
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Re: Feel Like Giving Up

Postby Sarasttarke » Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:17 am

KarrieRee wrote:You want that basking bulb bright--- it could be effecting his behavior if its dim---- the T 5 is fine on top of the tank --- as long as its 12-15 inches w/ no screen ---
Karrie

Why are u still commenting abiut the T 5 after me and ahbd just told her the right thing ?
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Re: Feel Like Giving Up

Postby Brittany26 » Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:39 am

He has one day left of the dewormer, he still isn’t eating on his own. I give him baby food everyday still and he has been eating less. He pooped yesterday and it smelled horrible and was super wet and weird.

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Re: Feel Like Giving Up

Postby KarrieRee » Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:47 am

That dewormer is probably effecting the poops and possibly appetite --- did you get your lighting adjusted? The basking light should be a bright white bulb and not dim--- you need your basking temps to be 95-110 as well --- the T 5 is a good strong bulb so you need to make sure distance is key -- on top of screen 8-10 inches from basking decor -- if your taking the screen off 12-15 inches from basking decor -- is he hydrated? You need to make sure hes hydrated --- either by bathing if he drinks from a bath dropping water on his nose or by syringe- if you give by syringe give slowly so he does not aspirate-- little at a time
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Re: Feel Like Giving Up

Postby Brittany26 » Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:54 am

I have brightened his lights up and made the temps a little higher and since then he seems to be more active, but his appetite is worse. He hasn’t eaten a bug on his own in weeks, only eating baby food (minimal). I’ve been giving him water everyday through syringe and have been soaking him every so often. His last dose of the dewormer was yesterday, how long does it take for their appetite to typically come back?
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