Sick beardie!

This forum is for urgent health concerns, where your beardie seems very ill and you need immediate help!

Sick beardie!

Postby Ipunzal » Wed Apr 08, 2020 9:42 am

Help! My boyfriend and I rescued a bearded dragon from an acquaintance that him and his kids just did not take care of. He shared a tank with another beardie which I know is a no no. He also is very weak, shaky when he walks and just needs a lot of TLC. He was doing very well with us when we first got him. He was eating, trying to walk, etc. But now I feel like he’s become ill; maybe respiratory infection. We have Calcium Powder and Liquid Calcium as well and have been giving him some warm baths to assist in his shedding. Last night and this morning, he has not eaten. I’ve noticed some small bubbles from his mouth, he’s constantly sticking his tongue way out as if he is hungry and his throat seems to be puffy (I have pictures of this throat). We are first time owners and can use any help with our poor sick beardie.
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Re: Sick beardie!

Postby KarrieRee » Wed Apr 08, 2020 9:59 am

Sounds like hes got a RI going and needs to see a vet ASAP-- here is a website find a vet in your area
www.arav.org
Please go over his tank set up w/ us
UVB ? Brand and bulb? coil or tube? where in the tank on top of screen or inside the tank
Basking temps? What are they and how are you taking them? NO stick ons they are inaccurate
Size of tank ? What kind of substrate ?
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Re: Sick beardie!

Postby Ipunzal » Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:16 am

He has a UVB Zoo Med Repti Coil light and Zoo Med Repti Basking Spot Lamp. The lights are on top of the tank. The basking light is on one side of tank leaving the other side cooler. I also have the Zoo Med Thermometer and Humidity Gauge centered in the middle of the tank. I also have a tank heating pad. When we first got him, he was in some sort of sand that honestly looked like regular construction sand. Because he was so weak when he would walk his head would fall into the sand that his mouth was just covered in it. Even when he would go to the bathroom, I would find sand in his stool. We ended up getting him Substrate Liner. I also just noticed that maybe one side of his body looks collapsed? As I am watching him now he is just laying in the middle of tank, his eyes will open and close, he will stick his tongue out as if hungry or trying to catch a cricket but thats it. His throat is swollen that when his head is raised, its still just resting on the ground. He will not eat but had a small stool dropping this afternoon. I tried to give him a bath earlier but he did not seem to enjoy it as he usually does.

Any tips on how to get the tank hotter? I'm having difficulty regulating the temperature.
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Re: Sick beardie!

Postby KarrieRee » Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:39 am

If its warm outside right now 65 or better get him out into the sun------------- the UVB is no good and should be thrown away-------------- get him into a plastic tote set him in direct sunlight for 15 minutes NO glass container --- that will equal out to 4 hrs of UVB but you have a very sick dragon on your hands -- you need to replace the UVB w/ this a 24" fixture w/ reflector w/ a Reptisun 10.0 T 5 bulb --- you can order it from here www.pangeareptiles.com they are fast and good --- but you need this ASAP like yesterday-------------- please get him into the vet he is very sick --- improper husbandry has caused this basking temps need to be taken w/ a digital probe and you can get this and a higher wattage basking bulb at petco or petsmart -- go to a 150 watt bright white basking bulb --- but make sure you have those probes to get an accurate temp -------------- he will not eat w/ improper basking temps and UVB -- my guess hes got MBD and from the sounds of it its pretty bad along w/ other health issues --- he has ingested the sand you described this is why sand is NOT recommended for dragons --- get his lighting changed out immediately if you want this dragon to live --- and please get into a vet I sent a website
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Re: Sick beardie!

Postby Hazelthecitrus » Wed Apr 08, 2020 2:12 pm

Hey so I had a similar thing happen I took my Beardie to the vet and the calcium had gotten stuck in her throat and just kept building up it may be the same thing 🤷🏽‍♀️ But I’m no expert
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Re: Sick beardie!

Postby Ipunzal » Wed Apr 08, 2020 2:48 pm

So I brought him outside to enjoy the sun (which he loved!) but I noticed he was foaming in the mouth and while he was sticking his tongue, I looked inside his mouth and noticed he was trying to throw up! There were a few days old mealworms stuck in his throat that he didn’t digest! I helped him get them out and they smelled awful. But ALL his selling in his throat went away. I went and bought another light fixture from Petco, 50 UVB T8 Fluorescent Bulb by Zilla. He still doesn’t seem interested in eating but he’s moving around a lot more than before. I’m wondering if he’s dehydrated from the vomit. His head randomly turns pale (it’s been doing that since before he was sick) which I read is a sign he could be shedding soon? The pale coloring comes and goes and it’s just his head.
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Re: Sick beardie!

Postby Hazelthecitrus » Wed Apr 08, 2020 2:49 pm

Great for u!!!!
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Re: Sick beardie!

Postby KarrieRee » Wed Apr 08, 2020 2:58 pm

Ok the T 8 fixture is great but you need to take the cover off the bulb and get it inside the tank approx 8-10 inches from his basking decor-- and I am glad the sun helped-- keep up w/ the outside sun and give him some water - he possibly is dehydrated - either put him in a bath or you can drop water on his nose- if bathing do not let him drink fast - slow him down you don't want him to aspirate-- did you get the basking temps up? Digital probes? You need those--
Has he eaten at all?
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Re: Sick beardie!

Postby Ipunzal » Wed Apr 08, 2020 4:35 pm

I live in Chicago so I doubt we’ll get any decent weather for some time which stinks. Yesterday and today we had weather in the 70’s which was great! I put him in a bath and gave him some drops of water with a syringe. He didn’t seem too interested in the water but he still took some but not as much as usual. He still hasn’t eaten which I’m a little worried about. I tried a small mealworm and some crickets but nothing. I’m hoping he’s just worn out by the long night last night and day today. I didn’t get the digital probes but I can go back in the morning for it. I’m still struggling to get the basking temperature up.
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Re: Sick beardie!

Postby KarrieRee » Wed Apr 08, 2020 4:39 pm

What wattage bulb do you have now? You need that probe so you can get a correct basking temp--- you dont want to burn him up--- and the tank size ? Is it glass and a 40 gallon tank ?
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Re: Sick beardie!

Postby Ipunzal » Wed Apr 08, 2020 5:38 pm

It’s the tank that he was given to us in. He’s still a young guy, small in size. It’s a 10 gallon glass tank and the basking light is 75W. The tank came with a sticker thermometer in there that always says it’s hotter than the thermometer we have in there.
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Re: Sick beardie!

Postby KarrieRee » Wed Apr 08, 2020 5:53 pm

Ok so set UVB on top of tank w/ no screen +- that 10 gallon is going to be hard to get temps correct being it's so small -- I would recommend looking for a bigger tank ASAP-- he is not going to last long in that tank -- he needs a tank no smaller than a 40 gallon and that is minimum!! You can check FB MarketWatch or Craigslist look for one w/ front doors -- you must get a digital.probe it is imperative w/ that small of a tank--- what thermometer do you have in there- the stick in is giving ambient temps but you need a temp of the spot he's sitting-- temps of 105-110-- you need to get him out of that small tank--- save it for dubia roaches they are the better staple feeder for dragons- you need the UVB approx 8-10 inches from decor- NO SCREEN
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Re: Sick beardie!

Postby Ipunzal » Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:07 pm

I will definitely try to find a 40 gallon tank asap. Right now, I have the Zoo Med Thermometer Humidity Gauge and then the tank came to us with the sticker. The sticker always says it’s almost 10 degrees hotter than the Thermometer Gauge. The thermometer says it’s around 73 degrees. There is also a tank heating pad. The humidity fluctuates in there but it’s been easy to get the proper humidity level. I will get a digital probe tomorrow morning!
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Re: Sick beardie!

Postby Drache613 » Thu Apr 09, 2020 12:02 am

Hello,

Bless him, it sounds like he hasn't been digesting very well. I'm glad that he got all of that
food out of his throat & beard, he probably feels a lot better.
Definitely purchase a digital probe to double check the temperatures to be sure that he is able
to stay warm enough to digest. Does he have enough of a cool area?
That will be really good to upgrade his tank to a larger one. It's so much easier to keep the
temperature gradient more consistent in a larger tank.
I hope you are able to upgrade his tube bulb also. The UVB lighting is crucial to his health.

Let us know how he is doing. Maybe you will get some nice weather so you can take him out
doors some again.

Tracie
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Re: Sick beardie!

Postby KarrieRee » Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:47 am

Ok so getting the temps to where they are supposed to be is going to help w/ the eating -- and the same w/ the UVB--- when you replace the bulb in the UVB which will need to be in 6 months I recommend 5 since you are using a Zilla bulb replace it w/ a Reptisun 10.0 bulb T 8 it is a WAY much better bulb than what is in the fixture now --- make sure you mark it on your calendar as they do lose strength --- and since hes been w/ out UVB he really needs it!!! Sorry it is cold again now --- just keep his lights on for 12 hr on and 12 hrs off ---- please get rid of the tank heating pad -- dragons heat from their backs on their stomachs---
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