Baby Won't Eat - Stress? Impaction?

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Baby Won't Eat - Stress? Impaction?

Postby thegoose » Sun May 31, 2020 7:14 am

Hi, first post and a long post (sorry and THANK YOU in advance).

I've had my bearded dragon for 4 days (since May 27). I have done intensive research for months to make sure I could give him the best start to life possible. I have tried to find forums with similar issues, to no avail, so I apologize if this has already been answered.

He is young (too young I think to have been shipped to me). He is one month old (hatched May 01). I have a scale coming in the mail (delayed due to pandemic. Should be here tomorrow). He is small though. I would say 2.5 inches from head to body, his tail is about 4-5 inches long. He doesn't look like he is losing weight yet, but he's so small I am concerned.

My concerns are two fold: (1) the little guy is not eating and being so small and young, I'm worried he will fail to thrive; and (2) could he be impacted? If so, do you recommend another bath and a teeny bit of olive oil?

If you have any insights, please I would be extremely grateful.

I understand he is probably quite stressed from his travel (he is a hypo zero so I can't see any stress marks). He doesn't hide or run away or try to bite. I try to hold him minimally (just to bring him to his dish at food time). He seems to be in a new spot every time i peer in to the room, and sometimes hes standing with his hands on the front of the tank (resting on the part of the exo terra with the lock to the glass door).

For food, he has been offered salad daily (consisting mainly of collard greens, dandelion greens, red pepper, snap peas, bok choi, parsley, and ive also tried blue berry and raspberry. (trying a bunch of things to see what he likes. I try to feed him at 8am (2 hours after lights on) 12:30, and 5:30pm (lights go off at 8pm). For bugs, I've tried BSFL (he ate one), horn worms, wax worms, butter worms. I am thinking of trying crickets (breeder was feeding these). I went to pick some up on saturday and everywhere just has big ones. I'll place an order for pinheads.

here is a breakdown of our first 4 days together (he arrived shedding btw)

Wednesday: arrived at 11am (shipped overnight) did not poop in transit, arrived warm. Let him sit for a few hours in his tank to bask and get a bit comfy. tried to feed him some BSFL (no interest), tried small hornworms (no interest) he took one small piece of bok choy from my hand. That's it. He pooped this day.
Thursday: Ate one BSFL from the ground in his tank (paper towel). The larva was a little big i think and now im worried about impaction. He pooped this day.
Friday: Did not poop. Did not eat.
Saturday: Did not poop. Did not eat. Offered BSFL, wax worms and butter worms (thought maybe they would entice him to eat since I hear they're like candy. Gave him a bath. He kind of just lay there. I kept my hand in there and he rested his upper body on it. Some of his shed came off (he has a little left around the base of his tail). He DID drink water in the "tub" the tub was a tupperware in my sink. Water was warm, not too hot for the inside of my wrist but as hot as I could make it tolerable.
today: did not eat breakfast. will try again for lunch and dinner. He has just been sitting on his branch all day. Which could be that he is just basking, but because I'm worried about the large larva...I'm concerned he is lethargic.

Here is his husbandry, please feel free to give me suggestions. My only priority is his health and not my feelings. Go hard.

TANK: 36" x 18" x 12" (LxWxH) exo terra. I will upgrade when he grows. I've changed the top to a zilla fresh air screen because the plastic on the Exo terra freaks me out being so close to the lights.
LIGHTING:* Arcadia T5 12% UVB (also contains 30% UVA), sitting on top of the tank.
HEATING:* Arcadia Deep Heat Projector
*heat and lights are on a timer, on at 6:15am, off at 8:15pm. No heat or lighting is added for night. See temperatures below.
TEMPERATURES**: Day time: basking spot between 100-110 (i have it at 111 right now as it was recommended to increase the temperature by 1 degree to see if he would eat). Ambient temperature is about 85/90 in the tank. Cool side about 75 (at the lowest). Nigh time: between 75 and 85 (the other day there was a heat wave where I live and it was 85 at night. Normally it's around 75.
HUMIDITY**: around 25% consistently.
** Temperatures and humidity are measured by probe thermometers/hygrometers
SUBSTRATE and EXTRAS: Paper towel substrate, he has plenty of sand blasted logs and magnaturals rocks to climb on. Two fake plans and a hide.

Thank you again, I'm really appreciative of any suggestions, or experiences you may have had. Let me know if anything else is needed11!!
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Re: Baby Won't Eat - Stress? Impaction?

Postby KarrieRee » Sun May 31, 2020 7:28 am

It sounds like hes got good husbandry going ---you dont need the heat projector tho unless your tank is 65 or less --- and the 85 at nite is going to be too warm right now since he is so young it should be ok - but I would get it down to around 70's or so --- its good you are getting the pinheads too - put them in his salad bowl dusted w/ calcium D3 - hes gonna go thru relocation stress and its good your letting him settle in - handle him as little as possible -- but you also need to keep him hydrated so I would maybe spray him or drop water on his nose a couple of times a week to see if you can get him to drink -- make sure your gut loading the feeders - carrots are a good way to keep your feeders hydrated just dont feed the dragon carrots too - to much Vit A- here is a website for nutrition ignore the kale thing its a good staple feeder- its great your feeding worms too - it will balance out his diet - wax worms are fatty so only feed them once in awhile -- your UVB is on top of the tank ? is his basking decor piece directly under it and approx 8-10 inches from it? I would look at getting him some small dubia roaches as well - they are a great staple feeder and will do better w/ getting him to the salad bowl as a lure along w/ your worms-- I dont think the one BSFL is going to impact him - hes only gonna poop out what he puts in and if its not very much then hes not gonna poop alot - he does need to stay hydrated tho -- If you need some websites for insects or worms let me know I can post some for you
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Re: Baby Won't Eat - Stress? Impaction?

Postby Delsoto » Sun May 31, 2020 12:37 pm

I had to make sure it wasn't me posting this thread somehow. You're in a eerily similar position I was in this March - one month old, Hypo Zero, won't eat, worrying despite months of planning and research.

This too shall pass; It's definitely relocation stress in regards to him not eating, because your set-up looks fine to me. Was the BSFL Large size? I imagine with them being so soft-bodied, it shouldn't cause too much of impaction, but~ I'm still a newbie myself.

Try giving him some baby food as I did (Gerber Baby). Squash or chicken to his preference. And definitely try the crickets - first day my Ori arrived he ate 9 of them, and then my dubia roaches and Small BSFL came the next day.

The crickets ended up dying by user error, so I figured the other two feeders would be fine. Nope. He ate maybe 1-2 dubia roaches a day, after not eating for two days since his arrival, and ignored the BSFL. Collard greens and squash were also ignored. This went on for 2 weeks, the amount of dubia roaches eaten to maybe 3-5 a day by the end, supplemented by baby food due to me scared for his weight.

The day I got crickets again? "Nothing else will do. Only crickets can sustain me. Oh, you want to try BSFL again? It's your money."

Sigh. At least he'll attempt to eat a piece of green from my hand every now and then. But anyway... no worries, chum. Lethargic would be him laying there with no energy whatsoever. If he's roaming around, that's a good sign. Hopefully he gets something in his belly soon.

Try the bath again as well, this time lightly rubbing his tummy with your finger. That should help get a bowel movement going.
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