Digestion Question

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Digestion Question

Postby ComicBookMama » Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:45 am

I'm going to be taking Figment into the vet for another fecal test... for quite some time now, his stools have been considerably more liquid than I'm comfortable with, and it seems to tie in with me trying to get him to eat more salad and veggies. The good news is that he IS eating more salad and veggies... but the bad news is that his stools have been ugly. The other day he excreted a huge amount of green liquid, with just a few clumps of fecal matter and a blob of urates. I e-mailed my vet and she said to bring him in.

I'm trying to figure out the possible cause, since my gut doubts it's parasitic. I do give him his meal in the late afternoon - between 4 and 6 - and his light doesn't go off until 10, so I've been thinking that's plenty of time for him to bask and digest. But what I'm noticing is that after eating, he doesn't always go to his basking spot; he'll hang out in the cooler areas of the tank. Could this be affecting his digestion, and causing liquid stools? Or should I feed in the morning? Right now, since I'm working from home, I could do this easily. Come next school year, when mornings are so crazy trying to get off to work and get my son off to school, notsomuch easy.

He's also been eating less of his insects lately. I've been offering 10 1" dubia, or 10 supers, after he finishes with his salad (he doesn't eat all his salad, but he does walk away from it when he's finished with it). Lately, he's not going after the bugs with the vigor he used to. Last night, in fact, he wouldn't eat any of his dubias... but he did eat them when he got up this morning, and this morning he WAS basking in his hot zone.

I'm not desperately scared that something may be wrong; he's still generally alert and normally active (or as active as a beardie gets), and he seems content. Maybe he's just changing over to being more of a veggie eater, and his digestion is shifting. But I'd love to know if anyone else has had similar experiences, or has any ideas on what could be causing his digestion issues.
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Re: Digestion Question

Postby ComicBookMama » Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:50 am

Oh - before anyone asks...

UVB is three months old, a Reptisun 10.0 T8, mounted inside the tank.

Basking bulb is a 100w ZooMed ReptiBasking Spot Lamp.

Cool side light is a plant grow incandescent bulb.

Temps: Cool side, high 80s (right now it's 88.2); basking spot low 100s (right now it's 101.3) both by probe thermometers. Temps vary depending on whether I've got the door to the room open; they can go a few degrees higher when it's closed up.
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Re: Digestion Question

Postby KarrieRee » Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:55 am

I would try some silk worms -- they are another great staple feeder - are you feeding alot of fruit or just veggies? Fruit is going to give them watery stools - I would drop a fecal off to the vet have them test it before taking him in -- go from there
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Re: Digestion Question

Postby ComicBookMama » Thu Jun 04, 2020 8:05 am

KarrieRee wrote:I would try some silk worms -- they are another great staple feeder - are you feeding alot of fruit or just veggies? Fruit is going to give them watery stools - I would drop a fecal off to the vet have them test it before taking him in -- go from there
Karrie


No, Figment gets almost no fruits... a couple of blueberries every couple of weeks is it. He does get a fair amount of yellow squash, though; he loves that, and it's the only way I can get him to eat his greens. I could try switching out the squash for some other veggies, but it's highly rated as a good, nutritious staple on the Beautiful Dragons nutrition site, so I didn't really want to do that.

I'll give silk worms a go... we'll see how they do for him. :)

And I'll see if the vet will run the fecal before the office visit. That would save me a bit of cash if they'll do it that way.
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Re: Digestion Question

Postby KarrieRee » Thu Jun 04, 2020 8:13 am

The squash might cause the runny stools --- especially if hes eating alot of it - try adding some zucchini and see if he goes for that -- the silk worms are good - I have found Blazes stools are a little more runny from eating them -- along w/ extra water as well - they both have not had horn worms for a while so I figured it is the silk worms along w/ the greens Blaze is eating
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Re: Digestion Question

Postby ComicBookMama » Thu Jun 04, 2020 8:22 am

KarrieRee wrote:The squash might cause the runny stools --- especially if hes eating alot of it - try adding some zucchini and see if he goes for that -- the silk worms are good - I have found Blazes stools are a little more runny from eating them -- along w/ extra water as well - they both have not had horn worms for a while so I figured it is the silk worms along w/ the greens Blaze is eating
Karrie


I can do zucchini, but the water content is virtually the same. Maybe if I tried acorn or butternut squash, which has a lower water content... though I hate to get a whole squash that will go bad before I use even half of it, butternuts are large!
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Re: Digestion Question

Postby WinFam01 » Thu Jun 04, 2020 5:39 pm

Do you know if he likes his basking spot that warm? I just asked because I've discovered that even At 6 months ours has started to prefer it a little cooler. No idea if that can have anything to do with stools though.
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Re: Digestion Question

Postby ComicBookMama » Fri Jun 05, 2020 3:33 am

WinFam01 wrote:Do you know if he likes his basking spot that warm? I just asked because I've discovered that even At 6 months ours has started to prefer it a little cooler. No idea if that can have anything to do with stools though.


Based on the amount of time he spends on the cooler side of the tank, I'd say he does prefer things cooler - but I think he does need a good "hot spot" to keep his digestion going, if I'm remembering what I've read correctly. I'm wondering if he's not spending enough time in the hot spot, in fact, and it's impacting his digestion.
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Re: Digestion Question

Postby SandP » Fri Jun 05, 2020 12:49 pm

88 is too hot for the cool side. I don't know if that would cause loose stools but them along with not being able to cool down I would think could lead to dehydration and stress. He may not go to his basking spot often because if he does get too hot there is no place to cool off.
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Re: Digestion Question

Postby AHBD » Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:46 pm

I agree with SandP, 88 is way too hot for the cool side. Get it down to 75-80. Try eliminating squash from the diet for now ad use mostly greens....turnip, kale, mustard, collard and a few green beans.
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Re: Digestion Question

Postby ComicBookMama » Wed Jun 17, 2020 12:02 pm

AHBD wrote:I agree with SandP, 88 is way too hot for the cool side. Get it down to 75-80. Try eliminating squash from the diet for now ad use mostly greens....turnip, kale, mustard, collard and a few green beans.


Sorry I didn't reply sooner; this got buried in my posts... :roll:

Anyhoo, I cut the squash, and he wouldn't touch his greens. Not any sort, and I tried all in turn and in combination. Picky dragon... I even tried putting worms in the salad (he picks them out, or ignores them if they're buried too deep in) and putting salad in with his roaches (same result). On the plus side, his stools firmed up when he was ignoring his greens and eating almost only bugs.

As for his temps... I need to find a lower-wattage incandescent for the cool side, though for the summer I suppose I could try an LED and see if the ambient heat from his 100w basking lamp will be enough. Will give it a go.

Thanks for the advice. At least now I know the runny stools were probably due to the squash... but it's listed as a good staple on Beautiful Dragons; why don't more folks have dragons with the runs, if squash is that bad, I wonder? Hmm.
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