Beardy not eating - Vet doesn't know why

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Beardy not eating - Vet doesn't know why

Postby negsense » Mon Jul 06, 2020 3:52 pm

Hi,

We're worried about our bearded dragon, she hasn't been eating the same way she used to for the last month or two. We've taken her to a local vet twice and we're going to take her to an exotic vet next Tuesday or potentially sooner if we're able to get an appointment.

Tank setup:
Basking spot: 105F
Cool side: 80-85F

Lights: Reptisun 10UVB tube light & Reptisun 10UVB, also a heat lamp

Normal feeding: Mix of live crickets and then a salad, but she wasn't a huge fan of salad often but dug mangos and squash. She absolutely loved super worms, but we didn't give her those very often. Here's a summary my wife wrote the vet:

"Aug - November
Active and healthy appetite. She shed her legs and the top of her head. She put on a lot of weight.

Dec - March
Very lethargic, not eating much. Figured she was brumating so I wasn't too worried. I took her to the vet because she hadn't pooped in over 3 weeks so I thought she might have been impacted. She pooped at the vet and so I had her stool checked for parasites. Negative.

April
Got more active. Started eating more again and then all of a sudden she stopped eating. Her behaviour changed dramatically and she seemed very irritable. Her beard was often dark. Her urates were hard. I thought she might be gravid because her attitude had changed so dramatically.

May
Towards the end of May, I took her back to the vet. You took a blood sample and gave her some vitamins and fluids. They said her calcium and phosphorus levels were high.

June
After the vet visit, she got her appetite back for about a week and a half. She ate some crickets and worms, very little salad but I was happy that she was eating at all. Then all of her scales went dull and she stopped eating again. I know that they often don't eat when they shed, so I wasn't too worried. She did a full body shed in June, everything except the tip of her tail and the top of her head. The shed went well (see attached picture). She seems to be done shedding now except for a small piece on her left leg, but her appetite hasn't returned. It has been about a month now that the shed has finished.

July
She spends more time sleeping now than usual. But doesn't seem irritated like she did in May. She just isn't interested in food, not even her favourite worms for which she usually gets so excited. It has been about a month since she ate. As expected, her poops are small and her urates are even smaller (attached a picture below).

What I have been doing...
I got her some BSFL just in case she was bored of crickets, but she wouldn't eat them either.
I make her a salad every day, but she never eats it.

Lately, I made her some lizard smoothies with her greens, bugs and a bit of mango. I drop in on her nose and eventually she licks it off but she doesn't ingest much.
I have been taking her outside daily for a bit of real sun, at least 5 minutes a day.
I replaced all her bulbs, both UV bulbs and her heat lamp. I keep an eye on her temperatures regularly.


At the vet today the vet said her blood seemed thin and didn't really have anything useful to say or any real suggestions other than giving my wife some food to take home.

We're both really worried, we want to figure out why she isn't eating and get her to eat again. We've read everything we can on why beardies stop eating and have replaced the lights, double checked temps, got her checked for parasites, anything we can think of.

Does anyone have any other ideas for what might be going on or how to get her to eat?

Her shed:
Image

Her watching me write this post:
Image
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Re: Beardy not eating - Vet doesn't know why

Postby KarrieRee » Mon Jul 06, 2020 4:14 pm

The UVB is a coil or tube and where in the tank is it? When getting her outside does she perk up? Gonna start there --- what about eggs has she ever layed them? Is she doing any digging at all? Being lethargic I am assuming not
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Re: Beardy not eating - Vet doesn't know why

Postby negsense » Mon Jul 06, 2020 4:20 pm

Hi Karrie,

Thanks so much for taking the time to help. We have a tube light and a coil light which is what we'd had for her the whole time. After she stopped eating we thought maybe the screen was blocking too much UVB so I removed the screen from the half of the tank with her basking spot. Here's pics of the light setup.

Image

Image

When she's outside she perks up a little, but doesn't seem to really love it. She's never laid any eggs and she hasn't done any digging.
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Re: Beardy not eating - Vet doesn't know why

Postby KarrieRee » Mon Jul 06, 2020 4:22 pm

What is the tube your using a T 8 or a T 5? And please if the coil is a UVB get rid of it--- this could be one reason for the issues your having -- she only needs one good UVB and that would be your tube
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Re: Beardy not eating - Vet doesn't know why

Postby negsense » Mon Jul 06, 2020 4:25 pm

I went ahead and turned the coil light off, for the tube we're using a T8. Also, her tank is next to an east facing window, if the additional light from that would make a difference.
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Re: Beardy not eating - Vet doesn't know why

Postby KarrieRee » Mon Jul 06, 2020 4:30 pm

Ok so does the fixture have the plastic cover off I am assuming it is off --- you want the bulb exposed and the fixture approx 6-8 inches from her basking decor -- it looks like it is --- see what her behavior does w/ that coil light off now --- shed can cause them no to eat -- they tend to get grumpy- did you get the parasites lab and do you have a copy of the blood work you can post --- Tracie can go over both of them and see what she thinks might be going on
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Re: Beardy not eating - Vet doesn't know why

Postby negsense » Mon Jul 06, 2020 4:34 pm

The bulbs exposed and it's about 8 inches from where she basks. We'll see if that makes some changes, maybe she'll be hungry tomorrow. We got her checked for parasites in March and they were negative and we should have bloodwork tomorrow, once we do I'll post it. Thank you so much.
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Re: Beardy not eating - Vet doesn't know why

Postby AHBD » Tue Jul 07, 2020 3:38 am

Hi there, some adult dragons do go through lazy spells, sometimes just because there's nothing to do. An adult can go for a month or more without eating [ longer during a true brumation ] but it's still best to see if there are underlying problems. So what type of calcium and or vitamin supplements are you using and how often [ back when she was eating normally ]
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Re: Beardy not eating - Vet doesn't know why

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:55 am

How old is the T8 tube ? if it's older than 6 months old it must be replaced immediately as it's no longer producing sufficient UVA or UVB <=== very low UVA ==> poor apetite in reptiles

I don't think I can see a reflector above it - is there one present ?

What is between the UV and the dragon ? Is that a plastic or glass "top" I think I can see ? If it's glass or plastic it's blocking all the UV in both UVA & UVB.
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Re: Beardy not eating - Vet doesn't know why

Postby negsense » Tue Jul 07, 2020 7:49 am

Hi all,

Thanks for the responses, answers below:

So what type of calcium and or vitamin supplements are you using and how often

Reptivite reptile vitamin powder every other day when she was eating, we have Flukers liquid vitamin but we've been using that infrequently because she wouldn't eat it.

How old is the T8 tube ? if it's older than 6 months old it must be replaced immediately as it's no longer producing sufficient UVA or UVB <=== very low UVA ==> poor apetite in reptiles

2 weeks maybe, before that we had one since late February but we were worried a defective bulb might be the reason she wasn't eating so we replaced it a little early.

I don't think I can see a reflector above it - is there one present ?


This is the fixture for the UVB light:
https://www.zillarules.com/all-products ... triplights

What should I be looking for?

What is between the UV and the dragon ? Is that a plastic or glass "top" I think I can see ? If it's glass or plastic it's blocking all the UV in both UVA & UVB.


There isn't anything between her and the light, we used to have mesh over that part of the enclosure, but we were worried the mesh was blocking some of the UV, so we removed the mesh from that half of the tank. There isn't any glass or plastic on top or on the light fixture.

Edit: The lighting setup has been the same the whole time we've had her, and for the year and a half before that with the last owner and the her appetite and behavior were normal. I'm absolutely open to making changes folks think will help, I know light/temperature/vitamins are the first place to start looking.
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Re: Beardy not eating - Vet doesn't know why

Postby KarrieRee » Tue Jul 07, 2020 7:57 am

That slimline has a reflector and if your plastic clear cover is off exposing the bulb and the bulb is new and distance is 6-8 inches from the basking decor piece w/ no obstruction she should be getting plenty of UVB --
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Re: Beardy not eating - Vet doesn't know why

Postby negsense » Sat Jul 11, 2020 6:02 pm

Hey all,

I wanted to update everyone, our first vet called us today and said she doesn't know what's going on, her bloodwork looked off but she said "It may be cancer or something else" which wasn't too helpful. I don't have the new bloodwork yet, but I do have some from a couple months ago when Liliana started acting strange. I'll attach it below. Also, I started feeding her Repta-boost every morning and she's been more active and so much less lethargic, she even ate a couple worms, still won't eat her salad.

Here are some levels they took while at the latest appointment, the bloodwork from her latest visit I'll post when we get it:

Image

Her calcium level is super high here, it was about half that, which is still high in June.


This is the bloodwork from the beginning of June:

Image

And the lab wrote this:

Image

I've got her whole patient history, but it has some personal info in it, so I'd rather not post it here. Let me know if there's anything specific I can post. Again, thank you all so much for the help so far.
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Re: Beardy not eating - Vet doesn't know why

Postby negsense » Mon Jul 13, 2020 11:50 am

Here's the newest bloodwork from last week:

Image
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Re: Beardy not eating - Vet doesn't know why

Postby WinFam01 » Mon Jul 13, 2020 8:15 pm

Hi, sorry that your dragon seems to be feeling unwell.
Hopefully Tracie will be on to look over the blood work.
Karrie, I know I've seen you say you can 'flag' someone, could you do that here since I don't know how?
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Re: Beardy not eating - Vet doesn't know why

Postby Drache613 » Wed Jul 15, 2020 1:12 am

Hello,

Do you have other bloodwork too, of the calcium levels, etc as well?
I am basing thoughts from the first bloodtest set but it is possible she is shelling eggs,
with the calcium levels so high. Have they done x-rays to see if there are eggs or an
ultrasound if there are unshelled eggs or developing follicles?

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