Older Beardie, Rapid Weight Loss, Change in Behavior

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Older Beardie, Rapid Weight Loss, Change in Behavior

Postby NGorsuch » Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:12 pm

To start, my dragon Roxanne is 12 years old as of this August. She is kept in a 75 gallon tank at temperatures of 100/78~ basking/cool sides. She is offered mixed veggies and 5-8 superworms daily. She has never had any major health concerns since she came into my care until now.

Since about February this year I noticed she was losing weight and wasn't eating her greens. I've tried moving the greens around, feeding at different times, and trying different veggies. She doesn't eat her veggies. After that she started to occasionally refuse her worms as well. She will sometimes act like she can't even see the food in front of her. She will usually eat if I offer her the worms with tweezers, but not always. She can no longer hunt for herself, and seems to have lost her depth perception. Her skin is loose around her sides, and shes already down to 11oz. My local reptile specialist didn't see anything obviously wrong with her besides her weight, but I can't afford any special tests. Any advice on how to improve her quality of life would be appreciated.
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Re: Older Beardie, Rapid Weight Loss, Change in Behavior

Postby KarrieRee » Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:26 pm

Wow she is getting up there --- first what are you using for a UVB? Brand and bulb ? coil or tube? She is down to 11 oz or has lost 11 oz? Please post pics of her https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploads/ click on XIMG at the top of the message box then click on the pic it should post - Tracie our vet mod is gonna haft to help you w/ her but the pics and what your using for a UVB will help her
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Re: Older Beardie, Rapid Weight Loss, Change in Behavior

Postby AHBD » Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:32 pm

Poor Roxanne, you already know that she's old so it could be her age. Just like people vary in their life spans, beardies do as well. Still there are some things you can do. First of all, ask the vet if they have some Oxbow Critical Care supplemental food. It's high calorie + high nutrition. If he doesn't carry it you can order it online. You can try making smoothies with veggies, a bit of strawberry and a few drops of natural sugar free grape juice. Please do post pics of Roxanne as well as her set up + lights.
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Re: Older Beardie, Rapid Weight Loss, Change in Behavior

Postby NGorsuch » Sun Jul 05, 2020 4:44 pm

[Click image to enlarge]
[Click image to enlarge]

These were taken today, I use an Exo Terra 125W Solar Glo bulb. I weighed her before feeding today and she was 10.95 oz.
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Re: Older Beardie, Rapid Weight Loss, Change in Behavior

Postby KarrieRee » Sun Jul 05, 2020 4:53 pm

I would get her off the sand- we don't recommend loose substrate as it can cause impaction--- and it harbors bacteria-- you can use paper towels for now and get some textured NON adhesive shelf liner-- you can get it from your local home improvement store- what is the distance of the solar glo from basking spot and how old is it?
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Re: Older Beardie, Rapid Weight Loss, Change in Behavior

Postby AHBD » Sun Jul 05, 2020 4:54 pm

Aw, what a sweet face she has. :) Hopefully you can help her to be as comfortable as possible for now. Try dripping water on her snout to give her a drink. Do it slowly + give it a minute or two for hher to realize it's a drink. So how long have you had her and has she been on the loose substrate all her life ?? Sometimes it's a problem other times not but we want to rule out impaction. ? How long have you had the Solar glo bulb ? I would add a long tube Reptisun 10.0 t5 bulb to be sure she's getting enough uvb. And has she had regular bowel movements ?
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Re: Older Beardie, Rapid Weight Loss, Change in Behavior

Postby NGorsuch » Sun Jul 05, 2020 5:16 pm

She has been on sand for almost the whole time I've had her. I got her from an owner who didn't want her after she stopped growing sometime in 2009. The closest point to the Solar Glo is 10 inches from the bulb at the very top of the fake driftwood, but she really only uses the top of the log hide. I've always used this kind of bulb, this one is about a month old.
[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: Older Beardie, Rapid Weight Loss, Change in Behavior

Postby KarrieRee » Sun Jul 05, 2020 5:43 pm

I would look at getting another UVB the Reptisun tube bulb T 5- she may not be getting enough UVB that would / could be a reason for sudden behavior change- and the oxbow critical care stuff is good- you can order it from Amazon- are you only using stickons for basking temps? They are inaccurate-
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Re: Older Beardie, Rapid Weight Loss, Change in Behavior

Postby NGorsuch » Sun Jul 05, 2020 5:44 pm

I ordered the critical care, I used to have a digital thermometer but lost it.
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Re: Older Beardie, Rapid Weight Loss, Change in Behavior

Postby AHBD » Sun Jul 05, 2020 5:48 pm

Yeah I'm sure she has been fine on the sand, has she pooped regularly since her decline ? That's good that you ordered the Critical Care and be sure to try the water dripping on her snout for hydration. She is pretty old so you've taken good care of her and this may be her nearing the end of her life but still those are some things to try.
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Re: Older Beardie, Rapid Weight Loss, Change in Behavior

Postby KarrieRee » Sun Jul 05, 2020 5:50 pm

I would get another one you need actual basking temps your getting ambient temps- Petco or PetSmart $7
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Re: Older Beardie, Rapid Weight Loss, Change in Behavior

Postby NGorsuch » Tue Jul 07, 2020 10:58 pm

Her bowel movements have been as frequent as usual, but very little at a time. I'll be trying everything recommended in this thread, thank you
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Re: Older Beardie, Rapid Weight Loss, Change in Behavior

Postby Drache613 » Tue Jul 07, 2020 11:58 pm

Hello,

How is your girl today? That is terrific she has made it to 12! Bless her.
I agree, while the Solar Glo MVB is a beautiful bulb & emits really nice heat & light but
isn't a real strong emitter of UVB. Maybe try adding in a T5 tube for some stronger UVB
for her, that may help her out.
You could also consider getting her on some liquid calcium in case her calcium stores are
a little low. When are you getting the critical care delivered?
Since she isn't feeling 100%, I would recommend keeping her a little warmer overnight.
Usually a range of 78-82 is good, it helps boost the immune system.

Let us know how she is doing.

Tracie
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Re: Older Beardie, Rapid Weight Loss, Change in Behavior

Postby NGorsuch » Wed Jul 08, 2020 6:56 pm

I got the critical care today, but she isn't too keen on being fed through a syringe. I got her to swallow about a tablespoon after everything was said and done. She ate her worms but didn't touch her greens. She did a lap after eating and returned to the basking spot for the rest of the day. I got a digital probe thermometer, her basking spot comes in at 104 degrees.
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Re: Older Beardie, Rapid Weight Loss, Change in Behavior

Postby Drache613 » Thu Jul 09, 2020 12:28 am

Hello,

Well, I am glad to hear she ate some of the critical care then. Hopefully once she starts to
feel better you can get her to eat some greens. They often change their eating preferences
when they get older too, so that could become a huge challenge for you.
The basking temperature of 104 is perfect for her. Does she spend a decent amount of time
there?
Keep us posted on her.

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