Beardie has suddenly gone DARK

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Beardie has suddenly gone DARK

Postby KivaAlmond » Mon Sep 21, 2020 3:35 pm

Hello, I am new to this forum. I have been a reptile parent for 15 years and a Beardie parent for 2.5. (Toffee is my first bearded dragon.) The reason I'm here is for the last two years, we've been doing great. Toffee had a bit of an issue with parasites when we first got him, but we sorted that out with the help of a fantastic reptile vet. For the last 6-8 weeks though, Toffee's behavior has changed drastically and so has his coloring. He's always been a little darker and more of a light slate color then the tan/orangey beardies, but these last couple of weeks, he's DARK grey, with even darker gray patterning on his sides and tummy. He's also refusing almost all food. He will occasionally take a couple of dubias if I hold his dish right in front of him and plead. I'm at a loss. I found the list of pertinent questions, so I'll go ahead and try to answer those as best I can.

How old is your dragon? - Hatched in November of 2017, so that makes him almost 3 years by my count.

How long have you had your dragon? Since February 2018

How long is your dragon? 18 inches. Compared to his cousin dragons, he's on the smaller side.

What is the sex of your dragon? Male

What size enclosure do you have your dragon in? I believe its a 40 gal breeder, its a glass 36 x 18x18 exoterra that opens in the front.

What type substrate do you have on the bottom of your tank? Tile

Do you use UVB lights? Yes

If so, Is it a coil, compact, fluorescent tube, or Mercury Vapor bulb? Reptisun T8 w/ associated fixture.

What is the brand name and number of your bulb? Wattage (if MVB)? Zoo-med T8

How old is your UVB bulb? 4 months old

How close can your dragon get to the UVB? 10-11 inches

Do you use a separate basking bulb? What kind and what is the wattage? Is it a white or colored bulb? - White colored 50 watt basking spot

What are the basking temps? 105 on top of the shelf, 95 on the floor

What is the cool side temp? 83

Do you take the temps with a stick on thermometer, a digital thermometer with a wire and a probe end or a temp gun? Temp gun (temps are from just now).

Where exactly are you taking your basking temps? On top of the basking shelf and the tile underneath on the warm side.

Do you use a heat rock or heat pad? No

What do you feed your dragon? Please be specific. For insects - Mostly dubias. Occasional superworms and hornworms when I go to san diego, (Palm springs has NO stores that sell feeders except Petsmart). Crickets if I run out of Dubias before the next shipment can come in. Greens are Mustard, collard, baby arugula, Kale and occasionally cilantro and cress. Veggies are butternut squash, carrots, bok choy, broccoli, sweet peppers (the red, orange and yellow kind). Occasionally I add a tiny bit of fruit such as banana, blueberry, raspberry or apple, depending on what someone is eating at the time.

How often do you feed and what time do you feed (morning, afternoon, night)? Daily salad, in the morning- as an example, the last few days have been kale, grated butternut squash and grated carrot. (which he has studiously ignored :roll: :roll: I usually give insects every other day in the afternoon.

Do you gutload (feed) your crickets, worms, etc? Yes

Do you use vitamin or calcium supplements? What brand(s)? How many days a week do you use each of them? Repashy calcium plus 2 days a week

Is your dragon having regular bowel movements (poops)? fewer lately, but yes.

Do you bath your dragon? How often? Yes- I was doing it 2-3 times a day, but I've increased it to daily because he's not eating (he's never been a drinker unless he's in the tub)

Do you mist your dragon or offer water other than in the bath? He always has fresh water in a bowl in his habitat, but I have NEVER seen him drink it.

Have you gotten a vet check and fecal done? Yes- He had a check up last Tuesday and I returned a fecal for them to check. I am still waiting on those results. Apparently the exotics vet will be back tomorrow. The doctor said that on initial exam he looked pretty healthy and that we should check a fecal. Next step is blood work.

Does your dragon share an enclosure with another dragon? No. Although, there are other reptiles in the same room. His tank is in front and has a foam background so he cannot see them.

Other info- After trolling this board for information, I did make a couple of changes in the last week- 1st- His basking temps had been measuring between 94-100 depending on the time of day. I swapped out his light for an intense basking spot which brought them up to 105.
2nd- I did increase his baths to daily. I live in a very warm area (day time temps up to 118 degrees at times) and I'm concerned he's not getting enough water.

I also have order materials to mount his UVB inside his enclosure. Currently, it's sitting on top of the fine mesh lid. I have always changed the bulb every 6 months, but I understand that this will allow him to get a much higher dose of the UVB.

I am open to any and all criticisms/corrections/suggestions/etc. I just want Toffee in there living his best life.
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Re: Beardie has suddenly gone DARK

Postby KarrieRee » Mon Sep 21, 2020 4:48 pm

It sounds like you got things good -- it is good that your putting the T8 inside - they are not strong enough to go thru the screen and basking distance needs to be 6-8 inches directly over him w/ NO clear plastic cover over the bulb--
I would lay off the bathing --- too many will dry his scales out -- if you want to bath him to drink I would do that once a week --The pooping issue is I am guessing is lack of UVB-- and as far as the dark coloring I was going to suggest may be he was trying to absorb heat but it looks like temps are good some others on here might have some ideas on that
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