New juvenile breathing weird/hard??

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New juvenile breathing weird/hard??

Postby JessiesGirl » Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:01 pm

So, I'm a newbie to beardies. I'm a newbie to having reptiles in general, so obviously I'm a bit paranoid :( . Almost two weeks ago I bought myself a new young/baby beardie from Petsmart and he/she's (too young to gender yet, I think) been doing pretty great according to everything I've been reading off this forum and other bearded dragon sites.
They've been eating crickets and mealworms, but i think they prefer the crickets haha, and (reluctantly) greens like basil and mint for now. Their poop seems pretty solid/"normal" and I don't think I've had to deal with any diarrhea/weird poop at all yet. Poops are also fairly regular, and I'm trying to get them to poop during baths. They kind of started shedding/doing pre-shed stuff right when I got them, so I've been giving them regular baths since I read it helps with the process. I've noticed Jessie is very curious and seems to enjoy being held(?) and will chill with me when I'm drawing or on the computer; they're very sweet. I think the only major mess-up I need to fix right now is the fact that I bought a UVB bulb instead of a UVB tube for their tank.

But ever since I got them, I've noticed them breathing weirdly hard?? Like, they'll just be sitting under their basking light and suddenly I'll see them inhale very deeply a couple times and then open their mouth as if they're exhaling kinda. At first I thought they were coughing or choking on something, but it very rarely has ever made noise; I've heard a weird "pop" sound once or twice the whole time I've had them (I wouldn't really describe it as clicking or wooshing). No mucus strings from the mouth/in his mouth and he shows basically 0 symptoms of a URI. The breathing thing doesn't really seem to bother them and I only see them do it whenever they're basking or in warm water, never when they're sleeping or when I'm handling them. I've listened to all kinds of beardie coughing/wheezing audios on YouTube but none of them sound even close to them. I've even held them close to my ear and I've heard nothing at all.

Does it have something to do with temperature regulation or should I be worried about a mild URI??
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Re: New juvenile breathing weird/hard??

Postby KarrieRee » Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:23 pm

Can you take a pic of the dragon please --- I am thinking hes gaping to adjust his temp - very common
https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploads/ click on XIMG at the top of the message box then click on the pic it should post
The UVB is a coil? Is it in a dome? If so I will recommend what you need to get-- what is your tank size?
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Re: New juvenile breathing weird/hard??

Postby JessiesGirl » Sun Sep 06, 2020 5:36 pm

KarrieRee wrote:Can you take a pic of the dragon please --- I am thinking hes gaping to adjust his temp - very common
https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploads/ click on XIMG at the top of the message box then click on the pic it should post
The UVB is a coil? Is it in a dome? If so I will recommend what you need to get-- what is your tank size?
Karrie


[Click image to enlarge]

This picture isn't 100% recent, I will try to get a recent one in a few, but he was still breathing hard when this was taken (last week-ish) so I hope it's useful. The UVB I have right now is a coil within a dome positioned above the screen lid as close as I can get it to the basking side.
Admittedly, his tank is small - we're talking like 10 gallons :(( I'm starting to think all the heavy breathing is because he's just too hot since it's difficult to control that in a smaller tank, despite the thermometer on the cool side saying otherwise. He's honestly not very large (still a bit smaller than my hand, but close) so I was thinking he'd be okay for a while, but I will hopefully be getting a much more appropriate tank for him soon so he can have more room and be happier.
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Re: New juvenile breathing weird/hard??

Postby KarrieRee » Sun Sep 06, 2020 5:56 pm

Yes a bigger tank is a must- you can look on FB marketplace or Craigslist - look for a 75-120 gallon and one w/ front doors- you need to invest in this now a digital probe thermometer Petco or PetSmart $7-- a 24" fixture w/ reflector-- and a Reptisun 10.0 T 5- the coil UVB is a inadequate bulb--- in the 10 gallon tank it's ok but when you upgrade that tank it won't do- you will want that 24" fixture-- but you must get your basking temps under control now-- 105-110 on his basking spot- he needs cool side 80's during the day--
If you find a tank used make sure you sanitize it real good w/ some Zoo Meds Wipeout or F10--- or rescue vet sanitizer- if you need help finding the 24" fixture I can post websites for you--
Is he eating?
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Re: New juvenile breathing weird/hard??

Postby JessiesGirl » Sun Sep 06, 2020 6:07 pm

KarrieRee wrote:Yes a bigger tank is a must- you can look on FB marketplace or Craigslist - look for a 75-120 gallon and one w/ front doors- you need to invest in this now a digital probe thermometer Petco or PetSmart $7-- a 24" fixture w/ reflector-- and a Reptisun 10.0 T 5- the coil UVB is a inadequate bulb--- in the 10 gallon tank it's ok but when you upgrade that tank it won't do- you will want that 24" fixture-- but you must get your basking temps under control now-- 105-110 on his basking spot- he needs cool side 80's during the day--
If you find a tank used make sure you sanitize it real good w/ some Zoo Meds Wipeout or F10--- or rescue vet sanitizer- if you need help finding the 24" fixture I can post websites for you--
Is he eating?
Karrie


Ahhh thank you for all the wonderful advice!! I'll definitely use this as reference. And yes, as far as I know, he's been eating his crickets. I think him shedding has made him a bit picky but generally he eats when given something that actually moves.
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Re: New juvenile breathing weird/hard??

Postby KarrieRee » Sun Sep 06, 2020 6:12 pm

Ok you want to start feeding him salads-- I will post more info for you tomorrow-- in the meantime work on your basking temps -
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Re: New juvenile breathing weird/hard??

Postby JessiesGirl » Sun Sep 06, 2020 6:40 pm

KarrieRee wrote:Ok you want to start feeding him salads-- I will post more info for you tomorrow-- in the meantime work on your basking temps -
Karrie


He's eaten greens (basil and mint) I've hand-fed him a couple times, but recently he's been more stubborn and only eats bugs. I'm unsure how to coax him into finding them more enjoyable + have him expand his palette :/ I've heard of force-feeding some stubborn beardies but that seems a little extreme, maybe?
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Re: New juvenile breathing weird/hard??

Postby KarrieRee » Sun Sep 06, 2020 6:59 pm

Yes I am gonna post some feeding tips tomorrow w/ some websites to get worms/ insects-
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Re: New juvenile breathing weird/hard??

Postby JessiesGirl » Sun Sep 06, 2020 9:58 pm

KarrieRee wrote:Yes I am gonna post some feeding tips tomorrow w/ some websites to get worms/ insects-


Update: Checked on them before I went to bed (lights had already been off for them since 10pm-ish) and I saw them doing it a couple times with a pop noise, although I’m still nearly positive the noise is not consistent. They aren’t moving their head around in their sleep either, which I’ve heard is good. But I still can’t help but start to think they might might actually be sick, I’ve just never heard of any beardies doing this normally. Is there anything I can do besides trying to raise temperatures? (Forgot to mention this, but I have a 50watt bulb; I didn’t want to buy anything above that because I assumed it would be way too hot for his little tank).
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Re: New juvenile breathing weird/hard??

Postby KarrieRee » Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:03 am

You dont want it any hotter than 110 for basking and what is the temp in the middle of the tank? And on the cool side? Is there any mucous coming out of the nose or any thing around his mouth - can you get a recording off of you tube for the popping noise and post the link on here? It might be a good idea to look for a reptile vet just in case -- here is website to help you find one
And no a 50 watt bulb I would think is fine for temps if you go up any higher to a 75 it will probably be too hot -- but you need that probe so you can get actual basking temps - what is the stick on saying for ambient and where is it?
www.arav.org
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Re: New juvenile breathing weird/hard??

Postby JessiesGirl » Mon Sep 07, 2020 3:01 pm

KarrieRee wrote:You dont want it any hotter than 110 for basking and what is the temp in the middle of the tank? And on the cool side? Is there any mucous coming out of the nose or any thing around his mouth - can you get a recording off of you tube for the popping noise and post the link on here? It might be a good idea to look for a reptile vet just in case -- here is website to help you find one
And no a 50 watt bulb I would think is fine for temps if you go up any higher to a 75 it will probably be too hot -- but you need that probe so you can get actual basking temps - what is the stick on saying for ambient and where is it?
http://www.arav.org
Karrie


Yeah, :/ Today I found clear/white boogers around his mouth, so I’ll be calling a vet tomorrow (since the offices are closed today) to see if I can get an appointment sometime soon. I’m starting to think his “pop” is more of a crackle but he’s so little I can’t really tell. Until I can get him his appointment, I decided to put a black sock where he basks to try and give him sort of a make-shift heating pad so maybe he’ll feel warmer. I think maybe later today I’ll make him a smoothie of strawberry, blueberry, and some other greens and try to get him to eat since I’m starting to think he’s not bothering with his crickets. If you have any other tips that would be great.

I actually wasn’t aware you needed a thermometer for the middle; I’ve seen so many beardie cages without them? Plus, I think right now my tank is too small to really have a “middle area” he can comfortably be in. But I will try to look into that when I get him his permanent tank.
At the moment, he spends most of his time basking anyway (another concern I had before making this). I usually see his cool side vary between 78 - 86 (at this exact moment it’s 82) and the thermometer is stuck on the tank background above his hide.

This is a picture of him today.
[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: New juvenile breathing weird/hard??

Postby KarrieRee » Mon Sep 07, 2020 3:12 pm

Yep we dont recommend that small of a tank 20 gallons are hard enough let alone a 10 gallon - the 82 is good during the day and if hes not feeling good even at nite would be good so he can keep his immune system up -- make sure you keep him hydrated - make the smoothie runny so hes getting water -- you dont need a thermometer in the middle usually in bigger tanks the middle will be in the 90's from the heat from the basking bulb -- you can get a infrared heat gun to get temps in the middle -- please dont leave any crickets in the tank over nite -- they will come out and bite and can cause infections -- you do not want that --
I can give you some feeding tips but if hes not eating you may need to feed him -- let me know when you get a appt - if you found white bugger stuff around his mouth it sounds like hes got a RI going
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Re: New juvenile breathing weird/hard??

Postby JessiesGirl » Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:19 pm

KarrieRee wrote:Yep we dont recommend that small of a tank 20 gallons are hard enough let alone a 10 gallon - the 82 is good during the day and if hes not feeling good even at nite would be good so he can keep his immune system up -- make sure you keep him hydrated - make the smoothie runny so hes getting water -- you dont need a thermometer in the middle usually in bigger tanks the middle will be in the 90's from the heat from the basking bulb -- you can get a infrared heat gun to get temps in the middle -- please dont leave any crickets in the tank over nite -- they will come out and bite and can cause infections -- you do not want that --
I can give you some feeding tips but if hes not eating you may need to feed him -- let me know when you get a appt - if you found white bugger stuff around his mouth it sounds like hes got a RI going
Karrie


This is so so so helpful thank you so much. I actually didn’t know crickets could bite either. That’s strange. I will try and update this thread with his condition :)

Just for future reference, not saying I will do this because I would much rather cure him instead of forcing his little body to endure it, but are beardies capable of getting over RIs/colds by themselves without special veterinary treatment? How long do RIs exist in their bodies? Obviously I want to get him help ASAP, but is this considered an urgent emergency?
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Re: New juvenile breathing weird/hard??

Postby JessiesGirl » Tue Sep 22, 2020 6:46 am

KarrieRee wrote:Yep we dont recommend that small of a tank 20 gallons are hard enough let alone a 10 gallon - the 82 is good during the day and if hes not feeling good even at nite would be good so he can keep his immune system up -- make sure you keep him hydrated - make the smoothie runny so hes getting water -- you dont need a thermometer in the middle usually in bigger tanks the middle will be in the 90's from the heat from the basking bulb -- you can get a infrared heat gun to get temps in the middle -- please dont leave any crickets in the tank over nite -- they will come out and bite and can cause infections -- you do not want that --
I can give you some feeding tips but if hes not eating you may need to feed him -- let me know when you get a appt - if you found white bugger stuff around his mouth it sounds like hes got a RI going
Karrie


Long overdue update haha!

He went to the vet, and it turns out he's not sick. The vet couldn't find any respiratory issues in him and the only problems he had was being a little underweight because he was barely eating and dry because I suspected a URI. I think you might've been right about the gaping. Maybe the popping was just the sound of his mouth. The vet gave me some powder (basically lizard baby formula lol) and I syringe fed him with that for about a week. His energy is definitely back up, and he's been running around every day exploring and climbing all over everything - it's really funny to watch haha. I gave him the fattest cricket in the colony yesterday to see if he was interested and it seems he was as it's no longer in his tank. Also found some red juices around his mouth this morning, so it seems he's also eating the strawberries I put in his bowl now! :) I'm very glad he's okay. I think I might start buying dubia roaches instead of crickets here soon but for now, the next step is a bigger tank and a better lighting system for my little baby - DEFINITELY no later than October.

I really don't have much of a clue why he wasn't eating. Maybe he was stressed or being stubborn, or maybe my lamps just suck lol. Thank you for all your advice!! <3
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