Beardie extremely lethargic

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Beardie extremely lethargic

Postby samy109 » Tue Oct 20, 2020 10:51 pm

Hello everyone, my name is Adam, I am not a beginner to reptiles by any means and have studied them all my life, but I finally got my first bearded dragon.... It's not pretty, and a long story, so here goes:

I got my bearded dragon Spike from Petco(EEEK, I know, I do not need to hear it, and I am highly regretting it although happy I may have saved his life.) and this is where I made my first mistake, and I should have known better than this. They had 2 sets of dragons, normal, which were all babies in a big clean tank with no apparent issues, and then their apparent "special" dragons which were about 9-10 inches long and on sale. I took a quick glance, and noticed their tank was COMPLETELY humid, and did not look right, and I could not see into it. I was in an excited state of mind and irresponsibly asked the Petco person "Just give me the most active, colorful dragon you can see(It was so humid you could not see, and they were on top, and I am short.) She pulled out this beautiful dragon, with a seemingly calm demeanor, he seemed alert, and was very colorful. I purchased the animal, and got him home as carefully as I could.

This is where things get interesting, and let me explain why. I set up his tank (20L, will upgrade to 6x2 when he gets a bit bigger), Powersun 80w UVB and heat combo lamp(Hot side 85 on the ground, 100 on his log, 72 on the cool side) , reptile carpet, and 2 hides, with a shallow water dish. I let him sit in, offered a couple of meal worms and he ate one, and I removed the other, which I found odd. I then, as you are supposed to, did not handle or mess with him much besides offering and removing food for the next 3 days. He had 1 normal bowel movement, and then things began to get funky very rapidly. At first I would offer food, nothing, and he began shedding over the course of a week, did not have an issue really, I soaked him during the shed, which he seemed to love. Okay, great I thought.... He was just shedding, I have dealt with reptiles before... he'll be dandy! Wrong. Over the next 3 days, he went from his bright, colorful self to an almost lifeless brown animal(Not black mind you), and would just collapse on his rock and bask all day. Okay I thought, I am going to keep an eye and just be patient, in case he begins to perk up. Still not eating...and now having diarhea seriously badly.... and when I would hold him, he was almost limp in my hand. Granted, he had great spurts of energy from time to time but.... he was struggling with something and getting worse very quickly. It was time for human intervention, and note throughout this process, he showed no black beard or stress marks which I found odd. I took him straight to the vet, they told me I needed to begin force feeding him, they tried to collect a stool sample but were unable due to him being so empty. I was sent home with some syringes, and some antibiotic ointment just incase the tiny black tip on his tail grew and was the source of the issue, which it did not seem to do. At this point, I got him home and he was, fairly limp in my hand (Muscle tone but his feet and all had no rigidity to them). So far I was trying to guestimate a few things. I imagine A: He got nipped by another beardy, that's a given, and his tail was probably bothering him albeit not critical yet(I have began soaking it and covering in their provided topical antibiotic as instructed). B. He was dehydraded and C. Had no energy due to whatever was wrong + no food. Force feeding was not fun and despite being so weak, he had a decent fight but I was sure to carefully secure him, and open his mouth without harming his teeth. A couple points through this process, he appeared dead, and I actually had to massage his back to get him to begin breathing again. At this point, food is in him, he's worse than he's ever been, and I said a prayer and very gently put him in his cage under his light, and left him alone, I knew either I was going to lose him or I may have just saved his life. Fast forward to about 4 hours later, he was under his lamp head held high, and much more colorful. I went to sleep and then we reach today. He was once again returning back to his previous state, becoming slow and lethargic, not eating, same process, with a rapid decline. I fed him again, and he perked back up, even better this time. At this point my only thought was parasites, so I had Reptaid overnighted and it will be here Thursday. My goal, and my plan, is leave him alone until then, continue to forcefeed carefully to keep him alive and hydrated, continue to carefully treat his tail, and get the reptaid in him as soon as possible, as this is a bandaid and most likely a VERY temporary one. I have made mistakes, I identified and corrected them as soon as possible environment wise... but his health and his decline is so concerning to me. Does anyone have any ideas of what could be going on? From his behavior, he is holding and actually getting but, I know it will not last but a few hours until his next force feeding.
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Re: Beardie extremely lethargic

Postby Drache613 » Tue Oct 20, 2020 11:50 pm

Hello Adam,

If you can, post some pictures of your tank setup too, just so we can see the lighting
placement, etc.
How close is the Powersun 80 watt to him? What are your measuring the temperatures
with, a temp gun or a digital probe thermometer?
What other types of insects & food does he get, other than the mealworms right now?
How long have you had him for, they do go through relocation stress which stresses
them quite a bit. Since a fecal wasn't done, it's hard to know whether or not it's worms
or parasites though.
Is he losing weight that you can tell? Based on his behavior, it sounds like he could be
stressed or relocation & may have parasites possibly.
Please post pictures of your tank setup though, that can help.
Is he basking or trying to avoid the light?

Tracie
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Re: Beardie extremely lethargic

Postby samy109 » Wed Oct 21, 2020 3:51 am

Drache613 wrote:Hello Adam,

If you can, post some pictures of your tank setup too, just so we can see the lighting
placement, etc.
How close is the Powersun 80 watt to him? What are your measuring the temperatures
with, a temp gun or a digital probe thermometer?
What other types of insects & food does he get, other than the mealworms right now?
How long have you had him for, they do go through relocation stress which stresses
them quite a bit. Since a fecal wasn't done, it's hard to know whether or not it's worms
or parasites though.
Is he losing weight that you can tell? Based on his behavior, it sounds like he could be
stressed or relocation & may have parasites possibly.
Please post pictures of your tank setup though, that can help.
Is he basking or trying to avoid the light?

Tracie


Thank you for your quick response Tracie, it is much appreciated. I am currently busy getting to work, but as soon as I can I will get a picture of his current tank setup. To answer your other questions, the light is about 6-8 inches away from the surface of the log, this seems to be the sweetspot for him, and I do not currently have a thermometer to test the surface temperature at this time, but I am ordering one off of Amazon to be delivered soon(Infrared). I have offered him blueberries, collard greens, strawberries, crickets, mealworms, and freeze dried crickets/mealworms. At this point he is not eating at all without my intervention, and once I do, he gets super energetic and comes back to life, then passes his stool which is usually pretty watery diarhea. I have had Spike for about 2 weeks, and this entire time he has been losing weight, and becoming flappyskinned i.e skinny or dehydrated and all he ever does is bask, a little too much, and when he does, he totally collapses, in a rather weak manner. Since I have been forcing energy into him persay, he has regained a lot of strength while we fight whatever this is.
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Re: Beardie extremely lethargic

Postby samy109 » Wed Oct 21, 2020 7:59 am

good news, today he is the healthiest I have ever seen him. He is thermoregulating, eating a little on his own, and no longer basking all day, his tail end looks almost normal now, and his stress lines are gone.... and HE IS SUPER ACTIVE and has ANTENNA TAIL! I don't know what all was/is wrong with him, I just hit him with everything I could and I am still going to treat him with the Reptaid in case of parasites. Any thoughts?
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Re: Beardie extremely lethargic

Postby loljelloclowdz » Wed Oct 21, 2020 4:38 pm

He could’ve had a stomach bug from Petco conditions. Also, take the freeze dried food and throw it away (or dump it outside for the birbs.) Those clog up their intestines - Beardies get almost all of their hydration from food, so definitely don’t give him anything not moist. I’d also swap mealworms with BSFL- mealworms aren’t good for them and BSFL are nice and soft.
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Re: Beardie extremely lethargic

Postby loljelloclowdz » Wed Oct 21, 2020 4:40 pm

If you want to give him special treats — Mari’s hatch day is coming up on November 30! — you can make him a “cake” (I call it lizard jello) with Repashi for skinks (the grub pie.). Just not too much, it makes their poo stink. 😂
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Re: Beardie extremely lethargic

Postby samy109 » Wed Oct 21, 2020 5:26 pm

Okay, noted, no more freeze dried food. Now that I think of it that's what he ate when he suddenly got worse. I think he has 3 things: parasites, his diarrhea stinks up my entire room. Respiratory infection, his breathing is very labored and hard and his nose is periodically swollen shut. Tail rot, as the end of his tail is black and rotten. I knew with how quickly he declined it was probably bad, and a triple threat makes sense. It did not help I put him next to my other animals(rodents) and he is now in a nice quiet room. He is currently 45 grams, and I have him on .025 of reptaid twice daily starting today. My plan is let him be, offer food, force feed in one big go if no appetite, until he really begins to perk up. At this time he is a little drunk, but alert, basking, and very vibrant. This is a lot of work but I will do anything to help this guy grow into a big happy beardie!
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Re: Beardie extremely lethargic

Postby Drache613 » Sun Oct 25, 2020 12:17 am

Hello,

That is great to hear, so he is improving quite a bit now?
Hopefully the Reptaid is helping him out. How is his tail doing? I think being away from your
other animals will really help him with reducing his stress also.
I agree, sometimes too much freeze dried items, or pellets, etc can cause stomach distress.
A lot of that has genetically modified organisms that are not good for them.

Let us know how he is doing.
Tracie
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Re: Beardie extremely lethargic

Postby samy109 » Sun Oct 25, 2020 12:56 am

Hey there Tracie... It's been a lot of work and when the Reptaid came in he almost died that night. I have been forcefeeding twice daily, reptaid twice daily, and he has REALLY improved in weight and color. He is at least 2-3 times the size of when I first got him. The main issue is he still will not eat, and so I have some benebac coming in, as I do not know the state of his gut environment and want to see if this helps out his appetite. Besides that he is moving around a lot more, his color is practically neon yellow and before he was grey... lots of progress.
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Re: Beardie extremely lethargic

Postby Drache613 » Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:40 pm

Hello,

I am glad to hear he has improved quite a bit & is more active. Those are always good signs
he is feeling better. Does he like the taste of the reptaid also? Hopefully the benebac will help
him out, in case his system needs a boost. I am sorry he almost died, that is horrifying when
they get that critical!
Are you keeping him a little warmer overnight too?

Keep us posted on him.

Tracie
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