Appetite loss AFTER growth spurts - when to worry?

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Appetite loss AFTER growth spurts - when to worry?

Postby zampano » Tue Dec 01, 2020 11:54 am

Hey all,

Super general question for ya. Tifa (7.5 months, 16.5", 355g) finished a month or two of nonstop growth spurts a few weeks back and has since been resting more of the day and eating a lot less.

I freaked out at first, as I always do, because her appetite until then had been huge. Surreal really. But I read enough to understand this is fairly normal. At this point what's been worrying me mostly is that she's not getting very much in the way of supplements/vitamins and some days she barely touches (or doesn't touch) her salad so not much fiber either.

I feed her bugs (mostly dubias) 2x daily and she usually eats a little of her breakfast but doesn't eat all that much. Like she might just have 4 or 5 medium dubias, look at the rest of them, then just walk away from her bowl (when normally she'd inhale all of them and ask me for more). Half the days lately, by dinner time, she's retreating into her hideaway to chill in the shade and has 0 interest in coming out for dinner. Same reactions to supers, BSFL and crickets so I don't think it's just bug boredom.

Other than this, she seems strong and healthy, her behavior is normal, she basks plenty and gets plenty of UVB (just replaced the bulb), her poops are regular, and very importantly, I've been weighing her and she's still gaining weight. Much slower at it for sure, but gaining grams by the week. Given that she's not even 8 months, I think she's too young for brumation and her behavior doesn't seem to indicate that's what's going on. Her viv conditions are optimal.

So my question is, is this kind of behavior/lack of appetite something to get concerned about at a certain point? Or as long as she's not losing weight should I just let her do what she needs? And if she keeps this up, do I need to do anything about her vitamin/supplement needs?

Thanks in advance!

Before:
[Click image to enlarge]


After!:
[Click image to enlarge]
zampano
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Re: Appetite loss AFTER growth spurts - when to worry?

Postby AHBD » Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:37 pm

Hi there, she's a beautiful girl and she is in no trouble at all even if she doesn't eat for a month. She has grown very quickly and is actually chubby so some dragons sort of self-regulate because they do not need all that food. So you say that she's eating 4-5 dubias now + then walking away ? That's all she needs right now and even if she went to zero for a while it would be no problem. If + when she develops a strong appetite again it would be good to feed her less than you were, bugs just once a day and at a year old ,every other day. A lot of beardie health problems are happening with dragons that are over fed + over supplemented.
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Re: Appetite loss AFTER growth spurts - when to worry?

Postby zampano » Tue Dec 01, 2020 4:24 pm

Hi AHBD- as always your advice is really helpful and reassuring. Thanks a bunch )

I guess I really got used to all that growing being the new 'normal' I needed to get used to and came to expect it. You spend so long as a newbie learning how to keep feeders and how not to run out of them that it's almost kinda hard to believe I don't need to keep that up- so suddenly? I gotta imagine that's a common phenomenon. Glad I can finally start spending less on bugs all the time though, she eats better than I do a lot of the time.

I'll take your advice about when her appetite starts picking up. If not only for weight regulation, I'm hoping it will get her to start showing more interest in her salad ;)
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Re: Appetite loss AFTER growth spurts - when to worry?

Postby AHBD » Tue Dec 01, 2020 4:34 pm

O.K., sounds good ! And yes , interest in salad is often a much appreciated side affect of less frequent insect feedings. :)
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Re: Appetite loss AFTER growth spurts - when to worry?

Postby zampano » Wed Jan 20, 2021 9:26 pm

Me again!

It's been about 7 weeks and Tifa's appetite still hasn't returned. If anything she's skipping even more days now, maybe just having one tiny bug meal 4x a week or so. Like one or two roaches/worms, if that. Barely touching her salads but considering the tiny amount of bugs being eaten it's probably 'proportionally' ok actually.

You eased my mind about this a lot last time but she's still only a 9 month old and I worry :#

She's spending a lot of time in her hide (cool side). She'll still come out for maybe 3-6 hours of the day but isn't super lively. Sometimes comes out for a few minutes and goes right back in. Spends minimal time directly basking, not exercising much, and virtually no time directly under the UV, which has been worrying me. At least a few times she spent basically the whole day in the hide.

[Click image to enlarge]

All that said - she looks FINE! Still a little chubby, but her body can move when she wants it to, her eyes are very full of life, and she's just a beaut. I wish she was feeling more outgoing and playful lately but that's more of a personal wish than a worry. I know they go thru moods and I know she's probably in early puberty around now.

* Also wanna note she is a lot more lively when outside her viv. But the viv is still kept extremely clean and hasn't undergone any big changes lately that would cause stress. She's always liked it in there. Lights are fresh and have good placement, temp/humidity is stable.

** Also, probably the happiest I've ever seen her was when we let her in the Christmas tree :)
...maybe she's sad it's gone...
[Click image to enlarge]


Last shed was early November, but I've been weighing weekly and she's still got a slow, steady growth rate. She was around 350g at the beginning of December, and now is about 400g. That's been keeping me calm, knowing that she's not losing weight or having any bizarre fluctuations. Poops are small and infrequent as you'd expect with this kinda feeding schedule, but look okay to me.

My main concerns have been that she's really not getting any UV rays and because she barely ever eats she's not getting much in the way of her usual calcium/d3/multivitamins. These are things they still need regularly when they are developing through this age, right?

If she just wants a little more time to regulate her weight then that's great. I just wanna make sure I'm not accidentally doing any long-term damage along the way. When you're still new at this it's pretty tempting to run off to the vet every time something seems off to you but I'm trying really hard to temper that impulse.

So....man I know how to ramble...9-10 months old, 400g, lookin good just barely eating anything ever for 2.5 months. Not getting supplemented regularly as a result, and not really basking and definitely not getting UV regularly. How long would you let this go on before going to the vet?

Thanks as always, here's more pics bwah!
[Click image to enlarge]
[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: Appetite loss AFTER growth spurts - when to worry?

Postby AHBD » Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:33 am

She's looking very cute and pretty smug putting you through this stress. :) So in 7 weeks she hasn't eaten much but has gained almost 50 grams. Her body is maturing and as she doesn't need large amounts of food while she's doing the winter slow down so she's really fine. She will not suffer from lack of uvb , adults can brumate for up to 4-5 months with zero uvb and have no ill effects. If you want to put your mind at ease you can take her to a reptile specialist but I don't see anything wrong.
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Re: Appetite loss AFTER growth spurts - when to worry?

Postby zampano » Thu Jan 21, 2021 10:28 am

I think that's what I needed to hear! (again)

Thanks AHBD. Big learning curve here but I'm learning more all the time! I'd read enough times that there is no 'semi-brumation' for dragons and I guess I interpreted that to mean they would carry along just the same through the winter. But it has been a little darker and the outside temps dropped a little so that makes some sense. I'll try to start thinking of her UVB and supplementing and such as somewhat proportional to her food intake and how active she is, too, which also makes sense.

Tifa smugly, cutely thanks you for the compliments, and says 'she knows' :mrgreen: :)
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