Water Dish?

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Water Dish?

Postby hayley0501 » Sat Dec 05, 2020 11:00 am


After the passing of my bearded dragon Kyro this past October, I have recently gotten another bearded dragon, a five-month-old normal scale witblits. Her name is Maisie! During my time with Kyro (who I adopted from a friend and only owned for a handful of months), we struggled with various health issues which had been underlying from before I took him in, and ultimately he passed of suspected respiratory infection (my vet was never able to give any concrete diagnoses). Flashing forward to Maisie, I am determined to give her a good, long, healthy life. For the short while I’ve had her, she’s had a great appetite, two perfect sheds, and a wonderful temperament. I’ve pretty much gotten over the new-pet fear of messing her up at every turn, but the one thing I can’t decide on is whether or not I should put a water dish in her tank.

With Kyro, he had a dish in his enclosure for pretty much his entire life, as far as I know. His previous owner had kept him (at adult length) in a 29-gallon tank, and when he came to me I upgraded him to a 40-gal and transferred all of his supplies, water dish included. Since his passing, I’ve done a bit of research on whether or not to put a water dish in Maisie’s tank. A large part of me has felt guilty that it could’ve been the water dish in Kyro’s tank that raised his humidity levels to a point at which he’d contracted the infection that ultimately killed him, whether prior to my care or during his time with me, I am not sure. I’ve learned over time that there are so many conflicting opinions out there when it comes to exotic animals (I also own three axolotls, so the concept is familiar lol) and everyone’s opinions are so DRASTIC! Place a water bowl in the tank and kill your pet off with a respiratory infection, or don’t and slowly dehydrate them. I’ve got no idea what to do. Up until this week, I had opted not to give Maisie a water dish or even baths, just to play it extremely safe and keep all forms of humidity at bay. But maybe two days ago, I saw stress coloration on her stomach and wondered if maybe she really was thirsty. I put shallow warm water in a Tupperware and placed her in it (watching carefully) just to see how she’d react. Immediately, she dunked her ENTIRE head underwater and tried drinking. So, of course, I’m thinking she’s going to aspirate, and I immediately pulled her out. She seemed okay afterward… I think. But then so did Kyro, until all of a sudden he wasn’t. This was an exceptionally long post for a pretty straightforward question, so I apologize! But at the end of the day, should I put a water bowl inside her tank or no?
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Re: Water Dish?

Postby KarrieRee » Sat Dec 05, 2020 11:51 am

Dont beat your self up -- things happen and since you dont exactly what happened to Kyro we can leave the unknown unknown-- so do you have a hygrometer in the tank? If so where do you have it placed? You need it on the back wall middle of the tank -- most dragons dont drink from water dishes but to help alleviate the stress of dehydrating your dragon make sure your rinsing the greens before serving he will get most of the moisture from there make sure the insects are gut loaded good offer water by eye dropper or by dropping water on his nose -- watch the poops if the urate is dry and chalky looking hes dehydrated -- and it was good you pulled him out when you did you do not want him to aspirate-
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Re: Water Dish?

Postby Dragonfury866 » Sat Dec 05, 2020 12:00 pm

I’m sorry for your loss. I also had a dragon with a respiratory infection (and other issues), she has since passed away. I now realize that I cared too much about the humidity— don’t get me wrong, humidity levels are important, but adding a water dish into your tank will not end up killing your dragon. If you’re worried your humidity is too high, you can always get a dehumidifier (I used to have two running at once). But whether you include a water dish or not is up to you... obviously don’t if your dragon doesn’t drink from it, most don’t. But misting your dragon with a squirt bottle a few times a day and providing greens will combat dehydration. They can absorb water on their skin. The water dish is your choice, but if you choose not to use it, be sure to mist Maisie.
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