Senior / Elderly Dragons - anyone?

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Senior / Elderly Dragons - anyone?

Postby blue11 » Thu Dec 24, 2020 7:25 am

Hey everyone! It’s been a minute since I’ve posted - but my girl is turning 10 years old the first week of January 2020 - so I thought I’d come to the board and see how many of y’all have or have had an older beardie, like over 10 years? Or, at what age did your dragon live out their life til?

I see a lot of baby beardie care posts which are so vital and also fun to read - but i thought - would anyone like to give any input about senior beardie care? I also see many different sites/sources that say different things regarding age - I see some site say 6 and up is “senior” - then some say 8 and up, some say 10 and up. I’ve also seen the labels fluctuate with the years old as well - from “senior” to “elderly” to “geriatric” ... it’s just neat to see different sites and different people use use different terms and such.

My girl Blue appears to still be happy and in good health - alert, bright eyes, pink mouth/tounge, basking well, eating well, drinks her water from her syringe every other day, pooping well, etc ... she just came out of her 5 month brumation about 3 weeks ago - she tends to go down completely (zero waking up - out like a light - deep sleep) in late summer - this year it was late July - and emerge in late December or January ... that’s been her typical yearly schedule her whole life.

The only thing I have actually noticed is that her activity level is a bit lower than it used to be which to me feels totally normal and expected ... for example she doesn’t climb like she used to - BUT I am actually super thankful for that b/c I definitely don’t want her falling at her age (any age, but especially now) ...

Blue has only been to the vet one time - around age 4 - for a standard check up - we have never seen any signs of a visible health issues, however I am making a vet appointment for January - marking her 10 year birthday with a dragon physical 🙂 - In case I’m missing something, in case of anything really.

So what do y’all do differently or not differently if you have an older dragon? Anything different with temps, diet, overall care and routines? What are yalls experiences with your senior/elderly dragon? Have you had them since they were babies or did you get your dragon as an adult or an adult rescue? I’d love to hear your opinions, thoughts and your stories and also any issues you have had with older beardies!! Thanks!
~EMILY
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Re: Senior / Elderly Dragons - anyone?

Postby CooperDragon » Thu Dec 24, 2020 8:17 am

10 is a great run. Older than my first two dragons. My current is only 6, so I don't have much firsthand advice for you about caring for them as they get older. It's great that she is still happy and healthy. She may still have many more good years ahead of her. I've read about them living well into their late teens in some cases. Part of that is good care, and part of it is luck and healthy genes, I'm sure. A wellness check at the vet is a good idea, even if to give a more recent baseline to reference in case something does start to seem off down the road.
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Re: Senior / Elderly Dragons - anyone?

Postby beardie parents » Fri Dec 25, 2020 7:46 am

Currently, we have 2 beardies. Rosie who we thought was 14 (lost track of the years) but I came on here and checked my posts regarding her and she's 13 years old. She brumated all her life so as she got older and didn't wake up from brumation I thought she was asleep but I picked her up one day to find a black beard. That's when I realized that she was not asleep but she keeps her eyes closed most of the time. I asked her to open her eyes and let me know if she was awake or asleep, so she opened one of her eyes and that's how I know that she's awake. She doesn't seem to brumate any more. Rosie did lay eggs for awhile but she hasn't for several years. Lil Squirt is 8 and 1/2 years old now. She lays eggs. We can tell when she starts to headbob - usually she gives 6 headbobbs. She doesn't lay them as often anymore (thankfully). I hope that helps you.
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Re: Senior / Elderly Dragons - anyone?

Postby blue11 » Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:32 am

CooperDragon wrote:10 is a great run. Older than my first two dragons. My current is only 6, so I don't have much firsthand advice for you about caring for them as they get older. It's great that she is still happy and healthy. She may still have many more good years ahead of her. I've read about them living well into their late teens in some cases. Part of that is good care, and part of it is luck and healthy genes, I'm sure. A wellness check at the vet is a good idea, even if to give a more recent baseline to reference in case something does start to seem off down the road.


Hi! Thanks for the reply :)

You’re totally right - the combo of great care, luck, genetics - and those certain unexpected illnesses that can happen at any time even with great care. Those are the ones that prob worry us all the most - some things are totally preventable but then there are those that are not. Blue is a pet smart beardie -(ehhhh) - I am fortunate she’s maintained such solid/happy health so far.
~EMILY
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Re: Senior / Elderly Dragons - anyone?

Postby Meg10101 » Fri Jan 15, 2021 3:19 am

Hi,

I have two extremely senior bearded dragons 16 years old - 17 years old this year! I got them when they were only 6-7 weeks old. One male and one female. The female looks about 5 years old apart from being slightly tubbier, but she's always been a big girl. The boy (Billabong) really does look his age but he loves cuddles, locusts and crickets (does not handle fatty worms well and will throw those up so I have stopped giving anything too fatty to him).

The female (Shiela) - I treat her exactly the same as I always have - she is just more cuddly than she ever was and will snuggle into me and sleep for hours. But also loves to run around the house.

Billabong - He requires a lot more geriatric type care. He goes for regular vet check ups (not cheap 150 pounds just for a check over) and was given some antibiotics a couple of months ago as he was dribbling. I do help him drink with a syringe and help him eat, stun the crickets and put veg up to his mouth. He also has lots of extra calcium as he has become a bit shaky. But he seems very happy and will become alert when I walk in the room.

I removed basically everything in their vivs and left a hammock each which acts as a place to hang out and hide under. All the other substrate was annoying them - especially Billabong who kept getting stuck on things.

Does anyone else have a beardy of this age - I have never met anyone?

Thanks!
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Re: Senior / Elderly Dragons - anyone?

Postby blue11 » Sat Jan 16, 2021 7:29 am

Ahhhh that’s amaaaaazing!!! Thank you SO much for sharing - your beardies must have had stellar care by you! I have high hopes for my 10 year old now! Congrats to you!
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Re: Senior / Elderly Dragons - anyone?

Postby Meg10101 » Sat Jan 16, 2021 8:05 am

Thank you!, my first girl Liza got to 14 bless her and I thought that was good until I had these two. Going to be a sad when they go they’ve been with me since I was 10 :( good luck with yours I hope they reach a great age!!!
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Re: Senior / Elderly Dragons - anyone?

Postby Reptilegal1 » Sat Jan 16, 2021 9:32 pm

I have a 10 yr old female that I’ve had since she was 6 weeks old. She has had several vivs in her life. I like an outdoor enclosure for all mine so I am working on a set up for them. I like them to get natural sunlight. My boy who is 4 LOVES being in his outdoor enclosure. He goes black when he comes in. The other 2 don’t mind it but they aren’t overly thrilled it seems. My 5 yr old female hates it with a passion and so I have stopped putting her outside. It’s too much stress on her. Basic salad stuff, they all love rocket, I mix zucchini, butternut squash, pak choy and swap that mix for a rocket and crunchy slaw mix that has carrot, cabbage types and other stuff in it. They all like it. Crickets or meal worms or roaches 3 times a week, salad every day. My 10 yr old is blind in one eye but chases her food like there is no tomorrow. She is slow but still basks, she had stuck shed for ages but I finally pulled the last of it off. Loves her baths.
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Re: Senior / Elderly Dragons - anyone?

Postby jennyfurfur » Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:57 pm

I've recently adopted/rescued an older beardie. Smaug is at least 6-7 years old, and in fairly good condition (improving rapidly with corrected diet, substrate, and lighting!). He's got some permanent issues due to previous injuries (broken toes, missing several of his claws) but is friendly and easy to handle.
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