Should i be worried about my Beardie's (lack of) eating

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Should i be worried about my Beardie's (lack of) eating

Postby Jebediah » Mon Mar 15, 2021 11:05 pm

Hi Guys,

So first some background. Got my little guy about 7 weeks ago. He was approximately 5 months old, and a little underweight. After not eating anything for the first 10 days or so, he slowly started picking up the pace until he was eating about 15 juicy Dubias a day (the size in between his eyes), and his weight picked up nicely, with noticeable weight gain in his head/chin and the top of his tail.

He has been for a while in pre-shed, but once he started shedding and a few days prior he has basically stopped eating entirely. He has now all but finished his shed, and still didn't eat yesterday. It has been about 6 days and only on average 2 bugs per day.

His behaviour seems normal. He loves his giant basking rock and doesn't move from there much at the best of times. His setup is good i think - basking temp just over 100 degrees. Arcadia t5 tube light inside his tank etc. His poop has been for the most part normal and regular (once a day), although yesterday it was weird and mucusy.

Should i be concerned with the lack of eating?
Is the 15 dubias a day too little at the best of times?
Should i be worried that he doesn't touch his veg at all, ever?

Thanks
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Re: Should i be worried about my Beardie's (lack of) eating

Postby CooperDragon » Tue Mar 16, 2021 9:37 am

My guess is that it's related to shedding. That tends to cause them to be in a bad mood and often lack appetite. They also go through phases in which they eat less and that's normal. Just keep a log of his weight (a kitchen scale that measures in grams is helpful) so you can make sure his weight is stable. He may be a bit dehydrated so you could offer some water by dripping it on his nose and see if he licks it up. His appetite is likely to pick back up eventually. As for the veges, keep offering them. Try some hand feeding or cutting squash up into worm shapes and see how that goes over. Not unusual for him to refuse at his age, but keep trying. He should slowly transition to eating more veges between about 12-18 months old as he reaches full size.
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Re: Should i be worried about my Beardie's (lack of) eating

Postby Jebediah » Thu Mar 25, 2021 6:06 am

Thanks. He acts normal and seems happy, but I think he is very very small for his age. He only weighs about 50g and is 4-5 months old. Has finished shedding but still not eating. A worm or 2 here or there, but totally refuses the dubias now.

Should I take him to the vet? I'm not sure there is a specialist vet at all in my vicinity.
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Re: Should i be worried about my Beardie's (lack of) eating

Postby CooperDragon » Thu Mar 25, 2021 8:40 am

Sounds like he has quite a few growth spurts left to go. I wouldn't bother going to the vet unless you see a significant weight drop or change in behavior (lethargic, dark beard, etc). It's good to find out nearby options though and schedule wellness visits so you can get to know a vet. Makes things MUCH smoother if there is an emergency down the line. This is a good place to start, but you can call them ahead of time to see if they have experience working with dragons and find out their usual rates http://www.anapsid.org/vets/#vetlist
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Re: Should i be worried about my Beardie's (lack of) eating

Postby Jebediah » Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:11 am

Still not eating, and i am starting to get very worried :(

Still pooping every day, but it is green slime.

Drinking still, so don't think he is too dehydrated. Behaviour is still normal.

Has definitely lost weight, and is looking rather skinny.

Took him to my local vet, who was very nice, but had zero clue about how to deal with him. She told me she would consult with a colleague who was more qualified.

She force fed some food, and offered me to give him fluids via IV but i declined as i wasn't sure it was a good idea. Took an oral swab and did a microscopic test on it, but she said it came back normal. I'm going to give her a fecal sample in a few days when she is back in the surgery. Beyond that, i am not sure whether i should rush to a better-suited vet, or see how i go here.

I just want him to EAT!!!

Any advice?
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Re: Should i be worried about my Beardie's (lack of) eating

Postby KarrieRee » Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:48 pm

What are you using for a UVB? No coils they are no good-- where is the UVB? Basking temps and how are you taking them? No stick ons please they are inaccurate-- uvb and basking temps are the two most important things in the tank
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Re: Should i be worried about my Beardie's (lack of) eating

Postby Jebediah » Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:31 pm

KarrieRee wrote:What are you using for a UVB? No coils they are no good-- where is the UVB? Basking temps and how are you taking them? No stick ons please they are inaccurate-- uvb and basking temps are the two most important things in the tank


Thanks for the quick reply. He has an arcadia t5 tube with reflector inside his tank, about 14 inches above the basking spot. Basking temperatures about 103, with a digital probe thermometer.

UVB is over on the same side as the basking spot. Basking spot isn't directly underneath it. rather about 5 inches away (see pics). Is that a problem?

His nighttime and cool side temps are also what are recommended here on the forum.

Have included a pic of his set-up and also his poop.
[Click image to enlarge]

[Click image to enlarge]

[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: Should i be worried about my Beardie's (lack of) eating

Postby KarrieRee » Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:16 am

I think I would get some better decor under your lights -- something that he can get a gradient heat and UVB on - 5 months old he should be eating like a champ-- are you in the states? Pet Smart has great decor for basking and offering different gradient heat -- https://www.petsmart.com/reptile/habita ... gid=500116 this piece you can lay in the tank different ways -- something is off if hes losing weight-- I also would try lowering your UVB about an inch or so maybe getting it to 12 inches instead of the 14" --- what are you feeding? I would order some large BSFL and add them to his salads -- feed first thing in the morning add them to his salads in front of him -- you can hand feed those then drop as many as you want on top of his salads -- they are a great staple feeder and will compliment the main staple feeder especially for babies --- get you UVB readjusted and see what he does --- basking temps are good at 103 -- its good your getting a fecal done --- keep us posted on his behavior
www.symtonbsf.com
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Re: Should i be worried about my Beardie's (lack of) eating

Postby Jebediah » Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:22 am

He has plenty of space on his giant rock to move around a get a gradient heat. I don't live in the US and don't have ready access to stuff to buy, so made my own. He has plenty of options in his viv -- the most spoilt Beardie in Israel for sure!

He was eating dubias as his staple, with some small mealworms as a treat (i know they aren't supposed to be good for him). He never ate any of his veggies, even though i give a nice selection daily. I can't get BSFL here, only the worms and roaches.

Have moved his basking spot a bit so now he can be closer to the UVB and directly under it. Will see if that helps. Shall send the fecal sample to the vet on Sunday also. Is there any particular test i should be asking her to run?

Thanks again!!
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Re: Should i be worried about my Beardie's (lack of) eating

Postby KarrieRee » Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:44 am

She should test for parasites and coccidia --- can you get superworms? Meal worms are really harsh on babies stomachs and can cause impaction - here is a website for nutrition ignore the kale thing its a good staple feeder - http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Nutrition.html
as long as your using the meal worms add them to the salads 1-3 of them to lure him to the bowl - I would try and get rid of them and use medium super worms- I dont know what is available in Israel for treat worms like horn worms super butter worms? Anything like that? Most people get their worms and staple feeders on line - I would try googling in your country for on line suppliers -- dubias are a great staple feeder -- BSFL are also known as calci worms phoenix worms or nutri grubs --
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Re: Should i be worried about my Beardie's (lack of) eating

Postby Jebediah » Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:56 am

Thanks i will get her to check for them. Are superworms not just big mealworms? I can't get anything else (other than crickets), but at the moment he isn't eating anything, so that is the least of my worries.

Will let you know, Thanks again!
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Re: Should i be worried about my Beardie's (lack of) eating

Postby KarrieRee » Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:59 am

Super worms and meal worms are different worms-- the meal worm has a harder exoskeleton than the super worm -- if the worm is in shed then the worm is softer -- they will look white -- hopefully the relocating the basking spot for the UVB is going to help -- let me know the behavior of the dragon please
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Re: Should i be worried about my Beardie's (lack of) eating

Postby Jebediah » Mon Apr 12, 2021 12:21 pm

KarrieRee wrote:Super worms and meal worms are different worms-- the meal worm has a harder exoskeleton than the super worm -- if the worm is in shed then the worm is softer -- they will look white -- hopefully the relocating the basking spot for the UVB is going to help -- let me know the behavior of the dragon please


No change in his behaviour. Still seems happy enough, but not eating. Maybe one roach every 2 days. Poop still that weird green slime.

Vet did a fecal test. She said there were lots of germs, but no parasites. She readily admits that she is out of her depth (she very kindly hasn't charged me anything) and said that if i need more treatment i should go to a specialist vet. Should that be my next step? Anything else?

Getting extremely frustrated here :?
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Re: Should i be worried about my Beardie's (lack of) eating

Postby KarrieRee » Mon Apr 12, 2021 12:29 pm

Try this website http://www.arav.org
Let me know if you find a reptile vet---
Did you get the UVB moved down? Keep him hydrated- does he look like he's losing weight? You may haft to start handfeeding - you can get some oxbow carnivore and oxbow herbivore it's good stuff but very thick - or get some baby food chicken and squash mix w/ some water for consistency w/ a pinch of calcium- see if he will lick off the spoon- or you may haft to force feed w/ a syringe
Last edited by KarrieRee on Mon Apr 12, 2021 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Should i be worried about my Beardie's (lack of) eating

Postby Jebediah » Mon Apr 12, 2021 12:32 pm

KarrieRee wrote:Try this website http://www.arav.org
Let me know if you find a reptile vet---
Please post a pic of the poop


Posted a pic above. Thanks so much
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