New set up for elderly beardie?

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New set up for elderly beardie?

Postby lchase2010 » Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:24 am

Hi all, my girl is getting up there in age. She’s a rescue so we don’t know for sure but she’s somewhere between 9-12. I’ve had her to 2 different vets recently, and they haven’t found anything wrong with X-rays or bloodwork, but she seems to be struggling some with climbing. She’s hesitant to get down from her basking area which involves a sloped ladder.

I’m thinking she’s dealing with some arthritis, so I want to get her a new tank so she can be comfortable. Probably something 4’x2’ floor space, but much shorter like 12-15” high so she doesn’t have to climb high to get to a basking spot.

Does anyone have recommendations for pre built tanks? Am I better off getting one that just as tall, and mounting a basking light inside the tank/closer to the ground? Any suggestions appreciated!
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Re: New set up for elderly beardie?

Postby SandP » Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:14 pm

What size tank do you have her in now and what lights? I would just try to figure out how to lower her lights in her existing tank if possible. I would also try to add soft things like fleece for her to lay on. Have you ever given her silkworms?
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Re: New set up for elderly beardie?

Postby lchase2010 » Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:42 pm

SandP wrote:What size tank do you have her in now and what lights? I would just try to figure out how to lower her lights in her existing tank if possible. I would also try to add soft things like fleece for her to lay on. Have you ever given her silkworms?

Since I moved recently, she has been in what I think is a 60 gallon? She has a spot light basking lamp and a tank wide uvb. She’s in need of an upgrade regardless, as I want to get her in a wider tank. I don’t have a source for silkworms so I’ve never given her those.
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Re: New set up for elderly beardie?

Postby Drache613 » Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:33 am

Hello,

Congratulations on having an older dragon! That can be challenging getting her tank setup
for her to help make her more comfortable to bask & move around in.
Do you have any pictures of her & your current setup we could see?
Which UVB light are you using right now? She may have a little bit of calcium issues, which
at that age is to be expected. We can help with lighting distance etc, once we know what
UVB you are using.
She would absolutely love a nice soft fleece blankie on the bottom of her tank, creature
comforts are great for them.

Tracie
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Re: New set up for elderly beardie?

Postby lchase2010 » Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:30 am

Drache613 wrote:Hello,

Congratulations on having an older dragon! That can be challenging getting her tank setup
for her to help make her more comfortable to bask & move around in.
Do you have any pictures of her & your current setup we could see?
Which UVB light are you using right now? She may have a little bit of calcium issues, which
at that age is to be expected. We can help with lighting distance etc, once we know what
UVB you are using.
She would absolutely love a nice soft fleece blankie on the bottom of her tank, creature
comforts are great for them.

Tracie


Hi, here’s a photo of the temporary tank (forgive the mess, she made a mess of her dinner last night and she’s also been shedding so I try to leave her be until she’s done).
[Click image to enlarge]

I was also worried about calcium since her back legs are swollen but both vets did blood work and X-rays and said no signs of mbd. The uvb is a zoomed reptisun 10 I believe.

I think she needs an upgrade in floor space no matter what I’m just wondering if it should be short or tall.
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Re: New set up for elderly beardie?

Postby KarrieRee » Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:39 am

Your UVB is a T 5 or a T8? She needs a hide -- what are you using to get basking temps? The hammock will not give correct temp w/ a IR gun they cannot read off of hammocks you need a digital probe thermometer-- can you post a pic of her back legs please -- if they are swollen she might have gout but a uric acid level would need to be done by a vet to determine that -- is she climbing ok or having difficulties --- if upgrading to a bigger tank you want floor space and nothing lower than 18" for height -- that is for basking temps and UVB placement not so much her climbing --
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Re: New set up for elderly beardie?

Postby lchase2010 » Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:32 am

KarrieRee wrote:Your UVB is a T 5 or a T8? She needs a hide -- what are you using to get basking temps? The hammock will not give correct temp w/ a IR gun they cannot read off of hammocks you need a digital probe thermometer-- can you post a pic of her back legs please -- if they are swollen she might have gout but a uric acid level would need to be done by a vet to determine that -- is she climbing ok or having difficulties --- if upgrading to a bigger tank you want floor space and nothing lower than 18" for height -- that is for basking temps and UVB placement not so much her climbing --

Uvb is a t8 I think, I was using a probe thermometer for temps. I can’t really tell if she is climbing ok. I know she is going up and down her ladder at least once a day but she seems hesitant sometimes. When I pick her up, she sometimes twitches her legs but otherwise doesn’t flinch or seem to be in any pain, which is what the vet said when she was in last month. That was my biggest concern and why I brought her in but they said her hesitance was likely muscle loss from some recent weight loss (also being managed).
Do you think I would be well off getting a sloped basking area in an 18” tank so she won’t have to climb so high?[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: New set up for elderly beardie?

Postby KarrieRee » Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:43 am

She is shedding I dont know if a shed would cause swelling- Tracie would need to advise on that one- the T 8 needs to be unobstructed -- it either needs to go into the tank or take and place the UVB width wise on the tank w/ your basking lamp sitting next to it on the screen -- set it up on one end of your tank - you want the basking distance 6-8 inches directly above it -- and yes I would get a decor piece that has a ramp of some sort or a shoe box cut so its like a ramp shape w/ some soft material on it for traction - if she improves w/ her muscle tone and is able to start using the back legs again good then you would be able to get regular decor for her -- check your UVB bulb on the bulb itself it will tell you if its a T 8 on it look at the brand as well please
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Re: New set up for elderly beardie?

Postby lchase2010 » Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:47 am

It is a t8 zoo med reptisun 10.0
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Re: New set up for elderly beardie?

Postby KarrieRee » Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:48 am

Ok so the distance I told you is correct--- so get the UVB situated that is going to help her tremendously -- is she eating? What are you feeding for diet? staple insect?
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Re: New set up for elderly beardie?

Postby lchase2010 » Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:53 am

So then get the whole lamp mounted inside the tank? I’m not sure how to do that but I’m sure there are tutorials in the lighting forum.

For food she is eating a mix of crickets and vacuum sealed Dubia roaches (roommates won’t agree on live roaches in the house 🤐) and daily collard greens or turnip greens with occasional baked sweet potatoes or strawberries.

Thank you for your help!
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Re: New set up for elderly beardie?

Postby KarrieRee » Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:10 pm

Use these too mount in the tank 3 M command Velcro fasteners- picture hanging wire –long plastic zip ties-- fishing line or this I use these in my two tanks they work great -- they are like a Velcro strap cut into strips wrap arount the fixture https://www.homedepot.com/p/GE-15-ft-Ca ... /304220195
dried dubia are really not any good -- they tend to dry the dragon out -- making them dehydrated --- make sure your rinsing the salads before serving that will give her moisture- you can look at feeding her silk worms as a staple they are kinda spendy tho http://www.reptilianarts.com along w/ crickets -- do not leave them in the tank if you go that route feed two at a time and let her eat them -- Iam posting a website for nutrition ignore the kale thing its a good staple feeder http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Nutrition.html
we always recommend live insects its way better for them - you can look at getting some BSFL for her --those come w/ food in the container-- keep them on the tank or on your kitchen counter
http://www.symtonbsf.com order large do not dust they are small and you would need to feed her alot of them-- if you order silk worms you can get cupped they come w/ food usually -- if you go bulk you will need to get food for them to feed daily and clean the frass out daily as well
you can get super worms for treats I just got some from here https://flukerfarms.com/crickets-live-feeder-insects/ they are nice big super worms you will need to get bran to feed them I ordered a 100 of them and they came w/ no food and you will need a plastic container w/ holes on top to keep them in - they came in a long tube type container -- horn worms butter worms are also great treats - the horn worm is a hydrating worm and they GROW REALLY FAST -- so order small amount the butter worms are a nice soft worm they are spendy tho - you can get these from here they are spendy on shipping http://www.mulberryfarms.com shop around see what you can find or what you want to get --- you will need a bowl like this so the worms cant get out https://www.amazon.com/MACGOAL-Reptile- ... cx_mr_hp_d
this is the cheapest I found for this bowl
all these worms will give her a balance diet just do not over feed them like 1-3 of each worm if you have more than one worm -- I usually feed like 3 silk worms and 3 supers in the salads -- or if I have the butter worms 3 of those mix and match them -- I can tell you right now shes gonna like those worms better than the dried dubias your feeding her
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Re: New set up for elderly beardie?

Postby lchase2010 » Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:16 pm

Thank you for all this info! I will look into it. The dubias I get are thankfully not dried, but are vacuum sealed in a little water so they don’t dry out.
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Re: New set up for elderly beardie?

Postby KarrieRee » Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:46 pm

Ok and she's eating them?
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Re: New set up for elderly beardie?

Postby SandP » Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:14 pm

Is that tile? Personally I wouldn't put tile in the new tank, it can be hard on joints and if she's already having problems I can't imagine it would feel good. Maybe get non adhesive shelf liner and some soft blankets.

I asked about silkworms because they are supposed to produce or contain (not exactly sure where it comes from) serrepeptase. It's a natural pain reliever. You can buy just the serrepeptase if you don't want to or can't get the worms.
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