Strange eating behavior at 7 months

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Strange eating behavior at 7 months

Postby Anthony244 » Sun May 09, 2021 9:45 am

So I've had a rankins dragon for about 4 months I'd say. To those who don't know, rankins dragons are effectively just mini bearded dragons. Beginning about a month ago, he cut his food in half. He was right on track, 10-15 dubias twice a day, then it went to about 15 a day all together, and now for the last few weeks he seems like he hardly has an appetite. I'll put 10 dubias in his bowl, and throughout the day he'll stop by and rest 2-3 a few times a day. He's still perfectly active, just not eating enough. But he doesn't seem to be getting emaciated either. Before asking, my lighting is good. Small lizard in a 40 gallon, 10% HO uvb on 2/3s of the enclosure, 100w halogen on a raised basking spot, between 100-110 on the surface of the spot. Also have a 2ft grow light for extra lighting, and an ambient heat bulb that's on all the time to keep the cool side at 80. The basking light wasn't enough to heat the whole enclosure correctly. Heat gradient is perfect. Yes there was a change to his environment, I replaced the substrate with some shale tile for his nails and because it looks natural. I'd consider this to be a possible cause, but he continued to eat normally for weeks after I put the tile in. Any ideas? I'm completely stumped, and while he seems fine, I don't think it's sustainable forever. I have to give him nearly an entire syringe of water everyday because he doesn't get nearly enough from his food anymore. Plus he hates being sprayed lol. Somebody please I need some input
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Re: Strange eating behavior at 7 months

Postby Gail » Sun May 09, 2021 11:07 am

Have you tried switching feeders? Its not uncommon for dragons to go off a particular type feeder, especially if its the main thing fed.
Does he eat any greens at all? If so, you can offer juicier once to help with hydration. Hornworms or silkworms will also work.

Maybe try a shallow bath instead of spraying. He may drink that way if he needs to. Syringing water everyday shouldn't be necessary unless he appears dehydrated.
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Re: Strange eating behavior at 7 months

Postby Anthony244 » Sun May 09, 2021 12:07 pm

Gail wrote:Have you tried switching feeders? Its not uncommon for dragons to go off a particular type feeder, especially if its the main thing fed.
Does he eat any greens at all? If so, you can offer juicier once to help with hydration. Hornworms or silkworms will also work.

Maybe try a shallow bath instead of spraying. He may drink that way if he needs to. Syringing water everyday shouldn't be necessary unless he appears dehydrated.


I haven't, I could try that I didn't even think of it. I was just tunnel vision about the fact that dubias are so perfect for them. He clearly is less attracted to them if they're coated with calcium but I don't have much choice because he eats so little. I need to dust everything to make sure he doesn't become deficient. And we do baths occasionally, but he's unsure. He's very small so I usually bring him to a small room, like the bathroom, so I don't lose him, and I'll give him a bath in a bowl and he freaks the ***** out. Hell sit like he enjoys it, but then takes off. I almost feel like he feels too vulnerable. He trusts me, but he's a very cautious animal. I'm the only one who can hold him, and even with me he's not too happy about it lol and he still gets nervous if I go over his head. I noticed he was dehydrated because at the end of the day a couple weeks ago, he was just laying on the ground with his head drooping and his eyes closed. I gave him water and he guzzeled it and immediately perked up. So I've been doing it everyday. I'd use a water bowl but I already struggle to manage the humidity. I'll try giving him a different feeder, thanks for the advice!
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Re: Strange eating behavior at 7 months

Postby Gail » Sun May 09, 2021 12:45 pm

Hope he'll start eating for you again, they can be quite picky little beasts.
How big is he now? My dragon is 10" and I'm giving him baths in the bath tub, he tolerates it ok. Using a small bowl just scares him, I think the enclosed walls freak them out.

Love to see a picture sometime, Rankins have the cutest little faces.
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Re: Strange eating behavior at 7 months

Postby Anthony244 » Mon May 10, 2021 9:34 am

Gail wrote:Hope he'll start eating for you again, they can be quite picky little beasts.
How big is he now? My dragon is 10" and I'm giving him baths in the bath tub, he tolerates it ok. Using a small bowl just scares him, I think the enclosed walls freak them out.

Love to see a picture sometime, Rankins have the cutest little faces.

I'd say he's about 8 inches head to tail, maybe a bit longer. But his body is teeny compared to a beardie of the same length lol I got him when he was barely bigger than my middle finger. I'll post a photo a little later if you'd like, is there anything special I have to do? This is my first post.
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