5 month beardie not eating for past two days and gulping?

DillyMyra

New member
Beardie name(s)
Satsuma
Hi there,

I'm really worried about my 5 month female beardy Satsuma. For the past two days she has turned down food, even worms which are her favourite!! I noticed yesterday as well she was doing a sort of gulping motion, standing up straight on her front legs, head back and swallowing really hard so her beard puffs a bit then snaps back in with her body occasionally puffing in and out too. She has also been rubbing her face on the ground and scratching at it with her back leg.

I'm worried about a respiratory infection, but she isn't mouth gaping at all - her beard isn't black, she isn't making wheezing noises and she has no stress lines either. She definitely seems more lethargic though and as said before, isn't eating at all :(.

Temperatures in the viv are all fine, the humidity has crept a bit higher than I would like but I'm taking steps to reduce that. I've only had her 3 weeks now, and though she let's me pet her and feed her by hand, she still runs when I go to pick her up. I can see some peeling skin coming on her head in the past couple days; when I got her I was told she was going to shed soon, but I have only seen some on her chin come off about a week and a half ago. She's pooing fine, once a day to once every other day.

What do you think, shedding or respiratory infection? I'm still probably going to take her to the vet tomorrow, but I want a 2nd opinion as I'm being eaten alive by worry 😰
 

Beansbanana

Hatchling Member
My dragon did a lot of beard puffing that looked weird when his head was shedding. When his body was shedding, he puffed his body in and out. If you want to go over your temperatures and uvb, others can help make sure that is all correct.
 

Rubble1212

Juvie Member
Beardie name(s)
Rubble
Like beansbanana said they do this puffing up and retract kind of thing to help get the shed going. They also may stop eating as much or at all and spend more time on the cool side. It’s a really uncomfortable thing for them and they get grumpy 😡 can’t blame them lol. I know when my guy was younger and shed a lot it seemed like forever before he was back to his normal self. Just ride this out it takes a while sometimes their all different and if things still seem off after a week or so and your little guy isn’t eating or pooping then maybe a vet checkup might be a good idea, which also is a good idea right now with a new dragon just to establish care and get a fecal test done for any parasites. If you need any more help let us know.
 

DillyMyra

New member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Satsuma
My dragon did a lot of beard puffing that looked weird when his head was shedding. When his body was shedding, he puffed his body in and out. If you want to go over your temperatures and uvb, others can help make sure that is all correct.
Thank you for your reply! The temperatures are all seeming fine, 23°c on the cool side, 27°c on the warm and 36-37°c in the basking spot. The humidity had crept a bit high, about 47%, but I've added a fan and some dehumidifiers to the room and it's coming down now - but that's why I was worried about respiratory infection. UVB is a 25w UVB 150 75cm tube about 20cm from the basking spot with a 100w white basking lamp.
 

DillyMyra

New member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Satsuma
Like beansbanana said they do this puffing up and retract kind of thing to help get the shed going. They also may stop eating as much or at all and spend more time on the cool side. It’s a really uncomfortable thing for them and they get grumpy 😡 can’t blame them lol. I know when my guy was younger and shed a lot it seemed like forever before he was back to his normal self. Just ride this out it takes a while sometimes their all different and if things still seem off after a week or so and your little guy isn’t eating or pooping then maybe a vet checkup might be a good idea, which also is a good idea right now with a new dragon just to establish care and get a fecal test done for any parasites. If you need any more help let us know.
This is exactly what she is doing, she did no puffing at all yesterday so I'm deffo thinking it's more likely to be shedding but still on the watch. When she woke up yesterday I saw some shed near where she was sleeping as well. I can't imagine how uncomfortable it is for them :( she ate some wax worms yesterday which is good but she's been in her hide all morning looking very forlorn lol. She still doesn't like me picking her up but I think i'll try today to give her a bath today as she is clearly having a rough time with it. Thanks for your advice, I think I'll book her in to the vets for next week anyway for a checkup but will keep closely monitoring her in the meantime :)
 

Rubble1212

Juvie Member
Beardie name(s)
Rubble
This is exactly what she is doing, she did no puffing at all yesterday so I'm deffo thinking it's more likely to be shedding but still on the watch. When she woke up yesterday I saw some shed near where she was sleeping as well. I can't imagine how uncomfortable it is for them :( she ate some wax worms yesterday which is good but she's been in her hide all morning looking very forlorn lol. She still doesn't like me picking her up but I think i'll try today to give her a bath today as she is clearly having a rough time with it. Thanks for your advice, I think I'll book her in to the vets for next week anyway for a checkup but will keep closely monitoring her in the meantime :)

I don’t think you need to worry about that humidity level causing a RI. Most people recommend 30-60% humidity so unless it’s consistently over 60% some fluctuations in humidity are normal. What are you measuring humidity with? Those stick on dials are incredibly inaccurate and using a hygrometer with a probe is the best and make sure you’re measuring humidity on the ground level that’s where your dragon is so it doesn’t matter what humidity is half way up the tank. I’m not someone who’s going to tell you to rush and order a new uvb setup but you may want to upgrade to a t5 fixture and use an Arcadia 12% t5 for uvb. Basking area Ned’s to be about 12 inches under the tube and you can have some branches or rocks that get closer.
 

Rubble1212

Juvie Member
Beardie name(s)
Rubble
When they are shedding it best to leave them be they know what they need to do to get the shed and they don’t want to be picked up unless it’s absolutely necessary during a shed. Don’t worry about a bath I’m not a proponent of baths they’re from a dry environment and most likely will never encounter a pool of water to soak in. But again I’m not going to tell you not just my opinion lol. The best thing to do is drip water over the nose and let them lick it up to keep them hydrated.
 

DillyMyra

New member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Satsuma
I don’t think you need to worry about that humidity level causing a RI. Most people recommend 30-60% humidity so unless it’s consistently over 60% some fluctuations in humidity are normal. What are you measuring humidity with? Those stick on dials are incredibly inaccurate and using a hygrometer with a probe is the best and make sure you’re measuring humidity on the ground level that’s where your dragon is so it doesn’t matter what humidity is half way up the tank. I’m not someone who’s going to tell you to rush and order a new uvb setup but you may want to upgrade to a t5 fixture and use an Arcadia 12% t5 for uvb. Basking area Ned’s to be about 12 inches under the tube and you can have some branches or rocks that get closer.
That's good to know, thank you! I'm measuring with a digital hydrometer which is placed on the floor of the viv. Thank you for the suggestion - I'll have a look into that uvb tube, the basking area is about 20cm away from the current one which I *think* is around 12 inches, maybe a bit less, so that should be fine.

She is now eating wax worms, and ate about 8 roaches yesterday, but is turning up her nose at everything apart from wax worms today :/ her face is shedding a fair bit now, but I don't know if I should just keep feeding her wax worms at the moment as I know she'll eat them while she is shedding but I don't want her to get addicted to them...
 

Rubble1212

Juvie Member
Beardie name(s)
Rubble
Yeah just be careful my guy won’t eat anything but super worms and they are determined and very strong willed about showing you what they like. Maybe try some BSFL or super worms?

 

Longfellow777

Sub-Adult Member
Beardie name(s)
Frey'ja
Ive been told there is usually a clicking or choke or an unusual gapeing sound with respiratory infection. Frey'ja does all kinds of crazy stuff when her neck is shedding.
 

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