Bearded dragon eats minimally, lethargic for over 7 months

Hi,

So I took in a bearded dragon about 2-3 months ago. Owner was my neighbor and could not longer care for him - she was telling me she couldn't find a home for him and was going to let him outside so I said absolutely not and took him in. Owner told me she did not know how old he was because she is the second owner, but knows that he is over 6 years old since she's had him that long. I've only ever had 1 other bearded dragon who lived to be just under 2 years old and died of a brain tumor :( .... It really upset me so I never looked into getting another beardie until this situation came up.

I have a 55 gallon tank. I keep the tanks around 80, basking around 100. Cool side of tank in the 70s. No light or heat at night, I live in FL - doesn't get cold enough in my home. I have a reptisun long tube UV light that is close enough distance to his basking site. So when the previous owner could no longer care for him, she told me he is in brumation and has been sleeping a lot. I have never had one brumate before, but he appeared to show all the signs. He slept all the time in his little shelter area, hardly ate. Sometimes he even looks dead, but if I go to touch him or open the tank his eyes open wide. He never lost weight or muscle tone. If I picked him up or moved him, he would walk around a bit and eventually go back to his shelter. So I've let him be, since I read that they shouldn't really be bothered during brumation. I always keep fresh greens and fruits in his enclosure. I've offered crickets, calciworms, superworms, hornworms - rarely if ever eats one, hardly shows interest. His greens just dry up and he doesn't touch them at all. I literally counted some greens i put in the tank and that night - they were all dried up but still there untouched.

It's been over 2 months since I've had him. I contacted the owner and asked how long he was acting like this because it seems like a long time to be brumating. So then she tells me he was in brumation for 5 months before I took him and shouldn't be in brumation anymore. For one - I didn't think they brumate that long? I had no idea he was brumating that long prior to her giving him to me, so I feel terrible that he could be sick and I overlooked it.

Now he still looks and acts the same as he did when I got him. He barely eats, poops, or moves around at all. He sleeps constantly. But at the same time, he has really not lost weight or muscle tone. I looked up MBD and he doesn't look like he has that. He looks healthy, just sleeps all the time.

I blended up his greens and some strawberries and syringe fed him yesterday to try to get something in him. After that I offered him a hornworm and he actually ate it. I gave him a bath and put him under his basking area. He stayed for about 2 hours under the light, and then just like that - went to sleep.

So my question is - could this possibly be brumation after all this time?
 
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It’s a good sign he hasn’t lost weight. That’s the main thing to keep track of during brumation. How many grams is he currently?

That’s a really long time for brumation. The most my beardie has went for was like 2 months.
 

Sunnycore96

Member
Original Poster
It’s a good sign he hasn’t lost weight. That’s the main thing to keep track of during brumation. How many grams is he currently?
So I haven't weight him since I've had him, but I will tomorrow. His belly is a little flat. He has a nice thick tail at his base and he arms and legs are good size. Skin is taught and not wrinkly. He just looks healthy and I don't understand how it's even possible considering all he does is sleep. Is there a way for me to keep him out of brumation or get him out of it... if its even possible he is still in it?
 
It’s a good sign he hasn’t lost weight. That’s the main thing to keep track of during brumation. How many grams is he currently?
So I haven't weight him since I've had him, but I will tomorrow. His belly is a little flat. He has a nice thick tail at his base and he arms and legs are good size. Skin is taught and not wrinkly. He just looks healthy and I don't understand how it's even possible considering all he does is sleep. Is there a way for me to keep him out of brumation or get him out of it... if its even possible he is still in it?
T5 or T8 UVB? Is it the correct UV percentage for him? How old if the bulb?
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 3
T8 and this bulb is 2-3 months old. I bought a new bulb when I got him.
T 8 needs to be inside the tank no clear plastic cover over the bulb - distance 6-8 inches- reptisun brand is one of the best basking temps 95-100 taken w/ a digital probe thermometer- no stick ons these are crucial. The brumation behavior is caused by incorrect temps and uvb placement- if it's on top of the screen it is blocking 30% of the rays-- basking bulb should be a CLEAR bright white basking bulb no colored or off white or yellowish bulbs - no infrared or daytime bulbs please-- example of what I am talking about is a Exo Terra intense basking bulb--
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 3
I should of said the uvb needs to be directly over the basking decor piece and the temp is surface temp place the probe where he would sit for basking wait 10 min or so get temp- cool side if the tank 80's during the day 90's ambient temp on basking side- please ask more questions- he will not eat w/ out these things I have posted about they are the lifeline to the dragon-- dragons should not brumate for more than 3 months tops
 

Sunnycore96

Member
Original Poster
T 8 needs to be inside the tank no clear plastic cover over the bulb - distance 6-8 inches- reptisun brand is one of the best basking temps 95-100 taken w/ a digital probe thermometer- no stick ons these are crucial. The brumation behavior is caused by incorrect temps and uvb placement- if it's on top of the screen it is blocking 30% of the rays-- basking bulb should be a CLEAR bright white basking bulb no colored or off white or yellowish bulbs - no infrared or daytime bulbs please-- example of what I am talking about is a Exo Terra intense basking bulb--
T8 is not covered by a screen or plastic cover. And I do use a digital thermometer
 

Sunnycore96

Member
Original Poster
T 8 needs to be inside the tank no clear plastic cover over the bulb - distance 6-8 inches- reptisun brand is one of the best basking temps 95-100 taken w/ a digital probe thermometer- no stick ons these are crucial. The brumation behavior is caused by incorrect temps and uvb placement- if it's on top of the screen it is blocking 30% of the rays-- basking bulb should be a CLEAR bright white basking bulb no colored or off white or yellowish bulbs - no infrared or daytime bulbs please-- example of what I am talking about is a Exo Terra intense basking bulb--
also yes I use no infrared bulb or anything like that. Just a bright white bulb
 

Sunnycore96

Member
Original Poster
Ok temps need to be 95-100 surface temps not air
By surface temps do you mean like the temperature of his ledge/basking area? I place the digital thermometer on the glass at the same height right next to his basking area. Which reads 95-100. And I have the basking bulb and the UVB directly over it. When I placed him on the basking ledge tonight he was basking with his mouth open, and stayed for a 2-3 hours and then got off and went back to sleep.
 

Sunnycore96

Member
Original Poster
By surface temps do you mean like the temperature of his ledge/basking area? I place the digital thermometer on the glass at the same height right next to his basking area. Which reads 95-100. And I have the basking bulb and the UVB directly over it. When I placed him on the basking ledge tonight he was basking with his mouth open, and stayed for a 2-3 hours and then got off and went back to sleep.
Besides directly over his basking spot. Air temp is about 80-85
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 3
Besides directly over his basking spot. Air temp is about 80-85
You want the probe sitting where he sits to bask that gives surface temps it does not need to sit there only long enough to get temp then place the probe on the side of the tank in that area it will give air temp - in the 90's-- gaping is good he's adjusting his body temp-
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Bless him. It sounds like he is a bit older. Do you happen to have any pictures of your dragon & the tank setup you could post just so
we could see his condition?
What is the tube bulb brand you are using?
They can technically brumate for 5-6 months but definitely if he was somewhat brumating before you got him & is still slown down, you
might want to consider getting a fecal done on him if you feel it is needed.
If you have a cave or anything that he sleeps in you could take it out for awhile to see if that helps also.
How often do you give calcium for him right now?

Tracie
 

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