Bearded dragon not swallowing food- almost died

kmariet47

Member
My bearded dragon is two years old, and this has been an ongoing issue. I was told 6 months in that she had an “abnormally small throat” so she doesn’t always get her food down. Sometimes she throws up, sometimes she barely eats her greens. When she does eat, she almost always stores her food and often it will be in her neck for a couple of days. All of this has made it nearly impossible for her to maintain a healthy weight. A couple of weeks ago when I woke up she was laying down next to her throw up and not moving. Her beard, shoulders and tail were black (she’s never had a black beard before that) she was open mouth breathing and wheezing. While I waited for my vet to call back I held her with her head facing downward incase she aspirated and shortly after, she was stable.

I didn’t take her to the ER because last time I did, they told me she probably has adenovirus (she doesn’t) and that I should consider end of life options which I found unhelpful and unnecessary. They sent me home with antibiotic injections incase she aspirated but they didn’t think she did. Once she was stable, my regular vet called and advised me to start giving her the injections.

Well, this week she was storing her greens so when she started eating her bugs she couldn’t breathe. It was much worse than the last time, she was thrashing trying to breathe and my boyfriend and I had to hold her and pull out built up food from the day before and saliva. It took a while but we got her stable. Even drinking water she stores and she looks like she’s having trouble breathing properly. She always closes her eyes like she’s experiencing discomfort. She’s not super thin, we got her to put on weight the last few months but with her storing food she’s not at the weight she should be and I’m worried about nutritional deficiencies and dehydration. This is not normal behavior and no one can seem to figure out a solution. I’ve tried critical care, baby food and cutting up her greens really small but nothing helps. She has the t5 10.0 UVB and a 150watt basking bulb. Also, I have a hard time keeping her humidity up. It’s usually at 10% but I mist her tank a lot to get it up to 25-35. My vet told me humidity doesn’t matter and that was alarming to hear.
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
10% is perfectly fine. To much misting could cause mold or bacteria build up.
Do you use a food processor for her food? If not maybe grind greens and bugs into a slurry and feed her with a syringe.
Is she a Dunner morph by any chance? They are known to hold food like that.
If you make the slurriesyou can add enough water (and calcium/multivitamins) to make it thin, maybe she would go on and swallow it that way. Maybe try massaging it down with your finger under her dolap.
 

kmariet47

Member
Original Poster
10% is perfectly fine. To much misting could cause mold or bacteria build up.
Do you use a food processor for her food? If not maybe grind greens and bugs into a slurry and feed her with a syringe.
Is she a Dunner morph by any chance? They are known to hold food like that.
If you make the slurriesyou can add enough water (and calcium/multivitamins) to make it thin, maybe she would go on and swallow it that way. Maybe try massaging it down with your finger under her dolap.
She is a dunner. I got her from a breeder so idk if it’s overbreeding but I have tried slurries and massaging it down but it doesn’t help. Sometimes holding her so she’s standing upright helps but not always. It’s just so concerning because her beard will be huge and she will sleep like that and sometimes throw up from it. Another bizarre thing is at times she will get her food all the way down and then her beard gets big again like it comes back up and just sits there.
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
I would try making slurries that are really soupy and see if she will swallow that. It's a known habbit of the Dunners but I'm not sure how to get them to not do it. I'm fortunate that neither of my two Dunners do that.
Maybe @AHBD , @Claudiusx , or @CooperDragon may have a suggestion.
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
I've never heard of this, not extreme as your poor beardie. Can you post pics of her ? How much food is she given over what period of time ? I'm really sad that you as the owner but mostly she is going through if she truly has such a deformity that is causing severe suffering it might be best to put her to sleep.
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Wow, I haven't heard of this severe of issues,
either, poor thing.
It is possible she does have some type of genetic deformity, bless her. Definitely if you feed her, try
to make the slurry thin, & give her time to swallow
so she doesn't choke.
They have previously confirmed that her throat is
smaller which causes issues with swallowing?
I hope you are able to find some solutions that will
help her out, so you wont have to put her down.

Tracie
 

Members online

No members online now.

Still Needs Help

Latest resources

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

So to any reading this, how on earth do I post a thread 😅 New here, possibly too old for this
IMG_20230830_154209678_PORTRAIT~2.jpg

Just Hazel in a filter I need so not posting on forums.
On a quest for pristine beats, I struck gold during a casual coffee shop jam session. The music maestro there ushered me to VOLUMO — New generation electronic music store for pro DJs. Revel in its vast array of tracks and rejuvenate your playlists!
I have questions about bubbles on our bearded dragons eye.

So he’s gotten bubbles on his eye. We wiped them off and it’s only been twice in the last few weeks. Should we be concerned? No coughing or congestion. He’s very hungry and sleeps well. He’s 8-9 month range. His humidity is 30-40 day time and as high as 50-55 at night to early morning.
Should we be concerned?

Forum statistics

Threads
155,198
Messages
1,248,846
Members
75,660
Latest member
minion33
Top Bottom