Beardie flipping and turning in circles

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I am exhausted of ideas and I want to do everything I can for this boy. I am terrified I am going to lose him.

Some history, Leo is a citrus (though he went very orange) tiger leatherback about a year old and was purchased last February as a baby from his breeder. He has been housed in a tank (20g as a youngster and 40g as he got older) on paper towel. 80-100/105 with a Reptisun 10.0 that has been changed. Fed on greens (collard, mustard, turnip), squash (butternut and acorn), cactus leaf now and then and carrot now and then. His protein has consisted mostly of crickets and dubia roaches with some hornworms and superworms. His salad is dusted with RepCal calcium and weekly with Herptivite (when he was younger his protein was dusted just in case he didn't eat his salad). He is soaked weekly and was soaked several times a week when he was younger.

Last week the horror began. The day prior he seemed fine. I can say looking back the last couple weeks before this happened he seemed less interested in his protein and just wanted to bask, but seemed bright eyed as always and that wasn't completely out of the norm for him. He was usually picky (loved his roaches). The next day though his head was flipped to the side, his body bent in a circle to a right. He can only move in a circle. If you pick him up he will roll over.... And over continuously.

I read the number of possibilities on here. I don't know where he might have gotten a calcium deficiency, but it was worth a shot. I gave him calcium syrup, which I have on hand. He seemed a touch brighter, nut no big change. The next day I started a Panacur regimen just in case it was parasites, he was due. It could be a possibility. That was the beginning of last week and no change. I have tried calcium dust mixed with water (just in case he was dehydrated and put some extra calcium in because you never know). Nothing. He ate roaches a couple days and superworms yesterday.

I also spoke with his breeder as they have been doing this a long time and also have his siblings, parents and the grand babies. None of them are having these issues or have had them. I would figure if it is adenovirus at least one of his siblings would have shown something, or he would have shown it earlier. Something.

I have not taken him to the vet yet. I want to take in a fecal just to see if there may be something I missed. There is only one vet around here I really trust. I have not taken him as I don't know how much more is available with what is going on. I am open to any suggestions of potential issues of what I might do, anything. I just don't want to lose him.

Just toshow him off, here is Leo a couple months ago

AHBD Sicko
I'm sorry to hear about your beautiful boy ! Some things that can cause the loss of balance are overheating, water in the ear [ any possibility of ear infection from water during a bath ? ] also, is there anything new in his tank that could be giving off toxic fumes ? Toxins and viruses can cause those symptoms. I hope you can figure out what's wrong with your boy !


Original Poster
Thank you for the reply. I have never put him in deep water nor seen water get near his ear. He has a 75w incandescent bulb - same as all of my others in a 40g. He only has his food dish and basking rock. The rock is foam and coated (like many of those foam backgrounds same idea). All my others have the same rocks without issue. He has had his for 6 months. I can take it out though just in case.


Gray-bearded Member
The only thing I see is the bark he is on...I would put him on something that wasnt loose...he is such a beautiful boy!! You should send a pm to Tracie, her username is Drache613, if anyone can help,,.it will be her. I truly hope you get him straightened out.


Original Poster
He is not on bark, that was a photoshoot setup on a table :) . He is on paper towels.

I will send her a message, thank you!


Gray-bearded Member
im really sorry to hear about Leo I hope he is doing better and you can figure out what is wrong with him. He seems to be a really beautiful beardie!

Drache613 Sicko
Staff member

I hate to read such an unfortunate story. He is a beautiful boy.
I am not sure if it would be Adeno either, since it just "started" & none of the others have had any trouble it doesn't seem real likely. You can test him though if you want. I go through a lab in Dallas for $18 for the test & you can sign up at:

You are using the Reptisun 10 tube bulb & not the coil, right? Is there screen or plastic in between him & the light? How close is the UVB light to him & is it mounted directly overhead alongside his basking light?
What is the humidity in the tank & do you use a digital probe or a temp gun to measure his temperatures?
Which calcium syrup are you or did you use & what was the dose?
How often do you give the calcium?
He may have a thiamin deficiency so you can try getting some bee pollen to help with the B complex intake of him.
Is he your only leatherback??
Has he exhibited any other trouble with balance, etc before this?
It could be a bacterial or protozoan infection which causes central nervous system disturbances. I would definitely get a fecal done on him to see if something is going on there.
A blood test would be a good baseline to get done also, to determine his levels of electrolytes, calcium to phosphorus ratios, etc.
Could he have injured himself?

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Wow I haven't logged in for years. Hi!
So to any reading this, how on earth do I post a thread 😅 New here, possibly too old for this

Just Hazel in a filter I need so not posting on forums.
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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?

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