Beardie has tremors in front legs when walking

LadySidhe

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Roz
My beardie, who was given to me by a friend, has been having problems with her front legs. When she walks, she has tremors, like a palsy, in them.

The diet she was given previously was not the best (only mealworms), and at first I thought she was having calcium issues, as the lights we were given were dome lights (the previous owners said she was about five years old, so I'm assuming they had her for most of that time).

I began feeding her soldier fly larvae, hornworms, and waxworms (sprayed with calcium) for protein and bought her a tank-long UVB light.

She seemed to get better almost immedietely, with no tremors, for a month or two, but now the tremors are back, and I'm not sure what I'm dealing with.

I thought I'd come here for advice and suggestions before rushing off to the vet (there is only one reptile vet within a two-hour driving distance of me, and they take advantage of it by being extremely expensive. I also only go when absolutely necessary, because the vets in this town don't allow the owner in the examining room, so you can't see what they're doing, you can't ask questions or give input while they're examining your pet, and it's an all-around uninformative and unpleasant experience).
 

xp29

Gray-bearded Member
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
Is your uvb on top of the screen or inside and what is the distance from the uvb to where she sets? The screen blocks a considerable amount of the uvb. If it's on top of the screen she needs to be able to get within 6 to 8 inches, if inside it can be a bite higher. But honestly, i would keep her close to it either way. She has likely suffered a life long lack of uvb AND calcium, that can't be rectified quickly, it's going to take time and uvb and basking that is spot on.
 

LadySidhe

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Roz
Is your uvb on top of the screen or inside and what is the distance from the uvb to where she sets? The screen blocks a considerable amount of the uvb. If it's on top of the screen she needs to be able to get within 6 to 8 inches, if inside it can be a bite higher. But honestly, i would keep her close to it either way. She has likely suffered a life long lack of uvb AND calcium, that can't be rectified quickly, it's going to take time and uvb and basking that is spot on.
The UVB is on top of the screen. I'd say it's within a foot of her. The way the enclosure is made, that's as close as I can get it. I've been looking for something to use to hang it on the inside, but unless I can do away with the screen altogether (can I do that? does there HAVE to be a top to the enclosure?), there would be no way to replace the screen after hanging the light.

She will bask every now and then, but she seems to like staying on the cooler side of the enclosure most of the time. She'll spend a lot of time on the cooler side, and then suddenly decide she wants to live on the warm side for a week. If she's on the cooler side, and I place her on the warm side, she'll stay there for a few minutes, and then move back to the cool side.

What I find weird is that her tremors seemed to vanish about a week after I started her new diet and put up the new light, and then returned after about a month. The first time she had the tremors, it was only in one leg, and now it's in both. I bring her outside for a few hours every weekend when it's hot (my work schedule is dark to dark during the week) so that she can be in the sunlight (mainly because it's the only way I can get her to eat her greens--I have to pop them in her mouth when she opens it to regulate, or she wouldn't eat greens at ALL, because she was never fed them before).

I've been learning as I go with her. She's my first beardie. I wasn't given any specific information on her care when she was given to me, so I did an intensive internet search. I'm pretty sure her previous owners weren't knowledgeable about beardie care either, so now we're dealing with the fallout of that.
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 5 and Blaze is 3
The UVB is on top of the screen. I'd say it's within a foot of her. The way the enclosure is made, that's as close as I can get it. I've been looking for something to use to hang it on the inside, but unless I can do away with the screen altogether (can I do that? does there HAVE to be a top to the enclosure?), there would be no way to replace the screen after hanging the light.

She will bask every now and then, but she seems to like staying on the cooler side of the enclosure most of the time. She'll spend a lot of time on the cooler side, and then suddenly decide she wants to live on the warm side for a week. If she's on the cooler side, and I place her on the warm side, she'll stay there for a few minutes, and then move back to the cool side.

What I find weird is that her tremors seemed to vanish about a week after I started her new diet and put up the new light, and then returned after about a month. The first time she had the tremors, it was only in one leg, and now it's in both. I bring her outside for a few hours every weekend when it's hot (my work schedule is dark to dark during the week) so that she can be in the sunlight (mainly because it's the only way I can get her to eat her greens--I have to pop them in her mouth when she opens it to regulate, or she wouldn't eat greens at ALL, because she was never fed them before).

I've been learning as I go with her. She's my first beardie. I wasn't given any specific information on her care when she was given to me, so I did an intensive internet search. I'm pretty sure her previous owners weren't knowledgeable about beardie care either, so now we're dealing with the fallout of that.
For a fine mesh screen either take the screen off or you can use these to hang inside the tank - you want the full effect of the UVB rays -- 3M Velcro fasteners - fishing line - picture hanging wire or long plastic zip ties --- what kind of basking bulb are you using? You want a solid clear bright white bulb like Flukers - Exo Terra Intense or Arcadia halogen - your surface basking temps need to be 95-100 taken w/ a digital probe thermometer -- what is the UVB your using please?
 

LadySidhe

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Roz
For a fine mesh screen either take the screen off or you can use these to hang inside the tank - you want the full effect of the UVB rays -- 3M Velcro fasteners - fishing line - picture hanging wire or long plastic zip ties --- what kind of basking bulb are you using? You want a solid clear bright white bulb like Flukers - Exo Terra Intense or Arcadia halogen - your surface basking temps need to be 95-100 taken w/ a digital probe thermometer -- what is the UVB your using please?
Those are good suggestions, thank you. I'll try the velcro one.
I'm using a fluker's red basking light, I want to say it's a 120w, and I'm using a reptisun T5 HO for the tank-long UVB.
 

hdochow

Juvie Member
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Sir Henry of Scales
you want a clear basking bulb, not the red. dragons should never have any type of colored lights. they cause health/eye problems. this is the one i use. you may want a different wattage. that will depend on your set up. we have a 4x2x2 with solid top so very little heat is lost. when we had a 20 gallon glass enclosure we had to use 150 watts. Amazon.com
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 5 and Blaze is 3
Those are good suggestions, thank you. I'll try the velcro one.
I'm using a fluker's red basking light, I want to say it's a 120w, and I'm using a reptisun T5 HO for the tank-long UVB.
Please put a piece of basking decor directly under the UVB if hes having a hard time climbing use rolled up dish towels so he can get to at least 12-15 inches -- and please get rid of the red basking light -- colored bulbs are not any good and they distort the dragons vision -- he needs a solid bright white bulb - they will give off UVA of which he needs
 

xp29

Gray-bearded Member
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
It's an unfortunate truth, way to many people buy these guys with zero research before hand and a lot of the time after as well. It's a travesty they suffer from our laziness and lack of caring. They are truely wonderful animals and deserve better. I'm glad you took the time to research, i hope you can pull her health back up to par. It will take time though, work with Karrieree on your lighting, until you get that on point or It's near impossible to get them healthy. Once the lighting is all correct then good food, vitamins, calcium, and good sanitation will take care of the rest.
 
Last edited:

LadySidhe

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Roz
you want a clear basking bulb, not the red. dragons should never have any type of colored lights. they cause health/eye problems. this is the one i use. you may want a different wattage. that will depend on your set up. we have a 4x2x2 with solid top so very little heat is lost. when we had a 20 gallon glass enclosure we had to use 150 watts. Amazon.com
Ok. I had no idea that I should be using a clear basking bulb. I use the red so that I can leave it on at night when it's particularly chilly. I figured a white light would be too bright for her to sleep. She came with the red. Would a basking rock be better, or maybe a heat emitter I can put in the enclosure? I figure that since I keep it rather chilly in my house, that a 150 watt bulb is appropriate to keep it warm enough.
 

LadySidhe

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Roz
It's an unfortunate truth, way to many people buy these guys with zero research before hand and a lot of the time after as well. It's a travesty they suffer from our laziness and lack of caring. They are truely wonderful animals and deserve better. I'm glad you took the time to research, i hope you can pull her health back up to par. It will take time though, work with Karrieree on your lighting, until you get that on point It's near impossible to get them healthy. Once the lighting is all correct then good food, vitamins, calcium, and good sanitation will take care of the rest.
The friend who gave her to me has several dogs, and his kids loved the dogs and ignored the dragon, so he offered her to me. I'm never one to turn down a pet in need of a home, so I took her, and subsequently had to do a buttload of research on how to properly care for her. I'm STILL looking stuff up.
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 5 and Blaze is 3
The friend who gave her to me has several dogs, and his kids loved the dogs and ignored the dragon, so he offered her to me. I'm never one to turn down a pet in need of a home, so I took her, and subsequently had to do a buttload of research on how to properly care for her. I'm STILL looking stuff up.
Ok get the bright white basking bulb I posted earlier- if your tank is getting below 65 at night- you want a ceramic heat emitter-- make sure your getting surface basking temps w/ a digital probe thermometer-
 

hdochow

Juvie Member
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Sir Henry of Scales
I'm never one to turn down a pet in need of a home, so I took her, and subsequently had to do a buttload of research on how to properly care for her. I'm STILL looking stuff up.
i was in the same place when i rescued sir henry. his previous owner listened to, and subsequently bought, everything the pet store told her to get. unfortunately they knew nothing about beardies! i had always wanted one, but knew their care was specific so didn't get one of my own. then fate threw us together! this website and the awesome people on it are what helped me save him. i read this forum daily and still learn things after 2 years. you are in the right place!

in general, they like it cool and completely dark at night. so unless you're getting night temps below about 65°, you are ok. if you do get that cold, the heat emitter karrieree mentioned is the way to go. they give off heat but no light.
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Keep trying with her! I agree that it is most likely going to be a lighting issue. She isn't basking
enough & isn't getting adequate enough UVB so her body's calcium reserves are probably running
low causing tremors.
Are you giving a good liquid calcium for her right now?
You don't have to have a screen top but if you have an animal who would get in & hurt her then yes.
Otherwise, an open top is fine. Just make sure she can't get out & hurt herself.

Tracie
 

LadySidhe

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Roz
I'm going to pick up some velcro tomorrow and see what I can do with that UVB light. I do have a liquid calcium that I spray on her food (she won't touch anything with powder on it), and I definitely need a screen--I also have cats, and while they get along with her, I wouldn't put it past them to get up where they're not supposed to be and try to jump in the enclosure with her, hurting her accidentally.

Her previous owners inadvertently taught her some bad habits that I'm trying to work around. They only fed her mealworms, no fruits or veggies, so she won't eat fruits or veggies unless I trick her into it (I bring her outside and wait until she opens her mouth to cool off, and then pop the offending food in :D), I feed her watermelon, which she likes, for water (or, alternatively, I have a small dropper that I use to dribble water in her mouth when she's outside), and I mix her good protein in with treat protein so she'll "accidentally" get the good stuff. I've tried every trick I've seen in every video and article, and those are the only ways I've found to get her to drink water and eat the food she's supposed to be eating. She's stubborn, that's for sure. I get the hairy eyeball from her every time, too. (Y'all know the look I mean).

I've been giving her soldier fly larvae, since I've read that it's a better protein for them than, say, waxworms and hornworms (which she loves), or superworms. Any suggestions on that front? I have to order the soldier fly larvae because the pet stores only carry the "treat" worms.

I'm going to be taking her outside today when it's warm and the sun is out, and see if I can get her to eat some of the offending greenery...lol...I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to eventually bring her to the vet, though. She has a plugged nostril that I've been trying to clear--unsuccessfully--and she has a very irregular pooping schedule that worries me. I'm going to work with the lighting and keep taking her outside--I'll give it another two weeks, and if nothing changes, I'll make a vet appointment. When I fixed the lighting the first time, she seemed to improve almost immediately, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Thanks to everyone for all of your suggestions and input. You've actually made me feel a lot less stressed about this.
 

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