Beardie shaking his head left and right with mouth open and has black tail

Tina16

New member
Original Poster
Hi, my baby bearded dragon has not been eating for about a week. I have already taken his feces to the vet and am awaiting the results.

However, today a few new things happened that got me really worried. Half of his tail turned black and half the time, both of his eyes are closed. Also, a bit later in the day he started walking in circles around his basking spot and then opened his mouth and shook his head left and right. It seemed as if his body was doing it on it's own, without his consent. The process repeated a few times.

I attaching a video but it is too large. If you know how I can post it here, let me know.

There is not much on the internet about the head shaking. The few things I did find ended in beardies dying. I am really worried. Does anyone know what all of these could mean?

I know that the black tail could mean tail rot, I sent my vet the picture but they cannot know just by looking at the picture. They recommended I give him a bath and see if the color changes, it did not. We will be looking more into it and my guess is amputating the tail.

It did seem that he did not shed on that part of the tail for the last two times (the only times we've seen) and we've been bathing him more frequently. We are not sure, but my partner believes that his tail did shed the last time since there was a lot of shed when they were cleaning the tank.

We did check the pictures the breeder sent us and most of the beardies' tails looked a bit more faded in colour for the last half of the tail like it did with ours so we were hoping it was just the color, though it seemed too fishy. The tip of his tail has been a bit crooked too since before we git him.

Of course, the closing of the eyes means discomfort. He had stress lines too which got darker when I tried to feed him today. I believe he is in a lot of pain.

It just does not make sense to me how the black tail and the head shaking could be connected? Unless he is having two different issues or all of his body is slowly giving up....

I do not have the energy right now to give you all of the information about the husbandry, might do so tomorrow if the vet visit does not give me any answers. I assure you that I have read up on everything and am keeping everything correctly.

The reason I an writing to you is in hopes someone knows how this could all be connected or has any ideas on what could be wrong with him and what I should do. I cannot wait for the vet results.
 

Tina16

New member
Original Poster
Hi, sorry for the late update, I could have sworn I posted it already!

Anyway, my beardie is doing better! He is still not eating but was able to get out a bigger poop a couple of days ago.

My vet agreed with all of you that he was trying to throw up and that he must have eaten a bug that was too big for him. She advised me to give him 1-2 drops of olive oil. She also gave me some disinfectant and Gentamicin for his tail just in case (because we are not sure if he shed there or not), but she said the black tail is definitely from stress and not tail rot - which was definitely proven since his tail has been much lighter lately. She also advised me to bathe him every other day and massage his stomach.

She also found some parasite (or maybe it was some bacteria or something, not really sure now) that textbooks say is normal for beardies to have but gave us some drops for it anyway as she would rather get it out.


We went for another visit yesterday and she gave us some antibiotics and advised us to give him a drop of olive oil every day.

We just gave him his antibiotics and he puked it all out, then tried pooping. After a few minutes of usuccessful pooping, we put him in some warm water and after nothing happened again, tried massaging his stomach. At the end, only a little drop came out that he was able to get out himself at the beginning.

Even though he was unsuccessful, I am glad to see that he is trying. Hopefully it will not last much longer!


Btw we ordered a new white heating bulb that should be coming any day now!

Now for the UVB bulb... The one I have is 2,5cm or 1 inch, which from my understanding means that it is a t8, and it seems to fit into it's description from what @xp29 described. If it is a t8, does that mean I still get a bulb that is 12-14%, just with a reflector? How much watt should it be? The one I have is the Arcadia you guys recommended but it is only 10%.

Also, I have attached some pictures of the lightning from a different angle, so if you could please tell me if the UVB bulb needs to be moved or not, bc I am not sure how I would go about doing that, but I do have a friend who I believe could help me, I just need to know where exactly I should put it. It is directly above the basking spot but not above the whole surface of it.

The UVB bulb is 20cm (7.9 inches) from the wall and 10cm (3.9 inches) from the heating bulb. It is positioned in the center of the terrarium.


The temperature on the basking spot was good, although we raised it a bit since it has been raining the past couple of days.

The temperature on the basking spot is at 38°C (100° F) at the moment. It was 35°C (95° F) before we hightened it and 40°C (104° F) before it started raining. It is at around 8 inches from the UVB bulb at the moment and considering it is a t8 that should be fine, although I hope the new basking bulb gives more heat since colder months are coming and I don't know how many watts the current one has, I could not find any writing on it.

Btw please don't judge, we know the enclosure is ugly, this is only the beggining, but the most important thing is that he has what he needs :)

Anyway, thank you all so much for all of your advice, you have been sooo kind helpful! :)) Sorry for the long post again, but hopefully I went through everything.
 

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KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 5 and Blaze is 3
Hi, sorry for the late update, I could have sworn I posted it already!

Anyway, my beardie is doing better! He is still not eating but was able to get out a bigger poop a couple of days ago.

My vet agreed with all of you that he was trying to throw up and that he must have eaten a bug that was too big for him. She advised me to give him 1-2 drops of olive oil. She also gave me some disinfectant and Gentamicin for his tail just in case (because we are not sure if he shed there or not), but she said the black tail is definitely from stress and not tail rot - which was definitely proven since his tail has been much lighter lately. She also advised me to bathe him every other day and massage his stomach.

She also found some parasite (or maybe it was some bacteria or something, not really sure now) that textbooks say is normal for beardies to have but gave us some drops for it anyway as she would rather get it out.


We went for another visit yesterday and she gave us some antibiotics and advised us to give him a drop of olive oil every day.

We just gave him his antibiotics and he puked it all out, then tried pooping. After a few minutes of usuccessful pooping, we put him in some warm water and after nothing happened again, tried massaging his stomach. At the end, only a little drop came out that he was able to get out himself at the beginning.

Even though he was unsuccessful, I am glad to see that he is trying. Hopefully it will not last much longer!


Btw we ordered a new white heating bulb that should be coming any day now!

Now for the UVB bulb... The one I have is 2,5cm or 1 inch, which from my understanding means that it is a t8, and it seems to fit into it's description from what @xp29 described. If it is a t8, does that mean I still get a bulb that is 12-14%, just with a reflector? How much watt should it be? The one I have is the Arcadia you guys recommended but it is only 10%.

Also, I have attached some pictures of the lightning from a different angle, so if you could please tell me if the UVB bulb needs to be moved or not, bc I am not sure how I would go about doing that, but I do have a friend who I believe could help me, I just need to know where exactly I should put it. It is directly above the basking spot but not above the whole surface of it.

The UVB bulb is 20cm (7.9 inches) from the wall and 10cm (3.9 inches) from the heating bulb. It is positioned in the center of the terrarium.


The temperature on the basking spot was good, although we raised it a bit since it has been raining the past couple of days.

The temperature on the basking spot is at 38°C (100° F) at the moment. It was 35°C (95° F) before we hightened it and 40°C (104° F) before it started raining. It is at around 8 inches from the UVB bulb at the moment and considering it is a t8 that should be fine, although I hope the new basking bulb gives more heat since colder months are coming and I don't know how many watts the current one has, I could not find any writing on it.

Btw please don't judge, we know the enclosure is ugly, this is only the beggining, but the most important thing is that he has what he needs :)

Anyway, thank you all so much for all of your advice, you have been sooo kind helpful! :)) Sorry for the long post again, but hopefully I went through everything.
Your little one needs that uvb and solid bright white basking bulb to be able to poop better- basking temps need to be taken w/ a digital probe thermometer- you want 2 one for hitvside one for cool side - 105 -110 cool side 80's-- uvb Zoo Med ReptiSun T5 HO High Output Terrarium Hood this will come w/ a 5.0 bulb you want a reptisun 10.0 T 5 bulb for a 40 gallon tank- 22" Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 UVB T5 HO High Output Fluorescent Bulb or look at PetSmart for this one a Arcadia pro T 5 w a 12% bulb -- these uvb's have certain placement and distance depending on the screen - as of right now the uvb you have is not doing any good you don't want it on the back wall
 

xp29

Gray-bearded Member
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
In the mean time i would add another platform under the uvb so he can get to 8-10 inches toward the middle of the bulb, they don't put out as much uvb at the ends. T8's can be used but the beardie needs to get a little closer to it than he would a t5.
 

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