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Dragon not eating

FrogWorld

Member
Hello! First post here :). I scheduled a vet visit in two days to get tested for parasites first and foremost but I still feel anxious having to wait while I don’t know what’s going on.

I have a bearded dragon that’s approaching a year in age. I don’t know exactly when he was born, but he was a very young juvenile when I got him last December. For the past two weeks he hasn’t been eating. Closes his eyes and turns his head away at anything I offer when I tong feed. Doesn’t eat his salads anymore either. At first I just thought he was moody because he was shedding, but after removing most of it after soaking him every other day he still hasn’t eaten. Going to give him another soak to try and get the last bit thats left at the top of his head. It’s pretty normal for him to eat about 1/3rd of what he normally ate while shedding in the past. That’d last a couple days. But to completely stop eating for a week?

I’ve been doing research and it’s possible he could be in brumation, but he’s still basking and moves around his tank pretty regularly. He hasn’t been sleeping during the day (although I would say he’s been a bit sluggish). As I said previously, I am going to go get a fecal sample done to make sure parasites aren’t involved and if he is going into brumation to make sure he’s healthy enough to do so.

Info about my set up and his care: He’s in a 40G tank (hope to upgrade soon!). I have an Arcadia tube light (the 12% uvb 34” one). A 100W heat bulb over his basking area that turns off at night in place of a 75W ceramic heat emitter that is placed over the center of the tank (it gets fairly cold at night in my house). Basking spot is 105-110 with the cool side getting down to 85. I have the stick on measures that came with a kit I got, although I normally use a temp gun to check temperatures. He gets a mixed diet of supers and dubias with salads every other day. He loves his collards, so that’s his primary vegetable. I’ll mix it up every once in a while.

Initially when it happened it was feeding him organic baby food, both the pea and sweet potato kind, mixed with a bit of Reptaboost, to try and get him to eat, but I read that if he’s in brumation force feeding him isn’t a good idea so I stopped about 4 days ago. I continue to offer feeders and salads. Last night when I offered a roach he tried taking it from the tongs but couldn’t take it fully. He was very slow in trying to munch at it.

It looks like he’s losing a bit of weight. He still has his fat pads but his skin is fairly wrinkly despite the water I’m giving him via syringe.

Any advice on things I could try or ideas as to what’s going on? Anything is appreciated :)
 

Shinryu

Hatchling Member
Staff member
Lead Writer
Welcome! Are you able to post a picture of the enclosure and the beardie? First glance, the basics look ok. Is the tank at least 36" x 18" x 18" (also called 40 gallon breeder tank). You have a good UVB bulb.. Is it a T5 or T8? If it's T8, should be mounted inside the enclosure. Even if T5, sometimes screen can filter out too much UVB. Do you replace the bulbs on schedule? Temps are good if accurate.

Collard greens are a good staple and the insects are also good staples for beardies.

It might be worth to double check the temps with a digital reptile thermometer with a probe end. Sometimes temp guns can be inaccurate if not calibrated for the surface you're using them for (and many guns cannot be calibrated at all). The stick on thermometers are super inaccurate so I wouldn't trust those.

Bearded dragons can't really absorb water through their skin so they need to drink some of the clean bath water to get water that way. You could try adding in some hornworms as a treat if you're concerned about hydration levels. If there are clear signs of dehydration, I've heard of some owners using unflavored pedialyte diluted with water.

What have the poops been like? Shedding can also have an effect on the appetite.

It's always so hard to tell if it's brumation. Some photos would be helpful, I think. @AHBD, what's your take on things?
 

FrogWorld

Member
Original Poster
Welcome! Are you able to post a picture of the enclosure and the beardie? First glance, the basics look ok. Is the tank at least 36" x 18" x 18" (also called 40 gallon breeder tank). You have a good UVB bulb.. Is it a T5 or T8? If it's T8, should be mounted inside the enclosure. Even if T5, sometimes screen can filter out too much UVB. Do you replace the bulbs on schedule? Temps are good if accurate.

Collard greens are a good staple and the insects are also good staples for beardies.

It might be worth to double check the temps with a digital reptile thermometer with a probe end. Sometimes temp guns can be inaccurate if not calibrated for the surface you're using them for (and many guns cannot be calibrated at all). The stick on thermometers are super inaccurate so I wouldn't trust those.

Bearded dragons can't really absorb water through their skin so they need to drink some of the clean bath water to get water that way. You could try adding in some hornworms as a treat if you're concerned about hydration levels. If there are clear signs of dehydration, I've heard of some owners using unflavored pedialyte diluted with water.

What have the poops been like? Shedding can also have an effect on the appetite.

It's always so hard to tell if it's brumation. Some photos would be helpful, I think. @AHBD, what's your take on things?
It’s a T5. It isn’t mounted inside but I’ll get to work on doing so. I’m a bit past my replacement date, ordered one a few days ago. I’ll upload pictures of him and his enclosure when I wake him up in the morning (it’s the middle of the night where I’m at right now). Yes, it’s those dimensions listed for the enclosure. It’s a front opening one, too. I will also look into getting a digital probe thermometer tomorrow.

In the past he was never a fan of hornworms. He’s very picky with his feeders, but I’ll try that next. As for the pedialyte I’ll go out to buy some to try it out.

He’s pooped once since the whole ordeal. While it was smaller than normal due to him not eating, it seemed fairly normal.
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
It’s a T5. It isn’t mounted inside but I’ll get to work on doing so. I’m a bit past my replacement date, ordered one a few days ago. I’ll upload pictures of him and his enclosure when I wake him up in the morning (it’s the middle of the night where I’m at right now). Yes, it’s those dimensions listed for the enclosure. It’s a front opening one, too. I will also look into getting a digital probe thermometer tomorrow.

In the past he was never a fan of hornworms. He’s very picky with his feeders, but I’ll try that next. As for the pedialyte I’ll go out to buy some to try it out.

He’s pooped once since the whole ordeal. While it was smaller than normal due to him not eating, it seemed fairly normal.
Once you get the UVB placed inside the tank distance should be 12-15 inches directly over the basking decor piece ----
NO ENEMAS at the vet please --- collect a fecal from him which is going to be hard to do since he isnt eating --- feed him some canned pumpkin that will make go to the bathroom --- but I am thinking it could be the UVB causing the not eating they will stop if they are not getting enough UVB-- if it was brumation he would be doing alot of sleeping -- get your UVB adjusted then watch his behavior ----
 

FrogWorld

Member
Original Poster
Once you get the UVB placed inside the tank distance should be 12-15 inches directly over the basking decor piece ----
NO ENEMAS at the vet please --- collect a fecal from him which is going to be hard to do since he isnt eating --- feed him some canned pumpkin that will make go to the bathroom --- but I am thinking it could be the UVB causing the not eating they will stop if they are not getting enough UVB-- if it was brumation he would be doing alot of sleeping -- get your UVB adjusted then watch his behavior ----
Alright, thank you. It won’t come in till the 16th unfortunately but hopefully the vet can rule out some other possibilities.
 

FrogWorld

Member
Original Poster
Welcome! Are you able to post a picture of the enclosure and the beardie? First glance, the basics look ok. Is the tank at least 36" x 18" x 18" (also called 40 gallon breeder tank). You have a good UVB bulb.. Is it a T5 or T8? If it's T8, should be mounted inside the enclosure. Even if T5, sometimes screen can filter out too much UVB. Do you replace the bulbs on schedule? Temps are good if accurate.

Collard greens are a good staple and the insects are also good staples for beardies.

It might be worth to double check the temps with a digital reptile thermometer with a probe end. Sometimes temp guns can be inaccurate if not calibrated for the surface you're using them for (and many guns cannot be calibrated at all). The stick on thermometers are super inaccurate so I wouldn't trust those.

Bearded dragons can't really absorb water through their skin so they need to drink some of the clean bath water to get water that way. You could try adding in some hornworms as a treat if you're concerned about hydration levels. If there are clear signs of dehydration, I've heard of some owners using unflavored pedialyte diluted with water.

What have the poops been like? Shedding can also have an effect on the appetite.

It's always so hard to tell if it's brumation. Some photos would be helpful, I think. @AHBD, what's your take on things?
Here’s an up to date picture on the situation. DD31750D-B6FA-42F3-B0F7-162C63604D3D.jpeg
C8B76519-C7E7-45D9-B363-06E602B431B4.jpeg
3F7249F0-1600-4471-BCA3-B74F97FFC2B9.jpeg 1D017C5F-3607-434B-8BB0-1EC20E689B6F.jpeg
21CFD7D8-A3A4-4BD7-9972-F0CDF9D2051E.jpeg
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Ok I would recommend you upgrade your tank to a 75-120 gallon tank and this would be reason for the dragon not eating ---- are you using a coil UVB in one of those domes? Please shut it off its doing more harm than good --- if your in a warm area 65+ degrees outside get him out in direct sunlight for the next 3 days --- 15 min or longer that would do a world of good for him
 

FrogWorld

Member
Original Poster
Ok I would recommend you upgrade your tank to a 75-120 gallon tank and this would be reason for the dragon not eating ---- are you using a coil UVB in one of those domes? Please shut it off its doing more harm than good --- if your in a warm area 65+ degrees outside get him out in direct sunlight for the next 3 days --- 15 min or longer that would do a world of good for him
As I mentioned previously, no. I use a tube uvb light. There’s a ceramic heat emitter and a basking bulb in those domes.
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
As I mentioned previously, no. I use a tube uvb light. There’s a ceramic heat emitter and a basking bulb in those domes.
Ok sorry I thought so but saw the domes and then just now saw the UVB in the back - and misunderstood the last post thinking you were waiting for the whole thing to come
 

Shinryu

Hatchling Member
Staff member
Lead Writer
I'm thinking the lack of appetite may be related to the UVB bulb being at the end of its life. Hopefully the new one you ordered helps! Insufficient UVB definitely causes beardies to want to eat less. Update us after the vet appointment too! Is he still using his basking area? Basking is needed for beardies to digest food properly. Hopefully this is just temporary and he'll be back to eating well soon!
 

FrogWorld

Member
Original Poster
I'm thinking the lack of appetite may be related to the UVB bulb being at the end of its life. Hopefully the new one you ordered helps! Insufficient UVB definitely causes beardies to want to eat less. Update us after the vet appointment too! Is he still using his basking area? Basking is needed for beardies to digest food properly. Hopefully this is just temporary and he'll be back to eating well soon!
Yeah, he’s basking all day. So at least there’s that. I was going to try what @KarrieRee suggested, to get him some extra uvb but it was far too cold today. It’s 46 degrees right now haha.
 
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