Emergency Diet

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Hi guys,
I've just obtained a very malnourished beardie. He is very underweight and lethargic, but eating well. I'm a vet tech, and tomorrow he's going to work tomorrow to get a fecal, weight check and further diagnostics if needed. It is our suspicion he's been living on only greens and once a week feeding (if that). His limbs are also discolored and he has a hard time moving his fingers, toes etc. I'm sure there is a significant amount of MBD, but the extent won't be known until tomorrow.

My question is, in your opinion, what is the best diet to feed this guy to get weight back on him quickly, but safely. I know I want to go slow on protein to start-and he's eating freely. My vet says we should try to use nutrient dense greens and squash to start, then maybe start on an assisted diet we use in dogs/cats called Hill's Prescription Diet a/d (for a protein source). Or we can blend up some pinkies. I wanted to get some advice from you guys. Here's the stats:
How old is your dragon? 3 year old (as far as I know)
How long have you had your dragon? just tonight
How long is your dragon? 18 inches
What is the sex of your dragon? Male
What size enclosure do you have your dragon in? Custom cabinet, 10 square ft., 24 inches tall, Screen front, plywood sides-polyurethaned
What type substrate do you have your dragon on? Ceramic tile
Do you use UVB lights? yes
If so, {what kind} and how old? MVB, 3 months old
How close can your dragon get to the UVB? 10 inches away from top of his head
What are the basking temps? 105 F
What is the cool side temp? 75-80 F
What do you take the temps with? digital probe thermometer and heat gun
Do you use a heat rock or heat pad? no
What do you feed your dragon? Please be specific. collard greens, mustard greens, kale or escarole, dandelion greens, squash and some fruits occasionally, Blatta lateralis roaches, crickets, wax worms.
How often do you feed? once daily
Do you gutload your feeders? yes
Do you use vitamin or calcium supplements? What brand(s)? rep-cal ultrafine phosphorus free and herptivite
Is your dragon having regular bowel movements? yes (from old owner report)
Do you bath your dragon? How often? yes, 3x weekly (from old owner report)
Do you mist your dragon or offer water other then in the bath? yes (from old owner report)
Does your dragon share an enclosure with another dragon? no
Have you gotten a vet check and fecal done? not yet

Thanks for the help


Sub-Adult Member
Retired Moderator
I have had great success with Critical Care and Carnavore Care since your a Vet Tech you should be able to get this easily! But to give him a boost untill you get it Chicken Baby Food, Squash Baby food, and if you can get it Jump Start is great it's a high calorie suppliement and appetite stimulant are you willing to feed a larger worm? If so Horn Worms would be great I've never had a beardie refuse and they are loaded with nutrients!


BD.org Addict
Retired Moderator
Definitely get some Critical Care, it really helped my dragons and my iggy bounce back from food strikes and starvations!


Extreme Poster
Hello there,
Thank you for being such a kind soul and taking in this little one.
She sounds like she needs your help.

This is the critical care that I have used in the past and is widely availiable (in the UK).

It is from a company called Vetark.



Original Poster
Good news! Xrays look ok, the limbs have some significant MBD, but w/treatment and good care from now on, he should be ok. No other problems on the x rays though! Also, his bloodwork looks good, aside from mild dehyradation, which is easily corrected. Fecal had a small number of coccidia only, no other parasites, so right now we aren't going to deworm (I don't want to wipe out the good bacteria colonies). I'll do another fecal in a week to make sure, because multiple fecals can produce different results occasionally.

Thanks for the info guys- I ordered Critical Care and it should arrive on Monday.
I appreciate the quick responses from everyone- my new guy thanks you!
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