Help bearded dragon gasping and gapping

Hoku

Member
Ive had my bearded dragon for about 6 years. A couple months ago i took him to the vet because he had been gasping or gaping for a few week and i was afraid he had a respiratory infection. The vet did tests and said he didnt have an infection but he did have arthritis and gave me pain medication. He has been fine for a while however he has starting gasping and snorting or coughing in his sleep. I don't know if he is stressed because we also just moved to a new house. He is still very active, running around his cage, and is eating very well. Im still extremely worried however because after he has any kind of liquid he starts gasping and coughing again. I want to take him to the vet, however i am extremely tight on money. PLEASE PLEASE HELP
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 3
Ive had my bearded dragon for about 6 years. A couple months ago i took him to the vet because he had been gasping or gaping for a few week and i was afraid he had a respiratory infection. The vet did tests and said he didnt have an infection but he did have arthritis and gave me pain medication. He has been fine for a while however he has starting gasping and snorting or coughing in his sleep. I don't know if he is stressed because we also just moved to a new house. He is still very active, running around his cage, and is eating very well. Im still extremely worried however because after he has any kind of liquid he starts gasping and coughing again. I want to take him to the vet, however i am extremely tight on money. PLEASE PLEASE HELP
Please go over basking temps how are you taking them? No stick ons please-- uvb is it a coil or tube? How old is the uvb bulb? Humidity in the tank?
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Please post pictures of your dragon, along with your tank setup that would help.
When you give fluids, are you using a dropper & dripping it onto the end of the nose?
They do tend to aspirate fairly easily so care is needed when hydrating them orally.
Has she had a black beard at all?

Tracie
 

Hoku

Member
Original Poster
Hello,

Please post pictures of your dragon, along with your tank setup that would help.
When you give fluids, are you using a dropper & dripping it onto the end of the nose?
They do tend to aspirate fairly easily so care is needed when hydrating them orally.
Has she had a black beard at all?

Tracie
She usually gets her fluids from her baths once a week and she doesn't drink however i have had to start giving her liquid pain medicine due to arthritis. I usually give her medication one mealworms though. I did recently give her a water bowl though which is why im kinda scared that she inhald water. As for the black beard, ever since she was a baby, whenever she is excited or happy her beard would be black while her body was extremely light so i haven't really been worried about that.

Sorry her cage is pretty messy she likes to move everything around lol
 

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Hoku

Member
Original Poster
Please go over basking temps how are you taking them? No stick ons please-- uvb is it a coil or tube? How old is the uvb bulb? Humidity in the tank?
Since i moved the basking temp is around 85-90 so i am trying to find a new one. I take temps through a laser tempurature gun. The uvb is a coil bulb nd was replaced a couple months ago. Humidity is around 30.
 

Hoku

Member
Original Poster
My biggest fear is that she has a respiratory infection however her behavior and the symptoms dont really match. She is eating and running. Shes not lethargic AT ALL but she is gapping or gasping which is what really scares me
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 3
Since i moved the basking temp is around 85-90 so i am trying to find a new one. I take temps through a laser tempurature gun. The uvb is a coil bulb nd was replaced a couple months ago. Humidity is around 30.
Please get rid of the coil UVB they are inadequate --- they cause all kinds of health issues --- please get a long tube fixture like a 24" Zoo Med w/ a Reptisun 10.0 T 5 or a Arcadia Pro T 5 w/ a 12% bulb -- these are far better than the coil - surface basking temps should be 95-100 taken w/ a digital probe thermometer -- if you want me to post links I can - if you have a Pet Smart you can check there for the Pro T 5 --- I would get this replaced as soon as you can - when you get the new UVB please post back on here and I will help you place it for your tank -- the screen will determine where the UVB goes --
 

Hoku

Member
Original Poster
Please get rid of the coil UVB they are inadequate --- they cause all kinds of health issues --- please get a long tube fixture like a 24" Zoo Med w/ a Reptisun 10.0 T 5 or a Arcadia Pro T 5 w/ a 12% bulb -- these are far better than the coil - surface basking temps should be 95-100 taken w/ a digital probe thermometer -- if you want me to post links I can - if you have a Pet Smart you can check there for the Pro T 5 --- I would get this replaced as soon as you can - when you get the new UVB please post back on here and I will help you place it for your tank -- the screen will determine where the UVB goes --
Thank you so much for the advice. Do you think this will help with the gapping,gasping though or could it be a respiratory issue?
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 3
Thank you so much for the advice. Do you think this will help with the gapping,gasping though or could it be a respiratory issue?
Listen for crackling runny nose lots of saliva for RI- your humidity is fine- it could be the start of a RI but you want your uvb changed out as soon as possible
 

Hoku

Member
Original Poster
Thankyou so so so much. Ive been so anxious about RIs but ive also read that gapping could also be because of the stress of moving and his environment changing. I will update and Im buying a new uvb and heating light first thing tommorow
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

She looks good, how is she doing today?
As Karrie suggested, it would be helpful to upgrade your UVB lighting, just to optimize the
overall tank condition.
Is there anything that you have changed in her tank that could be affecting her breathing?
I would definitely watch her closely to be sure she doesn't develop more severe symptoms.
Are you keeping her a little warmer overnight to help boost her system?
Let us know how she is doing.

Tracie
 

Hoku

Member
Original Poster
Hello,

She looks good, how is she doing today?
As Karrie suggested, it would be helpful to upgrade your UVB lighting, just to optimize the
overall tank condition.
Is there anything that you have changed in her tank that could be affecting her breathing?
I would definitely watch her closely to be sure she doesn't develop more severe symptoms.
Are you keeping her a little warmer overnight to help boost her system?
Let us know how she is doing.

Tracie
Since i moved our house has been a bit colder so im ordering a better heat lamp too. She is very up and down as far as behavior. Some times shes sleeping all day and sometimes shes eating and running non stop. She has stop gasping at night (as far as i know).
Another thing is do you guys have any tips or info about her pain medicine and arthritis? Ive been giving her mustard greens which i researched are good for arthritis. But is there anything else i should know?
I will definitely update you guys!!!
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 3
Since i moved our house has been a bit colder so im ordering a better heat lamp too. She is very up and down as far as behavior. Some times shes sleeping all day and sometimes shes eating and running non stop. She has stop gasping at night (as far as i know).
Another thing is do you guys have any tips or info about her pain medicine and arthritis? Ive been giving her mustard greens which i researched are good for arthritis. But is there anything else i should know?
I will definitely update you guys!!!
I don't know anything about mustard or arthritis Tracie would be better w/ that - the heat lamp make sure you have a digital probe thermometer to get basking temps-- for night time a ceramic heat emitter is good - good for keeping sick dragons at night warmer-
 

Hoku

Member
Original Poster
Ok thanks so much for everything. You guys have helped more in the last few days than any of the research ive done all month. Im sure i will have more questions in the future if thats ok.
I will give updates about her soon.
Thanks again
 

Hoku

Member
Original Poster
So i thought she was doing alot better but i think you guys right and that the gasping was the start of a RI cause i just saw some bubbles or saliva on her mouth. I think im going to the vet monday because i don't want to take chances. It gonna be taking all my money lol but i think its the right thing.
I will update again soon
Thanks
 

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