Hi I am new and I need some help please

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I apologize in advance for the book I'm about to write.
I was given a 1 year old male beardie from a friend that was moving away. We've had him for a few weeks now and he doesnt seem to be doing so well. We baby sat him for a while when he was really small and he had this weird thing going on with his lips where they looked like they were chapped. They were keeping him on sand and it looked like his lips were irritated. When he moved in with us his lips were VERY bad. (think the most horrific chapped lips you have ever seen) They were scabbed and they had become misshapen like he had a duck bill. My friend was putting neosporin on them twice a day as recommended by the vet. The vet said he had never seen anything like it before and i couldnt find anything like it on the internet. Anyhow, once he got here I stopped putting neosporin on it so that it would heal. The neosporin just moistened up the scabs and made it all gooey. After a couple of baths I had to pull the big scabs off his lips because he couldnt open his mouth, it was scabbed shut. It didnt bleed or anything it just pulled a bunch of yellow goo off. About 2 days later the horn on his top lip pulled off in the night. It was hard and his top lip had the yellow goo but not much and it looks healed now. His bottom lip horn fell off last night, and his bottom lips looks a little gooey. I put a little neosporin on where it fell off cause it looked raw. Do any of you know what it could be or what i could do to prevent it from happening again? My friend said that it gets real scabby all the time she would just peel it off in the bath, then it would come back a few days later.

Part 2 ( i told you it was long)
Ok so when we got the beardie, the people we got him from were feeding him nothing but super worms and the occasional leaf of lettuce. They said the vet told them that crickets were bad for dragons and that he should never be fed crickets again. Anyhow, when he got here he ate a whole bunch of dandelion greens and at as many super worms as he could eat. I tried giving him crickets (in a separate container) and he just kinda sat there and looked at me like I was crazy. Then about the time his upper lip horn fell off he stopped eating greens all together. He went from eating only the super worms to eating only one a day and now none. And for the last 3 days he wont eat anything. I've tried giving him all different kinds of things. I tried apples kiwis green yellow and red peppers, lettuce, dandelion greens, escarole, collard greens, butter lettuce and even commercial dragon food. He wont have any of it. I dont know what to do. He hasn't eaten now in 3 days. He poops and pees regularly but hes acting very lethargic and hes looking real skinny. He had a bath 2 days ago and pooped one day ago. Hes in a 40 breeder tank on carpet (thats what he arrived on I plan on changing to alfalfa pellets on pay day) He has two hide logs, a climbing stick, a rock and two dishes one for water and one for greens. His tank is 85 on the cool side and 92 on the hot side and he has a brand new uvb bulb. At night the cool side is about 70 and his basking spot is around 82. I bathe him every 2 or 3 days and he always poops in the water after he finishes drinking. Also he always drinks a whole lot of water in his bath and then as soon as we pick him up to put back in his house he spits it all back up. (I dont think its a RI because its only when he drinks water and he doesnt wheeze or couch or gape his mouth open).
:help: :help:
Here are the best pictures i can get at the moment.


thats the side view. hes not scabbed right now because we peeled them off about two days back, but they do flair out and they look raw.


thats the top of his nose. see how its all gooey? also he must be some kind of morph because when he gets angry he turns the light yellow of the goo on his nose.


thats his bottom lip horn. i know the picture is bad but if you were to imagine what fried chicken skin looks like thats what the horn thing looks like and it has the same texture.

i apologize for the bad quality of the pictures, my camera is broken so im using my cell phone.

As for the earlier uvb bulb, i dont know if it was good or not. they couldnt remember the last time they changed it. it was one of those long skinny tube bulbs. i still have it but i dont know how to check if its still effective or not. i usually just change it every 6 months.

The vet the brought him to was a Banfield Animal Hospital vet. It didnt have the actual vets name on the triple antibiotic ointment he prescribed. i dont know if there is a 'good' reptile vet in Spokane. I brought one of my snakes to a VCA Animal hospital in town for suspected parasites and we gave him medicine that was given to us. 3 months later he died from those nasty spaghetti like parasites. Needless to say Im not too sure if the VCA vet is any good either.

Also i'm not sure if this is ok or if it even has any bearing but i figured the more info i give the better you will be able to help me. My little dragon has a bunch of broken toe nails and his toes are like half cooked spaghetti noodles. Im not sure what they are supposed to be like, but it just didnt seem right.

And the only supplement they were using is the calcium dust from flukers.

I'm at my wits end. This morning when I turned on his lights he didnt want to wake up and he wouldnt wave at me like he always does when I wake him up for the day. He just sits on his log and looks not good. I dont want him to die and i dont want him to be sick.

Thank you so much for reading all this and any advice would be greatly appreciated. I really want him to get healthy and be a happy dragon. :help:


Juvie Member
Okay - the first thing I would recommend is upping the temps. His basking spot should be between 95 - 105. If he isn't warm enough, he's not going to be hungry. Make sure you are using a digital probe therm or a temp gun - not a stick on or dial type therm- to ensure accurate temps. Light and temperture are the driving mechanisms for your beardie's health. You should be using a bright white light on his basking spot - if you are using a colored light or colored heat light, take it out and replace it with a bright white one. He doesn't need heat at night, unless your house is getting colder than 65 degrees. If that is the case and he is getting colder than 65 degrees, you should use a ceramic heat emitter (emits heat but not light) to warm his cage a bit. Dragons like it cooler at night.

Second - what brand and type of UVB bulb are you using? There are only two kinds that produce good UVB. One is a MVB (mercury vapor bulb) like the Megaray or T-rex. The other good UVB bulb is a flouresant tube bulb made by Repti-Sun. It is a long skinny bulb and the one to get is the Repti-Sun 10.0 (Not Repti-glo - not the same bulb). If the UVB is a compact flouresant twisty bulb, turn it off immediately. Those bulbs are bad for beardies and can make them really sick. If you want further proof, search this site and read about all of the people who have had beardies that wouldn't eat or move or open their eyes due to bad UVB. The same goes if the bulb is a Repti-glo, an ESU or anything other than Repti-Sun 10.0. I had this same experience with my first beardie and we lost him, in part due to the bad UVB.

Third - don't use Alphalfa pellets. They are really dusty and can cause eye irritation and respitory illnesses. Stay with the carpet - I use it and its easy to clean, you can wash it in the washer, it dries fast and won't make your dragon sick. Or try tile, paper towels, etc. There are lots of options under the enclosure section and you can find one you like that won't endanger your baby.

Last - in order to see the photos you have to upload them on Photobucket (its free) and then paste the link from photobucket into the bulletin board. I know there are some very knowledgable people on this board that will help you and pictures would definately help them see what's going on.

Good luck -


Sub-Adult Member
Hi, whyever should you apologize for a long post? This is beardeddragon.org and that is why we are here. I'm sorry I couldn't see the pics.

Night temps are good, basking temps need to go up. Vital to digestion... As long as you're measuring with a digital probe or temp gun. Stick-ons are not reliable...

Yes UVA as well as the right UVB is very important! Kudos for the varied salad diet it sounds like you know what's what! Don't give up with the crix if that's what you want to feed, Hermes didn't eat them when we got him (MaryAnn said he was scared of them and 1st time we tried that's what it seemed like) shake them in a ziploc bag in front of the tank to stun them and let them 'glass dance' for the lizard that's what we did and now he dances when he sees them, or maybe put them in the freezer in a bag for a minute to make them sluggish

Great job on the bathing also...

As many details as you can give would be helpful!


Sub-Adult Member
Trying to see if I can get pics to show, if you open the links in a separate window, they show up by right clicking on the image, going to properties and pasting the path in a new window.

It looks to me like he has multiple infections which should be curable with a correct diagnosis and medications.


Gray-bearded Member
If he makes it--you said he was not doing well --PLEASE stay with the carpet do not use any form of loose substrate (alfalfa pellets, calci sand, reptibark OR walnut shells==all of these can cause eye irritation or possibly even impaction.)


Sub-Adult Member
crickest has given great advice, please update asap on the lighting and have you raised the temps? Yay there is a recommended vet not far from me which is great I didn't have one so thanx crickest!


Original Poster
First of all thank you so much for all your replies!

ok so hes staying on carpet.
his mouth is scabbing up again :cry:
i have an vet appointment on thursday at 0930 , its the soonest i could get.
his tank is empty of everything but a dish for his worms and greens (maybe if they sit there he'll eat them) and his rock. Its completely smooth and reflects the heat back to him. Plus he wont get off it.
i pulled the probe thermometer out of my tokay tank, cleaned it and put it on the dragons basking spot. It was at 86. I feel so bad he must have been so cold. I turned on ALL his lights, it was at 92 and rising about 15 minutes ago.
im going to bathe him tonight when my husband gets home with the kids (they like to watch him in the bath)
his uvb bulb is the exoterra repti glo 10.0. I did notice when i shut it off he opened his eyes a little more. I cant go get one till tuesday when i get paid. now is it better to just let him go with out or should i just leave it on?

also i havent really been pulling the scabs off more like after he takes a good long soak i will rub a wash cloth across his mouth and they will peel off they never bleed or anything. They just kind of rub off the way stuck shed will on a snake after a bath

I have tried hand feeding him. I try everyday but he just lays flat on his rock and ignores it. I have dangled eveything from worms to greens to fruits and veggies even a pinkie (i know they arent that healthy im just trying to get him to eat something) ive been spraying vitamin spray and calcium spray on everything i put in his tank but he doesnt eat it any way. I held a worm in front of him for 20 minutes yesterday and he just laid there.

is there any way i could 'force feed' him something like baby food just to get something in him hes starting to look starved and his skin is sagging. I recall reading something that you could open their mouth and put some baby food carrots with some calcium powder and they would eat it. I wouldnt even know the first thing about how to do that though.

again thank you so much


Sub-Adult Member
I would recommend to turn the reptiglo off until payday...

Please don't feel bad I had the same issues with light and heat and learned here and once it was corrected my beardies improved quickly... took like 2 weeks to see 100% improvement in appetite and activity. Sorry I don't know anything about the mouth scabs but glad you have a vet appt!

Is he eating at all? If not you may want to try some baby food and feed to him with a dropper...


Original Poster
i found the old light they had on him and it was the repti sun tube one so i turned it back on him and shut the other one off.
even if the uv is mostly gone every little bit helps right??
his basking spot is 106 now i dont think its going to go up any more but if it does how hot is too hot??


Sub-Adult Member
hi, tried to reply but the board went down :banghead:

No the repti-glo is bad please turn it off!!! Took a couple months to show in our dragons but really bad for their eyes...

No higher than 110 for babies or 105 for big beardies is what I've heard

Please excuse me if I sound abrupt, trying to get this info to you b4 the board goes down again as the server is very busy right now...



Sub-Adult Member
also I am PM'ing a couple moderators for you as I have never had to force-feed I think baby food or slurries may be in order but Tracie or Diane will have better advice than me I'm sure...


Juvie Member
You shouldn't have to force feed him - First, turn off the Repti-glo, it will affect his appetite. It can be off for a week to two weeks before doing damage and a bad bulb is worse than no UVB. If you are stressed about UVB, open a window and let him sit on the window sill for 15 minutes a day. He'll love the natural sunlight. Just make sure he can move away from it if he gets too hot. If you decide to go with Repti-Sun, think about ordering from Pet Mountain. Its an online store and the bulbs are half of what you will pay in a petstore. (Opening the window is necessary for UVB - since windows are treated to prevent UVB passage). Our Spark loves to sit in the sunshine on the window sill and then jump onto the bed when he gets too warm.

Next, buy some squash baby food and either a small syringe (like for insulin shots) or an eye dropper. Thin the squash with a little water if you need to and drip it on his nose just above where his mouth opens. Be patient. It can take three or four minutes for them to take the first lick, but once they have, they'll gobble it from the end of the dropper. I think once the light is off and you are offering the food, he'll start to eat again. Then he will have squash face and you'll have to feed it to him forever! Once he is eating and you know he is hydrated, you can mix some chicken baby food into the squash and offer them together. He should eat it up. And upping the temps should also stimulate his appetite. He does have bright white light, correct? Hopefully you'll be able to get some answers on the scab things on his nose. They don't sound like fun to me.


Original Poster
Ok so i took off the bad light and he seemed to perk up a bit. We gave him a bath and it first when we set him in he wouldnt even hold his head out of the water enough to breathe. (usually he just stands there today he laid all the way down flat on his belly) so i drained some out and let him sit. he drank a whole bunch of water then my husband kept dropping some drips on his nose and he would open his mouth a little and take some in. then out of no where he scrambled up my husbands arm and promptly threw up all his water he drank. then he looked like he was going to poop so we set him back in the water (so it would be easier) and then he threw up what looked like old nasty lettuce and some more water. it didnt look like anything i have been feeding him. the veins were too small in the lettuce to be dandelion greens.when he moved in he came with a bag of mostly rotted lettuce is it possible hes been storing that in his belly for all this time? any how i bagged it (the vomit) and im going to bring it to the vet with us. also i noticed his little fingers and toes are completely limp now and he is standing oddly. i hope since he probably has mbd that i can get him better soon... i have read that their fingers and toes can fall off in severe case of mbd if/when that happens does it hurt them? hes got 2 toes on different feet that look like they are about to just fall off. he didnt poop or pee in his bath either. he did drink though. also while he was drinking i looked in his mouth and its a bright pink and his tounge is pink too so maybe the scabby things arent mouth rot? (i guess its just wishful thinking at this point) and one final thing, i was looking at his vent while we were bathing him it seems swollen and there looks to be poop stuck to it. how do i fix that?


Sub-Adult Member
poor baby, to me it sounds like he hasn't been digesting properly and he may have a prolapse. I hope Tracie or Diane checks in soon. I am going to PM Barbara (fresnowitte) and Vicky too just in case they are online. Sorry I don't know enough to help..
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