How long can beardies be (act) gravid?

zampano

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Hi all - we think our Tifa might be gravid for the first time. She's 2 years and 4 months old, and her belly feels bigger and I'm feeling what I think are eggs around the sides of her torso. We happen to have a vet appointment scheduled for a checkup in 2 days so I should be able to get an expert confirmation.

Her behavior's seemed a little weird to me though. 4 days ago she was hanging out in the apartment with us being social, and started doing the slow circular arm waving - both arms alternatingly - and I've never caught her doing this before. Later that night the arm waving had stopped and the head bobbing began. Again, never seen her bobbing her head. But two days ago she was doing it so much that it felt like she was doing it once every 60 seconds at times. Never seemed aggressive though, and she's not doing it at/towards anything in particular.

She looks healthy and happy. She's been social, has good color, her appetite generally hasn't changed. I guess she didn't really eat her salad yesterday/today, but that happens.

Then yesterday I took her out to hang out, and she took right to our carpet, and started trying to dig into it. I tried giving her fleece blankets and paper towels and bins to encourage her to try burrowing around, but she was just interested in the carpet. Same thing today. She doesn't do this in her viv, only when she's out here.

Sorry - I'll get to the question! Assuming she's actually gravid, I'm wondering if there's a general idea how long it might be before she drops her clutch. I know it's probably hard to tell, but I'm wondering if I have an idea of how long after she starts all this behavior - specifically the digging. I don't have any supplies to make a lay box right now, but could probably get this all done over the weekend. That's why I'm asking, I'm trying to make sure I have a little time, or if she's telling me she's ready to lay, like, now.

Any thoughts? I know all dragons are different but hoping for some general info.

thank you kindly folks!
 

Jessss

Member
Hi all - we think our Tifa might be gravid for the first time. She's 2 years and 4 months old, and her belly feels bigger and I'm feeling what I think are eggs around the sides of her torso. We happen to have a vet appointment scheduled for a checkup in 2 days so I should be able to get an expert confirmation.

Her behavior's seemed a little weird to me though. 4 days ago she was hanging out in the apartment with us being social, and started doing the slow circular arm waving - both arms alternatingly - and I've never caught her doing this before. Later that night the arm waving had stopped and the head bobbing began. Again, never seen her bobbing her head. But two days ago she was doing it so much that it felt like she was doing it once every 60 seconds at times. Never seemed aggressive though, and she's not doing it at/towards anything in particular.

She looks healthy and happy. She's been social, has good color, her appetite generally hasn't changed. I guess she didn't really eat her salad yesterday/today, but that happens.

Then yesterday I took her out to hang out, and she took right to our carpet, and started trying to dig into it. I tried giving her fleece blankets and paper towels and bins to encourage her to try burrowing around, but she was just interested in the carpet. Same thing today. She doesn't do this in her viv, only when she's out here.

Sorry - I'll get to the question! Assuming she's actually gravid, I'm wondering if there's a general idea how long it might be before she drops her clutch. I know it's probably hard to tell, but I'm wondering if I have an idea of how long after she starts all this behavior - specifically the digging. I don't have any supplies to make a lay box right now, but could probably get this all done over the weekend. That's why I'm asking, I'm trying to make sure I have a little time, or if she's telling me she's ready to lay, like, now.

Any thoughts? I know all dragons are different but hoping for some general info.

thank you kindly folks!
Hi! My girl bee was Gravid (from when I knew) for about 2 weeks before she needed to be spayed,she stopped eating and started bobbing frequently.She was digging and she was glass surfing,although she had a black beard for the 2 weeks as well as the other behaviours.Im not sure on an extract time frame for how long they can be Gravid but If she is unable to lay her eggs she needs help or she’ll get really ill and potentially die.If she is egg bound is important to get it sorted as soon as you can,some eggs can burst or get infected.Sometimes follicles can reabsorb but not sure if shelled eggs are able to! I’d definitely get the vet to do an ultrasound and check,maybe a blood test if ultrasound is inconclusive! Best of luck with it all and hope she’s just having a bit of an energy spurt and nothing else! Once they go off their food they normally lay within a few days,maybe set up a dig box in the meantime? Worth the try imo! If feeling her belly be extra careful as the eggs can pop if too much pressure is applied,if you think you can feel them she’s probably got eggs.Bee was full of eggs but both the vets couldn’t feel any!
 

zampano

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Hey Jessss - thank you so much for your reply! I swear I don't know how my Tifa would be doing without this forum

This is a relief to hear. I know the timetable is impossible to get down but since she just started this behavior, I'm guessing she'll survive until we get to the Vet tomorrow. And I just got a new job and can actually afford to get some tests done, so yay :)

To be honest I've always found her sides to feel a little bit 'lumpy' and i'm not sure if what I feel in her is truly eggs. I feel some roundness to the bumps but I'm just not 100%. Hopefully the vet will get it all sorted out.

She often gets into moods where she doesn't eat much for a few days and has lots of energy she needs to burn off, this isn't anything new. Just the head bobbing and waving and digging. If she's just doing it for fun, that's cute! If she turns out gravid, I'll get supplies to make her up a dig box over the weekend and get her all set up.

You're great, thank you for the help!
 

Jessss

Member
Hey Jessss - thank you so much for your reply! I swear I don't know how my Tifa would be doing without this forum

This is a relief to hear. I know the timetable is impossible to get down but since she just started this behavior, I'm guessing she'll survive until we get to the Vet tomorrow. And I just got a new job and can actually afford to get some tests done, so yay :)

To be honest I've always found her sides to feel a little bit 'lumpy' and i'm not sure if what I feel in her is truly eggs. I feel some roundness to the bumps but I'm just not 100%. Hopefully the vet will get it all sorted out.

She often gets into moods where she doesn't eat much for a few days and has lots of energy she needs to burn off, this isn't anything new. Just the head bobbing and waving and digging. If she's just doing it for fun, that's cute! If she turns out gravid, I'll get supplies to make her up a dig box over the weekend and get her all set up.

You're great, thank you for the help!
I agree! This forum has helped me so much with my 4 little bambino’s!

She should only needed an ultrasound but sometimes they’re not visible and a blood test will show if she’s got eggs or in the process! As I say with bee the minute they put the scanner on lil belly you could see so many eggs,they took out 30 eggs when they spayed her with about 20 more growing on her ovaries! My usual vet bill was £48 for an appointment and an ultrasound which I think is fairly cheap but I am not with a specialist practice,I’m with a regular practice but am very lucky to see an amazing qualified reptile vet.She’s also previously owned beardies so is extremely comfortable with my guys and knows how to correctly handle them!
Not sure what vet you are with but please just make sure they know what they’re doing,a big NO to ENEMAS as they can be awfully dangerous!

If she is Gravid the vet will suggest a dig box and depending on behaviour and how the eggs look on ultrasound they may offer to give her some shots that induce the egg laying.Bee was given these shots but they didn’t help unfortunately! If she lays by herself that’s great! If not and she needs help hopefully the shots work and if all else fails then it would be spaying.Most dragons lay naturally but it’s important to keep a close eye on her,if she has eggs infection is a big risk and sometimes an egg can burst which is fatal.I do not want to alarm or jump to any conclusion but want to be as honest as I can so you know what to look for if this is the case! :)

If she’s active that’s actually a good sign! If she starts to become lethargic then I would worry a bit more,try to keep offering water and keep up with her supplements.Does she have a black beard at all? It’s great she’s getting seen by her vet tomorrow,time is usually a big factor with these things if egg bound.I’m very glad I can help! I’m hoping that tomorrow goes good and hopefully there are no eggs! I’m hoping after all this worry and typing you’ll reply back tomorrow saying she just needed a big poop💩😂
 

zampano

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I agree! This forum has helped me so much with my 4 little bambino’s!

She should only needed an ultrasound but sometimes they’re not visible and a blood test will show if she’s got eggs or in the process! As I say with bee the minute they put the scanner on lil belly you could see so many eggs,they took out 30 eggs when they spayed her with about 20 more growing on her ovaries! My usual vet bill was £48 for an appointment and an ultrasound which I think is fairly cheap but I am not with a specialist practice,I’m with a regular practice but am very lucky to see an amazing qualified reptile vet.She’s also previously owned beardies so is extremely comfortable with my guys and knows how to correctly handle them!
Not sure what vet you are with but please just make sure they know what they’re doing,a big NO to ENEMAS as they can be awfully dangerous!

If she is Gravid the vet will suggest a dig box and depending on behaviour and how the eggs look on ultrasound they may offer to give her some shots that induce the egg laying.Bee was given these shots but they didn’t help unfortunately! If she lays by herself that’s great! If not and she needs help hopefully the shots work and if all else fails then it would be spaying.Most dragons lay naturally but it’s important to keep a close eye on her,if she has eggs infection is a big risk and sometimes an egg can burst which is fatal.I do not want to alarm or jump to any conclusion but want to be as honest as I can so you know what to look for if this is the case! :)

If she’s active that’s actually a good sign! If she starts to become lethargic then I would worry a bit more,try to keep offering water and keep up with her supplements.Does she have a black beard at all? It’s great she’s getting seen by her vet tomorrow,time is usually a big factor with these things if egg bound.I’m very glad I can help! I’m hoping that tomorrow goes good and hopefully there are no eggs! I’m hoping after all this worry and typing you’ll reply back tomorrow saying she just needed a big poop💩😂
I will keep you posted on the contents of her belly :D

Thanks for the info, seriously. I live in San Francisco and there's only really two vets in the whole city for 'exotics' and the one I go to I like very much. Highly recommended in the lizard community here. They love Tifa, they seem to love all reptiles and really know what they're doing. Tifa's nicer to her and her staff than she usually is with me!

It's pretty pricey here comparatively I can only assume. A regular checkup is $85 (£70) and the tests are high as well. A fecal test is $60 I think? Manageable. But I paid around $250 for a blood test there once. I think it was a fancy test, but can't really remember. But yeah, its a specialty vet in a super expensive city, so...and no enemas, check.

Tifa's a very happy and healthy girl pretty much all the time. I'm told I pamper her way too much, and, I try. Nervous first time daddy. So her viv is always super clean, she gets bathed regularly (trained to poop in the bath), healthy diet, healthy weight, I handle her gently, and I give her time to run around the apartment and sit in the sun when she asks

She handles her business well, so I have high hopes in her that, if she's gotta drop a clutch, she'll do it like a pro. I'm more worried about my ability to make a good lay box than I am about her )))

If I come back with anything weird or interesting I'll be sure to share it with the board!

Thanks again
 

zampano

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So, stupid story, we didn't make our vet appointment on Friday, though not for lack of trying! Fortunately our vet is cool and didn't charge me any for the missed appointment and was able to reschedule with us for this coming Friday.

In the meantime, Tifa isn't bobbing her head nearly as much, but still just wants to dig when she gets outside her viv. She's been energetic and happy seeming but also barely eating and her poops are really just pees at the moment.

Anyway since I still can't tell if she's got eggs or not, I figured I should try giving her a dig box either way. So I put this together for her and plopped her in it:
IMG-6084.jpg

The substrate is EcoEarth Coconut Fiber. It was easy to grab in a pinch and seems pretty safe and holds its shape alright. The tub is 16" x 14" and the dirt on the tall side is only about 8" high. I can pack it higher but I know I should probably be getting more substrate anyway so I can go bigger. As you can see, I tried giving her a little starter hole but she had no interest at first and just sat there doing her pancake thing )

About 30 minutes later I started to hear her digging and she was going at it. I let her do that for at least a couple hours before I needed to get her back inside before bed time. This is how she left her work for the night:
IMG-6087.jpg


I gotta say it's super adorable watching her bury her little face in there and go nuts! But I'm also wondering if it's normal for them to insist on digging along the ground like that. So much of her energy seems to be going toward just scratching at the smooth plastic surface beneath. Not that its dangerous or seems to be bother her or anything, it's just a funny way to go about things.

Anyway, if it turns out she isn't gravid and just has some digging energy, do you think this box is a sufficient size for her to get on with? If she has eggs and really wants a big nice burrow I was thinking to maybe get her a really big tub.

Last questions! :D

- Should I let her spend the bulk of her day in there if she wants? Especially since she isn't eating much? Or should that depend on whether I find out she's gravid or not? I'm worried about her UVB needs and access to food and such.

- Any suggestions on how long I could keep this soil as-is (reheating with fresh warm water daily) without needing to dump it and replace it? Below is 2 bags / $30 of eco-earth. Trying to figure out how much I need to budget for this.

thanks!!
 

Jessss

Member
So, stupid story, we didn't make our vet appointment on Friday, though not for lack of trying! Fortunately our vet is cool and didn't charge me any for the missed appointment and was able to reschedule with us for this coming Friday.

In the meantime, Tifa isn't bobbing her head nearly as much, but still just wants to dig when she gets outside her viv. She's been energetic and happy seeming but also barely eating and her poops are really just pees at the moment.

Anyway since I still can't tell if she's got eggs or not, I figured I should try giving her a dig box either way. So I put this together for her and plopped her in it:
View attachment 71466
The substrate is EcoEarth Coconut Fiber. It was easy to grab in a pinch and seems pretty safe and holds its shape alright. The tub is 16" x 14" and the dirt on the tall side is only about 8" high. I can pack it higher but I know I should probably be getting more substrate anyway so I can go bigger. As you can see, I tried giving her a little starter hole but she had no interest at first and just sat there doing her pancake thing )

About 30 minutes later I started to hear her digging and she was going at it. I let her do that for at least a couple hours before I needed to get her back inside before bed time. This is how she left her work for the night:
View attachment 71467

I gotta say it's super adorable watching her bury her little face in there and go nuts! But I'm also wondering if it's normal for them to insist on digging along the ground like that. So much of her energy seems to be going toward just scratching at the smooth plastic surface beneath. Not that its dangerous or seems to be bother her or anything, it's just a funny way to go about things.

Anyway, if it turns out she isn't gravid and just has some digging energy, do you think this box is a sufficient size for her to get on with? If she has eggs and really wants a big nice burrow I was thinking to maybe get her a really big tub.

Last questions! :D

- Should I let her spend the bulk of her day in there if she wants? Especially since she isn't eating much? Or should that depend on whether I find out she's gravid or not? I'm worried about her UVB needs and access to food and such.

- Any suggestions on how long I could keep this soil as-is (reheating with fresh warm water daily) without needing to dump it and replace it? Below is 2 bags / $30 of eco-earth. Trying to figure out how much I need to budget for this.

thanks!!
If she’s digging in the dig box it would suggest eggs,she looks very plump in the picture but could just be because she’s flattened out like you said.I would definitely get her seen by the vet Friday and if any decline I would try to get her in sooner.Keep offering small bits of food and water,you can try a bath which might help but don’t do it if she seems stressed by it.If her poo is only small then there’s definitely something going on with her belly like eggs or impaction.The digging would suggest eggs,I would let her stay in the dig box for about an hour-2 hours at a time as long as she’s warm and the temps in the dig box are alright.Keep her in the viv until she starts digging/trying to get out again,keep repeating that and at least then she’s getting time both in the lay box and in her tank which would be the time to offer food and water.It’s a good sign she’s digging and could be a sign she’ll lay soon.I just use to moisten the same stuff and give it a good mix around,although if she’s making dig holes I would be careful not to disturb and moisten when she’s out of the lay box.Most dragons prefer a shaded end to the box as well to get some privacy,maybe try adding an end which is covered if possible? If any of the suggested stresses her out too much then I would stop and keep as is.
Hope she starts feeling better soon! Keep us updated please :)
 

zampano

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If she’s digging in the dig box it would suggest eggs,she looks very plump in the picture but could just be because she’s flattened out like you said.I would definitely get her seen by the vet Friday and if any decline I would try to get her in sooner.Keep offering small bits of food and water,you can try a bath which might help but don’t do it if she seems stressed by it.If her poo is only small then there’s definitely something going on with her belly like eggs or impaction.The digging would suggest eggs,I would let her stay in the dig box for about an hour-2 hours at a time as long as she’s warm and the temps in the dig box are alright.Keep her in the viv until she starts digging/trying to get out again,keep repeating that and at least then she’s getting time both in the lay box and in her tank which would be the time to offer food and water.It’s a good sign she’s digging and could be a sign she’ll lay soon.I just use to moisten the same stuff and give it a good mix around,although if she’s making dig holes I would be careful not to disturb and moisten when she’s out of the lay box.Most dragons prefer a shaded end to the box as well to get some privacy,maybe try adding an end which is covered if possible? If any of the suggested stresses her out too much then I would stop and keep as is.
Hope she starts feeling better soon! Keep us updated please :)
Hi Jessss, thank you!

So she kind of stopped digging in the box after a day. She still has the energy though, as she keeps doing it to the rug like she was before. It's cute but I feel so bad for her. I'm bringing home a bunch of play sand today and possibly a bigger container. The coconut fiber was nice but I definitely overwatered it trying to get the right consistency and now it's damp and freezing cold.

Yes, in that photo she was just showing off how flat and round she can make herself look. She's actually on the lighter side right now. Has barely been touching her veggies and thus barely passing anything other than a little urate. And I don't feel eggs in there. I don't feel anything that feels like impaction either. So I am really looking forward to our vet visit and it can't come any sooner.

But, she still looks fantastic to me. No beard, no dark colors, friendly to handle. She kind of reminds me of when she was having hormone spurts when she was growing up, and I was trying to figure out if she might be in heat or something like that? I plan to get all the tests either way. Except the fecal test, I need her to actually poop for me first!

Hopefully I'll have some interesting news tomorrow evening )
 

Jessss

Member
Hi Jessss, thank you!

So she kind of stopped digging in the box after a day. She still has the energy though, as she keeps doing it to the rug like she was before. It's cute but I feel so bad for her. I'm bringing home a bunch of play sand today and possibly a bigger container. The coconut fiber was nice but I definitely overwatered it trying to get the right consistency and now it's damp and freezing cold.

Yes, in that photo she was just showing off how flat and round she can make herself look. She's actually on the lighter side right now. Has barely been touching her veggies and thus barely passing anything other than a little urate. And I don't feel eggs in there. I don't feel anything that feels like impaction either. So I am really looking forward to our vet visit and it can't come any sooner.

But, she still looks fantastic to me. No beard, no dark colors, friendly to handle. She kind of reminds me of when she was having hormone spurts when she was growing up, and I was trying to figure out if she might be in heat or something like that? I plan to get all the tests either way. Except the fecal test, I need her to actually poop for me first!

Hopefully I'll have some interesting news tomorrow evening )
Please do let us know how the vet visit goes! Again no enemas,they cause a lot of issues a lot more bad than good!
I’d let her roam around as much as you can while you’re home,make sure she’s going back in viv every so often or has some heat source.It’s difficult because I couldn’t feel eggs and my vet couldn’t feel any eggs in bee,she was full of them but we didn’t feel any.The ultrasound was when we could see the eggs.Hope the vet appointment goes well! All you can keep doing up until vets appointment is the same as you have been doing.The dig substrate has to be firm enough for her to dig a cave and for it to hold its shape without collapsing! Try mixing little bits of hot water at first,can always add more but can’t take away! Hope you have a good vet visit :) I make my lay boxes with coco fibre ( the dry blocks) and playsand!
 

zampano

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Hey again,

So we missed our vet appointment for the second week in a row. Because she laying EGGS!!

This is exciting. I have no idea where the hell these are coming from. She did not look that big and I swear she’s on top so I can’t count but it looks like 30-40 eggs so far and she’s still going!

I called the vet and she confirmed that I shouldn’t bother her, even if she finished and buries them. So we reschedule again and I feel much better knowing why she was acting all weird!

I’ll keep you posted. I know she needs rest and lots of food/calcium when she’s ready.

Thanks ))
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
There you go, success for Tifa ! She went from looking like a balloon to a now deflated one. Looks like everything went just the way it should and you most likely won't need a vet visit. Se may lay another clutch [ or several more ] so just keep her well fed, supplemented and hydrated. And just like you said, you can't usually feel infertile eggs.
 

zampano

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I know she really does look deflated ))

the next day.jpeg


She regained some energy last night and did a couple big vertical hops that I haven't seen her do in a while! Then she ate 4 or 5 1" dubias and went basking. Today I got her to eat 4 or 5 more, generously dusted with calclium/vitamins, and she ate a little salad. But otherwise she's just been basking all day, looking tired as hell, and is closing her eyes quite a bit. Like for short periods of time repeatedly. I imagine she feels weird and exhausted and hopefully everything went well for her. I'm still taking her to the vet in 2 weeks since she hasn't been checked up on in 20 months, so we'll double check to be sure she's doing okay. I'll keep an eye on her until then. I think she's gearing up to shed her face too and she could just be kinda itchy.

Anyway, now I have a nice dig box she can play in when she has too much energy!
 

zampano

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UPDATE:

So we finally got to see the vet the other day and she says that Tifa is perfect and happy and healthy, as far as anyone can tell :)

She also felt around and sounded confident there weren't any more eggs in there.

Then two nights ago she started right back up with the head bobbing. Exactly the same as when we was getting ready to lay. Is there any chance that she could have more to drop, couldn't be felt by an experienced lizard vet, and that she'd be getting ready to lay again just a couple weeks after?

Or maybe she just likes to bob her head sometimes now, who knows. I have her in her dig box right now but she's not really digging. Will keep trying to get her comfy in the meantime.

Best wishes
 

Jessss

Member
UPDATE:

So we finally got to see the vet the other day and she says that Tifa is perfect and happy and healthy, as far as anyone can tell :)

She also felt around and sounded confident there weren't any more eggs in there.

Then two nights ago she started right back up with the head bobbing. Exactly the same as when we was getting ready to lay. Is there any chance that she could have more to drop, couldn't be felt by an experienced lizard vet, and that she'd be getting ready to lay again just a couple weeks after?

Or maybe she just likes to bob her head sometimes now, who knows. I have her in her dig box right now but she's not really digging. Will keep trying to get her comfy in the meantime.

Best wishes
My girl bee was FULL of about 30 eggs,they were big as well and my vet couldn’t feel anything.I tried and couldn’t feel anything and my vet tried on separate appointments,the only way we found out it was eggs was because I requested an ultrasound! I am not 100% sure on how quickly they can lay again after a clutch but she won’t be head bobbing for no reason.She’s either in pain or distressed/upset,can also be a communication thing if you’ve got other beardies? I would call the vets and explain,they should get you in free of charge as it’s an issue previously seen but not resolved.I was told by two vets that they couldn’t feel eggs in bee and I was sent home with a very upset and unwell bee,the only reason we found the eggs was an ultrasound.

It could be stress from all of what’s been going on but personally I would call vets back up and explain that she’s still not acting normal.No enemas if they suggest it they can be very dangerous,at my vets I have it on file with all my 4 no enemas.My mbd girl just laid her first clutch and it’s been multiple vet visits of thinking she’s very unwell and a lot of stress then come home to find a mound of eggs! Very stressful time for both you and your girl! I hope she starts feeling better soon,it’s an awful situation not knowing what’s going on but you’re doing the best for her!
Wanted to add something,you know her better than anyone else :) If you feel you’d rather keep her home and watch her then you should,you could keep an eye on her and see how she is in a few days then call vets if not improved?
 
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