my beardie seems not to be eating as ususal...

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My beardie seems to not be eating...he is @ 10" long from head to tail...we have had him 2 1/2 months...he normally eats no fruit of greens when presented and left in food dish along with the juvy food cored ball like food pellets...he can eat 4 -5 superworms per day, not really into crickets any more...even seems to be turning down wax worms...he has a substrate of walnut shells and is in a 40 gallon tank...
he poops/pees everyday, a lot, and days ago it was a much smaller poop,then today a little bigger...he is misted,has a tree to hang out on, ,hammock,etc...any ideas...?????


Extreme Poster
Are they adult superworms or baby superworms?
Large superworms shouldn't be fed to a baby beardie only adults.
Many baby beardies pass up on the greens and would rather eat bugs. Just keep offering them.

What are the temps in the tank? Basking spot and cool side?
What UVB light are you using?

Have you tried bathing the dragon?


Original Poster
We haven't "bathed" him in a few weeks...normally we use a smallish rectangular conatainer, let him stay in the warm H2O for a minute or so, then return him to the tank.

The superworms are longish,I guess. We buy them from Pet Smart, and they are @ 2" long...he normally gobbles each one up fairly quickly, and eats @ 4 each time, @ 1x, maybe 2x a day, but the 2nd time only "maybe 1 or 2. We feed him from a tweezer, and he grabs them off one at a time, and you can tell when he wants no more...he even will come up to the palstic dish they are kept in and grab one out...

The basking area is generally @ 90-100 can fluctuate, but not by more than a few degrees...what temp is too low or too high? We had been using a 100 watt bulb by Heat Glo for the basking side and 26w Repti Glo 10.0 UVB bulb on the other side. We don't have a thermometer on the other side yet.
Thie other non basking side has his tree, and the absking side has his hammock in the corner under the bulb and a few rocks as well. I have noticed he has been "burrowing" under the tree, which has an opening and hollow area beneath it. He tried to go under a rock on the basking side, but it is almost impossible to do.

He normally sleeps on his tree, a fake one bought at Pet Smart,we took the fake /plastic greenery off because the crickets were hiding in it.

I have noticed he seems to have a "line" or what appears to be an indented area what I guess is his spine area from his neck to the start of his tail. I do not know if this means anything or not.He is misted, but does not drink from his H2O as far as I can tell. He has shed several times since we got him. He just seems to be a bit off. Can they go a few days without really eating? He has a 3" bedding of crushed walnut shells...we did away with the calci sand @ a month ago...He seems to "lick" the rocks,glass,tree and even the substrate...I do not thin he eats it,but who can be sure?

He showed no interest in the wax worms even...normally like candy to him. They have been kept in the fridge,the superworms on the shelf,next to the crickets in my son's room. Can it be temperature realted? We live near Albany NY and fall is here...chilly nights,etc.

We hold him @ 2x a day. In the morning he clings on our shirt,maybe under a blanket to keep him warm , and seems content to "hang there". In tehafternoon, we take him out for @ 15 mins to have a "run". He is handled genlty and very loved...he doesn't even mind us stroking his head or beard anymore.
WE just want to do right by him...he really is so sweet!
Whatver you can offer us would be wonderful! I just hope he is not impacted or dying!!!:(

I'll look FW to your reply. THANK YOU!!!! S :)
Something you might try...Baby food. My wife and I rescued a dragon and she wouldn't eat on her own. So we were told to try chicken and veggie baby food. Louie (the dragon) loved it and it worked. If you try this method make sure to add calcium. Also, I have heard that walnut shells are not a good choice for bedding. We use reptile carpet. It looks nice and you can wash it. If you go this route buy 2 pieces so you can swap it out when one is dirty. Hope this helps.



Original Poster

Thank you...I will go out to day and give that a try...what do you do if he wants to burrow or what I am calling nest? he seems to like to dig into the walnut shells and nestle into it. With Reptile carpet, how do they satisfy this need?

This morning my son and I gave him a bath in a shallow ceramic baking dish,which will now be Beardie's 4 ever.... with a wash cloth on the bottom so he would not slip about. He was really hesitant at first, but settled in with it as we poured warm H2O over his back. Within 4 or 5 minutes he "pooped" a mom it was yucky, but ok, since you know he felt 10 yr old son was grossed out...go figure!

I am fairly sure he is still a Juvy, as he is not 13" or over yet...I do not have a scale to weigh him, as I read about in some VERY helpful articles linked to this site, relating to brumating and impaction. Thank god for all you beardie lovers out there! We have has SO much conflicting info. from various Pet Smart employees, who I

know mean is jsut soooooooooo hard to know what is really the best way to go, since I am as attached to him, BTW, my husband is jealous, even though he says he is not..., as much as I am to our dog and that order! :lol: :)

Should I leave the baby food in a dish and for @ how long? Also, how can I add apic of our breadie to this post at a later time?

I will have to wait on the substrate change for now... Between the calci sand and walnut shells we have spent a small fortune...I will do what is best for "my sons" bearded dragon, :lol: but with 4 kids, it will take a little time.... :oops:

I'll check in later...what about adding vitamins at all?

Thanks again!!! :)
You can add vitamins 2x a week to the food. As far as leaving the baby food in the cage, i'm not really sure, we hand feed ours with a childrens medicine dropper. Have you taken him to a vet? Have you changed his cage, lighting, uvb or location of his cage? When one or all of these things happen it can strees out the dragon, which causes them to not eat. If everything has stayed the same, try mixing critical care with the baby food. I'm pretty sure you can find it at most feed stores. Does your dragon eat greens?


Sub-Adult Member
Hi...There are 2 REALLY important things you need to do NOW. First remove the walnut shells. Just put newspaper or paper towels down til you can get cage carpet, or what many of us use is textured ceramic or slate tile. It is easy to clean and it doesn't harbor bacteria, protozoa, parasites, etc. No loose substrate should be used. You can put a hand towel or fluffy wash cloth in for him to burrow into.

And equally as important...turn off the ReptiGlow UVB now. It has a history of causing eye problems as well as other health problems. PetSmart doesn't carry the correct lights. You need the ReptiSun 10 long fluorescent coils or compacts. It seems to be cheapest at at $20. When you do get it, put the heat/basking light right beside it so he gets benefit from both at the same time.

Also, do you have a temp gun or a digital thermometer with a probe at the end of a wire? The stick-ons can be as much as 20 degrees off. Walmart has the AccuRite digital with probe for $12. In our store, it is in the right back, by the ladders. I am thinking your 100 watt bulb might be too hot in a 40 gal tank. Is it the breeder tank (18"wide) or regular (12" wide)? You will put the probe on the basking spot 45 minutes for a correct reading...should be 100-110 and 75-80 on the cool side. When it gets below 65 at night, you will need a heat emitter, which gives off no light. They last a lot longer than the reptile bulbs. I have one that is still working that I used for 6 years on a sick iguana.

You don't have to pay the price for specialty bulbs for heat. Regular household bulbs or halogen bulbs are just as good & much cheaper. They do need to be in a clamp lamp tho...again, Walmart has them cheaper than pet stores.

You should bathe him 2 or 3 times weekly in warm water to his armpits for 20 minutes. If he poops in the water, rinse him off, dump the water & give him some fresh. If he poops in the water, you won't have to clean his tank so much!

I agree, no superworms til he is at least 16". They can cause impaction.
Even if he doesn't eat veggies, offer a little every day. Offer them before the live food in the morning when they are more apt to be hungry. Collard, dandelion, mustard, & turnip greens are the most important veggies. You could try dripping the juice from a strawberry on the greens to see if he goes for them.

Many of us have learned the hard way not to depend on petstore employees for accurate advice. They are paid to sell their products, not to give correct info. Most of the advisers on this forum have successfull raised and rehabbed rescues for several years, so they know what they are talking about.

Good luck


Original Poster
We bathed him again poop in the H2O....WE think he is 12 ", or slightly under...can he be Brumating? He definitely has stopped eating , what I think was gradual weaning on his part...?, we built him a "brumating box" from a shoe box, left an opening covered with a soft cloth so it can be dark...we left another opening and covered it with wide clear tape and then a cloth, so we can peek at him w/out disturbing him....airholes, etc. Also we put a cloth inside for additional burrowing...he seemed to take to it right away and hasn't been out.


WE live in upstate NY, near Albany, and the leaves are mostly changed now, temps are cooler with a little bit of Indain Summer here and there, but fall is definitely here! Is it more possible than not he has sensed this season change and is doing this Brumation???? We don't know how old he is...he was @ 7" when we got him, now he is @ 12 ", or slighlty shy of that.
I will get out to get on that thermometer change,etc this weekend.

I think the tank is 12", but I'll have to measure was the 100$ one at Pet Smart if you know which one I am referring to. I would prefer to go to Walmart, as Pet Smart is a bit more pricy...I'll let you know.

Between 2 different Pet Smart Stores the Beardie info was sooooooooooo drastically different! We initially bought @ 40$ worth of Calci sand, then Walnut shells was recommended...I will do what works best and am glad to come across such caring people who have been there....

Please keep on sharing the info....
I am going back to re-read the info you gave on heaters/light bulbs, etc and will get back to you with any questions...Thanks again so much!

Ps We will try another bath on Sat. to see if he poops, but if he doesn't, isit safe to say he doesn'y have any food that is going to rot in his belly??????[/size]


Juvie Member
I might have missed something, but the gist I'm getting is that you're bearded dragon is tired alot now and has stopped eating. What does is stool look like? I'm thinking that it could be parasites like my baby has right now. At the moment he has coccidia, and has been trying to go to sleep a lot earlier then he should. How long has this sleepiness been going on? How long is he awake for?
Since you've had your dragon for only two months and he is only 10 inches long, he is younger then a year making him to young to brumate.


Original Poster
Oh the stress! Who knew? He had a poop smaller than ususual, then the next day a bigger one, since yesteday, no more pooping , only wanting to "hang out" /sleep in the dark...he was going under his fake tree in the hollow area, so we built him a box...did you bring yours to a vet...or a Herp vet? What if I don't have a stool/ppop sample to bring?

I have read that they can brumate as early as 8 months...but again, conflicitng info , no disrespect meant to did your beardie appear when you thought something was wrong and what did his stool look did you know it was parasites, how long have you had them, and how can they get parasites, from what ??? What does your beardie eat? Sorry for my cluelessness...I will check in later..thanks~!:)

Stacey :?

Ps Sleepiness has been going on since Monday,prior to that I have caught him trying to burrow @ week earlier on occassion... now, since Wed., he seems content to "stay in hiding all the time"


Juvie Member
At first I took mine to a regular vet that said it took exotics...he did a nice job on the toe amputation (long long story). He and his staff were clueless when it came to parasites in reptiles...ugh...I didn't even get a coccidia count when I went. So make sure you go to a herp vet. I had to call around to a few places. Now the vet bill might run around 70 dollars or so depending on your vet. I've read that they can make your bearded dragon go to the bathroom, but mine always usually goes around the same time, so I plan accordingly. :oops: . heh heh...
Don't worry it's cool, I'm not an expert, just offering my little knowledge. I'm going off what Drache (She is a wonderful lady who is very knowledgeable person on this website aka one of the moderator, but she's still pretty awesome) said to me when I posted about my beardies sleepiness. At first I too thought he might be brumating, but it ended up being a side effect of the coccidia, after giving him the medicine it was like a 180 degree is behavior...he even stayed up till 9!! :D :D
At first I noticed something off, his stool had some discoloring to it. I'm a paranoid mommy ever since the toe amputation. What really set the alarm off was the fact that he started trying to go to sleep as early as 4 the other day :shock: . He was always tired before he normally should have been. (we both wake up together at 8 am).
He had had coccidia before the toe amputation which we got rid of, but high levels off stress can cause coccidia, so here we are again...Coccidia is a natural part of their bodies...just to much can be extremely bad for them. Here is a good article on coccidia and such so I don't put my foot in my mouth because I'm not an expert
My beardie eats escarole, collard greens, dandelion greens when I can get them, endive, occasionally kale, and mustard greens again if I can find them. There is a wonderful nutrition sheet here, if you haven't already seen it's the one I base Rael's diet off of
Don't be sorry for your cluelessness ever!! You are asking questions and trying to get the answers to make your beardies life better. Thank You for taking the time and giving your beardie a loving home.
I hope this helps


Stacey, Are you my twin?? I am having almost the exact same problems with "our" bd. He is 14 inches long and was doing well. Then all of a sudden, acted like he was brumating. Come to find out he was constipated, had two kinds of parasites and I'm guessing some worms (yeah I know should have asked more questions at the vet. But he billed me for "deworming") The vet was wonderful and sat and talked to me for 20 minutes to make sure what we were doing was correct and talked to me about what we needed to change---so I do trust him. I am still having troubles getting the dragon to eat---but it is on septra which is messing up it's stomach. Stacey, I would recommend you take yours to the vet. Ours was doing the same thing, digging, not wanting to sunbathe, eating irratically, pooping off and on, etc. Thus the parasites. I'm new like you, so I would rather be safe than sorry and make sure the vet says he/she is ok. And go to a vet that deals with reptiles. Good luck, I'll watch to see how things turns out. Renae
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