My new beardie stopped eating!

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jswatton

New member
I got my beardie from a petstore last week on Monday. She is 8 months old, sand fired bearded dragon. She was very active when I first got her. Then, she seemed to be very hungry all the time. I believe she may have had too much to eat her first week. She had many small meal worms as well as many large crickets. I also fed her romaine lettuce and wax worms. I recently found out that wax worms should be avoided since her poop was a bit runny.

She stopped eating on Thursday night. I'm extremely worried. She has been sleeping quite a bit lately. She drank some water yesterday while I was giving her a bath. She last pooped yesterday.

I have been reading up on dragons brumating. However, she seems to be a bit young to fall into that.

Is there a possibility of parasites? Also - could it be that she is just adjusting to her new surroundings?

Thanks!
 

peera

Sub-Adult Member
There is a possibility of parasites, you should get a fecal done for her just to be safe. There are many, many things that can be factoring into her not eating (For the record, they cannot overeat, espesially before 1 year. Babies and juvies should be allowed all the appropriatly sized crickets they want in 15 minutes 2-3x a day, and it's normal for each feeding to be 30-50 crickets if you're giving appropriate sizes).

Mealworms are never recommended, they have a high shell-to-meat ratio, are impaction risks and are so hard to digest it's like eating nothing. Are the crickets smaller than the space between her eyes? Too large of crickets are also an impaction/choking risk. Wax worms are treat foods (think like a candy bar. You wouldn't just eat candy bars all day, would you?) Romaine lettuce is mostly water and not recommended, this site is incrediably helpful when it comes to proper vegetables- http://www.beautifuldragons.503xtreme.com/Nutrition.html

If you could answer these questions, we may be able to pinpoint why she stopped eating-

How long is your dragon?
What size enclosure do you have your dragon in?
What type substrate do you have on the bottom of your tank?
Do you use UVB lights?
If so, Is it a coil, compact, fluorescent tube, or Mercury Vapor bulb?
What is the brand name and number of your bulb? Wattage (if MVB)?
How old is your UVB bulb?
How close can your dragon get to the UVB?
Do you use a separate basking bulb? What kind and what is the wattage?
What are the basking temps?
What is the cool side temp?
Do you take the temps with a stick on thermometer, a digital thermometer with a wire and a probe end or a temp gun?
Where exactly are you taking your basking temps?
Do you use a heat rock or heat pad?
What do you feed your dragon? Please be specific.
How often do you feed and what time do you feed (morning, afternoon, night)?
Do you gutload (feed) your crickets, worms, etc?
Do you use vitamin or calcium supplements? What brand(s)? How many days a week do you use each of them?
Is your dragon having regular bowel movements (poops)?
Do you bath your dragon? How often?
Do you mist your dragon or offer water other than in the bath?
Does your dragon share an enclosure with another dragon?
Have you gotten a vet check and fecal done?
 

jswatton

New member
Original Poster
Thank you for the information! In answer to your questions:

1. Measurement - Head to tail - approx 10-12 inches. I'll get an exact measurement to you later on today.
2. I have a 20 gallon tank
3. I use the calcium sand
4. For lights I have: UVB 10 repti glo white light (coil) and for night I have a repti glo heat glow lamp. The lights are new.
5. I sometimes leave him out on a heated rock. There are other times, I will put him on the table with the uvb glow lamp. He likes being close to the lamp.
6. The temperatre of the tank is approx 80-85. Cool side is about 70-75
I noticed she always prefers the warm side.
7. Feeding: The first time I had her - I fed her the following:
Monday
- Small meal worms - approx 20
- Romaine lettuce
-
Tuesday
- Small meal worms - approx 20-30
- Romaine lettuce
- Wax worms - about 4-5.
Wednesday
- 25 or so medium/large size crickets
- Romaine lettuce
- Wax worms 3
- Thursday
10 small meal worms...

Nothing since then.

I take the basking temps in the middle kind of away from the uv lamp.

I don't feed her calcium supplements. I tried feeding her dragon bites - but she didn't like it. She has been having regular poops up until Sunday. Then Sunday she stopped.
I bath my dragon every day. I don't mist her. I will start doing that.
My dragon did share an enclosure with 2 other dragons at the petstore.

I haven't gotten a vet check done. I will but I don't think I'll be able to have her test the fecal - she won't poop.
 

peera

Sub-Adult Member
Hm, well, I see several problems with your husbandry. Please don't feel like I'm critisizing you, I'm sure you trusted the pet store which is, unfortunatly, a horrible place to get your information because they are very seldom trained in the needs of individual species.

jswatton":f93a4 said:
Thank you for the information! In answer to your questions:

1. Measurement - Head to tail - approx 10-12 inches. I'll get an exact measurement to you later on today.
Well, a little small for an 8 month old, but considering she's probably been kept in sub-par conditions her entire life, not bad. She'll grow.
2. I have a 20 gallon tank
Much too small. The minimum size tank for a adult dragon is a 40gal breeder. Ideally, they need a 4'lx2'wx2'h enclosure.
3. I use the calcium sand
Calcium sand is EXTREMELLY dangerous. It has clumping properties that turn it into cement in your dragon's intestines if injested, and the calcium in it encourages them to lick it. If you read the packaging, I believe it actually has a warning against using it for juviniles, although that should be "all dragons", but then they wouldn't sell much of the stuff. The best substrates are tile (Like from Home Depot for your kitchen floor), newspaper, paper towels or repti-carpet. Washed, non-silica play sand can be used for adults, but no loose substrates are suitable for babies or juvies.
4. For lights I have: UVB 10 repti glo white light (coil) and for night I have a repti glo heat glow lamp. The lights are new.
The ReptiGlo is a dangerous UVB bulb, as are all coils. They're very hard on the eyes and give off unreliable amounts of UVB. (And yes, this is one of the things that could be killing her appetite. No UVB is better than this bulb.) The light you want is the ReptiSun 10.0 Tube. You can get it cheapest off of http://www.petmountain.com
5. I sometimes leave him out on a heated rock. There are other times, I will put him on the table with the uvb glow lamp. He likes being close to the lamp.
Dragons do not feel heat from below and can burn themselves very badly on heat rocks. They shouldn't ever be used.
6. The temperatre of the tank is approx 80-85. Cool side is about 70-75
I noticed she always prefers the warm side.
Your temps are WAY to cold. The basking spot should be 100-110* or she won't be able to digest. The cool side shouldn't be cooler than 80*. You can boost your temps with a regular household bulb (not an energy saver, they save energy by not putting off heat!). 70 is a nighttime temp. They require a cool-down at night.
7. Feeding: The first time I had her - I fed her the following:
Monday
- Small meal worms - approx 20
- Romaine lettuce
-
Tuesday
- Small meal worms - approx 20-30
- Romaine lettuce
- Wax worms - about 4-5.
Wednesday
- 25 or so medium/large size crickets
- Romaine lettuce
- Wax worms 3
- Thursday
10 small meal worms...

Nothing since then.

I take the basking temps in the middle kind of away from the uv lamp.
Basking temps need to be taken directly under the heat lamp at the warmest place in the tank. What are you measuring temps with? This is very important, stick-on and round dial thermometers can be off by up to 20*.

I don't feed her calcium supplements. I tried feeding her dragon bites - but she didn't like it. She has been having regular poops up until Sunday. Then Sunday she stopped.
My dragons don't like dragon pellets either, don't sweat it, they're not the best food source out there. You do need to be supplimenting with calcium and multivitamins every day right now (There's a chart on the food page I sent you to that will tell you what they need how many times a week)
I bath my dragon every day. I don't mist her. I will start doing that.
If you're bathing every day misting isn't nessisary... Being desert animals, being too moist can make them sick, so only mist if you didn't get a bath in that day, and do it outside the tank so they don't get a resperitory infection and you don't blow up a bulb by getting water on it.
My dragon did share an enclosure with 2 other dragons at the petstore.
Well, since she's out of the environment, it shouldn't be impacting now. Make sure you never get the idea she wants a friend though, because they don't, and it can turn deadly quickly.

I haven't gotten a vet check done. I will but I don't think I'll be able to have her test the fecal - she won't poop.
Hopefully you'll be able to get her to poop soon, and the sooner you can make the changes I suggested, the sooner that can hopefully happen. In the meantime, try feeding her some sugar-free applesauce, it's a diaretic. (Try getting her to lick it off a spoon, mine LOVE it. If you have to, just dab it on her nose so she has to lick it off)
 

jswatton

New member
Original Poster
Thank you for your response. I don't feel like you are criticizing me. It's such a relief to get the right information. I hear so many different stories from pet stores - feed them this - don't feed them that. It varies too much.

Oh - by the way - my beardie did poop last night and she vomited this morning. The vomit looked like small meal worm shells. I am sure she will do better after this?
 

jswatton

New member
Original Poster
Also - she did like the applesauce. Thanks! I fed her a little last night and after she got sick this morning - I fed her some more.
 
To add a little to what has already been said you need to get your basking temp upto around 110-120 and the cool side should be around 80-85 and make sure that you are using a digital thermometer with a probe to measure the actual basking surface "a temp gun will work to" and as far as the romaine lttuce goes there are alot better greens you could be offering, check out this link with all the greens you can and can't offer along with there nutritional values. http://www.beautifuldragons.503xtreme.com/Nutrition.html
 
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