Nathaniel, Cierra, Castiel, Freya, Grrl; RIP GABRIEL

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We never expected to get another dragon, but our neighbours next door wanted to give away Cleo, as he was called. We'd babysat him before, he's such a sweetheart. We nicknamed him Velcro because when he snuggles he never wants to go back to his viv, he hangs on as if he's made out of velcro.

So here he is. Today was his first day with us. He ate 13 supers and ate some squash, not bad for the first day he was here. He's only in a 30 gallon tank, which will be ok for now. He's 18" long but weighs only 200g. We figure he's probably 2 yrs old. Our neighbours rescued him last fall, they found him and a female (which they named Puff) on Craig's list. They were in a 30 gallon dirty tank, with sand and a huge log that took up 1/2 the space in the tank. Leo was at the bottom, he was sooooo skinny. He's gained weight, but never got the attention he deserved. I took some pics today, but will take more tomorrow. I think he remembers our place as didn't get stressed as I expected. No stress marks at all. When we let him run around the living room, he noticed our girls and immediate black beard, so his hormones are working!

He had a bath this morning, had a big poop, no smell, so not worried about parasites.

So here are a few pics, he's a yellow & dark gray, light gray colour.

Under the communal power sun in the living room:

Discovering there are girls in those tanks up above, he has a great black beard for such a skinny boy:

On the couch, he's got a pretty diamond pattern on his back:


Hope you enjoy
Deb and my six dragons :D :shock: :shock: :shock: :cry: :cry: :( :love5:


Gray-bearded Member
Nice to hear from you -- I'd been wondering how Gabriel was doing especially. Glad to hear he's still having so much fun playing with his toys and stuff.

I've never had a female beardie, but if I understand correctly, they can lay eggs even if they haven't mated, and then they still need all the stuff that goes with it -- a nest to lay them in, extra calcium and especially nutritious food, etc etc, so hopefully Cierra will be able to stay healthy even if she is working on a batch of eggs.

Imp doesn't look too terribly bad in the photos, so I hope you can at least keep his weight stable even if he stays a little on the skinny side.

Our beardie has a little bit of orange color around his eyes kind of like Castiel, and maybe one of these days in his non existent spare time, my tech-savvy husband will be able to help me figure out how to post some pictures. :roll:

You have a lovely family, including reptiles, mammals, and little humans. :D


Juvie Member
Hey there Deb!

Been so long since we spoke. All your babies look beautiful and healthy. They have such a special home. Glad everything is going well and I am hope to be around a little more.

sweetiepie9 Sicko
Retired Moderator
Original Poster
I haven't updated for awhile, it's been chaos around here. I'm back off work, this time with a huge grass allergy attacking at the same time as a virus. I'm finally, week 6 now, getting better.

Castiel got a biopsy and blood sample 2 Saturdays ago, because of part of his beard, under his ear, falling off.
This was taken mid March, his beard stayed black all the time, then I noticed the spikes were dying
This is the piece of beard that fell off:
The skin you see is what was left behind. clean skin.

Last week my vet told me that they couldn't find anything to cause this, nothing bacterial or fungal. So she called the lab to do a 2nd culture to see what was found and that's what I'm waiting for now. It doesn't seem to be spreading and it's not on any of the other dragons. I'll update when I get the results, by end this week at the latest. It's definitely a mystery. A friend said that she saw that happen when the dragon had fallen and bruised that part of the beard. Not sure if that's possible, but Castiel is a he-devil when Spring Fever comes along. Falling off his log and bashing his face wouldn't surprise me. If that's what it is, then the bruise is healing and no further damage will be done.

Gabriel is still with me. He's doing really well, still gets Serrepeptase every morning, Organic Raspberry flavour, he loves it more than Peach. :mrgreen: He still tries to jump off my shoulder when I'm standing or off the kitchen counter if I don't watch him every second. He still tries to drink out of the bath and I end up giving him CPR every time, no matter how careful I am. But otherwise he's happy and active and if he moves to a certain spot in his thank, he can see Imp, so they make faces at each other all the time.

Imp is still skinny but I found out he'll chase bugs, superworms and roaches, daily if I have the time. Being off I was able to feed him roaches again this am. He doesn't eat alot but if he eats every day, with the mix thrown in every once in awhile, he actually might gain some weight. He felt heavier this am, so I'm hopeful. I think he's in good health, the way he's active, but will get him to the vet for a checkeup, xray and blood test as soon as I can afford it.

Nathaniel is shedding alot, he has a shed on both his back feet. Well one of them got very swollen and he was having trouble walking. So I put coconut oil on it 3 nights in a row and was able to take off most of the shed and his food is almost 100% again. Swelling is almost gone. Yay!

Cierra is getting fat, was sure she had eggs but she won't move at all in her tank. She moves to the cool side to sleep, then I move her to her basking spot to warm up and she stays there most of the day. I've been through lots of egg laying in 11 years and she isn't acting as if she is waiting for eggs, but have no other explanation, so she's to the vet soon.

And that's what's up with my crew. I hope to be back to work in two weeks, I'm just so tired.

CooperDragon Sicko
Staff member
I'm glad to hear they're doing well and you're feeling better. That's so odd about Castiel. If it's not an infection, I wonder if it was just a thick stuck shed that came off violently and just caused physical damage. I suppose that's the best case scenario since if it heals well that would likely be the end of it.

sweetiepie9 Sicko
Retired Moderator
Original Poster
Someone pointed out it could have been a big bruise, somehow. He does go crazy during his Spring Fever and he's all over his tank. My vet got more results, but isn't in, so I'll talk to her tomorrow. Whatever it is, it hasn't spread. I'm still putting 1/2 & 1/2 water/Betadine solution on his dark spikes on either side daily until my vet says it's not necessary.


Gray-bearded Member
Nice to hear that you and your beardies are still managing to muddle through...

My husband and I both love this time of year when everything gets warmer and greener, but unfortunately it's a bad time for allergies. And allergies + virus = really really sick sometimes for us too. :( Glad you're getting better.

It's amazing that Gabriel is still doing so well, but weird about Castiel. At least it looks like the new skin underneath is clean and healthy, so hopefully a bruise or a bad shed and no infection or anything. I've noticed that the "spikes" tend to be a sticking place when they shed because the skin that comes off seems to be wrapped around them like shrink wrap -- no wonder it can be difficult.

At least Imp has a healthy appetite for bugs. I'm thinking beardies must be similar to humans and other animals -- some are genetically predisposed to be thin and others tend to put on extra weight, and maybe the fact that they're a little thinner or fatter than what's considered "normal" is not so much to worry about as long as they're healthy otherwise.

Our beardie had a vet visit recently and we noticed that he was being extra careful with one of his feet afterwards. They trimmed his claws and did a blood draw, so I was thinking that maybe he had struggled and sprained it a little, but then I noticed he was shedding on that foot. So after hearing about Nathaniel's foot sheds, I'm wondering if it was just uncomfortable for a while because of the shed. Either that or some minor injury triggered the shed (a classic which-came-first-the-chicken-or-the-egg problem :?). Either way, most of the shed is off now and it doesn't seem to be bothering him too much anymore.

I don't blame you for being tired, with all that going on. Hopefully you're past the worst of it and things will get better now. :)

sweetiepie9 Sicko
Retired Moderator
Original Poster
I worry more about my son and grandkids than I do myself, but I have to admit, this allergy/virus was difficult to figure out. The two antihistamines a day are helping and I'm almost fully off the puffers.

I'm amazed at Gabriel, too. He's asleep underneath his newspaper tonight, that's a first :lol:

I'm hoping to hear from the vet tomorrow, but I have a feeling this is just going to be a mystery for what happened to Castiel. The rest of him is doing just fine and whatever it was isn't spreading, so that would be the most important thing. After watching Titan RIP Dec/13, go through Yellow Fungus, that was my first thought, but that's not it, so phew, was I pleased about that.

Imp actually felt heavier today, so I'll do my best to get bugs in him every morning and see how he does. He had a poop after the large amount of superworms he ate and it didn't even smell, but still a fecal would be good for him. Next up to the vet.

sweetiepie9 Sicko
Retired Moderator
Original Poster
I thought I'd posted that I lost Miss Leona last week. About 6 weeks ago I realized that her heat was too high but it was too late and I lost her, even after caring for her for 5 weeks. Poor sweetie, my fault completely. I sure do miss her.
RIP sweet Leona...I'm so sorry.


Gray-bearded Member
Sorry to hear that Leona didn't make it. :cry: I know you must feel awful but I hope you can remember that it was an accident and you didn't mean to do her any harm. Thank you also, for having the courage to share this with the rest of us. It may help save another reptile's life in the future for others to be reminded that we always need to be careful to make sure that their heat sources are under good control.

sweetiepie9 Sicko
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We had a party for my dad's 90th birthday on Sunday, it was wonderful. Eric, Traci and Leo and Safara (son/girlfriend/grandkids) were there. Eric and I are car sharing, so it was promised to him so he could get to my sister's, where the party was held. I have alot of pictures, but waiting for my battery to charge, then I can post them.

Still no news from my vet on Castiel. Nothing has moved so I'm not sure what he has. The black of his beard that was affected is not getting worse either. It's a mystery, for sure.

Nathaniel had a swollen foot due to a tight shed, so I put coconut oil on the foot for 3 nights and enough shed came off to relieve the swelling, which was great to see as he could walk again!

Cierra is, I think, making eggs, but she's just laying around in her tank when she's not out running around in the living room. Very strange, but she's going to the vet soon to get an xray if this continues. She's gained alot of weight, too.

Gabriel still has the aneurysm in his belly, but has alot of energy, even so. He walks across the living room to the ramp every morning and climbs the ramp, so he gets exercise. Plus he's very active in his tank, off and on.

Imp is starting to feel heavier (need to get the battery changed on my scale). I've been releasing bugs for him to eat on the living floor, he likes to chase them. So hopefully, when I'm back to work in 2 weeks, I can still include that every morning in my routine.


Gray-bearded Member
Glad to hear your family seems to be doing well and that you all got to celebrate your dad's 90th.

Do any of Castiel's spiky scales seem to be growing back or does he still have that little smooth spot where it came off? It will be interesting to find out if your vet ever figures anything out, but it's nice that he seems to be doing ok in the meantime.

Our beardie is shedding all over the place at the moment too, but fortunately all the feet and toes seem to have gotten past it without developing any little tourniquets. The skin is loose in the middle on his back and parts of his underbelly, but mostly still attached around the edges. Should come off any day now, but at least I don't have to worry about this part cutting off his circulation. He's being fairly patient about it but I suppose he's pretty uncomfortable at the moment. When I pick him up he crackles and rustles like he's wrapped up in tissue paper or dry leaves. He had a checkup at the vet's last Saturday and left a few pieces of skin there too. :wink:

I've never had a female beardie and I don't think I've ever found out for sure, but I've often wondered how likely they are to produce infertile eggs even if they haven't mated? It will be interesting to find out if that's what's going on with Cierra or if it's something else. I hope she'll be ok either way.

Sounds like Imp is doing well if he's got enough energy to chase bugs around on the living room floor, and Gabriel the amazing miracle dragon sound like he's not only surviving, but enjoying life and thriving as well. :D

sweetiepie9 Sicko
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Most females lay eggs at some point. Some over lay, some don't lay many. My Sweetie was laying 8 clutches of 35 eggs each the year before she died. It took everything out of her, even though I was giving her daily liquid calcium. She got depressed (my vet told me that) after Roger died, as they were best buds. She was carrying at the time and wouldn't lay them because her helper disappeared. She got very sick not long after that and just wasted away, it was awful. I had rescued Sweetie from my son & d-i-l in 2006, they asked me to babysit and her dragon that had looked SO healthy 2 mo earlier at 2 mo old, well she was a brown stick when I got her. ( was babysitting for Eric and Monique)
So this is what she looked like when she came to us; we gave her lots of water, then got onto this site and found Denise, who helped me get her back into good health. When the kids got home, we told them to get a cat, as Sweetie was very close to dying. This is what she looked like 2 mo later:

This was our first rescue and 11 years later I"m still rescuing. If I lose a dragon for whatever reason (and they can get sick out of the blue), within a month or so another presents itself that needs care and they come to me for their forever home.

So I talked to my vet yesterday and she said they couldn't find anything with the 2nd biopsy. Castiel is clean. I really think this is the result of a bad bruise that affected circulation in his beard area. So I'm going to stop the Betadine, as it wasn't needed and give him more mix with his bugs and greens. I have a feeling this happened early March when he was going through his Spring Fever. He is a real crazy nut at that time and jumps around his tank like crazy. I get him out as often as I can so he can run around, but he prefers to jump around his tank, especially is Cierra is out.
This is some of what he does during spring break, so a bruise isn't out of the question. He's already had a month to heal, so he's getting there.


Gray-bearded Member
That was an amazing transformation with Sweetie. You wouldn't even know it was the same dragon if you just saw the two photos together.

Castiel looks seriously hormonal in the picture -- he could have easily gotten himself bumped and bruised doing that sort of thing. I'm glad they didn't find anything wrong with him.

Too bad there doesn't seem to be a way to keep females from wasting their biological energy by making too many eggs.

sweetiepie9 Sicko
Retired Moderator
Original Poster
That's why I think Castiel got a bruise with his serious Spring Fever show. It is a show when he gets into it. Then he's back to normal, but he was like that for over a month. So it doesn't surprise me that the biopsy found nothing. I'm so glad, though, that means it will heal and he'll just have a small spot of skin that you can't even see now, as his spikes are growing all around it. It's so good to be albe to handle him without worrying about handling the next one. He's getting baths again, which is good, too, and I take him in for a recheck tomorrow. Next is Cierra, maybe, I keep thinking she's making eggs but she's not moving around much, just wants to lounge on her blanket and piggy (that's her basking spot now).

Thanks about Sweetie, she lived to 5 1/2 yrs old, but went into depression when hubby died, he was her best bud and helped her lay her eggs every year. She wouldn't let me go near her when she was laying eggs, it was so sweet. I had to take her to the vet to have her lay her eggs. She was given something to start contractions, an xray before she lay, an xray after she lay. That was costly but worth it as I would have lost her. Then she lost her will to live, got sick from calcium depletion and died Dec/11, just 6 mo after Roger died. So, that proved my point that dragons can love someone just like a dog does, and can go through what Sweetie went through. It was so sad that I just couldn't do enough for her.

When females lay eggs, you have to supplement alot of calcium and make sure they eat lots of bugs to make up the lost protein. Sweetie was just laying too often, even with the daily extra calcium, she still was too low on calcium. Sweetie died of pneumonia according to my vet, but I know it was a broken heart and low calcium that did her in.

So I'm very careful with Cierra, she'd 3 1/2 and has laid for the last 2 years. This year she's different, but I think she needs a vet chq and xray, so that's the next step for her.


Gray-bearded Member
That's so sad about Sweetie :cry: , but it sounds like you did everything you could for her. I do believe that bearded dragons in particular and animals in general (maybe even plants too) are sentient beings, and if humans can "die of a broken heart" then they can too.

Hopefully you'll be able to figure it out for Cierra. :?
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