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
Imp looks much better in this set of photos than the last one, except that on my screen he looks bright green? :? I'm guessing that was something to do with the lighting when you took the pictures -- either that or the color on my monitor is going squirrelly -- we've had some issues with that -- my husband says it has something to do with the cable.

Too bad I'm not a bearded dragon -- then my extra belly fat would be good for my health, huh? :p

It's really weird that he does better with superworms than dubias. For most beardies, it seems like it's the other way around. But just as long as he's doing better -- whatever it takes. If it's working don't fix it...

If Castiel managed to get through whatever that was with just a few missing spikes, I'd say he's doing pretty well. And Gabriel must be feeling pretty good too if he's doing his happy colors.

I hope Cierra will be alright either way, whether she turns out to be fat or pregnant. And I have to wonder if Nathaniel had somehow injured his foot, because sometimes they can do a "rapid shed" (the same area several times in a row) as part of the healing process. :? You may never know, but maybe nothing to worry about anymore as long as it's getting better -- kind of like Castiel's beard. :)

sweetiepie9 Sicko
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My beardies tend to have strange things happen to them, so doesn't surprise me. Plus a woman on another site mentioned bruising, said it had happened to her beardie, without the loss of beard, though. So all I can think of is when Castiel goes absolutely manic during Spring Fever, which to him, this year, was in February and I found the odd colour on his beard mid March. So that also makes sense. I'm just glad it wasn't anything worse.

That's the colour Gabriel, who's usually dark/light brown, gets when he's had his bath and didn't choke. He's notorious for not swallowing water but storing it in his beard, when he tries to drink it, not being food, it chokes him. He stops breathing and I have to give him CPR, can't tell you how many times I've done that. So I did find an alternate way, I feed him water by syringe, drop by drop before he gets in the bath & when he drinks from the bath, I only allow so many gulps before I pull up his head and massage his throat, to make him swallow the water out of his beard. And that's the only time he doesn't choke.

I'm back to work full time in 2 weeks, so I'll have regular pay in July and can take Cierra into the vet then. Unless she has eggs in between, but not sure. She's alert, runs around exploring the living room when she's out, but hardly moves in her tank, she just stays on her piggy, under her basking light. Not what a pregnant beardie does. I'm hoping she's going to skip this year on eggs...we'll see.


Gray-bearded Member
If I remember correctly, you've said that all your beardies are rescues, so that may explain why strange things happen to them -- you inherit the results of whatever happened to them before you got them, especially if they weren't as well cared for previously as they are now that they're with you. At least they're well loved and cared for now, no matter what kinds of weird things happen. :)

So they can store water in their beards? That explains it -- we've noticed that Puff drooled a lot of clear watery fluid a couple of times when we fed him right after his bath. We thought maybe he'd developed a new hunting strategy: drown the cricket in drool before eating it. (It would have been an improvement over his usual method of sticking out his tongue and expecting the bugs to hop on there by themselves. :roll: ) Fortunately for us, he's apparently never tried to swallow the extra water and choked on it like Gabriel does, because I can't imagine trying to do CPR with a beardie. We dribble water on his nose with an eyedropper in his bath, and he laps it up if he's thirsty, but once in a while he puts his head under the water, and I guess he'd gotten himself a beardful a couple of times. One time I had cuddled him for a little while after his bath while "daddy" got the bugs ready, so he must have held on to the water for a while, for reasons of his own... :?

sweetiepie9 Sicko
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Be glad he didn't choke, but it's easy for him to try to swallow it. If it ever happens that he's not breathing, hold him at an angle, hoping his back legs and tail, then put your fingernail into his mouth to open it a bit & the water from his beard will pour out. then compress his chest above his lungs until he's breathing. That's CPR for beardies.

I knew going in that there would be possible issues with my dragons, but some of the things they got sick from were beyond what I ever expected. In one year I lost Titan (yellow fungus), Rubio (brain tumour), Didi (issues with his intestines from an internal fungus) and Lonzo (tumour on his kidney that burst) At least Lonzo was 11 1/2 when he passed, the others were 6. Then the following year, Puff from surgery. She was 8 and last year Leo, abdominal tumour, he was 9. So I'm hoping, except for Gabriel, who has the aneurysm in his belly, that they'll all stay well. I was so worried about Castiel when he lost that piece of beard, but turns out it must have been a bruise because the biopsy showed no bacterial or fungal infections and they tested the samples twice. So I have 4 very healthy beardies (Imp is healthy, he's just skinny, but that's changing with feeding him every day). And I'm hoping Gabriel is still with me for awhile longer. It's been almost a year since the diagnosis and I know he'd had it longer than that. It seems to have stopped growing. I'm only finding his gums bleed once in awhile but otherwiese, you'd never know he was sick.

Yes, I've lost alot of dragons in the 11 years I've been rescuing; Angel, Loish, Sweetie Pie, Issy, 2010 and 2011, then Titan, Rubio, Lonzo, Didi, Puff and Leo. Now I'm hoping to not lose any for awhile.


Gray-bearded Member
You must have a lot of nice memories of all the beardies you've rescued. I suppose that makes it all worth it even when it's sad to lose them. I still say that Gabriel is a little miracle, and I'm glad that Imp is putting on some weight and seems healthy otherwise, as well as all the rest of them.

Our beardie (Puff) was diagnosed with adenovirus a couple of years ago and was pretty sick for a while, but seems to have pulled through and seems to be holding his own, although his appetite and activity levels have never quite come up to what they were before he got sick, and he seems to be prone to getting some sort of infections in the joints in his elbows and wrists and fingers, although they've never been able to culture anything identifiable out of any of it. The vet said that although there's no cure, it's not a death sentence and he's not suffering, but I'm well aware that we may be facing something worse sometime down the road. He's 5 years old now, and just finished another round of antibiotics about a month ago. One of his little pinkie fingers still looks a little swollen, and the little bones look a bit twisted in the X-rays, so the vet was somewhat concerned about it, but it doesn't seem to bother him (doesn't look like gout -- uric acid levels were normal). Amputation and/or biopsy was mentioned, but we didn't want to do anything that drastic at this point, although I would consider it if it came down to a question of saving a finger or a toe versus saving the rest of him. Sometimes these decisions are tough because there isn't a real clear cut obvious answer. :?

sweetiepie9 Sicko
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I'm sorry Puff has been sick. If you're on Facebook join this group. It was created by Amanda Mosher, a good friend in upstate New York. She founded Dragonheart, which is a permanent home for dragons that are rescues or their owners couldn't care for them. She's also lost alot along the way, but there's always another that presents itself. It's the same with me, it's as if the dragon that passed shows me the way to another one that needs help. That's how I've found all my dragons along the years.

So here's the link to the Facebook group. They are experts on adenovirus. Amanda has 2 positive dragons. Casper was bought as a baby & already had the virus, she fought hard to get him healthy, now he's 20" long and 800g and is just beautiful and healthy. She'll tell you what has worked for her and there are others who also have adv+ dragons on the group that are very knowledgable about this disease. I highly recommend it, even though I don't have any adv+ dragons that I know of, I'm also a member.

Castiel had the same thing with his beard, a piece fell out, got the biopsy done, couldn't find anything bacterial or fungal as the cause, so I'm pretty sure he whacked himself during Spring Fever (he goes really nuts, wears himself out). His beard shed and is normal, expect for the white spot of skin where the piece fell off. He seems fine now, is shedding his tail and belly and only wants to sleep, but I won't let him. I get him up every morning, he can't sleep until his shedding is finished and he gets a fecal from the vet.

Cierra's belly is getting bigger but I think she has a big poop stuck in there, so pumpking tomorrow and for a few days, to see if I can get her to poop. She's a pain when it comes to that, hardly ever goes on her own, so I'm starting to keep track so I know when it's time for pumpkin, even though I'm starting to think I have to give her some every day. I buy a can of plain pumpkin, put it into ice cube trays, then in freezer bag, so I always have it on hand. It never fails to get them to poop. Castiel can be like that, too, so he'll get the massage treatment in his bath tomorrow.

I think Gabriel is a huge miracle, too. I'm so glad he's still with me. I make sure he has a walk every morning across the living room to the ramp, where he manages to crawl up the pillow to the ramp, which gives him a bit of exercise every morning. Once he's done that & had some time under the light (normal household bulb for heat only), he's back in his tank & that's when he gets active, trying jump out of his tank. He's hilarious and I snuggle him every day when I can. I try to do that to the rest, too.

Feeding Imp super worms every day is really working. He managed to get through 100 worms in just over a week & yesterday ate some small dubia. His poop today was normal, too, so I'm pleased that having him chase his food on the living room floor is working!

Nathaniel is covered in shed that hasn't started to come off yet, so he's just miserable. His two back feet are covered, 3/4 of his back and I think his belly, too. Once all that is off, he can brumate all he wants.

So they're all ok. Went to the chiro today and visited my folks, they live a few blocks away from the chiro. Brought Bella, who was very good with my folks, licked their hands and my mom's leg and then sniffed around their condo. She really enjoyed herself and is now sleeping on my bed. I'm off to see my son & grandkids shortly.


Gray-bearded Member
The one nice thing about shedding is that it doesn't last very long, and they usually look their best after it's all over.

Thanks for the link, but I don't do Facebook. My husband says I'm stuck in the 20th Century. :wink:

Puff seems to be doing ok for the time being, except he's having a heck of a time catching bugs lately. He's always been a lousy shot with his tongue, but lately it's getting worse. It wouldn't be so bad if he'd even just open his mouth and let us drop them in there, but that doesn't seem to work either. We managed to get a decent video of his pathetic attempts, so we're sending it to the vet to see what she thinks. Meanwhile, we can sometimes get him to eat a few bites of veggies.

Repashy Grub Pie seems to make a pretty good laxative for him, as well as a good substitute for the bugs he has so much trouble catching, since he doesn't seem to like pumpkin. But he even seems to have a hard time getting that in his mouth, even though it doesn't run away.

Glad to hear that your guys all seem to be doing well. :D

sweetiepie9 Sicko
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I think for the first time in 2 years, Cierra isn't making eggs. I'm frustrated that I can't take her to the vet, no $, but I'll see what my pay is next Friday, maybe can get her in the nxt week. She'll need an xray to see what's going on in her belly. Meanwhile, she hasn't pooped in over a week, yet eating every day, so she's getting lots of pumpkin the last 2 days and tomorrow again she'll get more, plus longer bath with lots of belly massages. She and Castiel are my two reluctant poopers, I got Castiel to poop 2 days ago, the urate was over 1" long and about 1/4" in diameter, it was huge! And they get baths every 2nd day and I feed them water at the same time. So they should both be hydrated enough to poop more regularly, as the other 3, under the same lights, are fine, almost daily.

Imp is definitely gaining weight with feeding him every day (almost), so that's a relief. He pooped out all the mix I gave him yesterday, though. He's also doing a complete head shed, it's all turned white, now to wait until it peels off. His legs & 1/2 his tail are also turning white. Nathaniel has gotten some of his shed off, but mainly his back is covered, his vent and his legs still to go.


Gray-bearded Member
It seems like every bearded dragon is a little bit different when it comes to their poop habits. Puff is all over the map anything from once every day or two all the way out to two weeks or more between poops. Our vet told me that if I don't at least see some urate in two weeks, it's cause for concern, so I've had several tentative appointments scheduled in case he doesn't poop by the time, and called up to cancel ("never mind -- we got a poop.") I keep a log of "input" and "output" (what he ate and when he pooped) so I know for sure that I didn't just forget.

It's frustrating not to have enough $$$ to take them to the vet when they need to go, so I hope Cierra's X-rays will turn out to be nothing serious whenever you can afford it. These little guys can get expensive -- I figure that Puff is probably a solid 24-karat "golden dragon" by now. :roll:

sweetiepie9 Sicko
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Cierra finally pooped, 3 days of pumpkin and belly massages did it! I'm so glad, she only had a small urate but masses of poop. So I'm back to keeping track of them all, as Castiel is the same, he takes ages to poop & his urates are huge, over an inch long and about 1/4" in diameter, at least that was the last one. I think those two will get pumpkin a couple of times a week to keep them regular in future. The other 3 are great, Gabriel still poops daily and usually Imp does, too. Nathaniel is every 2 or 3 days, so no worries with all 3 of those.

I'm glad you keep track of Puff's poops. It's important. As for the vet $, there will be some soon as I"m back to work full time on Monday...sigh...back to normal salary. Plus my doc found a puffer that works great, can breathe deeply without coughing. It's called Breo and it really works. Had one puff this am and no coughing all day, had been coughing steadily since Tues. I have 30 days of it, too, so will see how I am by then, but have a feeling I'll be using it all summer, at least until the grass dies. And living near Vancouver, depending on the weather, that could be into the fall...


Gray-bearded Member
Glad to hear everything "came out ok" :wink: for Cierra -- do you think it was all about poop instead of eggs now, or are you still planning to get an X-ray to make sure? Warm baths and gentle belly massages seem to help Puff sometimes too, since he usually won't eat any of the usual remedies such as pumpkin.

I've seen Breo advertised on TV. Here in the USA, prescription drugs are advertised on TV to the general public. It's kind of nuts, if you ask me, but I digress... :roll: I'm glad they found something that works for you. I've got a little crud in my throat and a little occasional cough myself, but no meds needed so far. My husband has asthma and takes a few meds, but rarely needs his rescue inhaler so he's got it under pretty good control. We are both allergic to dust mites as well as all the outdoor pollens and stuff that's floating around this time of year, so we have a little something year round. I have a feeling we'b be a lot better off if we could just keep up with the vacuuming, but even though we got one of those robot vacuum cleaners, we still can't turn it loose in the house unsupervised -- small house, too much stuff sitting around on the floor because we have noplace else to put it. Major obstacle course for the robot, so vacuuming is still involves moving stuff around, and critter care has priority -- Vacuuming doesn't get done till all the reptiles have been bathed, fed, etc, and if the day's over it waits till the next opportunity. This wouldn't, of course, be a problem if the housewife had enough energy to do my share of the housework, but I don't, and it seems to get less and less. :oops: My poor husband got the short end of the deal, and he works too hard.

But when we do get around to running the robot, it's kind of fun to watch the beardie's reaction (from the safety of his tank). The way it crawls around on the floor, I figure that he must think it's a giant cockroach, but I'm not sure if he wants to eat it or if he's afraid it's going to eat him. :?

My husband tries to keep the lawn mowed so the grass doesn't tassel out, but there are still plenty of allergens floating around the neighborhood anyway. We also have lots of beardie food in the form of dandelions in our yard, so he tries to manage the dandelion harvest by saving a patch of the best greens each mowing, then rotating the patches he saves the next time so we always have fresh young dandelion greens pretty much all summer. :)

sweetiepie9 Sicko
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Wow, I didn't realize it's been 2 months since I've posted. I have 3 sleeping dragons, Cierra, Castiel and Nathaniel, all 3 down by end July. Cierra never did lay any eggs this year so I never did get that xray done, but I do get all 3 up every 2 weeks for a 30 min bath, basking and back to sleep, so I'll get her to the vet in Sept for a check up at least. And she's the most reluctant pooper I've ever come across, it's as if she doesn't get a signal. Luckily she LOVES pumpkin and will eat lots of it, then it's warm baths and belly massaging. Still a mystery as to why no eggs this year, but good as I hate the egg laying.

Gabriel is still with me, his belly is getting bigger and he sometimes still bleeds from his gums, but otherwise you'd never know he was sick. He still eats, poops and I make sure he walks every morning across the living room and sits in the sun on the balcony. I also give him Serrepeptase every morning as that seems to give him more energy. He wants to sleep, but he's not allowed to. But he can sleep once he's done his morning activities. I got this picture that shows has wide his belly has become.
Bella is still his guardian dog, she follows him everywhere when he's out and lays down beside him in the sunshine on the balcony.

Imp is also doing really well. He must have the fastest metabolism of any beardie I've ever heard of. Does huge poops every day and I have to feed him superworms and dubia every morning. So he's gone from pic 1 to pic 2 in 2 months.

He and Gabriel seem to be getting along, Imp likes to bob & black beard Gabriel but no fighting. They are constantly trying to sit on each other, though, it's so funny to watch.

I've been off work for about a month now with a bad back. Hurt like hell, was walking crooked for awhile and still no idea what caused it. But my chiro finally, after 5 treatments, got it back in place. Went to work last Monday but only lasted the day, off with headaches too now. So hopefully my back stabilizes in the next week or so. Seeing chiro twice a week until it does. It's all because I have bulging discs in my neck and mid back. Oh well, 3 years to go and I'm retired. Just have to get through the next 3 years!

Walking Bella helps alot, when I'm home we got for 4 walks a day, some not too long, the longest (1 hr) is in the am when I'm feeling my best. I love having a dog, she's such a great companion!


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Glad to hear that Gabriel the miracle dragon still seems to be enjoying his life and doing so well, especially considering what he's up against. Imp is looking much better, too. Sweet dreams to the rest of them.

Back to the normal routine after the 3 day weekend -- we actually managed to catch up on some of the housework. Puff got all excited when we did the vacuuming -- I still think that maybe the robot vacuum cleaner looks like a giant cockroach to him, the way it crawls around on the floor. :lol:

sweetiepie9 Sicko
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Yes, back to normal. My 4 younger nephews and nieces are all back in school today. My son registers my grandson in January to start kindergarten next Sept! Can't believe that is going so fast.

Thanks for the nice words about my boys. I'd still consider Imp almost skinny but he sure looks alot better than he did in December. My decision to feed him daily, greens whenever he'll eat them is working. I don't think he'll ever be a wide dragon, just a slim one.

In Dec, I'll be down to 3 years to retirement and looking into my survivor's pension thru SS. Roger died when I was 55, so got Canadian pension right away. SS wouldn't allow me to apply, said I was too young, then at 60, when I called, they said I had to work 40 hours or less a month. A friend of mine in the States lost her husband 3 mo ago. She went right to SS, got her survivor's pension sorted, without being told had to work under 40 hours a month, plus her own. She found out she has enough to retire (she's 64 and he was the same age, married 42 years). Sad to not retire with hubby, but she doesn't have to make the hour long trip to work anymore, going over a mountain in the winter is no fun. Now she can take care of herself , get things done, play with her dragons and her son lives with her, too, so she has company. It'll hit her hard that Paul is no long with her, but she'll have time to grieve.

Meanwhile, I'm waiting to go to Bellingham, WA to apply for my SS when I'm 62, you get more $ the longer you wait. I'm going to have found out before that why I was told things not told to Americans. I was married to an American for 24 years, he got a pension 2 years before he died. So I have the right to apply for SS survivor's pension. So I'll get my passport and go see them next year to apply. I'll just call in October to make an appointment, find out what I need and find out why I was told so many different things.

I'm hoping I'm approved, so can start a savings account to write off the income off my income tax.Plus I'll have extra $ to lean on when I retire, which will help, maybe even be enough to mean I won't have to work part/time.

sweetiepie9 Sicko
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I also have pictures of my grandkids, we all went to a beach for Leo's 4th birthday party (my side of the family). There's a huge playground on the beach and the kids spent most of their time there. That gave the adults alot of time to get caught up, as my niece, my sister's daughter, is pregnant (she's 30 and has been with hubby for 11 years) and due early February. We're so pleased for them!

So pics of the kids having fun:

The kids spent about 3 hours on the playground, off and on, had lunch and cupcakes and back on the playground!
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