New Beardie doesn't seem well


Original Poster
New Beardie owner and new to the forums.

We bought Ziggy from a pet store a few days ago and Im feeling like they didn't prepare us that well for any issues that might arise. He is around 6 months old. Last 48 hours he is very sleepy and not moving much. He opens his eyes sometimes for a quick check and then closed again. Didnt eat much yesterday and hasn't pooped in 48 hours.

We bought this kit and set it up the day before we picked up the dragon: Exo Terra : Bearded Dragon Starter Kit / Starter Kit for Young Bearded Dragons

I didnt use the sand mat at the advice of one of the pet store workers and bought a reptile carpet instead. I made him a cave out of some rocks that I washed in boiling water but he doesn't really use the cave. I had some drift wood that I cleaned very well but I found out it was pine so I removed it after a day. I also have a water dish that came with the starter set, a hammock and some tiles in one area. At the pet store he was in a tank with two of his brothers with no cave, just a hammock and a light and a water dish and some veggies in a bowl. They also kept the tank very wet by spraying it down a couple times a day. The moisture in there was very visible.

The set I bought came with a dual purpose mercury bulb that provides UV and heat. I also have a small fluorescent tube light on the colder side for some extra light. I believe my temps are ok? Average daily temp at mid tank is around 78-79F, cold side is around 75F and under the basking light is around 100F. He stays mostly at the edge of the hammock and not directly under the light but near it. I believe I originally had the light too close. I originally measured the temp under the light after it had been on for only an hour and it was right around 100F but I checked the temp again yesterday and it was quite hot so I raised the light a bit. I assume the new bulb hadn't reached full temp when I measured the first time. Humidity is around 20-25% most of the time but its been dry here lately.

First couple days I think we were bit too excited about him and we were handling him a bit too much. We also have a dog and I think it spooked Ziggy a bit just having the dog nearby. He seems a little sketchy when the dog was near but we have been keeping the dog away from the tank. Im sure Ziggy can still hear the dog barking upstairs sometimes though. First two days he was eating well (veggies and Crickets) and he was having a fairly large bowel moment every day (mostly solid, some liquid and some white goo in there). We bathed him once in clean warm water. I haven't seen him actually drink any water yet.

He seemed fairly active and alert for the first few days but now he's usually just laying in one spot at the edge of the hammock not directly under the light but close enough that its shining on him. He never goes over to the cold side that I have seen. Always has his eyes closed unless he quickly opens them to see what's happening when Im opening the enclosure or when I add the crickets he will look around a bit and eat a few but won't chase them at all. He ate a few crickets yesterday (not as many as he usually did) but wouldn't go for the veggies at all. I usually give him some parsley, Romain lettuce, carrots and yellow peppers. We gave him a little kiwi and strawberries one day too. No bowel movement yesterday at all.

I believe he is too young for brumation and it hasn't really been enough time to tell if he's impacted from what I have read. Visually he looks ok color-wise and he holds his head up during the day but has his eyes closed almost all the time. Im a little scared to handle him right now in case he is really stressed. Doesn't appear to have any black on his throat or lines on his belly but Im going to check again today.

Could his lack of eating, drinking and activity the last couple days be due to all the new stuff he's experiencing the last few days? (New home, changes to enclosure items, not sharing an enclosure, new faces, new sounds, dog in the vicinity, temp/humidity differences from the pet store tank, too much handling etc.)

Im super worried. I would hate anything to happen to him. We love him already and I would feel so bad If I screwed this up. Its not fair to the store that raised him for 6 months and not fair to Ziggy to be healthy and then suddenly feeling bad under our care. Im doing my best to make sure the setup, food and temps are good but seeing him look so lethargic is worrisome and I fear I have done something wrong. Going to a vet isn't an imminent option at the moment.

Any advice would be great. Im suppose to get a call from the pet store today or tomorrow from a lady that has a few dragons of her own and she said she also has the same enclosure I bought. No one else at the store seems to be much help so I haven't reached out to them.


Original Poster
How is he doing now?
Much better. He seems to have settled in. He’s not eating his veggies much but still lots of crickets. I have been giving him a wide variety of veggies and a bit of fruit but he’s not touching it most days. His pooping is ok. He’s doesn’t usually go every day but it looks normal every time and the last couple weren’t all that stinky. He was having these awful smelling poops but that seems to have passed. He just finished a total shed. Tail then legs then his entire head. He’s very friendly and way more active now so he must be getting used to his new home.

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