Not eating, losing weight

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Hatchling Member
I suspect Desmond is starting to brumate - he's just over a year old - but I'm concerned about his weight loss. I say I suspect brumation, but he isn't actually sleeping or lazying about anymore than usual, just not eating. His food intake has been gradually decreasing for a few months now. He was still gaining weight until three weeks ago.

Here is his weight chart:

10/26 - 612 grams
11/4 - 606 grams
11/11 - 598 grams
11/16 - 586 grams

As you can see, he has lost 26 grams in 3 weeks, but 12 of that in the last 5 days. He's refusing food most of the time. He's eaten a little bit of greens, a grape, a few superworms. I just got some hornworms and butterworms delivered today and he's refusing those as well. He is getting a little dehydrated (judging by pinching his skin) and I've bathed him extra to counter that. He is still pooping a few times a week, small amounts but healthy looking. Aside from refusing food, he is acting normal and appears healthy.

Should I call the vet or does this seem like normal beginning of brumation? He's my first beardie so I've got no experience with brumation aside from reading the article on it.

His cage is a 55 gallon tall, temps range from 77 degrees to 108 degrees. He has a reptisun 10.0 but only over half his cage, a 75 watt household bulb for basking and an energy-saver coil bulb for added brightness. He is just over a year old, 18.75 inches long. His last fecal was about 2 months ago and clean. Last vet visit was in February. He hasn't been taking his calcium or vitamin supplement regularly for a few months because his food intake hasn't been regular. I don't think he likes the powders and any advice on alternate ways to get him to take the supplements would be appreciated. He tends to shun the food that I've applied it to and so I've stopped applying it in an attempt to get him to eat.


Juvie Member
Actually this is exactly whats happening to me. I havent been able to get him to eat anything voluntarilly even squash which is his favorite. He hangs out on his cool side 99% of the time only going on the hot side when i put him there and even then he leaves after like 10 minutes of being there. Hes still fairly active when i take him out or give him a bath but otherwise just sits there. Can brumation begin before it begins cooling down? I only ask because it just started getting cold out and this has been going on for about a month. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Thanks for the advice.

This morning, I was watching him bask and I noticed the back half of his stomach (sides) shivered a few times, like a muscle spasm. It could have been that he was in a weird position, but it doesn't seem good. I tried to get him to eat a hornworm and he refused. So, I called the vet and set up for Saturday. While I was on the phone with the vet, Desmond ate the hornworm I left in his cage! I took him and the bowl and got another hornworm (they are only about an inch). I put him back in the cage with the bowl and he looked at the worm for a second, then he jumped on top of his cave, practically ran into the wall, and then ran the length of his cage, stopped, turned, and stared at me. Ummm..? That was possibly the most active I've ever seen him in his cage. He hasn't eaten the other hornworm yet, he's just basking. He's really giving me mixed signals about whether or not he is sick.

I also weighed him this morning and there was no change from yesterday.


Hatchling Member
Original Poster
I took him to the vet this morning.

He has pinworms, which could be the cause of his anorexia. She wants to treat the pinworms and see if he improves from that before doing more tests. She also gave me some liquid calcium and some liquid food to give him daily in addition to the pinworm medicine.

I asked her about brumation and she said that Bearded Dragons will brumate if it is too cold in the cage at night (she said 68 degrees was too cold) or if you change their lights to mimic less daylight. I was under the impression that it was something that Beardies just do, but she indicated it would be unusual unless I was trying to make him brumate (for breeding purposes) or because I had my temps or lighting done incorrectly. I thought that was interesting.
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