Not eating, suspected MBD, low mobility, what should I do?

sconley

Member
Beardie name(s)
Joey
I have a bearded dragon I took in in December 2021, he cannot climb, his back legs are basically useless. His 'care' by the previous owners: Ignored basically, left in a 2ft viv with no Uv, when I arrived he has no heat and was in their bathroom on the heated flooring? I asked them how long he has been without heat and they said over a week... his diet was cucumber, kale, bits of carrot, no bugs from what I could gather, nothing calcium dusted and no vitamin supplements his whole life. I took him to a vet hospital and they gave him a course of baytril for two weeks to kill any RI he had, as he was wheezing.

He has never been x-rayed or checked for parasites as there are no exotic vets anywhere near where I live, the vet hospital said they can't do anything more than the baytril. I have put him in a modified 4ft vivarium with a ramp to help with bask without injury as he flips onto his back a lot, this is because of the way he walks, he places his arm under himself and flips over. I have to watch him a lot, and set a camera up just in case he does this when I am out.. He is fed silk worms for their restorative properties, beardie buffet by repashy, spring greens, butternut squash, bok choi, carrots, kale, etc basically every veg he can have I offer. Although he does not eat normally, he only accepts food when placed in his mouth when is opening it to cool down. He has never shown any interest in vegetables or fruit. I can only get him to stick his tongue out and grab a locust or two very rarely.

This past two weeks, he has black bearded almost constantly, he is seemingly distressed and keeps trying to glass surf but he can't due to his mobility problems so I get him out and hold him on me and he calms down/sleeps/kind of seems to like being held? But I don't know what else I can do. His humidity is at 30-37%, temps are perfect 41 degrees C basking spot, cooler parts of his viv are sitting at 26-28 degrees C. He has refused food this week, just straight up shakes his head, black beards, puffs himself up etc. He wants to bask and sleep, that's it. For the most part he is alert, looking at me, at anyone walking past his viv, but his energy levels are low, he crawls/drags himself to the corner of his viv and sleeps during the day a lot, he doesn't appear to be happy. I'm not sure if he has a good quality of life at this point.
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
Aw, poor Joey. It's sad when they can't tell us what exactly hurts or if they feel very nauseated, etc.
Unfortunately Baytril can cause upset stomach so that might be why he's stressed even more now. Is he still wheezing ? He may still rally a little, you're taking such good care of him and giving him the best chance.
 

sconley

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Joey
Dragon lamp is a long tube fixture-- does the fixture have a reflector? What size is the tank please?
No reflector as he has a raised platform to get closer, it's the length of the viv
L 115cm x D 37.5cm x H 132cm
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 2
No reflector as he has a raised platform to get closer, it's the length of the viv
L 115cm x D 37.5cm x H 132cm
So the tank is a 14 gallon tank? That is what I am getting for measurements-- please get a reflector - the UVB rays are basically bouncing all over the tank and you want those rays to be directed toward him and the 14% bulb is way too strong for such a small tank - can you post a pic of the tank - I want to make sure I am getting the correct size -- if it is that small of a tank please get him into something bigger -- you need a height of at least 24 inches or 60 CM for a 14% bulb -- are you getting temps w/ a digital probe thermometer?
 

sconley

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Joey
So the tank is a 14 gallon tank? That is what I am getting for measurements-- please get a reflector - the UVB rays are basically bouncing all over the tank and you want those rays to be directed toward him and the 14% bulb is way too strong for such a small tank - can you post a pic of the tank - I want to make sure I am getting the correct size -- if it is that small of a tank please get him into something bigger -- you need a height of at least 24 inches or 60 CM for a 14% bulb -- are you getting temps w/ a digital probe thermometer?
It's a vivexotic large from Pets at Home in the UK, we don't use gallons, It's 4 ft across. Link to site

I have him in this size because he is unable to walk, he drags himself, so there is little point upgrading his vivarium, his MBD has progressed too far (from the mistreatment of previous owner)

The 14% arcadia was vet recommended because he has been deprived of proper UV most of his life.
I can fit a reflector if that's what you recommend? Or maybe fit a 10% one instead, last thing I want is hypercalcemia


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KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 2
It's a vivexotic large from Pets at Home in the UK, we don't use gallons, It's 4 ft across. Link to site

I have him in this size because he is unable to walk, he drags himself, so there is little point upgrading his vivarium, his MBD has progressed too far (from the mistreatment of previous owner)

The 14% arcadia was vet recommended because he has been deprived of proper UV most of his life.
I can fit a reflector if that's what you recommend? Or maybe fit a 10% one instead, last thing I want is hypercalcemia


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The first things I would do is change out the basking bulb to one that is solid bright white the one you have is giving off a yellowish hue --- examples would be a Arcadia https://2.cdn.ekm.net/ekmps/shops/3...ht-bulb-screw-wattage-100w-[2]-6677-p.jpg?v=1
or Flukers basking bulb those are examples - you dont want any hues given off
and get a 24" fixture Arcadia Pro T5 12% bulb --- distance would be 12-15 inches directly above his basking decor --
 

sconley

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Joey
The first things I would do is change out the basking bulb to one that is solid bright white the one you have is giving off a yellowish hue --- examples would be a Arcadia https://2.cdn.ekm.net/ekmps/shops/3...ht-bulb-screw-wattage-100w-[2]-6677-p.jpg?v=1
or Flukers basking bulb those are examples - you dont want any hues given off
and get a 24" fixture Arcadia Pro T5 12% bulb --- distance would be 12-15 inches directly above his basking decor --
Thank you, I've ordered those items. Any advice on his behaviour?
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 2
Thank you, I've ordered those items. Any advice on his behaviour?
The lighting is causing the behavior I am thinking - the 14% is probably too strong for the height of the tank and the yellowish hue is not good for the eyes -- these all play in w/ the behavior -- get it situated and then post back on here after a few days to see how the behavior changes - make sure your UVB is directly above her and 12-15 inches -- and when you change the basking bulb out please get surface basking temp w/ a digital probe thermometer
 

sconley

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Joey
The lighting is causing the behavior I am thinking - the 14% is probably too strong for the height of the tank and the yellowish hue is not good for the eyes -- these all play in w/ the behavior -- get it situated and then post back on here after a few days to see how the behavior changes - make sure your UVB is directly above her and 12-15 inches -- and when you change the basking bulb out please get surface basking temp w/ a digital probe thermometer
thanks for your help will do
 

sconley

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Joey
Hey all, Joey is still not eating, after switching out UV and changing the basking light to a white one, he refuses food as usual, will not move properly, just drags himself and sleeps
 
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