Not sure what could be wrong.....

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Hi all. I have a female (we think!) beardie who is roughly 11 months old. She has always eaten well, been fairly active etc, but for the last week or two she has become quite subdued and stays at the cold end of her viv, looking dark and moody. She won't go and bask unless you put her there and she won't chase crickets, waits until you stick a pot of them under her nose! On the odd day she has been more alert and active, but mostly hiding. We wondered if it may be shutdown but she's a little young maybe and her temps haven't changed, plus it is summer here. A guy in the pet store suggested that she may need sand as she may be needing to lay eggs... could that be right?


Extreme Poster
Hi zephyrcat and Welcome to the Family !

Got a few questions for you.
What kind of UVB are you offering, and how old is it ?
When was the last time a fecal exam was done ?
What is her diet ?
Do you offer calcium and a multivitamin ?

Just for hoots, could you also give us her temps basking, cool side and air temps and how you are measuring them.

This will help us out a lot, so we can help you !


Original Poster
Hi Janie, thanks for your reply... this is the setup we currently have: She is in a viv roughly 5' long. One end we have a basking spotlight - temps are 40-45c then we have a repti-glo 10 strip along the whole middle legnth of the viv with a small heatmat underneath just after the basking spot. Other end there are some rocks and wood with a little hiding place for her. Temps in the middle are 25c and the temps at the other end are slightly lower (the thermo fell off so can't be accurate!) We have a thermometer on each end and one on the back wall in the middle.
She eats brown and black crickets, and veg. She loves apple so we put calcium on her apple for her. As yet she hasn't had a fecal exam as she has been fit and well since we brought her home so we didn't feel it was necessary. She is 11 months old. She will come out and lighten up, she is still eating and drinking - perhaps not as enthusiastically as normal. Her eyes seem bright still and are not sunken, she just seems lethargic. She was scratching and digging yesterady which makes me wonder about the egg theory?


Gray-bearded Member
I have no experiance with eggs or breeding, but from what I have read, eggs will feel like impaction spots; small and hard. If you think there's the slightest chance she might be gravid, prepare an egg box. If a gravid female doesn't have a place to lay, she will hold her eggs, which is called egg binding, and can be fatal if surgery is not performed immediately.

Here's an article on eggs. Go to the "laying box" section. There is also a section on egg binding that would be good to read.
You won't have to worry about incubation or anything; unless she has been with a male, the eggs will be infertile.

Husbandry sounds good. I reccommend bumping the cool side temps to 80*F (26*C) and the middle area to 85*F (30*C).

What brand of calcium are you using? How often?

Apples aren't very healthy and should be fed occasionally.
Here's a great food chart that lists good greens and veggies to use as staples. There's also some helpful supplemet info at the top for gravid and nongravid females.

You're right; scratching and digging is often observed in gravid females. However, it could also be that she just wants to sleep in a burrow.

As it is summer, I doubt she is attempting to brumate.

Parasites are a possibility. It would be a good idea to take a fecal sample to a vet just to be sure. My beardie came to me with parasites, and as a beginner, it was many months before I realized something was wrong. :oops: He is still being treated with numerous meds. Trust me, if your beardie does have parasites, it's best to get her on treatment earlier rather than later.
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