Please help, hungry beardie with breathing issues?

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TipsyTraveler

Hatchling Member
Ok so i went on a trip this last weekend, and left my sister in charge of my beardie (she has before and done a good job of feeding/bathing etc) and apparently she forgot i left and didnt feed him for 5 DAYS. So i got home, he saw me and ran to his food bowl and sat in it. I assumed he was hungry, and fed him. I asked my sister how he was/problems etc, and she said she thought i was home to feed him.

He chases after super-worms ( he is 16in about 2years old) runs around when i let him out, not lethargic, etc.
The weird thing is that he isnt eating greens. they were always his favorite and he would take veggies over feeders. even if i hand feed him like he likes he wont take them. i thought ok maybe he isnt in the mood for them. so 3hours later i bathed him and when i let him out he was breathing slowly, but heavily. not gasping for air or anything just heavily and i could hear it.(note that he hadnt had water in 5days either and he didnt poop when i bathed him)

so i put him back in his cage with more greens( wouldnt eat them) and he basked. but i noticed the paper towels in his cage had been torn up in a corner and there were not pieces leftover. so he may have eaten them.

what do i do? please help. would olive oil help him pass them?

tank setup:
basking spot 100-102F depending on room (never higher or lower)
UVB light 7in from basking spot (reptisun 10.0 18in tube)
light on other side keeping cool side at 78-80F
paper towel bedding

im really worried about him. he never turns up greens or breathes heavily. i cant afford a vet at the moment (financial issues)
 

Tonja

BD.org Addict
It is possible he did eat them out of hunger. I would give him a bit of olive oil in unsweetened applesauce or dripped on his nose. You can also try baby food prunes. If he doesn't pass them I would seek the help of a vet. Paper towels when wet tend to clump a bit so he may <not saying he definitely does> have a bit of an impaction due to them. Keep giving him baths but up the temps a little in the bath water, slightly hotter than normal and massage his tummy gently from under the right arm to his vent. I would give him a day or two to pass them and if he wont, then I would seek the help of a vet and a possible xray to see where they are in his tummy and how much is in there. That is all the advice I can give you and maybe someone else can chime in a help.
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
I agree that the best thing to do to restart the system is to keep warm baths coming and try the olive oil/apple sauce mixture (unspiced pumpkin may work as well) Tonja suggested. 5 days without food isn't good, but I don't think it's necessarily disastrous. The paper towels may have been ingested, or just torn up. Hard to tell. While paper towels may clump up, I'm not sure that they will necessarily cause a problem in a larger/older dragon like that. Just try to get the poops going the best you can to regulate his system, as it will help either way. Keep offering fresh food and give him plenty of attention. My main concern from what you describe is the breathing. Your setup sounds good so let him have some extra time in the basking spot and keep a close eye on the breathing. If labored breathing continues (or he doesn't poop or starts acting strangely - look for a prolonged black beard) I would seek help from a vet. You can discuss financial terms with the vet beforehand. They are likely to be able to work with you on some kind of payment plan.
 

TipsyTraveler

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
The breathing was only for a few minutes after the bath and it hasnt happened again, so im thinking he may have just been surprised? maybe i got him out and into the bath too quickly?
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
That's good to hear. He may have just been worked up about the bath as you said. Main thing now is to try and find out if he is impacted. Do the best you can to get him to poop and get his system regulated using Tonja's suggestions. Please keep us posted!
 

TipsyTraveler

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
He ate ALL of the mound of greens i left him while i was at work today. I got home and there was a huge bowel movement that looked to be a huge wad of papertowels and greens, and a large urate. Why was there a large urate if he hadnt been bathed in a few days? I got some unsweetened applesauce, but he turned his nose up at it, do i still need it if he is pooping fine and im giving frequent baths? I really hate force feeding
my animals.
(had to do it for my dog once for medicine when she had kidney failure and i just couldnt stand the sight of her after that and during her IV's she was given at the vet. she was miserable and we had her put down)

P.s his beard is brighter than it was yesterday even though it was never black.
 

Tonja

BD.org Addict
Just keep an eye on him over the next few bowel movements. I don't think since he is pooping out the paper towels that you really need to force feed. Keep him hydrated so he will continue to pooh. Its great he passed them, although it may not be all of them. Just keep an eye out and I am fairly sure he will be alright.
 

TipsyTraveler

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Ok thankyou for your help. I havent been on for a few months since everything has gone well, but then this happened. I'll keep him hydrated, and look for more pieces, and see if everything goes well in the next week.
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
That's great that he passed a bunch of paper towel. That shows that he was in fact eating the paper towels. Since the first round is passed (there may still be another round or two) I'd say the focus should be on regulating his body. Since he pooped, force feeding shouldn't be needed. Put a drop on his nose and if he isn't interested that's OK. I'd keep the baths up and keep offering greens. The fact that he ate a whole plate of greens is very encouraging. That should help regulate his body as well. Things are looking like they're headed in the right direction! :D
 
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