Please help! I think she's sick!

DakotaClouds

Member
Original Poster
Hi there. My 30 year old step son who is living with us has a 6 year old bearded dragon and I think she's sick. I think she's been stick and nobody believes me and I don't know what else to do. He refuses to take her to the vet and I don't have the funds to do it (times are rough). She is gasping for air and you can hear her make noises so I believe she has a respiratory infection again. They didn't believe me the first time she had one and we took her to the vet and I paid, but the vet seems very unsure which didn't help my case. I have some pictures to show you. I think she's starving, dehydrated, probably on her way to MBD. He had a bulb in her tank and didn't change it for a year. Her tank is way too small and he says she doesn't need a 40 gallon. She's in a 20 which I got for her because he arrived with her in a 10. She's 21 inches long. On 1/7 she was 458 grams. Last night she weighed in at 416. He doesn't really feed her greens, and if he does, it's kale, so I made sure to buy mustard greens, endive, collard greens instead. I actually bought a bearded dragon because I liked her so much and I thought by him seeing how I treat mine, that he would step up. NO, he hasn't. When I tell him what I've read on what we should be doing is all wrong. She only eats super worms. Now she's not even eating much, as you can see by her poop. He bathes her when he remembers, so maybe every couple of weeks. I remember once I did because I felt so bad for her and she literally drank for over 6 minutes straight, I have a video of it. It was heartbreaking. She's completely deteriorated since he arrived her October 2019. My husband says I can do nothing because she's not mine. I can't stand by any longer and watch him kill her. So I need proof from someone that she's ill, neglected, something. Her fat pads don't exist. If you press on them, the barely raised bump where they would be pushes down like it's only a bubble of air. He doesn't time her lighting. It's turned on whenever and off whenever. The cage is cleaned whenever. It could be weeks. He thinks she's brumating. Clearly you can tell she is not. But I'm going off of what I'm reading. If she was wouldn't she be sleeping? He doesn't know to change the timing on the lights for brumation. Her poop is rust colored, she's completely dehydrated! You an see her ribs in the photos of her sides. HELP ME! He believes nothing I say. I just told my husband I'm on here looking for help, proof, something to prove to him killing her.
 

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KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 2
Hi there. My 30 year old step son who is living with us has a 6 year old bearded dragon and I think she's sick. I think she's been stick and nobody believes me and I don't know what else to do. He refuses to take her to the vet and I don't have the funds to do it (times are rough). She is gasping for air and you can hear her make noises so I believe she has a respiratory infection again. They didn't believe me the first time she had one and we took her to the vet and I paid, but the vet seems very unsure which didn't help my case. I have some pictures to show you. I think she's starving, dehydrated, probably on her way to MBD. He had a bulb in her tank and didn't change it for a year. Her tank is way too small and he says she doesn't need a 40 gallon. She's in a 20 which I got for her because he arrived with her in a 10. She's 21 inches long. On 1/7 she was 458 grams. Last night she weighed in at 416. He doesn't really feed her greens, and if he does, it's kale, so I made sure to buy mustard greens, endive, collard greens instead. I actually bought a bearded dragon because I liked her so much and I thought by him seeing how I treat mine, that he would step up. NO, he hasn't. When I tell him what I've read on what we should be doing is all wrong. She only eats super worms. Now she's not even eating much, as you can see by her poop. He bathes her when he remembers, so maybe every couple of weeks. I remember once I did because I felt so bad for her and she literally drank for over 6 minutes straight, I have a video of it. It was heartbreaking. She's completely deteriorated since he arrived her October 2019. My husband says I can do nothing because she's not mine. I can't stand by any longer and watch him kill her. So I need proof from someone that she's ill, neglected, something. Her fat pads don't exist. If you press on them, the barely raised bump where they would be pushes down like it's only a bubble of air. He doesn't time her lighting. It's turned on whenever and off whenever. The cage is cleaned whenever. It could be weeks. He thinks she's brumating. Clearly you can tell she is not. But I'm going off of what I'm reading. If she was wouldn't she be sleeping? He doesn't know to change the timing on the lights for brumation. Her poop is rust colored, she's completely dehydrated! You an see her ribs in the photos of her sides. HELP ME! He believes nothing I say. I just told my husband I'm on here looking for help, proof, something to prove to him killing her.
What your describing is animal abuse- stepping in now w/ her care is crucial - a 20 gallon tank for a adult dragon is pathetic- please get her a bigger tank recommended is a 75 - 120 gallon- look for tanks on Craigslist or FB marketplace- it will need to be sanitized w/ f10 rescue or zoo meds wipe out- basking temps and uvb is crucial if none of this corrected she will die- at this point she is suffering--losing weigh is the first sign- recommended for uvb is a long tube fixture the tank she's in I recommend a 24" Zoo Med comes w a 5.0 bulb you can use that on that on the 20 gallon but she needs to be moved ASAP - w/ that being said your gonna need a reptisun 10.0 T 5 bulb that would need to be used in a bigger tank - you need two digital probe thermometers- basking temps 95-100 surface temps those are hard to get in a small tank - the bulb should be a CLEAR bright white basking bulb-- she needs fresh salads every day w/ a staple feeder like crickets dubia roaches bsfl or silk worms - but you really need to step in now this dragon is suffering
 

DakotaClouds

Member
Original Poster
What your describing is animal abuse- stepping in now w/ her care is crucial - a 20 gallon tank for a adult dragon is pathetic- please get her a bigger tank recommended is a 75 - 120 gallon- look for tanks on Craigslist or FB marketplace- it will need to be sanitized w/ f10 rescue or zoo meds wipe out- basking temps and uvb is crucial if none of this corrected she will die- at this point she is suffering--losing weigh is the first sign- recommended for uvb is a long tube fixture the tank she's in I recommend a 24" Zoo Med comes w a 5.0 bulb you can use that on that on the 20 gallon but she needs to be moved ASAP - w/ that being said your gonna need a reptisun 10.0 T 5 bulb that would need to be used in a bigger tank - you need two digital probe thermometers- basking temps 95-100 surface temps those are hard to get in a small tank - the bulb should be a CLEAR bright white basking bulb-- she needs fresh salads every day w/ a staple feeder like crickets dubia roaches bsfl or silk worms - but you really need to step in now this dragon is suffering
Thank you for all of this information. I have heard that the tub fixture lighting is better than the dome lights and I am going to be looking into that for my little guy also. May I ask you, does she look unhealthy and skinny to you?
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 2
Thank you for all of this information. I have heard that the tub fixture lighting is better than the dome lights and I am going to be looking into that for my little guy also. May I ask you, does she look unhealthy and skinny to you?
She does not look too healthy and from what you described I am surprised she's still w/ us- please ask if you need more help I would also get rid of the sand it harbors bacteria and can cause impaction - you can get some textured NON adhesive shelf liner cut to the size of the tank you can get this at Walmart or your local home improvement store
 

DakotaClouds

Member
Original Poster
She does not look too healthy and from what you described I am surprised she's still w/ us- please ask if you need more help I would also get rid of the sand it harbors bacteria and can cause impaction - you can get some textured NON adhesive shelf liner cut to the size of the tank you can get this at Walmart or your local home improvement store
We have her on kitchen towels in the tank. It's not sand. I put to rocks in the tank for her to bask on and I put a box in there for her to hid in. She came with nothing. I set her up the best I could with the little resources and funds that I has. We don't have enough to pay bills this month, not even close, but we found a tank online that my husband and I are paying for, so she's getting a 40 gallon. That's the best we can do. His son won't pay for one. He also said she doesn't need UVB light. I think he's wrong. The light he bought was $17 from PetsMart and it's UVA only. I have a Mercury bulb for my guy and it's UVA/UVB. Unfortunately we're dealing with a 30 year old who thinks he knows everything, so this is tough. My husband send him a video showing him how skinny she looks and told him he needs to take her to the vet and he said if we were wrong about her being sick, we'd cover the bill. We're NOT wrong. I'm guessing she has parasites. I don't know how to get her to eat. Any suggestions?
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 2
We have her on kitchen towels in the tank. It's not sand. I put to rocks in the tank for her to bask on and I put a box in there for her to hid in. She came with nothing. I set her up the best I could with the little resources and funds that I has. We don't have enough to pay bills this month, not even close, but we found a tank online that my husband and I are paying for, so she's getting a 40 gallon. That's the best we can do. His son won't pay for one. He also said she doesn't need UVB light. I think he's wrong. The light he bought was $17 from PetsMart and it's UVA only. I have a Mercury bulb for my guy and it's UVA/UVB. Unfortunately we're dealing with a 30 year old who thinks he knows everything, so this is tough. My husband send him a video showing him how skinny she looks and told him he needs to take her to the vet and he said if we were wrong about her being sick, we'd cover the bill. We're NOT wrong. I'm guessing she has parasites. I don't know how to get her to eat. Any suggestions?
She will not eat w/ out proper basking temps and uvb- once those are fixed she should start eating - the only way to find out for sure is to have a parasite test done and that would be collecting a fecal from her and taking it in- we always say NO Enemas - I am glad your getting her a bigger tank - once she's relocated in the new tank she will go thru relocation stress so her eating may be off but once the proper lighting is in place she should start to rebound- you can call a reptile vet www.arav.org if you are in a small area type in the biggest city near you and go from there-- call and ask about dropping a fecal off ask about cost-- you can feed her some plain canned pumpkin w/ a drop or two of olive oil to get her to go poop- please get the uvb I posted for you-- this is imperative- she MUST have a uvb this is why she's not eating or one of the reasons - my guess is she's developing mbd- which is a horrible disease-
 

DakotaClouds

Member
Original Poster
She will not eat w/ out proper basking temps and uvb- once those are fixed she should start eating - the only way to find out for sure is to have a parasite test done and that would be collecting a fecal from her and taking it in- we always say NO Enemas - I am glad your getting her a bigger tank - once she's relocated in the new tank she will go thru relocation stress so her eating may be off but once the proper lighting is in place she should start to rebound- you can call a reptile vet www.arav.org if you are in a small area type in the biggest city near you and go from there-- call and ask about dropping a fecal off ask about cost-- you can feed her some plain canned pumpkin w/ a drop or two of olive oil to get her to go poop- please get the uvb I posted for you-- this is imperative- she MUST have a uvb this is why she's not eating or one of the reasons - my guess is she's developing mbd- which is a horrible disease-
Thank you SO much for the link. We are in a small town and I knew there wouldn't be one here. There is one about 40 minutes from us and what's interesting is that I originally wanted to take her there the first time we went to a vet, but they insisted on getting her in sooner than they had appointments for, so they had me pick another vet. I should have gone with my instincts. My mom takes her parrots/dog/cat to this animal hospital and they are fabulous. DH is picking up his son at 10:30 from work, so we'll see how this conversation is going to go. I'm going to try to stay out of it and let him do all of the talking, but I don't know if I can keep my mouth shut. She needs an advocate. Thank you!
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 2
Thank you SO much for the link. We are in a small town and I knew there wouldn't be one here. There is one about 40 minutes from us and what's interesting is that I originally wanted to take her there the first time we went to a vet, but they insisted on getting her in sooner than they had appointments for, so they had me pick another vet. I should have gone with my instincts. My mom takes her parrots/dog/cat to this animal hospital and they are fabulous. DH is picking up his son at 10:30 from work, so we'll see how this conversation is going to go. I'm going to try to stay out of it and let him do all of the talking, but I don't know if I can keep my mouth shut. She needs an advocate. Thank you!
Ok well see if you can take over her care but she is not getting it w/ him --- and if she does stay in his care she wont live - please keep me posted
 

Badwolfe

Hatchling Member
What she needs is for you to step up for her. Tell your step son you are taking over care for her. This dragon needs a lot of changes to its environment if it is to stand a chance of survival. Enclosure size, lighting, heating, feeding it all needs to be brought up to par!

What your step son is doing is nothing short of animal abuse! That dragon needs a good quality UV light source. Without it not only her digestion, but her neurological system as well are going to be compromised amongst other things. The weight loss is just the first of a series of things this dragon is going to face soon if things don't change.

You need to stand up to the rest of your family and do something about the situation this animal is currently in!
 

DakotaClouds

Member
Original Poster
I ordered her a UVA/UVB bulb last night. He told me he's never bought UVB, only UVA. I'm just floored. I'm shocked she's alive. He thinks taking her outside for 30 minutes is sufficient. But he doesn't even do that every day, so it's ridiculous anyway. I'm trying.
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 2
I ordered her a UVA/UVB bulb last night. He told me he's never bought UVB, only UVA. I'm just floored. I'm shocked she's alive. He thinks taking her outside for 30 minutes is sufficient. But he doesn't even do that every day, so it's ridiculous anyway. I'm trying.
Taking her outside has done her good even 3-4 times a week the direct sun is really good but uvb is also needed for cold months- they should not be outside w/ temps below 65 and the if it's cool they should be in the direct sun
 

DakotaClouds

Member
Original Poster
Yeah, it's cold here so she hasn't gone out. I am hoping to get her set up ASAP so I can get some food in her. My husband and I handle her more than her owner does. He leaves her out of her cage in the house then goes to work and forgets her. I want to take her away, but I can't. He'll explode, it won't happen and he's a recovering alcoholic who recovered here, so the last 15 months has been a nightmare. He's been sober for a few months now. I just don't think he cares for her. I don't understand. But I'm going to take over without telling him.
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 2
Yeah, it's cold here so she hasn't gone out. I am hoping to get her set up ASAP so I can get some food in her. My husband and I handle her more than her owner does. He leaves her out of her cage in the house then goes to work and forgets her. I want to take her away, but I can't. He'll explode, it won't happen and he's a recovering alcoholic who recovered here, so the last 15 months has been a nightmare. He's been sober for a few months now. I just don't think he cares for her. I don't understand. But I'm going to take over without telling him.
Dragons should not be outside the tank for more than 2 hrs unless you have a basking area set up some where they can go to to warm up-- plus there are other danger factors here like cats dogs eating something they shouldnt etc ---- the man is totally irresponsible-- I can only tell you to get the dragons lighting set up asap --- the longer she goes w/ out proper lighting the sicker she will get
 

DakotaClouds

Member
Original Poster
I'll let you know when I get it all set up. The new bulb will be here on January 28th. That was the soonest I could get it because I had to use my Amazon card since it was credit. I am getting a new bulb for my guy on Saturdays shipment, but his is 8 months. When I read that the manufacturers warranty was 1 year I mistook that for how long it would last before I needed to replace it. So in researching for Ember yesterday, I read 6 months for the mercury bulb too and used the Amazon card for his. So I would use his bulb for her in the meantime, but I don't think it will do any good in the next 10 days.
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 2
I'll let you know when I get it all set up. The new bulb will be here on January 28th. That was the soonest I could get it because I had to use my Amazon card since it was credit. I am getting a new bulb for my guy on Saturdays shipment, but his is 8 months. When I read that the manufacturers warranty was 1 year I mistook that for how long I would last before I needed to replace it. So in researching for Ember yesterday, I read 6 months for the mercury bulb too and used the Amazon card for his. So I would use his bulb for her in the meantime, but I don't think it will do any good in the next 10 days.
The dragon needs a UVB - what are you using for a MVB ? And where in the tank is Embers ? MVB's also need a extra UVB to make sure they are getting enough UVB most do not emit enough and depending on where the placement is is going to determine how much they are getting for example if it on the screen that screen is going to block 30 % of the rays - if its unobstructed it will get more but for the most part you want another long tube fixture in the tank - a 24" Zoo Med fixture w/ the 22" Reptisun 10.0 T 5 or a 24" Arcadia Pro T 5 w/ a 12% bulb --- that way you know your getting enough UVB to the dragons- I can help w/ this if you need it
Zoo Med Reptisun T5 HO High Output Terrarium Hood this will come w/ a 5.0 bulb you need the bulb posted above --
I want to say Petsmart takes payments now
 
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