Please help! I think she's sick!


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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Photo Comp Winner
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?
If you can’t afford to take care of her, I’d find a rescue organization to take her. I adopted a beardie from a rescue who recovered from MVB and she’s fat and happy now.


Original Poster

I am so sorry to hear Ember didn't make it. :cry: I am glad that she had you to care for her when she so desperately needed it, so she
felt love & comfort when she needed it. Know that you did everything that you could to help her. I know that doesn't bring her back, but
I hope that brings you some peace.

Thank you Tracie. I appreciate everyone's help tremendously.

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