PLEASEEE HELP!!!!! I think my baby beardie is dying!!!

I got him from pet smart about 8 days ago and he was thriving for about 5 days he was eating well and super active. But the last few days he has became super lethargic and his face looks wrinkly and sunken in and he is no longer interested in crickets, I started feeding him meal worms and he was eating a few of those for the last couple days but todays he’s rejecting food all together.

I called pet smart because they seem to have a vet hospital in the store but they are refusing to see my beardie because they don’t “specialize” in reptiles and offered to replace my baby beardie for a “healthy” one. Within the last week my family has become super attached to our baby beardie and what would they to do him if I were to send him back? I don’t want to give up on him. I thought I was doing the proper research and doing things the right way but I honestly think that I’m misinformed. This was a pet I got for my 5 year old (I take care of him tho) and I know he will be completely be heart broken if something happens to him.

Please help me! Below I posted picture of the tanks and lights that I use. The first pic is the uvb light and the last light is the basking light (the tank temps near the basking light is 104 degrees, 25 humidity and the tank is 80 degrees, 45 humidity).
 

Attachments

  • image.jpg
    image.jpg
    143.7 KB · Views: 151
  • image.jpg
    image.jpg
    258.6 KB · Views: 116
  • image.jpg
    image.jpg
    191.8 KB · Views: 111

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
I got him from pet smart about 8 days ago and he was thriving for about 5 days he was eating well and super active. But the last few days he has became super lethargic and his face looks wrinkly and sunken in and he is no longer interested in crickets, I started feeding him meal worms and he was eating a few of those for the last couple days but todays he’s rejecting food all together.

I called pet smart because they seem to have a vet hospital in the store but they are refusing to see my beardie because they don’t “specialize” in reptiles and offered to replace my baby beardie for a “healthy” one. Within the last week my family has become super attached to our baby beardie and what would they to do him if I were to send him back? I don’t want to give up on him. I thought I was doing the proper research and doing things the right way but I honestly think that I’m misinformed. This was a pet I got for my 5 year old (I take care of him tho) and I know he will be completely be heart broken if something happens to him.

Please help me! Below I posted picture of the tanks and lights that I use. The first pic is the uvb light and the last light is the basking light (the tank temps near the basking light is 104 degrees, 25 humidity and the tank is 80 degrees, 45 humidity).
Please get rid of the coil uvb - they are no good and PetSmart is right they do not specialize in dragons- you need to get this asap- go look for this uvb Arcadia pro T 5 w/ the 24 watt 12% bulb--this will be a 24" fixture they carry them - you need 2 digital probe thermometers zoo med they carry them you need actual surface basking temps-- 105-110 -- when you get the uvb it needs to go inside the tank or pull the screen towards the front and have it so it's unobstructed - place a piece if basking decor directly under it 12-15 inches- we're gonna start there and see if this gets him to bounce back- please offer him water on his nose or eye dropper he needs to stay hydrated-
 

MushuMiami

Member
Original Poster
Please get rid of the coil uvb - they are no good and PetSmart is right they do not specialize in dragons- you need to get this asap- go look for this uvb Arcadia pro T 5 w/ the 24 watt 12% bulb--this will be a 24" fixture they carry them - you need 2 digital probe thermometers zoo med they carry them you need actual surface basking temps-- 105-110 -- when you get the uvb it needs to go inside the tank or pull the screen towards the front and have it so it's unobstructed - place a piece if basking decor directly under it 12-15 inches- we're gonna start there and see if this gets him to bounce back- please offer him water on his nose or eye dropper he needs to stay hydrated-
Thank you so much!!! I’m heading to the pet store right now to pick this up. Is the picture below the correct one? This seems to be one of the only ones in stock at the store today. Also, how do I get the basking temps higher should I buy a new bulb? I do have the decor directly under the basking light. I offered him water last night and will do so today.
 

Attachments

  • A6DDA306-BBB0-4302-94F9-CA6733F167CC.jpg
    A6DDA306-BBB0-4302-94F9-CA6733F167CC.jpg
    60.8 KB · Views: 81

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
Thank you so much!!! I’m heading to the pet store right now to pick this up. Is the picture below the correct one? This seems to be one of the only ones in stock at the store today. Also, how do I get the basking temps higher should I buy a new bulb? I do have the decor directly under the basking light. I offered him water last night and will do so today.
You want the fixture as well posting what you need Arcadia Reptile ProT5 UV-B Kit | reptile Light Fixtures | PetSmart
I am hoping they have that one in stock if they dont I am gonna post back up so you may haft to order it on line -- --- - you need the zoo med digital probe thermometers or similar to it has to have a probe on it for actual surface basking temps- that is going to tell you what wattage of a bulb you need --- start w/ a 100 watt and go from there -
Zoo Med ReptiSun T5 HO High Output Terrarium Hood this comes w/ a 5.0 bulb you will need this bulb 22" Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 UVB T5 HO High Output Fluorescent Bulb
or this fixture you will need to change the bulb out to the one posted above
24" or 2 ft fixture https://hydrobuilder.com/sunblaster...mp.html?opts=eyJhdHRyaWJ1dGU5MDEiOiI2NjEwIn0=
In the meantime shut the coil off --- its not doing him any good
 

beardie

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Founder
Beardie name(s)
Cailyth, Pinky, & Brain
I agree with KarrieRee that fixing the lighting and keeping the beardie hydrated are the main things to start with. A week is a bit on the shorter side to feel effects of poor UVB lighting, so I’m not sure it would be the cause of the lethargy in this case. But it is a key thing to fix that can help perk up a beardie.

For hydration, here’s more info on various ways to help keep your beardie hydrated:

And here are some articles on lighting needs (probably in this order for your needs)… These all need a revamp (in the plans), but are still good to help get you going on fixing lightig:

- Has links (I just made sure theywere still good) to specific products:

Some generally good guides:


Do your best to get the beardie back on track. Don’t beat yourself up about the coil UVB bulb, or other things at this point. The first couple weeks for a young beardie coming home can be the most challenging, stressful, and volatile. So, many factors could be feeding into this health decline. But recovery is very possible.

Good luck! And please do keep us posted on how the little one is doing and let us know if you have any other issues. That’s what the community is here for.

Also, tell your 5yo to hang in there. I know how you (as the parent) are feeling about protecting his feelings. My 5yo daughter (almost 6) would similarly be heartbroken. Pets can be tough lessons. My daughter got attached to my cat (had him long before I even met my wife). He died in 2020 (18 years old), and my daughter was soooo upset about it. We think it even triggered some behavioral issues we dealt with for a good year or so. She even still mourns him. Sometimes when she’s tired at night, and she gets emotional, she will still cry about missing him. It doesn’t help that she named one of her stuffed animals after him, Schrödinger.
 
Last edited:

Axil

Juvie Member
Beardie name(s)
Beebz
For hydration, here’s more info on various ways to help keep your beardie hydrated:
Yes this is important. I've owned a lot of different pets but never one that won't drink from a bowl of water when it's thirsty as is true for many Bearded Dragons. There is a lot of great info in that link that can help make sure your baby gets the water it needs.
 

Alinannyms

Member
Beardie name(s)
Marcy
Are you able to post a picture of how he currently looks? If you could, try to do it without handling him, as that can stress young beardies out. I also got my baby from PetSmart, so I can very much so understand the struggle you're going through. What's important is to get the lighting fixed, keep them hydrated, and keep a steady supply of food, letting them eat as much as it takes for them to be full.
 

MushuMiami

Member
Original Poster
You want the fixture as well posting what you need Arcadia Reptile ProT5 UV-B Kit | reptile Light Fixtures | PetSmart
I am hoping they have that one in stock if they dont I am gonna post back up so you may haft to order it on line -- --- - you need the zoo med digital probe thermometers or similar to it has to have a probe on it for actual surface basking temps- that is going to tell you what wattage of a bulb you need --- start w/ a 100 watt and go from there -
Zoo Med ReptiSun T5 HO High Output Terrarium Hood this comes w/ a 5.0 bulb you will need this bulb 22" Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 UVB T5 HO High Output Fluorescent Bulb
or this fixture you will need to change the bulb out to the one posted above
24" or 2 ft fixture https://hydrobuilder.com/sunblaster...mp.html?opts=eyJhdHRyaWJ1dGU5MDEiOiI2NjEwIn0=
In the meantime shut the coil off --- its not doing him any good
After visiting a few stores I was able to get my hands on the Arcadia pro T 5 w/ the 24 watt 12% bulb, I placed it between the screen on the tank a few hours ago. I ordered the zoo med thermometer but it won’t be here until Wednesday, In the meantime I do have a thermometer in the tank and the basking area is now reading 108 degrees. I posted some pictures below of how I have it set up now, please let me know if I’m doing this right.

As far as hydration I have been bathing him in a small amount of water he never actually drank the water, so I tried a drop of water above the nose with an eye dropper and that worked like a charm he starting drinking the water, I did that a few times today and will continue.

THANK YOU FOR ALL OF YOUR HELP I APPRECIATE YOU ALL!!
 

Attachments

  • F49CD52C-1FD1-45FF-929D-C86789064C95.jpeg
    F49CD52C-1FD1-45FF-929D-C86789064C95.jpeg
    253.3 KB · Views: 79
  • 2663EBF5-B902-43A1-ADD7-4CA4B72FAB38.jpeg
    2663EBF5-B902-43A1-ADD7-4CA4B72FAB38.jpeg
    286 KB · Views: 89

MushuMiami

Member
Original Poster
Yes this is important. I've owned a lot of different pets but never one that won't drink from a bowl of water when it's thirsty as is true for many Bearded Dragons. There is a lot of great info in that link that can help make sure your baby gets the water it needs.
Of course! This is what he pretty much looks like all day.
He barley moves from that spot. We have given him water with an eye dropper which seems to be the only way he will drink water for now, we do have a bowl of water in the tank but I’ve never actually seen him drink from it. I’ve tried feeding him multiple times today but he’s refusing to eat, I have even tried hand feeding him and still no luck, I’m hoping with the new ubv light he will finally eat tomorrow.
 

Attachments

  • 4A440750-771C-4E6A-9D20-3A32E1AB9385.jpeg
    4A440750-771C-4E6A-9D20-3A32E1AB9385.jpeg
    306.5 KB · Views: 99
  • 6ACAEC24-2474-46ED-80C1-2EBF79D8A87B.jpeg
    6ACAEC24-2474-46ED-80C1-2EBF79D8A87B.jpeg
    308.3 KB · Views: 95

Axil

Juvie Member
Beardie name(s)
Beebz
Of course! This is what he pretty much looks like all day.
He barley moves from that spot. We have given him water with an eye dropper which seems to be the only way he will drink water for now, we do have a bowl of water in the tank but I’ve never actually seen him drink from it. I’ve tried feeding him multiple times today but he’s refusing to eat, I have even tried hand feeding him and still no luck, I’m hoping with the new ubv light he will finally eat tomorrow.
That's great that you got some water in him. If he doesn't drink in the bath i'd stop those for now. Did you notice if he pooped after the eating stopped? Dehydration and mealworms could make him prone to impaction.

As for the UVB light. If you can attach it to the underside of your screen 12-15in over the top of his basking décor he will get the most benefit. I used zipties to attach mine.

When you are feeding make sure you offer insects smaller than the space between his eyes. BSFL (black soldier fly larvae) are available to my local petsmart. If you have access to them they are great, especially for little guys. 1/4in Dubai work pretty well too. I get mine from dubiaroaches. You can get other feeders like the BSFL from there as well but obviously you've got to wait for it to ship.

Also offer greens (Collard Greens / Kale / Dandelion Greens) mist them heavily in water and offer little pieces. Typically dragon's find insects more appealing, but he needs veggies too, and since he's thirsty he might surprise you and eat some.

Wishing you guys the best.
 

Cuttlefishh

Juvie Member
Beardie name(s)
Charlie
Hi there, he doesn't look too bad in that photo. He looks like he's going into shed too. I'd hold off on mealworms I think they can cause impaction. A good feeder for him would be black soldier fly larvae, lots of them :)

If he's taking water off the dropper that's excellent. Its great you're fixing the lighting so quickly, give him a little time and patience he may easily bounce back. Has he pooed yet ?

Edit: Axil beat me to it! Great advice as usual from Axil 😊
 

hdochow

Sub-Adult Member
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Sir Henry of Scales
i'm glad you were able to get the new light today and were able to place it unobstructed. you're going to want a piece of basking decor 12"-15" directly below it. he still won't be getting much of the uvb if he stays where he is currently at under the basking bulb, although it will be more than you had with the old light. try sliding the uvb to the other end, leaving the cool side to be the no uvb zone, and then push the basking bulb up against it. then adjust his food bowls a little so you can angle the piece he is basking on to be in the area where the two lights overlap. since he doesn't drink from the water bowl, i'd take it out all together. (unless you are using it to help maintain humidity levels.) here's a very crude sketch of what i'm talking about. this is of course to make use of what you currently have. you may wind up needing to go with some different decor pieces.

sketch.JPG
 

blue11

Sub-Adult Member
Awwww that’s great that your dragon is drinking! It’s pretty awesome what some water can do, as oral hydration can often be overlooked for beardies. It’s so so important. The more you can get him used to accepting water this way on a regular basis, the more confident you can feel in knowing he is well hydrated - this way you can check that off the list when trying to narrow down things should any health issues arise in the future. As a bonus, it’s a way to bond and develop trust 🥰

Once you get all your proper lighting / lighting issues worked out on this thread with people, then you’ll then be able to get accurate temps and such. Here is little rule of thumb on thermometers and temperatures that might simply things …

There are really three important temperatures to always keep in check for the two main areas of your enclosure … so for ease, that would be the hot side temps and the cool side temp 🙂

Hot side:

This is where the your tube UVB bulb will be as well as your more “regular looking” bulb - which will be the heat bulb/ UVA bulb. These two bulbs are harmonious, they work together, one providing heat and the other providing essential UVB to mimic the sun of the climate they thrive in. I always think of it these two bulbs as *best friends*!

Hot Side - 2 temperatures readings:

The ambient/air temperature and the basking surface temperature.

The ambient temp here will be measured using a small digital thermometer. This will be lower than your basking surface temp.

The basking surface temp will be measured using a small digital thermometer with a probe that you can just sit on the basking surface/surfaces. Things like his/her basking logs, basking rocks/basking platforms and even the floor of the enclosure on the hot side of the enclosure. The places he would access to under his heat lamp - you measure the temperature of these surfaces with that probe. Lots of people tend to just place the probe on the surface closest to the heat bulb, which will give you the maximum basking surface temp your dragon will have access too - that’s the key temp to keep your eye on. This will be higher than your ambient/air temp. You can also have a digital temp gun on hand as well. These may not work on certain surfaces, but I like to have one around to spot check and compare areas that a probe might not sit the best on.

Cool side - 1 temperature

The ambient/air temperature here will be measured with a small digital thermometer.
If you choose to use a bulb on this side for brightness reasons, this would be a more “regular looking” bulb again - but a lower wattage so it is not producing the same amount of heat that your hot side bulb is. This is an area that they can be in to to “take a break” - a break from basking, a break from the UVB, to take a break from the more concentrated heat. I do not personally use a bulb on this side - her enclosure is a custom bright white material, and it stays well lit in this area without being as bright as the opposite side. It’s a bit nice reprieve for her.

The middle of the tank will be somewhere in between the two ambient/air temperature readings. The changes in temps from one side to another is the lovely temperature gradient. I do not personally use a thermometer in the middle of her enclosure, I can see the temperature gradient is working by the differences in the readings from the two opposite sides.

Remember - you’re two temperature readings on the hot side will usually differ significantly. As long as they are in the correct range and the temps are what your dragon seems to do best in, then you’re doing things right. For example, babies may like it hotter than adults, your wattage of the heat bulb, etc.

To give you an idea of temps in my girls enclosure, her hot side ambient/air temp may hang around 83 - 86 F, but her basking surfaces temps will be higher at ranges of 93F - 100 F, depending on what she is sitting on, and how close that surface or object is to her heat source.

These are not meant to reflect your current numbers, just an example of what temps happen to have in my adult dragons enclosure - but as you can see, there is a difference in the temps that are the exact same side of the enclosure 🙂

Different people go about achieving temps and positional lighting in different ways - but the way I have listed it out here has always worked really well for my girl. It might help you out too should you need it. You have an adorable baby dragon!

Also, remember this is all new for your little guy / girl … so even when you get your conditions spot on, there will probably still be some behaviors you may notice that are different / off as he or she will be getting used to the changes and getting to know and trust you. At first, it’s a big world for a little dragon - and it’s a new world to any dragon as they try to navigate it all.
 
Last edited:

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
I'm late to this thread, but i agree with everyone that has offered advice. They are spot on.
Unfortunately pet stores have taken to selling younger and younger beardies. Babies are a chore and a lot harder than beardies even a few weeks older to care for, and the care is more critical. Babies dehydrate MUCH faster than older beardies, they are in much hotter temps, a lot more active, and have a faster metabolism (I'm assuming on the last one due to their food intake) but anyway it's just plain harder to care for them. First timer owners will never be prepared or properly informed (by the pet stores) for the challenge. What ever happens don't blame yourself. They shouldn't be selling them that small, they set you up for failure right out of the gate.
Lean on the folks here as much as you need to, we all love beardies and the people who care for them to. Everyone here is happy to help you work through the learning process, and i bet one day your here helping someone else learn the ropes 🙂
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Great help & advice here. We hope your baby gets better. He is definitely a little cutie, so with
improved lighting, he should start to get back to normal. Keep us posted on him!
Lighting is always challenging to get correct because the reptile lighting industry isn't very well
regulated so it's hard finding good bulbs!

Tracie
 

Members online

No members online now.

Latest resources

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

My 2 year old male dragon has been shedding for 2-3 weeks. I’m worried about it being a stuck shed. I’ve seen on other websites they should not soak and then I’ve seen that they should be soaked. So my question is when should I soak him?
Hello , im still figureing out this platform,
So violet laid eggs, weeks ago, she was doing very well , in the last 3 to 4 days her poop was more than runny . Haven't changed much in her diet , an appetite is very good. Should I be considering a parasites remedy as she does get bloated as soon as she starts to eat.
My baby beardie likes to sit in their water bowl. I'm curious on whether it would hurt them or not.

Forum statistics

Threads
156,626
Messages
1,263,080
Members
76,323
Latest member
Wickedkurse84$
Top Bottom