Possible sick beardie?

Hi all,

I have a 4 year old bearded dragon. He has been sleeping for a month or so, and I have been under the impression that he’s been brumating. I know this is a somewhat controversial topic here, but he does it every year and I have consulted with several vets who have told me to leave him be. The other day, he passed a very hard, crumbly poop. I’ve never seen him pass anything like it before, and he’s gone back to sleep now. I already have a vet appointment scheduled for tomorrow, but I would like to know your guys’ opinions. Is it good that he passed it? Is it concerning in the sense that there might be more? I bathe him, he has water, and his lighting is appropriate. Should I be concerned? Could it have been an impaction that he managed to pass on his own? I have a photo of what he passed that I can attach in the comments if needed.

Thanks in advance!
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
Hi all,

I have a 4 year old bearded dragon. He has been sleeping for a month or so, and I have been under the impression that he’s been brumating. I know this is a somewhat controversial topic here, but he does it every year and I have consulted with several vets who have told me to leave him be. The other day, he passed a very hard, crumbly poop. I’ve never seen him pass anything like it before, and he’s gone back to sleep now. I already have a vet appointment scheduled for tomorrow, but I would like to know your guys’ opinions. Is it good that he passed it? Is it concerning in the sense that there might be more? I bathe him, he has water, and his lighting is appropriate. Should I be concerned? Could it have been an impaction that he managed to pass on his own? I have a photo of what he passed that I can attach in the comments if needed.

Thanks in advance!
Please attach it
 

laurahill749

Member
Original Poster

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xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
What substrate are you using? That almost looks like sand he has passed.
Whatever it is looks way dry. How are you hydrating him?
Just putting him in a bath doesn't work unless he actually drinks in the bath. The hydrating by soaking is maybe THE WORST piece of misinformation passed around. They have to actually drink water to hydrate. The easiest way is to use an eyedropper to drip it on their snout. He should start lapping at it as soon as he realizes it's water. If he doesn't you can add in a little none citrus fruit juice or punch to give it flavor. If you use the juice or punch be sure to use a wet cloth to wipe away any that runs down his chin. No need to take a chance on causing bacteria or fungus to start.
Also be patient and don't try to force it, go at his pace or you could accidentally aspirate him.
As dry as that looks I would probably give him just a little babies pedialyte for the first couple trys.
 

laurahill749

Member
Original Poster
What substrate are you using? That almost looks like sand he has passed.
Whatever it is looks way dry. How are you hydrating him?
Just putting him in a bath doesn't work unless he actually drinks in the bath. The hydrating by soaking is maybe THE WORST piece of misinformation passed around. They have to actually drink water to hydrate. The easiest way is to use an eyedropper to drip it on their snout. He should start lapping at it as soon as he realizes it's water. If he doesn't you can add in a little none citrus fruit juice or punch to give it flavor. If you use the juice or punch be sure to use a wet cloth to wipe away any that runs down his chin. No need to take a chance on causing bacteria or fungus to start.
Also be patient and don't try to force it, go at his pace or you could accidentally aspirate him.
As dry as that looks I would probably give him just a little babies pedialyte for the first couple trys.
Thanks so much for the info. I use a repti carpet. He has never, ever had any other kind of substrate (i’m a little crazy about that). He passed more and it had more powder inside the poop. I’m so confused. He drinks water from a spray bottle (the vet has tried to have me leave water in there for him, but he never drinks it that way and i don’t like risking the humidity/chance of respiratory infection). He’s very finicky, like most are, but I can always get him to drink out of the spray bottle/never relied on baths to hydrate. Should I be concerned about parasites or does this just look like he’s dehydrated? I don’t know what to do with the little guy! I really don’t trust any of the vets in my area. I’ve taken him to so many, and they all have such inconsistent advice.
 

laurahill749

Member
Original Poster
Thanks so much for the info. I use a repti carpet. He has never, ever had any other kind of substrate (i’m a little crazy about that). He passed more and it had more powder inside the poop. I’m so confused. He drinks water from a spray bottle (the vet has tried to have me leave water in there for him, but he never drinks it that way and i don’t like risking the humidity/chance of respiratory infection). He’s very finicky, like most are, but I can always get him to drink out of the spray bottle/never relied on baths to hydrate. Should I be concerned about parasites or does this just look like he’s dehydrated? I don’t know what to do with the little guy! I really don’t trust any of the vets in my area. I’ve taken him to so many, and they all have such inconsistent advice.
Also, I just vacuumed out his tank, changed out his carpet, and bathed him today to make sure everything is super clean for him.
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
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Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
Im not sure, if he is hydrated.
I'll flag a couple people that might can help. @AHBD @Drache613
They may have more insight than I have. Tracie is a vet tech, she is on late at night though.
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
Hi there, can you post pics of your dragon and the set up including lights ? Some important Q's, how long have you had him and is he usually active ? What are the temps. day + night ? That looks like digested insects that he pooped, pretty dry but not really a problem in itself. It's good that he drank the day before yesterday, he may be slightly dehydrated but then he's just waking up from a month of sleep.
 

laurahill749

Member
Original Poster
Hi there, can you post pics of your dragon and the set up including lights ? Some important Q's, how long have you had him and is he usually active ? What are the temps. day + night ? That looks like digested insects that he pooped, pretty dry but not really a problem in itself. It's good that he drank the day before yesterday, he may be slightly dehydrated but then he's just waking up from a month of sleep.
Sure thing! I don’t keep a thermometer in there, but I use a probe thermometer. Temps are usually just below 100 degrees F in the day and around 70 at night when lights are off. I’ve had him since March of 2020, and he usually is active besides the couple times a year he brumates. He does it usually once in the fall and once in the winter, but I’m still trying to learn his brumation habits because he didn’t start until he was about 2. I use a 150 W heat lamp and a T5 HO 10.0 UVB that I change once every 6 months. He’s usually a pretty happy camper! I have a pic of him yesterday after his bath that I will include. His colors looked pretty good. He mainly heats bok choy, super worms, and horn worms as the occasional treat. He used to like crickets but grew out of them. I’ve tried dubia roaches, but he isn’t a fan. I’ve tried various other leafy greens too, but he’s just so picky and I’d prefer he’d be eating than try to force variety into his diet. Both his food and water dish are empty right now because I just cleaned them. His tank is 60 gallons. He grew out of his 40 gallon tank, but I keep it at my parents house for when we visit.
 

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AHBD

BD.org Sicko
O.K, thanks for the info + pics ! He looks very healthy, nice body proportions and bright eyed. :) So the 100 F temp. is just the hot side ? And what is the other side ? Night temps. are good. Have you ever tried feeding him any shredded or cubed squash ? Kale ?

As for the decor, one suggestion is to get rid of the " ladder" and put in some type of basking log, whether store bought or collected outside. So otherwise he looks good, I don't know that he needs a vet visit, especially since you haven't found a vet that you viewed as really knowledgeable. BTW, here some examples of logs I got from outside and sterilized them in the oven at about 225 F for an hour or so. The 2 smaller ones that is. The one in the middle is actually one piece, fused and almost petrified.


1711828365108.jpg
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

He does look good & appears alert there!
Your tank setup looks great, very bright in there
for him. Which T5 tube bulb brand are you using?
It is very hard to get used to their brumation habits
but once they go through a couple, they should be
about the same every year.
He is probably just a bit dehydrated which is very
common among a lot of them when they are slown
down & don't eat or drink very much.
You can try the oral fluids as he tolerates it or you
can also give shredded or minced up squash or
sweet potato.
Give him a bit of time to get his system going again,
it takes a few weeks most times for their metabolisms
to start increasing. Though he hasn't been down for
very long so he should be coming out of it soon.

Tracie
 

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