Pregnancy signs?

Aleeeexli

Member
Hi there! I actually have a rankins dragon and not a bearded dragon but I would be thankful for any help I can get!

My dragon (recently turned 1) started exhibiting some signs of pregnancy. She always was a bit larger than my other two rankins dragons, despite the same age, activity and food. But in the last few weeks she gained almost 20 grams (from 56 grams to 74 grams). Her belly got bigger but the tail and back look healthy, no signs of overweight. And in the last few days she started constantly walking around in the tank and digging at different places, which she never did before.

But there are some things contradicting pregnancy. I read that their appetite decreases shortly before they lay eggs, but she still loves to eat and jumps out of the tank as soon as she spotted me taking out the insects. It feels as if I am starving her haha because she eats the insects in seconds while the other dragons take way longer.

And also the temperatures in my tank are currently a little high (28 to 33 degrees C) and I have a hard time reducing them as we have a heat wave in my country and I can‘t bring the room temperatures below 30 degrees C. I know digging behavior can also mean that the temperatures are too hot but this is already going on for a few weeks and she only started digging during the last few days. And she still spends most of her time on the warmer side of the tank and could go to the cooler side if it is too hot for her.

Last but not least, I went to the vet for an x ray. Apparently there was a miscommunication and the reptile vet had an important meeting, so someone else took a look at my dragon. The radiologists also weren‘t there yet so the person looking at my dragon hat to do and interpret the x ray herself without any experience in reptiles and radiology. She said the bearde doesn‘t look overweight but has a big belly. But she couldn‘t see any eggs in the x ray. I will post the x rays once I figure out how! (EDIT: I think I added pictures of the x rays, please let me know if you can‘t see them!)

If you have any idea what it could be besides pregnancy and what I can do to help her, please let me know! I am worried that she isn‘t comfortable or that there is something else going on!
 

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AHBD

BD.org Sicko
That first pic does look like there are rounded shapes in there. Do you have a laybox prepared ? And yes it's true that most dragons stop eating 2-3 days before laying but some eat right up until laying.
 

Aleeeexli

Member
Original Poster
Yes I thought so too. But compared to x rays of gravid bearded/rankins dragons on google, the round shapes here don‘t look as prominent as on the google pictures, so I am not sure if it really is eggs or maybe just the beginning of the pregnancy? But the vet also didn‘t seem to comfortable saying anything so I don‘t fully trust their opinion. I will try to see my usual exotic vet but they are fully booked for the next weeks.

I don‘t specifically have a lay box but half of the tank is filled with a sand/clay mix (about 10cm deep), where she should have more than enough space to dig! Do you think that is enough or do I need a separate dig box?
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
At that size they would be pretty well developed. A laybox is often preferred but every dragon is different and some will lay eggs wherever . You can put an upside down shoe box with one end cut out [ to serve as an entrance ] over top of some mounded substrate and see if she accepts that as a cave.
Can you post pics of the enclosure and the dragon ? BTW what is her name ?
 

Aleeeexli

Member
Original Poster
At that size they would be pretty well developed. A laybox is often preferred but every dragon is different and some will lay eggs wherever . You can put an upside down shoe box with one end cut out [ to serve as an entrance ] over top of some mounded substrate and see if she accepts that as a cave.
Can you post pics of the enclosure and the dragon ? BTW what is her name ?
I‘ll look for a cardboard box tomorrow! How careful do I need to be with the placement of it? I assume it should be on the warmer side or would this be a fire hazard with the heat lamp (I wouldn‘t place it directly under the lamp)? Sorry, usually I would just try it out and keep an eye on it the first few days but I will be away for a longer weekend and my roommate will look after them.

Her name is Miss Coconut but we always call her Coco! I added a picture of her where you can see her belly (sorry for the writing I didn‘t save it without it). And a picture of the enclosure, but the substrate is now higher on the left side and I have stone plates on the right side. I don‘t have a picture of the tank in the current state and the lights are already out but I can take another picture tomorrow!

Thank you for your replies and help!
 

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AHBD

BD.org Sicko
Wow, Coco looks like she has a belly full of eggs ! You can pile up as much substrate as possible on the cooler side and dampen it just a bit. Then put the box over it and she should be happy with that. Is she housed with a male ?
 

Hazel_Basil10

Sub-Adult Member
Beardie name(s)
Hazel my female two year old beardie
Hello.

They lay eggs even if there is no male in the same setup but they can become gravid. In the picture of setup it looks like there are three of them are housed together. If they are housed together please separate them. It'll save all of their lives since they don't like being housed with other dragons.
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
Hello.

They lay eggs even if there is no male in the same setup but they can become gravid. In the picture of setup it looks like there are three of them are housed together. If they are housed together please separate them. It'll save all of their lives since they don't like being housed with other dragons.
Yes I know that, I asked about a male because in the xray outline they look like possible large fertile eggs whereas the infertiles would usually be smaller . Rankin's seem to do fine in small numbers in a large enclosure.
 

Aleeeexli

Member
Original Poster
Wow, Coco looks like she has a belly full of eggs ! You can pile up as much substrate as possible on the cooler side and dampen it just a bit. Then put the box over it and she should be happy with that. Is she housed with a male ?
Yeah she really looks like she‘s heavily pregnant! It is so cute when she is pancakeing as the pancake is even bigger than before!

Thank you so much, I am currently looking for a cardboard box and will do this right now! Just one more question to be sure I understood you correctly, would you put substrate down and then put the box on top of it? or would you put the substrate in the box with enough space for her to move around at the top?

She is housed with a male dragon, he shows signs/behavior that he is ready to mate (like head bopping) but it never got further than that yet so I assume the eggs are infertile. I do know that you can‘t house bearded dragons together but I always read that rankins can live in groups (they also grew up together and I got them from one of the most reputable breeders in my country). I still keep a very close eye on them (I have cameras in the tank) and have a separate tank ready in case I have to separate them. But I am always open to any tips and critique about it! Also do you think it would be better to separate them while she is gravid?
 

Aleeeexli

Member
Original Poster
Yes I know that, I asked about a male because in the xray outline they look like possible large fertile eggs whereas the infertiles would usually be smaller . Rankin's seem to do fine in small numbers in a large enclosure.
Hello.

They lay eggs even if there is no male in the same setup but they can become gravid. In the picture of setup it looks like there are three of them are housed together. If they are housed together please separate them. It'll save all of their lives since they don't like being housed with other dragons.
Currently only one male and one female dragon live in this enclosure! I had to separate the other female dragon because of some underlying health problems.

I know that bearded dragons cannot be houses together but as far as I know rankins can live together in small groups. I am in close contact with one of the best breeders in my country and my vet and my dragons are healthy and show no signs of dominance or anything else. I also keep a very close eye on them and would be able to separate them immediately if necessary!
 

Aleeeexli

Member
Original Poster
Yes I know that, I asked about a male because in the xray outline they look like possible large fertile eggs whereas the infertiles would usually be smaller . Rankin's seem to do fine in small numbers in a large enclosure
Yes I know that, I asked about a male because in the xray outline they look like possible large fertile eggs whereas the infertiles would usually be smaller . Rankin's seem to do fine in small numbers in a large enclosure.
Interesting, I did not know that! I know how infertile vs fertile eggs can look like but had no idea that the infertile ones are generally smaller! In that case my male dragon might have finally gotten the hang out of mating!
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
The box should be about the size of a shoebox . So picture this -- you cut one end off of it so that when you put it upside down it's like a small hut, a cave for her. Then you pack it almost full so she views it as the nesting spot, she can go in and start digging. The box is now the cave because it covers her on all sides, including from above because that way she feels like she's dug the cave as she seems to be hidden from everyone while in there. It's not a guarantee but it's more likely that she will use it. And yes it can be better for her if the male goes in another enclosure for now. He may have mated with her already.
 

Hazel_Basil10

Sub-Adult Member
Beardie name(s)
Hazel my female two year old beardie
Yes I know that, I asked about a male because in the xray outline they look like possible large fertile eggs whereas the infertiles would usually be smaller . Rankin's seem to do fine in small numbers in a large enclosure.
Yes I know you know you are the expert at this so I knew you'd know. I have never heard of a Rankin dragon! Better search it up!
 

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