Prolapse, pinworms HELP


New member
I have a female bearded dragon who is having reoccurring prolapses. She has been treated with antibiotics for a "bacterial overgrowth" (from overfeeding fruits and sugary veggies - this is what the vet said) and has been treated 2x with panacur for pinworms. Her poop smelled awful which was our first indicator of parasites. The vet I went to did not give me confidence that he knew what he was doing. He seemed to be completely money motivated and wanted me to come in each time she was due to have her next dose of meds. The majority of his advice contradicted EVERYTHING I've ever read about dragons.
She has a 150watt basking bulb.
18" T8 UVB bulb inside enclosure.
Her basking spot gets to 95-100F.
She is supplemented with rephasy calcium plus.
Vet told me she was on the skinny side so told me to give bugs daily (still unsure of her age but she is at least an older juvenile). I was giving them 1-3x per week prior.
The first time she had a small prolapse she had what looked like impacted-type poop (hard, a lot of it). A sugar bath allowed it to retract. Then it happened 2x more. The third time, it wouldn't go back in so I went to the vet. She hasn't acted sickly at all throughout this ordeal. Great appetite, active.
I was expecting him to do surgery, but he said that the prolapse should stop occurring after she is free of parasites. While she was on the antibiotic she pooped almost daily and I had to push the prolapse back in after each bowel movement. She finished her 15 days of antibiotics and had her second dose of panacur on the 13th. She has also been getting a probiotic.
It seemed as though she was getting better. She has had several bowel movements without prolapse. Today she had one and it happened again. :(
I took the vets advice and am giving nothing but plain greens with bee pollen, no other veggies, no fruit. She has been eating crickets, superworms, mealworms daily. Probably 30-40 bugs per day. As well as occasional wax worms, BSFL and hornworms. Am I overfeeding her? Should I stop giving her hard shell insects? I am so confused by the advice I've gotten both online and at the exotic vet. I am honestly thinking of going to another vet for a fecal smear and float and a second opinion. Anyone have any insight?

CooperDragon Sicko
Staff member
It probably wouldn't hurt to have a second opinion from another vet. Especially since you don't seem to have trust in this one - it's good to trust and be able to work with your vet easily.

It sounds like your setup is good and she is getting a good diet. Because of the frequent prolapse, you may want to offer only soft foods for a while. You could even try making a slurry or offering baby food (squash, green bean, etc) to make passing the food a bit easier on her for the time being. I'd at least cut back to fresh greens and squash and offer her plenty of water by dripping it on her nose to lick up. The combination of hydration and softer food may be helpful. Soft bugs like hornworms, silk worms, or black soldier fly larvae are a good idea as a protein option for now. It's OK that she has a diet higher in veges though. When she is an adult (over 18 months old or so) then that should be the majority of her food anyway.

If she continues to prolapse, then a vet may be able to give her stitches for a little while to prevent it. If you do see prolapse try to keep it clean and get it back in so to prevent infection.

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