Safe Substrate- avoiding possible injury?

Zaargo

Member
Beardie name(s)
Patches
Hey guys, after an emergency vet visit I am posting now to ask a question to all experienced owners.

I've had my bearded dragon for over a year now, kept him on tiles(as recommended) and he has plenty of climbing and hiding spaces.

Today I've found him unresponsive, black bearded and barely able to walk. Immediately called the vet and drove to him.
Luckily, no serious injuries like broken bones or damaged organs. But inflammation values in his blood are 5 times as high as they should be. The vet concluded that he hurt himself somehow, maybe falling and damaging his muscles.

Thing is: I don't know how that happened. I guess since he's been jumping around in his enclosure he maybe just fell down somewhere and hurt himself.

My question now: how can I ensure that doesn't happen again? The only thing I can imagine is to use sand, in case he falls again it will be softer than the tiles. But I've always been told that sand is bad, and now I'm desperate because I really don't wanna see my boy hurt like this again.

If anyone can help, I'll be very grateful. Thank you in advance! (And sorry for any false spelling)
 

xp29

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Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
Sand is mainly a concern for young beardies, it's somewhat safer for older dragons. Don't use the calci-sand however, just good ole fashioned play sand is what most folks use. I mix mine with reptisoil. I don't use top soil or garden soil because every bag i looked at had either cow or chicken manure in it. I mix it 50/50.
Can you post pics of your beardie, from your description I'm skeptical he fell. Did you take in a fecal sample to the vet? If not i would recommend it. Collect it in a zip lock bag and take it in within 24 hours don't refrigerate it. Under no circumstances let the vet do an enema on your beardie, they can and do end in tragedy.
 

Zaargo

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Patches
Sand is mainly a concern for young beardies, it's somewhat safer for older dragons. Don't use the calci-sand however, just good ole fashioned play sand is what most folks use. I mix mine with reptisoil. I don't use top soil or garden soil because every bag i looked at had either cow or chicken manure in it. I mix it 50/50.
Can you post pics of your beardie, from your description I'm skeptical he fell. Did you take in a fecal sample to the vet? If not i would recommend it. Collect it in a zip lock bag and take it in within 24 hours don't refrigerate it. Under no circumstances let the vet do an enema on your beardie, they can and do end in tragedy.
He's around two years old, so do you think sand mixed with soil would be fine? I'll try to add pictures and a video of how he tried to walk, the vet said the high inflammation level in the blood comes from internal injuries (like the muscles). All other values where fine :( he's very tired and exhausted in the picture, the bandaid is from drawing blood.
 

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Zaargo

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Patches
He's around two years old, so do you think sand mixed with soil would be fine? I'll try to add pictures and a video of how he tried to walk, the vet said the high inflammation level in the blood comes from internal injuries (like the muscles). All other values where fine :( he's very tired and exhausted in the picture, the bandaid is from drawing blood.
I can't seem to attach the video :(
 

Zaargo

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Patches
Sand is mainly a concern for young beardies, it's somewhat safer for older dragons. Don't use the calci-sand however, just good ole fashioned play sand is what most folks use. I mix mine with reptisoil. I don't use top soil or garden soil because every bag i looked at had either cow or chicken manure in it. I mix it 50/50.
Can you post pics of your beardie, from your description I'm skeptical he fell. Did you take in a fecal sample to the vet? If not i would recommend it. Collect it in a zip lock bag and take it in within 24 hours don't refrigerate it. Under no circumstances let the vet do an enema on your beardie, they can and do end in tragedy.
Sorry for all the messages, I forgot to tell: he didn't take a fecal test, his belly was completely empty because he wouldn't eat for the last few days.
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
A mix of sand and soil should be ok.
Next time he poops just bag it up and drop it off with the vet. Don't let them do an enema on him though, they can injure or even kill him doing that.
He looks pretty healthy, i would make sure he is hydrated. If he drinks in a bath, that's fine. If not you can use an eye dropper to drip water on his snout. If he won't eat you can mix a slurry if veggies and bugs in a blender and use a syringe to try feeding him.
The best way to do videos here is to upload them to youtube and just post the link here.
 

Zaargo

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Patches
A mix of sand and soil should be ok.
Next time he poops just bag it up and drop it off with the vet. Don't let them do an enema on him though, they can injure or even kill him doing that.
He looks pretty healthy, i would make sure he is hydrated. If he drinks in a bath, that's fine. If not you can use an eye dropper to drip water on his snout. If he won't eat you can mix a slurry if veggies and bugs in a blender and use a syringe to try feeding him.
The best way to do videos here is to upload them to youtube and just post the link here.
I'll try to keep him hydrated, he doesn't really drink by himself so I always keep his roaches nice and juicy. If he doesn't eat or drink I'll try the dropper, I have to give him medicine the next few days so I hope he gets his appetite back!

The video link :
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
You might should send a message to @Drache613 she is a vet tech. I think he may need a vet.
She is on late nights i think.
 

Zaargo

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Patches
You might should send a message to @Drache613 she is a vet tech. I think he may need a vet.
She is on late nights i think.
Alright, it's morning here so I'll be available. The vet gave me anti inflammatory and pain medication with the instructions to give him 0.5 ml per day. If he doesn't improve in a week I have to see him again, that's what he said to me yesterday.
 

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