Should I put him down?

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Dec. 26 I received a rescue beardie. Hes about 8-9 years old and in poor shape.

The past several months (August) he has been living with a basking spot of 90F, no warm or cold temps were ever read. He has been on a diet of 95% Beardie bites, 5% crickets. Absolutely no UVB.

Large burn on his back, missing several toenails and two toes, along with half his tail.

Wheezing and mucus, a few more signs of respiratory infection. Nothing swollen in his mouth so pretty sure its not mouth rot.

He is partially paralyzed, completely uncoordinated. almost constant twitching in his remaining fingers. He doesnt open his eyes. And he suffers multiples intense seizures daily where he looks like a fish out of water, bouncing around.

Im starting to think the vet isnt worth it. Even if his life could be saved through multiple visits and lots of medication, he is an old dragon and he will not regain a suitable quality of life.

Im not new to herps or rescues, but this is my first beardie so any and all advice will be appreciated.

Esther19 Addict
Thank you for taking him in. I can't advise you one way or another on your question. Personally, I would give it a go, and see if he has any fight left in him. You may be surprised. Does he seem willing to form a relationship with you? That would be critical in recovery. What do you see when you look in his eyes and talk to him?


Extreme Poster
If you want to help him here is how you can set up the tank
Here is a list of everything you would need for a brand new dragon!

a) tank - you could start with a 20 gallon long, but your baby will need a 40 gallon breeder quickly, so might as well just start with that. If he is intimidated by that, you can partition it with some cardboard or something temporarily.
b) substrate of your choice (but nothing loose) - I would highly suggest slate tile. It is very similar to their natural habitat, is cheap, easy to clean, keeps muscles toned and nails trim. Other options are reptile carpet, non-adhesive shelf liner, and paper towel/newspaper. Your call really.
c) basking spot (rock or log, either from outside and sanitized, or bought)
d) hide (don't use this for the first couple weeks so your baby doesn't hide instead of bask and acclimate)
e) other tank furniture (a log, a fake tree, vines, fake plant... whatever you want. Just browse the pet store)
f) basking light (whatever wattage gets you to the right temps (105-115F basking spot, aiming for 110F). You can use either a clear household bulb or a basking light from a pet store. Just make sure the bulb is not colored or coated.)
g) basking light clamp lamp fixture
h) 3M command hooks
i) under cabinet fluorescent fixture (I got mine at Walmart - I had a heavier one from Lowes, but it kept falling)
j) ReptiSun 10.0 tube
k) Digital thermometer with probe (at least 1, and they should have a hygrometer built in to measure humidity) and/or temp gun
l) a food bowl for salad, and another for worms/roaches (no water bowl - they don't need a water bowl, and it will just raise the humidity. Just be sure to give baths. Do not feed mealworms a bearded dragon, but you can put phoenix worms, silkworms, dubia roaches, waxworms [treat], butterworms [treat], or hornworms [treat] in a bowl. Crickets will not stay in a bowl)
m) If the tank gets below 65F, another dome fixture and a ceramic heat emitter (do not use a red light)
n) (Optional, but really really useful) a power strip with built in timers for lights.
o) supplements - you will need a calcium with D3 powder to be used 5 days a week, one feeding each day for a baby. As an adult, this goes down to 3 feedings a week. You will also need a multivitamin powder. Use this two days a week, one feeding each day for a baby. As an adult, this will drop to 1 feeding a week. I use Rep-Cal and HerptiVite, but other options work as well.
p) If your ambient temperatures are not high enough, you may need an additional light fixture and a lower wattage household bulb to bring up the coolside temp and add extra light.


New member
Original Poster
Esther19":5dfuwoqc said:
What do you see when you look in his eyes and talk to him?

That he is tired of suffering.

He hasnt opened his eyes since my original post and his seizures are getting more severe. My wife and I have decided that the most humane thing we can do is have him euthanized at the vet.

Esther19 Addict
I'm sorry it was left to you and your wife to do the right thing for the poor boy. A nice warm bath might give him some comfort (stay with him), and some drops of water offered to him orally. Thank you for taking him in.
Honestly, I think he's almost dead anyways and the care your giving him is the only thing keeping him alive...I in all honesty would let him go. He has suffered enough and he deserves someone to do right by him. :/ If thats letting him go, then its letting him go. At least he will have known something more than the neglect he suffered.
I think he has to be pretty scared after he has a seizure, and it probably hurts too. I just couldn't watch something like that everyday not knowing how painful it might be.
Best of luck.


New member
Original Poster
Thanks for the kind words.

We plan on getting some hatchlings in the near future, as the beardie has been pretty fun.
I think you should put him down. It sounds like he is suffering and that is too many injuries and problems for an animal that is so tiny. You are a great person for rescuing him but I don't think there is anything you can do about his condition. He would be happier.
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