Time between poops. Possible Brumation or Impaction?

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Hatchling Member
Hey for those who don't know Slevin is just over a year old and we've had him for about 7 or 8 months. He's never had a bad visit to the vet, all good marks. Now the question...What is the longest your beardies have gone without pooping? If Slevin doesn't go today that will be 3 days that he hasn't. I bathed him yesterday and today to try to get him to. He didn't seem to enjoy his bath as much as usual either and he climbed up on my hand after only about 5 minutes. His temps are fine at 98-101 basking spot depending on the height he goes to and the cool side is 78 today.

But the real problem is he doesn't have an appetite today. He wouldn't come out of his hides up until 1100 or so and I had to life the hides off of him. Then when I tried to feed him he wouldn't go for his crickets and he would only eat a few red bell pepper chunks from my hand. And he won't stay on his basking rocks. He's just laying under his hides.
When I took him out of his bath I wrapped him up till he dried off then I let him walk around the living room for a bit and he was really active. Then I put him back in his cage and warmed up on his basking spot for a bit then went under his hides. Now as I'm typing I can hear him scratching on his tiles. Could it be brumation time? Impaction? Should I take him in to the vet?


Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Bumping for exposure. I'm amazed there's been no responses yet lol.
I am interested in the answer to this question too. I just rescued an adult beardie on Sunday afternoon and it has been 4 days and still no poop. What is normal?


Hatchling Member
Please, when introducing your bearded dragon or asking for advice, it would help if you could answer these questions and then copy and paste them into your thread.

Thank you.

How old is your dragon?
How long have you had your dragon?
How long is your dragon?
What is the sex of your dragon?
What size enclosure do you have your dragon in?
What type substrate do you have on the bottom of your tank?
Do you use UVB lights?
If so, Is it a coil, compact, fluorescent tube, or Mercury Vapor bulb?
What is the brand name and number of your bulb? Wattage (if MVB)?
How old is your UVB bulb?
How close can your dragon get to the UVB?
Do you use a separate basking bulb? What kind and what is the wattage?
What are the basking temps?
What is the cool side temp?
Do you take the temps with a stick on thermometer, a digital thermometer with a wire and a probe end or a temp gun?
Where exactly are you taking your basking temps?
Do you use a heat rock or heat pad?
What do you feed your dragon? Please be specific.
How often do you feed and what time do you feed (morning, afternoon, night)?
Do you gutload (feed) your crickets, worms, etc?
Do you use vitamin or calcium supplements? What brand(s)? How many days a week do you use each of them?
Is your dragon having regular bowel movements (poops)?
Do you bath your dragon? How often?
Do you mist your dragon or offer water other than in the bath?
Does your dragon share an enclosure with another dragon?
Have you gotten a vet check and fecal done?

brumation article:: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=88391

what have you fed him leading up this ?? impaction is possible.

your basking temperature needs to be at 110. that will help with digestion and overall health.

sorry for the curt response, lots of questions to catch up with, and need some answers to those general forum questions..

STAY IN TOUCH, hopefully I can help you out!
do research on a reputed nearby vet in the meantime GL!!


Hatchling Member
Original Poster
*sigh* I've filled this out before and most people on this site know that I have a good set-up with the right lights, probe temp. And I already read the brumation article. You asked what he was eating? I put that in my post already. Do research on a vet? Already have one as I stated above. I could go on.

I answered all of the standard questions in my first post already. Sorry that it's not in a Q&A fomat. I prefer to type like I'm talking, more personal that way. All you have to do is read it. Sorry for the curt response( :roll: ), but I'm not retyping all of the info that I already gave in the starting post.

Anyway, today is day 4 and my wife gave him another bath and he seemed to like it. He's still very alert and bright colored and he's at least basking today. We changed how his basking spot is arranged so he can get his whole body on the hotter bricks and he's laying flat on it now so hopefully today is the day. :D I can't wait to stop worrying about it!! We made a vet appointment just in case although it's not until next Wednesday. We are always welcome to bring him in an emergency with these people though in case all goes awry. I'll keep you all updated.


Hatchling Member
kski":fd314 said:
*sigh* I've filled this out before and most people on this site know that I have a good set-up with the right lights, probe temp. And I already read the brumation article. You asked what he was eating? I put that in my post already. Do research on a vet? Already have one as I stated above. I could go on.
I answered all of the standard questions in my first post already. Sorry that it's not in a Q&A fomat. I prefer to type like I'm talking, more personal that way. All you have to do is read it. Sorry for the curt response( :roll: ), but I'm not retyping all of the info that I already gave in the starting post.

For the record, you did not answer all those questions in your starting post. And, it is in the forum guidelines to copy and paste those questions and answer them. Its more convenient, if we can all get on the same page and not waste time asking redundant questions, or searching through text/replies when trying to help eachother.

Besides, with all the expert people on here, like Real deal experts, they are likely to need all that information to be able to get an accurate/better understanding of what may be contributing to the possible problem.

For example, one of my friends dragon was lethargic and ended up having parasites. But, because of complete information eventually someone suggested that his newspaper substrate was sometime irritating the dragon because of the dye that is used in some prints. that underlying problem would not have been caught without a deep conversation.

also, I feel as though you are irritated by my earlier post. If that is the case, I do not feel that is fair, as I am just trying to help you and your dragon, that is what this community is all about. Especially, when you had gotten no responses yet. I do believe I had a very good attitude, and was supportive in my post, and even apologized for having a "curt" reply, because I had to answer other questions from other poster, and needed more info before I could try to be any use at all.

Red bell peppers are a decent occasional, change of pace veggie. But, the high oxalates and high vit a could be a problem with daily use. And, it has a 1:2 calcium to phosphorus ration, which could contribute to an overall hinderance of calcium absorption I belive.
check this site for more info on nutrition for veggies... pretty cool site. http://www.beautifuldragons.503xtreme.com/Nutrition.html

I dont know if you dust your crickets 5x a week, 1 day with calcium and etc. but your dragon is about year old now, so it may be time to lower the ratio... but I am not sure on that???

lack of pooping is part of brumation, but over three days after having veggies is not usual from my limited understanding.
in regards to possible impaction, is there a lump at the base of your BD's spine?
- there are remedies involving olive oil that may help act as a laxative.
- and while bathing your BD, you can run your finger under the belly to try and encourage pooping, and possibly clear any impaction.


Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Here's the guideline you speak of taken from the sticky...

"For those who are about to cut and paste this list for someone to answer, please stop and read this for a moment. Please do not take this whole list and past it as a response to someone seeking help. While I understand there are questions needed, it's starting to become apparent that the increased posting of this list of questions is becoming a bit of a turn-off to people coming here to seek advice and assistance. It's not that they have to answer a few questions, but that it is being presented that they must fill out this questionnaire before anyone will talk to them, making their first encounter with the community a rather impersonal one. If you do take from this list of questions to paste, please select the specific questions that are relevant, and include a bit more of a personal note in your response."

I didn't start this post to have to argue with someone about the way I'm asking for help. I posted for help. I've been on this site for a good while now and I know how stuff on here works.

We use the beautiful dragons site as our feeding guidance. Yes we dust our crickets with Calcium and a little bit of Multivitamin and his salad with Multivitamin every feeding and we still feed everyday as he hasn't shown any slowing in growth or appetite yet. Of course, up until now. No, there is no lump showing at his tail. When we take him out of his hides he doesn't seem mad or bothered and he doesn't get dark or anything just stays bright and alert looking. My wife did the belly rub during his bath earlier today and he just gave her a look like "WTF are you doing?" and climbed up on her hand.

I would like to know the olive oil remedy or where to find it. I'll look it up after I post this in case I can find it myself then I'll delete this part.

Keep in mind. He's showing no normal signs of discomfort or pain or tiredness at all. His colors are all bright, eyes are clear, beard is retracted (?) and brightly colored, no black. When you take his hide off of him he pushes himself up on his front legs and holds his head up high. When he's in his hide and you look at him his head is slightly off the tiles and his eyes are wide open. But, I've taken him out of his hides a few times today and now I've taken the hides out to keep him on basking bricks because he's been pretty cold every time I've taken him out. Every time we put him on his bricks he lays out flat so I think he knows he's gotta go soon. He's not getting into the stance he normally goes into to go to the bathroom at all so he's not actually physically trying to go and not going. He just seems like he doesn't have to.

Plus, his body doesn't look abnormal in anyway. No strange lumps on top or bottom. When you hold him up in the air and look at him from underneath he forms a nice smooth body line from neck to tail and his vent is clean. It's all very strange. lol. Well, keep wishing us luck!



Hatchling Member
Yes, i am familar with that post in the forum which is why I added a personal touch to the end and gave some advice, and apologized for the curt response. I wanted to get in a reply since no one had answered yours at that point. in the end, you and I both just care being good handlers, so I think we are on the same page.
citation for credit:: http://en.allexperts.com/q/Reptiles-704/2008/1/x-13.htm
What you will need to do immediately is get some applesauce, squash babyfood & chicken babyfood, & some needless syringes, & some pedialyte.
You need to begin to try & get the impaction to pass. So, you will need to try & get some food into him via syringe. You will most likely need some help if you can't get the food in him while holding him. Start with 1-2 cc's daily, & add 1 drop of olive oil to the mixture along with a bit of calcium.
Do NOT attempt to feed him any solid foods right. Hopefully we can get that impaction passed.
Please keep me posted on him!

in general my quick research says 'add a drop or two of olive oil to syringe with water' -- i like the one above because it adds a nutritious element, with nonsolid foods that may be a more effective process.
citation for credit: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20071221075038AAxhosN
Also following on from what Rick said below about Mineral Oil as a laxative, you can also use Apple Sauce (Preferable Unsweetened) or Olive Oil as a laxative. Also try bathing him in luke warm water and massaging the right side of his stomach downwards toward the vent.
the unsweetened applesauce was a good distinction by this second post, and maybe something to consider.

My BD scratches at night time, and buries herself underneath the paper towel.... its cute. But shes been doing that since she was 5 weeks. So----- it COULD be a sign of brumation. Or NOT.

From that article we both read, i get the sense that brumation is very annoying for handlers to diagnose. But, the author also said that brumation is unlikely for BDs one year old... unless they were born very early in the calender year.

Could be impaction, could be brumation, could be nothing..... Frustrating. but hopefully we can isolate symptoms and you can gain peace of mind.

I am definitely learning something here.
hope this helps.


Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Okay, we have a butternut squash that we were gonna start mixing in with his salad. We're steaming some of it right now. Then we're gonna mash it up, mix with water and the one drop of olive oil and do the injection into the mouth. We still have a couple of syringes from the trouble we had with our first beardie. 1 cc seems like a lot to take down all at once. He's gonna be a little bit peeved after this I think. :( Especially since there's a chance that there's nothing wrong with him at all. He certainly doesn't act like there's anything wrong besides the no appetite. But since I took out his hides he hasn't gotten off of his basking bricks and he's hugging his belly and vent right up on it again so something has to be cooking up in that body. rofl. Here's hoping. BTW, how long can a beardie survive with and impaction issue? Like at what point should we REALLY start to worry?


Hatchling Member
impaction is a difficult thing.. many handlers dont even notice impaction, because BD's hide diseases so well, and many things can contribute to possible personality changes.

I know some signs of "problems" are tremors in leg, lump at base of spine/stomach, and partial/full leg paralysis.

some impactions are passed on their own. some can cause infections.

personally, i would try the treatment that you are making -- which sounds pretty good actually.... throw some spice on there and sounds like a good human meal. maybe break the cc's into two servings if you think your BD cant handle it.

I always thought that stink eye looks are a good sign for general health.

Obviously, try to sterilize the syringe before you use it.
we will probably have a better idea in a few servings of that olive oil and etc.

lol - imagine if you are the dragon and you were totally fine.... better to care too much than regret it later.


Hatchling Member
Original Poster
I know, it would be like trying to stay home from school pretending to be sick only to be brought to the clinic and have huge tubes filled with stuff blasted down your throat. lol.

Well he crawled down off his basking spot and now he's just sitting there on the floor looking all over but mostly at us as if he's demanding his cave back.

The squash is almost ready.


Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Okay we made the squash/water/olive oil injection successfully. He hated it but we got it in there. 1 cc with the very tip of the syringe full of olive oil and the rest water and squash, mostly water. It didn't mix as well as I thought it would but it got the job done :lol: . Now we wait. I put him back on his bricks but now he's off of them just standing on the floor looking around. Well, we're keeping our fingers crossed here!


Hatchling Member
I have been having the same exact problem.
I need an answer too I guess I could start my own post I just hate doing that when there is a similar conversation already going on.

but I guess ill post here to see what happens...

My dragon is older and im afraid he is either sick or brumating..
He stays wrapped up in his towel all day, I have to take him out or he will just stay in there, and even when I do pull him out of his towel he doesnt bask anymore... he either goes into his hide and sleeps or sits up on his log in the same place without moving for sometimes over 24 hours.
He hasnt eaten his vegetables in about 2 1/2 weeks, but if i put worms in his tank he will perk up when he sees them and eat them all.
He doesnt poop normally anymore either he went 3 days until I gave him a bath, every time i give him a bath he poops. But he hasnt been pooping on his own in his tank.
When I take him out and put him on the floor he runs around for a few minutes but then goes into the corner and sleeps.
Im really not too worried about him sleeping more because he is 11 years old, but considering his age I am worried he could be getting sick... I guess the hopeful thing is that he does still eat worms and poops when in the bath.
He went to the vet about 2 months ago and she said he looked great but needed to gain some weight which he has since then.

some info about his set up
his basking temp is 103-106
the cool side is 85 (a little high i know, ive been trying to get my bf to fix it)
Using a megaray mvb bulb he gets within 16 in
he has no heat pad
He is on non adhesive shelf liner
i take the temps with a digital probe thermometer
he gets worms dusted with repcal w/o d3 2x a week ~ 30-50 worms a week
he is offered a salad of squash, collard greens, bell pepper, carrots, raisins, apple (mainly squash and greens)everyday in the morning
he is 11 years old
I have had him since the beginning of july
16 inches long (i forget how much he weighs)
he gets a bath every few days

Any suggestions?
I dont want him to die and i really dont want him to brumate


Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Well, he's gonna brumate whatever you try to do about it. Read the article about it, it's in their DNA. You can't stop it.

Anyways, no poop tonight even after the first shot of the olive oil. We're giving him another one tomorrow right when his lights come on but we won't be able to check him at all until I get lunch, probably around 1 tomorrow afternoon.
He basked until his lights turned off. Standing up tall on his bricks and gaping into his heat light, just loving life. We even put his hides back in and he still basked for hours. Once his light turned off he just laid down where he was and fell asleep.

We shall see what tomorrow brings. Keep him in your thoughts please!


Hatchling Member
Puff Puff - I would create a new thread just because it will get more attention than an esatablished post, and information for your dragon will be different, particularly with the age difference. Can you contact the previous owner to see when it brumated in the past? Ill meet you on your new thread.
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