Vet diagnosed Laziness...

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Hey - so the background:

We have a rescue dragon called Derek. Advised that he was about 5 when we took him in 18 months ago.

Full of the joys of his new home, he settled in well, but went into brumation and slept solid (except for the odd bath) for 12 weeks, about 6 months after we first got him (which as we all know is quite a long time!) I started to get concerned, so I took him to a local reptile specialist vet to see if there was something wrong with him. They x-ray'd, took blood samples, tested his faeces - all the usual stuff, then paid a home visit to check the viv set up... She was happy with ALL the results and the set up - and after charging me hundreds of pounds, diagnosed laziness, probably brought on by finally having a decent home and being looked after properly for the first time in his life.

Another 6 months on and he was still sleeping most of the time - I bathed him once a week, managed to tempt him with crickets maybe once or twice a week, but he just wouldn't poo... We'd wake him up for cuddles each day and a run around the house, but after maybe 15 mins he'd find a hole and go back to sleep - kind of like a really rubbish Duracell bunny... Worse thing though is he would only poo if I feed him a little olive oil with a syringe and gave him a couple of baths - on the vets advice.

Decided to contact a different reptile vet for another opinion as he was just no different - more money and loads more tests later, other than being a little dehydrated (I now have to syringe 5ml into his mouth every day) he was yet again given a full bill of health...

So... as of now, he still sleeps - a LOT... Not that interested in food, some days he wolfs loads but mostly flatly refuses anything that doesn't move - so currently supplementing with "Emeraid". He's not interested in climbing - or sitting in the basking area, so we try and move him there at least once every day. He still doesn't poo without the use of olive oil... He wakes up a little when we take him out of his viv and he seems to enjoy being handled and bath time, but as soon as you put him down he just finds somewhere to go back to sleep...?! Same when he goes back in the vivarium...

He's currently making my teenager look like she's full of energy?!

Having had two seperate specialists tell me he is just lazy - the vivarium set up correctly and ALL the tests coming back normal, i'm at a loss, so thought I would reach out on here to see if anyone has ANY ideas or come across a super lazy dragon before...? (Fingers crossed)

Gail Addict
You mentioned he goes to a hole to sleep. I would rearrange the whole viv and remove every possible place for him to use as a dark hidey hole.
I have seen lazy dragon who will hide and sleep instead of waking up to bask.

Also, if he was receiving inadequate care before, normal temps might be too much for him. Try dropping the basking temps 3 or 4 degree and see 8f he likes that better.

KarrieRee Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
Please go over the UVB and where in the tank it is----- NO coils please and if using a long tube fixture brand and bulb and is there a reflector on the fixture


Extreme Poster
May I ask what type of substrate you are using?

You said your dragon would only poo if given olive oil, this is a little concerning if you are using anything loose. Impaction will make them lethargic.

Not saying this is what's going on but, just worth mentioning.


New member
Original Poster
“Exo Terra daylight basking spot 100w” sat with his basking rock at 39 - cool end at 29.6 (heat auto cut off if it gets over 32)

UV is Reptisun 10.0 UVB at 12” from his viv floor and the full length of the vivarium.

Lamps on a timer to turn off at 10pm and back on at 7am.

When I say “hole” I was referring to when he is out of the viv, and that covers behind cushions, under the dog, to under the sofa… There are no caves in his vivarium… I recently put a cat bed (I know ?) in the cool end of his viv which he loves to curl up in usually on my desk for an hour during the day, so thought he may as well sleep on something comfy ??‍♂️

Substrate wise, he was on reptile carpet up until about 2 months ago when I put calci sand in the viv - Again, if he’s going to just sleep in the damn thing, thought I may as well make the enormous viv look at least pretty - he’s not been pooing since I got him, so that rules out the calci sand ?

Thanks for your ideas so far!

Have to say, I didn’t think of the heat being the issue - he was without both heat and UV lamp when I rescued him, but the vets has suggested no skeletal damage according to the x-rays and blood tests so can’t have been for that long ? but I suppose his environment is a lot warmer than he was used to ??‍♂️

KarrieRee Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
I do not recommend the calci sand if your dragon is not getting enough calcium he will eat the sand and its not digestible - I recommend some textured NON adhesive shelf liner or slated ceramic tile both are more sanitary than the sand - the sand can / will harbor bacteria therefor making it more hazaradous for infections etc--------the shelf liner / tile can be cleaned w/ vinegar / water 50/50 - I also would recommend a hide in the tank - the cat bed is great but I would provide a hide for him -- as far as not pooping how long is he going before he poops ? What does the poop look like? Dehydration will cause not pooping --- what is his diet? Sleeping all the time there is a issue- he needs to be basking atleast 4 hrs a day therefor that would be the pooping issue - the basking temps are what start digestion and if hes not basking the digestion process is not starting --- UVB is 12" from the floor how tall is the basking piece from the UVB if its closer than 12" its too close the rays are too strong for a T 5 bulb -- that would cause the hiding under something as well - hes trying to get away from all the rays

AHBD Sicko
Hi there, sorry your dragon is a lazy boy and really sorry for all the money spent ! Is he overweight ? To help him poo, give him canned pumpkin or baby food squash/sweet potato and a bit of apple juice mixed with water via syringe. Can you post pics of the entire enclosure, showing all areas including light fixtures ? Also a pic of the dragon. Here's how : Then use the XIMG to upload them
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