• December Photo Competition!
    We are excited to announce the return of our regular photo competitions, starting things off with the holiday season! Gather the best photos of your bearded dragons... the theme for this month is "Fun and Festive!" For details check out the December Photo Compeitition thread.

When should I worry about diarrhea?

Muffin797

Member
Original Poster
Hi everyone!

When should I start to worry about diarrhea?

My beardie is two years old. Recently, he's been having diarrhea on and off - usually the poop will be rather runny with varying levels of formation and often the urate will be rather hard - the smell is rather normal. Aside from the diarrhea, he seems perfectly healthy. He isn't losing weight, is eating normal, and acting like his usual happy self. I did a very thorough cleaning of his tank this weekend - hopefully that will help.

Should I be worried? If so, what would you recommend I do?
 
Solution
I wouldn't worry too much until it has been happening for several weeks. At that point it could still be diet related so I'd make small tweaks to the diet and observe for any changes to see if it's one or two items that are causing digestion issues. It certainly doesn't hurt to have a vet check a fecal sample, but the issue isn't necessarily parasites. To answer your question about the sample itself. Try to collect it as close to the appointment as you can. Same day is good, pooping at the vet is best (when they cooperate to that extent). Otherwise try to get a sample within 24hrs of the visit. Keep it in a plastic ziploc in the refrigerator. You can keep that within a paper bag or similar if you don't want to look at it. Try to keep it...

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
I should also mention that he doesn't poop very often like is usual with diarrhea. Instead he poops every 5 days or so. This is normal for him.
And that is normal for adult dragon --- mine dont poop for weeks on end --- lets start w/ diet? What are you feeding him? Any type of fruit or veggie that has high amounts of water will cause diarrhea-- parasites will cause diarrhea -- you can take a fecal in and have it tested for parasites --- I would call the vet and ask them about dropping a fecal off for testing - then that can be ruled out -- what are you using for a UVB brand and bulb and where is it in the tank ? top of screen or inside the tank? basking temps what are they and how are you taking them? No stick ons please --- those two things the UVB and basking temps are important for digestion ---
 

Muffin797

Member
Original Poster
Thanks for your help!

I feed superworms + mealworms for insects. Arugula as the staple green. Occasionally I'll swap that for radiccio, kale, etc. Usually I'll get carrots or bell peppers as well. I will rarely give him fruit, but when I do it is usually blueberries. I will occasionally dust the veggies with some bee pollen, otherwise he will rarely touch his greens unless he misses while going for something else :LOL:. He loves Repashy beardy buffet so I will use that as his primary diet when I am struggling to find fresh veggies.

Basking ranges from 100-105 and I use a temp gun

I have a reptisun 10.0 UVB 13 watt on top of the screen in the basking area.

How do you actually take a fecal in? Like, how should it be collected and stored?

I was just reading that sometimes tap water can cause diarrhea in places with lots of metal in the water. That could be really relevant where I live so I just ordered some reptisafe. Hoping that will help as well
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Thanks for your help!

I feed superworms + mealworms for insects. Arugula as the staple green. Occasionally I'll swap that for radiccio, kale, etc. Usually I'll get carrots or bell peppers as well. I will rarely give him fruit, but when I do it is usually blueberries. I will occasionally dust the veggies with some bee pollen, otherwise he will rarely touch his greens unless he misses while going for something else :LOL:. He loves Repashy beardy buffet so I will use that as his primary diet when I am struggling to find fresh veggies.

Basking ranges from 100-105 and I use a temp gun

I have a reptisun 10.0 UVB 13 watt on top of the screen in the basking area.

How do you actually take a fecal in? Like, how should it be collected and stored?

I was just reading that sometimes tap water can cause diarrhea in places with lots of metal in the water. That could be really relevant where I live so I just ordered some reptisafe. Hoping that will help as well
If you can drink the water it's fine for the dragon-- the issue tho is your uvb please get rid of the coil -- they are a huge issue causing all kinds of health issues- please get one of the following- Zoo Med or a Arcadia pro T 5 or a sunblaster nano tech 24" fixture-- you will need a Arcadia 12% bulb or a 22" reptisun 10.0 T 5-- the sunblaster comes w/ bulb --please get this ASAP-- when you get it please post so we can help you place it in the tank- please invest in 2 digital probe thermometers-- ir guns are good but do not read off of certain materials- when he poops collect in a paper towel place in a zip lock bag they usually want it w/ in 24 hours- you may haft to refrigerate
 

Muffin797

Member
Original Poster
It's not a coil though. It's one of these things:

bulb.jpg


The breeder told me these were the best thing. Do you not agree or were we misunderstanding each other?

Thanks for the tips!
 

Muffin797

Member
Original Poster
How do I mount one of those tubes in his enclosure (glass 40 gallon)?

Also, are you able to link me to any research on why those bulbs are better? It's hard to believe the breeder was wrong as he is widely recognized as a reptile expert in my region, has been in the industry for over 50 years, and has been breeding for decades. I know it is a contentious subject as to which bulbs are best, so if you have any research or data I'd love to see it.
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
How do I mount one of those tubes in his enclosure (glass 40 gallon)?

Also, are you able to link me to any research on why those bulbs are better? It's hard to believe the breeder was wrong as he is widely recognized as a reptile expert in my region, has been in the industry for over 50 years, and has been breeding for decades. I know it is a contentious subject as to which bulbs are best, so if you have any research or data I'd love to see it.
I can post some later- I will also post a link to hang it w/
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
I wouldn't worry too much until it has been happening for several weeks. At that point it could still be diet related so I'd make small tweaks to the diet and observe for any changes to see if it's one or two items that are causing digestion issues. It certainly doesn't hurt to have a vet check a fecal sample, but the issue isn't necessarily parasites. To answer your question about the sample itself. Try to collect it as close to the appointment as you can. Same day is good, pooping at the vet is best (when they cooperate to that extent). Otherwise try to get a sample within 24hrs of the visit. Keep it in a plastic ziploc in the refrigerator. You can keep that within a paper bag or similar if you don't want to look at it. Try to keep it cool until it gets to the vet and then they can do some tests on it and look for signs of parasites.

As far as lighting goes, there has been quite a bit of testing and discussion on this over the years. A good source for information is the testing done by Frances Baines (uvguide.co.uk). She has posted several test results for different bulbs that are a helpful guide to find the best fit for your environment. A lot of it comes down to the size of the area you want to provide UVB for, and the distance between the bulb and the basking area. The output from the weaker bulbs tends to drop off quickly, making it so that providing adequate UVB levels requires mounting the bulb at an unsafely close distance. For a 40g, I'd say a 24'' T5 10.0/12% is a good match. They are strong enough to provide adequate UVB through a screen top and provide strong UVB at around 12-14'' (or a bit closer when shining through a mesh top, but the amount that is intercepted by the mesh varies). It's also a good idea to provide a wide beam of UVB (And heat) so that a dragon can bask evenly. The smaller bulbs tend to have their output drop off as you move to the side of the bulb. This is the case with the tubes too, but since they are longer they tend to have a wider beam. Considering that an adult dragon tends to be around 18-22'' or so in length, that's about the minimum diameter you want to provide for a basking spot.

I've done a little bit of my own testing over the years. I've found that the 13w compact bulbs that you linked to don't provide adequate UVB at a safe distance. The 26w versions are a bit stronger and have output similar to a T8. Those options tend to be best for small enclosures, or if you mount the bulb about 6-8'' above the basking spot. I've done a limited amount of information gathering in Australia to determine average UVI over the course of several days. From there, I estimate the optimal UVI range to be around 3-6 due to when dragons have been observed basking in the wild (mid morning and late afternoon). Here are some of my test results from different bulbs which may be helpful for giving some background info as to why we recommend the lighting that we do.

76248-3462926163.jpg

76248-8922886489.jpg

76248-9432289316.jpg

76248-5721614854.jpg

76248-5109533737.jpg
 
Solution

Muffin797

Member
Original Poster
Thanks for the info everybody! I just brought him back from the vets. Looks like he has coccidia and pinworms. I was given some sulfadimethoxine and some panacur. Hopefully this helps him!
 
Top Bottom