your list of Questions answered for Dexter

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Hatchling Member
My friend claimed Dexter is about 3 years old, (most probably going from what she was told when she bought him) yet her other beardie Chester was the same size, when she put them both on the floor, (she wanted to show me the reaction of dominance but Dexter just went straight up to Chester and bit him on the side of his face) maybe a bit fatter and she claimed he was only 6 months old. (again from what she's been told)

A lot of you have seen smaller dragons and stated that they cannot be as old as their owners say they are.

In a tick I'll upload a photo of Dexter on my Fiancé's hand, so that you can see him to an accurate scale.

I'm rather worried about him to be honest, (with ref to my other post in feeding, where I'm worried about wrinkly skin) and because he is just 18" from tip of nose to tip of tail. (and not missing any tail)

Can some dragons be shorter than others and never achieve their full potential, or his he seriously underfed, or simply not the age estimated? (I am going to doubt that he is underfed at all, simply because I know all my friend's other pets are extremely well fed and some people actually accuse her of powerfeeding because her animals are all so big - just need to point out that I don't agree with that accusation. There's also the point that she goes with Fire & Ice advice where all critters should graze, so therefore, she says there was always live food in there with him)

I've provided two photos for general size, and two photos to see the wrinkles. (I'll cross-reference that post to this one, or maybe a mod will combine the two if need be)

First of all, a photo of Dexter on my Fiancé's hand:


A photo of him on my average sized 12 year old daughter:


A side photo, he's in bright sunlight, hence the colour of the photo and the shadows that his wrinkles are making:


Now a closeup of the above pose:


I don't think he should have wrinkly skin, but one of your many knowledgeable members will be able to advise. :)

Thanks for reading

(hope photos are not too big - resized them with photobucket website as the app doesn't offer the editing feature, but moving a sliding bar on a mobile touchscreen is VERY hit and miss for me lol)


Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Just took these photos of Dexter in his house.

One is a normal shot, but it shows a big wrinkle on his underside and down his back, like I described. Another is a closeup of his wrinkles, the other one just shows his gorgeous face.

(didn't know which one was which as I has to bulk link them as I couldn't select the stupid thumbnail link under each photo on my phone)

I have done them as thumbnails so that you can view the original size by clicking on them & zooming in on your screen. (2 of them are macro shots so the zoom in stays pixel clear, the distance shot is not too good zoomed in but it gives you an idea of scale of him)


EDIT 19/12/11 @ 12:36

For some reason Dexter just made a huffy noise and his beard stuck right out and he puffed himself up like a balloon.

I don't know if he caught his own reflection or whether, because ever since I have had him at home, before I have approached him, I have gently waved my arm like a submissive dragon, so he see's me as his subordinate....

And maybe he saw my Fiancé doing something to me and didn't like it?

I mean, along the lines of, I taught Floppy my rabbit, (RIP my baby boy) that I was his submissive girlfriend, by mimicking rabbit body language, saying "yes ok, you are the boss" and his dominant reaction every time was not coincidence.

(coincidence every day, every week, for months?)

Could me portraying dragon body language give him the feeling that I am his subordinate? I do not know...

(before you get any rude ideas, my Fiancé was administering my liquid meds :p lol ;) )

You are welcome to laugh at me...

Anyway, when he was puffed up he was HUUUUGE! Like NO wrinkles, and huge!

Here are a few photos so you can compare him to his normal state and decide if those wrinkles are because he's underweight, or simply because he needs the extra skin to do just that.

Obviously if no-one else's dragon is wrinkly, I will know he needs fattening up. :)

Photos! *oh do shut up Woman!*

Please excuse the dirty glass, he splashes like heck in his water when he goes in it!


Hatchling Member
Original Poster
AllanonsWrath":3k4u7tih said:
Wrinkles in the skin is generally a sign of dehydration. Get him in a warm bath for about 20 mins. Bathe him several times during the day if needed. You can also use some unflavored pedialyte to help with rehydration, just mix it in with his bath water.

As far as getting him back up to weight, you can try wax worms. Wax worms are high in fat content and can help get him back up to weight in short order.

This is a copy of the pm I sent to Allanonswrath. Just in case they don't come on again, or I miss their advice (if it's urgent)

When you say bathe him 2-3 times a day, is that so he licks the water and gets a drink, or so he can absorb the water through his body?

Reason why I'm asking is because Dexter just sits there staring at us, he doesn't drink the water, or if Simon trickles it down his face, he gets upset with it in his eyes, and definitely doesn't get any to drink.

(this COULD mean that he just didn't get a bath at his old residence, so he's not used to it?)

He certainly isn't an avid swimmer, and doesn't dive in and swim around, like the website that my Fiancé read said they do - it says to give deeper water to get them to swim, but I also read on, that it shouldn't be past their elbows?

(this happens to be the same website that states a dragon will NEVER see water in their real habitat.)

My Fiancé is reading a website where it states that Dexter should absolutely not have a water bowl EVER, and that he should get all his water from his food.

It also states his humidity in his house should be NO HIGHER than 35-43% :O

(our house doesn't drop below 50%!)

This is the link that Simon just found, that says that they should not have a water bowl, they should be misted outside their house, and then towel dried, and a bath no more than once a week, because they would never come near water in their real habitat (?) (they contradict themselves it seems, how would they know they can swim, if they didn't allow them to get near water?)

I am NOT questioning your advice, I promise, all I'm asking you is whether the bath will soak water into him, but I seem to have now had that question answered. IF it's true they absorb water through their skin?

Dexter plays in his water bowl, and runs through it at least twice a day. (something that he COULDN'T do with my friend, she gave him a small bowl for water (most probably to keep humidity down?))

He is also shedding at the moment, he shedded a lot of his left rear foot whilst I was gently drying him from his bath, (can't remember where I saw that you have to dry them before putting them back in their housing, could be this forum?) his right back leg, from foot to knee, is pale and the last third of his tail is too.

Another major thing I'm worried about - he pooped on the morning that I picked him up, because we had to bathe him to get it off his tail. He pooped on Friday morning, he pooped on Saturday morning, and he also pooped Sunday morning, but he hasn't pooped today. :( Would he stop pooping if he was dehydrated?

I worry because although he's on slate tiles, (to wear his claws down naturally, like he would on rocks) my Fiancé insisted on putting sand in between the tiles instead of grouting them for me, (something I didn't agree on at all!) The biggest gap is about 5mm (about 1/4") so he said it couldn't be grouted. Dexter has been in there 4.5 days now, and there is a thin patchy scattering of "sand" (my friend who I adopted Dexter from gave me a left over batch of walnut shell sand... Yes I know now that that's a no-no, but I didn't know until I came and actually started posting on here when I brought Dexter home- I can't change it until Sat earliest, then I have to wait for the Argos play sand to dry) on the tiles that he has managed to kick up from between them. :-\ He doesn't eat off the floor though, so I can't see him swallowing enough to cause impaction?

He does seem to have a decreased appetite, and he was rather sleepy on the afternoon yesterday, and he's gone to bed in a rather strange place tonight (between his basking rock and the front of the viv, (the upright that holds the glass in place) he's literally squashed himself down there. (let me know if you want a photo)

If you think this is serious, and that I need to be doing something OTHER than letting him sleep, if you can, PLEASE message me back asap, I go to bed between 11 & 1 and it's 10:04pm here now...

I'm so scared of losing my baby :(

His lights went out at 7pm, but like yesterday, he was settled down to sleep BEFORE they went out (saying that, my friend had him getting up at 5am with her, so he might have had a bed time of 5-6pm?)

I hope you don't mind me pestering you, I'm just so scared of losing him. :(

Look forward to hearing from you :)

If you feel it is urgent, you can email me at [email protected], or text me on <number removed>

Thank you in advance for your most valuable advice.

Again, I'm sorry for PM'ing you.

Best wishes



Hatchling Member
Original Poster
How old is your dragon? 3 years, so I've been told
How long have you had your dragon? Put him in his viv at about 2pm Thursday 15/12.
How long is your dragon? 18" & a bit
What is the sex of your dragon? Male
What size enclosure do you have your dragon in? 3ft x 2ft x 2ft
What type substrate do you have on the bottom of your tank? Slate tiles with walnut sand between (changing sand on sat to something more suitable)
Do you use UVB lights? Yes
If so, Is it a coil, compact, fluorescent tube, or Mercury Vapor bulb? Tube
What is the brand name and number of your bulb? Arcadia T8, 12% D3+
Wattage (if MVB)? 24w
How old is your UVB bulb? She said couple of months
How close can your dragon get to the UVB? 12" at moment (finding out from Arcadia rep if he has to get closer)
Do you use a separate basking bulb? Yes
What kind and what is the wattage? Halogen 50w
Is it a white or colored bulb? Clear
What are the basking temps? 36.5°C
What is the cool side temp? 27°C (cannot get cooler as sitting on a viv kicking out more than 30°C)
Do you take the temps with a stick on thermometer, a digital thermometer with a wire and a probe end or a temp gun? Digital thermometer AND occasional checking with a standalone thermometer with humidity gage.
Where exactly are you taking your basking temps? Right in middle of the bulb light.
Do you use a heat rock or heat pad? No!
What do you feed your dragon? Veg - today greens, cucumber, butternut squash, tiny bit of pear, parsnip. (doesn't seem to have touched his food today) Yesterday kale, bok Choi, carrot, tiny bit of mango, parsnip, butternut squash, he had an adult locust on Thursday, but he pooped every day until today, so I don't THINK it caused a problem) his morios have been gut loaded porridge, dog biscuits, (11% protein) carrot (one day only), apple, (didn't touch) parsnip, cucumber.
How often do you feed and what time do you feed (morning, afternoon, night)? He gets his veg between 9am & 10am, his morios at the same time (6 yesterday and 5 today)
Do you gutload (feed) your crickets, worms, etc? Yes (details above)
Do you use vitamin or calcium supplements? vits 2 days & calcium 5 days
What brand(s)? Not sure?
How many days a week do you use each of them? Detailed above
Is your dragon having regular bowel movements (poops)? Every day bar today.
Do you bath your dragon? Yes (don't know if his old owner did though?)
How often? every day, as he is shedding.
Do you mist your dragon or offer water other than in the bath? He has a huge water bowl that he plays in a couple of times a day (splashing everywhere lol)
Have you gotten a vet check and fecal done?  No. only noticed something might be wrong other than wrinkly skin, tonight.
Does your dragon share an enclosure with another dragon? No.

AHBD Sicko
Can you post a picture ? That will tell alot about over all health. A little wrinkly skin is not a big problem, and his b.m.'s are very regular. Large adults don't always go every day, so missing a day is no big deal. Try not to get all worried, if he's good weight at 3 yrs. old, he is probably very healthy....pic please ?


Hatchling Member
Original Poster
PS. Buying Arcadia T5 set up on 11th January, when I've saved up :)

(limited money due to me being severely disabled)


Sub-Adult Member
Sounds like you are doing everything right. Based on the pics in your other threads, I would say Dexter might be a little dehydrated. You can give him a soak in some warm water to help rehydrate him. Also, if he is actually eating his whole salad, you can try giving him more. Most people (myself included) just leave salad in the viv throughout the day so they can munch whenever they want. :D I know in another thread, you mentioned being worried about his weight, but from what I can see, he has excellent body mass, and doesn't appear to be under fed at all.

AHBD Sicko
Dexter looks good and healthy, not underweight or dehydrated looking at all. He's quite plump actually. If even the fattest dragon bends his body a certain way, there will be wrinkles. Even fat people have wrinkles + sags you know !


Hatchling Member
Original Poster
It's 00:50. I'm falling asleep, I can't wait up any more to get answers :(

See you all tomorrow. I really hope my baby boy is ok. :?


Juvie Member
everything I have read says they absorb the water through their vent... so a good soak for about 10-15 mins a few times a week should do him well...also, he will get some moisture through his vegetables and salads that you give him. double check his lights, temps, and humidity... make sure there good. If he's shedding... that could slow him down some... I know mine do... they eat less...sleep alot more, poop more like every two days. If your concerned about him not going a warm bath will help that usually...I have one who will go in the bath everytime I put him there.. the other two will wait till shortly after I put them back into their vivs. Hope this helps some... I'm sure someone will come around and give you more specifics


Sub-Adult Member
Shedding can also dehydrate them a bit and make them wrinkly. It takes a lot of moisture to secrete the lubrication they need to separate the old skin from the new. It is true that they probably wouldn't have standing water in their natural habitat, but what they would have is layers of sandy soil to burrow into. They would then absorb moisture from the soil through their skin and vent as well as obtaining it from the food they eat.

When you bathe them, the water should not come past their shoulders. You want to avoid getting it in their ears or nostrils because it can cause ear infections or they can inhale it, which can cause respiratory infections and pneumonia. Absolutely do not force them to swim, they can drown very easily.

Many people do not have water bowls for them because it raises humidity, which you want to stay below 30% and also because beardies have been known to drown themselves. There is no real need for a water bowl, as they absorb nearly all the water they need from their food. Add baths a few times a week, and they will receive more than sufficient moisture.


Sub-Adult Member
Replied to the PM. Also some good advice here. If you do have a humidity problem you can get a dehumidifier for a decently cheap price from a Home Improvement store.


Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Hi Guys,

Thank you for responding so quickly, I will combine the advice in pm from AllanonsWrath, and the advice I have been given here.

First and foremost I have removed Dexter's water bowl, and put a hamster sized bowl in it's place, (for now, whilst he is dehydrated) if I see him try to drink from it, I will get him in the bath as soon as possible.

(I would have to wait for my Fiancé to be able to carry him into the bathroom for me, as I'm on crutches around the house. I don't know him well enough to know he won't leap or fall off me whilst walking to the bathroom - with my hands on crutches, I wouldn't be able to catch him, if I tried, I would fall over and seriously damage both of us, most probably killing him)

I plan to send my Fiancé to the chemist this morning, when he collects my meds, to pick up suitable re-hydrating powders. I phoned the chemist, and they have non-flavoured dioralyte in stock (UK version of pedialyte, which is about £3+ the pharmacist says)

He's just had a bath, he drank more water than I've EVER seen him drink, (in the other three baths he just sat there and stared at me) once he got used to the bath and seemed to enjoy himself. This was his fourth bath, and even though the water was only up to his shoulders, he kept trying to swim. He also kept rubbing his back with his arm, don't know if he was rubbing the water IN, or trying to get it off lol.

He kept trying to swim around, and he also kept running up and down the bath, thankfully this stimulated his gut and he pooped, you could tell he was straining to get it out though.

A photo of his poop [click to enlarge]:

Now I'm confused, if he was dehydrated, surely his urate wouldn't be white? With experience in other reptiles, my fiancé and I have always believed that urate is usually yellow to orange in dehydrated reptiles? (the more dehydrated, the more orange?)

However, my fiancé dissected his poop because it didn't look like his "normal" poop, (his poop on Fri, Sat & Sun) and what he found made me feel awful. Inside the first piece of poop that came out, was an entire, but mushed up, adult locust, (I didn't know on the first day that we got him home, that he was supposed to eat the smaller, softer, easier to digest, sub-adults, not the crispy hard-shelled big adults) you could tell what it was, because of the fact it was not digested. There was also un-digested green bits, and un-digested butternut squash.

Therefore, I reckon that feeding four adult locusts on day one, slightly impacted him, and it took the warm water of a couple of baths, (he didn't poop yesterday) for him to successfully move it through to poop it out. I think we have been VERY lucky that he managed to finally move it himself.

I think that this slight blockage, caused him to not want to eat or drink to his full potential, (hardly touching his greens, and only eating 6 morios in total each day) every day after Thursday. Thus causing dehydration. (to give the wrinkled appearance)

I still think, compared to all the photos of everyone else's Beardies, that Dexter is really underweight. I will try and get him weighed over the next few days.

Because his urate is white, (thus meaning hydrated?) would it be dangerous to use dioralyte, (UK version of pedialyte) JUST IN CASE he's still dehydrated too, or can this only be used when they are definitely dehydrated?

Should I take his little hamster sized water bowl OUT now I know he's not dehydrated, or am I wrong in thinking that just because his urate was white, that he is adequately hydrated?

I cannot use a dehumidifier in our bedroom.....

1, because ALL the other reptiles in our bedroom require humidity (some higher than others) Rex, the Yemen Chameleon lives in a mesh cage, we could not provide his humidity with dry air in our bedroom.

2, my Fiancé has chronic asthma, and although he suffers in humidity, he suffers GREATER when it's too dry. (from radiator heat - which is required to keep the house warm enough for all downstairs critters, as with the radiators off, downstairs gets as low as 12°C, (53.6°F) even lower when it is freezing outside) It would also become WAY TOO HUMID if there was no heat to warm and dry the house. (condensation for example)

Although Dexter's urate was white, he still has wrinkly skin, everywhere I have read has said that Beardies should NOT have wrinkly skin, about 60% say it's dehydration, whereas 40% say it's starvation, where he's not had anywhere near enough to eat in his diet, live food OR veg.

I also have another question...

As Dexter really struggled to detriment effect (affect?) because he was fed ADULT locusts, (I'm never going to forgive myself for that mistake, I could have lost him!) would you consider morios being a high risk, or would you just continue with them, as he seems fine with them?

I'm sorry for yet another long post, but I am really worried about doing my best for him.

You can now move this post from ER to standard health or feeding, whichever you think is best.

Now I've seen him drink plenty, eat, play in the bath, and bask, I am confident that it's not an emergency. However, I am well aware that it could have been one, I am just very lucky!

Thanks everyone! Am very impressed by the level of help one receives in this forum. :)

Beo x


Juvie Member
I'm no expert so just give my post a little glance over... but in the pic of his poop... there does not appear to be alot of urate.... was it there, just floated away in the water or was that all there was? The reason I'm asking is that with all 3 of my guys there urates are alot larger. Was just thinking that if he was still a bit dehydrated that there might be more urate??? again... I'm not an expert by any means... could be that with all the baths and water he is drinking that he is getting better. Best of luck, and I'm glad he seems to be doing much better for you.

AHBD Sicko
As a new beardie owner, it's pretty normal to have so many worries, and be concerned with trying to do everything correctly. Just wanted to mention that I replied on your other thread, the one with pictures, your dragon doesn't look underweight or dehydrated. The reason he drank finally is because he wasn't thirsty up to that point. He drank once he became thirsty. He is also a very normal sized dragon, not underweight. The claim that any wrinkly skin means dehydration is not true. All skin looks wrinkled at certain angles. Also, because they have a huge abdominal capacity so their stomachs stretch with a huge meal, then shrink a bit when the meal gets digested and passed, this gives the appearance of slight wrinkles along the sides. And you are right about the locusts, thay may be too large to feed so many at once, but he is an adult so more veggies and greens are in order. But no, I don't think he need any rehydrating powders, a weekly bath and [ 1-2 times a week is fine for adult] along with lots of wet veggies will do him good. He may be all caught up now if he was any way slightly dehydrated. I don't think he's underweight or dehydrated....relax and enjoy him !
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So to any reading this, how on earth do I post a thread 😅 New here, possibly too old for this

Just Hazel in a filter I need so not posting on forums.
On a quest for pristine beats, I struck gold during a casual coffee shop jam session. The music maestro there ushered me to VOLUMO — New generation electronic music store for pro DJs. Revel in its vast array of tracks and rejuvenate your playlists!
I have questions about bubbles on our bearded dragons eye.

So he’s gotten bubbles on his eye. We wiped them off and it’s only been twice in the last few weeks. Should we be concerned? No coughing or congestion. He’s very hungry and sleeps well. He’s 8-9 month range. His humidity is 30-40 day time and as high as 50-55 at night to early morning.
Should we be concerned?

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