Beardie hides outside cage - new owner - Reptile Forums

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Old 21-10-2015, 11:09 PM
Egg
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Default Beardie hides outside cage - new owner

Hi there!

I got my gorgeous little beardie, Fraggle, a few months ago, and I'm absolutely enchanted. However, I have a quick question that I need help on.

When I get him out of his viv, sometimes he trots off and finds a dark, chilly corner where he'll snuggle up, sometimes fall asleep, and stay. Sometimes I scoop him out at the end of the day, other times I leave him there overnight or until he decides to come out, particularly if I can't quite get within scooping distance! He's currently bedded down in one of my shoes, and is off in a deep sleep! I wondered if this might be brumation? He's also been off his food the last couple of days, and had a (huge!) poo today. And if it is brumation, is it an issue if he isn't in his viv? If ever I do scoop him up, he wakes up again (making me feel mean for disturbing him!) and then he'll go onto his branch, rather than snuggle back in the cooler corner of his viv.

What's the best route? I'm leaving him in my shoe tonight!

Thanks! Alex.
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Old 22-10-2015, 01:19 AM
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He should really be going back into his viv at night for his own safety How old is he?

What is your husbandry like? Your temperatures, how long the lights are on for, what strength UV, what you're feeding him and how much, the size of the viv, etc?
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Old 22-10-2015, 12:21 PM
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He shouldnt be left for such long periods out of his viv. He will get cold and not be getting enough uv. He is staying put for so long because he is getting too cold to move. As above some more info on your set up is needed.
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Old 22-10-2015, 02:37 PM
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He hides to feel safe, but it's cold outside his viv so he ends up unable to move, because he's cold blooded.

He should absolutely always be inside his vivarium at night, and he should be in there for long enough before the lights go out to be warmed up before it starts cooling for the night.

Not allowing your beardie to run off feels a bit like force handling, which isn't great. But letting him run off is worse. Just ensure when he comes out it's because he wants to. You should be opening the viv and letting him climb onto you hand, not grabbing him out.
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Old 22-10-2015, 11:13 PM
Egg
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Thanks for the advice. He's in a 4 foot viv, he's 1 year old. The UV lamp is the one recommended by the reptile specialist I bought everything from (struggling to find the box, which I have filed somewhere 'useful!', will report back.) Temp in the viv at the hot end is around 90 degrees F, he has a branch in the middle of the viv, half of which branches out towards the hot end, half towards the cooler end. He has a basking rock in the hot area, and a little hammock in the cool area. Lights are on for about 13 hours at the moment (about 14-15 in the height of summer) and might take it down an hour or so over the winter.

He is off his food a bit at the moment, and is acting slightly unusual. He seems a little bit lethargic, and like I say keeps finding cold dark spots to hide in when he's wandering around, which he has always done, but is doing a bit more at the moment.

I let him out when I'm home in whatever room I'm in, and keep an eye on him. He gets regular baths, and is fed locusts dusted with vitamin powder every other day, and then a variety of greens (broccoli, lambs lettuce, asparagus (which he loves) and some mint if I have some) on the alternate days.

I just wondered if he might be doing some sort of brumation or something, but from reading up it seems that this can vary from a proper hibernation type thing, to being just a bit sluggish and grumpy.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 22-10-2015, 11:18 PM
Egg
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Also, if he does go and hide, he doesn't seem to get so cold as to not be able to move, as he just toddles out again when he's had enough cold dark spot, and particularly if he wants food!
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Old 23-10-2015, 12:05 PM
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Personal opinion is that for reptiles in the UK, especially this time of year, more than about an hour outside the viv a day can lead to dips in your pets body temperature that can very seriously affect it's health.

Reptiles need heat (not just warmth, but actual heat) in order to metabolise. They don't need basking heat, but they need to be much warmer than the british climate allows for in order to metabolise. This doesn't just mean to digest food, this means to make use of the vitamins removed from food, to properly oxygenate the blood and keep the muscles functioning properly. Failure to keep your pet warm enough can and will lead to a large number of health problems. If those problems don't kill your pet, multiple organ failure eventually will.

If you live outside the UK in a warmer climate, you can get away with having your beardie out a lot, but in the UK they need to spend as much time in the vivarium as possible.
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Old 23-10-2015, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faceoflace View Post

He is off his food a bit at the moment, and is acting slightly unusual. He seems a little bit lethargic, and like I say keeps finding cold dark spots to hide in when he's wandering around, which he has always done, but is doing a bit more at the moment.
I mean no disrespect, but I'm not sure you understand the cold-blooded metabolism at all.

A reptiles metabolism is entirely dependent on externally provided heat. When they are cold, this greatly slows the metabolic rate and allows health complications to arise. This happens slowly. A warm reptile will show signs of many health problems faster than a cold one. MBD being an obvious example. A cold reptile has a slowed metabolic rate, meaning calcium will be leached from the bones at a slower rate, effectively slowing the onset of MBD. This doesn't mean the process isn't happening, it will just happen more gradually than in a reptile as sufficient temperature. The changes that occur will happen slowly. They hit a point where symptoms become noticeable and you think "what's happened? My care hasn't changed, so what's caused the problem?" - which would be correct if your creature was a mammal. But not for a reptile.

If you have only had your beardie a matter of months, you don't know what his usual or unusual behaviour is yet. It sounds like he's out of his viv too much and unable to regulate his metabolism properly. This leads to lethargy.

Having a viv with the right temperatures is irrelevant. If your flat doesn't have a heat gradient identical to the vivarium, it's unsuitable for your beardie to be exploring for extended periods of time, especially whilst the beardie is young.
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Old 23-10-2015, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faceoflace View Post
Temp in the viv at the hot end is around 90 degrees F, he has a branch in the middle of the viv, half of which branches out towards the hot end, half towards the cooler end. He has a basking rock in the hot area, and a little hammock in the cool area. Lights are on for about 13 hours at the moment (about 14-15 in the height of summer) and might take it down an hour or so over the winter.
And what is the temperature on the basking rock? I could have my numbers slightly off as I don't keep beardies myself, but it was my understanding they like a basking spot of around 100-105f. Nice and toasty for a Sun worshipper!

But it does sound like he is getting too cold too often, which could explain why he's now off his food. Try limit his outside time to an hour tops, especially with winter on its way. I tend to gauge it when the animal no longer feels warm to my touch, it's time to let them go back in. Their ability to feel heat is so much more acute than ours are so when they're starting to feel cool to us... they are definitely getting a bit chilly!
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Sleep well Toby, you will always be my special boy 15/08/2010, 5:15pm
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Old 23-10-2015, 04:02 PM
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Lizards aren't really suited to being treated like a domestic pet, especially in the UK. What you are describing sounds to me like a dragon getting too cold and running out of steam.

If it's out of the viv it should only really be when you are handling it, leaving it to roam freely could be hazardous and prolonged exposure to sub optimal tempratures could cause it's own set of problems.

A behaviour I've noticed in my beardie is that he starts to go dark when he's had enough of being out.
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