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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 20-01-2013, 08:38 PM
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i hope he is ok....someone more helpful should be along soon...if not you could book him into a vets just for a precautionary check up, but it may just be him settling in
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 20-01-2013, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by pedders View Post
Hi guys, first post here.

My beardie young, not sure how young, body is about 7cm long excluding head and tail. Could be a boy or a girl too, but either way, it's called Steve.

I got a new beardie last week (14th Jan) and bought the pets at home £200 4ft viv with shelves and a starter kit (heat lamp, UV lights etc) and set it up and popped him in. Everything went well for the first few days with Steve and the temps/timings. The temp gradient is roughly 31Cmin and 38Cmax in the hot end and a steady 24/25C in the cold end. With it dropping to about 15/16C at night.

Problem is, he now sits on the bark under the heat lamp all day and all night (lamp off at night) and doesnt move, not even for food. I havent seen him bathe/drink since i got him either. He usually either sleeps all day, or sits with one eye open and one shut. He doesnt react to people coming in the room, and i have touched him before without him realising I was in his viv despite me not being sneaky at all. He sleeps or at least is inactive all day.

Crickets literally walk on top of him and he doesnt even flinch or look at them all day. He barely moves all day and I'm worried about him and can't really take him out to a reptile shop or vet or anything because of the weather. Any advice at all?

Appreciate it, Pete

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It could be a number of things, I myself have encountered similar problems with my beardie.

For starters I would always use a digital thermometer as said above the analogue ones are cheap, but you pay for what you get and they're a very inaccurate way or gauging temperature.

Also the one eye shut thing could be one of possible options, my beardie had a tiny amount of substrate in the corner or his eye which was obviously irritating him. Have a look and see if there is something there, then it's just a case of a cotton bud and some Luke warm water then gently wipe the eyelid and around the eye.
It could also be that the basking spot light it too strong, mine was on too high of a wattage in regards to the size of the viv. I was recommended a 100W spot light for a 3ft Viv which is more of the strength used in 4ft vivs.

The ignoring food could be that he/she is just not hungry or you're trying the wrong food. Mine doesn't take crickets, never has. But locusts hell chomp away all day. Mealworms are also a good alternative to engage a feeding response or some fruits. My bearded dragon has a very sweet tooth and gets an extremely rare treat of raspberries which he never turns down.
It could also be impaction which can be serious, it's basically where he/she may of digested too much substrate and is therefore constipated, a shallow bowl of Luke warm water is needed then rub it from the underside of its neck down to the base of its tail, that sometimes will free up anything blocked.

Also the night time temperature should be a little higher, you'd ideally want around 20 degrees Celsius. Have you got any way or raising the night time temp? Whether its just the room it's in or possible placing it closer to another heat source.

Also I wouldn't worry about not seeing his bathe or drink, it's very rare to see a beardie drink, I know people who have never seen it. Mine took 3 years before I finally saw him take a drink, it's not down to hydration, it just depends how much fluids they're getting from their greens.

I really hope this has helped as I know first hand there's nothing worse than worrying about a pets health problems as you feel lost.

Any problems then be sure to put them on here, there's always someone with the knowledge to help.

hope the lil guy/gal gets better
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 20-01-2013, 10:24 PM
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I had a quick for substrate in the eye, but couldnt see anything. He is switching eyes all the time so I doubt it's a single eye thing, if that makes sense? It's more like he's asleep and just waking up rather than anything else.

I have a 4ft viv and 100w bulb that is housed outside the viv on a piece of mesh, I've been told to try remove the shelves and hang the heat lamp inside the viv to see if he changes at all. Is this a good idea?

Tbh, I'm more worried about his lack of interest in live food as he is so young, crickets are literally on top of him and locusts are bobbing about round him too, he just doesnt seem to be bothered about them. He doesnt take greenery either, or what I've tried at least. Are raspberries a good thing to try for a young beardie?

On impaction, he did dive off his shelf onto a cricket yesterday and eat about a million kgs of calci sand and desert sand at the same time, but he still poo's. There's been 3 in 24 hours. Could that be the after result of a blockage that has cleared?

Night time temp is harder for me to adjust, other than putting blankets over the viv or leaving the heat lamp on (which isn't ideal). Would a suitably covered heat mat on very low temp work instead? Covered with thick enough substrate or cloth to avoid burns?
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 20-01-2013, 10:38 PM
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Right, ok that ticks that one off the list then does he have a hide at both ends? Somewhere to escape from the brightness of the heat bulb but still feel the benefit of the warmth?

Ah I know what vivarium you have now, it's a new range of vivexotic I believe. It's meant to be top notch. Glad to hear its not a glass tank, they can't hold heat at all. I personally wouldn't remove the shelves, all reptiles have it in their system to thermoregulate their body temperatures so if he gets too hot, he will move to the cool end

Have you tried mealworms at all? Most lizards can't refuse them, not good for a staple diet down to the fat content in my opinion... But everything is ok in moderation. I initially started To put them under his greens to try and get him to eat and raspberries my beardie loves, I think it's the colour and sweetness. Could maybe worth a try.

3 poos in 24 hours sounds alright to me, what's it like? Giving disgusting details, is it mostly brown with some white or is it dark. Can you notice Anything in its poo?

Heat mats inside the vivarium even if covered safely are a no-go in my opinion as they do dig sometimes and they can easily burn themselves. I would put it underneath the viv and probe for the night time temperature
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 20-01-2013, 10:57 PM
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Yeah it is exactly that viv, with two shelves in. The basking lamp is over one of the shelves, and there is space underneath this shelf which gets no direct heat at all so I imagine this would be okay for cooling off? Also the higher shelf in the cool area doesnt get direct heat and is a good few degrees colder so this should be okay too?

I started his food as locusts, but they were huge, they were literally nearly as wide as his body never mind his eye gap. However, he loved them and did a box in about a day. Then I changed to smaller locusts which are about the right size, and he has barely been through half a box in 4/5 days now. I got crickets at the same time too, he does like them, just doesnt eat many of them and is so uninterested by them when they are in his viv. He isnt a fan of greenery so I'll try berries tomorrow and mealworms too. Are supermarket berries okay? Or should I wash them first?

From what I've read, his poo is fine. Solid, dark and with a little white tip, so calcium intake isnt bad. There was a locust leg in it the other day, but I thought nothing of it. It's slightly liquidy, but still solid. Much less liquidy than a bird poo if that's a good reference? He has done two more in the last hour or so though.

On the heat mat subject, how about a heat mat in a hot water bottle cover, so he couldnt dig through? Or is underneath the safest way to go? How would he know to go onto this part of the viv too? They dont detect temp very well through their bellies do they?

I turned his UV off a couple of hours ago to see if his eyes were being 'burnt' by them, but he still is 'asleep' however, I did hear him moving about, which he hasnt done all day whilst the UV has been on.

Also, I just noticed a cricket is sat on top of his head between his eyes. He really isnt bothered at all by them being in there. In the pet store, the dragons go crazy when they see food. Am I worrying about nothing and is it possible he's just stressed?
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Old 20-01-2013, 10:59 PM
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I noticed him losing his colour too. In the shop he had some pretty vivid orange markings, now they have dulled almost to grey. How young do they shed? How young do you reckon he is too? His body is roughly 7cm long
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 20-01-2013, 11:08 PM
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First of all, night temperature isn't that bad - easily gets into the minus numbers in the wild and they still manage to survive. Don't leave any heat on at night, it's not good for them, their body needs a bit of down time.

You need to get a thermostat, especially when the weather here gets a bit warmer you will have real risks of overheating him. Dimming thermostat is best for bulbs. You said he spends a long time basking, this indicates that he's not getting enough heat. Where were you taking that 38C and 31C from? Directly under the bulb at the highest point where the beardy sits to bask could go up a few degrees (40-45C). If the temperatures aren't high enough, he won't want to eat.

The eye thing could have numerous different causes, someone already said sand but others are that the crickets have been at his eyes or photo-kerato-conjunctivitis (caused by getting too close to the UVB). Looking at the way the tank is setup (mostly that corked bark) that could be a possibility. Not opening his eyes could well be the cause of why he's not eating - if he can't see, he won't hunt.

UVB wise I don't know why you have a 10% and 2%... knowing [email protected] they probably think that it equals out to a 12% bulb. I would leave the 2%, they won't be doing anything for the beardy. If you're able to have a look into getting Arcadia T5's, by far the best UVB out there.

Take the sand out for now, you've already said that he had a mouthful and calci-sand is one of the worst substrates. Until you have him eating well I would put him onto something like kitchen roll, newspaper or lino. How does his stomach look, bloaty or lumpy?

I can't remember whether you mentioned any supplements?

They do suffer from relocation stress, some for a few weeks. Keep handling to a minimum and only go in the tank for maintenance/feeding for now. However if he appears dehydrated (sunken eyes, wrinkled skin) then it may be best to give him a bathe.

EDIT - in answer to the previous couple of posts:

It's not recommended to feed them very large food items - that in itself can cause problems, but if the heating isn't sufficient too than you may have a problem.

The white part of the poo is urates (their version of urine), nothing to do with calcium.

No underbelly heating should be provided, by the time they sense the heat they may have sustained serious burns. Better safe than sorry with that one.

They shed pretty much from day 1, shedding depends on age. However if he is darkening it could be because it's colder or due to stress.
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Last edited by vgorst; 20-01-2013 at 11:12 PM..
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Old 20-01-2013, 11:10 PM
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In my opinion get rid of the calci-sand to start with, worst case scenario your beardie will start actively eating it for calcium boosts which is a one way road to impaction, mine is on cage carpet atm but also vinyl floor tiles and the like are good. Temperatures seem a little low for a youngster, basking spot should be around the 110F mark. If you have a 100w bulb you really want it on a dimming stat to keep control of the temps. If night time temps are low ideally you'd want a ceramic heat emitter on a stat. This will keep the temps from dropping too low but as it doesn't produce light it won't bother your beardie of a night time I'm not 100% but I believe beardies can't feel heat from beneath them so the potential of burns from a heat mat is quite high as would be the respective vets bill.

Hope I've helped even a little bit
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 20-01-2013, 11:13 PM
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It's a nice looking viv, you would expect no problems with it I'd imagine. Ok so he has hot and cold spots with hides at each end in effect which is good so that clears that.

I use shop bought raspberries and I give them a really good swill and he hasn't had problems, only a couple and sliced up small as they have a high water content which will give it a bad stomache (runny poo.)

2 more poos in the last hour tho.... That's making it clearer. I'm in no way a specialist but what I would guess would be that it's approximately a year old or slightly younger, some grow slower than others.

It's gone a lighter colour because its about to shed, a warm bath every other day should help it a lot.


I think.... The reason its been basking all day is because it needs the warmth to digest and what its trying to digest is Substrate. That would explain why it's basking all the time and also why it's pooing a lot now. Is unblocking itself. Try the impaction routine (bath and belly rub) hopefully then after a few days it'll be back to it's cricket crunching days.

I would also recommend either feeding it in a separate enclosure or hand feed it. That way it won't ingest the substrate, what is it on at the moment, calci sand did you say? A lot of people wouldnt use that for this very reason, I use wood chips as they're a lot bigger there's lessor a risk if it eating it, though it happens now and again.

As long as its got somewhere to hide away from the brightness and it's guts are all flushed out then I personally can't see there being any other problems. Also reptiles can sometimes be a little strange when you first get them, getting used to new surroundings etc. And it's also a lot harder to care for babies than juveniles or adults.

See if that works, I have faith that it will.

If its still worrying you in the best part of a week then well have another think

All the best

HowseR21
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 20-01-2013, 11:37 PM
Egg
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Okay cool, that's good news. I will get a thermostat tomorrow and put it in. the thermometer has a probe on which is about at the same height he basks at. So I should move the bark closer to the heat source so he is nearer 40-45C?

How do I adjust the UV light situation then? Just move his basking spot further from the bulbs? I have two bulbs as the starter viv kit came with both and said to use both. I should take these both out and install an Arcadia T5? Would that help a little?

I'll clean his viv out tomorrow and make all these changes, is there a more natural looking good subtrate? I really like the look of the sand that's all. But obviously, eating is more important. Would washed rock/pebbles be okay?(obviously bigger than he is)

I dust all his veg with calcium powder, and occasionally his live food. I was planning on getting worms and putting them underneath some cress or something with calcium dust on top. Would this work?

His heat lamp is on a timer and has just gone off, he is now hugely active by comparison to day time, he is scratching in the back corner of the viv, like he's trying to get out or something. Do they become more active before they sleep, as with human babies do? His eyes are now both open too, and he's digging a sort of pit in the sand under the shelf. It's almost like he's the opposite of a normal dragon it seems

It's not so much a lighter colour, its just gone more dull, I didnt even know they shed if I'm honest, so I'll bathe him every day or so and see what comes out of it. Unnecessary bathing isnt a bad thing it?

It's on a sort of mix of desert sand and calci sand as I've been told calci sand isnt a massive problem if some is ingested, clearly that was wrong though haah! I will treat him for impaction too, see if it helps. I imagine the handling will be good for him and me too.

Appreciate all the help so far guys, thank you!
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