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  1. #1
    Elite Member missabrat's Avatar
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    Weight Loss

    Hi all, we have had our Bearded Dragon for a bit over 6 mths, his previous owner never fed him anything but crickets and once in a while mashed banana. I am having a heck of a time getting him interested in greens and fruits. Have even made him meal worm salads hoping he will get some greens into him when he grabs a mealie, he just spits out the greens

    He has begun losing weight, enough so that it is noticable in his hip bones.
    He doesn't seems dehydrated, he will lick water droplets from the side of his tank.He just won't eat unless it crickets or mealies, This obviously isn't healthy because,if it were he wouldn't be losing so much weight. He also becomes quite lethargic, didn't move from the same spot for the entire day.
    The crickets he gets are calcium powdered(3 times a week calcium)

    He is approx. 6 yrs of age.

    Housing: 45gal long 150watt heat emitter, 100watt basking lamp, undertank heating pad, substrate-paper towels, fresh water daily, climbing branches, hide log ,fake plants. Oh... temps are 98* hot and cool side is 70*-80* depending on the temp in the house.
    We have covered the outside of his tank with styrofoam to insulate it as the house tends to be drafty.

    I have tried Jump start,as a supplement and have begun force feeding him a slurry of sweet potatoes, spring mix,chicken baby food,and pedialite. I am unsure how much to feed him so I give about a teaspoon and a half every day, plus the jump start 2 times a day. He seemed OK with the feeding until this afternoon when he regurged some of the food, about 1/2 tsp.

    We have a vet appointment but couldn't get in until Wed. of next week.Will be taking in a fecal sample to rule out parasites.


    Any other ideas?






  2. #2
    Subscribed User Moshpitrockchick's Avatar
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    Re: Weight Loss

    You need to bump up his basking temperature a bit, 105 would be much better for him. If they can't get warm enough they can't digest their food.

    I would keep offering the slurry, usually if you drip it on their nose they will lick it off, this is slow going, but much better for the lizard.
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  3. #3
    Founding Member venus's Avatar
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    Re: Weight Loss

    Sounds like your doing everything right so far. I agree with Lace, bump the temps and add the slurry. Good job on taking him to the vet. Keep us posted.
    MARSHA

    Hokey Pokey Anonymous, A place to turn yourself around!

  4. #4
    Elite Member missabrat's Avatar
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    Re: Weight Loss

    I tried dripping the slurry on his nose, a stubborn male he is LOL he just closes his eyes and shakes it off, then looks up and gives me the dirtiest look, and pretends he's sleeping, so forcing him is just tooo much fun, after feeding, for the rest of the night he will sit in his tank and give me the most disgusted look, almost like he's saying "I know where you sleep..." LOL

    Any idea, approx how much he should take at each feeding? he is 17 inches head to tail.

  5. #5
    Founding Member venus's Avatar
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    Re: Weight Loss

    If you can get a syringe into his mouth, try starting with squirting 1 -2 cc's at a time into his mouth. Eventually he will eat it. Here is a slurry I used to make from a friends reciepe for my Bearded Dragons and Leopard Geckos when they would stop eating...

    Bearded Dragon ‘power-aid’
    *This is a great recipe for recuperating Bearded Dragons, Bearded Dragons who need a little extra weight put on, and young picky eaters.
    Ingredients:
    o 2 bok choy leaves – you can really use any of the acceptable veggies, but I find this works better since it’s less bitter than something like collards. Also, you want to make sure you include the stems in the mixture because that’s where the water is retained.
    o 3 tbsp of strawberry banana baby food
    o 5 tbsp of bearded dragon pellets – crushed/ground, and whichever brand you prefer
    o 2 oz of Pedialyte – the unflavored kind works best, but it really doesn’t make much of a difference
    o ½ tsp each of calcium & multi-vitamin supplements
    *Blend everything together until you get a somewhat soupy mixture. It’s easiest if fed by syringe, so you don’t want the mixture to be too thick. Take out only what you’re going to be feeding at one time and refrigerate the rest. In my experience, they like it better if it’s slightly warmed up before it’s fed. You will also probably need to add a little bit of water to the mixture each time you feed it since it tends to thicken when it cools or sits too long. This will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.
    MARSHA

    Hokey Pokey Anonymous, A place to turn yourself around!

  6. #6
    Administrator Merlin's Avatar
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    Re: Weight Loss

    I have used Marsha's slurry and my dragons loved it.
    As soon as they saw the syringe the mouth was open and they would clamp down on the tube and chew it!
    Merlin,
    What's Life Without A Little Magic!

  7. #7
    Elite Member missabrat's Avatar
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    Re: Weight Loss

    This poor little guy is just frustrating....He is purposely regurgitating most of what I feed him....As long as he is out of his enclosure he will keep the food down, no matter how long he is out. As soon as he gets put back into his enclosure, he starts shaking his head and throwing food out.
    We feed him 1 tsp. twice a day of the slurry mix, after eating and cuddling and me profusely apologizing for torturing him, he gets a 20 min warm soak in his tub, then back to a warm blanket and more loving/apologizing (as I don't want him to associate me picking him up every time with torture.)

    The one good thing is that he is readily drinking on his own, and he has become tons more active now that his temps are right (108* right now)

    Is it possible that he is just stressed/ticked off at me right now from syringe feeding him?
    I decided that as long as he continues to drink,(spent 5+ full minutes drinking lastnight out of his waterdish (very unusual for him usually is a water droplet kinda guy) he has become active, climbing, running from me etc., We have even witnessed him arm waving, that I will leave him be, continue offering him an acceptable diet , get him to the vet, he has an appointment tomorrow morning, but the weather right now is not good and the vet is an hour away, so we'll see if it's safe to venture that far tomorrow, if not I'll get him on the next available appt., no matter what he will get a fecal and check up.
    I just dont know what else to do for this guy

  8. #8
    Elite Member wildheart's Avatar
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    Re: Weight Loss

    Good morning, sorry to hear you are having so much trouble.
    Firstly, his food. You did say that he is eating his crickets and meal worms, so he is eating! My dragons used to love their salads, but they go through stages where they just refuse to eat anything but super worms for months on end. They are not together and cant even see one another, but yet they both go through the same stages. Give him some super worms, guaranteed he will pick up weight.

    Secondly, you did not mention what are you using as substrate?

    Thirdly, it is not suppose to be humid inside his cage, it makes breathing difficult for them. I take it from your post saying that there is water droplets against his glass, it should be dry. My one dragon also become lethargic and it is because he refuse to drink water. I always keep a close eye on him and drip water on his nose. After the 5th or so drops he will start licking it up. I carry on like that for some time and he becomes totally trans like, very funny to see. After a while I will press his head slightly down into his water bowl and he will gulp up the water like there is no tomorrow. After that he jumps straight back to life as if nothing happened.

    Get a hot-water-bottle that is covered with material. Also wrap towels around it, just enough to get the right temperature to the touch. Put it in a basket and let him lay on it for your trip to the vet. That is what I do with my dragons in the winter and we have to travel far. Just make sure it is not to hot, take extra towels with just in case. As it cools down, just take some towels off.

    The only thing that does bother me about your dragon is that he is losing weight. How does his tail look, is it nice and thick? For that you definitely need to see the vet because sometimes my dragons will go without eating for some time and they never lose weight.

    Give him super worms, try and get the big ones because their fat content are higher than the small ones.

    Good luck.
    Quality of life is just as important as good health.
    Linky.

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