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Anorexic Bearded Dragon?!

Discussion in 'Bearded Dragons' started by claire, May 2, 2013.

  1. claire

    claire Member

    I've had a bearded dragon for about 6 months and for about the last three months she's barely eaten anything. She has just been diagnosed as anorexic and has critical care food three times a day now, I am struggling to find any info and am hoping maybe you guys could have some suggestions or info? Many thanks :)
     
  2. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, can you show a few photos and give some details of the conditions (temps, how you measure them, type and size of enclosure, diet, etc)? Thanks!
     
  3. TigerIvy

    TigerIvy Elite Member

    Pictures of the dragon, and a run down of the enclosure AND a little more info about what the vet said would be really helpful!
     
  4. Wyldrose

    Wyldrose Elite Member

    Anorexicia is a human mental illness, not an animal issue.
    The main reasons reptiles go off food are from wrong temps(knowing the exact temps with a digital thermometer is best), other husbandry issues(wrong set up), parasites(did the Vet do a fecal float test?) and other factors like too much human traffic etc.

    Bearded dragons are eating machines, my two beg for food. So not eating means something is going wrong with him.
     
  5. bucher70

    bucher70 Elite Member

    Actually, by definition anorexia means absence of eating. . Anorexia is not itself a disease, but a symptom of an underlying problem.
    The goal is to try and find the cause either medical or husbandry related. You can force feed all you want, but if the problem isn't corrected, there is no point.
     
  6. TigerIvy

    TigerIvy Elite Member

    Either way we need to know more
     
  7. bucher70

    bucher70 Elite Member

    Agreed
     
  8. claire

    claire Member

    Hi she has a 3ft Viv, temps are 90f in the basking area and 80f in the cooler end, she has a UV light and a heat rock also. She had a fecal sample done a month ago and it came back positive with two types of parasites so she had medication and the second sample came back all clear but since then she still wouldn't eat and so we went back to the vets and they said she was anorexic due to the parasites impact on her insides. She's currently on critical care food 3 times a day and also marbocyl and flagyl every 48 hours and although she is perky she still won't eat any live food. I guess a part of me is wondering if she is ever going to get any better. She's a lovely little beardie and interacts with me and my partner so well, im just really worried about her.

    Up until she stopped eating she was eating plenty of curly kale, apple and locusts (about 20 a day) and wax worms. I will try and upload a picture of her later but as numerous pet shops and both vets we have seen have said she is looking really healthy.
     
  9. herpgirl250

    herpgirl250 Elite Member

    These guys are going to have way better medical advice than I do but get rid of that heat rock. They are very dangerous and your beardie can get burned.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2013
  10. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    You need to lose the heat rock. Those are notorious for burning animals.
    You also need to increase the temperature in the basking spot. You need 100-105. Without sufficient heat they will not eat because they cannot digest.
    What are you using to measure the temperature?
     
  11. claire

    claire Member

    Ok, thanks :) it came as a complete setup. Will take it out, have heard this before.

    Using digital thermometer
     
  12. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, you need a surface temp at the basking site of between approx 40 to 43c (105 to 110f), it`s fine if it`s somewhat higher than that providing there are cooler areas.
     
  13. claire

    claire Member

    I have all her temps up now and its been a week, she's still not eating by herself, I was kind of hoping someone had had the same problem and had some advice. Thanks guys
     
  14. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, the dragon might have been trying to brumate, and when you say she isn`t eating by herself, are you forcefeeding?
    Can you put a few photos up of the lizard and enclosure?
     
  15. claire

    claire Member

    How long would they usually brumate for? As its been months now. We were fircefeeding her wax worms but now she is on critical care food. Will put some pics on soon but I don't have access to a computer at the moment.
     
  16. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    They can brumate for several months, the fact you force feed is not only very stressful, it may be one of the reasons the dragon isn`t eating on it`s own at this time.
     
  17. claire

    claire Member

    DSC02469.jpg DSC02470.jpg DSC02471.jpg DSC02472.jpg

    Thanks for your replies, pics of beardie and setup, temps hot end between 40-45c cold end between 25-30c, sometimes cooler. The vets are now suggesting blood tests as they have no idea and want to investigate more. I have a feeling its because she has been force fed for so long, anyone have any ideas to get her back to eating on her own as like you say the longer the force feeding goes on the more reliant she is on it. I am open to any ideas as vet bills are soaring and we are still none the wiser. Thanks
     
  18. TigerIvy

    TigerIvy Elite Member

    Ok first of all, I hope you lost the heat rock. Those are extremely dangerous. Ok next can you define critical care food? Is it something the vet has given you for bearded dragons or is it something that has compounded? The reason I am asking is because true "critical care" does not have a substantial amount of protein and Maruzi (?spelling?) insectivore food can be added in small amounts to raise the protein. True critical care food is normally mixed with a baby food of some type, where as things like Repti-Aid are mixed with water.

    Just to make sure I have the facts straight, she will allow you to interact with her and the parasites are still gone and she is still on 2 (TWO) antibiotics every 48 hours? If I have that straight - awesome. Realize when anything takes antibiotics you kill all the good bacteria in the GI tract and that is bad. That can lead to secondary infection. A product I would suggest talking to your vet about is called Acidophiliz+ (they make a human version too though dog goned I cant remember what its called). Basically its good GI bacteria. To put it simply when they tell you to take an antibiotic with food - its because it lessens the effect of destroying ALL bacteria. Perhaps talk to your vet about cutting back in the antibiotics? Because especially Flagyl - its very hard on the GI

    OK 3rd point. ON your basking area try to have a spot that stays about 110 and one a little lower in the same position about 107-105. This is really important because in desert creatures they need the heat for any bacteria to form in their gut (not to mention digest).

    Now about the food...as horrible as this sounds - don't try to dust. And try something that is naturally stimulating to your dragon. I would suggest trying a small amount of silkworms. Don't buy many - just a few. I suggest this exact feeder because they have no chitin, they are easy to digest and packed full of bearded dragon goodness.

    I have been through this but never with a dragon as old as this. I went through this with Newb with 2 different parasite loads and Coccidia infection. I went through **** and he is still an extreme small beardie - but he is alive anyhow.

    And just on a final note, something I tried that appeared to help with Newb (Ok people will yell at me I'm sure) is I used 2 different UV bulbs. I used a Solar Glo and a arcadia D3 bulb. Obviously the Solar Glo WAS the basking light. (and I can hear the yelling now!). As I said it appeared to make a difference. I did have to move the basking spot further away because those things get mighty bright! But they do throw UV a long way.

    Ok this is what I have done in my experience hope it helps!
     
  19. claire

    claire Member

    The critical care food was given to us by the vets, and we were told to mix it just with water and that it had calcium etc in it. Its called 'vetark'. Shes having it three times a day, 6ml each dose, she doesnt mind taking that off us at all. Im wondering now you have said that maybe I should mix it with some pureed apple? what do you think? She is only on the one antibiotic now, its called flagacyl every 48 hours. Thanks so much for your advice, I really am worried she isnt going to make it and we have a lovely bond! She snuggles in and sleeps on my shoulder every day!
     
  20. claire

    claire Member

    Where would I be able to get some silk worms? I have never seen them in any of the pet shops around here?
     

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