Discussion in 'Bearded Dragons' started by claire, May 2, 2013.
thats what the vets said to do as they absorb water in, also she drinks the water while she baths
and if she poops in it i clean the bath and change the water, goes without saying
I would not force feed personally, but it`s your animal and your choice, I hope he/she fully recovers from whatever the problem is.
They cannot absorb water through the skin or cloaca (certainly not enough to stay hydrated in the latter) whatever your vets said!
If you were me what would you do?
If the health problems are now clear, I would allow at least a few days of not force feeding, as you say yourself, it may be that that`s making the lizard refuse to take food voluntarily (not to mention the medication can have some effect).
I know it`s worrying for you, but so long as he/she remains hydrated, food isn`t a real concern just now. I don`t see a "malnourished" animal in those pics!
Thats the plan but as this has gone on so long, i know she hasnt had an amazing amount of food in her, apart from the critical care. So, a part of me wants to make sure she has some goodness in her before I start calling her bluff.
When Fei (my last ill reptile, a cwd) was ill I had to force feed for a long time, but once all the medical issues were taken care of and she was off the meds I added a bowl of 6 phoenix or horn worms (something soft bodied and easy to digest but dont use waxworms as they arent a healthy feeder and have little to no nutritional value) into her cage and cut the syringe feeding to once every 4 days-as long as she wasnt losing weight. If she started losing weight I force fed more often. After a couple weeks of this she started eating a couple worms here and there so I gradually cut back until she was eating them daily then I stopped force feeding altogether. Remember though not to handle the lizard much. Only when absolutely necessary.
Once they are eating regularly and acting normal then you start handling again.
You can go on forever forcefeeding "a few more days", it`s your call, we can only suggest what we would do under your circumstances.
The lizard is not "bluffing", there are reasons he/she hasn`t wanted to eat; parasites/medication/forcefeeding (I know the forced food was offered with the best of intentions). I think if the dragon drinks voluntarily it may start to eat, too. Offer the favourite items in a few days time (sunday or monday next).
murri, yes actually I have been to australia and there is a vast different between the clay type sand of the Australian plains and "calci sand" actually. I truly have no wish to argue with you but almost everyone (I would say 90%) agree rough tile is the best substrate for any dragon. Even if you look through the posts for laying boxes you see suggestions of vermiculite rather then sand. Why? because it turns your dragon colors, it is harmful and YES even an adult beardie can take in enough to be fatal.
As for the bathing issue, they absorb water through their vent. When they brumate in the wild they tend to burrow into the ground somewhat and the moisture from the surrounding area is absorbed through the vent. Misting small dragons (and well even big ones now and again) helps keep the skin moist AND the V shape between their eyes will funnel water to their mouth to drink. So by simulating rain (with a mist of water) they respond as they know how.
Claire, I think your idea is wonderful. I would still strongly suggest some Acidophiliz+ or something similar. Basically it begins to introduce good bacteria needed to digest food back into your dragon. That helps them to feel more like in the mood to eat. Any pet store chain (and many places online) will carry it. I think the last time I bought some it was about 8 dollars? Something like that!
Hi again, where has anyone suggested using "calci-sand", and where are the Australian "plains", and where were the photo`s I showed taken?
I take it most of the Bearded dragons you observed (if you observed any) on your trip to Oz were dead from impaction as a result of swallowing sand and other particulate substrates that they live on?
Who told you they absorb enough moisture through their cloaca to remain hydrated, and if they could absorb it they`d surely lose it the same way?
Are you now suggesting wild Bearded dragons that live on/around sandy substrates are all miscoloured and unhealthy?
And by the way, I don`t "argue" with anyone, I merely responded to your misguided assertion that Bearded dragons do not live on sand in the wild (they most certainly DO in some parts).
These forums are for passing reliable information around and debating topics that mainly concern the captive care of the animals we keep, nothing more.
I struggled to find any acidophiliz+ apart from ordering from the US which would take forever to be delivered but found a site suggesting organic probiotoc yoghurt instead which contains it so I rang the vet and he agreed it was a good idea so I've given her a small amount of that and I dabbed a bit on her nose and she actually licked it off! I'm hoping it will help put some good bacteria back in her, she is really lively this evening and seems to love her new tiles, so in thinking I will give it a day or two and actually let her get hungry and then offer her some crickets. Fingers crossed!
Good luck! One thing to keep in mind though is reptiles arent built to process dairy so be careful with how much yogurt you are giving.
Yup I agree with Thala, just be careful but they do have to have some good bacteria in their gut. Uhm hmm ok you are in the UK lemme check something and I will PM you
"Dragons come from arid regions and their bodies are developed in such a way that they do not waste the water in their systems. They use a minimal amount. However, this does not mean in any way that they can or should go days on end without water. In the wild, they are accustomed to obtaining their water through the vegetation and food that they eat, as well as lapping up dew drops. There are a few ways in which you can ensure that your beardie is well hydrated. Some beardie owners prefer to lightly spray their young dragons three times a day focusing mainly on the head so that the beardie can instinctively lap up the water running down its nose. Others prefer to spray the inside of the enclosure so they can lick the sides. Some owners will use a dropper or needleless syringe and drop the water on the beardies' nose for them to lick. Another preferred method would be by bathing in shallow, warm (not hot!) water for 15-20 minute periods. Beardies absorb water through their vent area which is an opening on the underside of their tail. The majority of beardies will not drink still water from a bowl."
Quote from Rockinar Dragonz - Breeders of Quality Bearded Dragons - Caresheet
Now if you would like I can continue onward including asking the local herpetologist who gratefully has assisted me in learning to care these beautiful creatures.
Now about the calci-sand please realize it contains calcium carbonate. Go check Tums or Rolaids and you will find it contains the exact same active ingredient. It is in essence an base that neutralizes stomach acid. It works the same in reptiles as humans - only humans are 1000 times larger. Not to mention the dust can cause eye infection and lung issues. Now if you like research footage on this as well I can gladly provide it
No you don't argue and yes you are correct that people come to the forums to seek assistance. Additionally the forum is set up and divided into different groups of reptiles because each have unique needs. Not all reptiles are the same. And when people come to the forums to seek advice, when you attempt to invalidate the responses of others it only leads to confusing and frustration to many people. I can gladly debate the usage ofcalci-sand and whatever else you would like to know about bearded dragons. When I received my first one it was rather unexpected and I was like OH CRAP...NOW WHAT...Well over time, trial and error and with the help of many folks with far more experience then myself...I have learned about the species of Pogona Vitticeps and their cousins. Including my vet and local herpetologist.
Hi again TigerIvy,
once again you mention Calci-sand, nobody else has, not the OP nor myself especially??
I don`t need to read an article on where and how they live, I`m from that country and started keeping them over 30 years ago!! My main reason for responding to you personally is your statement that wild Bearded dragons do not live on sand in the wild?
There`s a video here at the HC titled "Lizard Kings", it`s about Varanids, some of them are Aussie species, you can see Bearded dragons in the film around the sand dunes (not hard, compacted ground at all). Maybe when you have a little time to spare you can watch it?
I disagree also that they help to hydrate themselves by absorbing moisture through the cloaca, that`s been claimed on numerous occasions, but with no evidence to back it up. A caresheet written by someone who`s successfully incubated the eggs is hardly scientific evidence!? You claimed they cannot cope with moisture and then say during brumation they absorb the moisture from the substrate through the cloaca, so how moist is the earth they`re brumating in and staying hydrated by moisture absorbance for perhaps several months?
By having these discussions we can all learn something, whether it`s new info or confirming the thoughts we already have (I`m simply questioning the answers, which is the best way to learn, no disrespect to you or anyone else)!
There is the relevance to the calci sand issue. I actually went to Australia for a totally different purpose and was all over Australia and I am well aware of the different climate types. And bearded dragons (as I understand) had a solid urate and fecal composition because the vent also acts to regain moisture (which at a molecular structure is smaller. To some degree it remains a mystery like many other things regarding their Anatomy and Physiology. As it was explained to me our mouth is an imput/output device of sorts. The interior of the vent is much the same, able to pull moisture through.Upon dissecting a bearded dragon you will notice the immediate interior is composed of a spongy material. It is believed that is how they pull moisture.
Its not only the moisture from the ground that allows them to brumate without water though. Remember bearded dragons have the ability like some other animals to slow their metabolism down to a stand still.
Ok we are getting way too bogged down here.
The whole "absorb water thru the vent" thing is an old wives tale which really has no basis in fact. While there might be minute amounts absorbed, it will not be in any way, shape, or form, enough to keep the animal alive. And when they brumate, they do not absorb water. They would be laying on a damp soil but it would not penetrate into the closed vent. They just have their metabolism slowed down enough that they do not dehydrate. The fact that dragons in captivity are brumating in dry enclosures that do not have the luxury of having deep damp burrows to sleep in demonstrates this.
My first thought on seeing the enclosure is that the dragon may have ingested some of the chip bedding. This would result in an impaction and not eating. An Xray would determine this.
She is eating not a huge amount, literally two crickets a day but its progress right?! First time she's ate by herself in months!
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