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Chinese Water Dragon Help

Discussion in 'Help *General*' started by shelbijoy, Dec 6, 2014.

  1. shelbijoy

    shelbijoy New Member

    I got a Chinese water dragon as a late birthday present from my boyfriend yesterday, and she doesn't seem healthy and doesn't have everything she needs for her tank. Unfortunately, my boyfriend didn't get all the information on her health and misunderstood what he was getting with the water dragon. We ended up only getting a tank, no lighting, and no furniture for inside the tank. So I joined this site in hopes someone might have some answers on what I can do for her.
    First of all, she's covered in dirt. Her legs and the lower half of her tail are dark brown from dirt being caked on. I tried giving her a long, warm bath and gently scraping at the dirty spots (which thankfully didn't bother her). It's coming off slowly but I couldn't get it all off even after a really long soak last night, and earlier today. The tank came lined with a dirt/large woodchip mixture and I'm not sure if that's alright? There was also no pool or spot for water in her cage. so I've been sprinkling water in there to keep the humidity up. What sort of container would work best to give her a pool?
    I also haven't been able to get her to eat anything, I've offered some small superworms and cantaloupe to her. Along with that, she won't drink water in the bath even when I dripped it on her nose, moved it around in front of her, and ran the water with her in there.
    She seems skinny, and is very nervous. I know part of it could be the move from one place to another, but I also found out upon getting her home that the person didn't have lights for her. They said they had her near a window during the day to get sunlight but besides that, nothing. I don't have the money right now to get her new lights but as soon as I do, I will. I was told she came with lights and tons of tank furniture, so I was NOT prepared for this. :( But I have a bearded dragon who does have lights, and I also have small fan heaters. I've been alternating the heater between both tanks and watching their temps & humidity and the water dragon has been consistent around 85 degrees and the humidity was low when we got her so I've been trying to get it up without getting the dirt that's in there too wet. It's currently around 50 and climbing still.
    She also made this strange wet noise when she was in the bath, she had her mouth open and it was like a gurgley clicking sort of sound once or twice and was breathing heavy. I thought it was too warm in there so I went to take her out, she went nuts flipping around and hopped right back in before I could even come close to lifting her out. But then tried climbing up the walls.
    Sorry this post is so long, I'm just very worried about her. It seems like this person we got her from just stopped taking care of her and I don't know enough about Chinese water dragons to help her on my own. Oh, and I attached a picture so you can see what I mean about dirty...You can barely see her legs and feet due to all the dirt :(

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 6, 2014
  2. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, can you put a few photos up of the whole enclosure as it is right now, also crop the pic you put up to zoom into the dragon? Thanks!
  3. Logan

    Logan Elite Member

    She's pretty skinny. But surprisingly has a nice color. If she's never had any lights and was just put by a window I wouldn't be surprised if she has MBD. UVB can't make it through glass. She definitely needs something bigger. These guys are supposed to be in something roughly 8'Hx4'Wx4'D. You'll need a UVB light for her. Not the coil kinds either. That substrate looks like junk. Get some top soil from your local hardware store. Just make sure its organic and chemical free. Its like $2 for a 40lb bag most places. Do you know what size that tank is?

    As far as heating goes, if you have an extra dome you can just put a regular bulb in it. You don't need one marketed for reptiles. Those are expensive and do the same job. Depending on the size of the tank you'll probably only need a 40 or 60 watt bulb.

    If you don't have an extra dome you can ghetto rig it with a table lamp with out the shade and some aluminum foil.

    Until you get new substrate I would suggest just emptying it out and putting down some newspaper for now.

    Get an Accurite outdoor thermometer. The ones with the probe on them. They read humidity too. They're about $13 from Walmart. What you'll do is put the probe end on the basking spot and the body of the unit on the cold side.

    As for a swimming area, you could use anything big enough for her to at least get in and soak for now. Toothless used a plastic storage container for a while.

    Does she have an awkward gait? Or squishy jaw? Or shake at all??

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