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Help! Water Dragon Not Eating!!

Discussion in 'Water Dragons' started by DragonGirl9130, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. DragonGirl9130

    DragonGirl9130 Active Member

    This is going to be a very long story.

    Draco is my male CWD that I received 7 months ago (at least we think he's male). He is a rescue and when I got him he was nearly dead. Previous owners had no light for him for many many months, would buy 50 crickets every month or so- then he being a lizard would eat them all at once and starve until they decided to buy more, so he was half starved (could count ribs just by looking at him) His wood chips were so old that they were rotting within the cage and his pool was a medium sized dog dish (Draco being close to 2 and whatever feet.)

    When I first got him I used a cat box for a pool and fed him crickets. He would eat close to 30 crickets a day. After about a week and a couple of days it dropped to 20. He had a breathing problem, (holding his breath and gaping, keeping his mouth open)- Cured now. Scale rot on the under side also cured. would not stand or move much at all except to eat. (cured) and U get the hint.

    Now he is in a wire dog cage about 4 feet wide, 5 feet length, and 4 feet high. Not big enough I know and a new cage will be built. the temps are a little on the cool side- 75 to 78. and the humidity is a little low 60% but I just bought a cure for that. The temps don't seem to bother him. he has a basking spot of 90 degrees. his pool up graded to a 3 foot by 2 foot tub.

    he started to stop eating about a mouth ago the cricket intake was only about 5 or 6 of them while the super worms were his new favorite. He stopped eating the crickets altogether soon after. I picked up some pinkies and he would eat one of those with about 7 or 8 super worms a day. stopped eating the super worms a week later. now he is not interested in his pinkies. He developed a bump on his arm (MBD) so I picked up some calcium spray. (Yes I was powdering his food with a supplement)- Developed the bump while he was still eating. for a while- 2 weeks ago or so he was hiding from his light and kept moving away from it. He's back under it now. his new gig is to shut his eyes at me whenever I'm in the room. He will look at his food when I give it to him but then looks at me and will not be interested in the food anymore. He's still active and has his nice bright almost mint green color to him and still jumps in his pool and drinks willingly. stopped pooping though but has the white (don't know what u call it) in the bottom (no yellow mixed in).

    He's losing weight and was quite thin to begin with. we are told he's 4 years old but for being a male he looks 2 (spikes are not long) I received him in may and I use pet carpet. What going on with my dragon.
  2. Gooberthedragon

    Gooberthedragon Active Member

    Well with the crickets he could just be bored with them. Along with the super worms. He may have developed a blockage from the hard exoskeleton of the super worms. It could be the low temps in the cage because they need heat to properly digest food.
  3. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Part of your problem is the wire crate. The temps and humidity cannot be controlled. Until you can get something else built you can fasten plastic sheeting such as drop clothes or shower curtains to the sides. If the temps are too low they cannot digest their food and will not feed well.
    What makes you think its MBD? A "bump" could be any number of things. Has a vet looked at it?
    Calcium spray is worthless. The liquid all runs off and you have no way of knowing how much if any of the calcium is getting in the dragon. Just continue using the powdered calcium. Do you have a UVB light? If so what type?
  4. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Sounds like an impaction if he stopped pooping and doesn't want to eat. Have you had him checked for parasites? And I agree, those temps need to come up. Even some plastic over the crate will help.
  5. DragonGirl9130

    DragonGirl9130 Active Member

    Ok from the beginning, I don't mean to flip just getting annoyed with the situation. I don't believe it's impaction. he's not pooping because he has nothing to poop out. he's not eating. his just didn't stop one day, it slowly got less and less, he would still use the bathroom there just wasn't much there when he did go. Hard to explain. hard to say when he stopped but I'm guessing 3 days at least possible 4 but (I can't say for sure)

    I believe he did get bored with the crickets but would he be eating 7 to 8 super worms then decide the next day that he didn't like them and won't eat any. he loved the pinkies and those he won't eat either. It's hard to say exactly when he stopped eating because some days he would eat just a little bit and others he won't. I'll say 9 days ago maybe more. I understand that lizards can go a while without food but he is still thin from when I first got him and looks like to me he is loosing weight. not fast just losing.

    The Temps/Humidity/Cage were what helped cured him the first time and have only gotten better since then. Would something that helped him cause problems even though they improved. again hard to explain. what I'm trying to say is that the temps used to be really low, Draco was given to me within an hour notice I was not prepared for a dragon. temps were at a 65 degrees- my room always freezes. was able to raise it to 70 with the help of a heat lamp, covering the windows, and moving his cage to an inside wall. his health improved greatly just at a 5 degree jump. Now that it is at an average of 75 to 78 degrees why would he have problems if before it was at 70 and it helped cure him??? same with the humidity, an average of 30% now it's at 60% but he seemed better off at the 30%. At 60 he's getting sick again. cage follow the same. he was in a wire cage when he recovered, the cage tripled in size now he's having problems. I don't think it's any of these things, the explanation is hard to do, but it just don't add up.

    (MBD) was just a guess he hasn't been eating so he wasn't getting no calcium intake. I picked up the spray because people said it works and told me to. I used the powder supplement for a good six months everyday but he stopped eating crickets and could not get the powder to stick to the worms so I moved to pinkies. he loved them. but now he wont eat anything. my pet shop don't carry the spray and only found it over thanks giving when we traveled. I was advised to buy it so I did. I found the bump while traveling the same day I bought the spray. The bump is on the long bone of the arm and has not gotten better but has not gotten worst... Any ideas? it's a fare sized bump too... (MBD) was just a guess.

    I have a UVB light (3 of them) so if there is a such thing as getting to much rays that's his problem. they are 4 inches from the log, 8 inches from the log, and 9 inches from the log. he does seek out his light along with his UVA basking lamp. now this could be the problem... it says (the box to the lights) Zoo Med Reptisun 2.0 Full spectrum daylight lamp. but on the side it says for lizards that have a higher UVA and UVB requirements use Zoo Med Reptisun 5.0 UVB or Repti Iguana Light 5.0 UVB.... Does that mean I have the wrong bulb... but once again this is the bulb I used to help cure Draco of his illnesses... I had the bulbs for 7 months does that make a difference???

    Last thing I will be taking him to the vet. vet bills are spendy and my nearest herp vet (or what ever one does the reptiles) looks to be 3 hours away. my car is in the shop, I am jobless- not by choice, and am completely broke. what little money I have goes straight for draco's food. I'm trying to convince my mom to take Draco to the vet and that can be my upcoming birthday present but she don't believe in driving 3 hours to take a lizard to a vet when we have one 20 minutes from us (they just don't specialize in reptiles) I am asking for help to keep him alive before I it can make it to the vet. He is going!! Its just going to take some time!

    The wheezing is good and took some time to cure but at the time he was still in his tank I bought from the previous owners. As soon as I put him in the wire cage about a week later or so it cleared right up and haven't had a problem yet.
    I don't know if this has anything to do with it but remember- he shuts his eyes at me as soon as I walk in the room, he is bright green almost a mint and his turquoise water drops down his sides show brightly. His peach and blue under his chin is the best I've ever seen it. (AKA.... he doesn't look like he's sick) he's just not eating. He's extremely active and loves to explore, he uses his lights even to the point of climbing up to them daily and laying under them for a few hours before taking off again to explore- a few hours later he will came back and start the whole process over again. He can fit between the bars of his cage and will escape to explore but he always go back through them willingly to get to his lights. jumps in his pool about 3 times a day to swim then will lay under his basking light for a good 15 to 20 minutes before leaving to explore.

    could he be lonely and is feeling bored all the time and thats why he takes to exploring so much and possibly why he doesn't want to eat. if I find him a companion would he only get stressed out more???
  6. Ace

    Ace Elite Member

    I would check to see when the last time he pooped is, because he could be putting down food offers if there simply isn't enough room.

    The wheezing if that has continued could be an upper respiratory infection caused by the moist gross conditions, he previously was housed in (I believe I am correct not 100% sure though)

    We aren't trying to ridicule you about the vet thing, it's just a lot of people get on here looking for the answer so they don't have to go to the vet. So it has become a reflex to let them know that a vet visit is required in this situation.

    OH yes and welcome to HC!
  7. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    I must agee with the others about the wire cage, totally unsuitable unless you cover the top, sides and back with something, that will stabilise the tempe etc, which are too low at this time (ambient),THEN maybe the dragon will start to eat something. Putting another lizard in with him will result in even more stress, they can cause very serious injuries to each another, personally I would leave the animal alone for now, closing his eyes is just a way of not wanting you too close, again, a sign of stress, I think...
  8. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    He does NOT need a companion and it would only cause more issues.
    The shutting of the eyes is his way of making you go away!
    If he can't see you then you aren't there.
    If you have had him for seven months and he has failed to put on weight there are serious issues going on here.

    The most important thing you can do, aside from a vet trip is to get those temps up! You say that the temps "don't seem to bother him", yet you have problems. These are tropical animals and have to have tropical heat and humidity to survive. If they are kept too cool they are incapable of properly digesting their food. It will literally lay in their stomach and rot. Temps too low will also drag down their body's immune defenses making them more susceptable to disease.

    Do you, or do you not, have a UVB generating lamp?

    I mentioned a vet because you are self diagnosing MBD due to a bump on its arm. You cannot do that visually, only by tests a vet will preform.
  9. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Your temps are TOO COLD. That's the problem. They need a basking spot of 90 degrees and an ambient temp of 80 - 85.

    The 5.0 UVB lamp is sufficient. 10.0 would be better. How old are the bulbs?

    Have a copy of our care sheet.
    Water Dragon Care Guide (Physignathus cocincinus)
  10. DragonGirl9130

    DragonGirl9130 Active Member

    Jeez Merlin if you get offended don't answer.
    And he had put on a lot of weight since I got him. I've seen video's and pictures of what water dragons are supposed to look like and though he gained he doesn't match up to the others now he is losing the weight he gained. I edited one of my threads to better help you all to understand.
    And I'm not self diagnosing anything. I mentioned I had the spray in case there was something wrong with it so people can tell me it does not work. the powder supplements don't stick to worms so I got that as a replacement (bad choice of words in my first thread)
    read the edited thread to get the Temps problem, I better explained on what I meant when I said "don't seemed to bother him" also explained the lamp.
  11. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Don't be so touchy! I am not getting offended, only responding to what you yourself had written. You said that he was still thin even after 7 months. The weight loss makes me think of internal parasites. Again that will require a vet to determine.

    And you are not listening to what you are being told. You raised the temps some and he got better, but still is not right. You haven't raised the temperatures enough.
    For the worms, a light spritz of water will make the calcium powder stick.

    When you mention 3 lights do you mean the little screw in bulbs? Those are not sufficient and most definately not the 2.0. And flourescent bulbs need to be changed out every 6 months. Even though they still create visible light they stop emitting UVB.
    But that doesn't account for the not eating.
  12. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    I know you must be worried and upset, but you really need to listen to the people that are trying to help you and the animal! The "Repti-sun" 2-0 light is fine as supplementary lighting as it`s very close to natural daylight, however, you still need a high UVB lamp, PLUS a heat lamp, the best are the "Megaray" lamps which provide both heat and light, but you can use the fluorescent tubes too, ( together with a heat lamp), either a 5-0 or a 10-0 will be o.k, the sooner you can get the temps up to the recommended levels, the better it will be for the dragon, he will NOT feed or digest or survive too long unless that`s done!
  13. DragonGirl9130

    DragonGirl9130 Active Member

    I'm sorry, Life is really stressful right now, get the feeling my mom is going to kick me out of the house soon and have no where to go because no one wants Draco. Pet store is always an option but around here Water Dragons only die if they are not bought within the month, even now a baby dragon is days away from dieing. I get snappy and am classified as an A** when i'm stressed. Sorry, I'll keep my temper in check...
    when I got him he was skin and bones, 7 months is a long time but the problem is the cost of food for him. One frozen pinkie cost $1.50. for 20 superworms it is close to $4 regular mealworms he could not digest so I saw no point then there is wax worms but he don't like them because they are gooy. He don't eat the crickets and the only thing left that my pet shop has are frozen adult mice and fuzzies. he don't eat the feeder fish cause I don't think he knows they are food. all i can buy him is superworms and pinkies. I am lacking food items to offer and therefore he wasn't putting on the weight he should have been. there is nightcrawlers at the bait shop and though he didn't like it he was eating one a week about. he did gain weight and he's not losing it quickly just I can tell he lost. my cousin lives 4 hours away and they have a petco so the next time we meet I will take a trip down there or have them do it for me and see what they have to offer. I need a way to feed him in the mean time, we have baby food at wal mart will that help at all for putting on weight as something to offer. people mention baby food a lot.

    so what I'm trying to say he gained weight for the food that I was offering but due to lack of food choices he didn't gain as much as he could have- if that makes any more sense
  14. DragonGirl9130

    DragonGirl9130 Active Member

    raised the temps some but not enough to get fully better... I understand now and I guess that will go with everything I did- Humidity and all.
    The lights are the fluorescent and I heard both ways that it does matter and that it don't. I will switch them out when i have the chance.
    The Lights as far as lamps go it says 'basking spot lamp' 'provides UVA rays' and is 100w but that's it. Are you telling me that I need to buy another lamp and this time just a heat lamp

    I have right now a fluorescent light (tube) for full spectrum 2.0 15 watts is that right.

    and the basking spot lamp mentioned above
  15. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    We all know how it feels to be upset and worried, its hard to be in a good mood sometimes, but it doesn`t help you or the animal. Can you afford to get either a ceramic or infra-red lamp, just to get the temps up? You can even try feeding earthworms, make sure the area hasn`t got and poisons in it, he may just take a few, they are good food, ( and CHEAP)! The temps etc are the most important things to get right just now, so long as he takes a drink, and keeps hydrated, did you cover the cage with something yet?
  16. DragonGirl9130

    DragonGirl9130 Active Member

    ok if I drape a blanket over the cage lights and all to trap the heat inside what problems will that create (once again I need time for a new cage to be built) My grandpa collects and I think he will help me make something more suitable. I guess in the run Draco wont have to look at me and shut his eyes because of it...
  17. DragonGirl9130

    DragonGirl9130 Active Member

    Infra-red Light to make that work I will need another lamp (itself not the bulb) so both basking and heat lamp can be on at the same night I can just leave the Infra-red on to again keep the heat and Draco shouldn't be bothered by the light??? It's winter and i don't know of any place that sells earthworms just nightcrawlers...
  18. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    If you enclose the sides and top of the cage with plastic, blankets, cardboard, or whatever, it will help retain the heat. The open sides are what is causing you so much trouble. Your heater is trying to heat the entire room.
    What doesn't matter? If they are the compact screw in type they are not stong enough for anything. In fact some of the compact bulbs have been linked to eye problems in reptiles.
    All that light provides is white light and heat. You don't have to buy the pricey pet store bulbs. Simple household bulbs from the hardware store will do the same thing.
    The light is too small. For something like a water dragon, if you are going flourescent you need at least a 5.0 and you need the 48 inch long tubes, two of them.
  19. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    I'll make this super simple. You need heat and light. you can do this a whole bunch of ways.

    1. A heat emitter for heat. It produces no light. And a UVB tube/florescent light for the needed UVB rays.

    2. A mercury vapor bulb. it produces heat and UVB light

    3. A UVB tube/florescent light for the needed UVB rays. A Basking light of 100W or more, to make the heat needing. Basking lights do not make UVB rays, just UVA. You NEED uvb rays.

    with the proper lamp and the upped temps, your dragon will do much better. Scrape around your house for some plastic or scrap wood to put over the sides for now. An old drop cloth will work great for that.
  20. DragonGirl9130

    DragonGirl9130 Active Member

    Thank-You I'm running to get some of the stuff now and will be draping a blanket over his cage... i will be using some boards so the blanket is not resting against the heat lamp..... last dumb question

    'The Lights as far as lamps go it says 'basking spot lamp (provides UVA) rays' and is 100w but that's it'

    '(All that light provides is white light and heat). You don't have to buy the pricey pet store bulbs. Simple household bulbs from the hardware store will do the same thing.'

    does that mean all bulbs produce UVA...or what does UVA provide, is it important.

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