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Is Joker Dying?

Discussion in 'Bearded Dragons' started by Thalatte, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Joker Is an adult male beardie.
    Have owned him since october 2012 so I have had him for 7months. I dont know his age though he is atleast 5yrs base on the fact that he was breed 3times.
    His enclosure is an exoterra 36x18x18
    He is on Just tile.
    He has a 18in zoomed 10.0 and a 50 watt halogen flood. and they are anywhere from 18inches at the bottom of his cage (uvb only) or he can get within 6in (4 if his head is propped on the rock but the bulb is directly on his belly then) of both. The uvb is slightly tilted to aim backwards towards his basking stack.
    Top of his basking spot is 105, floor of hot side is 85, and cool side is at 80. Measured with zoomed infrared temp gun and an AcuRite digital with probe.
    I dont know the humidity though generally it stayed in 30-40% range.
    He eats large crickets and superworms. Is also offered salad of collards, mustard, squash, and that naturezone appetite stimulant bearded dragon diet (the stinky pink cubes). He doesn't eat the salad and never has. If I starve him for a week at a time and offered only salad he would nibble on it nut he always lasts longer than I do so eventually he just goes back to devouring his bugs.

    Now I am not home so all this is second hand from my reptile sitter (an experienced turtle owner that I spent two months teaching to care for my reptiles)
    I went home last weekend and cleaned cages and stuff. Joker was acting normal. Though I had noticed that swollen eye he had? Its normal now and he is back to using both constantly so I thought all was well. But sunday evening He got down off his basking spot and was laying on the floor of his cage which is highly unusual. He very rarely leaves his rock. Instead he waits for the insect to come to him or only moves if they are nearby and he doesnt have to climb down from his basking rocks. He looked fine and was moody when I petted him and his responses where normal when I touched his foot and tail so I thought maybe he was just hot.
    Then I got a call a few minutes ago saying He was dead. The sitter came home to Joker still on the bottom of the cage, completly stiff, kinda pale, with beard dark black, and not breathing. But as I was talking to him Joker took a breath. I told him to try a warm bath as maybe it was constipation and check his throat to see if it was blocked. It wasnt. He perked up a little in the bath and closed his mouth but still isnt moving too much. He was alert-eyes open and tracking movement-when a bowl and salad was placed in with him.
    Now other concerning signs. I got him roaches as those were his favorite meal and usually he jumps down and runs to eat them even if he just ate, but on saturday when I put them in his cage he just looked and then went back to sleep and didnt show any interest in them since. I only saw him eat a couple crickets over the weekend and though he tracked movement he never actually moved to hunt anything which even for his lazy butt is weird.

    Pics of current set up. Taken saturday night.Notice the coloring on him. Orange head greyish markings on back. Also the eye that can be seen is the one that used to be swollen. 002.jpg 003.jpg 009.jpg 009.jpg 003.jpg
    Then taken sunday before I left for work again. This is just after he crawled down to lay on the floor. 089.jpg 090.jpg
    Then taken today after being placed in the warm bath. Look at the lack of color on everything and yet he retains the black beard. 096.jpg 097.jpg 098.jpg
     
  2. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

  3. Wyldrose

    Wyldrose Elite Member

    It sounds like he is trying to burmanate to me. Both mine went down from Nov -Jan. When they woke up I would soak them in a warm bat and just leave them alone when they were sleeping. They are both up now and acting like normal.
     
  4. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    hmm...but it is march and just starting to warm up why would he brumate now?
     
  5. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    also why is he pale with a black beard?
     
  6. Pharoahound

    Pharoahound Elite Member

    In the morning under the lights mine used to lighten up and he'd someone's open his beard and it was black some mornings.
     
  7. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Hmm...He has never gone this pale before but lately (since I got Harlequin my other beardie) he has a black beard at random times. I guess I will just wait and see as all his tests have been normal so far and he hasn't displayed any signs of irregular health besides being extremely lazy.
    I am going to feel really dumb if he is just brumating at an extremely odd time.
     
  8. Wyldrose

    Wyldrose Elite Member

    Spikey was pretty pale when he was down. The black beard could be stress from being disturbed while trying to sleep. As for the time of the year it's really hard to predict when they go down. I didn't change anything and mine went down. They started eating less and sleeping more.
     
  9. Salazare Slytherin

    Salazare Slytherin Elite Member

    It can have a different effect on different reptiles depending on where you are, you would think March would be warmer, but this last week where I live its been colder than what it was the second week in January, these guys can detect changes, barametric pressure, and while someones beardie may have started brumating in another part of the country months ago, it makes sense it can happen again in another part when they detect those changes, and the only real thing you can do is watch them and discourage it in ill reptiles, the fact is they know when its time to do it, we just confuse things with the lighting times, temps.

    If he is just brumating I am sure he will be fine.
    All the best.
     
  10. cassicat4

    cassicat4 Subscribed User Premium Member

    One of the very reputable herp vets I take my dragons to mentioned that she has seen beardies go down at any time of the year, even in the middle of summer. Sometimes all it takes is a cold spell, or minor drop in temps, and their instincts kick in at the wrong time. So yes, it is very possible he is brumating. Especially if all of his tests (including fecal) have come back normal.

    The perma-black beard is a bit concerning, and can be a sign of illness or that something is wrong, but as mentioned, beardies who are disturbed during brumation will also become moody.

    If it helps at all, I have a skink that just decided now was a great time to brumate. Can't see why, considering it's actually been quite a bit warmer here than usual. Instincts are just funny that way.
     
  11. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, if the dragon wanted to brumate he wouldn`t be basking regularly, rather seeking the cooler parts (or did you move him to the basking area)?
     
  12. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    On Saturday when I cleaned his cage I put him on the floor of the cool side and he climbed on to his basking spot. Then Sunday night he climbed off his basking spot and laid down on the floor of the hot side and that's where he has been staying.
    He also isn't seeking any dark places or going to his cool side hide which I would expect if he was going to brumate.
     
  13. cassicat4

    cassicat4 Subscribed User Premium Member

    What tests/exams have been done on him, and when?
     
  14. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    November 2012: fecal was clean blood tests showed a little low on calcium but everything else was normal.
    December 2012: fecal was normal.
    January 2013: blood was normal, and eye exam showed nothing overly wrong with it.

    All of his excrements have appeared normal and I didn't see any parasites in them.
     
  15. cassicat4

    cassicat4 Subscribed User Premium Member

    What did the vet test for with the blood tests? Anything specific, or just very general (designed to pick up on common illnesses, nutritional deficiencies, etc.)?

    How are his urates?
     
  16. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    His urates are fine. White and hard just like Harley's and Tai's. the blood tests where just a general check, more for nutritional deficiencies than illnesses though.
     
  17. TigerIvy

    TigerIvy Elite Member

    Hi Tia, is he drinking water ok? My first reaction is dehydration to be honest. I know I went through something really similar with Bertha and I ended up giving her unflavored pedialyte and water (we have well water so no chemicals) like once a day for a few days. It does sound like he is getting older (bless his heart) and maybe slowing down some.

    Edit: I would try laying off the Supers a bit and try something with less chitin like wax worms, phoenix worms, idk maybe even hornworms are silkworms. Something a little easier to digest. I know Bertha is older has a super hard time with anything with a hard chitin. Even when i give her roaches they are pure white.
     
  18. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Umm...honestly I don't know. I have been away for the past month and have someone watching them. I told them he doesn't drink out of bowls so they have to bath and mist him once a day...but they might not be doing that...I will now ask...
     
  19. TigerIvy

    TigerIvy Elite Member

    I would definitely ask - I used a medicine dropper on Bertha to help her drink. Just like a drop and she got the idea and then would drink on her own. And the little bit of pedialyte seemed to help.
     
  20. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    The answer to the title question is Yes Yes he was.
    Joker was found dead in his cage this afternoon with palms turned up and blisters on his body. Now he could have died last night after lights of so the blisters may not be related to why he died. He is being dropped off at the vet for a necropsy tonight.
     

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