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New Owner in Need of Help

Discussion in 'Bearded Dragons' started by z3r0jimmy, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. z3r0jimmy

    z3r0jimmy Elite Member

    i'm a new owner of a beardie i got it on friday.

    over the past 48hours she seemed to be a bit on the lethargic side and really not hunting after any meal worms or crickets (very very small) i pretty much have to hold her and kinda push it to eat and afterwords she has a bit of tremors. i brought her to another pet store where they only sell reptiles (i bought this one from petsmart) and they said she's showing signs of MBD and that i should just up her calcium intake and exposure to UVB and she shedded today. the amazing part was that on the car ride she was jumping all over the place in her travel cage but coming home she became lethargic again and basks and sleeps. my question is i need help, tips, advice anything. i've honestly grown attached to this beauty and it seems she's grown attached to me cause when she's out of the cage she just goes to my chest grabs on and sleeps and stays attached to me.

    her enclosure includes:

    - 10g terrarium (i know it's small but it's temp until i get back from my job trip from S. Carolina, my fiancé will be watching)
    - log for her to bask, chill and hide
    - food bowl & water bowl
    - food includes tiny crickets, papaya/mango mix, juvenile and calcium with D3
    - water mixed with calcium WITHOUT D3
    - red lamp for nighttime with a heating mat under tank
    - basking lamp
    - Exoterra UVB150 13watt bulb <coil> (getting reptisun 10 tube when i get the fixture from walmart)
    - Day temp on hot side 95ºF, basking side 103ºF - 110ºF, cool side 80ºF - 90ºF
    - night temp 75F - 85ºF
    - Day hours about 13hours with UVB additional hour

    i'm honestly trying my best here and any help would be greatly appreciated the last thing i wanna do is take the poor thing back to the pet store just to have it swapped out for another one even though they said they'd take it to the vet my fiancé and i take our other pets to but i'm skeptical about that true commitment is hard to find these days here are pics included. Thanks again everyone

    Attached Files:

  2. TigerIvy

    TigerIvy Elite Member

    Hi and welcome to the forums! Wow I take it this is your first beardie? First of all a 10 gallon tank is entirely too small for any beardie but I know you said that is temp. It needs to be cared for ASAP seriously fast. Ok second take the water dish out. They dont recognize standing water without a great deal of effort. Misting is much better. Just mist a couple times a day.

    How are you measuring the temps? You really need to use a heat gun or a probe touched to the basking surface. 105-110 on the basking platform is just about right honestly. And in regard to lighting, please remember screen tops cut down on the UV transmitted. That is why we can sit in front of a screen and not get badly sunburned. Same principle. I am confused at the 3 temps - can you please explain that?

    The one thing that strikes me fast is you said you have been handling your beardie. This is a no no because right now he/she is in severe shock from the relocation and shouldn't be handled at all (making matters worse she is shedding!). The second thing it seems he/she is dehydrated. Try using a clean (never had chemicals in it) water sprayer with warm water. spray and wait a few seconds, then spray again. They lap the water up from between their eyes. Third thing is in the tank I see no poop (ok that sounds gross but true).

    Babies need to eat 4 times a day optimally. Just like baby humans their little metabolisms are so fast they need constant food. Some may disagree with this but for a day or 2 I would offer a wax worm or 2. It will help with fat content and moisture to get your beardie through this.

    Ok the papaya mango mix is great but your baby needs protein to grow. Fresh salad is wonderful, please don't get me wrong but they their diet should be 80% insect, 20% salad at this age. Crickets are ok but remember you are what you eat. Gut load them on good quality foods and in the case of this little guy I would be sure your crickets get some good fruits and veggies too. Might be a use for that papaya/mango mix.

    Some basic suggestions I would make:
    1. Get a bigger tank...preferably one that she can forever live in. That means at least 4 feet by 2 feet by 2 feet. They grow fast!
    2. Remember to gutload your crickets with good stuff so your beardie gets good nutrition.
    3. Make a lid that does not have screen so your beardie gets full benefit to UV
    4. Do not handle your beardie for about a week - after the week is up a warm bath might be nice (temp like for a baby)
    5. For now, I would consider a FEW wax worms in her diet. Not many..lord knows they are too fattening but they are high in moisture. And keep the diet 80% insect / 20% salad

    A few other tips...she is small. If you are able I would strongly suggest ordering either some phoenix worms or small silkworms. They will help her a great deal more then you realize. Phoenix worms are not expensive honestly and they will go a long ways to help your friend out. I don't honestly believe she is "sick" I believe between new tank stress with a tank that is too small, shedding, and dehydration she is just a little under the weather.

    Please believe me this sounds overwhelming but I promise it isn't. Stop and focus on one thing first, then another, then another. For example maybe check a freecycle group ( in your area for a free tank of a larger size (even a 20L) and order some phoenix worms.

    And again welcome to the forums ;) I know I speak for all of us when I say we are glad you are here and care enough to ask!
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2013
  3. z3r0jimmy

    z3r0jimmy Elite Member

    Hi thanks so much and yes unfortunately I have handled here and my fiancé and I didn't know she was shedding until the day I handled her the most to take her to the pet store where she started shedding (she showed no sign at all that she was in her shedding phase) all of her skin and as for poop I don't find that gross at all lol and she's pooped a lot already I just clean it up right away. She seems to be doing better today and my fiancé told me she's eating on her own now and hunted 2 tiny crickets. As per the 3 temps I was referring to the side with the basking area on the ground; that area is about 85-95. I soaked her for about 10 minutes yesterday to help her with the rest of her shedding and since then she wouldn't stay off of me climbing up to my chest and staying there which is when I got super attached to her. I know she needs to eat veggies but I wanna get her the right stuff for now and treat her with junk food later. I know Kale and Spinach is not the greatest thing to give her as well as citrus and certain berries but what else? I'm going out today to get it some lettuce but not sure what else....on a side note....this forum needs a mobile app lol
  4. cassicat4

    cassicat4 Subscribed User Premium Member

    I would also suggest offering appropriate-sized horn worms as well, at least for a few days. They're nutritious, great for hydration, and good for bulking up underweight reptiles. I also have yet to see a bearded dragon turn them down. ;) Their only downside is that they are a bit pricier and can be hard to track down, but if you do have them available, they're a great investment.
  5. z3r0jimmy

    z3r0jimmy Elite Member

    that's what i fed her at first but i was told to shy away from it for now until she overcomes her MBD becuase they're really hard shelled and creat a lot of pressure from her stomach to her spine inducing the tremors...seems legit from what i was told but i will feed her that again once she's a bit older and i don't see any tremors
  6. cassicat4

    cassicat4 Subscribed User Premium Member

    ? Are you meaning superworms? Because horn worms are entirely different, and are one of the softest feeder worms available:


    It's one of the reasons why they're (horn worms) often recommended for ailing lizards of all ages, because they're very easy to digest, not to mention their added nutritional value.
  7. z3r0jimmy

    z3r0jimmy Elite Member

    nevermind i was wrong i'll get that with some lettuce today, any recommendations on what else i should get her? i have some errands to run before i get her stuff so i'll be able to check this constantly
  8. z3r0jimmy

    z3r0jimmy Elite Member

    do y'all know where to get hornworms?
  9. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Lettuce is NOT what you need to be feeding. It is virtually nutrition less. Look at mustard, turnip, and collard greens, dandelion Arugula, water cress, etc.
  10. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, I would definitely NOT remove the water dish, whether the animal appears to use it or not, fresh water should always be available.
    Can I ask what type of thermometer you`re using to measure the ambient and surface temps, it seems a little odd that you say the air temp is 95f yet the basking site surface is only 103 to110f (with an air temp that high, if you have a solid basking object it would be much higher, I think)? The cool parts need to be around 21 to 24c (72 to 75f), they must be able to cool right down at times.
  11. z3r0jimmy

    z3r0jimmy Elite Member

    I use 2 thermometers that I had for my boa and a digital laser thermometer for the basking area. I know the 2 standard thermometers are not 100% accurate but they've only been off by about a degree or 2 so no complaints
  12. cassicat4

    cassicat4 Subscribed User Premium Member

    I'm not sure where you live, but where I am, all of the local pet stores carry them. I would check with them first. They usually have them in the back, and only bring them out upon request.
  13. z3r0jimmy

    z3r0jimmy Elite Member

    Well I'm in Vegas so I'm gonna head there now I'm done with all my errands so now I can get the stuff for my beardie
  14. TigerIvy

    TigerIvy Elite Member

    Sorry murri especially in such a small tank...the water dish needs to go. I can totally understand you have seen them "in the wild, ect ect ect" but these are not wild dragons - they cant choose where they go and where they cant. Not to argue but tell me the statistics with hard evidence how many baby dragons die before a year of age. How many of those are from predators?? Drowning? Disease? Natural cause? Even wild dragons get moisture from their foods and from condensation that forms on plants. I have gotten 2 dragons to successfully drink from a water dish using an aquarium bubbler so that water moves but that was in a large viv where there was room to move around.

    Anyhow, cassi is right hornworms are also a good feeder choice. I think I said in my first post to avoid super and meal worms for now. hornworms and silkworms are both excellent options. silkworms contain a chemical called Serrapeptase. That helps calcium metabolize more efficiently. I used it on my older female who was suffering from MBD affects with fantastic results. And I will remind you phoenix worms are yet another good option. Variety in their diet is always awesome though, so it would be fantastic if you could use different types of insects safe for your beardie.

    Oh and here is a link to some safe fruits and veggies. Remember to wash well! What Do Bearded Dragons Eat
  15. z3r0jimmy

    z3r0jimmy Elite Member

    i actually looked up something similar with their nutritional values i just got her some blackberries for treats and collard greens and i only gave her small pieces to see how she liked them....needless to say she ate about a 1/2" of a leaf and 1/4 of a blackberry before she had enough and walked away
  16. TigerIvy

    TigerIvy Elite Member

    That is actually a really good amount. Just remember how little she is. 80% of her diet should come frmo insects. That is really important at this age for good development. papaya is excellent in calcium also and is safe for dragons. Just remember fruits will cause runny poo.

    Oh something I meant to mention and didnt? Remember beardies need phosphorus to absorb calcium. So if you honestly believe you are dealing with MBD make sure the phosphorus needs are met (I was always too lazy used phoenix worms lol). There is actually a long list of what your body needs to absorb what mineral correctly but its really insane and rather pointless lol.
  17. z3r0jimmy

    z3r0jimmy Elite Member

    yes i mix other vitamins and minerals with her fruits and crickets but i give a little extra calcium for her as well and she's jumping around now too which is a good sign and haven't seen any tremors from her as well
  18. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, I can only respond by saying there`s absolutely no reason to remove a drinking water dish from Bearded dragon`s enclosure simply because they may not use it.
    I would never advise putting anything so large/deep there was a risk drowning in it (worst still the humidity might soar over the dreaded 30% and the animal will die from a RI)!? ;)
  19. TigerIvy

    TigerIvy Elite Member

    By the way you "knowledge" of wild beardies got my curious so I went and checked some things:

    from Australian weather and the seasons -

    The driest regions of Australia are found mostly in central Australia, stretching from most of central and southern Western Australia, through the southern parts of the Northern Territory and most of South Australia, to the far west regions of Queensland and New South Wales, and the north-western parts of Victoria.

    The dry and desert regions of Australia are characterised by intense heat during the day and intense cold at night. Temperatures range from around 40 degrees celsius in the summer to between 16 and 24 degrees celsius in the winter. At night the temperature can vary from 19 degrees Celsius to zero degrees Celsius These areas receive little rainfall. Most of central Australia is normally in a state of drought.

    Now being that most of central AUstralia is normally in a state of drought that would highly suggest low humidity. And if you would like to know more about the cause of RI in any reptile please visit here: Respiratory Tract Infection in Reptiles
    A quote Murri
    "RTI is generally related to improper environmental conditions (being kept too cold, too wet, prolonged stress due to enclosure being kept at a single temperature rather than the species' required thermal gradient, prolonged psychosocial stress, etc.). If the reptile is not otherwise being cared for properly (dirty enclosure, inadequate feedings, etc.), this can exacerbate the condition, making it more severe and prolonging recovery."

    Now then since central Australia (Which is normally in a state of drought) is quite dry and arid - I would suggest allowing the humidity to rise for an extended period of time could promote the oncoming of a RI.

    Now then before you go flashing pictures please realize there are 7 sub species of Pogona. The territory ranges from semi arid woodland to dry desert conditions. The variety most commonly kept in the united states is Pogona vitticeps or central bearded dragon. Native to the central (or inland) area of Australia. Now then I believe I just described the general weather conditions in this area of Australia as noted by the Australian Government.

    Murri whatever poo poo you want to pull out of your hat, go pull it elsewhere rather then on me please. I am tired of your little games or whatever you believe they are. And no they most certainly are not learning lessons as you have previously stated in other threads. If you would like to learn, then try to listen to what other people have to say and consider it before bringing your own point across...Such as "TigerIvy said remove the water dish - and that would provide more floor space, but really as long as the water is shallow, chlorine free and kept clean it should not be a problem". That is acceptable, respectful and polite.

    And if I offended anyone, I am deeply sorry. This is not my intent.
  20. mayhmmaydn

    mayhmmaydn Elite Member

    Under the circumstances.. It being a baby in a 10g tank. Being cared for by a sitter while mommy is out of town, I do not think that removing the water dish is a bad thing to happen as long as they are being misted several times a day and are given good moisture foods. I Do not think that safety is worth risking if the provided necessities are provided. Its discouraging that there must be conflicting differences of opinion however much like elbows , everyone has them. It most certainly is not an excuse to bully or be disrespectful. Basic care and reproduction of habitat is what we can do and teach each others to do with gentle guidance. It is impossible without a fairly large base of knowledge and never ending pockets to be precisely accurate as to the nature and habitat of "the wild" . That is why we have Zoos. ;) Lets remember we are here to help each other not overwhelm new owners who need our guidance and companionship at a very important time. The beginning of their caretaking of a creature we all seem to love and admire dearly.
    taking that into account... z3rojimmy Welcome and I hope we are all here to learn along with you and make this a great experience.

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