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Water dragon advice needed asap

Discussion in 'Herp Health' started by andyb5, Mar 20, 2006.

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  1. andyb5

    andyb5 Elite Member

    Ok lets start off by telling you I've been to the vet.... 6 of them actually... the last one i went to i took max... a young water dragon .....out of his box. The vet said he didn't see many iguana's! told him i was trying to feed him crickets... was told he should only eat veg... That's when i left THAT surgery!
    Ok background here... Max was bought out of pity from a shop that had no idea at all... tank tens was less than room temp... in winter... no uv lighting etc etc. I know you should never buy a sick animal but own up.. how many of you out there have done that!
    When bought he had a little mouth rot... now cured. And a dislocated knee... which had calcium deposits so couldn't re set knee. :-(
    Max has come a long way since. But have to force feed crickets every other day with a critical care formula on alternate days.
    Problem being she still wont feed herself... refuses to bask for more than an hour after feed and hides in a little burrow she has made for herself so only gets about an hour of uv a day maximum.
    She is shedding poorly... can see a little sauna coming up and is more active when the lights in out than my other 2 water dragons.... max is in a 'disabled' viv for now.
    Anyone any ideas what else i can do for her? She's not gaining much weight at all. and what she is gaining looks like its gathering around her stomach. The little baby has a round tummy.
    Should also mention viv temps are spot on... humidity is 60 per cent min... usually 70 per cent. She also had a flaggella infection when bought which i treated and has gone now.
    Any ideas... suggestions... help of any sort gratefully accepted.
    I'm in northern ireland by the way incase anyone knows a good vet over here.
    Thanks for looking in and sorry for the long winded post
  2. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member


    Welcome to the HC Network. I personally don't know much about waterdragons as I have never owned any. If I were to make suggestions though based on what I do know, I would suggest trying nutribac with the "critical care" feedings. I would also suggest a mega ray UV light for optimal exposure. The only problem with these ideas howerever is that I am not certain they ship to ireland, but it certainly wouldn't hurt to look into it.

    Both products can be found here:

    Nutribac is a probiotic that will help keep the dragons gut flora healthy. It has also showed signs of being an appetite stimulant.

    The "mega ray" is a mercury vapor uv light that will output some of the highest uv levels for captive enclosures. Since the dragon is only spending small amounts of time under the lighting, these lights would help dramatically.

    They have a contact number on their site. I would give them a call and see if they ship to Ireland. Both products would help you out.
  3. andyb5

    andyb5 Elite Member

    Thanks rich

    Been looking at the uv drops. Maybe worth a shot? The reason i force fed crickets is to get the nutrobol vitamins and minerals into her at the right dosage along with protein etc.

    The the critical care formula for energy etc.

    I almost think she might be trying to brumate but she is far too young and hasn't got enough body fat for that... what she has around her stomach looks more like bloating.

    Will look into the mega ray thing though.

    Thanks for looking in.
  4. rbl

    rbl MacGyver in real life

    You can also go "old school" first and take him for an hour of sunlight every day =)
    From what I've read, one hour of direct sunlight equals many hours of artificial UVB exposure. If you are from Ireland, it should be sunny enough but a bit cold for longer exposures.

    As for the eating problem, you can also try giving him a more diversified meal. "Candy" like waxworms, mealworms, etc can increase his appetite.

    Good luck!!
    And welcome to HC =)
  5. Lyn

    Lyn Elite Member

    HI Andy and Welcome to HC Network. Hope you get some help for your little water dragon....You have some suggestions to start out with....hope they help you wishes and keep us posted. Lyn
  6. andyb5

    andyb5 Elite Member

    She actually always has a bowl of 6 meal worms and 3 way worms sprinkled with nutrobol in her viv at all times. always the same amount so i'd know if any were eaten. Never touches them. :-(

    Still much too cold to take her outside... was 5 degrees C yesterday. :-(

    Thanks for the advice.... trying to cover all angles. ;-)
  7. rbl

    rbl MacGyver in real life

    But has she (sorry, thought it was a he in my last post) tasted them? Try to force feed her one of those white meallies (the ones recently shed) because the other ones should be to difficult to digest for her.

    You don't need to take her outside. Just choose the sunniest window, open it for direct sunlight exposure, make sure there isn't any cold draft, sit comfortably in the sun on the floor or a couch (not at the window) and hold her in your hand with her back to the window. She will get her sun bath in safety and you will get nice tan =)
  8. Manhirwen

    Manhirwen Elite Member

    Ok, I've had similar problems with one of my CWDs not eating because of stress. First off, UVB lighting is VERY important along with proper calcium supplements, I recommend getting Rep-Cal 100% calcium if you don't already have a decent Phosphorous free, D3 free calcium supplement. I'd personally up the temps to between 84-89F during the day and around 82-80F at night on the warm side. If he/she is recovering from an injury which it sounds like it is, you'll want those temps a little bit on the warm side.

    I have fed my CWD yellow squash baby food with crickets mashed into it, it was mostly cricket guts though and baby food for flavor and texture to make it easy to lap up, I also added the calcium to it and vitamine supplement once a week. I recommend using either a baby spoon or an eye dropper to feed this to them, I find that IF they will take it off a spoon it's best to let them try in order not to stress, but if it doesn't willingly eat at all then you might have to force it.

    I'll leave you with that for now if you need anything else than feel free to ask.
  9. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    Do everythign Beth said plus up the UV exposure to 12 hours a day, without UVB he wont be able to use the calcuim sups, making them pointless to be given. I would suggest you raising your temps to 90 on the warm side 88 on the cool, is your water heated also? If not it should be around 83 deg. Humidity needs to be around 75-80% for good sheds, also low humidity can contribute to dehydration. Is he defacating daily? How big is he? And is he on any types of meds? If so can you list them :D it would be very helpful..I have 3 CWD myself and one of them Ive had endless problems with, mouthrot, snoutdamage, URI, aneorexia...and the list goes on lol. BTW welcome to HC and youve come to the right place for help! Glad you joined us!
  10. Drakan79720

    Drakan79720 Active Member

    that sounds just like my situation, except the pet store i rescued Slim from didn't even know what he was, what i have been doing is gently coaxing him to eat a cricket at least 3 times a day, because they started him way to early on pinkies. Anyway I have to agree with everyone on theire suggestions. I would also like to add that if you got him from a pet store have him checked for heart worms! Every pet I have found and adopted froma pet store that dousn't know what they are doing has had heart worms, they are very simple to get rid of, and worth the money to spend at the vet. If your local vets don't know how to treat reptiles, I would suggest giving him 2ml of cat heartworm medicine. Just trying to help! Happened to my Monitor when I first got him except the heart worm crawled out of his left side some people should seriously not own pet stores!!
  11. chrisandbk

    chrisandbk Active Member

    i had the same problem with my skitz not wanting to sit under her uvb , it was like she wanted to hide (stress) so i bought some fake tropical plants and put them all around where i wanted her to bask now she will sit there all day long!!! until she decides to go for a swim! she wouldnt eat her crickets at first either then i accidently droped one in her water she spotted it and went after it, thats how i fed her for two months. now the little pig eats them from a cup i use to dust them in , i hold the cup at an angle and she climbs in and a few minutes later they are all gone!
    good luck
  12. andyb5

    andyb5 Elite Member

    Cheers for the replies guys.

    When i said i force feed her... her critical care feed is put into a syringe which she laps from. Crickets i have to physically open her mouth and put the dusted crickets into her mouth... she eats them then.

    Tried feeding wax worms the same way so she has tasted them.. just don't want to get her used to high eat diet.

    Temperatures upped from today.

    Water is very close to basking light so is heated from there.

    Also using electrolytes in the water to make sure she stays hydrated.

    Any other suggestions?


  13. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member


    How often is she defecating? You said that she is eating the slurry mix (the syringe feeding mixture) and the crickets you manually feed. With that consumption of food, she should be defecating.

    If she isn't defecating regularly, she could have an impaction. The bloating could be caused by this. Does she have a warm swimming pool that she can climb in? If she doesn't, I would advise adding one. Try to keep the water around 88 degrees f. (I don't know celcius)

    Don't waste your money on the solar drops. They are a gimmick. They are nothing like the nutribac I suggested btw. Probiotics keep the intestinal tract "clean" and replaces the "bad" gut flora with good gut flora. Once the positive gut flora overpowers the negative, you will often see an increase in appetite.
  14. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    *slaps forehead* thanks Rich, I forgot to mention the NutriBac,and impaction...I wouldnt pry her mouth open and feed her crix that way, Ive tried it and its very stressful for them, rather add some crushed (blended up) crix to the slury mixture and feed her that daily, its gross but more beneficial for her. How old is she? How long? and do you have a gram scale to weigh her? If so give us her weight :D A way to encourage defacation is putting her in a warm bath and gently rubbing her lower belly..this works rather well :D
  15. Manhirwen

    Manhirwen Elite Member

    Let us know how things are working for you.:D
  16. andyb5

    andyb5 Elite Member

    Ok will look into the probiotics. Will have the try and source some in the uk.
    The mega ray bulbs i think i can get mail order.
    She goes to the toilet as usual the day after or the evening of her cricket feed.
    She is 32 cm and 51grams.
    Got her cricket feed today and she was out running around for an hour or 2 but she went back and has been in her burrow since... about 3 hours and will probably stay there till toilet time.
    Another thing i find really curious is the fact that she has a habit of taking baths after lights out or before they come on in the morning?
    thanks for all the responses.
  17. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    Mine are in their pools as soon as its lights out :D they have weird habbits lol
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