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Old 09-11-2011, 03:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Baby bearded dragon advice/recommended forums

Well, as a lot of you know, I work at a pet store. A month or two ago, don't remember when exactly, we got in a new baby bearded dragon after selling our last one. But this little guy is TINY, only about 4.5 inches, including tail. Smaller than any dragon I've seen us have there. He had some issues a couple weeks ago, where one of the managers found the poor baby doing somersaults/flips in his cage. He couldn't take a step without flipping or going in a circle. They put him in a small tank in the office and started syringe-feeding him this emergency supplement to keep him hydrated/fed. They think the UVB bulb above his cage went bad or something. Never did really figure out what the problem was, but he did get better.

However, he's still not doing great...He goes back and forth on how well he eats his crickets, and I don't know how much he actually eats out of the baby food I took in for him. The last couple days he's been very lethargic and hasn't been eating well or at all. Though I'm FAR from being an expert on reptiles/beardies, I think he might be dehydrated, as he does perk up a bit after I give him a soak in warm water. I was talking to the other cashier that came in today, the only other one that takes care of the animals very well, and found out that twice in the last week, she's come in in the mornings to find that the previous night's people had turned off the beardie's day lightbulb, but didn't switch the night one in - so he went all night without heat. I'd already been debating on bringing him home tomorrow, and that decided me.

So....I think I've read there's a couple of beardie owners on here. I was wondering if www.beardeddragon.org was a good site/forum to use for information on this little guy? I've already asked them a couple questions before, but just wanted to see if anyone had any other forum suggestions.

As well, I was wondering if anyone could say whether the set-up/schedule I'm planning to have him on will work alright. For a set up, he's in a very small tank, I think a 5-gal? But he's so tiny that it's not too small for him, and we don't have another tank to put him in. He has a day bulb and night bulb for heat, a log in there that he can climb up to get closer to the lights (for a basking spot) or hide under to get out of the heat. Dish for water and a dish for baby food/veggies.

For his schedule, I'm planning to have his day bulb in from 8 (or 7:30 on days I work) in the morning until probably 11 at night. I have to work it around Lily's schedule as well, and though she's used to having the light on from 10-11, I have to be able to switch the beardie's bulbs before I leave, so her light schedule is going to be a couple hours earlier too. I figured I'd give him fresh baby food in the morning, spray him lightly with water (though he freaks out a bit when we do this at work...Should I not do that if it stresses him out?) for hydration and offer him some cricket-hunting time. Go to work/class, then check on him when I get home and try offering crickets again, and maybe try dabbing baby food or the emergency supplement on his nose to lick up if he didn't eat much or at all in the morning. And then before bed, offer crickets a third time, as well as supplement if he's still not eating well.

Any advice/opinions on any of this? I know I need to post this on a beardie forum, and I'm going to, but I didn't know if there were any beardie owners on here that might be able to help me out as well. Might as well cover all my available sources! (And sorry for the long post!)
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Old 09-11-2011, 03:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Baby bearded dragon advice/recommended forums

Oh, and I forgot to mention...I'm planning to order some dubia roaches from www.theroachguy.com so once I get some tiny ones, I can feed those to him as well. I've heard they're the best/easiest feeders to raise, and since I know if/when this little beardie gets bigger, he should start eating a LOT more insects. If I'm raising the dubias, I can take them to the store to be fed to him, so they can't complain that he's eating too many store crickets. And that way I can be sure that he's being fed every day as well, since if we run out of crickets before they're delivered on Tuesdays...We can't feed our store reptiles either.
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Old 09-11-2011, 03:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Baby bearded dragon advice/recommended forums

I by no means am an expert but I have worked with beardies quite a bit over the years. I really think he needs to see a vet first of all.

Have you or someone been dusting his crickets with a calcium supplement? Has he been offered greens as well? What are the temps like in the tank?

A lot of beardie owners don't offer water in the tank and just spray it on the beardie or offer it during baths.

That forum will be really helpful for you, I've went there many times for information. I hope he pulls through and kudos to you for taking him in!
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Old 09-11-2011, 04:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I know he really needs a vet...And wish I could do that for him. But I'm struggling already to pay for gas and tuition payments for this semester, and I have Lily to take care of as well. She's been having her own issues and is going to the vet this Friday, and I'm just hoping that won't cost too much... The pet store won't pay for him to go to the vet. My store manager couldn't care less about him, really. She has said to me and I quote "It's kind of sad, but I wish he'd just get better or die already." because she's tired of taking care of him.

He's been getting calcium dusted on his crickets, but hasn't really been getting greens. Pet store won't get anything for him that we don't already have in the store, which doesn't include fresh greens. We have a freeze-dried veggie mix that we give the green iguana, but the stuff is kind of big and includes stuff like corn. I took in baby food to give to him, and I can at least keep giving him that, since I buy it for Lily anyway, and it doesn't cost much. I don't think I can really afford to buy fresh greens though, with how little he would eat (assuming he'd eat it).

Thanks for the note on water, and maybe I'll just take his water dish out then, and leave the baby food dish in there. I can try spraying him in the mornings, plus his baby food will have a lot of moisture in it as well, then give him a bath/soak in the evenings.

Thanks again for your help! Gonna go copy/paste this to the beardie forum now.
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Old 09-11-2011, 05:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Baby bearded dragon advice/recommended forums

A lot of grocery stores sell the mesculin mix that u can bag yourself, that way u can take only a tiny amount and it only ends up costing like 20 or 30 cents. Then you don't waste a whole head of lettuce. And they also sometimes have loosed greenbeans as well...
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Old 09-11-2011, 05:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilysmommy
I know he really needs a vet...And wish I could do that for him. But I'm struggling already to pay for gas and tuition payments for this semester, and I have Lily to take care of as well. She's been having her own issues and is going to the vet this Friday, and I'm just hoping that won't cost too much... The pet store won't pay for him to go to the vet. My store manager couldn't care less about him, really. She has said to me and I quote "It's kind of sad, but I wish he'd just get better or die already." because she's tired of taking care of him.

He's been getting calcium dusted on his crickets, but hasn't really been getting greens. Pet store won't get anything for him that we don't already have in the store, which doesn't include fresh greens. We have a freeze-dried veggie mix that we give the green iguana, but the stuff is kind of big and includes stuff like corn. I took in baby food to give to him, and I can at least keep giving him that, since I buy it for Lily anyway, and it doesn't cost much. I don't think I can really afford to buy fresh greens though, with how little he would eat (assuming he'd eat it).

Thanks for the note on water, and maybe I'll just take his water dish out then, and leave the baby food dish in there. I can try spraying him in the mornings, plus his baby food will have a lot of moisture in it as well, then give him a bath/soak in the evenings.

Thanks again for your help! Gonna go copy/paste this to the beardie forum now.
Yeah that is rough You can do dandelion greens at least. They're like 98 cents. I buy greens for my bunnies and it usually only totals two dollars and that's for two bunnies! They love squash as well(bearded dragons)

I'm kind of thinking he might have a vitamin deficiency from the sound of it, with the spastic movement and all. I believe that is a sign of b1 deficiency or something like that if I remember right. I know there's an article on the beardeddragon.org website.

It could also simply be something neurological that he was born with or came in with. I might suggest upgrading to a 10 gallon tank even though he's small just because it makes it easier to make a good temperature gradient.

Good luck and let us know how he's doing!
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Old 09-11-2011, 05:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'll look for dandelion greens when I go grocery shopping sometime this week then. I've gotten butternut squash chunks in a plastic bag that you could steam before, for Lily, so maybe I'll grab a bag of that as well. I could just steam the bag, give him some, and put the leftovers in the fridge, then the freezer or something. I'll just sneak them into the grocery bill, Dad won't notice! >.>

I think I remember having a multivitamin mentioned to me before, to dust the crickets in one twice a week for them? I think we sell something like that at the store, so I'll see if I can get a container to bring home along with the calcium supplement he already has (or should still have). I'm just not sure what changed that he stopped doing the flipping/somersaulting and seemed to get better.

I'll ask about getting a bigger tank for him, but I'm pretty sure the answer will be "No." I think I asked earlier last week about another tank for mice and was told we don't have any more store tanks available to use.
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Old 09-16-2011, 11:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Just thought I'd post an update on this little guy in case anyone was interested.

It's all good news! Little beardie is now in a 20-gal tank and has a definite warm and cool end. Working on getting his basking spot to a good temperature, I think it's still a bit low. I got some greens for him and leave a little salad and some baby food in his cage every day, though he has yet to touch either of them. At least he has them if he decides he wants to try them though. I also have a ReptiSun 10.0 UVB tube light coming on Tuesday, can't wait till it gets here and I can add it to his cage! I have the fixture already, so just waiting impatiently on the light.

As for the little guy himself...He's doing a LOT better. I really think his main problem was heat exhaustion and/or dehydration. Both Wednesday and Thursday, he started drinking on his own during his bath, which I've never seen him do before. I was cheering silently for him in my head with a huge grin on my face. And even better...He ate one cricket for breakfast both on Thursday morning and this morning! I keep smiling every time I look at him today, he's been SO much more energetic and alert. He's spent a lot more of the day awake, and I think he's been "glass dancing" a little bit. He reacts when I approach the cage if he's awake (though the reaction is usually to back away...At least it's an improvement on no reaction, right? ) and he looks around and looks interested in things. Both yesterday and today I tried to do a second feeding time for him in the evening, but he hasn't been interested in eating more crickets yet. Still, I'm so pleased with his progress. I really can't wait until his UVB gets here, I'm hoping it might perk him up even more and increase his appetite. I'm also still planning to get him reptaworms/phoenix worms/whatever-you-wanna-call-'em (maybe) and dubias and see if he's more interested in either of those. I've read that I can leave the reptaworms in his cage during the day, so that's why I want to try getting some of those. I'm also really hoping he'll like the dubias so I can start breeding them and use them for his main feeder when he starts eating more.

(And kudos to anyone who actually reads all of that...I apologize for the rambly post, I'm just so excited he's doing better and I like talking about him. And since uh...My dad kind of doesn't know I have the little guy up in my room, I can't really talk about it to anyone here or on Facebook. Shhhh, no one tell on me! >.>)
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Old 09-16-2011, 11:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm so glad he's doing better. It sounds like you're really attached to him. Does that mean that you're keeping him? Will you be okay if/when he goes back to the store?

I knew you would fix him up in no time. He just needed more room and some tlc!
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Old 09-17-2011, 12:08 AM   #10 (permalink)
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That's a very sweet thing you did for the little guy, he had the odds against him and you made such a positive impact on him Glad to hear he is doing better. I've never had a Bearded Dragon but I am very interested in them and would one day love to get one. My only lizard experience is years ago with a Horned Dragon which was pretty cool too
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