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TikkiLink 06-27-2014 09:14 AM

Question For Bearded Dragon Owners
*Sorry, that subject line was supposed to say "question"

For any of you who have experience with beardies, I have a very serious concern with mine and I am at a loss of what to do.

My beardie seems to STILL be stuck in brumation! He is four and a half years old, and despite the warm weather and increased cage heat, he barely moves, sleeps most of the day, will not eat without being force-fed and doesn't poop without a bath. I took him to the vet a few months ago because as he started to wake up from his winter napping, I saw some gunk in his mouth and that he had lost a couple teeth. The vet said he looked to be in good health, just had maybe a slight infection, so he put him on a course of antibiotics. The vet also force-fed him to try to jump-start him out of brumation, but he said it has been a weird year and that many beardies he has seen have been sleeping longer than normal. Before the vet visit he was on that awful calcium sand, but I have since switched to ceramic tiles.

I just don't know what to do. He is usually active and ravenous during the summer. Now I have to force-feed him and he fights it and tries to spit food back out. Yet, he doesn't seem to be losing any weight from not eating normally. I have tried raising his temps, but the vet said they were fine-- and my beardie has always preferred the cool side of his cage. Any suggestions?

Lilysmommy 06-27-2014 06:41 PM

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I don't have too much experience with beardies (yet! I'd like to take in a rehome/rescue in the future), but I did try saving a tiny baby beardie when I worked at a pet store. I had the little one for a month before it died. While I was learning very quickly how to provide proper care for him, I used this forum - http://www.beardeddragon.org They were very helpful, so perhaps that'd be a better place to check and ask? I'm sorry I can't help further. I hope Bowser starts doing better soon!

Edit: I fixed your thread title as well. :)

TikkiLink 06-28-2014 09:06 PM

Thanks. When I bought him in 2010 he was an impulse buy, and everything the pet store told me to do was wrong. Through initial research I corrected everything according to what I read, but I had not stumbled upon a forum that agreed on major aspects of husbandry back then. So thanks for the link!

Lilysmommy 06-28-2014 10:54 PM

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No problem! Pet stores can have awful information sometimes. *sigh* I didn't realize the sand was bad for beardies either until I found the forum while taking care of the little one. I was in the process of negotiating with my manager on changing the substrate for our store beardies to something safer when our pet store was closed. I hope the forum is able to help you out! They gave me a lot of basic information on beardie husbandry while I was on there. :)

mrsblazer_x 07-02-2014 06:21 PM

I do not have any experience with this situation! we have only had ours (Titus) for a little over a month and he is quite young still. But i am hoping you figure out whats wrong and can help him get better soon!!!

Severin 07-03-2014 12:27 PM

If you have Facebook, try messaging Chris Allen (Toms River, NJ), he's an excellent Beardie breeder and friend of mine. And Andy Sollecito (NY, NY), he's a herpetologist and works with zoos and other reptile organizations. Either can probably give you some better insight if you haven't found the answers you're looking for yet.

But from the bits I do know, if his temperatures aren't right and his core temperature isn't warm enough... force feeding food can do more harm as the food just rots in the stomach because they aren't capable of properly digesting it. He could still be coming out of brumation, I never let any of mine actually go into it and kept them active year round so I'm not too sure.

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