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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 9:28 pm 
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EGG
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hello, I'm joy,

first off i need to say i am not at all tech savvy so hope i am getting things ok as i type.

more importantly, i asked to join this forum cos i was very worried about the beardie i have just adopted from a reptile rescue. i've been struggling to get good info from any other source.

history...i have recently lost my first beardie....bladder stones...trying to brumate....and finding out that my male beardie was producing egg follicles, my lovely pet just didn't make it.....i realise (longer story) that my little dragon was not very healthy from day one....

i decided i should adopt from a rescue centre this time....so i adopted a young (i was told, and i hope, male) dragon.

he arrived with the chap from the reptile rescue, who was very pleased with my set up....i was happy, the chap from reptile rescue was v happy but the lizard went downhill so fast....

i have spoken at length to my vet, and the lizard, which has not eaten for several days, has responded well to a bath and shielding of the vivarium.... . the rep man who gave him to me is coming out tomorrow with some content from the old viv he was in (he is very supportive) to give him a hide which he is familiar with and which will hopefully stress him less ....

after his bath tonight the lizard is the best it's been since i took it on...i shall continue to take things carefully, but will go
to the vet if the lizard is not eating soon....



thanks for listening......joy


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:27 pm 
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You haven't said exactly how long you've had him. Dragons hate change and will often go for 7~10 days without eating after moving from one environment to another.Additionally as it's winter I'd expect him to have slowed down and if not attempting to brumate at least be eating less during this period. Can you describe his set up, size of viv, type of lighting and heating, temps, hours that the light/heat is on and (if possible) post a photo.What food is he being offered and what was he being fed at the rescue centre. All these can affect him so knowing this would help me.

Rick

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:55 am 
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hello rick,

thanks for responding,

I got the dragon on sat morning, so have had him only a week. i was so worried about him not eating cos he is so tiny. the man from the reptile rescue has had him for about 6 months and says the only thing he will eat is mealworms, but the only thing he ate for me - last sun- was a small hopper - nothing else since then. after his bath last night i weighed him and he is now about 75g as compared to the 80g he weighed when i got him. I put fresh veg in with him daily - spring greens mainly, but with some other stuff mixed in such as apple, cherries, blueberries grapes just to see if he has preferrences, (all chopped small) but he is not going near the veg. i will try hard to expand his food choices as he grows. i feed my live food on a mix of veg as i think if dragon gets second hand veg thats better than no veg

my viv is 4 ft long and i have the basking spot at about 110 and the cold end is about 80. i keep thermometers in the viv so i can ensure the temp gradient stays good. i asked the vet if i could turn it down a little as he wasn't kept quite so warm where he was. the vet was ok about the temps going down a few degrees till he settles. i think cos my viv is a lot bigger than his prev viv, and because my cold end is more exposed he might not have been willing to move about enough to thermoregulate. he seems a little more settled at the moment, but is still very lethargic.

my light source is a reptiglow 10 uv and it runs the whole length of the tank - i change my bulb every 6 months and it is on for at least 14 hours a day. i switch on about 6-6.30am in winter - and hour earlier in summer, and i turn off at 8.30pm - an hour later in summer. when i switch off his uv goes off completely, but his heat bulb (infra red) is on a thermostat so it comes on in the night if it gets too cold.

i don't think the little chap is brumating as he is under a year old and i think the chap from the rescue would have warned me if he was - he said the dragon enjoyed being handled and liked to run around his shoulders while he was attending to the other reptiles he looks after.

i hope that's enough information for you. i'm not good with tech stuff so can't send a photo. (i might get my son to help me do so at some stage)

this is only the second beardie i've had. i read extensively before i got my first one and insisted my then teenaged son did the same, as the original dragon was for him, but there is not really any substitute for experience, and i'm sure i can't be the only person to be confused by the contradictions between differing sources as to how best to care for your dragon.

thanks for your time mark - i've just had a peek in the viv and little fellow has moved up to the colder end of the viv and although not sitting perky is not falling asleep atm. as the bath seems to have done him some good i'll probably give him a short bath each day till he settles a bit more - and i'll keep it up if he enjoys it!

take care
joy
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:22 am 
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I may have an answer to what's going on but first baths - not recommended at any time unless required due to health basically - a quick read of this will help viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1372 . By what you've said I assume that the IR heat is on all the time (night and day) for your dragon thiis is no different to you trying yo sleep with a heater running full blast in the bedroom - not exactly comfortable! He needs a cooling off period at night so unless the house temps drop below 16C it's OK to have his heat switch off at night. I'd also swap the IR for a standard Phillips RO80 spotlight 60 or 75 watt - dragons tend to bask under the brightest light available not always the warmest!! Additionally if the IR comes on at night it will disturb his sleep as they do see IR as both I and a number of other breeders have observed over a number of years. Once he starts eating you will need to try weaning him off meal worms as they are not good for hid health, but first lets get him eating. Even though he's only around 6 months old it is quite possible that he's trying to brumate - we had 4 babies last year that did this. :-( Make the lighting/heating adjustments and see how he goes, noting at this point that it's better not to disturb him too much by handling and fussing around and he should start to look up in the next few days. Please keep me informed of how he's going.

Rick

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:41 am 
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hi again rick,

the heat lamp is not on all the time at night. the thermostat is turned very low at night - sorry if i didn't make this clear. it is only on overnight when temp really drops so he does get cool at night - it only comes on if it gets very cold in the room which rarely happens as the overnight temps almost never get that cool - only time it did was a couple of years ago when the central heating failed!

i know mealworms are not very good, and should certainly never be a main food source from what i understand. the man from the reptile rescue says this is the only food he has managed to get this little fellow to eat. my intention is to wean this little chap onto hoppers and crickets and hopefully veggies as he settles down.

thanks for the link, i will read the article about baths before i decided whether or not to bathe him again - once again i'm confused - i had been told, and had read in several books, that they enjoyed the occasional bath and my vet recommends it as a way to encourage a dehydrated dragon to take on some fluid.

i am handling him as little as i can atm - virtually not at all. trying not even to open the viv, but obviously have to poopy scoop when he performs.

have just had another peek through the cover at him. he has moved from the cold end to sit under the bask. he stayed there for a short while and has now moved back to a cool area - i think having the viv front covered is helping him feel safe enough to move about to regulate his temp.

he def looks a tad perkier today, but is def a long way from settled. i guess this little one is just going to need a lot of patience and privacy for a good while. my first little beardie, toshiro, was totally confident when we got it - didn't need an adjustment period at all - this little fellow seems to be at the opposite end of the scale.

I'm now off to read the article you suggested - thanks again

take care
joy
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:01 pm 
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Bathing is OK for re-hydrating purposes or when having a problem shedding but it shouldn't be used as a regular part of your husbandry as dragons can get respiratory infections fairly easily from over exposure to water, I and most Australian breeders I know don't recommend bathing - it seems to be an American/UK idea possibly based on the fact that dragons rarely if ever drink only taking in moisture via their veg and insect diet. I'm guessing from what you're saying that you have the enclosure covered at the moment? My own experience with even babies is that they much prefer to be in an area where they can see what's going on around them and in fact they fail to thrive well if not in an environment where nothing is going on around them (this includes having the viv at ground level rather than about 720~900 mm high). I would still try a spotlight for heating - time and again I've seen a marked improvement in dragons when they have a good light source for heating purposes.

Rick

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:10 pm 
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hello again rick,

first off i tried to reply to this post a few mins ago and when i pressed the submit button i was asked to log on - so i guess the first attempt failed, but huge apologies if i'm repeating myself (i did say upfront i was a technophobe and i really wasn't kidding.

i was aware dragons were desert animals, but hadn't realised that bathing could be bad for them. little dragon did drink in the bath yesterday (for bath read small disinfected bowl with very small amount of gently warmed water in it) so i think while he isn't eating i may offer a bath every few days. other than that i will be wary. i will remove him as soon as he drinks or after a min or two if he shows no sign of drinking.
i weighed him after he'd been in the h2o as he was being handled anyway and he hasn't lost much weight (be he is soooo small....)

regarding the viv being covered. i mean that the glass doors are covered, (not entirely, just enough to give more privacy). this was on the vets advice and is only intended as a short term measure to give him a little more privacy while he is getting used to his viv. i have gaps which let me keer in to see him and since putting the coverings up he has moved about a lot more. hopefully the glass will be cover free in a few days or so.

regarding viv height. i'm not sure if i have understood you. do you mean that the viv is best situated on the floor rather than at waist height? is it really more interesting for the dragon to see just feet moving about the room? even if this is the case, it wouldn't work for me as i have mobility probs which would make tending to a viv on the floor impossible.

i have just had a call from the reptile rescue man i got my beardie from. he is on his way out to see the lizard - so i have keered into the viv again and little boy is sitting happily on a log midway down the viv. the man is going to wonder why i'm so panicked!!!! at the risk of tempting fate, i think we might be getting there!


rick, i'm really grateful for the time and effort you've taken in posting to me - it is greatly appreciated thank you!


take care
joy
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:12 am 
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Hi - viv should be sitting on something at about normal table height so he can see everything that's going on. :lol: Another option so that he can feel comfortable is to provide things he can hide behind rather than partially covering the front of the viv - I have a number of largish rocks that our guys can use if they get fed up with being peered at. If you feel he may need some fluids try dripping water onto his nose - if he's thirsty he'll like the drips off.

Rick

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:46 am 
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You may want to talk to the guyds about assisted feeding for a while. We've had to do this with littl dragons that attempt brumation in their first year (it does happen at times!) Basically it's a matter of holding the dragon firmly, opening its mouth carefully and popping a cricket, roach or worm in. Once they bite down the will eat the morsel rather than spit it out. We've pulled a number of babies through winter like this by getting 2~3 crix down their throat every couple of days.

Rick

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 2:40 pm 
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hello mark,

the viv is at table top height - i keep it on the chest of drawers where i store all his spares - and spares for spares ;-) - i'm a bit anal/ocd about having spare things available in case of breakdown/breakages.
he has several places in the viv where he can hide either partially or completely.

i already spoke to my vet re force feeding (assisted feeding sounds much kinder) I am going to ring the vet in the morning and see if i can get him an appt sooner rather than later. the vet has indicated that she will show me how to feed him this way.

re the white light to replace the ir bulb. put order in yesterday, but it probably won't arrive before 5 or 6 pm and it will be getting pretty dark by then. i sent my long suffering hubby out to get one a little while ago so i should have a white bulb within the hour.

the reptile rescue man came out and saw little man yesterday. very touching to see how fond he was of the lizard. reptile man said a few things which contradict what i've read elsewhere. first off he told me that 12 - 14 hours of uv per day was too much and that the dragon should have a max of 9 hours uv and he should also have his heat source switched off for a couple of hours during the day.

when i queried the need for the higher dose of uv i have been providing (i thought beardies had a greater need for uv than other reptiles) he told me that as the viv was near a window little man would still get enough uv!!!!! i'm usually polite enough not to correct people to their faces, but i did challenge him on this and pointed out that glass stops the flow of uv light of the wavelength which is req for vit d2 production in humans and i'm pretty certain the biochemical process in reptiles uses the same wavelength. (my healthcare experience is all human based, but biochemistry is biochemistry....even if it has been a while since i was a student.)

reptile man had brought some of the things which had been in the housing where he had been keeping my little boy. he thought a familiar smell might make the lizard more calm. not sure i should have let him put the stuff in the viv as when i got a good look at it i removed it right away. how is his own week old poop on egg carton going to make little man relaxed? i'm not a clean freak, but unless it's a proven technique that filthy article is not going into my animals home.

sorry i've waffled a bit.

little chap still hasn't eaten anything, but he has stayed awake longer today than he has been doing. i've moved the shielding on the glass front so that only the cooler end of the viv is covered now and he seems ok with this so far. hubby just arrived with buld so i'll get that put in now.

btw little man does have a name, but even though i consider myself to be a rational being, i'm holding onto it superstitiously till he shows real signs of perking up.

thanks again for your support mark

take care
joy
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:27 pm 
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Hi - you're correct about the UV it doesn't travel through glass! I'd probably have 10~12 hours light/heat during winter and 12~14 hours during summer which is approximately what we get in Aus.Personally I've never heard of switching off the heat during he day and as long as he has a good gradient I can't see any benefits to this idea. From personal experience you may be assist feeding for a few months however we've never lost one yet where we've had to do this.

By the way I'm Rick :lol: Mark must be someone else. :shock:

Rick :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:53 am 
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sorry about getting your name wrong rick

have got temp from 110 down to 80 approx and on thermostat, so will stick with the heat on all day - and the full 12-14 hours of uv

ir bulb now replaced so dragon has brigher basking light

dragon not looking great. am now going to phone vet re feeding. hopefully will get appt today.

will keep you informed

thanks again

take care
joy
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:23 pm 
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If it hasn't been done already and you can get a fresh fecal sample ask your vet to check for intestinal parasites, coccidia in particular will cause these sort of problems.

Rick

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:11 pm 
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hello rick,

just off the phone to vet. she's not available till sat, but has talked me through feeding him manually. it will prob have to be my son (adult) who opens his mouth cos my arthritis makes me clumsy. will look online for some visual aids before i go ahead.

if dragon gets worse before sat i'll take him in to one of the other vets at the practice, but as i found out through toshiro's last illness, not all vets are very up on reptile care.

because i now doubt how good the prev husbandry was for this little man, esp regarding uv provision, i will be VERY careful when opening his mouth just in case his bones are not in good condition. i'm especially concerned about potential probs with bone health as the reptile man told me on sat that the dragon has hardly grown since he got him 6 months ago. when toshiro was this age s/he was growing rapidly. is it normal for dragons this age to be growing sooooo slowly - or not at all?

i'm also begining to wonder whether, despite reptile man not saying anything to suggest it, little man is trying to brumate. When i do disturb him he becomes reasonably alert, but gets sleepy again fairly quickly. if he is trying to brumate will force feeding do more harm than good? will a short period of basking be enough to help him digest a feed as he is showing reluctance to bask for long despite me lowering the temp a little at his basking spot? (with vets approval)


btw - i believe it is Australia day today, so happy Australia day to all of you out there.


take care
joy
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:33 pm 
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Keep the temps around 39C at the basking spot and he'll be OK digesting his food.As I've said previously, we've had babies attempting to brumate and although it takes a long time they do get through the winter OK with force feeding and it doesn't harm them.Once his appetite picks up his growth rate should also improve although at this point he'll probably never be the size of a normal dragon.

Thanks for the Aus. Day wishes. :D

Rick

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