Candy Stopped Eating

Discussion in 'Water Dragons' started by Karlee, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. Karlee

    Karlee Member

    After we seperated them because Jimmety Cricket had an eye infection, Candy stopped eating. She wasnt eating before it either, but we manage to have gotten some down her (we didnt force feed, we are able to get her to eat feeder fish when we take them out of water. But I dont like doing this since of how much stress it causes the fish and I just cant watch it struggle. And a lot of the times feeder fish are kinda big so I dont use these as a stable). I tried putting some feeder fish in panic mode (again, dont like doing) and she glanced at it and then went back to whatever it was she was doing (most of the time it is climbing the screening on the side). I am really worried about her, and I think Jimmety Cricket isnt eating because of his eye infection and he is shedding.

    JEFFREH Administrator Staff Member

    I'm unfamiliar with your husbandry - first step would be to ensure, and double-check that all temperatures and caging/care requirements are met and 100% perfect.

    How is the behavior other than lack of interest in food? Is she lethargic and losing weight at all?

    While I'm really not all that well versed in CWD care - I was always under the impresson that feeder fish were generally not the best feeder options for reptiles due a general lack of sustainable meat and potential to carry fluke worms amongst other parasites. I'm not sure how common a practice it is, but if they are willing to eat insects those always a better option than vertebrate prey for young lizards.
  3. Karlee

    Karlee Member

    The temps and humidity level is excellent, normally around 90 degrees farenhite and humidity level around 80%.

    And that is the only abnormal behavior (besides minor weight loss). She is active, her eyes are so big and clear I could compare her's to an owl's, and she is just as curious as ever. She will bask for maybe an hour than explore for maybe five hours at a time. She is not showing any signs of disease except a lack of appetite. Her feces arent runny either. She swims and drinks every day and she is brightly colored and active.

    Well I never fed her those too often, as a treat. But a struggling fish was the only thing I can get to excite her appetite, but now she wont even bother touching it.
  4. Karlee

    Karlee Member

    She is getting close to shedding, could that be it? However, she is extremely thin and about as wide as my tiny pinky finger which worries me. Should I force feed her? She looks as healthy as can be, no signs of illness except her appeitie loss. I cannot under any circumstances afford another vet trip. I already have an angry friend who I now owe money and I just cannot ask for more. Money is tight these days and I just feel awful for asking people of hours of their lives in the form of cash. Plus, no one trusts me with money since it takes forever for me to pay it back unless it is like $20. If i should force feed her, know any slurry recipes that are easy to digest? I am concidering adding regular yogurt, calcium powder, mealies, and spring water I used for my dart frogs (is five year old water any good?).
  5. StikyPaws312

    StikyPaws312 Moderator Staff Member

    Wasn't she recently moved to a new tank? It's a common occurance for reptiles to take up to 2 weeks (sometimes much longer) to get used to and comfortable with their new environment.
  6. Karlee

    Karlee Member

    It has been maybe three weeks since she last ate, we moved her a month ago.
  7. StikyPaws312

    StikyPaws312 Moderator Staff Member

    I think your timing may be a bit off... You just posted on March 1st about how you could possibly put a divider in their cage so they can be separated.... assuming you did it on that day it was only 12 days ago. And if you separated them because of Jimmeny Cricket's eye infection that was only last wednesday... I understand how a reptile not eating can be very stressful for you and it may seem like she hasn't eaten in forever but by your posts it hasn't been *too long* so I wouldn't worry unless she is starting to lose weight. Do you regularly measure and weigh them? It's a great aid when you're freaking out about your herps (believe me, I know! My leos go on a hunger strike every winter/spring for like a month sometimes 2, it drives me nuts!) but of you have a gram scale and keep track of their weight you can rest assured as to their health.

    Also, I know you said you checked her husbandry but would you be able to check it all again? Temps, humidity, substrate, ventilation, maybe post a pic of her tank? How are you measuring those things... has a battery died? When the batteries get low on temp/humidity gauges they get all whacky or just keep displaying one measurement but they aren't actually or accurately measuring.
    What exactly have you offered her to eat besides fish?
  8. Karlee

    Karlee Member

    I tried making them a divider, but because we had shelving in the cage, I kept getting it wrong to where they could get through to one another. Then I put it off out of frustration and ignorance. I measure their length, not their weight because I cant find a chart so I dont know what a healthy weight is, and my vet told me to look it up after I looked it up. Werent they helpful? I could understand why Jimmety Cricket isnt eating, shedding, eye infection, new cage. I would stop eating too, but he at least as meat on him. The vet said it was safe to feed him a flavorless pediatryte (I dont know if I spelled it right), plain yogart, and calcium mix now that his eye is clear just to jump start an apptetite.

    I replaced the hydrometers, thermometers, both UVB and UVA bulbs, and everything was in check except I dropped my temp gun in their water dish and kinda ruined it (AND I JUST BOUGHT IT!). I have screening on both sides of the tank (which Candy loves to climb up and down on), and substrate is papertowels which I use for all my young animals (And Tweety Bird, he is 8 years so he is kinda old. I just still use it because it is just easy to replace and he probably doesnt care) so impaction isnt an issue.

    I have offered crickets (They never even try to eat them. Crazy lizards are so picky), mealies, waxworms, pheonix, and fish. Jimmety Cricket is going through a lot so I can understand why he wont eat, but Candy is just plain stubborn.

    And my timing is that off? Wow, I wonder what other dates I forgot. I wonder when I even put them in the cage, it felt a month ago. Then again I have been sick lately and it feels like years pass when all you do is lay there. Wow I need to write these things down or do something!
  9. StikyPaws312

    StikyPaws312 Moderator Staff Member

    So you haven't actually separated them.... Could you keep Candy in the old cage and just keep Jimmeny Cricket in the new one? Especially because of his eye infection (on top of all the other reasons) they should be separated right now. It could be the stress from still being in a cage with him that is keeping her from eating. Or could she possibly have the beginning signs of an eye infection as well?

    I don't remember the temps that you said are in the new tank but they should be an ambient of 80 to 85 and have at least two basking spots (two because you have two dragons in the same tank and you don't want them fighting over the best basking spot) of at least 90 degrees.

    You've definitely covered the variety of food to offer... I'm not too sure what else to add here unless you want to go in to offering more exotic things... A lot of foods for WDs are covered in this link.
  10. Karlee

    Karlee Member

    I dont think that would work for long. I was trying to clean out the spare we had a week ago maybe and it was a twenty gallon glass (it was an old aquarium tank) and I kinda slipped halfway down the stairs and broke it. So I keep him in something I wouldnt reccomend for a goldfish. Could I convert an old, out of use refrigerator into a cage if I take out the doors?

    I have the warm side at 90-95 degrees and a cooler side at room temperature. I already have two basking sights of equal temp. but they still fight over the one that has more foliage covering it. I guess it just is the most secure feeling spot, I dont know what it is. It isnt a biting kinda ordeal, more of a bluffing chase.

    Thanks, I just am more comfterable with those just because I know petstores carry them and a local breeder I go to for feeder fish. The others I havent seen in my area at all.

    And Candy getting an eye infection is an option, I just dont think so. Her eyes are clear as day. She has no problem opening her eyes and is very active. If I see any more signs of disease I will tell you.
  11. Karlee

    Karlee Member

    I have settled how I am going to seperate them, I am considering selling her. I am NOT selling her to just anyone though, I am selling her to a friend so I can track how good of care she is in. Plus I still want to be able to see her.
  12. Louie

    Louie Member

    Reading other sites they seem to be very delicate when young.
  13. Karlee

    Karlee Member

    Both physically and mentally. A web buddy of mine (we met at a reptile show but she lives in Louisiana so I dont visit her, rather just chat on the web) has five water dragons (one chinese and the rest are eastern) and her cwd went off feed for about a month (little less) because there wasnt enough plants, and he broke his toe ten times and he is about two years old. I swear these guys should be marked with "fragile" on their side some times.
    Louie likes this.
  14. WingedWolf

    WingedWolf Member

    "Feeder fish" is also a bit vague. Most pet store feeder fish are goldfish or rosy reds, and both of those species should not be used as reptile food, because they are very high in thiaminase (an enzyme which destroys thiamine). Minnows from a bait shop would pose an unacceptably high risk of parasites. Some feed supplemented strips of tilapia fish or silversides (sold frozen as fish food). This is a case where the fish might not be better than nothing, if it's a goldfish.

    Have both animals had fecal exams done to check for internal parasites? I question the education of a vet who recommends giving yogurt to a reptile, though. Where would a reptile ever encounter dairy products? Why would the bacteria cultures in yogurt be good for a non-mammal? How could they be expected to handle lactose?

    Instead, ask the vet about a product called Carnivore Care, which may be a bit more nutritionally sound to offer.

    I also disagree with pedialyte, unless it is very highly diluted, and the animal is actually dehydrated, because it has a lot of sugar in it.

    Pushing calcium is something normally done only if a calcium deficiency disease is detected. Are the UVB lights fresh? Has the vet said anything about low calcium levels? If not, then only dust the insects with calcium before feeding them, don't give them calcium mixed into a bunch of stuff. It's definitely possible to give too much of a good thing, and oversupplementation is dangerous.

    When I kept a water dragon, he ate dusted crickets, dusted mealworms, and wax worms as a baby, and added zophobas worms, and nightcrawlers, and even ate rat pups once he was fully grown. (I loved that dragon--he was tragically killed by a fallen light fixture).
  15. Karlee

    Karlee Member

    Ack, seriously? I thought it was healthy because it gave them gut bacteria, calcium (they hadnt been eating so how would I supplement calcium?), potassium, protein, vitamans A,C,D, a small amount of fat, electrolytes, sodium, chloride, and zinc (is what the vet told me). The bulbs are fresh, but they hadnt had calcium supplements for about a month (a tiny amount of food two) and the vet said he had MBD.
  16. Louie

    Louie Member

    Thanks that is what I read.

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