Cause of this Behavior?

Discussion in 'Bearded Dragons' started by Ozziesma, Apr 12, 2014.

  1. Ozziesma

    Ozziesma Embryo

    Hello! Our vet recommended this site as a good source of information, so here I am! Here goes. Ozzie is a 11 month old male bearded dragon. He was doing great when we first brought him home but with winter, came some problems.

    Is this your first bearded dragon? ...Yes
    What area are you located in? .......East Coast, Maryland

    Dragons name: ....Ozzie

    Age, weight and length if you know?
    ...Approx 11 months, 14-15 inches, approx 5 oz
    How long with you? .....9 months

    What is his condition recently and if it changed, when? ....started when the weather turned cold in October, but then he went back to normal for a couple of months, now he's back to being unwell as of 2 weeks give or take a week. He was lethargic all winter and slept a lot, now that it is warming up he is back to being energetic and curious about everything. He has been burping or coughing occasionally, and if i do not pick him up he starts gagging, his beard turns black and he will throw up food, or just saliva. He will go very still and rigid while gaping with his eyes open although, just yesterday he slowly closed his eyes. He sat like that for a couple of seconds then started pooping and acting fine again. I gave him a bath directly after that and he pooped again in the tub. He swam and splashed around in the bath and was completely fine. This only happens everyone once in a while.

    Is he active, clear eyes and bright? Yes, energetic out of his tank, curious

    Is the beard, chest or tail tip darker than the rest or than normal? tip of his tail gets darker when he is exploring, chest and beard get dark when he is having an episode. When he is relaxed, his coloring is normal, and light.

    Walking/moving normally? yes

    Any physical features that do not appear normal? no

    From Breeder or Pet Store? (this may make a difference) Petsmart (we got him from one that usually very clean, and attentive to their animals)

    Has he every been treated by a vet,.... Sort of, we took him for a check up, and he was deemed healthy. We took him again when he started showing signs of his episodes, our vet saw nothing out of the ordinary as he was not acting any differently when we brought him. However I was able to catch an episode on video and took that to my vet. Vet was unsure to what the cause was.

    If yes, for what and what meds were used/dosed and time if know? meds

    Basking or sleeping during the day? ...basking unless it is grey and cold outside, then he gets sleepy and wont move much from his wake up position. He likes to go to bed early those days.

    Is he going to the bathroom, how often? yes, every 2-3 days

    If not, when was the last time?

    Is it formed/normal or runny/smelly ....formed almost solid sometimes, smelly

    Alone or with others? ...alone

    If with others, what sex"?

    Soaking or misting at all and how often? ....soaking once a week, water added to his food and dripped on his snout daily. He hates being misted. Once a month with Pedialyte (half and half solution), or directly after an episode in his bath water, if we have some available.

    Set up info tank size? ...20 gal tank for now, new one is 120 but we aren't done with that yet.

    Temps -what do you use for heat? reptisun 10.0 uvb approx 2 months old, heat lamp is a couple of weeks old, 150w, unsure of brand at this time. Under tank heat pad on hot side.

    Basking point? 105 approx
    Cool area? 80 approx
    What are you measuring it with? two temp gauges that stick to the glass, and a temp gun for an accurate reading

    What Substrate? repticarpet

    UVB Lights type (detailed) what brand, model, and length or wattage ....heat lamp brand unknown right now, 150 watt, a couple of weeks old on an adjustable mount, uvb is a reptisun 10.0, approx 2 feet long, a couple of months old sits directly on viv lid. Natural sunlight when possible for approx 30 or until he gets nervous from the birds, or natural sunlight in our bedroom with the windows open. he will run in and out of the light while exploring.

    How old? heat lamp is a couple of weeks old, uvb is a couple of months old

    How close to UVB light when he bask? approx 1 foot away uvb, same for heat lamp with a log underneath for climbing to the level he wants

    What hours for day/night? usually, 6am-630am to 8-9pm lights on, weekends the hours may shift by an hour or so.

    Do you use any type of nighttime heat, if so what? none, we set our heat to 62 degrees at night lowest.

    How is his appetite? IS there a change? sometimes, some days he wont eat, some days he clears the whole bowl. food is offered daily

    What size, kind and how many/much insects does he eat daily? until winter, he was eating maybe 30 pinheads a day give or take 10-15, after winter he ate a lot less, sometimes having no interest in the crickets. we began switching his food to see if this affected the way he was acting, keeping our vet informed of dietary changes we made.

    What do you feed the insects normally? gut load and oranges

    Is the dragon eating greens/veggies? yes

    What and how much? grapes and strawberries occasionally, kale, butternut squash when we find it, collard greens daily, turnip greens, mango

    Supplements? juvenile bearded dragon dry food

    What kind of calcium/how often? spray vitamins with extra calcium on his dry food daily

    What kind of vitamins how often? spray vitamins, powder vitamins, calcium powder, daily

    How are these given to him? sprayed on his dry food and veggies, powdered on crickets, daily

    Extra comments: So, as I stated above, this behavior only happens once in a while. He will go weeks, even a month with zero episodes, and while it was happening more in the beginning of winter, he stopped almost completely during the last part of winter. Only having "the burps" every now and again around bed time. Before and after these episodes of his, he is running around alert and testing the boundaries of our bedroom (its pretty large and i'm sure he thinks the whole room is his vivarium. we like to call these trysts "epic adventure time") He is never unsupervised while running around in our bedroom and while we are constantly fighting a battle with my hair, we watch him very carefully to be sure he doesn't lick one up with out and about. He has gotten a few but has passed them successfully so far. We sanitize before and after handling him and try to keep his area clean as well. I usually remove everything from his viv and clean in a 10 percent bleach solution once a week. I do use a stronger cleaner on the actual vivarium itself but wipe it down with distilled water immediately after and set up his lights elsewhere while everything airs out for a few hours. He is held and played with for at least 2-2 1/2 hours everyday, whether he is out and about getting some exercise, or falling asleep with me, which is a nightly occurrence. As for his vomiting, usually it was anything he had eaten recently, so we stopped all food and switched him to just the dry food with the vitamins. He stopped vomiting for a long time after that. He has vomited 3 times since that change, in about January. Once, when he ate too much, once with just saliva and yesterday when it was just a saliva. Also, our first check up at the vet, he said Oz had a higher level than normal of coxcydia, but there was no need for meds as the levels were not high enough to be concerning. I apologize for such a long post but I felt as much information about his daily life and behaviors was a must. I have come across so many "culprits" of this behavior, that I have no idea anymore what could be causing all of this. If anymore information is needed, please let me know, I will try to get that as fast as possible. I know certain brands are missing from above but I can not remember everything at this time. I will post anything extra/missing as soon as I can. Thank you all for your help and advice in advance. We really appreciate it!

    JEFFREH Administrator

  3. reptileslave

    reptileslave Embryo


    I do not have the time right now to read the whole thing so I would like to leave you with at least a few good sources of information. What I did notice was a 20 gallon which is too small even for a young bd. I'll try to come back and read your post carefully when I have the time, although this site may answer all your questions.

    JEFFREH Administrator

  5. Ozziesma

    Ozziesma Embryo

    Hello! Thank you for the links, I ended up taking him to the vet because I thought he died on me, but he didn't. And now for the update, I'm sorry its taken so long! Our vet gave us some meds to be fed by syringe, treating for a respiratory illness. That must have been the problem because Oz has been doing great ever since! He's only thrown up 1 time since May/June. We are nearly done with his custom built vivarium (that was crazy) as well. He is getting bigger every week. Again, I am sorry for the 6 month delay as we've had a lot going on.

    Attached Files:

Share This Page