Reptiles/bearded dragon issues?
So i have a one year old (well one on the 28th of this month) bearded dragon, he is quite fat and lazy. but a few things have been concerning me about him recently. all of his defecates are completely normal, a bit runny sometimes when he eats a lot of his pellet food and not as much protein. but the isn't very often, he is under a uvb. its one of the coilly ones from petco. and has a 60 watt household bulb, becuase the blue one i used to have him under made him sick and sleepy. his basking spot is quite large, ranging from 85-100 degrees fereignheight at night the temps drop ten to 15 degrees and i just moved him to half sand/half washcloth. he enjoys eating the bonzai tree in his tank and hates his veggies after i give him any meat. so ive been trying to cut down on meats in his diet so hell eat more veggies. i also noticed that sometimes when he goes to get his veggies he has a really hard time licking up the greens. hes been really picky with his food recently, and even refused crickets. also i was reading another post and a girl was worried about her beardie having bloodshot eyes, my beardie has always had light brown eyes with red lines in them, they dont seem to irritate him, and he can see perfectly fine (even knows the difference between the colors blue and black). i just dont know if i should be worried about it. he hasnt been loosing weight, and as of last time i weighed him he was a little over 350 grams, and 18 inches long. (that was about a week ago) he doesnt look emaciated or anything, just his pickiness kind of concerns me.I'v checked for mites, and there are none. other than his strange behaviors he is acting normal, he isnt sensitive anywhere, and hasntbeen moody or aggressive.The last thing concerning me, is hes had pinkish dots on his belly, not many of them, and they appear to be splotches, he got them after breeding with his girlfriend, and the vet i called said it was most likely not mites or a parasite becuase it was a light neon pink, and most likely came from well, apparentaly lizard cum stains pink. it doesnt appear to bother him either, but its been three weeks, and it still hasnt disappeared. then again, he hasnt shed since he mated, and i just want your opinion on what you think it is.
1. Is his weight healthy for his age?
2. Does his eye color mean something is wrong with him?
3. Should i be to concerned about his picky eating, if he isnt dropping weight?
4. I'm just curious, how much bigger do you think he will get?
5. Is cutting down on meat to about twice a week, if that ok for his age?
6. Is eating a bonzai tree bad for him? (hes been eating it since he was a hatchling, but just the leaves)
7. What are the pink splotches on his belly?
*. why is he having difficulty picking up his food?
He is in a 35 gallon tank, but gets taken out once a day, and plays on my floor while i do my homework.
He gets daily baths.
In his tank, at all times he has access to fresh water, veggies, and his bonzai tree.
There is also a rock at the edge of his basking area, that acts as a heat holder without getting to hot
He is in the tank all by himself, and a confirmed male.
He is really friendly, and extremely smart.
PREVIOUS MEDICAL HISTORY:
when i got him, he had burns above both of his eyes due to pet cos inability to care for thier animals properly. they healed over time, and the blueish scars have gone away, and now the scales above his eyes just appear to be flattened. They dont seem to bother him. also his teeth in the front either stay really tenny tiny, or they keep falling out. they are kind of angled out ward, instead of straight.That also doesnt seem to bother him.
I am including a basic care sheet so that you can double check care areas.
He is too young to mate!! They should not be allowed to breed until 2 yrs of age. The pink you see is most likely blood tinged semen. Breeding at an early age runs the risk of prolapses, injuries, etc.
You do need to go with a different uvb source..the coil lights just don't work that well for the uvb that a beardie needs.
You do need to increase your basking temps a bit. being too low in the basking area can cause their food to digest slower.
As to your questions....
It is very hard to say if his weight.size id ok due to genetics. Many times people that breed the beardies do not pay attention to genetics and produce smaller, less healthy offspring. They also breed too young, again causing problems..but... at the size your dragon is, he is at the lower end of length and pretty much right in the middle for weight.... so, with that, he is on the heavy side for his length.
2. When they talk about the red lines, they are referring more about red in the white area.
But.. he may have stressed his eyes (pressure) with mating. If the red was there prior, and is in the colored part, chances are all is fine.
3. mating will slow his eating... picky eaters, you need to use tough love... give him what he should eat, not what he wants.. IE: if he wants to eat only insects, you might need to with hold insects for a few days and only offer proper greens.
4. It is tough to tell how much larger he will get.. avg size for a beardie is 18-24 inches.. some may get a bit larger. He will most likely start to bulk up in size now.
5. yes, cutting back on insects is fine..see the care sheet for more on this.
6. Bonsai tree.. that depends on what the tree is... many leaves are toxic to reptiles. Bonsai is just the method the tree was dwarfed..it is not the species of the tree.
7. It could be blood tinged urates. Without physically seeing the spots, it is impossible to tell if it is natural coloring or something on him.
8. Try cutting his food different.. narrow strips for the greens or finely chop them depending on how you are cutting them now.
9. A 35 gallon tank really is too small for him. See the care sheet for more info.
10. Teeth, he may have metabolic bone disease(mild) which can show up in deformed mouth/teeth. be sure to get a recommended source of uvb.
Glad to hear his burns have healed.
BASIC BEARDED DRAGON CARE:
For an adult bearded Dragon, a 50 -55 gallon is the smallest recommended tank. For a baby, nothing less than a 30 gallon tank will work for a very short time, so its best to just start out with the adult sized tank....you can add rocks and branches for climbing, being sure to not stack rocks too high to prevent them toppling over. Branches need to be secure. They like to have a hide log or cave also. CAUTION!!! be VERY careful with the driftwood pieces that have the holes in them!!! Be sure the holes are small as that if the holes are large, the BD MAY be able to get his head in them but not able to get it back out!!! A secure screen top is necessary for bearded dragons as that also they do not require much height for climbing..they can and do climb!! NEVER USE HEAT ROCKS OR HEATED CAVES!!! They malfunction and cause severe burns and even death!!!!
Young bearded dragons MUST be kept on paper towels, newspaper or other non particulate(loose) substrate to prevent them from getting any loose substrate into their mouth and swallowing it which can and does cause intestinal blockages.Once the BD is over 10 inches, some people have had good luck using play sand mixed with 50% of peat moss. I prefer the safe substrate of the newspaper, or other non particulate substrate to prevent any problems and also for ease of cleaning.
BD's need UVB, which is the special lights that come in fluorescent tubes or special screw in bulbs(mercury vapor)that are designed to produce uvb and heat. The tubes do not produce heat. UVB is needed by the BD to be able to absorb the calcium in the foods they eat. Without the uvb, they will develop metabolic bone disease. With the tubes, they must say that they produce BOTH uvb and uva. The uvb needs to be 5% or higher. Repti Sun 5.0 and 10.0(not compact) are TWO of the best uvb tubes on the market. The repti glo 8.0's are a great uvb source also. These need to be positioned 6-8 inches(for the 5.0 and 8.0 and 8-10 inches for the 10.0) over the BD so that they get the uvb that is needed. Recommended length of the tube is 24 inches or more. They need to be replaced every 6-9 months as that they stop producing uvb long before they stop producing light. They need to have access to uvb and basking
temperatures for 10-12 hours daily. At night, no white lights!!!
There are tubes and bulbs that say ''full spectrum'' but they do not produce any uvb.
On the mercury vapor , they also produce heat. They also produce the uvb and uva. The best on the market now are the MEGA RAY. www.reptileuv.com has more information on the Mega Ray lights. When using these, the distance is much greater than the uvb tubes and the directions must be followed that are listed for the light. When using the mercury vapor lights, you don't need to have one light for uvb and one for heat. The Mercury vapor lights provide both.
HEATING AND TEMPERATURES:
Bearded Dragons have specific temperature requirements. For heat when using the uvb producing fluorescent tubes, a regular household light bulb will work for DAYTIME heat. The wattage needed will vary to each situation such as tank size, room temperatures, air flow. Their basking area temperature must be between 95F and 105F degrees to allow proper digestion of food. Your basking area must be where the uvb light is as well as the heat source. Be sure that the BD cannot get too close to the heat source as that they WILL get burned! The ambient temperature range in the mid 80's . Cool daytime range of normal room temperature of low to mid 70's. Nighttime temperatures in the low to mid 60's is fine. NEVER USE HEAT ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A good digital thermometer is a must. I like using the duel ones with the probe...cost about 15$ at Wal Mart. The probe can be placed in the basking area at the BD's level to monitor this temperature and the main unit can be pl
aced in one of the ambient temperature areas. When reading them, the "out" reading is the probe area.
Bearded Dragons eat and need both animal proteins and vegetable matter!!! As young dragons they eat a bit more of the insects. As they get older, as adults their diet is more of the vegetable matter. As young BDs, the diet is about 80% animal proteins and 20% vegetable matter. As they get older, the ratio changes. An adult will eat about 80%-90% vegetable matter and 10-20% animal proteins.
Animal protein sources are: Crickets, superworms, silkworms, roaches, hornworms, waxworms. Waxworms are considered candy to a BD so only feed on occasion in a small amount(2-3 worms). ALL insects must be properly gutloaded for at least 48 hours prior to feeding to the dragon. For crickets and superworms, this can be done with vegetables, plain cereals and commercial foods for the species. Silkworms and the other insects have their own diet needs. Its best to feed the crickets in a separate feeding tank such as a 10 or 20 gallon size tank or container with a well vented lid. This can make it easier for the dragon to catch the crickets and prevents any stray crickets in their "home" tank from deciding to nibble on the BD if he happens to not find them all. If you do feed in his home tank, be sure to place a 1/2 potato in the tank to help prevent the crickets from biting at the BD. ALL insects fed must be no larger than the space between their eyes to prevent choking. Be sure to dust the insects daily(for dragons up to 14-15 inches) (2x wkly there after)with a good calcium source such as Rep Cal calcium powder with no added Phosphorus. Young BD's up to 4 months of age will eat more crickets than anything. At this age they will usually consume anywhere from 10 to 30+ correctly sized crickets three times a day. Be sure to remove any uneaten crickets that are not consumed in a 15-25 minute time frame. For this reason, its easier to use a separate feeding tank for the bearded dragon. A 10 gallon tank(with a screen top) works well. Its best to offer their "salad" of greens/veggies before offering their morning insect feeding when they are hungry to prevent any problems with them preferring NOT to eat their salad. Their salad consists of Collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, dandelion greens...... this is the BASE of the green part of their vegetable diet. To this, for variety you can add arugula, escarole, endive,small amounts of bok choy or other Asian greens. For the vegetable part of the diet, green beans, butternut squash, acorn squash(other winter squashes are also acceptable) yams, sweet potato. For color, sweet peppers can also be added in a small amount. For baby BD's, using a food processor for the greens and veggies works well. As they get older, greens should never be larger than about an inch x an inch in size. Never feed lettuces as they have no nutritional value. The hard veggies should be either food processed or grated. Fruits can also be offered in small amounts. Good fruits are figs, papaya, melon, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries....and many other fruits... these need to be mashed or chopped. Watermelon is a good source of water for the dragon. Their salad can be dusted once or at the most, twice a month with a good vitamin supplement such as RepCal HerptiVit. This is by no means a complete list of foods the dragons can eat.You can also offer baby food chicken or small bits of boiled chicken.
Be sure to provide a dish of FRESH drinking water at ALL times!!! Misting their salad will also help get much needed water into them. NEVER FEED any MICE or other mammals to your Dragon!!!
As stated above, always provide a dish of drinking water and mist their salad. You can also bathe your dragon a few times a week. (many bathe them daily for "bathroom duties") Temperature of the water should be between 85 and 95 degrees. The depth should never be any deeper than to cover his back when laying FLAT!!! Never leave them unattended at bath time to prevent possible drowning. Many love to soak and swim for 15 minutes or more. Never bathe less than two hours before his basking lights go out. Doing so can cause him to become too chilled, risking the chance of a respiratory infection.
A vet check up is recommended and a fecal sample taken in to be tested for any internal parasites.... To find a qualified vet in your area you can go to
More in-depth care info can be found at:
Most bearded dragons will take long naps (generally,if they are over a yr) in the fall.. this is called Brumation. is a form of hibernation. You can read more about that at
be sure to read this link as it tells you what to look for in brumation vs illness.