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Reptiles/bearded dragon shaking her head


QUESTION: im a bit concerned about my bearded dragon as im not sure whats wrong with her. she had stopped eating 3 months ago and was just sleeping quite early. she has MBD in her back legs and ive had her at the vets, but they say there isnt much they can do. (basically the last time she ate a decent amount was before i had her at the vets). now she is eating again but will only eat maybe 1 or 2 crickets or locusts a day (if that).

now as for her shaking her head, she seems to go to grab the cricket/locust out of my hand but if she doesnt get it she will shake her head from side to side, and will sometimes stick her tongue out. ive had a look in her mouth and i cant see anything wrong with it.

she seems to act like she has something in her mouth when there is nothing there. if she manages to grab the cricket/locust she eats it ok.

ANSWER: Hello Sarah,

I am sorry to hear about your dragon.  
What type & brand of UVB light are  you using?  Is it a fluorescent tube bulb or a compact/coil light?  How old is the light & how close is it to her?
How often do you give calcium to her?  She needs calcium in liquid form though since she has been diagnosed with metabolic bone disease so she can absorb it better.
Can your vet prescribe it to you, or no?  
Do you have any pictures you could post for me?  

The metabolic bone disease causes a lot of complications in the neurological system so the shaking & sticking the tongue out are indicators of this disease.
If she is not able to get enough food, you can try giving some baby food for her to help with nutrition.  


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Her UVB light is a repetisun 10.0 and I've only had it 3 months. It's within 8" of her (cant get it any closer). I can probably buy some liquid calcium off the Internet. If I give her baby food what's the best type?

Hello Sarah,

Is there any screen or plastic in between her & the UVB light?  Is it a tube bulb or a compact/coil light?
You can check in the local petstores, you may be able to find the Zilla brand of liquid calcium.   I sell liquid calcium too, but if you need it immediately you can check at the store to see if they have any.

How is she doing today?



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Tracie Kretzschmar


I can answer questions pertaining to health, UVB specifics, overall husbandry care & supplementation, analysis of blood test results, and behavioral problems & handling. I can answer questions pertaining to bearded dragons, leopard geckos, iguanas, uromastyx & ball pythons. I can answer adeno virus related questions in bearded dragons, & then specifically about the testing methods as well. I am beginning an Pogona Adeno Testing Society in 2008 which will help to begin to start some standardization within the bearded dragon colonies of the breeders who choose to test.


I have been working with bearded dragons for over 5 years now, as well as leopard geckos, too. I am currently doing rescues, as well. I hope to be able to educate people prior to them purchasing an exotic pet in order to avoid any health crisis with them.

I have a master's degree in sports medicine & physiology, & 1 year of vet tech schooling, & am currently working on a reptile certification through the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.

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