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Reptiles/health of my bearded dragon


QUESTION: I had two 1 year old bearded dragons but recently one simply just dropped dead, now naturally i am worried about my remaining dragon. they were in individuality vivs as they were both male. what concerns me is that he has become slow and inactive plus his legs and stomach seem to be swollen. i haven't take him to the vets firstly because i cant find one and secondly i am going to look very stupid if i turn up with him and it turns out hes just fat. i just want to make sure hes ok, do you think it would be a good idea to worm and mite him? by the way he was the runt so the others picked on himbefor i got him, his tail is damaged and broke and he is missing some back toes.

ANSWER: Hello Shaz,

Wow, I am so sorry to hear about your other dragon!
What substrate are you using now, could he be impacted possibly?
Are you sure it is male & not a gravid female?  Do you have a picture of Hathaway?
What are the temperatures in the tank & how do you measure the temperatures?  Do you have a digital probe or temp gun?
Are you using a UVB light & if so, what type & brand is it?  A fluorescent tube bulb or a compact/coil bulb?
Is he eating very well right now?
Are you supplementing calcium on a regular basis, too?
If his stools are runny & or smelly, you could consider deworming him.  If you do, let me know & I can help with dosing him.  
How long have you had him for now?


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QUESTION: ye thats not a bad idea but i always use the rep carpet to avoid the impacting problem. I always keep the temp at thirty degrees c and the UVB strip is only about two months old so thats fine. He gets cal powder every 2 days on his meal worm.  i am fairly sure hes male, however the man i got him off said he was female. but from the displays he has given hes male. he seems to have gone off crickets but he dose that sometimes so am not worried but hes into veg at the moment. hes stools are a bit strong so i try to remove them as soon as i can. i would very much appreciate some help with the deworming doses thank you.

Hello Shaz,

The reptile carpet is fine, he wont get impacted from that.
At certain times, they can change their likes of foods, etc.  At his age, he still needs at least 50 feeders per week.  The calcium should be given 3 times a week.  Mealies are ok to use from time to time, but they are too fatty to be used on a regular basis.  Also, they have harder shell which can contribute to impaction.

Which brand of tube UVB light are you using?
The temperatures of 30 are not quite high enough.  They need to be at 35 to 43 on the basking spot with a cooler end of around 26 to 28.  If he is not kept warm enough he wont be able to digest food very well.  
Does he have femoral pores/bumps on the inner leg areas?
Let me know how he is doing.
He is a cute little thing!




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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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