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Reptiles/Bearded dragon hind limbs paralyzed


My son's bearded dragon is not moving his hind limbs today. He does have regular calcium supplementation in the form of a daily spray on his food (mealworms, kale, strawberries this week) and his cage is by a window so he has access to sunlight. He does not have regular bowel movements -- usually only 2 per week. I do not recall the last. I am uncertain if the lack of movement has to do with calcium intake or an intestinal blockage or something else?? We did have a power outtage for about six hours last night/early am but his condition does not seem to have improved as he has warmed up. I did give him a bath hoping to elicit a bowel movement but no result. I will be unable to get him to a vet until tomorrow night as my husband has to work & I can't drive, and have no idea if our local vet deals with reptiles. We have had him since June, I am uncertain of his age but he was not one of those tiny things you see in pet stores; was fairly big so I am guessing he is maybe 10 months old.  Please help!!

Hello Abigail,

I am sorry to hear of your son's dragon!
How big is he, lengthwise?   He should be around 16-18 inches in length at 10 months.  What is his weight, do you know?
Be sure the feeders are not larger than the space between his eyes to avoid impaction issues.  

Are you using a UVB light?  The UVB is not effective coming through glass so it wont be enough to give him the UVB that he needs to maintain bone mass & strength.  The sunlight for brightness in the room, itself is fine, but he needs close proximity of a UVB light to maintain proper health.
I highly recommend getting either a Reptisun 10 tube bulb or the Arcadia D3% tube bulb either one.  They will need to be placed 6-8 inches from him, alongside of a bright white basking light preferably without screen blocking it.  
What are the temperatures in your tank & what type of thermometer are you using to measure the temperatures?  
What type of calcium is he taking?

I suspect that he is hypocalcemic which will affect his GI tract's ability of the smooth muscles to promote a healthy system so he could become constipated, etc or have difficulty when he does go potty.  

Do you have pictures of him?

Let me know how he is doing.


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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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