You are here:

Reptiles/my bearded dragon wont move or eat


QUESTION: Hello my bearded dragon kiwi is 8 years old and lives in a big tank. Her tank consists of sand a heating rock some logs a water and food dish. Her UAV light is a tube and her day light is clear. She has been in the same corner for a couple days and it seemed like she had passed away but when I went to check I lifted her up and she opened her eyes. She wouldn't move or eat. I put her close to the water and she drank. She tries to move but struggles and seems very weak. She has been in the same cage almost all her life and I don't know if its old age or if somethings wrong please help!

ANSWER: Hello Josh,

Which brand of UVB light does she have?   How old is it?  How close is it to her?
How often do you give calcium supplementation for her?
What types of foods is she eating?
What are her temperatures in the tank & what do you use to measure the temperatures?
She could have metabolic bone disease, but please let me know about the lighting & supplementation.  It could also possibly be brumation.  How long has she been like this?
Do you have any pictures of her along with her tank setup too?
If she is not eating right now, I would start giving her some chicken or turkey baby food along with some squash baby food with a plastic dropper or syringe.  You can drop the food onto the end of her nose & she should lick some of the food off of her nose.


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

QUESTION: Thank you tracie she eats mostly greens like kale and parsley I do not give her calcium suppliments. Her UAV bulb is a couple months old and it is about 1.5 - 2 feet away from her. I use a small round temp gauge at the bottom of the tank that reads 90. She trys to eat every now and then but seems to week to get to the food. She does move but she struggles

ANSWER: Hello Josh,

She is very thin, is she eating anything at all?
You can get some chicken or turkey baby food along with some squash baby food to feed to her with a plastic dropper or syringe to feed to her.
The round temperature device really only measures air temperature & can be quite off for the basking spots.  I would recommend getting either a temp gun or a digital probe to more accurately check the temperatures.  The basking temperatures need to be in a range of 95-110 with a cooler end of 78-82.
The UVA bulb, is that just her basking light, correct?  Or do you have a UVB light also?  If you don't have a UVB light, you will need to get one as soon as possible.  Please let me know if you have a UVB bulb.  
She needs calcium supplementation at least 3 times per week, but she seems to be developing metabolic bone disease though.

Let me know how she is doing.

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

QUESTION: I know shes very thin she won't eat I got the calcium supplement but she won't eat. I will start her on the baby food tomorrow. She has three bulbs, a UAV a basking and her night one thank you so much

Hello Josh,

You will need to get either the Reptisun 10 tube bulb or the Arcadia D3 12% tube bulb for a UVB source.  Otherwise she wont get better because she can't absorb calcium or other vitamins & minerals.
You can get either one of the lights here:

The UVB tube will need to be mounted directly overhead & around 6-8 inches from him.  You will also want to put the tube bulb directly beside the basking bulb.  

Let me know how she likes the baby food.



All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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.

©2017 All rights reserved.