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Reptiles/Bearded Dragon Health and Tail Rot


I'm a student with a Bearded Dragon, 11 months old, called Thorn who is very friendly and active.
Recently browsing forums etc. I saw 'tail rot' and decided to check him.
Attached is a picture regarding the current situation. He has had no tail nipping and nothing that I know of could have fallen on his tail (apart from himself, he likes to climb!)
Also, as he is getting close to his first birthday, he seems rather small for a beardy of his age (16.5inches) and when standing bolt upright, his sides wrinkle and you can feel his ribs, don't really know how to approach this situation,
Thanks in advance!

ANSWER: Hello Joe,

Thorn is a great looking dragon.  For his age, he could probably put on some weight & size, but his length is not too bad.
His tail does not appear to have tail rot.  That normally only happens in cases of retained shed, or a bite or tail injury.  
Are you using a UVB light currently & if so, what type & brand is it?  How old is it?
Do you use calcium supplementation on a regular basis, too?  
How much does he eat & does he eat any greens?
What are the basking temperatures in his tank & what type of thermometer do you use?


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

QUESTION: Hi Tracie,
I currently am using two exoterra 10.0 UVB bulbs in conjunction with a daylight simulator box.
All are about 6months old, using a smaller setup for when he was younger.
All of his insect food is supplemented, weekdays with pure calcium and weekends with vitamin supplement too.
He eats all that I give him, having a varied diet from crickets to hoppers to waxworms, I normally feed him 4-5 times a week live food and every day a bowl of either romaine lettuce or curly kale, of which most is eaten however I never see him eating it!
His basking temperate is 105 and the cool end is 75ish, kept by a habistat dimming thermostat high range version which is on 13hours a day.
Glad to know he is ok but wondering how I could 'plump him up a bit' without running the risk of impaction.
On each feed I give him about 8-15 or so 10-20mm size live food. (Sorry for units in UK here :) )
Great to hear from you,

Hello Joe,

Thanks for the husbandry information.
I am going to recommend switching your UVB to the Reptisun 10 tube bulb or the Arcadia D3 12%  tube bulb.  The Reptiglo 10 tube bulb does not have very good wavelength that is conducive to D3 synthesis which affects the growth rate due to improper calcium metabolism.
What type of basking light, is it a bright white light?
It sounds like though, his appetite is doing well!  
The temperatures sound great also, so no problems with them right now.  
Those crazy dragons, they can be so picky with their greens!  At least he eats his insects though!
So you give the calcium powder 4-5 times per week & vitamins once a week?

You could try some superworms, also.  They are high in protein & have a good balance of fat, too.  You should be able to find them over in the UK.

Talk to you soon.


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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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