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Reptiles/buying a bearded dragon from owner


2 yr old
2 yr old  
one and half yr old
one and half yr old  
QUESTION: I am searching for a bearded dragon for my son who is 7. I have been searching craigslist and have found a few. just curious what to look for as far as the health of the beardie. also here are a couple of the ones I found...

ANSWER: Hello Samantha,

Both of those look pretty good, actually for a Craigslist listing.  Normally, they don't look very well most of the time.  
You can look for a nice thick tail base, fat pads that are convex on the top of the head, alert eyes, good posture & no curvature of the tail or spine.  Those are the immediate things to look for when purchasing one.  
When do you plan on getting one?


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QUESTION: Well his birthday is Friday so this week sometime.  I have done a lot of research the last few weeks.  Also the bigger one comes with a custom cage that is perfect size 4x2x2 and the owner has a video on YouTube of him with the bear die problem I did see was no cool side and hot side. Instead its more like he built a ledge  out of stone tile for basking and I think there is room for her to go under those which would possibly provide cool shade. Is that still a good idea for her? The YouTube video is naga in her cage. Something like that but its from a year ago. Another question I had was about bulbs...for basking will normal household bulbs work and what wattage? I appreciate all feedback. Thank you!!!

ANSWER: Hello Samantha,

I am glad to hear you have done a lot of research, it does take some time to sift through it all!
I did find the video.  He is larger than that now, right?
If the tank is 4x2x2 there should be plenty of space for him to have a cooler end opposite of the basking spot.  
You can use a regular house hold light bulb for the basking & it will need to be mounted directly beside the tube UVB.  I recommend either the Reptisun 10 tube or the Arcadia D3 12% tube.  Does it have a screen top?
If so, you can mount the UVB tube underneath of the screen at around 6-8 inches from him.
You will need to use either a digital probe or a temp gun to measure the temperatures with, too.

Let me know how things are coming along.


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QUESTION: Well we ended up getting the 2 year old. My husband said she even ate just a few minutes after getting her home and she is lively when we get her out. My concern now is the cage setup they gave us and her tail looks to have a bit of tail rot beginning but we are taking her to the vet this week as we had already planned anyways.  I will try to get some pictures of her setup and her tail. Also she doesn't seem to drink water much they told us. How often should we mist her and how any times do we put calcium on her salad and crickets/ worms? Thanks for all your help!

Hello Samantha,

Congratulations on your purchase, I hope she adjusts quickly for you.
That is great she ate a little bit when she got home.
Since you are not sure what her calcium levels are right now, I recommend dusting her food daily, either the greens/veggies or her insects.  Well, 5 times per week.  
At her age, she needs more greens/veggies than insects.  Does she need a little bit of weight added to her?  You can add some squash to her greens, too.
As far as insects, she only needs around 40-50 per week, of a mixed variety.  You can give crickets, roaches, superworms, phoenix worms, hornworms & silkworms.  Just choose a couple of see what she likes.  
They usually don't drink from a dish unless you train them early.  LOL  You can use a plastic dropper to see if you can train her to drink from a dropper, it is very easy to train them.  
If you would like to mist her, be sure to mist her outside of her tank to avoid having any mold or mildew issues.  You can also bathe her a few times per week, too.  
It was a bit hard to tell about the tail, from the picture.  It looks dark, but could it be that she is possibly getting ready to shed that area?  It didn't appear to have any deviations or injury, correct?  You can get some olive or mineral oil to put on the end of the tail, or shea butter to help with moisturizing it in case it could be retained shed.
Which UVB tube bulb did you decide to purchase for her?
Do you have a vet nearby to take her to?

Let me know how she 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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