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Reptiles/Off balance beardie?


QUESTION: So i'm quite worried at the moment, within a day or so my 4 year old beardie has completely lost her balance when walking, i've given her a bath which she seemed fine in, waddling her way up and down the bath (confusingly though she sometimes went in circles?) after i took her out and she was dry and warm i put her on the carpet to see how she was as she seemed a little off balance this morning, when she walked she kept falling over onto her side, her legs seem fine but it's her balance...completely out of the blue so strange, i've put her back in her tank and she is currently basking but i'm very confused...I'm literally in and out of bursting into tears at the moment i'm so worried.

i'm ringing up a vet tomorrow to see what advice he can give me over the phone as i have no means of transport at the moment and there is no rep vet were i live. Strange thing is her eyes are alert and fine, she was active when in the bath, but also keeps tilting her head back and going side to side...i feel awful i hope it's nothing i've done

UVB Reptiglo 10.0
Hot side 45/46 c
Cold side 28 c

Diet - She's been a fussy eater from when i got her as a baby, she mostly refuses all attempts of getting veg down her, i've tried lots of different things, i've even tried to liquifie them and drip them on her mouth but to no luck, but sometimes i see her sneak a bit of cabbage off her plate so she may just be doing it behind my back. But she loves locusts and on and off crickets which are both dusted with calcium supplement.

I've never had anything like this happen to her in the four years of having her so am very shocked and upset.
Please any advice would be great :/

ANSWER: Hello Bethany,

I am sorry about your girl!
How long have you had the Reptiglo 10 bulb & is it a fluorescent tube or a compact coil light?
How often does she get calcium 3-4 times per week?
What other greens does she eat other than cabbage?  Try also rocket, arugula, mustard or collard greens for better choices that are not as high in oxalates.  
The locusts & crickets are perfect for her though.  

The temperatures should be more along the lines of 35 to 42C with a cooler end of around 26 to 28C.  I don't think it is the temperatures though.

I believe she probably has a calcium issue.  Unfortunately, the Reptiglo 10 tube bulbs do not emit the proper UVB wavelength.  This wavelength that they put out is not conducive to D3 synthesis & over time being under this bulb can contribute to metabolic bone disease.
Try getting the Zoomed Reptisun 10 tube bulb or the Arcadia D3 12% tube bulb, either one.   
Does she have any obvious physical deformities, or no?  

You can send me pictures of her also, if you have some.

Let me know how she is doing.

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

draco tail
draco tail  
QUESTION: Hi tracie thanks for getting back to me,
The reptiglo has been used mostly all her life i think, this one i have in now was brought within the last few days as the old one had been in for 5/6 months. I've tried to get her to eat squash, kiwi, apple, spring greens, dandelion etc but to no luck still, quite a frustrating girl haha.
Yes last night while going through forums and questions i did notice other people complaining about reptiglo, if that is the cause i'm going to feel awful. She has no deformities no, tail is long and all toes are pressent, no lumps or bumps.
I've attached a couple pictures taken this morning, the reason she looks drowsy is because she's just woken up and usually doesn't start getting up and active for an hour or so.


ANSWER: Hello Bethany,

Can you get a Reptisun 10 tube or an Arcadia D3 12% tube since you are in the UK, correct?
The Reptiglo 10 tube just is not strong enough for him.
She has not been able to adequately absorb her calcium which most likely has caused early hypocalcemia.  Early on, it is very treatable, so getting a better light should fix it pretty quickly.
Can you get any liquid calcium also to help?
I found you on where my user is Drache613.  :-)

It definitely is not your fault.  They were supposed to improve the lights, but have not done so.  
How is she doing today, is she basking?  
They can be quite picky with their eating sometimes, also.


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

QUESTION: Hi Tracie, I asked my mum this morning to order the arcadia D3 12% tube off amazon so that should be here during next week sometime. Should i take her reptiglo out now? or would that make things worse if she didn't get any uvb at all till next week sometime?
Where would i get liquid calcium from?
Ahh yes i remember someone pointing me towards you :)
This morning she's perky, on one of her logs, has eaten a couple locusts from my hand as when she eats she keeps flicking her head back and moving it quickly from side to side now but she is still very interested in her food which is a good. I got her out yesterday onto the carpet to see how she walked, she was much better than the first night it started but she still wobbled and fell a bit, but she doesn't look like she seems ill so i hope she is still feeling okay. From the pictures i sent you does she look unhealthy to you?
I rang the vet yesterday morning and she told me to just keep an eye on her for now and see how she goes as she said it mayhave just been a one time thing, but she said if it gets worse or carrys on for a while then to take her in to see her. But that aslong as she's still eating there is no immediate concern to rush her in she said.

Many thanks

Hello Bethany,

How is she doing?  
She looks good, based on the pictures anyway.  You can probably find some liquid calcium in the petstore, Zilla or bone aid.  Let me know if you are able to find some.  I sell some also.
Great, the Arcadia D3 12% tube will be very good for her.  At least you were able to find that one.
It sounds like her appetite is still good as well, which is a great sign, too.
She was doing better today?  
Yes, go ahead and take the Reptiglo out now, it really is not doing any good.  Just leave the basking light in there right now while you are waiting for the Arcadia.  

Let me know how she progresses!  


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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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