Reptiles/Bearded dragon


QUESTION: Good morning

My bearded dragon is 5 years old and now it is like if his back legs can barely move, he can't even swim any more using his tail.  it has been like this for the past 2 weeks now and I don't know what to do to make it better or to help it.

Do you think it's because of age or what.
I really hope you can help, I really love him and don't

ANSWER: Hello Sonja,

I am sorry to hear about your 5 year old.  
Please run over your tank setup for me such as your UVB lighting, & supplementation.
Do you have any pictures of him I could see?

What type & brand of UVB are you using, is it a fluorescent tube bulb or a compact/coil light?
How old is the light?
Are you using calcium supplementation also & if so, how often do you use it for him?

What is his diet like, how many feeders weekly do you feed him & does he eat greens?
What are his temperatures in the tank?

It appears to be metabolic bone disease for either lack of calcium or UVB lighting.  This is common among bearded dragons as there are a lot of UVB lights that are not very good.
Is he losing weight or maintaining it?

Let me know how he is doing.

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


The tank has sand in the one area and then the mat, we put in the sand for my female for her to lay her eggs. Her condition is good I have no problem with her. It is only him.  I will send you a picture of him before and after.

the light I use is the Repti sun glo 100Watt, the light is the one that contains both UVA and UVB. The light is almost 6 Months old.  I do have the komodo calcium plus powder that I usually give to them with there lettuce once a week.  There is also the 'Top pet Delight pallets' That is in there thank all the time because my female loves it.

He usually ate a lot, more that the female, he was fast when it came to catching the crickets, but now he doesn't want to eat any greens or pallets even.  He's to slow to catch the crickets and he just lies there and barely moves.

He is losing weight I can see it and if I touch him on the side of his stomach next to his back legs, it's as if he gives a switch lick its sensitive.

Hello Sonja,

Are the male & female housed together?
Is she dominating him?  
Pictures would be great when you can send them.  

Are you referring to the Exoterra Sun Glo or the Solar Glo?  How far from the light is he & is there screen in between him & the light?  Since it is a mercury vapor bulb, 12 inches is the recommended distance.   
I would try to get some baby food such as chicken or turkey baby food along with squash, or sweet potato, fed with a plastic dropper or syringe.  This will help supplement him since he is losing weight.
He will need calcium 3-4 times per week, as an adult, to help maintain his bones.  
What type of lettuce do you give?  The better choices are mustard or collard greens, endive, escarole, dandelion greens, or arugula is ok, too.  
Do you gutload the crickets also?   

Let me know how he is doing.


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.