Reptiles/Bearded dragon


QUESTION: I got my bearded dragon the day after Christmas and he was fine until this morning he didn't eat and now his head is tilted and he runs in circles. I picked him up and he rolled a few times before I got scared and put him back. I got him from pet smart and they were out of crickets so they gave me meal worms and said it was fine.. I'm really worried and I can't afford to go to a vet. Anything helps at this point

ANSWER: Hello Mikayla,

OH my, poor little thing.
How old is he/she, do you have any pictures?
Did he start running in circles before or after you fed him mealworms?
Can you review your tank setup with me, such as the type & brand of UVB light, the temperatures, size of tank & supplementation so I can be sure you have him all set up correctly.
Running in circles can mean possible respiratory infection, dehydration, calcium issues or other nutritional issues.
I don't normally recommend mealworms for little ones, as they have a harder outer shell which can cause impaction problems.  Small crickets, roaches, calcium worms otherwise known as phoenix worms, or small silkworms would be fine for him.  
Another issue could be Adeno virus which does affect balance.  It is a pretty common problem with petstore dragons, as well as ones from breeders since most breeders don't test.
You can also get some chicken or turkey baby food along with either squash or sweet potato baby food, to feed to him.  Use a plastic dropper or plastic syringe to drop the food onto his nose to see if he will lick it off.  

Let me know how he is doing.

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

QUESTION: He unfortunately passed and I'm devastated.. Thank you for your help though.

Hello Mikayla,

Oh no, I am so sorry to hear he passed away.  He may have been ill when you got him.  I hope that he wasn't impacted though.  
It sounds a lot like Adeno virus, which affects the youngsters.  
I am sorry for your loss.  :-(
If you need help with any others you may get, come back & find me here I will be glad to help out.



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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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