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Reptiles/Sudden female beardie death


QUESTION: My female I rescued of 6 years old suddenly died this week. She was Gravid and off food for about a week; she has had many clutches of eggs successfully, so this was all normal behavior. I gave her 3 blueberries cut in half dusted with calcium Monday morning, an hour later found her sitting up with black beard and tip of tail black with mouth open and listless. Gave her a bath and she perked up. Took her to the vet 2 hours later, where of course she acted normal. She died Wednesday . Was being treated for RI and hypocalcemia. I gave her a half water/half pedialtye bath on Wednesday and within an hour she died. She had been better in color until that fatal bath. Her hind leg muscles were flaccid since Monday, but she could walk. She laid her eggs Monday night and seemed ok on Tuesday until I feed her 10 crickets, 3 waxworks, and her calcium syrup from the vet. She went black an hour later but recovered well in the bath that time. She was 17.5 inches and 530 grams gravid with thick tail and good reserves under her chin. I had reptisun 10.0 UVb, changed in November. She got kale and crickets daily with repti cal dustings and fruit as treats on occasion-- blueberries, apples, and strawberries were her favorites. Basking temps around 95-96. Had increased to 107 on Monday when noticed her sick. She is in 55 gallon tank with tile substrate. Sand/soil box for her lay box, which is what she always used and liked. She had weird small poops all days during pregnancy, again normal for her while Gravid. No blood noted, urates always white. Had rescued her at 27 grams and 4 years old to rehab her to what she was- healthy. So sad to have only had 2 years with her:( any thoughts.?  Bad blueberries? Coccidia? Although I brought in pop sample vet did not want to test it, which of course I regret. Thanks.

ANSWER: Hello Lindsay,

Your question double posted...that happens often.  
Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.
Would you happen to have any pictures of her prior to her illness, just so I can see her beautiful face?


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my sweet Rosalita
my sweet Rosalita  

last photo
last photo  
QUESTION: Tracie, her name was Rosalita. There were many typos on my first post, I meant to say 'gravid' not 'gracie', oh, she had no signs of metablolic disease and no RI symptoms either really.  No difficulty breathing or mucus noted .  I think the vet, who is an exotics vet, was just guessing.  She really looked great of course while at the vet.  Her problems seemed all related to post ingestion of anything.  She had no vomiting, diarrhea, or gagging.  Just black tip to tail and beard with gapping mouth and listless with flaccid hind leg muscles.  I will forever blame the blueberries!!  And wish I had given activated charcoal and parsley just to be safe! Attached is a picture of her with me when healthy.  Thanks again Tracie.  Any experience you have with these symptoms would be great.

Hello Lindsay,

I probably just misread the name, so sorry!  I corrected it before reading this on  :-)
Rosalita was beautiful, great colors.  She looked very happy.  
Yes, having charcoal would be a definite plus, it may have helped if there was something wrong with the blueberries.  Geez, it sure makes you think about what you feed your dragons.  :-(  
It sounds more like a toxic type of reaction.  I don't know what could have been wrong with them unless they were genetically modified or had chemicals on them.  It almost mimics symptoms of ingesting a firefly or something of that nature.

If I think of anything else, I will let you know.  



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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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