Need some bearded dragon advice

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karlys
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Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:14 am

Need some bearded dragon advice

Post by karlys » Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:06 pm

Hello,

I know a lot of you have beardies and have had them for a lot longer than me, so I hoped I could get some advice. I got my beardie at the end of July 2017 so I estimate him to be 9-10 months old.

The long and short of it is that he first started refusing calcium/vitamin dusted dubias but now he's refusing to eat them altogether. He ate hornworms for about a week but then stopped. He'll eat superworms right now but still won't touch them if they're dusted. I tried crickets today because I ran out of supers and he's eaten like 10 but I think he's not too thrilled by having to chase them.

I have Phoenix worms coming in the mail but he wasn't a fan when he was a little baby, so I'm not holding out too much hope that he'll love them now. Ultimately, I'm worried that he'll get MBD and/or fatty liver disease from the lack of calcium and the superworms. This whole situation of not eating well is also stunting his growth, I think, because it's easily been 3 or so months since he shed last.

Do you think he'll eat dubias again eventually? Have you ever had a beardie go through a phase like this? What should I do?


sarcasticLynx
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Re: Need some bearded dragon advice

Post by sarcasticLynx » Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:13 pm

Are you feeding it veggies? Veggies are an incredibly important food group, especially as they get older.
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Topic author
karlys
Posts: 135
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:14 am

Re: Need some bearded dragon advice

Post by karlys » Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:17 pm

Oh yeah, I offer him greens (collard and bok choy) everyday. He'll usually them 3-4x a week.


sarcasticLynx
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Re: Need some bearded dragon advice

Post by sarcasticLynx » Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:38 pm

Hmm. I'm not sure of anything else other than him just being picky, or heading into breeding season. I'm not exactly sure how it works so don't completely take my word for it, but sometimes when they're in the mood they may start refusing food. (Unless I'm thinking of leopard geckos?) That's all I got, sorry :?

Good luck!!!
2 Ecuadorians, 1 PP
5 fancy goldfish, 10+ platies, 1 female betta, 1 dog, 1 cat!
Currently work at a chain petstore

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wodesorel
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Re: Need some bearded dragon advice

Post by wodesorel » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:06 pm

They transition from being primarily insectavores as babies into a much more vegetarian diet as adults. It could just be that he hit that point.

His veggies should be dusted with calcium as well. Repashy makes a calcium suppliment that is fruity if that is a problem.

Have you double checked basking and tank tsmps to make sure nothing changed?

When was the last time the UVB bulb was changed? If MBD starts kicking in the first thing to go is usually appetite. Since we have no easy way of testing the bulbs to make sure they are still producing enough, a lot of forums recommend changing out every 6 months for safety, even if the box says one year. It's pricey but it is a good safeguard if you don't have access to a UVB meter.
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Re: Need some bearded dragon advice

Post by wodesorel » Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:54 pm

Sorry, I was thinking about your post as I was taking care of my MBD geckos and turtle today.


It's not a diet low in calcium that causes the peoblem with MBD. It's that the commercial diets and farmed insects we feed are super high in phosphorus. Phosphorus likes to bind with calcium, and when enough calcium is not given to offset the high levels of phosphorus, the phosphorus pulls it from bones intead. That's why feeder insects get dusted, to make sure there is more calcium on them then phosphorus in them.

Some veggies are fruits are also high in phosphorus, so dusting is always a good idea to make sure the ratio is safe. Bearded dragon forums have more indepth info about which foods are better than others. As with insects, variety is key to being healthy! Every veggie and fruit has different levels of nutrients and vitamins and minerals so mixing them up is the best way to make sure they are getting everything they need.

Couple that dietary need with also needing D3 to turn calcium into bone, and that's when MBD really gets out of hand. They can't replace what is slowly getting lost through normal natural loss and then the artificial diets we feed. A calcium suppliment with D3 helps, but with desert animals UVB lighting is also needed for their bodies to produce enough. It's what happens when you take an animal used to living in full sun and keep it inside all the time.

In the wild they stay out in the sun making D3 all day long, and they eat a HUGE range of insects, vertebrates, etc that allow for a more balanced calcium ratio. The powder and lights is how we can compensate for that difference, but it doesn't take much for it not to work right!

You may also want to look into adding a vitamin powder to pick up anything that may be missing. Again, a beardes dragon forum can tell you what is the best for themB, and how often it should be used as too often can be just as bad not enough!
Want to see all my crazy pets? @waywardwaifs on Instagram

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