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new beardie sick - need advice quick....

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Posted by: annlizardlover at Fri May 6 11:23:33 2011  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by annlizardlover ]  

Sun. I purchased a 2-yr-old male beardie from a reptile company (I won't mention the name) but is VERY LARGE and well-known). I've been keeping dragons, Uromastyx, anoles, iguanas, horned lizards, etc. for around 13 years now. I've raised 3 clutches of bearded babies in the past. I am in no way an expert but am not a novice either. When I was at the show, there were many, many reptiles from this company who all looked very bad. Their tarantulas were so dehydrated they just sat on the container bottom with legs splayed out, weren't even standing up. Some of them had bald spots! Their snakes looked just as bad. They had tons of bearded dragon babies, but there was only one adult who was so pitiful my heart just broke when I saw him. I've rescued many lizards and brought many back from the brink of death, with the help of my vet of course. This dragon did not look to be 2, he was so small, extremely dehydrated, and very lethargic. Their babies looked OK, but this adult was in a small plastic container and couldn't even move around. I talked to the guy about him, and he freely admitted, in a very low voice, that they had driven them from CA days before (I'm in NC), and no one had had water since they left. There was a small dish of minced parsley in the container with him, which he was laying in. None of it looked like he'd even touched it. Parsley??? Are you even supposed to give bearded dragons that?? Never heard of it myself. Anyway, the price was $100 -- ridiculous for a dragon on the verge of death. I told the guy about my lizards, and how I've saved several and said there was no way that dragon would make it back to CA alive, as it was the last day of the show, at 3:00 pm. No one was gonna buy him in his condition that late in the show, and he wholeheartedly agreed. I made him an offer of $30 and he took it. This poor dragon clung to me the 1-1/2 hour drive home, barely opening his eyes. I knew I had my work cut out for me, but since Sun, I've offered him all sorts of greens I give my others, fruits, crickets, mealworms, Phoenix worms (which my other beardies go NUTS over!) and he won't accept ANYTHING. At least he's not lethargic anymore, but reacts excitedly to the other lizards all around him in their cages. He bobs constantly, his beard is black constantly, skin and gums are pale, and is so skinny and dehydrated you can pick up the skin and it just stays in place. Very bad looking. He wheezes at night (only at night, never during the day...??) My vet was shocked. He's been getting Vitamin D shots, and is on antibiotics for the wheezing. Don't know if its a URI or what, but he sits at nite with his head held way up and can barely breathe at times. I'm determined to save him, dammit, after the treatment he got before! He clings to me when I hold him, and seems very loving and I'm of course already in love with him. My problem is, I can't get him to eat ANYTHING, not even live food! I knew the greens might be a problem, but thought for sure the crickets would do the trick but he won't even look at them. I've tried baby food as well. I'm giving him Pedialyte, which he seems to like. I'm giving him warm baths 2-3x/day, and he just drinks and drinks when he sits in the bath. I don't let him drink too much, I'm afraid it'll be too much for him, but at least it's something. The guy at the show said this is not an uncommon thing to happen when they go to shows but they're such a big name in reptiles, I'm just in shock over the shape of their poor animals. Shame on them! I no ur not supposed to purchase a sick-looking reptile, but I just had to have him to try and save his life. He'd be dead right now if I hadn't, fur sure. The vet isn't hopeful since he won't eat. Can someone out there PLEASE HELP???!! Is there anything I can do to get food down him, or anything else I can give him to start him eating? I got him on Sun, and its now Fri. They said they left CA on Wed last week and that was the last time they knew of he'd eaten anything. I was hoping it was just the stress of being in a new place, and of traveling, etc., but he's been here almost a week now and it seems he should be over that by now. BTW, he's in a 40-gallon breeder cage, the basking area is 100-102 degrees, with cool end of cage around 85 or so. He's got a Repti-Glo 10.0 desert terrarium UV lite from Exo-Terra, which I've always used on my other dragons and uros and have had no problems with. I also take him out for about an hour a day in the natural sun, but it's been raining and/or very cloudy here for the last 3 days. I would send pictures but don't have a camera, sorry. I'm disabled with fibromyalgia and so am at home all day long and watch him constantly. Someone please help!! I'm trying desperately to save his life.


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>> Next Message:  RE: new beardie sick - need advice quick.... - angiehusk, Fri May 6 12:27:20 2011