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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:05 pm 
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HATCHLING
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Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:07 am
Posts: 94
Location: Herts/Essex border near Stansted airport
Just wondered if anyone can help me with a little advice?
We have a Rankin Dragon called Boris that is probably just over a year - we're not sure as (s)he's a rescue and so we don't have any background on him. (Not sure if he's a boy or a girl yet either - must post a picture of the relevant bits for help with this one :oops: ). He's about 11 inches long, and is quite chubby as he's filled out loads around his body since we got him, but unfortunately I'm not sure of his current weight. What length/weight is an adult Rankin? He had a check up at the vets a few months ago and was treated for condrocytes (?), but is OK now.

The last few days he hasn't showed much interest in his locusts - maybe 6 medium sized ones per day (although one day he wouldn't eat at all) and even when he did eat, he ate about half or less of what he'd normally does and didn't catch and eat them straight away either. He also appears very sleepy and wants to hide. So far during the past week I've moved his both his logs out of the viv so he can't hide behind/beneath them - did one of them first and then he started hiding beneath the other so that came out too 'cos as I was worried he wasn't getting enough UV and so would start to feel ill because of this!

Yesterday he squeezed himself down beside a rock at the side of his viv and went to sleep - probably mid-afternoon and not long after he'd had a poo so I guess his bowels were empty and before we'd given him his live food so he missed out on this meal. He was still alsleep this morning when the lights came on and still asleep at about 4pm when we got home after going out for the day.

I was really worried he'd died and so made hubby move the rock to check he was alive. He was, but looked very grumpy at being woken up and so we got him out and put him on his basking spot to warm up. Once this had happened he seemed quite lively - bright eyed, alert, tail stuck up etc - as he scurried around his viv. Also was quite happy to come out for a walk round the house on hubby's shoulder. After a bit we gave him a few locusts to see if he'd eat. He wasn't too interested at first even when I tried to hand feed him, but later when he thought we weren't watching, he chased a few and caught them. I guess he's probably eatern about 6-10, he then had a poop and is now watching TV. This is kind of the behaviour he did on Friday when I thought he was back to his normal self. I'm just worried that he'll have the extra long sleep again and I'm not sure what the right thing to do is and whether we did should wake him up etc.

He's definitely not as interested in food as normal so is he thinking of bruminating? If he does to sleep and doesn't wake up tomorrow, should I wake him up like we did today? Or should I leave him to wake himself up? Also how do I tell if he's dead or just sleeping without trying to wake him up?

It probably confuses things and doesn't help at all that I had to replace his basking blub on Friday as it had blown. We've replaced the specialist reptile basking blub with a 100W R80 spotlight from Tesco - loads cheaper :D The bulb went not long after I'd cleaned out his viv on Friday lunch time - the monthly clean rather than just a quick poop removal session - so I don't think it had been off for more than 10 mins before I noticed and it didn't get chance to get too cold in his viv or anything like that. (Our house is generally warm and even at night without any nighttime heating in the viv, his viv doesn't go below 19 oC - our thermometer records min and max temps).

Anyway I've replaced the bulb but haven't got the temps quite right yet :? They were OK yesterday, but it was really cold outside whereas today it isn't quite as cold (it has snowed!!! 8)) and they seem higher than with the previous bulb - 25-30oC in the cool end, 45-50oC on the basking spot, which I know is too high and 35-40oC just to one side of the basking spot at the hot end - this seems to be where he is spending most of his time when not asleep so hopefully he's digesting his food properly and his poop does look normal and doesn't look like it has any undigested bits of locust in it. (He doesn't seem to be poping as much as normal - quantity wise, but I guess this is normal as he's eating less and also he had one day where he didn't go rather than every day which is normal for him) I know I should probably play around with the thermostat, but am worried that I'll end up making it too cool and so he'll think it is winter or something and this might making the sleeping/not eating worse. Any advice?
Thanks in advance for your help and sorry for the long post with loads of questions :oops:
Elaine
P.S. We're due to go skiing next week and have arranged for a friend to 'dragon' sit for us. I think we're going to move Boris and his viv to the friend's house so he has company as well as daily veggies and locusts rather than get our friend to pop by and feed him here. I'm worried as I do need to make sure Boris is OK and the temps are OK and also sort out whether he's trying to bruminate etc before we go so that I can leave good instructions for our friend as I don't spend the holiday worring about Boris. I was thinking of taking him to the vet (about 1 hours drive away), but when he's awake he seems perfectly happy and healthy and so don't know if it is worth the stress of a 1 hour journey for Boris - he just isn't eating as many locusts as before :( and seems to be sleeping a lot more than normal :(

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Beardie: Boris
Cats: Millie and Rasputin - two elderly moggies who think watching Boris is better than TV
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:13 pm 
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ADULT
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Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 6:57 pm
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Location: Near Glasgow, Scotland
Hmmmm......


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:34 am 
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FAMILY LIFE
FAMILY LIFE

Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:54 pm
Posts: 6975
Location: West Yorkshire,England
Hi Elaine, I really do think it's down to the 'time of year' as to why he acting the way he is. My beardie, who have never shown signs of slowing down before, has done in the last week and yesterday left some crickets which is unheard of for him - he normally eats everything given to him!

With Boris being a rankins then the adult weight will be different to a 'normal' beardie. Do you have an old set of scales that you could weigh him on? We need to know his weight to first of all determine if he has reached a good weight to be able to allow him to brumate if that's what he wants and also to check that you are not over feeding him livefood (when they reach adult weight too much livefood can be bad for them).It may be that instead of locust everyday he drops to every other day.

The problem you are faced with at the moment is moving his viv to your friends - the move may very well 'stress' him out and he may be quiet or grumpy because of this (and off his food), also your friends house will have different temps and although you may get the temps sorted out before you go they will all go to pot in someone elses house. It may be easier if she popped in to feed him everyday??

What basking spot do you have? Is it something Boris sits on - if so you will need to lower it so it is further away from the bulb and should be slightly cooler. If this doesn't work then you will need to fiddle with the thermostat - where is the probe?

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1 beardie - Oz born @ 5th March 2008
Son / daughter - Joshua & Jessica
1 dog - Blackie
Guinea pig Jasper, Rabbit Daisy


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:42 pm 
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HATCHLING
HATCHLING

Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:07 am
Posts: 94
Location: Herts/Essex border near Stansted airport
Hi Janine
Thanks for your reply.

I haven't got an old set of scales - been meaning to buy one for ages, but kept forgetting :oops: I don't think Boris it at his adult weight yet as he doesn't look big enough but I'm only guessing here. Will try and remember to get some new kitchen scales and relegate my old ones for Boris once the snow has melted a bit!

The basking spot is a piece of slate that sits on the floor of his viv and we can't lower it. At the moment it is 34oC just off his basking spot in the hot end and so colder than yesterday evening. Just checked and the basking spot is 41oC. But this is without us having the heating on and guess it these will go up when the house warms up a bit - I've just switched the heating on and will see what it is later. Do you think if I replace the 100W bulb with a 60W it will help - I bought both types the other day as I wasn't sure which was best and wanted a spare?
The probe is at the back of the viv towards the cool end and I found it easier to vary the position of this rather than mess with the thermostat settings as this needed a screwdriver to do this.

Do you think it will be better for Boris to leave him at home when we're away? Our friend is happy to come up to the house daily and feed him plus play with him a bit - I just thought that if the viv was at his house, then Boris was getting some company and had something to watch other than the furniture and the cats? We were going to ask the boy next door to feed the cats while we're away but wanted someone 'lizard-friendly' to look after Boris and play with him and give him live food etc. (The friend who said he'd look after Boris has a snake and really wants a lizard, but hasn't got one yet). I think I'm a bit soft :oops: as I've started putting the TV on for Boris when I'm at home working so that he can watch something rather than stare out of his viv at the furniture and the cats.

Boris hadn't moved all morning from when he woke up until when I got him out a few minutes ago. I put him on his basking spot and now he's moved to his favourite place and is looking out of the glass at the TV. There's a few locust in the viv and he just isn't interested in these alhough he does tend to prefer to eat later in the day. He does look lively and alert though now that he's woken up.

Thanks once again for your help
Elaine

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Beardie: Boris
Cats: Millie and Rasputin - two elderly moggies who think watching Boris is better than TV
Plus 1 husband and 2 children


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:58 pm 
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FAMILY LIFE
FAMILY LIFE

Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:54 pm
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Location: West Yorkshire,England
Hi Elaine, yes do try the 60 watt bulb as you might get better results with that (I remember we started out with either the 100 watt or 60 watt and changed them around as we got better results - can't remember which one we have in now!). Just try and keep all the temps the same and this will discourage him from brumating for now,until we know his weight anyway :D

Don't ever be afraid to change the thermostat, we adjust ours with a screwdriver. When the warmer weather comes you will have to anyway as the temps will be too high in the viv.

Personally I would keep Boris at home during your hols as I would think the move would cause him more stress than being home alone! I doubt he will get bored and he will have company everyday whilst he is being fed. Do you have all the bulbs on timers?

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Janine

1 beardie - Oz born @ 5th March 2008
Son / daughter - Joshua & Jessica
1 dog - Blackie
Guinea pig Jasper, Rabbit Daisy


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:58 pm 
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EXPERT
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Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 10:13 am
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Location: Victoria Australia
Assuming he is a true Rankins then he's near adult size now. Dragons really can sense the outside weather so given the current "cold" spell you're having it's not surprising that he's grumpy.
Given that you're not prepared for brumation this year I'd maintain everything "as is", don't worry about loss of appetite as long as what goes in comes out. He should liven up in around 6 weeks in my experience, meanwhile it's just a case of leaving him to potter around and rest!

Rick

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:44 am 
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HATCHLING
HATCHLING

Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:07 am
Posts: 94
Location: Herts/Essex border near Stansted airport
Dear Janine,
Thanks for the reply

Will try the 60W bulb tomorrow to see if I can get a better temperature when the central heating is on and off as don't want the poor little thing to freeze or fry - the snow is melting here so haven't a clue what the temp outside will be like tomorrow:shock:

Will also leave Boris at home while we're away skiing and get our friend to pop in each day to check he is OK and feed him a few locusts if he wants them. Don't think hubby will agree to me putting the TV on a timer for him though so hopefully he wont get too bored with just the cats to watch. The UV and basking bulb are on timers so these should be fine and we're planning on leaving the house heating on as normal - assumming I get the temps sorted this week, it shouldn't get too cold for him. (We don't turn the heating off as my elderly moggies would get upset if they didn't have a radiator to curl up beside ...happy and spoilt cats!)

Dear Rick,
Thanks for the reply

Boris was found abandoned so we're not completely sure of his pedigree. Not long after we got him, I posted a picture and the consensus on here seemed to be that he was a Rankin. Our reptile vet also thought this as did the man who runs the local reptile shop. They both thought he was about 5-6 months old and as we've had him almost 6 months this makes about a year. I've tried to upload a picture I took at the beginning of Dec so you can see what he looks like.

What goes in does seem to come out although he isn't a regular as previous - I guess this is because he isn't eating so much so there's not as much to force things through his gut - and seems to go every couple of days rather than daily. Will try not to worry too much and let him rest and potter around his viv. Hopefully we'll be prepared for brumination next year and so I wont be quite as worried by it all.
Thanks once again
Elaine
P.S. Must remember to get some new kitchen scales so I can weigh him tomorrow - what is a good weight range for an adult Rankin?


Attachments:
Boris.JPG
Boris.JPG [ 46.51 KiB | Viewed 2343 times ]

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Beardie: Boris
Cats: Millie and Rasputin - two elderly moggies who think watching Boris is better than TV
Plus 1 husband and 2 children
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:04 pm 
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FAMILY LIFE
FAMILY LIFE

Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:54 pm
Posts: 6975
Location: West Yorkshire,England
He's lovely! I do remember the story of him being abandoned.

Just remember that as they get older they do poop less. My beardie (11 months old) has always 'gone' once a day but is starting to get less frequent the older he gets, I think they sometimes reduce down to once or twice a week. I'm not sure of the weight for an adult Rankin - if you take his weight and get his length I'm sure Rick can comment on if he is fully grown.

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Janine

1 beardie - Oz born @ 5th March 2008
Son / daughter - Joshua & Jessica
1 dog - Blackie
Guinea pig Jasper, Rabbit Daisy


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