My Bearded Dragon Won’t Eat or Move: What to Do

If my bearded dragon won’t eat or move much, I definitely want to know how to address the issue as quickly as possible. If you’re in this situation, you’re on the right track. As a responsible owner, it can be worrying when your scaly friend isn’t acting like their usual self. Before you panic, let’s dive into some possibilities, what you can do, and other relevant information to help your beloved pet.

Possible Reasons for Lack of Appetite and Activity

There are several factors that could be affecting your bearded dragon’s appetite and activity levels. Understanding these possibilities can guide you in the right direction:

1. Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD)

This is a common concern, especially if your dragon hasn’t been receiving adequate UVB light or calcium in their diet. MBD weakens bones and can lead to severe health issues.

2. Mouth Rot or Respiratory Infections

Infections in the mouth or respiratory system can make eating uncomfortable for your dragon.

3. Weight Loss

Rapid weight loss could indicate a serious health problem.

4. Injury

An injured bearded dragon may not want to move or eat.

5. Vitamin Deficiency

Lack of vitamins, especially D and E, can affect appetite and overall health.

6. Poor Diet

A diet lacking in variety or essential nutrients can lead to a suppressed appetite.

What to Do When Your Bearded Dragon Isn’t Eating or Moving

Now that we’ve covered some possible causes, here are the best steps to take:

1. Check Temperatures

Ensure the basking spot and overall tank temperature are in the right range (around 95-110 degrees Fahrenheit for the basking spot).

2. UVB Lighting

Make sure your UVB bulb is working properly. UVB light is crucial for calcium metabolism.

3. Vet Visit

If your beardie’s lack of appetite continues, a visit to the reptile vet is the best thing to do. They can perform blood tests, fecal tests, and more to identify any health issues.

4. Warm Bath

Sometimes a warm water soak can stimulate appetite and hydration. Be sure the water is warm, not hot.

5. Inspect for Signs of Illness

Look for symptoms like mouth discharge, labored breathing, or swollen limbs.

6. Review Diet

Ensure your dragon’s diet includes a variety of live insects, such as dubia roaches, and fresh greens like collard or turnip greens.

7. Supplements

If your dragon isn’t getting enough calcium, a calcium supplement may be needed.

8. Comfortable Habitat

Make sure your dragon’s tank setup mimics their native habitat. This includes hiding spots and proper substrate.

9. Consider Recent Changes

Have there been any recent changes in their environment? A new pet, for example, could cause stress.

10. Don’t Force Feed

Avoid force-feeding unless advised by a vet, as it can cause more stress.

When to Worry

While some dragons may exhibit changes in appetite due to natural reasons like brumation or breeding behavior, a prolonged lack of appetite and activity is cause for concern. For younger dragons, especially those in their first year of life, any drastic changes in behavior should be taken seriously.

Common Causes of Lack of Energy or Decreased Appetite

1. Brumation

Older dragons might go through a period of deep sleep, resembling hibernation.

2. New Environment

A move to a new tank or home can cause stress and a temporary loss of appetite.

3. Seasonal Changes

Changes in seasons can affect bearded dragon behaviors.

4. Inexperienced Owners

For first-time bearded dragon owners, it’s common to worry about every change in behavior. Experience and research help differentiate between normal and worrying signs.

Conclusion: What’s Best for Your Beardie

At the end of the day, your bearded dragon’s health is your priority. If you notice worrying signs such as weight loss, lack of bowel movements, or black beards, it’s best to consult with a reptile vet. Experienced bearded dragon enthusiasts and pet store employees can also offer valuable advice.

Remember, a healthy bearded dragon should have a good appetite, move around their tank comfortably, and bask under their basking bulb. By ensuring a balanced diet, proper lighting, and a comfortable environment, you’re giving your scaly friend the best bet for a healthy and happy life.

Being aware of common problems like metabolic bone disease, respiratory infections, or improper diet is crucial for maintaining your bearded dragon’s good health. Regularly checking their behavior, weight, and diet can catch issues early on. If you’re ever unsure, reaching out to a reptile vet is the most important step you can take.

Other Posts You Might Find Helpful:

Can I Wake My Bearded Dragon Up From Brumation?

How Can I Get My Bearded Dragon to Poop? Simple Solutions

How Can I Tell if My Bearded Dragon is Happy?

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