Why Is My Bearded Dragon Lethargic?

Why Is My Bearded Dragon Lethargic.

One of the most common cases that will worry any pet owners is that your bearded dragon seems to have some lethargic bearded dragon symptoms such as being lazy or lethargic, not eating, sunken eyes, and so on. And I’m sure that many of you will wonder this will be normal behavior or a sign of serious health issues that many bearded dragons may suffer from. To have a more profound understanding of the reasons why your bearded dragon is lethargic and lazy, as well as the differences between lazy and lethargic, don’t hesitate to have a look at this article.

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Differences Between Lethargic and Lazy

The discrepancy between a lazy bearded dragon and lethargic one can be seen clearly.

Regarding lazy dragons, they simply lay around for one or two days without doing anything but then they would be active and happy again, which is explained that like human beings, bearded dragons also need a day-off for resting or relaxing. Therefore, you shouldn’t be way too worried, and keep an eye on their behaviors for the next few days.

On the other hand, A lethargic bearded dragon will show much more serious health issues as you can easily realize some lethargic bearded dragon symptoms such as not moving much at all, staying in one location for days and days or acting very sluggish and unresponsive.

Therefore, you had better get help from a qualified veterinarian to know why your bearded dragon is lethargic and have effective solutions.

The real reason why your bearded dragon is so lazy?

1. Lack of UVA Radiation

UVA radiation plays an important role in promoting good health for bearded dragons as bearded dragons’ appetite will be stimulated, which leads to good health as well as higher levels of activity.

Therefore, when you notice that your bearded dragon is a bit sluggish or lazy, the first thing you should do is to check your lighting. That is also the reason why pet owners love having full-spectrum lighting in the dragon’s terrarium as it includes UVA radiation.

Here we would like to give you some recommendations about full-spectrum lighting lamps that you can easily buy one such as a fluorescent tube, compact fluorescent, and you should have the lamp turned on for at least 12 hours per day.

When using the Mercury Vapor bulb, you should place it within 12 inches of the bearded dragon. Regarding the fluorescent bulbs, as time goes by, they will lose their effectiveness so you had better replace them every six months.

2. Lack of Proper Heat

Besides checking the UVA radiation, you should also check the temperatures as well when your bearded dragon seems to be lazy or languid.

In case of low temperatures, your bearded dragon will be more likely to lose their appetite and activity levels.

To monitor the terrarium temperatures exactly, we suggest you try using high-quality thermometers and placing them at each end of the terrarium (one in the basking area and one in the cooler area).

3. Brumation During Winter Months

Brumation is some kind of hibernation that occurs in adult bearded dragons and takes place commonly during the late fall through the winter months.

In the period time of brumation, your bearded dragon is more likely to sleep for days or even weeks, which drastically reduces its appetite.

Therefore, you shouldn’t worry too much about this normal activity.

4. Bad diet

One of the most common mistakes that pet owners often make is giving your bearded dragon a bad diet. For example, most of the bearded dragon keepers may overfeed their bearded dragons or even feed the wrong food.

5. Bearded dragons are hardy

Maybe you will be surprised at the fact that your bearded dragons can be normal and strong without food for 1 or 2 weeks just because he is so healthy, hardy, and sound.

Therefore, you shouldn’t provide your bearded dragon any food at least one day per week to reduce the chance of overfeeding.

The real reason why your bearded dragon is so lethargic?

1. Low temperature

Temperature plays a crucial role in promoting a bearded dragon’s health, and it is common for the temperature to be between 95 °F and 110 °F.

If the temperature is higher or lower than this level, it will hurt your bearded dragon as he isn’t more likely to move, eat, or drink much. Therefore, you had better check your lighting daily, especially in case your bearded dragon is so lethargic.

2. Bad husbandry

Animal husbandry is not an easy job at all, and you will face many difficulties when raising your beloved bearded dragons as husbandry includes everything from lighting, terrarium, the size of the tank to food, diet, and so on.

Therefore, when your bearded dragon is lethargic, the reason may come from your bad husbandry. And you have to check a lot of things.

3. Overfeeding and feeding the wrong food

One reason why bearded dragons are lethargic can come from the fact that they are sick or obese due to overfeeding or the wrong diet, which makes bearded dragons more vulnerable to diseases.

For example, you feed your bearded dragon too much live food with high protein such as mealworms and super worms while there are few greens in his diet, which will make him fat and sick. Therefore, you should make sure that you will provide your beloved dragon a healthy and balanced diet.

The question that can puzzle any beginners maybe “How often do bearded dragons eat”, and we would like to give you some information about the reptile’s diet depending on its age so that you can find the answer easily.

In general, the frequency of feeding bearded dragons, and the components of the diet vary following their ages. On the one hand, young bearded dragons and semi-adult bearded dragons have the same diet, including 60 percent of protein and 40 percent of plants. However, while the former need to be fed three times a day, the latter should be fed once a day.

On the other hand, it is recommended to have more greens in the diet of adult bearded dragons than animal feed. The figures are 70 percent and 30 percent respectively. Also, you just need to feed them 1 time every 2 days.

The reptile’s diet depending on its age

Age Protein (%) Plants(%)
Baby Bearded Dragon (up to 5 months)

3 times a day + supplements

60 40
Semi Adult Bearded Dragon (5-18 months)

1 time a day + supplements

60 40
Adult Bearded Dragon (18 months and over)

1 time per 2 days

30 70

4. Your bearded dragon is sick

Besides the three reasons mentioned before, a bearded dragon acting lethargic can suffer from metabolic bone disease and impaction.

Regarding metabolic bone disease, this is a common disease which is the consequence of a vitamin D3 deficiency. In this case, you have to immediately check your UVB lights as well as take your bearded dragon to a reptile vet as soon as possible.

In terms of impaction, it happens when your bearded dragon might eat some substrate or feeder insects that are too big.

The common symptom of impaction is that your bearded dragon may stop moving as impaction can lead to paralysis in his hind legs.

In this case, you had better take your bearded dragon to a veterinarian immediately to reduce the suffering as there is little chance to treat impaction, and it is more likely to cause the death in a bearded dragon.

5. Possible parasites

Possible parasites are seen as a reason why a bearded dragon is lethargic. Some symptoms are helping you to know whether your bearded dragon has parasites or not.

In specific, a very common indication of possible parasites is runny and smelly poop without solid white urates (the part at the end of the stool) while a healthy bearded dragon will have a stool that is fairly solid, dark, brown or green, accompanied with a solid white urate.

The reasons for the infection of parasites are contaminated food sources and dirty living conditions. Parasites are dangerous as they could lead to serious health issues in bearded dragons. In this case, you had better take your bearded dragon to a veterinarian for analysis.

6. Dehydration

Dehydration will be also the reason why your bearded dragon is lethargic. Some symptoms that you can realize are sunken eyes, reduced appetite, weight losing, or solid stool.

Another way to check is pulling on your bearded dragon’s skin, and if it doesn’t get back into the normal position, it means your bearded dragon is suffering from dehydration.

Therefore, it is very important to mist your bearded dragon or bath him with fresh, dechlorinated water as well as offer him fresh water to drink every day.

There is one recommendation that I would like to introduce to you to encourage your bearded dragon to drink from the water bowl by using The Big Dripper.

All you need to do is having the big dripper filled with fresh, dechlorinated water, treated with ReptiSafe, and placing it on top of the screen cover of the terrarium over the water bowl.

Finally, make sure you set it to release a slow drip of water into the water bowl. In this way, a rippling effect caused by dripping action will draw the bearded dragon’s attraction to detect the water.

7. Too much stress

Being too much stress can cause bearded dragons to be lethargic. The reason for this may be that your bearded dragon has just brought to a new home with drastic changes or a way too careless handling.

Therefore, you had better give him time to adapt to a new environment as well as create a lot of hides in the bearded dragon tank. And this will be an effective way to prevent your bearded dragon from being stressed as well as potential sources of stress.

8. Brumation

Brumation in bearded dragons is completely normal. And a pet owner, you should know about this and don’t need to worry. The common time for bearded dragons to take the brumation is during the late fall, at the beginning of November.

Before getting into brumation, your bearded dragon will show some signs such as not eating and drinking, being very inactive and lethargic.

However, if your bearded dragon still has these symptoms after the brumation, don’t hesitate to have him checked by the veterinarian as there may be some factors such as humidity or temperature that has negative impacts on your bearded dragon during the period of brumation.

9. Hypoglycemia

You may find it quite rare but this doesn’t mean that it is impossible. I realized that hypoglycemia was the reason why my bearded dragon was lethargic and sick, and this happens after the brumation.

The solution to avoid hypoglycemia is proving your bearded dragons some fruits, and sugar will immediately change your bearded dragon´s behavior.

10. Other bearded dragons

Keeping your bearded dragons in groups can result in some serious issues as bearded dragons are solitary animals.

In specific, a male bearded dragon will be more likely to be aggressive if he confronts another male bearded dragon that getting in his territory while male and female or two female bearded dragons can get on well with each other but no one can sure about it.

Conclusion

I think that it is so normal for you to ask yourself some kinds of question such as “why is my bearded dragon lethargic or lazy”, “ why is my baby bearded dragon lethargic and not eating” and so on, and I hope that you, guys, can answer this question after having a look at our article.

If your bearded dragon is lethargic or lazy, you had better check your bearded dragon, his diet as well as his housing conditions, or you should immediately take him to a veterinarian for checks and treatments in an emergency.

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