This is Pebbles, our baby Bearded Dragon. Technically, he belongs to Heather, but everyone is fascinated with him. We’ve had him for about a month now, which has been an experience. Exotic pets are more delicate than I anticipated!
He did great the first couple weeks we had him, which was fun. The boys loved seeing him chase down crickets, hop around on his rock, explore his home (a 55 gallon tank), and occasionally hold him. Then, out of the blue he stopped eating! It turns out, even though Bearded Dragons are easier than most lizards to care for, and are very easy going, they can easily get sick, stressed or have other issues … which cause them to stop eating. An adult can go without eating for a week with no problems … but a baby? It’s not good – after five days I took him to the vet to find out what the problem was.
Yup, I took an eight inch lizard to the vet.
In all honesty, I was looking at it as an investment in learning how to take care of these critters! The first one we had bought from PetSmart was underage and sick (we didn’t realize how unhealthy he was until we got our current Beardie and saw noticeable differences) and died within a few days of purchasing him – in spite of a perfect tank setup (according to the vet and the pet store staff). I didn’t want to lose another one – Heather and the boys were all crying when the first one died!
So, after checking him out, the vet put him on some medication and taught me how to force feed the little guy. For the last week and a half, Heather and I have been taking turns force feeding him a couple times a day – he does not like it! But at his age, it would be easy for him to starve to death – he was already noticeably thin at the vet’s. Anyway, he finally started eating again yesterday – talk about a relief!
He’s a cute little bugger. Eventually he’ll be a couple feet long and will have fun relaxing on our shoulders. He’s more fun than I anticipated – I’ve never been a reptile guy!