Bearded Dragon Impaction – Why Am I Not Pooping?

We have had a lot of concerns over the poop habits of our Beardie. We’ve read and read all kind of articles and fact sheets. Only to find out that there is a general lack of consistency among the articles. The main underlying theme we were able to get out of our research that if your Beardie does not poop, he/she may be impacted. And impaction can lead to death.

We did notice a significant difference when we went from the individual lights clamped on about every piece of furniture we own (chairs, lamps, his cage…) and bought a hood for his terrarium. The hood houses a long bulb and 3 other sockets.

The reason we think this was the change is that his PowerSun bulb, that give off the UVA/UVB is now facing directly down as opposed to clamped to our lamp and angled into the cage. So we are thinking this downward direction is limiting the other areas of the terrarium from getting proper UVA/UVB. So what did we do?

Well, we purchased the ReptiSun 10.0 UVB. This gives off UVA/UVB and is fairly new (2006). ZooMed makes the light but in the past had the 5.0 only. The issue with this is that it only emits 6-8″ into the terrarium. We have a 75 gallon terrarium which is about 18″ tall. The 10.0 emits more than 12″ in even when shielded by a screen.

This appeared to make a difference. Bernie is now more active and gets the UVA/UVB when on the cool side of his home. His eating habits have increased and on occasion, he has pooped in his terrarium. He’s still pooping in his bath, but we’re not complaining. He seems happy and it is much easier to clean up than in his terrarium.

Other than the ReptiSun 10.0 UVB, we have two basking lamps and a heat emitter. We do have an underneath mat, but have unplugged it because it was getting too hot for him.

We have read a variety of articles which tell you anything and everything, only confusing you more – and coincidentally enough why we started our own site to manage our experiences. These articles said they poop less as they get older..one said this means only once a day, one said every three days, one said once a week.

All we know is that Bernard is still alive and using his back legs – meaning no impaction. He is very lively at times, but no longer runs after his crickets. He just waits until they run by him again before he snatches them up. Lazy lizard!

We’ve taken him for an overall vet checkup. He had a clean bill of health. No parasites for this Beardie! The only unexpected news we received is that Bernard is actually Bernice!