Don’t Just Assume It’s ‘Brumation’

One of my old Dragons, in Brumation
One of my old Brumating Dragons

Just because your Dragon has had a couple or few lazy days. Sleeping. Not getting up. It’s doesn’t mean it’s now “in brumation”.

Just because your Dragon has had a couple or few lazy days. Sleeping. Not getting up. It’s doesn’t mean it’s now “in brumation“.

Dragons have lazy days. And for many dragons, this their natural behaviour in captivity, as unfortunately this is a direct symptom to captive behaviour due to poor husbandry issues.

  • Poor diet
  • Poor enrichment
  • Under provision of heat, and/or UVB
  • Poor supplementation

And again. Before any brumation takes place. A fecal test MUST be done.

Also…..they do move around and change positions etc, while in brumation. It is a deep sleep. But expect a little movement. Even eyes opening for a while.

And if you’ve had one done in the past 2 or 3 months, then a Vet check over regardless should be undertaken.
This is due to the ‘symptom’ similarities of illness and brumation (parasite load for example). You must rule this out.
If it’s parasites. Then treat, and continue with aiding of the brumation process, if the dragon wants it.

Also…..they DO move around and change positions etc, while in brumation. It is a deep sleep. But expect a little movement. Even eyes opening for a while.
But you must NOT turn lights on as soon as you see this. Just in case the dragon is just changing position. It must be given every change to sleep again if needed.

The signs:
Purposely refuse food (this is so they can empty their bowels. As they know food in the bowels is baaaaaaaaad!)

So that’s why we DO turn of the heat and uvb.
And again. Don’t worry. The dragon is NOT going to get MBD or ill from no uvb.

They find a darker area. They will often seek the cool end as it has less/no uvb and heat. This is them trying to seeks optimal brumation conditions.
They would naturally dig a burrow for this process. So we must simulate this action for them, if you don’t have the likes of a bioactive substrate for them to dig such in.
So that’s why we DO turn of the heat and uvb.
And again. Don’t worry. The dragon is NOT going to get MBD or ill from no uvb.
Due to them not using any energy. The uvb is not needed.
And the nutritional reserves your dragon has will look after feeding the vital organs. Bloods. Etc.

For a better explanation. Please read my Brumation guide written for Exotic Direct.

https://www.exoticdirect.co.uk/news/bearded-dragon-brumation

– Pete

2 comments

  • Thanks for this information. My bearded dragon has been acting like this for awhile now. As soon as he goes on the cooler side of the tank, I would try to put him on his basking spot he would give him his black beard and stares then after jump down and go back to his cooler area again. He’s also refusing to eat but not losing weight. I was wondering if he was going into brumation but I was exactly sure so thank you for this.

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