Bearded Dragon Brumation

Hey all, my bearded dragon is acting very odd still!
She is just over a year old now, she has been going through brumation for over 5 months now, will not eat at all, she drinks when i spray her with water but thats about it. I have noticed that for the entirety of her brumation she constantly has her tongue sticking out and mouth slightly opened (see picture). She seems healthy and all but this brumation has been going on for a long time and i am concerned. Any insight you can give me would be great!

Thank you,

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Reptiles won’t eat during brumation. Have you been weighing her? Has she lost much weight? They are often inactive, so it’s best not to handle her or bother her too much. 5 months seems like a very long time, are they supposed to be brumated that long? Reptiles use their tongue to cool off so maybe if you’re not keeping it cold enough that’s why. How warm is the enclosure?
Hopefully someone experienced will chime in with better information.

Not super experienced, but I can give it a shot!

I’m concerned about two things here:
-She’s been in brumation since she was how old? 6 months? I don’t think they brumate that young, but I could be wrong. Also the length of time seems like a lot.

-Like Riley said, beardies will gape when they need to regulate temperature and are too warm. Is her mouth like that all the time? 75% of the time? Did this start after she had eaten? It could be a sign of a respiratory infection, or she could have been bitten on her tongue by a feeder (I knew a dragon that had this happen.)

Please share more about your set up! Temps, lighting, her diet, humidity, all the things!

Hopefully nothing is wrong and you have a weird dragon. :rofl:

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I missed that part, good catch. No animal should be brumated that young. For nearly all species brumation isn’t necessary and doesn’t help. For an animal this young it’s probably harmful.

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^^^this. My boys are about 7 years old and have never gone through a brumation cycle. Now that they’re older, they have a few sleepy days in winter, but never more than a day or two and it’s like…below 20 degrees outside.

It does happen, however. Some beardies insist on brumating, but that young concerns me. I also think that they do wake up to eat periodically.

Who are the beardie gurus? @thebeardedherper ?

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It’s pretty normal for beardies to only drink when they’re misted. Most won’t drink from standing water, or will only do so rarely. They get most of the moisture they need from their food, since they’ve evolved to survive in an arid climate.

I’m more concerned about her not eating and holding her mouth open, especially since it’s been going on for so long. I hope some of the experts on here can shed some light on the situation for you.

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Your animal is not in brumation it is sick. Beardies do not brumate for that long and i can tell by looking at him there is more going on here. First thing id reccomend is a vet to run a fecal exam and blood work. In the mean time please describe in as much detail as possible your set up including basking surface temps, ambient air temps, lighting being used and include pics of what you can. Then in as much detail as possible explain what he eats, how often he eats it, and how often you’re offering what. Then a whole body pic of the animal. Also any background information about where it came from what kind of shape it was in when you got it can be helpful.


I’m really glad I went with my gut on this. Thanks for confirming, man!

@rjbentivegna please let us know all about her so we can see if we can help in the mean time! Definitely time for a vet visit!