Water Dragon - Past Calcium Definciency or Current Problem? - FaunaClassifieds
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Old 08-04-2007, 06:44 PM   #1
Exclamation Water Dragon - Past Calcium Definciency or Current Problem?

I aquired a water dragon through craigslist a few days ago. Previous owners said she had rubbed her nose badly when they first had her in a smaller glass aquarium but that it was healing up now. Also said that she was brownish when they bought her from the store. Probably, she wasn't to healthy at the pet store? She's very colorful now though.

Anyway, she has this scabby thing on her nose, but she also has a sort of deformed jaw. You can see her teeth even when her mouth is closed and the left side of her jaw sticks out to give the appearance of being slightly swollen. I'm assuming that this has to do with a past calcium definciency, but could it be a current problem?

She seems very healthy otherwise.

^In this picture you can see how her teeth stick out.

^In this shot you can see the scab behind her right nostril.

All advice/info appreciated.
Old 08-25-2007, 11:58 AM   #2
Wish someone would respond!

Her scab fell off a while back and it seems to be healing. The swollen side of her mouth went down too, but her mouth still is slightly deformed, with her teeth sticking out in front and the top sides sticking out a little. Peroxide foams up when I put it on her mouth and she sometimes gapes. Should I be worried?
Old 08-25-2007, 09:56 PM   #3


Oh hon, I sent you a PM the other day...I guess you didn't get it??
One main thing at the moment, do not use hydrogen peroxide, it is cytotoxic which means it is going to kill all of the good cells. Try using betadine for an antiseptic or novalsan either one.
Where were her scabs at? Use neo or polysporin on any external scale issues, or there is novalsan cream as well.
Can you go over your husbandry with me, such as your tank setup, eating habits, lighting, supplementation?
That would help get us started better. Thanks!

Old 08-26-2007, 12:47 AM   #4
Ok thanks. I didn't realize I had a new message!

I have some neosporin I used on her nose before that helped some. Will stop with the peroxcide! I didn't know that!

She has a uv light and a heat lamp which I turn on every morning and off at night. Temp has been in the 80's and humidty in the 60's.

She eats mealworms and crickets readily, but doesn't seem to care for waxworms. I've fed her kale, but I don't know that she ate it. She threw it all over her cage though.

Cage is made of wood. Very large. I'd say more than 40 gallons. Shapes as a big square. Top is screened and front is screened. Three sides are wooden and closed. She also has a large tub of water that fits into the set up.

And I dust the crickets and mealworms with a reptile calcium vitamin supplement.

Is there anything else?

Thanks so much!
Old 08-26-2007, 11:41 AM   #5


Did you ever figure out what that spot on her nose was, an injury from a tank or something perhaps? It is looking much better now? Keep with the ointments, because things like that take time to heal. Does it look like it has gotten infected, or not?
What are you measuring the temps with a digital probe or a temp gun, or a stick on type of thermometer? Yes, the basking temps need to be around 84-88 & the humidity should be around 80% or so. Are you using any type of potting soil or anything to help hold the humidity?
Well, that is a decent sized tank, but, it isn't large enough. Is it a full grown one? They need a taller tank, more like a 4-6 feet, & 2-3 feet wide, & 6 or so feet long, as they like to climb. What do you have in there for her to climb on?
What type & brand of UVB are you using? If she is having metabolic bone problems, I highly recommend a mercury vapor bulb. I suggest either a Megaray or a T-rex active UV heat. Those would by far be better than any flourescent to help with her bones.
Also, what type & brand of calcium supplementation are you using? If you are using powdered, make sure it has no phosphorus in it. If she has bone problems, you should try using calcium glubionate, which is a pure calcium liquid that absorbs much better & more quickly than powdered.
Oh, here is a waterdragon site that has tons of information on it regarding the housing dimensions, etc.


Talk soon.

Old 08-27-2007, 01:41 PM   #6
Thanks! I didn't realize the humidity should be kept up so high. I will definently do some revamping to her cage with plants and such!

The people I got her from (got her off craigslist for really really cheap!) said she had gotten the wound from rubbing her nose because they had had her in a smaller tank. It has healed a lot since I last got her. The scab fell off and the skin is growing back. Where it was swollen has gone down too.

The thermometers look something like this, http://www.petsmart.com/media/ps/ima...2575_4fbeb.jpg

The exact dimensions of the tank are 34 inches deep x 41 inches wide and 56 inches high. I take her out daily and let her roam around and climb, but do you think I should still look for a larger terrarium for her?

She has Two fake hanging plants to climb on and a large wooden branch that she can climb up to get close to the lights.

Ok. I'll look into the lights. I don't know what brands the ones I have are because they came with her, but the heat lamp is very large and has metal around it. Should I assume she has had metabolic bone disease?

I will definently look into the lights and the calcium supplement. I have been using a powdered kind. And I believe the brand is T-rex. I also gut load the crickets and will look into this.

Thank you for the link and all your help!
Old 08-27-2007, 02:27 PM   #7


I was afraid of that. So many of them suffer from nose injuries because their enclosure is too small.
Well, your enclosure is almost 5 feet tall, so, that should be adequate. Since you do let her out daily, she can get some exercise no problem.
The thermometers you have really aren't very accurate. So, I recommend getting a digital thermometer & hygrometer they are so much better. Here is a link for you.

Great job on getting her nose to heal up though, that is a big accomplishment in itself. Glad to hear that is healing up well.
Yes, I think it is probably a safe assumption that she has the early stages of Metabolic bone disease, but they can be stopped, & somewhat reversed if she is not suffering from bowed limbs or anything else like a deformity.
Here is a link where you can get some liquid calcium from:

If the lights came with her, then, they are probably very old & not putting anything out. If you want to get a mercury vapor bulb, then, since you have a 56 inch tall tank, you could get a 160 watt which the requirement is 18 inches away from her, that way, it would still put out plenty of heat too, but not too much. Is the fixture a ceramic one or a plastic one? Or, are you talking about the dome itself? Check & see what is at the top where the light screws in at. If it is ceramic, then you can use that for a mercury vapor lamp. You don't want to use a plastic one, it will melt it.
If there are areas where she can get closer than the 18 inches to the light, then let's go with the 100 watt because the distance is 12 inches. I really think the mercury light will benefit her much more than the flourescents will.
You can get the T-rex active UV heat from:

You can get the Megaray from:

****sorry, the lights just went up in price, but, they were just upgraded! (figured I just bought ours a couple of months ago!) I know it "seems" expensive, but, this light will more than likely last you for 1 year with great output though. It is warranted for 6 months, so, if anything does happen, he will replace it for free. Bob is very good at customer service, so, he can help you with anything should you have a problem. His lighting is awesome.

What else do you gutload the crickets with? I use oatmeal, wheatgerm, nonfat dry milk, & oatbran cereal along with potatoes & or apples for moisture. Feed the crickets 24/7 all of the time that is.
Oh, can you post a pic of your setup so we can decide which light would be the best?
Let's get your water dragon well! I think all in all, a revamp with the light, thermometers & calcium, should run you around $100 or so.

Old 08-27-2007, 04:40 PM   #8
Great. Thanks. I have never seen an electronic one in the stores before.

The people said the lights were recently replaced, but I suppose you never know! I'm not sure if the fixture on this one is ceramic or plastic. It feels like plastic, but I'll have to unplug it and let it cool down to see.

Wow that is exspensive! I'll try to get one if I can though.

I gutload the crickets with a variety of vegetables lie carrots, kale, celery, the flukers cricket quencher and feeder, and sometimes a little baby food (if my cresteds decide they aren't interested in the flavor).

Here is a picture of the tank setup:

And her are some shots of her. In the first you can see where she has rubbed her nose.

But in this picture that looks up at her jaw you can see what I think has been caused by a calcium problem.
Old 08-27-2007, 10:50 PM   #9


Thanks for the pics, that helps alot.
The light, is that a red basking light? If so, until you can get a mercury light, I would just replace that with a household lightbulb or a halogen both of which are bright.
I forgot to say that the T-rex lights are just as good as the Megaray. The reason is that Bob Mac sold his design to T-rex so they are using his lighting filament design along with westron lighting. So the T-rex is just less expensive because it isn't Bob Mac's company.
So you would be getting the same light, just with T-rex name on it instead of Megaray.
Did you figure out whether or not the fixture was plastic or ceramic?
The gutloading sounds fine no problems there.

How is she doing today?

Talk soon.

Old 09-04-2007, 02:08 PM   #10
Yes, it's a red basking light.

Sorry it took me so long to reply. Okay, good. I know my pet store carries the T-rex bulbs.

I think that the part that holds it is ceramic.

She seems to be doing good. I let her out a lot and yesterday she jumped up all of the stairs. It was so neat looking.

She eats a lot of crickets and mealworms. I'm having trouble getting her to eat her veggies though. But the crickets eat it, so that is something. She likes to just throw it all over her tank though.

Thanks again for all your help!

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