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Poondayshot   Takahiro111   Saphiras mom  

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 Experienced Reptile Owner Needs Help With New Frilled Dragon

Hello Everyone,

I’ve read quite a number of the posts here about FD’s as I’m really trying to see what I can do to make sure my FD is healthy and content. I need help, but first, I’d like to introduce myself so you understand my background.

I have at the moment, crested geckos, gargoyle geckos, madagascar day geckos, chinese water dragon and my new frilled dragon (FD). I have bred crested geckos as well as bearded dragons. I make custom cages for my larger reptiles, such as the bearded dragon cages with custom doors, wooden cabinets with tiled walls, ledges, build in heat lamps and built in UVB (18") bulbs all powered by timers. I’ve gone through about 170 babies being sold for beardies and about 50 for cresties, so by far, I am not a new reptile keeper, just for background.

On Thursday December 31st, I picked up a baby FD from Big Als Superstore here in Ontario. The FD is tame and has no problem sitting on my hand, shoulder, chest, and yes, even my hair. I originally had him in a custom made 5ft high, 4ft wide and 2 ft deep custom made enclosure made out of plywood that’s been painted with exterior paint with mold protectant and a sealant. This custom cabinet was made quite a while ago and completely aired out. It has an 18" UVB Reptisun tube bulb with 2 x Halogen Spots to heat the terrarium. However, I saw the FD going and hiding into dark corners or basking behind a log in the little crack of space there opposed to basking along the front of the log, vertically. I checked my gauges, and the humidity and temperature were not keeping as the entire front was open; the doors had ½ x ½ inch grid mesh/fencing, and with the doors being like 48 inches wide (combined) and like 3 feet tall (each), a lot of heat and humidity was leaving the enclosure, while the 2 basking spots retained their heat from the halogen bulbs. He hopped around and this and that for a day or two, but the 2nd night when I came back from eating dinner with my wife, I noticed he was sitting in his water dish which was 1 inch high of water in a small Tupperware container. The water was cold and so was he. I took him out, gave him a warm bath and put him in his basking area, and then he was fine. I was so afraid that he was going to die from being so cold, but how do you guys keep your water warm?

I have now moved my FD into a 18 x 18 x 24 temporarily until he is comfortable and grows out a bit. He has an abundance of climbing branches and whatnot, and this vertically oriented cage is smaller and allows him to get used to things while I change out the mesh on his other cage, for which he is far too small right now (he is about 5-6 inches snout to vent and his tail is another 10 inches). I have a 100 watt bright reptile bulb on top, a Reptisun 10.0 tube bulb and as well a 75 watt red heat bulb for night. This new cage has a mesh top and a mesh front (as opposed to glass like the others). So….back and sides is glass, top is mesh and front is mesh. I lose a bit of humidity so if I don’t mist, it’s 35% (only as a test)…when I mist in the morning and at night, its in the 75%-80% and stays that way for a bit. His temps are 105 degrees directly underneath basking spot and anywhere else is based on distance from that spot.

My FD is not eating. I have over 400 superworms that I have from my CWD, Bearded Dragons and yes, even Crested Geckos. I’ve tried to put my FD superworms, but on day 1 he just frilled up and hissed, so I moved the tongs and superworm away and then after that he was completely fine, pettable, holdable, etc. I’ve now had him approximately 4-5 days and he has not eaten anything, and shows no interest now when I wave a superworm in front of him. Before he frilled, but now after the water incident he doesn’t even frill up when a superworm is in front of him. I tried putting 4 of them in a Tupperware with open top at the bottom of his cage, and he sees them but he doesn’t jump to them or eat them at all. The reason we don’t feed crickets is because they freak my wife out and she’s stated I can keep my reptiles as long as no crickets are ever brought home (I had a few that got loose years ago).

I can’t get him to drink water at all – I’ve had issues with beardies doing the same as well as other reptiles that need to see water moving, so I’ve put water droplets on his snout, wet my hand and put my finger on his lips, ive misted him, ive held him under warm water and ive put him in a little container for a bath in ½ inch of water….all to stay hydrated but he NEVER drinks or licks.

My FD is very alert…when he’s in my hands or sitting on my shoulder, if im walking around or whatever his head is turning everywhere and he’s looking at everything as it goes by. But sometimes when I pick him up from the enclosure (either enclosure 1 or enclosure 2 now), his legs are crossed, his hands are crossed and it’s almost like he’s frozen in that position but hes not cold at all (but it seems like he’s frozen). I’ve seen him hop around and glass surf a bit, but my main concern is his refusal to eat.
Through reading the forums, a few people have mentioned for the most part they bask all day with some movement here and there, but mine just sits there all day and if he isn’t wall surfing, he’s basking.

The biggest concern right now is eating and then drinking…they go hand in hand.
I’m going to try buy a hornworm which is green and moves a bit to see if he eats it, but I doubt he will.
I may need to get him to have repti-aid or whatever you guys say, but then again, I can’t get his mouth open.

What do I do folks? How do I get him to eat? Drink?

Any help you can offer is appreciated, however, kind note:
I’ve seen a few posts by a "select few" on here who tend to ramble and vent and rant about the "ideals" and "my word is gods word on how you should keep FD". While I appreciate everyone’s input, I’m only looking for thought out responses that don’t ramble on and on and are factual after the person has read all the details I have put in my inquiry.

Thank you

01/04/16  12:11pm


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  Message To: Poondayshot   In reference to Message Id: 2316386

 Experienced Reptile Owner Needs Help With New Frilled Dragon

I loved how detailed your were in the post it helped a lot. So I called my vet and sent him the post so we can discuss it and see if I missed something out but keeping the water warm I don’t warm it because if they get too warm they can jump in cool water and I don’t think my herps would enjoy drinking warm water but if they feel cool after bathing they’d just bask. Eating wise I don’t feed crickets either but vary the diet like waxworms,dubia roaches,locusts,flies,grasshoppers etc...and stay away from bugs that has hard exoskeletons because their not nutritional and too many can cause impaction. What else to try is get a reptile feeding dish its at petland discounts/petsmart and put some waxworms and dubia roaches inside and leave it in there....they can’t escape, you can also feed at night. For drinking you can have moving water and mist, some reptiles can go off water for a while and be okay with food being the same. I don’t worry if they don’t eat or drink as long as I don’t see sunken eyes,bones showing,loose skin then I know their fine. My vet thinks you should get him a fecal check for parasites... their usually about $40-50. But prying his mouth open is just stressing him.

01/04/16  01:21pm


Saphiras mom
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  Message To: Takahiro111   In reference to Message Id: 2316387

 Experienced Reptile Owner Needs Help With New Frilled Dragon

I hope he is doing better and you are no longer in need of additional help; however, in case you are, here are some thoughts.

In many ways the needs of a Frilled dragon are similar to that of a CWD, which I notice you have experience. The overall humidity should be a little lower, but unless you have a mister/humidifier devise, you are not going to make it too humid. I have a small undertank (actually under repticarpet) heating pad under my water dish and it keeps it about 80-90 F. With respect to all my dragons, I find when they get a little uninterested in food, it has been a sign of low calcium. The vet can judge the calcium either through a blood level (not if he is very tiny) or xrays. Either is rather expensive. You could do a trial of calcium glubionate for a few days and see if it helps. There is great advice on the Beautiful Dragons website about this and I they also sell calcium glubionate. I follow the approximate dose for beardies for other dragons including frillies. In general, I do not pry their mouths open though; I put my hand under their jaw and pull the side of their mouth down a bit and put the plastic tip of the syringe between their cheek and teeth and insert a tiny bit at a time. Often they will open their jaw and you can squirt the rest in, but otherwise it is just a little at a time while they lick and swallow until it is all in.

For food, I have had the most success with reptiworms and silkworms, as well as Dubai roaches. While crickets are not the greatest, they are loved by most dragons and would be an option simply to get him to eat.

With respect to the temperature. I have never found my Frillies to like the temp much above 90 for basking. you could try a little cooler.

One last thought. I did not see anything about substrate (sorry if I missed it) and suspect you are fine as you are experienced with others. I personally like repticarpet as it can not be ingested or get in their eyes. Sand, wood chips, and coconut shavings are all relatively dangerous.

Hope this helps, and please post an update about your Frillie!

02/02/16  12:03pm

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