Meet our Bearded Dragon Rescues

This page is dedicated to all our rescues who are still with us. Bearded dragon rescue is tricky as they can die quite easily even after the best efforts. Most of the bearded dragons we took in, was severely abused and near death, making their recovery miracles. Sadly, we also had to say goodbye to many as damage could not be reversed or had taken a toll.

Here are our warriors who survived even tho life was against them...


The Story of Hope (Female)


bearded dragon care

Hope and Faith were bought to us on Sunday 10 August 2014 by friends who found them in a box in the bushes by their gate. They knew we rescued bearded dragons, so they brought them to us seeing as they did not know anything about dragons and thus could not keep them.

When we got them, we immediately knew that it was going to be a hard fight. Both of them were young juveniles, if not babies. Hope fortunately was not as bad as Faith. She was skinny and dehydrated with some parasites, whereas Faith had severe MBD. Faith’s MBD had progressed so much that he was basically paralyzed from the lower back down. His back was twisted along with his tail and he could not use his back legs.

bearded dragons

We immediately started both of them on calcium and fed them baby foods in order to avoid liver damage. We got them a Special UV light to help stop the MBD from progressing. Fortunately, both had massive appetites and they started on protein about 6 days after we got them. Hope hunted her food, sometimes even jump in the air and grabbing it from my hand. Faith had some trouble eating due to his rubber jaw which was caused by the MBD, so he needed to be hand-fed.

About a month and a few sheds later, both started to pick up weight and gain energy. Hope was being let out to run and taken outside on the grass. Faith also wanted to move, so he started dragging himself around with his front feet. He always needed supervision due to the fact that he kept tipping over when he tried to climb things, and when he tipped over, he could not bring himself upright again. The calcium prevented the MBD from spreading any further. We got rid of Hope’s parasites and she was healthy once again.

Bearded dragon care


Hope was a healthy and round girl, after almost 8 months had passed. Unfortunately due to the fact that Faith picked up weight, more damage was done to his back and he was in pain almost all the time. We had to sadly make the decision to let him be euthanized, to spare him from the pain and suffering.


bearded dragon care


A few days after euthanizing Faith, Hope became ill due to the loss of her brother. It was around this time when we rescued another female who we named Lola. She and Hope became best of friends and in a way Lola rescued Hope. They always caused trouble, trying to eat rocks, trying to escape from home, and so forth.

Bearded dragon care


The Story of Munchie (Male)


Bearded dragon care

We rescued Munchie on Monday 9 February 2015. We rescued him along with Zorro, another baby that was healthy and re-homed after about a week. Munchie was a big baby we rescued from a pet shop who did not exactly know how to look after him. He had small burns on his feet from sitting on the wire cage around the basking light. I must say though, he did get used to the rescue life quite fast. He started eating immediately, all four meals a day. (He took a liking to Lola, another rescue. He always slept beside her, no matter their size difference.)

Bearded dragon care

We started him on supplements and kept the burns clean with saltwater, luckily they were not severe. He was also one of the least abused dragons in our life and luckily it was not that hard to get him healthy and round again.

After 2 weeks of having him, it became quite clear that he had a love for a certain tree in his cage. He slept on it, basked on it, you name it he did it on the tree. I was glad to see him healthy and growing, but he was growing quite slow for a baby, so raised the amount of food and supplements he took to see if it would help. It did help a little, but he was still growing slowly.

bearded dragon care

After two months, he was still not growing as fast, but otherwise, he was perfectly fine. Always sitting on his tree. We did realize that he had a malformed eye due to inbreeding, which was bothering him quite a bit so he was taken to the vet who could not help and just gave him eye ointment.

About 12 months after we got him, he was a full-grown adult, a small one though, but healthy and that is what mattered. His eye was not getting better though and we took him to a different vet, who gave him another type of eye ointment.

Bearded dragon care

The new ointment started working and his eye did not bother him anymore. His eye is malformed and could not be fixed, but the ointment takes the discomfort away. He is fully grown and healthy. 
He is not aggressive or dominant at all, just going through life in his chilled kind of way.

bearded dragon care


The Story of Sammy (Male)


Bearded dragons care

Sammy was rescued on Tuesday 9 June 2015. He was extremely skinny, dehydrated, and malnourished. He did, furthermore, have parasites and it came to our attention that he may not even make it through the week.

We started giving him baths and lots of water to get him hydrated and to rid him of parasites. He could not receive antibiotics as he was too skinny and we could not give solid foods either. We gave him some baby food which he could not stop eating. We also discovered that he had an infected wound on his tail which we cleaned and put antibiotic ointment on.

Bearded dragons care

About a week after we got Sammy, he was hydrated and almost completely parasite-free. The wound on his tail started healing and the infection was gone. We did start him on solid foods, however, he was only allowed a few insects at a time and he still ate baby foods.

2 months after we got Sammy, his tail had almost healed completely, he was on solid foods permanently and he was parasite-free. He unfortunately still was skinny and struggling to pick up weight. We got him special foods from the vet to help with his weight and we put him on immune boosters.

Bearded dragons care

After 12 months, he was a healthy and fat dragon. He was a rather small beardie, but it did not matter. His parasites were gone and his tail had healed completely. He got rather aggressive towards other dragons but loves his attention. His favorite thing to do is to sit on a soft pillow in a window, watching the day go by.

Bearded dragons care

He is still thriving well. We had some troubles with the scar on his tail, but it was resolved. He still loves sitting in his window as long as no other dragon is insight. He never got any bigger and is still a small boy, with a rather large head.


The Story of Nicky and Jewel

Bearded dragons care
Bearded dragons care

On Sunday 8 November 2015, we received four dragons, two males, and two females who we named Thor, Jewel, Olive, and Nicky. Their previous owners had kept them in a single wooden cage with cardboard covered in parasites and poop as a substrate. They were being used for breeding and when the females no longer produced healthy eggs, they were gotten rid of.

When we received them, they were malnourished, dehydrated, covered in poop/parasites/mites and they had several illnesses including the beginning stages of MBD, RI’s, and so forth.

Bearded dragon care
Care for bearded dragon

We immediately gave all four baths to clean them and to start getting rid of the parasites/mites. They were started on antibiotics along with probiotics to give the immune system a boost. They got clean water, which they could not stop drinking. They were separated so they could no longer mate and fight, and we started treating their wounds.

About 3 weeks after we got them, they were eating properly, hydrated, and getting rid of parasites. Unfortunately both of the male’s tails’ had severe tail rot due to wound infections and so on, meaning we had to amputate. Other wounds like that of the bite marks on the female's necks were healing nicely though and they started coming out of their shells, walking around, and so forth. They were getting their supplements since they were on antibiotics and we started seeing the difference.

Bearded dragons care

Nicky - Then vs Now

Bearded dragons care

After 2 months, they were clean of parasites/mites and they started picking up weight. The tails of the males were healing well and they started behaving like normal dragons. They were hydrated and healed of all illnesses and luckily the MBD was reversible since it was only in the beginning stages. 

How to care for bearded dragon


Jewel

How to care for bearded dragon

12 months after we had received them and everything was going well. They were fat and healthy with no issues. They did grow a little, but not a lot since they were already adult dragons. They looked stunning, the tails of the males had healed quite nicely and it no longer bothered them.

After two years all four of them were doing great. They were healthy and almost never got ill. They had round bodies because of their appetites and Thor along with Nicky had turned into massive boys, always ready to become dominant if another entered their territory, however, Thor was a bit of a softy that would rather run around and climb anything in sight.


Updates

Olive passed over the rainbow bridge in June 2019. The cause of death was not determined since she was fine one moment and dead a few seconds later. The vet suspected instant heart failure. 

Thor passed over the rainbow bridge in August 2019 due to cancer. 

Nicky passed over the rainbow bridge in 2020 due to liver failure.

These 4 beardies change our world completely the day we rescued them. We did not expect them to live long due to the damage that was done to them and they ended up giving us a proper fight for survival and love till the end. The abuse that all of them were subjected to could not be fixed 100% and took a toll in the end. We remember them every day and dedicate this website to them as a means to help others to treat them better than the way these 4 were treated. RIP sweet babies, gone but never forgotten. 

Jewel is still with us to this day (July 2021) and doing well. She is getting old and does not move that much anymore, prefer to lay in the sun all day and watch time goes by. 

Care for bearded dragon


The Story of Sandy (Female)


Care for bearded dragon

We rescued Sandy and Spike on Tuesday 1 December 2015 from a pet store that did not bother to look after them well. Sandy had a lot of parasites, she was malnourished, dehydrated, and had MBD. Spike was malnourished, dehydrated and something else was wrong which we could not pinpoint at that moment. Whatever it was, prevented Spike from walking, and he kept falling over on his back and then could not right himself.

Care for bearded dragon

Both were given regular baths to help hydrate them and to begin the process of getting rid of the parasites. Sandy and Spike were started on strong calcium supplements for the MBD which we thought was causing Spike's illness as well. They were started on a special soft food diet given by the vet and we separated them from each other and the other dragons just in case they had something that could be transferred to the others.

About 2 months after we rescued them, they were eating normal food and they were parasite-free. We furthermore got rid of the parasites, and they were hydrated once again. Spike's condition did not worsen, but it did not get better either. Sandy’s MBD stopped progressing, but unfortunately, it had already done damage that could not be reversed.

Care for bearded dragon

We took Spike to a few veterinarians to determine his illness and he was finally diagnosed with adenovirus, which cannot be cured. We had to permanently separate him from the rest as Adenovirus are contagious.

A few months later everything was going okay with the both of them. They started picking up weight and they did not get sick and Spike’s virus did not progress. Unfortunately, it did not last as something happened that caused Spike’s one eye to completely pop out and there was nothing that could be done for him.

Care for bearded dragon

We took him to multiple vets in order to find someone that could help him, but in the end, we, unfortunately, had to make the decision to euthanize him as he was in pain and suffering. This is when it was discovered that he actually had cancer which was growing everywhere in his body, including his brain which was what caused his symptoms in the first place.

Although we lost Spike, Sandy was doing okay. The MBD was not reversible, but she was coping with her disabilities. She picked up weight and no longer had health issues.

Update on Sandy

She is still with us to this day (July 2021). She is old now and does not move much at all. Prefers to just chill out outside with Jewel and watch the day go by. She was diagnosed with cancer in her leg and a part of her foot was amputated early this year. The surgery went surprisingly well and the wound healed. Unfortunately, the lump in the leg is back again and we now have to start thinking about letting her go when it gets worse as we absolutely do not want her to suffer. But, until that day comes, we give her as much sunlight, love, and happiness as we possibly can.  

Care for bearded dragon



The Story of Blaze (Female)

Take care bearded dragons

On Wednesday 20 July 2016 we received a baby bearded dragon that only weighed 24 grams. Her name was Blaze and her previous owner had troubles feeding her and as a result, started force-feeding. As she was so small, the force-feeding only did more harm than any good. The results were a baby bearded dragon with a badly disfigured mouth that was bloody and infected. She refused food completely due to the pain her mouth was causing her and as she was so small, she needed all the nutrients otherwise she would deteriorate and eventually die. Her owner has other beardies as well that are thriving well, but she struggled with Blaze as she was a baby that refused to thrive. She could not bear to euthanize her and decided to hand her over to us as a last resort to see if we could not get her to thrive before giving her back.

Take care bearded dragons

We started by cleaning and treating her mouth because the infection could kill her quite fast due to the weak immune system caused by not eating. After a few days, she still refused food even though the infection was gone and her mouth started forming scabs. We started running cold water on the wound to numb it so it would not bother her as much. Eventually, we got her eating small Turk roaches which are soft and nutrient-packed. Each time before feeding I had to numb her mouth with cold water otherwise she refused to eat.

Take care bearded dragons

About 2 months after we first got her she started getting the appetite a baby should have, eating 3 to 4 times a day every day. I eventually stopped numbing her mouth since she ate either way and it was no longer needed. She started running around and basking from sun up to sundown.

8 months after we got her, she still had open wounds on her mouth, but it was getting better by the day. Her appetite was big and she had too much energy to get rid of in a cage so we started to let her wander around in the house with supervision. We were finally able to establish that she was a female and thus we allowed her to “socialize” with the other females, always keeping an eye out to make sure no one turns aggressive. (She really took a liking to Graze our other female rescue who unfortunately passed away due to old age.) Her previous owner decided that it would be best if we keep her instead of returning her due to her special needs.

Take care bearded dragons

Blaze is still with us (July 2021) and she is a fully grown, cute, and energetic dragon. She loves her attention time and cannot sit still for long. Unfortunately, when she reached sexual maturity, she turned aggressive towards our other females and we had to completely separate her from the others. Her mouth, I am glad to say healed completely and although it is a bit malformed, she enjoys her food and lives on with no struggles and no worries. She is happy as long as she is fed, can run around, and gets her attention.


The Story of Bugsy (Male)

Take care bearded dragons

On Wednesday 22 March 2017, we received a rather small bearded dragon of which we did not know his age. The previous owners got him for breeding not knowing, they were putting a male with a male. Unfortunately, the adult male severely injured the rather small male and the previous owners did not take the dragon to the vet, but instead took matters into their own hands. They cut the remaining pieces of his tail and front foot of with a nail clipper. The wounds did heal, but as the dragon did not mate with the other, they got rid of him and that is when we received him.

Take care bearded dragons

His tail and front leg started healing nicely and we just had to keep it clean since there was nothing we could do for him otherwise. He was very scared and did not want to be left alone and as a result, he always slept beside the bed on a pillow so we were always close. Although the wounds did heal, he always kept tugging his hurt leg under his chest so no one could see or touch it. Fortunately, his appetite was not affected by the ordeal and he would eat anything put in front of him. In the beginning, he only got a few crickets a day and baby food the rest of the time as he was very skinny and we did not want to damage his liver. He furthermore needed extra calcium as he was in the early stages of MBD and had already started developing floating ribs.

Take care bearded dragons

About 6 months after we got him, he was eating everything in sight and started picking up weight. He also figured out how to walk on the amputated leg, and once he did, we could not keep him still. We were moreover able to stop the MBD from progressing and he healed completely from all of his wounds. He loved his attention, but still hid his leg whenever he was touched.

About a year after we got him, he was running, basking, and growing. This is when we realized that he was only a young juvenile when we got him. He got very attached to attention and can always be found receiving love. He was no longer hiding his leg when picked up. Even though he reached sexual maturity, he never turned dominant or aggressive.

Bearded Dragon Care

He is still with us today (July 2021) and the most spoiled animal in our household. Since the day he was rescued, he never left Lee-Ann's side and is ALWAYS on her chest or snuggling up in her neck. Sleeps with her on the pillow and pretty much toss a tantrum like a naughty kid if not hold. His basking time is, sitting outside with him on one's chest. He goes along to the shops, on holidays, and pretty much everywhere else. Healthy boy that never gets ill and learned how to adapt to his disabilities.  


The Story of Astro (Male)

Bearded Dragon Care

On 26 January 2020, we went to the pet store to buy heat lamps. A lady had a bearded dragon that she kept in a pillowcase because apparently, he was aggressive. She wanted to sell him to the pet store but they refused. And so Astro came into our lives. Luckily he was not severely abused, just some parasites, dehydrated, and a bit on the skinny side. All issues were fixed within no time except for getting him to trust us. He was scared of almost everything and would stress out even if we put food in his cage. He was NOT aggressive at all!  

Forward a year later (July 2021) and we made a lot of progress with him. Not as scared as he used to be, still a little on the shy side, especially with strangers but the most loving animal around our house. Love being outside and taken for walks and totally in love with his basking lamp, hardly ever leave his basking spot.

Bearded Dragon Care

 
The Story of Chilli, Chewy, and Hazel

3 Babies were kept together at a local pet store. They did not receive the correct diet (pellets were given), nor did they have a UVB light. To make things worse, they clearly fought and has bitten each other badly. One has lost the tip of his tail (Chewy), the other one was limping from a broken foot (Chilli) and the female had a badly damaged foot (Hazel). 

Bearded Dragon Care

The pet store wanted to use them as "show animals" and did not want to sell them. It was quite the battle to get them to sell them to us and we, unfortunately, had to get animal welfare involved as well to help us get them out of that nasty place. They finally got home on 8 January 2021. 

Obviously, a vet visit followed as soon as we got them and Hazel had a part of her foot amputated as the damage was too bad to save it.  Chewy lost the tip of his tail and Chilli got vitamin boosters to help heal his foot. 

Fast forward to this day (July 2021) and all of them are doing exceptionally well and growing into young adults now.  All their wounds have healed 100% and they are making good progress. 

Bearded Dragon Care

  
The Story of Milo (Male)

Milo is our latest rescue, we got him on 6 April 2021.  The vet contacted us and ask if we could assist someone who has a bearded dragon that is ill and not kept in the right conditions. It was clear that he had some major issues going on as he could not walk or eat and did not respond well to the health checkups. We gave the owner the proper guidelines to look after him but 2 weeks later she decided to hand him over as she did not have time to look after a special needs beardie. I do wish she handed him over sooner as his condition was already dire, to begin with. 

He did not have the proper cage setup, with no heat lamp or UVB. He was fed pellets (I despise those things) and did not get any health supplements. Worse of all, they never monitored his poop habits and did not notice him going for weeks without doing his thing.

The first order of business was to get an x-ray done to determine the cause for paralysis. As suspected he was impacted and so the struggle to resolve it began. We took him off proteins and any solids and had put him on a diet of pureed butternut squash mixed with laxatives and water. Unfortunately, the laxatives, water, and warm baths each day did not solve the problem and extreme measures were taken by giving an enema every 3rd day to help clear out the digestive system. (Do not attempt this unless you are skilled in doing so).  The amount of feces that came out was beyond scary!  Mostly undigested pellets that had swollen up and block his intestines.  Finally, after almost 2 weeks of struggling, he pooped on his own! We kept him on a diet of pureed foods and gradually started introducing small Turk roaches and crickets (they digest easier). 

After getting his digestive track fixed and working on everything else, he is still paralyzed and cannot go anywhere but lay under his basking light. I made the hard decision to euthanize him if nothing improved as I absolutely cannot stand it when they suffer and no hope is left.

Fast forward to July 2021. This boy is a fighter and not giving up easily. He started to push himself up to bask and makes an effort to crawl around in his cage. He is still on a satisfactory pooping schedule and eating well.  He goes out every day for some pure 100% UVB from the sun and enjoys it to the full. We still have a long road ahead but there is progress and hope, all that is needed for a happy story.

Will keep updated as time goes by. Please send some positive vibes his way, this little dragon can use it.  Thank you.

Bearded dragon care

      


Side Note:  Apart from bearded dragons, we also rescued 2 Iguanas and a few geckos. All healthy and doing well.

Thank you for taking the time to read our bearded dragon rescue stories, hope this has inspired you to rescue when possible. There is ALWAYS an animal in an abusive situation, that is in need of a loving and caring home.


Thank You!

5 comments:

  1. This got me all teared up. Such wonderful work you are doing!

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  2. So good to see that some people still care for animals. Really made my day.

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  3. This post is the reason why I prefer animal above humans. So much cruelty in this world. Great work you are doing!

    ReplyDelete