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Amy Estrada
Amy Estrada,
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 500
Experience:  dasdasd
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I brought home a five week old rankins dragon on Sunday and

Customer Question

I brought home a five week old rankins dragon on Sunday and I've only managed to get her to eat one locust, one mealworm and a bit of a dandelion leaf. She's also not drinking much and is now looking dehydrated and wrinkly. I don't want to stress her out by taking her out the tank to weigh her or bath her but I'm starting to get worried now
JA: I'll do all I can to help. Problems with drinking can be serious. I'm glad you noticed it. The Expert will know what to do. Is there anything else the Vet should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I don't think so, she has still been pooing but they have varied from normal to watery and today very dry
Submitted: 14 days ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Amy Estrada replied 14 days ago.

-Thank you for contacting JustAnswer with your questions. I'm sorry your new dragon is having trouble adapting.

-My name is***** have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and am happy to help with your question.

-Veterinary Experts are able to provide general medical advice. We are NOT able to provide a diagnosis or prescribe medications. I can help you to determine if a veterinary visit is needed or if it seems reasonable to monitor and treat at home.

-I'd like to ask you some questions so that I can provide the best advice possible.

Expert:  Amy Estrada replied 14 days ago.

-Is she willing to eat with tongs?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Since I sent this I have got her to drink quite a bit of water and I have installed a heat mat on the wall of the hot end. I got her to eat one locust and one mealworm the second day from tongs but since then I've only got her to eat the odd bit of veg from a tong
Expert:  Amy Estrada replied 14 days ago.

-That is really good news. She may have been too cold.

-If she is looking dry, I would recommend that you give her a soak in a shallow dish of lukewarm water for about 5-10 minutes. It is worth the stress to get her rehydrated.

-I will send some information on the care of the species so you can check to be sure you are doing everything possible to keep her happy and healthy.

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
OK thank you, ***** ***** some reptoboost I can add in as well. Is what she's eaten good enough then for now as long as she has eaten something?
Expert:  Amy Estrada replied 14 days ago.

-I think it is fine for now.

- A well-ventilated glass enclosure is recommended. Having an enclosure with one side that is mesh or screen can improve ventilation, but might make maintaining temperature and humidity more challenging.

-A 40-gallon tank is appropriate for a single adult.

-Rankin's dragons do like to climb and bask in high places. Branches, climbing bridges, vines, and reptile hammocks can provide these opportunities. Make sure there are no protruding parts that could cause harm.

-Plants can add moisture and hiding areas. Real or fake plants can be used.

-One or more shelters should also be provided.

-Substrate can include paper towels, newspapers, shelf liners, reptile carpet, sand, potting solid, and dry coconut fiber. Avoid substrate that can be swallowed while eating or feed in a separate enclosure.

Temperature & Lighting

-A temperature gradient of 80F on the cool side and 100-100F on the basking side should be provided. Use multiple thermometers to assure correct heating.

-They should have light 10-12 hrs daily. Darkness at night is necessary. A ceramic heat emitter can help maintain night temperatures.

-Rankin’s dragons need UVB rays to get Vitamin D so they can use calcium. A 10 or 12-percent UVB lamp is appropriate. Most of the enclosure needs to be exposed to this light for 12 to 14 hours a day. UVB bulbs should be changed every 6 months.

-Humidity levels should be around 40 percent. Automatic misting or misting the tank daily can help maintain this humidity. A hygrometer is recommended to be sure you are keeping the humidity at the right range.

-Rankin’s dragons drink water drops from plants, drink from a dish, and soak to stay hydrated. Make sure the water dish is large enough for them to fit in but shallow enough they can easily climb in.

-Make sure to clean the dish daily as the will eliminate during soaking.

-They are omnivores so require insects and vegetables. It is important to provide variety in the diet

-About 60 percent of their diet should consist of insects while the remaining 40 percent is vegetables.

Some good insect include:


Black solider fly larvae



Dubia roaches

Waxworms (these should be given as the occasional treat, not regularly)

-Vegetables can include:

Collard greens


Turnip greens


-Adult dragons should be fed daily. To avoid health issues, dust the food with calcium supplements a few times a week as well

Expert:  Amy Estrada replied 13 days ago.

-I hope the information was helpful and he is feeling better. Thank you for trusting JustAnswer with your questions. It was my pleasure to help you today. If you need further information regarding this question or need clarification on the recommendations, please let me know. I am happy to help.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Sorry I didn't write back. Thank you for your help. I just wasn't sure if bearded dragon information applies for rankins dragons
Expert:  Amy Estrada replied 13 days ago.

-It is similar, but does have some differences. I hope the information I provided on the care of the rankins dragon was helpful.