During brumation, reptiles won't eat or defecate, but they will often wake up briefly to drink water. Of all domesticated reptiles, bearded dragons are the most likely to brumate, so there's a decent chance your pet will go through this process.
During brumation, reptiles stop eating and their heart and respiratory rates slow significantly, as does their digestion. This "suspended animation"—long periods of inactivity—may actually lengthen the lives of these reptiles.
Never try to attempt to wake a bearded dragon that is brumating. Instead, focus on ways to help the process go as smoothly as possible such as providing fresh water and keeping their tank clean.
Generally, it is OK to pick up your bearded dragon while he's in brumation. For example, some bearded dragon owners choose to help their pet through the brumation period by giving him a relaxing bath. While this is not necessary, it can help with producing a bowel movement.
In the wild, brumation would last three to four months.
If your bearded dragon is still brumating after four months, let your vet know just to be safe. But chances are, your dragon is perfectly fine. It can be disconcerting if your bearded dragon goes into brumation and then disappears for months on end.
It is important to make sure your beardie has had a bowel movement before entering a total brumation state, as this will ensure their digestive system is empty, eliminating the risk of trapped food. Once this has been achieved, turn off the bearded dragon's basking bulb and UV light.
While all bearded dragons should be offered food during brumation around once a week, it isn't a big deal if your pet refuses to eat. Brumating bearded dragons will experience a decrease in their appetite and a slowed metabolism rate. This means, it isn't so critical they fuel their bodies daily.
The Start & End of Brumation: How Long Brumation Lasts
This process is typically two to three months long. Bearded dragon owners have reported their lizard brumated for anywhere from several weeks up to six months! North American colubrid breeders typically keep their snakes in brumation for around three months.
1 week after brumation has ended, schedule the lights and heat sources back to being on for 13 hours/day. Your beardie's appetite should go back to normal. If appetite does not go back to normal or your beardie doesn't seem to be waking up, take your dragon to an experienced reptile vet for examination!
How Long Can A Bearded Dragon Go Without Pooping? Healthy bearded dragons not in brumation should not go for longer than one week without pooping. Some individuals can go several weeks without pooping, but, this will be very painful and is normally a sign of a health issue.
As a result, reptilian dormancy, or brumation, is different from mammalian hibernation because the metabolic processes are different. Not unlike mammals, reptiles may begin their dormancy stage in the fall. However, they do not enter a state of “sleep” as the mammals do. They go into a state of suspended animation.
Brumation is a lethargic state that some ectothermic animals, such as many reptiles, assume during cold conditions. Reptiles generally begin brumation in late autumn. They often wake up to drink water and return to "sleep". They can go for months without food.
Torpor is different from hibernation or brumation because it can be a very short duration, such as one night or can be for an extended period, depending on the needs of the animal. Torpor is a period of decreased physical activity an animal intentionally enters to conserve metabolic energy.
However, the temperature will drop below 60° Fahrenheit at night and only get up to about 75° or 80° during the day. Instead of going into full hibernation, wild bearded dragons simply slow their movements and digestion during this period to conserve energy. This is brumation!
From a high level, bearded dragon brumation will look a lot like major laziness or a lack of energy. Because they're starting to power down their systems and slow down their metabolism, there's not a need for as much activity or food as before. Here are the common signs to look for: Less movement.
As desert dwelling reptiles, bearded dragons can go weeks without food, sometimes a few months. This allows them to survive in their native habitat when food sources are scarce. In captivity, this usually occurs during brumation.
Glass surfing is thought to be a result of stress and a bearded dragon may be stressed for several reasons: An enclosure or tank that's too small for it can stress a bearded dragon out. Another bearded dragon, even if they're not housed together, may be interpreted as competition for a bearded dragon and cause stress.
Bearded dragon won't wake up? Chances are it's bearded dragon brumation time. Bearded dragons in the wild will brumate every year during the cold winter months. In captivity, brumation is not necessary to survive the winter months since it lives in an artificially heated and lit habitat.
During brumation, reptiles do not enter a dormant state like hibernating animals. Instead, their bodily functions remain active but at lower levels of functioning. When coming out of brumation, bearded dragons may be black in coloration, which is normal.
In rarer cases where the virus infects nervous tissue it may cause difficulty walking, controlling the limbs, or "star gazing" (constantly looking upward). Treatment is aimed at supportive care during bouts of inflammation with hydration and assist feeding until they return to normal.