As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Bearded Dragon Health

It may not always be easy to tell if your Bearded Dragon is sick. On this page, we hope to help you understand some of the more common illnesses out there for Bearded Dragons. However, if you suspect that your Bearded Dragon is ill, then you should always make it your priority to seek out a qualified herp vet and follow his or her advice rather than the advice found on this page. Thank you for understanding.

Healthy Signs

There are a few things to look for in a healthy Bearded Dragon. First, a healthy Bearded Dragon should be active and alert. In other words, a Bearded Dragon should be basking throughout the day and eating food when offered. Second, a Bearded Dragon should not have any physical injuries or infections. For example, a Bearded Dragon should not have any unhealed tail nips nor should it have an eye infection. Third, a healthy Bearded Dragon should be growing (shedding) and gaining weight as it gets older. Overall, these are the basic signs of a healthy Bearded Dragon.

Unhealthy Signs

An unhealthy Bearded Dragon is (for obvious reasons) the opposite of a healthy Bearded Dragon. To clarify, if a Bearded Dragon is acting lethargic (not eating or basking), is losing weight, or not growing, then the Bearded Dragon may be ill. Of course, physical injuries or infections would not be good either. In summary, these are the basic signs of an unhealthy Bearded Dragon.

Metabolic Bone Disease

Metabolic bone disease (MBD) is one of the more common illnesses that pet Bearded Dragons get. In general, this disease is often caused by poor husbandry. More specifically, metabolic bone disease is often the result of calcium and vitamin D3 deficiency (or an improper balance of the two). In short, metabolic bone disease will cause a Bearded Dragon to have weak bones which will lead to many health issues overall.

Symptoms:

If you suspect that your Bearded Dragon has metabolic bone disease, then there are two things that you should do. First, seek out a qualified herp vet to determine the severity of the illness. Second, make sure that you are providing proper care for your Bearded Dragon. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this disease. However, you can prevent it from getting worse by providing proper care.

Yellow Fungus Disease

Yellow fungus disease (CANV) is a fungal infection. A Bearded Dragon can get yellow fungus from unsanitary living conditions. In addition, it can get yellow fungus from any other reptile or item that is infected by it. For that reason, any reptile with yellow fungus should be quarantined and items should not be shared. In brief, yellow fungus is a very contagious, painful, and often fatal fungal infection for reptiles in general.

Symptoms:

Sadly, there are mixed reports whether or not there is a cure for yellow fungus disease. Regardless, if your Bearded Dragon has yellow fungus, then it would be best to visit a qualified herp vet and hope for the best.

Atadenovirus

Atadenovirus (ADV) is a contagious disease commonly seen in Bearded Dragons, this disease may also be known as “star-gazing” or “wasting disease”. A Bearded Dragon can get this disease if it is exposed to other Bearded Dragons that carry it. If contracted, the virus will remain with the Bearded Dragon for life and it will cause many problems such as a weak immune system or damage to the nervous system. Overall, atadenovirus is a very unfortunate disease to contract.

Symptoms:

Sad to say, but there is no cure for atadenovirus. Although, if you suspect that your Bearded Dragon has it, then be sure to quarantine the reptile and visit a qualified herp vet as soon as possible for professional advice and treatment.

Respiratory Infection

A respiratory infection (RI) is a bacterial infection located in the lungs of a Bearded Dragon. A Bearded Dragon may get a respiratory infection from bad husbandry, such as low temperatures and high humidity.

Symptoms:

If you suspect that your Bearded Dragon has a respiratory infection, then go to a herp vet for professional advice and treatment. In the meantime, make sure your Bearded Dragon’s husbandry is correct.

Dehydration

Dehydration occurs when a Bearded Dragon does not consume enough water. Fortunately, a Bearded Dragon will get most of their hydration needs met from the food it eats. However, it is still possible for a Bearded Dragon to dehydrate. Thus, it is a good idea to make sure that your Bearded Dragon receives opportunities to consume water.

Symptoms:

If your Bearded Dragon is dehydrated, then please watch this video for a visual guide on how to provide water.

Impaction

If a Bearded Dragon has a blockage within its digestive system (such as a foreign object that was consumed), then the reptile may not be able to poop. This inability to poop is often known as impaction. In short, impaction is often caused by the reptile consuming a foreign object such as its substrate or something that it found and tried to eat while exploring the house.

Symptoms:

In the event that a Bearded Dragon consumed a foriegn object, then it is best to rush to a qualified herp vet as soon as possible. If the foreign object cannot pass through its digestive system, then time is of the essence.

In the scenario that the Bearded Dragon is just constipated (maybe from hard to digest foods like mealworms), then you may be able to help the reptile poop in one of two ways. First, increase the basking temperature to around 100F. In general, heat will help a Bearded Dragon digest food and heat is important for their bodies to function properly. Second, offer the Bearded Dragon a warm bath with gentle belly rubs. If lucky, the Bearded Dragon will poop. At the end of the day, if the reptile does not poop for more than several days and starts to act lethargic, then rush to a qualified herp vet.

Internal Parasites

A Bearded Dragon can get parasites if it eats something that had parasites, at least this is often how they get parasites.

Symptoms:

If you suspect that your Bearded Dragon has internal parasites, then it is best to visit a qualified herp vet to confirm if this is the case and then proceed with treatment based off of the vet’s advice. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do here on your own besides seek professional advice and treatment.

Mouth Rot

Mouth rot (infectious stomatitis) is a bacterial infection within the mouth of a Bearded Dragon that can occur from bad husbandry.

Symptoms:

If you suspect that your Bearded Dragon has mouth rot, then we suggest seeking out a qaulified herp vet for professional advice and treatment.

Tail Rot

Tail rot is a condition in which the Bearded Dragon’s tail begins to rot, due to an internal infection. Tail rot often occurs from retained shed (cutting off blood circulation) or from physical trauma to the tail.

Symptoms:

If a Bearded Dragon has tail rot, then it is recommended to seek out a qaulified herp vet so that the infected part of the tail can be amputated. We do not advise waiting for the tail to fall off on its own (which is possible). If the infection reaches the reptile’s internal organs, then this could be fatal. Therefore, it is best to have a qualified herp vet amputate the infected part of the tail.