Common Illnesses For Bearded Dragons

Healthy Signs

Overall, a Bearded Dragon should be active and alert. In other words, the reptile should be aware of your presence and it should respond to your movements or handling. In addition, the reptile should be basking throughout the day with an upright posture (not laying down or acting lethargic). Furthermore, the Bearded Dragon should have a round belly indicating that it is well fed and its eyes should be open and clear of any gunk.

Unhealthy Signs

In summary, any of the above signs may be a red flag. In other words, it will require more work and knowledge to make sure that the reptile recovers from its situation. For example, if you buy a Bearded Dragon with any kind of physical injury or illness, then you will most likely have to see a herp vet for treatment. If you are seeking to rescue a Bearded Dragon, then this might be a good option for you. However, if you are new to Bearded Dragons, I would avoid trying to do a rescue unless you feel that you are prepared to take on the task.

Common Illnesses

This section lists all of the common illnesses for Bearded Dragons.

Dehydration

Dehydration occurs when a Bearded Dragon does not consume enough water. Unfortunately, people assume that these reptiles do not need water since they are "desert reptiles". Of course, this is not true.

Symptoms -

Treatment - Of course, treatment involves making sure your Bearded Dragon stays hydrated! Watch the video below to see some examples on how to provide water.

Impaction

Impaction occurs when a Bearded Dragon eats something that it cannot digest (or is hard to digest). Unfortunately, impaction often occurs from loose substrate (which pet stores often sell, such as sand). For more information on this, please read this section of our care sheet.

Symptoms -

Treatment - If your Bearded Dragon is impacted, then there are a few things that you should do. First, go to a vet immediately for professional advice and treatment. Second, offer the Bearded Dragon a warm bath daily and gently rub its belly. Make sure that water stays warm and does not get cold. Third, make sure that the Bearded Dragon's basking temperature is not too low, it should be around 100F. Finally, avoid offering hard to digest foods (especially if the impaction is already severe). Instead, offer easy to digest food such as baby food (squash or sweet potatoes) or perhaps phoenix worms.

Metabolic Bone Disease

Metabolic bone disease (also known as MBD) is caused by an improper balance of calcium and vitamin D3. Overall, this type of disease is very common for captive Bearded Dragons and is often the result of neglect or improper care.

Symptoms -

Treatment - If your Bearded Dragon has metabolic bone disease, then there are a few things that you should do. First, go to a vet immediately for professional advice and treatment. Second, make sure that the Bearded Dragon is getting the correct amount of calcium and vitamin D3. Finally, make sure everything else is correct as far as the Bearded Dragon's care goes. In other words, check the temperatures, UVB exposure, diet, etc. To make sure you are doing things correctly, please read our care sheet.

Mites

Mites are external parasites that feed on your Bearded Dragon's blood. In other words, if your Bearded Dragon has mites, then you will notice feeding marks (tiny red dots) on your Bearded Dragon's body. Furthermore, if you look closely, you may actually be able to spot the mites themselves in and around the crevices of your Bearded Dragon's body or even within the Bearded Dragon's enclosure.

Symptoms -

Treatment - If your Bearded Dragon has mites, then there are a few things that you should do. First, quarantine the reptile immediately so that the mites do not infect your other reptiles (do not share food or items). Second, place your Bearded Dragon into a warm bath with diluted betadine and use a cotton swab clean under the legs and beard of the reptile. Finally, safely and properly disinfect the reptile's enclosure (kill all of the mites) with mite treatment sprays intended for reptile use. Of course, let the enclosure air out before placing you Bearded Dragon back into the enclosure.

Mouth Rot

Mouth rot (also known as infectious stomatitis) is a bacterial infection in the mouth of the Bearded Dragon; mouth rot can occur from improper temperatures, humidity levels, or unsanitary living conditions.

Symptoms -

Treatment - If you suspect your Bearded Dragon to have mouth rot, then you should seek out a herp vet for professional advice and treatment.

Parasites

Parasites occur when a Bearded Dragon eats something that was infected with parasites.

Symptoms -

Treatment -If you suspect your Bearded Dragon to have parasites, then you will need to go to a herp vet to confirm it. If the reptile has parasites, then the herp vet will provide the appropriate steps required for treatment.

Respiratory Infection

A respiratory infection is caused by low temperatures or high humidity; a respiratory infection is a bacterial infection located in the lungs of a Bearded Dragon.

Symptoms -

Treatment - If your Bearded Dragon has a respiratory infection, then there are a few things that you should do. First, go to a vet immediately for professional advice and treatment. Second, make sure the humidity is not too high, it should be around 30%. Finally, make sure the basking temperature is not too low, it should be around 100F.

Tail Rot

Tail rot occurs from physical trauma to the tail or from retained shed.

Symptoms -

Treatment - If your Bearded Dragon has tail rot, then there are a few things that you should do. First, go to a vet immediately for professional advice and treatment. Second, offer the Bearded Dragon a warm bath daily and hopefully the dead part of the tail will soften up and fall off on its own (never break it off). Finally, do your best to keep the reptile clean as well as its enclosure to avoid any further complications such as an infection.

Yellow Fungus

Yellow fungus occurs when a Bearded Dragon has poor hygiene or is exposed to unsanitary living conditions. Keep in mind, this disease is contagious, so quarantine the infected reptile.

Symptoms -

Treatment - If your Bearded Dragon has yellow fungus, then there are a few things that you should do. First, go to a vet immediately for professional advice and treatment. Second, quarantine the reptile immediately because this fungus is contagious and will infect your other reptiles (do not share food or anything at all). Finally, make sure that the reptile has a clean enclosure at all times.