- Pets and Animals
Bearded Dragon Diseases
Bearded Dragon Diseases and Treatment
Bearded Dragons are very hardy lizards, when they are provided with the proper care and the correct temperatures and lighting in their environment. However, they are also pets who do their best to hide their symptoms from us when they become ill, as do most other reptiles.
Since your Bearded Dragon can't talk or complain about where it hurts, you must use your own observation skills to determine when something is not right. There are times when a healthy Bearded Dragon will act differently, but these changes should be seen for what they are by the experienced veterinarian.
There are many types of Diseases that your Bearded Dragon may get or be exposed to. some of the more common ones that you may encounter are Metabolic Bone Disease,Stomatitis also known as mouth rot,Impaction,Dystocia (Egg Binding) and parasites to name just a few. In most cases of diseases that you may encounter with your Bearded Dragon they can be cured and properly treated if taking to a vet. at the first signs of problems. Keeping weekly records will help spot disease at its earliest stages
Spotting a Bearded Dragons Disease
Be Aware of your Bearded Dragon
Being aware of what normal behavior is for each of your Bearded Dragons, and what is not its normal Behavior. An alert eye can generally spot a problem long before it becomes a major concern. Pay special attention to each Bearded dragon's eating habits, and the amounts that they usually eat,any change it its diet is an early sign of an illness.Attention should also be paid to your Bearded Dragons bowel movements, how often they have a movement and what they usually look like, when they do. Attention should also be paid to the amount of urates (the white solid or powdery materials) that are passed within the bowel movements, as a change in this can be a sign of kidney problems. Any new Bearded Dragons should be quarantined away from any other Bearded Dragons for at least 2 weeks and daily records should be kept for each individual Bearded Dragon.Daily record keeping and proper care will help identify any problems early enough to prevent the disease from getting any worse
Keeping weekly records will help spot disease at its earliest stages
Metabolic Bone Disease
MBD is to Common Among Bearded Dragons
Metabolic bone disease (MBD) is a well recognized and all too common disease of Bearded Dragons.MBD results from an improper calcium to phophorus ratio in the body. Normally this ratio should be around 2:1 calcium:phosphorus (in the range of 1:1 to 2:1). When the calcium level is relatively low the body tries to compensate by taking calcium from wherever it can, for example the bones. There is no single cause and the disease is not as simple as a calcium deficiency. However, the primary problem is a disruption of calcium metabolism which causes a host of related problems. MBD is almost always a result of poor husbandry, but generally preventable by providing a proper environment and diet. This is not always easy or inexpensive, but is vital to the health of Bearded Dragons.
Calcium also impacts a number of other physiological systems including muscle contraction (including the heart) and blood clotting. The 2:1 ratio of calcium to phosphorus that is ideal in the diet, but calcium metabolism is not that simple.Other factors like Vitamin D (especially D3) are also vital to calcium metabolism, and because some Bearded dragons do not absorb vitamin D that well they need ultraviolet light exposure to manufacture their own vitamin D. Improper exposure to UVA and UVB will prevent your Bearded Dragon from properly producing its own vitamin D. Other factors may include improper temperatures, not enough proteins or to many oxalates.
Signs and Symptoms:
Vary depending on the severity and length of time the condition has had to developed. Due to the importance of calcium in bone formation and muscle function, most of the signs and symptoms are related to bone and muscle effects. These include:
* bowed, or swollen legs, or bumps on the long bones of the legs
* softening and swelling of the jaw (bilateral) - sometimes called "rubber jaw"
* arched spine or bumps along bones of spine
* jerky movements-twitching in the muscles of the legs and toes
* fractures of the bones due to bone weakness
* weakness and even partial paralysis (sometimes unable to lift body off ground)
Metabolic Bone Disease is distinctive enough that diagnosis is usually made based on the symptoms, physical exam, and discussion of husbandry. X-rays can be taken to confirm the diagnosis and monitor treatment. Treatment depends on the severity of the disease. For very mild cases a switch to a balanced diet and proper husbandry may be enough, but many cases require intensive calcium and vitamin supplementation under a veterinarian's care.
Bearded Dragon Vitamins And Medicines
Bearded Dragon Disease - Stomatitis
Commonly Known as Mouth Rot
stomatitis, commonly referred to as mouth rot. Although it isn't really a disease, it is a sign of an underlying infection. Bearded dragons with mouth rot will develop a grayish or whitish substance on the soft tissues in their mouth. If the condition is allowed to progress, the teeth will become loose and the gums may start to bleed. The underlying infection needs to be treated, or this condition will keep giving your Bearded dragon problems This condition is characterized by inflammation of the mouth. This usually causes swelling and bleeding of the oral tissues. So, what exactly causes stomatitis in Bearded Dragons?
Bearded Dragons need certain requirements like temperatures and proper diet, when these requirements are lacking the Bearded Dragon will become stressed. Other causes of stomatitis may include parasites,bacteria or an infection.
Signs and syptoms
Stomatitis causes swelling of the mouth and excessive salivation in its early stages but as the disease progresses the Bearded Dragons gums will begin to bleed and the swelling will get worse if left untreated the swelling will get so bad the Bearded dragon wont eat and wont be able to close its mouth, its teeth will loosen and fall out and it can lead to eye problems and other more serious health issues.
Treating Stomatitis in its earliest stages is relatively easy if the Bearded Dragon is took to a Vet. The Vet will have to get a swab of the Bearded Dragons mouth to determine the bacteria or cause of the stomatitis, once the cause is known then the proper treatment of antibiotics, vitamins and food can be prescribed.In the more severe cases of stomatitis surgery may be required
Dystocia (Egg Binding)
Dystocia also known as egg binding occurs most often in first-time breeding females, females who have previously retained eggs, and female bearing infertile clutches. General causes of dystocia may be due to the inability of the eggs to pass through the oviduct and cloaca. There may be an obstruction, the eggs may be too large or not positioned right or there may be obstructive masses such as abscesses or cystic calculi. Two or more eggs may be bound together, or a single egg may be exceptionally large or misshapen.
Dystocias can occur in the absence of obstructions or malformations. Such retentions may be the result of one or more of the following factors including poor husbandry, improper nesting site, improper temperatures, poor or inadequate diet, dehydration, and poor physical condition of the female. This latter is easily caused in, and remedied, in captivity.
Captive Bearded Dragons don't have the muscle strength or tone to get all the eggs into position for laying and expelling them in a timely matter. It is not uncommon for the last egg or two to be retained despite the successful and apparent ease with which the rest of the clutch was expelled.
A proper laying area must be available for the Bearded Dragon female if the laying medium and conditions are not correct she will dig frantically and run around clawing to learn more about Bearded Dragon egg laying.
if the problem persists and the Bearded Dragon has not laid the eggs within 48 hours get it to a vet right away.
Bearded Dragon Tshirts and Hoodies
Bearded Dragons and Salmonella
All Reptiles can carry Salmonella
Bearded dragons are like any other reptile and they may carry Salmonella. This is a bacterium that causes food poisoning and can sometimes be lethal. This is especially true for children that have an immune compromised condition. Careful handling of the bearded dragon and washing your hands thoroughly followed by using a hand sanitizer will ensure that you remain healthy along with your bearded dragon. Following proper guidelines when keeping and handling Bearded Dragons will prevent most chances of salmonella. Common practices to follow include not allowing Bearded Dragons to have access to the kitchen, dining room, or any other area in which food is prepared. Also, do not allow Bearded Dragons to have access to bathroom sinks and tubs or to any area where infants are bathed. Use a rubber tub for bathing your Bearded Dragon and a separate rubber tub for cleaning purposes. Do not eat, drink, or smoke while handling reptiles, reptile cages, or reptile equipment. Do not kiss reptiles or share food or drink with them. Do not use the same equipment for your animals that you use for yourself. Children should be supervised when they are handling reptiles to ensure that they do not place their hands or objects a reptile has touched in their mouths. Be Smart and keep you and your Bearded Dragon clean and healthy.
Impaction in Bearded Dragons
Blockage of the Digestive Tract
Impaction occurs when the digestive tract of a Bearded Dragon becomes clogged or blocked preventing the Bearded Dragon from passing feces regularly or not at all. Impaction can be caused by several things including feeding to large of food prey not having the proper lighting and temperatures for digesting it food properly. Occasionally the Bearded Dragon may eat a rock or large pieces of sand and they become caught in their digestive tract leading to Impaction as well.
If the Impaction is not that bad using the proper laxatives and warm baths may help solve the problem. your local reptile vet should be able to advise you as to what type of laxatives to use or you can try a few drops of mineral or vegetable oil. if the problem persists and your Bearded Dragon hasn't passed any feces within 48 hours take it to a vet right away
Parasites in Bearded Dragons
Mites and Parasites in Bearded Dragons
Bearded Dragons like all other creatures are susceptible to pests like mites and various parasites. Mites and parasites in Bearded Dragons may come from various sources such as insects, vegetables other reptiles, stress and unclean cage conditions to name a few.
When a Bearded Dragon gets stressed its immune system weakens making the conditions right for parasites to develop and thrive.
Bearded Dragons can get stressed easily so providing the proper lighting ,temperatures and feeding schedule is very important.Parasites survive in a Bearded Dragons digestive tract by existing on the food that your dragon eats. They take in the nutrients from the food that your dragon needs to grow and remain healthy. Some parasites, such as hookworms, will even burrow into the walls of your dragon's intestines, and lay eggs there, which will hatch and feed on his blood. A severe infestation of parasites can not only starve your dragon of the nutrients that it needs, but can also make it anemic. The symptoms of parasites include diarrhea, stomach pain, difficulty in digesting food, and may even stop eating. The Bearded dragons immune system will be busy trying to fight off the parasites, and he will become weak, making him susceptible to other infections. He will not grow as he should, nor will he gain weight as he grows. Parasites are not something that you can ignore, and can cause serious, and possibly lasting, problems if left unchecked.
Bearded Dragons with Parasites or mites are easily treated and in most cases preventable with proper husbandry and regular visits to a good reptile vet for a check up
Bearded Dragon Record Keeping
Importance of Keeping Daily and Weekly Records
Keeping regular records of your Bearded Dragons daily activities is very important. I will keep a clipboard attached to each cage if keeping more than one Bearded Dragon. Record The Dragons Name,its Genetics especially if you plan on Breeding your Bearded Dragon.Daily Records should include daily feedings and keep a count on what you feed your Bearded Dragon and how much they eat at a time. keep track of when you dust a feeding with calcium or any vitamins or medications that are being taken.Also record daily bowel movements as a lack of bowel movements is a sign of problems. Baby and juvenile bearded dragons will need to have daily records and weekly weightings and measurements. An adult Bearded Dragon wont need to be weighted or measured but every other week to monitor any changes. Pay close attention to any actions or behaviors that are not normal for your Bearded Dragon by keeping regular records you will be able to notice any diseases early enough to get the proper care and treatment for your Bearded Dragon
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Bearded Dragon Diseases
Preventable with Proper Care
Bearded Dragons diseases in most cases can be prevented or cured with the proper care. By providing the proper UVA/UVB lighting and by providing the proper temperature gradients for thermal regulation. A well balanced diet that includes insects, vegetables and the proper vitamins. A clean cage environment is essential for your Bearded Dragons overall health.
Be aware of your Bearded Dragons eating habits and other activities such as basking, drinking how regular does it pass feces. Keeping a good daily record of your Bearded Dragons activities along with charting its weight and size growth, how much and often it eats. keep track of vitamins , temperatures and any other things you may notice. this may seem like a lot of work but with a little extra effort you will have a healthier Bearded Dragon.
A Healthy Dragon is a Happy Dragon
Please feel free to ask Questions or suggestions on caring for sick Bearded Dragons. I am not a Vet but I care about My Bearded Dragons Health and don't mind taking the time to give my Bearded Dragons the care that they need.
A Healthy Dragon is a Happy Dragon !!!