How to Tell if Your Bearded Dragon is Sick Key Signs and Symptoms

Signs and Symptoms of a Sick Bearded Dragon

To identify if your bearded dragon is sick, you need to pay close attention to certain signs and symptoms. With Loss of Appetite, Weight Loss, Lethargy, Abnormal Bowel Movements, Swollen Limbs or Tail, Discolored Skin or Shedding Issues, and Changes in Behavior or Temperament, you can easily figure out if your pet is ill or not.

Loss of Appetite

Have you noticed your bearded dragon eating less? It could be due to various reasons; like respiratory infections, intestinal parasites, or digestive issues. Keep an eye out for other signs of illness, for example, lethargy, weight loss, or changes in stool consistency.

If you’re uncertain, it’s best to get professional advice from a reptile vet. Natural causes like seasonal changes or shedding can also lead to a decrease in appetite. So, if you’re still worried, don’t hesitate to take your pet to the vet!

A friend’s bearded dragon lost its appetite and was found to have an intestinal parasite. With treatment and extra care, he got back to his healthy self in no time. Who knows, maybe he has found the secret to the perfect diet!

Weight Loss

Beardie dragons may lose mass, which can point to health issues. Shedding weight might show in their figure or be noticed through scale readings and shape.

This could mean digestive issues, liver disease, skin infections, poor nutrition, or stress. To keep them happy and healthy, regularly check their weight and stick to a diet plan.

Also, watch out for changes in energy level, appetite, and stool. If something seems off, don’t hesitate to get help.

A Bearded Dragon lover found this out the hard way, as their dragon lost mass quickly before getting bad news from the vet.

It just goes to show – if only napping could cure every health problem!


Bearded Dragon Sluggishness

Bearded dragons are usually lively. But, if your pet is sluggish; it’s a sign of illness. Symptoms can include: limited mobility, closed eyes, and refusing to eat. Monitor their behavior closely.

If your dragon is lying still, not eating, or behaving differently; there’s a problem. Take your pet to the vet right away. This may be due to stress or a health issue.

If their sluggishness is from the environment, some changes may help. Consider the possible causes before seeing a vet.

Ensuring my Pet is Healthy

I didn’t clean the enclosure often, and the dust and humidity were wrong. With vet help and better hygiene, my dragon ‘woke up’.

But, if digestion is the issue, you can expect some seriously weird poops!

Abnormal Bowel Movements

Bearded dragons’ excretory output can show their health. Unexplained changes in defecation suggest an issue. Examples: loose stools, constipation or infrequent bowel movements. These signs need vet attention, as they can lead to serious illnesses like impaction or infections.

Loose stools might be caused by abnormal water intake, bad husbandry conditions, parasites, stress, or bacterial overgrowth. Constipation suggests poor nutrition, dehydration, or a blockage. This could bring pain and limit the dragon’s movement.

Urine is an important part of healthy defecation. Too little urine could mean dehydration. Too much could be exhaustion or kidney failure. Pay attention to urine color and texture. Changes could show sickness.

SEE ALSO  How Often Do Bearded Dragons Mate?

In a study by Drs Claudia and Kuonen-Johnson (2003), unidentified pathogens were found in the fecal matter from sick bearded dragons. Diarrhea and lethargy were the symptoms. This shows how important regular check-ups are for reptiles. Early detection helps with timely medicine, which increases chance of recovery.

Observe and care for your pet’s intestinal excretions. This can help with early diagnosis and treatment before it gets worse.

Swollen Limbs or Tail

A bearded dragon unwell? Look out for swelling on the limbs or tail. This could stem from injuries, infections, or genetics. It could cause discomfort or pain. Check if shedding or diet is the issue. Don’t ignore it – it could cause major health issues, and affect its wild survival skills. Veterinary studies suggest it could even lead to amputation. Act fast – a vet visit is in order if skin looks odd, or it’s shedding more than usual. Get your dragon the help it needs!

Discolored Skin or Shedding Issues

Bearded dragons’ physical appearance can be affected when ill. Darker, yellow, or black discoloration of the skin is often a sign of nutrient uptake or hydration issues. Abnormal shedding can have multiple causes; inadequate diet and low humidity can make it harder to shed. During natural shedding, scales close their eyelids and toes. Don’t attempt to peel away excess skin – it’s important for the dragon’s health.

For proper care, consult with reptile-specialized vets if any skin discoloration or abnormal shedding occurs. Bearded dragons are mostly found in Australia, from the interior to southeast coastal areas. So, if your dragon is feeling a bit moody, it’s just a polite way of saying “leave me alone, human!”

Changes in Behavior or Temperament

Bearded dragons can get sick, so watch out for changes in behavior – like being less active, irritable or aggressive. Appetite and sleep habits can also show something is wrong. Look out for any unusual movements like twitching or shaking, too. Keep an eye on their pee and poo, as any change could mean a health problem.

Regular check-ups with a vet can help catch problems early. Even dragons can get colds – but no need to cover up when they sneeze!

Common Illnesses in Bearded Dragons

To keep your bearded dragon healthy, it’s crucial to understand the common illnesses they may face. In this section, “Common Illnesses in Bearded Dragons”, we will discuss key signs and symptoms of various illnesses to help you recognize the issues your pet may be facing. This includes Metabolic Bone Disease, Impaction, Parasites, Respiratory Infections, and Mouth Rot.

Metabolic Bone Disease

Bearded dragons can get a condition where their bones weaken and deform. This is often due to poor nutrition, bad lighting, and low calcium. Eating too much phosphorus can lead to this too.

To stop it from happening, they need UVB light and a balanced diet with calcium and D3 supplements. Even with all the right care, metabolic bone disease can still occur.

It’s hard to spot, but symptoms include twitching legs when walking or muscle tremors. In severe cases, the dragon can’t stand on its hind legs and has soft jawbones. Take them to the vet if you notice any signs. Even if they recover, they may need regular supplements for life.

One dragon owner saw her pet struggle to climb onto its basking spot. She took it to the vet and found out it had metabolic bone disease caused by the wrong diet. With the help of professionals, specialized UVB lights, and calcium supplements; the dragon made a full recovery over time. To avoid this, dragons need more fiber in their diets, so impaction won’t be a problem.


Bearded dragons are prone to gastrointestinal impaction. This occurs when food or substrate can’t pass through the digestive tract, leading to blockage, discomfort and even death. Signs of impaction include: lethargy, loss of appetite, a bloated belly and straining during pooping. It’s often caused by feeding large prey items or loose substrate.

SEE ALSO  Why is My Leopard Gecko Licking His Bum?

If you think your lizard is impacted, take them to the vet ASAP. Treatment may include rehydration fluids, petroleum jelly and manual removal of the stuck material. To avoid this, feed the right-sized meals and use substrates that won’t get swallowed.

Regularly check your dragon’s diet and poops for anything abnormal. Also, maintain proper husbandry and take them for regular check-ups to ensure long-term health.

Pro Tip: Monitor your dragon’s diet and prevent impaction for optimum health. Also, remember that parasites may be small, but they can still cause problems.


Bearded Dragons can suffer from common parasitic infestations. Ear mites, pinworms, tapeworms and coccidia are the main culprits. Female dragons, due to their weaker immune system, are more prone to these illnesses. Symptoms such as diarrhoea, lethargy and weight loss may occur.

It’s vital to take preventive measures, like disinfecting the enclosure, removing faecal matter and regular check-ups, to avoid these illnesses. Prompt treatment is a must when dealing with any type of parasite infection.

Veterinary Record reports that skin mites are present in up to 27% of captive reptiles and, if left untreated, can cause secondary bacterial and fungal infections. So, it’s important to be aware that Bearded Dragons are susceptible to catching a cold too! Keep those tissues handy just in case.

Respiratory Infections

Bearded dragons are prone to respiratory issues, due to their environment and to humidity or temperature extremes. Symptoms can include wheezing, discharge from nostrils, open-mouth breathing, lethargy, and loss of appetite. Untreated infections can turn into pneumonia, which is a severe and sometimes fatal disease.

To treat this, you should monitor and adjust the temperature and humidity of the tank according to veterinary guidance. Regular vet check-ups can detect any potential diseases early. You should also maintain cleanliness by changing the substrate less often. Salmonella bacteria can cause respiratory problems, so hygiene is key. Avoid overspraying, as increased humidity can cause respiratory issues.

Your bearded dragon should get appropriate amounts of Vitamin A and D3 supplements. Their diet of leafy greens or insects may not provide enough of these vitamins, leaving them vulnerable to respiratory ailments.

According to PetMD, Bearded dragons belong to the genus Pogona with 8 different species. Why did the bearded dragon need a breath mint? Because of its severe case of mouth rot.

Mouth Rot

Mouth Rot or Stomatitis, an infection common in Bearded Dragons, can cause redness, swelling and ulcers of mouth tissues. Unhygienic living conditions and poor dental care are major contributors.

If ignored, Mouth Rot can make your pet suffer from secondary infections and pain. The vet might administer antibiotics, antifungal agents or even surgery.

Prevention is the best way to go: keep your pet’s environment clean, feed a balanced diet, and monitor their dental health.

Pro Tip: Clean the Bearded Dragon’s tank, water dish and food area with a suitable disinfectant to avoid Mouth Rot.

What to Do if You Suspect Your Bearded Dragon is Sick

To help your bearded dragon feel happy and healthy again, you need to know what to do if you suspect it’s sick. In this section, “What to Do if You Suspect Your Bearded Dragon is Sick,” we’ll go over some solutions, including the immediate actions you should take, consulting with a veterinarian, and preventative measures to keep your bearded dragon healthy.

Immediate Actions to Take

A sickly bearded dragon needs immediate attention. Here’s what to do:

  1. Separate them from other pets.
  2. Look for potential hazards in their environment.
  3. Track their appetite, water intake, and movements.
  4. Call a vet specializing in reptile health if the symptoms don’t improve.
  5. Keep records of any treatments and share with the vet.
SEE ALSO  How Big Do Female Bearded Dragons Get?

It’s essential to be aware of your pet’s health. A healthy dragon should have normal breathing, skin and eyes, bowel movements, and hunger signs. If anything is off, act fast to save their life.

Also, make sure the dragon eats the right things – like veggies and bugs – and that their cage is always clean. It’s not just about treating an existing problem, but also protecting them for the future.

Consulting with a Veterinarian

Finding a Reputable Veterinarian is Crucial

Choosing the right vet for your bearded dragon is important. Look for one who has had experience with reptiles. They will do tests and diagnose any illnesses. Go to the vet as soon as the dragon shows signs of being sick.

Be Prepared to Answer Medical Questions

The vet will ask questions about the dragon’s behavior, diet, and habitat. Give accurate answers to help with the diagnosis.

Consider Follow-up Visits

Follow-up visits may be needed to check the dragon’s progress.

Pro Tip: Monitor your dragon’s health at home. Know what normal behavior looks like so you can spot symptoms early. Remind your dragon to clean their claws after handling dirty crickets.

Preventative Measures to Keep Your Bearded Dragon Healthy

For optimal health, take preventative measures with your bearded dragon. Here’s how:

  • Provide proper lighting and temperature.
  • Groom and clean regularly.
  • Feed a balance diet with all the right nutrients.
  • Keep your dragon hydrated.
  • Eliminate any potential risks in its environment.
  • Visit an experienced vet for checkups and vaccinations.

Also, avoid petting zoos with no quality control or inspection reports.

Note: A water dish in the tank can be dangerous as it boosts humidity which can trigger respiratory issues.

Remember to always wash your hands before handling a bearded dragon. Reptiles carry bacteria like Salmonella that can be harmful to humans.

A sad tale of lack of preventative care: An owner noticed a change in behavior but thought it was caused by rest. It was actually dehydration which led to death.

Be loving and watchful of your bearded dragon’s health.

Conclusion: Monitoring and Maintaining Your Bearded Dragon’s Health

Bearded dragon health is vital. Watch their eating habits, movement and behavior. Abnormalities could signify a health issue. Get regular check-ups with the vet.

Observe appetite, digestion, BMI and hydration. Lethargy, incoordination or disorientation could mean illness or parasites. Keep them clean and establish correct habitat conditions.

Good care improves health and happiness. Poor care can cause malnutrition, dehydration and infection. Look for changes in color, pigmentation and bumps – these need vet help fast!

Pets need proper care. Bearded dragon condition should be priority one for pet care.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I tell if my bearded dragon is sick?

If your bearded dragon is sick, you might notice a lack of appetite, lethargy, and a change in behavior or activity level. Other signs to look out for include diarrhea, weight loss, and abnormal breathing.

2. Is it normal for my bearded dragon to sleep all day?

While bearded dragons do sleep a lot, especially during the day, if you notice a decrease in their activity level or they are constantly sleeping, it may be a sign of illness.

3. Can bearded dragons catch colds?

Yes, bearded dragons can catch colds, which can lead to respiratory infections. If you notice symptoms such as discharge from the nose or mouth, wheezing, or labored breathing, it’s important to seek veterinary care.

4. What should I do if my bearded dragon stops eating?

If your bearded dragon stops eating, it’s important to take them to a veterinarian. Loss of appetite is a common symptom of illness and can lead to serious health problems if left untreated.

5. What can I do to prevent my bearded dragon from getting sick?

To prevent your bearded dragon from getting sick, make sure their enclosure is clean and properly maintained. Provide them with a healthy diet, adequate lighting, and a suitable temperature range. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian can also help catch any potential health issues early on.

6. Can bearded dragons get parasites?

Yes, bearded dragons can get parasites. Look out for symptoms such as diarrhea, weight loss, or a decrease in activity. A veterinarian can diagnose and treat any parasite infections.