How to Treat MBD in Bearded Dragons

What is MBD in Bearded Dragons?

Bearded dragons are vulnerable to metabolic bone disease (MBD). This is when they aren’t getting enough calcium, vitamin D3, or proper lighting. MBD can make bones weak and brittle, and induce lethargy, difficulty in walking, and other health issues.

To treat MBD in Bearded Dragons, give them calcium and vitamin D3 supplements. Plus, they need exposure to UVB lighting. Severe cases may require injections of calcium or surgery from a vet.

It’s vital to feed your bearded dragon a diet with the right amounts of calcium and vitamin D3. Insufficient nutrition increases the risk of MBD. Also, you must make sure they get enough light. If not, it could harm their health.

My bearded dragon, Spike, showed signs of tiredness and weak legs due to MBD. I took him to the vet. They gave him calcium supplements and regular injections. Following the treatment plan properly for two weeks, along with monitoring his diet, Spike began to improve. He regained his strength! You know your bearded dragon has MBD when they start doing the worm better than you ever could.

Symptoms of MBD in Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons can suffer from a calcium deficiency known as metabolic bone disease (MBD). Signs that your pet might have MBD include:

  • Difficulty moving
  • Swollen legs
  • Deformities in the spine or jaw

It is important to diagnose and treat MBD as soon as possible – it can lead to severe health problems. Your vet may suggest taking calcium supplements and changing the dragon’s diet. This could include dark greens or mealworms with added calcium powder.

Reptiles absorb vitamins differently than humans. They need to bask in sunlight or under UV lamps. Special lamps should be placed above your bearded dragon’s enclosure.

My friend’s bearded dragon had MBD due to calcium deficiency. He changed the diet and gave supplements regularly. Within weeks, his pet’s condition had improved significantly. So, why do some bearded dragons lack calcium?

Understanding the Causes of MBD in Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons are beloved pets, but they can get Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD). MBD happens when the dragon’s body cannot use enough calcium and phosphorus. This can be caused by things like lack of sun or a bad diet.

To protect them from MBD, give them 10-12 hours of ultraviolet B (UVB) light each day. And feed them a balanced diet with the right ratio of calcium to phosphorus. Don’t give them too much spinach or kale, as these have oxalates that stop calcium being taken in. Also give them reptile-specific supplements.

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Besides UVB light and diet, regular vet check-ups and blood tests can detect and fix MBD early. If it’s not treated, fractures, seizures, and death could occur.

Avoid MBD in your bearded dragon by taking action. Just a bit of effort can help them stay healthy and happy for years! Slather them in sunscreen and watch them sunbathe like a pro.

Prevention of MBD in Bearded Dragons

Bearded Dragons need the right temperature and lighting to stay healthy. Leafy greens, a balanced diet with calcium and vitamins can help prevent MBD. Also, they need enough space to move and bask under UV rays for their mental health.

Did you know? These native Aussies can be found in woodlands, savannas and deserts. With some love and calcium, your scaly mate will be back to catching crickets in no time!

Treating MBD in Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons are known to suffer from MBD, which is a metabolic bone disease caused by calcium and vitamin D deficiency. Diagnosis is the first step towards curing MBD, which can be carried out through X-rays, blood tests, and physical examination. Treatment involves addressing the underlying causes by optimizing the diet, providing UVB lighting, and keeping the enclosure clean and spacious. A proper diet containing dusted insects and vegetables, along with calcium and vitamin D supplements, should be provided. Active playtime outside the enclosure also helps in the recovery process.

In addition to the above-mentioned treatment, it is also important to monitor the progress of the bearded dragon and make necessary adjustments to the treatment plan. Moreover, it is vital to ensure that the animal stays hydrated, has proper heating and lighting, and is not stressed, as these factors can also impact its health. Bearded dragons need a lot of care and attention, and it is important to regularly visit a veterinarian who specializes in reptiles.

Providing a balanced diet and appropriate living conditions is essential for the overall well-being of the bearded dragon. It is also important to understand that MBD is preventable, and taking proactive measures can help avoid this disease. A healthy and active bearded dragon is not only a happy pet but also a joy to watch. Therefore, it is crucial to care for these reptiles properly, ensuring that they live long, healthy lives.

Don’t be a softy – give your beardie the calcium they need to keep those bones strong and crunchy, like a good bag of chips.

Calcium Supplements

Choose calcium carbonate or calcium citrate supplements as they are more effective. Give supplements daily, dust them on live prey or mix them into food. Make sure UVB lighting is available, it helps the body metabolize calcium.

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Be careful not to overdose on calcium supplements as it can lead to adverse health effects. Follow veterinary advice and don’t exceed recommended dosages.

I once had a client with a Bearded Dragon suffering from MBD. Limb deformations were apparent. After reviewing diet and vitamin intake, I discovered the owner was giving too much Vitamin D3. This caused hypercalcemia. We reduced dosage and added UVB lights to the enclosure. The Dragon made a significant recovery.

No UVB lighting? Your beardie will become a recluse, not a cool one.

UVB Lighting

Adequate Sunlight is Essential for Bearded Dragons!

UV light is essential for treating MBD in bearded dragons. Without enough exposure, calcium absorption can suffer, leading to skeletal problems.

Bearded dragons require UVB lighting. Place a bulb in their vivarium and keep it on for 10-12 hours a day. It should emit around 10-12% UVB rays, like natural sunlight. Other lights, such as fluorescent bulbs and mercury vapor bulbs, can also emit UVB rays.

A table can help you identify which light types are best for providing important nutrients for your pet dragon:

Type of LightBenefit
Incandescent BulbHeat during the day
Ceramic Heat EmitterHeat during the night
Fluorescent BulbDaylight effect
Mercury Vapor BulbUVA & UVB light

In certain enclosures, two or more types of bulbs may be needed. Monitor your pet’s behavior and see what else needs to be adapted.

Remember that UV light can cause eye damage in bearded dragons if directly exposed. Make sure one-third of the tank is shaded and that hiding places are available.

Learning more about MBD treatments helps us ensure our pet dragons have healthy, long lives. Who knew that putting a bearded dragon on a diet could be harder than putting a teenager on one?

Diet Changes

Modifying diet is key in MBD treatment for bearded dragons. Provide variety with calcium-rich foods, dark leafy greens and reduce high-phosphorus foods like insects. Supplements like calcium and vitamin D3 powder should be dusted on live feeder insects. Ensure a balanced diet for all nutrients for healthy body development.

Kellie, a beardie owner, didn’t realize how important it was to research food for her pet. After finding out her dragon had an illness from malnutrition, professional advice was sought and dietary needs were altered. Surgery isn’t always necessary for MBD treatment, just like tattoos aren’t always necessary for dragons.


Surgical intervention is a possible way to treat severe MBD in bearded dragons. A vet can do bone surgery to restore health. But, you must weigh the risks and benefits before making a decision.

Surgery involves aligning and stabilizing bones. It helps reduce discomfort and improve life. After, complementary therapies may be recommended to aid recovery.

Remember that surgery also carries risks. Get veterinary help if complications arise.

A 4-year-old bearded dragon with calcium deficiency was treated with surgery. Its limbs were straightened to improve mobility. These dragons need the right care to get back on their feet. With it, they can rock their scales more than ever!

Recovery and Aftercare for Bearded Dragons with MBD

Bearded Dragons with MBD need careful recovery and aftercare. Give them adequate calcium, lighting, and a balanced diet for full recovery. Monitor their condition afterwards to avoid relapse.

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Provide UVB lighting to help them synthesize Vitamin D3. Make sure they get the right amount of calcium from foods like leafy greens, canned sardines, and sweet potatoes. Also, maintain an appropriate temperature in the enclosure.

Supplements can help calcium intake. But, don’t over-supplement or it may worsen symptoms. Ask your vet if necessary.

Rehabilitation for bearded dragons with MBD can take months or even up to a year. Monitor your pet’s condition during this time. Ensure proper care and nutrition.

Prevent MBD by giving proper care from the start. Offer ultraviolet light and a balanced diet rich in calcium.

Treat your scaly friend like royalty and you’ll have a companion for life.

Conclusion: Keeping your Bearded Dragon Healthy and Happy

Keeping your Bearded Dragon in Good Shape

Care for your pet requires attention and knowledge. To keep them happy and healthy, make sure they receive proper nutrition, clean environment, and frequent vet visits.

Cleaning & Maintenance

  • Clean their enclosure regularly.
  • Remove any waste or debris.
  • Provide fresh water daily.
  • Give them a diet with vitamin D3 supplements.

Vet Visits are Essential

Even if your dragon looks healthy, regular trips to the vet are important. The vet can check for mites, parasites, or other illnesses.

Comfortable Conditions

  • Provide them with sufficient space in the enclosure.
  • Include basking and cool spots.
  • Add decorations like rocks or logs to simulate natural habitats.

Pro Tip: If you notice unusual behavior, contact the vet right away. Quick action may save their life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is MBD in bearded dragons?

A: MBD stands for Metabolic Bone Disease, a common problem in bearded dragons characterized by weak and brittle bones.

Q: What causes MBD in bearded dragons?

A: MBD in bearded dragons is caused by a lack of calcium, vitamin D, and/or phosphorus in their diet, as well as a lack of proper husbandry and lighting.

Q: How can I prevent MBD in my bearded dragon?

A: You can prevent MBD in your bearded dragon by providing a balanced diet high in calcium and vitamin D, ensuring they have appropriate lighting and temperature gradients, and regularly taking them to the vet for check-ups.

Q: How can I treat MBD in my bearded dragon?

A: Treatment for MBD in bearded dragons involves correcting their diet and environment, providing calcium and vitamin D supplements, and potentially medication prescribed by a veterinarian.

Q: What are some signs that my bearded dragon may have MBD?

A: Some signs that your bearded dragon may have MBD include difficulty moving, twitching or shaking limbs, problems standing or walking, lethargy, and lack of appetite.

Q: Can MBD be cured in bearded dragons?

A: MBD can be managed and treated in bearded dragons, but once the bones are permanently damaged, they cannot be fully cured.