There’s nothing quite like seeing your bearded dragon glowing with vibrant, orange scales.
The sight of that big, bright beard and fiery glow can be utterly breathtaking.
However, there are a few reasons why your pet may turn into a little fireball, and not all of them are positive!
We’ll cover the various causes and how you can tell if your dragon is healthy or having problems in this article.
What does it mean when a bearded dragon turns orange?
If you’re wondering “why is my beardie turning orange?” then read on!
Why is my bearded dragon turning orange?
It’s common for bearded dragons to change from their normal grey/brown color to a vivid orange at different intervals.
A sudden change in color could mean that your pet is stressed, sick, about to shed, or about to mate (particularly for female beardies).
Keeping an eye on the overall health of your reptile pet will help you spot if there’s something wrong with them.
Your lizard should be alert and active when handled and should be eating regularly if it’s healthy. There are a few reasons why your lizard might be turning orange.
1. Too much UV light
If you’re using a UVB bulb for your bearded dragon, make sure that it’s not too close to the animal. Bearded dragons need UVB light to stay healthy, but they can get too much of it if you keep it too close.
2. Not enough calcium
If your bearded dragon is eating crickets (or other insects) that have been raised on the vegetable matter (like carrots or lettuce), then they may not be getting enough calcium from their diet.
This can affect the color of their scales, turning them orange instead of yellow-orange or brownish-orange depending on the type of scale coloration their species has.
If this is happening to your lizard, try feeding them mealworms or superworms instead (which are higher in protein and contain more calcium than crickets).
The most common parasite affecting bearded dragons is tapeworms, according to Reptiles Magazine.
A tapeworm looks like a long white thread inside your bearded dragon’s intestines and can cause serious damage if left untreated for too long.
4. Bacterial infections
Bacterial infections are often caused by a secondary infection from another disease.
The most common secondary infection for bearded dragons is pneumonia (bacterial) caused by Mycoplasma or Chlamydophila psittaci.
These are both respiratory diseases that cause sneezing and nasal discharge which may indicate an underlying bacterial infection of the lungs.
Other signs include lethargy (they don’t move around as much), loss of appetite, and weight loss.
5. Parasitic infections
Parasitic infections are less common than bacterial infections but can still be serious if left untreated over time.
There are several types of parasites that infect bearded dragons including protozoa (single-celled organisms) like Trichomonas gallinae and Giardia sp., and helminths (worms) such as nematodes (roundworms) like Parascaris equorum and tapeworms like Taenia saginata.
How to deal with orange spots on my bearded dragon?
If your bearded dragon is turning orange, you should first make sure that everything is set up properly.
It is recommended for you to make sure that the basking spot’s temperature is between 95-110°F.
If possible the basking spot’s temperature should be 100°F. It can also be helpful to check if your bearded dragon is not stressed and if it has a healthy diet.
You must also monitor your Bearded Dragon for any signs of illness or stress.
You can help them by making sure they all have the proper stuff, like a good enclosure and correct lighting and heating.
Also, keep an eye on their health.