Bearded dragons are popular pets among reptile hobbyists. Many people have seen images of bearded dragons, and often these lizards are just about the most popular pet reptiles.
Because the bearded dragon is popular, many owners attempt to own one.
There is a big population of bearded dragon owners which means there is a good chance you know someone with a pet bearded dragon.
A question that we hear asked often is: “how do I tell if my bearded dragon is sick?”
What are the signs that my bearded dragon is sick?
One of the most common reasons for bearded dragon owners to seek advice is to find out what is wrong with their pets.
Bearded dragons are quite hardy and easy to keep as pets, but they do need to be cared for properly in order to remain healthy. They do get sick sometimes, so it’s important to know what some of the signs are that your beardie might be unwell.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your bearded dragon, you should contact an expert immediately:
Loss of appetite
This can be a sign that your beardie is feeling stressed or unhappy with its environment.
If you are keeping your beardie in an unsuitable habitat (too small, too hot, or too cold) then this could be making it feel uncomfortable and therefore not eating much food.
Bearded dragons can become aggressive if they are scared or hurt, but if they are exhibiting this type of behavior all of the time then it’s likely something else is going on!
If you see your bearded dragon acting strangely or hiding away from everyone then it could be suffering from an illness such as worms or mites.
Some other signs include pacing around the tank or shaking their head excessively.
A lack of energy or lethargy is another common sign of illness in bearded dragons. If your pet doesn’t move around much when you handle it or if it seems sluggish during feeding time, it may be ill.
Discharge from nose or mouth
If there’s mucus or pus coming out of your bearded dragon’s nose or mouth, this could be an indication that something is wrong inside its body.
Contact your vet immediately if you notice this symptom because it can be life-threatening for bearded dragons if left untreated.
Bearded dragons shed their outer layer of skin about once per month when they grow (called molting).
Molting can take up to two weeks, during which time you may notice that your pet is shedding more than usual or has lost patches of skin around his mouth or toes.
You might also see patches of skin stuck to his water bowl if he’s not drinking enough water while he’s shedding.
How do I know if my bearded dragon is brumating or sick?
Bearded dragons are brumating when they go into a state of torpor. This is a state of hibernation and brumation is different from hibernation.
Hibernation is a long period of inactivity where body temperature drops and the animal isn’t eating or drinking.
Brumation, on the other hand, is a shorter period of reduced activity, but body temperature stays within normal limits, and insects are still eaten.
The best way to tell if your bearded dragon is brumating or sick is by monitoring its behavior and appearance.
If your bearded dragon has stopped eating or drinking, then it’s likely sick.
If it looks like the beardie isn’t sleeping enough, then it could be brumating instead.
What to do when my bearded dragon is sick?
But like any other animal, bearded dragons can get sick and need special care to recover from illness. Here are some of the main tips on what to do if your bearded dragon is sick:
1. Call the vet
If your bearded dragon has been sick or injured for more than 24 hours, call your vet immediately.
They will be able to give you advice on how best to treat your reptile’s condition and may even be able to prescribe medication if necessary.
2. Take note of symptoms
Bearded dragons are prone to certain diseases such as metabolic bone disease (MBD), which can cause calcium deficiency in your pet’s body.
Other symptoms include lethargy, weight loss, lack of appetite, and swelling around the eyes or nose. If you notice any of these signs in your bearded dragon, take it straight away.