Signs of a Sick Bearded Dragon

Picture of a Bearded Dragon.

Frequent Vet Visits

Like any other pet, it is important to have your reptile seen by a reputable veterinarian. Specifically, a qualified herp vet. Not just once in a while, but frequently. Unfortunately, Bearded Dragons can become ill very easily with improper care whether it be from a poor diet to bad lighting. If you are new to Bearded Dragons, then please be sure to double check that your reptile’s enclosure setup and overall care is up to par. Also, keep in mind that there is a lot of bad information online when it comes to care advice. Therefore, you should always double check what you read (or hear) through multiple sources.

1) Odd Behavior

A Bearded Dragon that is not acting normal, is often one sign of a sick Bearded Dragon. For example, the reptile may no longer be interested in eating food. Furthermore, the reptile may not be basking under his or her heat light anymore. Last but not least, the reptile may be acting odd in general, such as showing signs of discomfort or stress. In summary, if your Bearded Dragon is not behaving normally, then it may be time to visit your local veterinarian.

2) Change of Appearance

Many illnesses are visible with the naked eye. For example, a Bearded Dragon with metabolic bone disease will eventually develop physical deformities. For instance, his or her tail may start to have kinks (crooked appearance). As another example, a Bearded Dragon with yellow fungus disease may have patches of yellow or brown on its scales that are spreading across the body. Furthermore, a Bearded Dragon that is dehydrated may have sunken eyes or wrinkled skin. Finally, a Bearded Dragon with an eye infection may have a swollen appearance or discharge. Keep in mind, there is a long list of illnesses that exist for Bearded Dragons and we’ve only named a few here. Overall, the idea is that a sick Bearded Dragon may start showing signs of being ill that can be seen with your own eyes.

3) List of Illnesses

Illness Symptoms
Metabolic Bone Disease Bowed legs
Bumps in the legs or spine
Deformed appearance
Jerky movements
Lack of appetite
Lethargic behavior
Paralysis of the legs
Swollen limbs or jaw
Twitching in the legs or toes
Yellow Fungus Disease Lack of appetite
Lethargic behavior
Patches of yellow or brown on scales
Atadenovirus Contantly looking up
Difficulty walking
Lack of appetite
Lethargic behavior
Respiratory Infection Lack of appetite
Lethargic behavior
Breathing difficulties
Mucus near mouth or nostrils
Dehydration Drinks a lot of water when offered
Lack of appetite
Lethargic behavior
Sunken eyes
Wrinkled skin
Impaction Unable to poop
Foreign objects in stool, such as sand
Lack of appetite
Lethargic behavior
Not pooping for multiple days
Poorly digested stool
Paralyis of back legs
Internal Parasites Discolored stool
Foul smelling stool
Lack of appetite
Poorly digested stool
Weight loss
Mouth Rot Black or loose teeth
Discolored mouth
Lack of appetite
Lethargic behavior
Tail Rot Black tail
Black part of tail feels hard
Black part of tail looks shriveled
Black part of tail is progressing towards the body
Mites Can be seen on body (near skin folds)
Can be seen in enclosure
Weight loss
Lack of appetite
Lethargic behavior
Rubbing against decor (itching)
Issues shedding