A condition known as tail rot brought on by an internal infection can affect bearded dragons. They may lose their tails, and unlike other lizards, they cannot generate new ones. We’ll look at the factors contributing to this ailment, how to cure it, and how to keep your beardie from developing it.
If not treated right away, bearded dragon tail rot can progress from minor to severe. The bearded dragon’s internal organs may suffer damage if the inner infection spreads to other body parts.
The condition’s recognized causes, treatments, and suggestions for prevention are included below.
6 Reasons Why a Bearded Dragon’s Tail Rot
Bearded dragon tail rot happens for a few reasons, which are listed below.
1: Fights and Injury
Bearded dragons are aggressive, and they often fight. Also, sometimes an object can pin your dragon’s tail and injure it, and it can also cause tali rot. Therefore, always keep the enclosure clean and safe. Bearded dragons love to live alone because they are solitary animals.
If you keep them together, they will fight for their territories and often become aggressive. They will fight and injure themselves daily, so the best option is to separate them. It is expected that they can get their tails bitten in the fight, and it can cause tail rot.
2: Inadequate Diet
As you know, a proper diet is essential for human growth same, as it is necessary for bearded dragons. A good nutritional diet plays a big part in your pet’s overall health and helps increase its ability to fight off infections. Make sure to give them proper high-quality food and supplements rich in calcium and vitamin D3. Vitamins help to strengthen your reptile’s immune system.
Additionally, it also helps in proper bone and cartilage growth. If your bearded dragon lacks calcium in its diet, it can worsen the onset of tail rot. Bearded dragons also need insects in their diet; therefore, ensure to provide them with insects from a reputable breeder.
3: Incorrect Lighting
Bearded dragons need proper light for digestion and absorption of calcium. Therefore, make sure their enclosure has good full-spectrum lighting (UVA/UVB light).
UVB light is essential for your bearded dragon to get vitamin D3 to aid calcium absorption. These nutrients ensure your dragon’s good health, strong bones, healthy eggs, and cartilage growth. Make sure to replace the UVB lamps every six months because they degrade with time.
4: Incomplete Shed
Sometimes, incomplete shedding can be a reason for tail rot. Bearded dragons may not shed entirely, and some of the skin may get stuck at the tail and constrict.
Blood circulation is cut, and it causes tail rot. However, it would help if you never attempted to help your bearded dragon shed because it can harm them. You can help your pet by providing clean water for hydration. You can also help them by maintaining humidity (30-40%). And a warm bath regularly during shedding.
5: Poor Maintenance
If you own a pet and don’t care for them, then it is useless to have a pet. Pets are like children; they also need proper care.
Bearded dragons need a lot of care and maintenance. It would help if you kept their enclosures neat and clean. It will prevent bacteria and keep them healthy. If the cage is not cleaned regularly, it will harbor bacteria and other parasites. They can cause infections in your bearded dragon’s body.
Apart from cleaning, you should also maintain the enclosure’s required temperature, humidity, and lighting levels. Hypothermia, or when your bearded dragon’s body temperature is too low, can also cause tail rot, so ensure that the temperature in the chamber is in the correct range. Invest in an accurate digital thermometer. Healthiness is the best remedy against tail rot and other diseases for your bearded dragon.
Embolisms or blood clots can restrict blood flow in the tail and cause tail rot. Therefore, to prevent this, you should feed your proper food with nutrition to your bearded dragon, which will keep it healthy and stress-free.
How to Identify Tail Rot?
Every owner should be on the lookout for several symptoms of bearded dragon tail rot. These symptoms can become uncomfortable for your pet, so you should recognize them before it worsens.
Below are some common symptoms of tail rot in bearded dragons.
1: The Bottom Turns Black
In tail rot, the bottom of the tail turns black, and it is caused because the region is fully infected and the tail tissues are dying.
Bearded dragon’s tail rot because of dehydration. The tail gets dry with coarse flakes.
3: Decay and Separation
Their tail will start decaying, and eventually, it will get separated from the body. If your bearded dragon’s tail falls off, it is a sign that the infection is spread throughout its entire body.
There are a few behavioral symptoms of bearded dragon tail rot. Below is a list of those symptoms.
- Lose its appetite
- Irritable or aggressive
- It will begin to hide out in their enclosure
- They might show indications of pain or discomfort
2 Common Causes of Tail Rot in Bearded Dragon
The causes of bearded dragon tail rot are several. This sickness typically develops as a result of a combination of the following:
1: Poor Tank Hygiene
If you are taking care of the hygiene of your bearded dragon’s tank, it will stay healthy. Hygiene is necessary, and it keeps your beardie healthy and infection free. Therefore, clean the tank regularly and maintain a healthy environment.
2: Improper Maintenance and Handling
Suppose you need to take proper care of your bearded dragon. There are chances to will suffer from severe illness. Pets need proper maintenance and care, support, and a healthy environment. If you are handling something correctly, it will protect your pet. Therefore, it would help if you took proper measures regarding your pet.
8 Ways to Prevent Tail Rot in Bearded Dragon
Above, you read the reasons for bearded dragon tail rot, and prevention is way better than waiting until treatment is required. In this, we will read how to prevent it, and below are a few ways you can prevent it from happening.
1: Trust in Reputable Shops
Always remember, if you are purchasing a bearded dragon, buy it from a private seller or a reputable pet shop. It will lower the risk of illness in bearded dragons.
2: High-quality Food
A bearded dragon owner should only feed them high-quality food, as it will keep them healthy and protect them from being ill. It can include fruits and vegetables like lettuce, pineapple, and raspberries.
3: Never Pull Shed Skin
If your bearded dragon is going through shedding, you should help them. Give them warm baths to make them comfortable. However, ensure you do not pull away hanging shed skin or scales during the process, making it worse for them and hurting them.
4: Enough UVB Exposure
If you own a bearded dragon, ensure it gets enough UVB exposure. It will keep them fit and help them to maintain healthy bones and cartilage.
5: Keep Them in a Solitary Enclosure
It will help if you keep your bearded dragon in a solitary enclosure. Always double-check the chamber for potential safety concerns.
6: Keep the Enclosure Clean
Cleanliness is a must if you pet a bearded dragon, and it would help if you kept the enclosure clean and aired out. It will prevent your bearded dragon from many diseases.
7: Keep the Environment Stress Free
Bearded dragons prefer to live alone in a calm, low-stress environment. It would help if you never gave them stress because high-stress levels can lead to health complications.
8: Examine Them From Time to Time
It would help if you got your pet examined by an experienced vet from time to time, which will help you stay updated on your pet’s health.
2 Tail Rot Treatment for Bearded Dragon
If you have doubts about your bearded dragon’s health, you should always take it to the veterinarian. Without certain medications, the bacteria causing bearded dragon tail rot are challenging to eradicate.
A quick trip to the vet can save their life and prevent the loss of their tail. Depending on the severity and level of the infection, the veterinarian may recommend one of two effective therapies.
Antibiotics are frequently the best place to start if the tail rot is milder and still in its early stages.
Veterinarian-prescribed antibiotics are more potent than the majority of other drugs and are made to be safe for reptiles. These medications frequently come in powder form, which your bearded dragon can consume. They may occasionally need to be applied topically straight to the tail.
The medication used and the length of the therapy affect how much an antibiotic course will cost.
The typical cost of the entire course of treatment is between $50 and $70, though it can vary depending on your veterinarian.
In moderate to severe cases, the tail may need to be amputated whole or in part. Even though it may sound excessive, if tail rot has advanced, this is frequently the only method to save the life of your bearded dragon.
The veterinarian will sedate your lizard before amputating the affected portion of its tail. After surgery, your vet will provide the necessary antibiotics and care instructions for your bearded dragon.
The cost of the examination, surgery, and meds for treating bearded dragon tail rot might reach $300.
When Should You Consult a Vet?
Always remember that tail rot is a painful and degenerative condition that can be fatal for your bearded dragon. The best thing you can do is take them to the vet.
Consulting a specialist is essential if your bearded dragon’s tail still rots after all the prevention. If you see these behavioral symptoms, such as lethargy, lack of appetite, and pain, the tail rot has progressed, and your beardie needs medical attention.
The vet may recommend amputation to stop the decaying of the tissue, and it will ensure the symptoms do not move to the rest of the body and save your bearded dragon.
Bearded dragon tail rot is a severe and painful condition. The constriction of the blood supply causes the tail to rot. There are a few home remedies for tail rot, such as an antiseptic soak and topical antibiotics. However, the best thing is to consult your veterinarian before the condition worsens.
Can tail rot Kill a Bearded Dragon?
Yes, tail rot can kill a bearded dragon. The infection slowly spreads all over the body and affects the bloodstream, and it can affect other organs and damage them.