5 Common Parasites in Bearded Dragons | Health & Care

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parasites in bearded dragons

Hearing the name of the parasites is enough to crawl up the skins. The creepy creatures are hazardous, causing many casualties. Their presence on the pet’s skin can become a nightmare for all pet owners. Parasites affect the host body and enter it, and they multiply themselves and conquer the body. It is common to find parasitic attacks in dogs, cats, and other animals.

However, affecting poor beardies can also be stressful, and humans are prone to be affected by these creepy crawlers. Due to such reasons, most people find parasites in bearded dragons harmful to themselves.

Our beardies can become host to pinworms, coccidia, flukes, protozoa, flagellates, giardia, tapeworms, and even mites and ticks. Let’s see what parasites are and how we can prevent them.

Signs of Parasites in Bearded Dragons

Pet owners can encounter the presence of parasites in the body of an organism by noticing their activities. If the parasite is present in the host body, the common symptoms can be:

  • Sudden loss of weight
  • High body temperature 
  • Reduce interest in activities
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea

If such signs are visible, then; it is high time to visit the vet and ensure the bearded dragon’s safety.

Try not to self-medicate the diseases. Sometimes, several illnesses require proper medicines for their treatment only. The main thing is the presence of sulfur in medicines, due to which pet owners can not provide any medicine by themselves. Follow the instructions of the vet for safety.

5 Common Parasites in Bearded Dragons

Numerous kinds of parasites are found on earth; some are life-threatening, whereas some only want a host body. Beardies may not often get parasites like dogs and cats, and several parasites found in bearded dragons are:

Pinworms

Pinworms are contagious to humans and animals. If there’s a doubt about their presence, always clean your hands after encountering them. 

Pinworms can enter the host body along with the food a host eats. Pinworms are present in the intestines of organisms that can cause nutritional depletion.

Hookworms

They are also similar to pinworms. Their presence can cause symptoms like diarrhea, dehydration, and weight loss. Hookworms have a special characteristic of burrowing into the skin of the host. Make sure to wash your hands every time.

They feed in the blood.

Coccidia

It is one of the most common protozoa found in bearded dragons. Their common symptoms include lethargy, diarrhea, blood or mucus in stools, depression, and reduced appetite. Coccidias are spread through the feces of animals, contaminated food, and water.

Tapeworms

These are the nightmare of every pet owner. They are the most hazardous for any creature. They are long, flat, and segmented in structure. They are usually found in the intestines of the host animal. They are the prime cause of swollen abdomen, seizures, depression, and sudden weight loss.

Mites and Ticks

Apart from protozoans and other parasites, mites and ticks are also found sticking to the skin of bearded dragons. They suck blood from the host body and fly until they find a potential host body for their survival. However, sprays and dewormers can easily remove ticks and mites—no need to worry much about them.

How Long Can a Bearded Dragon Live With Parasites?

Bearded dragons can live for many years after being affected by parasites. Parasites like coccidia can become life-threatening if they are present in a certain high amount, and they destroy metabolism, eventually leading to the death of parasites. There is no certain period for which a dragon can live, and it completely depends upon their medication and prevention of such diseases. If parasites severely attack bearded dragons, they will die soon after being attacked.

Otherwise, they will remain the same and can also recover after taking proper medical procedures. Besides getting medical treatment, beardies should also be fed healthy food items like veggies and germ-free meat for their proper growth. Beardies’ metabolism can only hold many parasites once their metabolism is strong.

How to Get Rid of Parasites in Bearded Dragons?

Reducing the actions of parasites in a host body could be difficult. If there are chances of parasites in the body, try to give anthelmintics or any dewormers to kill parasites in the body. However, the prevention is successful if the treatment is sufficient for the beardie!

Parasites can be removed from the body if they are present by following such steps:

Regular Checkup

There may be no physical signs of parasite presence in the body, and it can worsen if proper treatment is not given on time. Common symptoms include a sudden rise in temperature, fever, loss of appetite, sleepiness, and avoiding light. It is a sign of parasites in the organism’s body.

Always perform regular checkups of beardies to ensure no bacterial growth on their body and ensure safety for their lives.

Living Management

Parasites generally grow in dirty areas. Many parasites, like pinworms and coccidia, can cause life-threatening issues to the beardies. Clear off any dirt near the beardies. Cover and clean their droppings as soon as they are dropped. Ensure safe and fresh food items for lizards. This way, the pet owner can prevent parasite attacks.

Home Remedies for Parasites in Bearded Dragons

Treatments and keeping an exotic lizard could be an expensive thing that most beardie owners will feel. To minimize expenditure impact on fulfilling the beardies’ requirements apart from feeding them. Medicating them with harsh medicines is not a good idea. Stinky poops can never justify the infection from parasites.

Firstly, try to understand the behavior of lizards. If the lizard is lethargic, sleeping more than usual, or not eating enough like a regular diet. Then it is a sign to go to the vet for treatment. The use of home remedies is insufficient for the bearded dragon’s health. Try to understand the nature of the parasite and then proceed with home remedies if they are possible.

You can take several steps to overcome the fear of parasites in pets:

  • Cleaning their surroundings
  • Feed fresh and cleaned food
  • Deworms them
  • Spray their surroundings with the dewormers

This way, the owner can reduce the impact of parasites on the animal’s body.

How to Prevent Parasites in Bearded Dragons?

Protecting beardies from creepy crawling parasites can become a hectic task if deworming is not done properly. Parasites like pinworms are most commonly found in the bearded dragon’s body, and they are usually present in the lizard’s intestinal tract, causing loss of appetite and diarrhea.

There are many ways through which you can prevent a parasite attack, such as:

Clear the Droppings

As soon as the pet excretes, cleaning the dropping in the spot is suggested. If the beardie has any parasite in its body, it will increase rapidly, and parasites need a host body to multiply. So, to avoid this situation, clean the droppings.

Deworming 

It is the most common method to prevent beardies from facing any difficulty. Don’t try to give medicines without a proper prescription from the vet. Take your pet to the vet and consult about the health of bearded dragons. This way, the owner protects their precious pets from those creepy crawlers.

Conclusion

Bearded dragons are very sensitive lizards and get those creepy parasites even after deworming them. Beardies need special treatment and care, so the doubt for many pet owners on parasites in bearded dragons gets clear. This species needs extra attention and care, and no pet owner wants their pet to suffer from pain. Regular checkups with proper diet and medicine are crucial if bearded dragons face parasite attacks.

FAQs

How do I know if my bearded dragons have parasites?

If you see some crawlings on the body or the bearded dragon suffering from diarrhea or blood vomit, it assures the presence of parasites in their body. The common symptom they will show is the loss of appetite; they will feel unwell and show no interest in any activity.

How did my bearded dragon get parasites?

It is a misconception among pet owners about the food they feed. Usually, the parasite attack can happen from anywhere, and parasites might enter their body via water, the insect they eat.

Can I prevent parasites in bearded dragons?

The simplest way to prevent parasites in the body of beardies is by taking them for regular checkups at the vet and deworming them. Never introduce a new beardie to any other animal until the owner is sure of safety.

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Animal Kingdom is vast, with over a million species incorporating endless discovery. So Charles Strawn strives for accuracy and tries hard to present different and interesting aspects of each species from the animal kingdom. The in-depth knowledge of Charles Strawn help present the hidden secrets of animal and debunk common myths regarding certain species—animal eating habits, living preferences, mating, sleeping pattern, or any other.