Pinworms are extremely common parasites found in bearded dragons and other reptiles. Almost every reptile, including bearded dragons, have pinworm eggs in its feces.
Pinworm in bearded dragons is tiny parasitic worm found in the lower gastrointestinal tract of bearded dragons. These parasitics leach all the essential vitamins and minerals from their body, and it can cause malnutrition.
How Do Bearded Dragons Get Pinworms?
Bearded dragons get pinworms from the insects they feed. Mostly they get pinworms from crickets, and they pass the parasitics to the bearded dragon. However, other culprits, such as locusts, may also be infested.
Insects from the wild are likely to infect your bearded dragon with pinworms. Therefore, you should always purchase the insects from a reputable pet supply store.
Pinworms pass through a bearded dragon’s stool, so if another beardie comes in contact with the contaminated stool, they can also become infected with pinworms.
Therefore, if you ever suspect your beardie has pinworms contact veterinary care and isolate your bearded dragon away from other pets.
Signs & Symptoms of Pinworm in Bearded Dragons
If we talk about the signs and symptoms of pinworm in bearded dragons. You will not find any visible signs in a bearded dragon if it carries a small number of pinworms in their bodies. It is essential to understand the signs and symptoms of pinworms. Monitoring your beardies’ behavior is vital. If your bearded dragon is affected by many pinworms, you will find a change in its behavior.
1: Lack of Energy and Interest
Pinworms leach vital nutrients from the bearded dragon’s body. The first sign you will see in your beardie is they lack energy. Without critical nutrients, your bearded dragon will lack the power to move or function.
2: Loss its Appetite
Another vital sign in your bearded dragon is loss of appetite. Your bearded dragon will lose its appetite, and bearded dragons lack the energy to eat. Once your bearded dragon gets infested with pinworms, it will become depressed and lose interest in everything.
These are some signs that indicate a parasitic infection or other illness. If you see these signs in your bearded dragons, immediately contact a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.
Apart from the behavior signs and symptoms, you can also observe some physical symptoms of a pinworm infestation in your beardie.
3: Rapid Weight Loss
If your bearded dragon has pinworms, it will suffer from Diarrhea and vomiting. These are the main symptoms of pinworm infestation, and these symptoms will lead to rapid weight loss.
If your bearded dragon has a pinworm infestation, it will face dehydration, and your reptile will have sunken eyes and wrinkly skin.
Your bearded dragon can suffer from a metabolic bone disease, which is not curable. Therefore, monitoring your beardie behavior, stool, and physical symptoms is essential.
5: Change in Stool
If your bearded dragon suffers from pinworm infection, then the color of its stool changes and becomes runny. Pinworms are one of the main reasons for the change in stool color or appearance. If you see any color shift, immediately see a vet, and don’t forget to take a stool sample.
6: Lying Flat
If your bearded dragon has pinworms, it may start lying flat. However, sometimes there are many reasons it may lie flat, but for the safer side, take your pet to a vet. The vet will run a few tests and let you know why.
Diagnosis and Common Tests Performed by Veterinarians for Pinworms
Pinworms are not visible to human eyes, and these parasitics feed on the vital nutrients of your bearded dragon’s body. Therefore, if you see any changes in your beardie, contact a veterinarian. The vet doctor will perform a microscopic fecal examination to check the pinworm in bearded dragons. You will immediately get the test results, and quickly the doctor will begin the treatment.
How to Treat Pinworm in Bearded Dragons
After the test, if the veterinarian finds pinworm in bearded dragons, they will provide you with wormer medication to treat pinworms. They will offer Panacur or fenbendazole for pinworm treatment in bearded dragons. It is available in liquid and granular forms, and you should follow the veterinarian’s recommendations for dosage amount.
Prophylactic treatment is like a preemptive action. This treatment helps in avoiding pinworms without your Bearded dragon showing any symptoms.
This treatment follows cleaning habits and principles to fight pinworms and other infestations. This treatment is very effective and helps in removing pinworms.
Sometimes bearded dragons do not show immediate symptoms if they are infected with pinworms in their system. However, some of them show several signs. Symptomatic treatment works when your bearded dragon shows signs of pinworms, and this treatment can be done after the beardie shows signs and symptoms of pinworms.
Reptiles, like bearded dragons, have a range of worm infections. If you suspect any changes in your bearded dragon, it is time to contact a vet. It may be suffering from any worm infection, and it needs proper diagnostic treatment in this case. Such treatment reveals pinworm infection and also provides help for your bearded dragon.
3 Tips to Protect your Bearded Dragon from Pinworms
You must follow strict preventative measures to protect your bearded dragon from pinworms. Let’s read some methods to protect your bearded dragons from pinworms.
1: Keep the Enclosure Clean
The essential method is to keep the enclosure clean. Make sure to remove uneaten food from the chamber. Wash the food and water dishes with soap and clean them thoroughly. Make sure to wash the enclosure with hot soapy water and clean the entire section. Wash it and wait till it drys before returning the bearded dragon to it.
2: Wash Your Hands
It is a good habit to wash your hands before and after handling your bearded dragon. This habit will prevent pinworms from transferring parasites to your pet and you.
3: Keep New Reptiles Separate
Keep them separate from your bearded dragon if you bring new reptiles. It will ensure they do not have pinworms in them.
Pinworm is common in wild bearded dragons; keep your beardie away from them. However, following healthy and good hygiene can reduce the risk of pinworm infection with these internal parasites. To prevent the cause of pinworms, you need to clean the enclosure, and it will avoid pinworm in bearded dragons and reduce the risk of disease.
Can I get pinworms from my bearded dragon?
Yes, you can get pinworms from your bearded dragon. However, the pinworms in reptiles are still different; you should take precautions and wash your hands.
Can pinworms kill a bearded dragon?
Yes, pinworms can kill a bearded dragon if you keep ignoring your bearded dragon’s health and don’t pay attention to it. Pinworms feed on nutrients in a beardy body, weakening it from the inside.
Do bearded dragons get external parasites?
Bearded dragons can get external parasites. Mites and ticks are the most common external parasites on bearded dragons. These tiny parasites easily transfer from one animal to another, and they suck your pet’s blood and transmit various bacteria and viruses into their body. Because of that, your bearded dragons can suffer from anemia and weakness.