New owners may not recognize bearded dragon tail rot immediately. They may feel inconvenienced, though, as they are inexperienced in keeping their lizard pets which they may have bought from a pet store negligent about their animal-related merchandise.
In this informative article, we aimed to help owners understand bearded dragon tail rot as a serious health problem commonly suffered by reptile pets in captivity. We discussed the nature of this wellness concern, its typical physical and behavioral signs or symptoms, and the common causes.
Furthermore, we enlightened bearded dragon owners about the measures they need to take upon identifying bearded dragon tail rot in their lizard pets.
We elaborated on the professional treatment and home remedies they can turn to when addressing their domesticated reptile’s wellness issue.
Understanding Bearded Dragon Tail Rot’s Seriousness as a Disease
Novice bearded dragon owners may feel worried when they initially see the condition of bearded dragon tail rot. They will usually witness their domesticated reptile’s tail getting increasingly dark and rotten.
We want to stress the fact that bearded dragon tail rot is a serious ailment. It is a health problem of bearded dragons involving necrotic tissue in the lizard pet’s tail or sometimes in its toes.
Bearded dragon tail rot may be challenging to identify during its early stages. However, we advise owners not to be complacent with this common reptile health problem.
After all, bearded dragon tail rot can become dangerous if left untreated by a veterinarian. This wellness issue involves the infection in the lizard pet’s tail that can spread into the rest of its body.
Then, after progressing from that point, the tail rot attacks the bearded dragon’s healthy tissues in its heart, lungs, and other vital organs. The advanced infection damages the tamed reptile’s important body parts, leading to other severe health problems such as vital organ failure.
We want to stress the fact that tail rot is, indeed, fatal for bearded dragons. This severe wellness concern’s untreated infection advancing from the bottom of the domesticated lizard’s tail further into its bloodstream, vital organs, and entire body can, indeed, kill the tamed home companion.
Furthermore, we want to emphasize the fact that bearded dragon tail rot should concern owners because their domesticated home companion’s rotten tail will never grow back. Without immediate veterinary attention, the unhealthy bearded dragon’s rotten tail will fall off or drop.
We want to point out the fact that bearded dragons are incapable of regrowing a tail, unlike other reptile pets like the leopard gecko. The latter is an animal notorious for losing its tail and starting the regrowth process in just a matter of days.
With the bearded dragon, its rotten tail that fell off already is gone forever. We want to inform our readers that, with the critical nature of bearded dragon tail rot, it is significant that they learn how to identify this serious disease and seek veterinary assistance right away.
Physical and Behavioral Symptoms of Bearded Dragon Tail Rot
New bearded dragon owners need information regarding the common signs of bearded dragon tail rot. The following are the physical and behavioral symptoms:
A. PHYSICAL SIGNS
We want to inform bearded dragon keepers that tail rot usually exhibits the affected body part of the lizard pet getting increasingly dark.
Under a daytime light, owners can see the rotting tail appearing black, purple, blue, or dark brown in color. Moreover, this infected body part of the bearded dragon becomes very dry.
The rotting tail can look and feel flaky, brittle, coarse, or broken, that it will eventually fall off if not treated by a veterinarian right away. The bearded dragon tail rot also manifests as a stiff tail that may feature a slight bend.
B. BEHAVIORAL SIGNS
Bearded dragon tail rot also demonstrates non-physical symptoms. The following are these signs showing bearded dragons’ behavioral changes that often indicate stress, pain, or illness:
1. Irritability or impatience
Bearded dragon tail rot can be the problem if the domesticated home companion appears irritated, tries to bite its keeper, or is hissing. These typical indicators of pain, stress, or distress can also be demonstrated by a black beard.
2. Lethargy and prolonged hiding
Bearded dragons can be more reclusive than normal. They can hide themselves for long periods in the hide hole for bearded dragons or other terrarium sections.
Suppose owners notice their bearded dragons showing these unusual actions that indicate the lizard pet is unwell or in pain. In that case, they can suspect that tail rot is troubling their domesticated lizards.
3. Decreased appetite and weight
Loss of appetite and weight are common signs of bearded dragon tail rot. We advise bearded dragon owners to respond right away.
After all, these signs indicate that the domesticated reptile is sick. Plus, it can be dying.
4. Pain or discomfort when the tail gets touched
A bearded dragon may be suffering from tail rot if its owner or an object touches its tail, and it then demonstrates pain or discomfort signs.
Bearded dragon keepers should take these four behavioral signs and the physical symptoms seriously. After all, if neglected, these indicators will highly likely progress and further harm, and worse, kill the bearded dragon.
6 Common Causes of Bearded Dragon Tail Rot
Bearded dragon tail rot involves a serious infection caused by various external factors. The following six scenarios usually lead to the reptile pet’s critical disease:
A. INJURY OR TRAUMA
Bearded dragon tail rot starts as a wound on a lizard pet’s tail. This injury can result from loose objects in the vivarium pinning the domesticated reptile’s tail.
Moreover, we want to emphasize that bearded dragons are solitary animals that prefer to live alone in a tank. These tamed lizards can often become territorial or aggressive if they have another bearded dragon as a companion.
These reptile pets usually fight each other. The scratching or biting usually causes the injuries they sustain, leading to tail rot.
B. INADEQUATE DIET AND IMPROPER NUTRITION
Owners are usually too busy to ensure that their bearded dragon benefits from proper diet and nutrition. Hence, these domesticated home companions become unable to fight off infections.
Bearded dragon tail rot is highly likely in this scenario. Additionally, this critical disease can stem from owners who fail to provide their tamed reptiles with high-quality food and health supplements such as calcium powder with vitamin D, calcium supplements, multivitamin supplements, or liquid vitamins.
The bearded dragon will then have a weakened immune system. The shortage of calcium in the bearded dragon’s diet also leads to improper cartilage and bone growth, worsening the tail rot’s onset.
Finally, bearded dragon tail rot usually results from very busy owners unable to pay attention to the foods they feed their bearded dragons. They may provide an incorrect ratio of live insects to green leafy vegetables.
Furthermore, negligent bearded dragon keepers tend to mindlessly purchase live insects from disreputable breeders.
Bearded dragons get to consume organic foods such as live Dubia roaches, mealworms, crickets, and so forth that contain parasites and other harmful toxins exacerbating the tail rot.
Embolisms or blood clots in a bearded dragon’s tail can restrict wholesome blood flow. Domesticated lizards exposed to unhealthy diets and improper nutrition can suffer these severe health concerns.
Blood clots can also worsen if the tamed reptile is frequently exposed to stressful environments filled with noise and crowds. These unhealthy scenarios can lead to bearded dragon tail rot.
D. INCORRECT LIGHTING
Bearded dragon keepers who fail to provide proper full-spectrum lighting, including ultraviolet or UV lamps emitting UVA and UVB light, can result in bearded dragons suffering from improper digestion and calcium absorption.
Even if bearded dragons get regular doses of calcium supplements, they can still suffer from tail rot since all UVB light provides sufficient vitamin D3 for proper calcium absorption.
Moreover, we want to highlight the fact that owners who fail to replace the UVB bulb of the UV lamp in the bearded dragon’s tank every six months can lead to tail rot.
This improper practice results in the reptile pet’s poor health and failure to absorb the essential nutrients needed for proper cartilage growth, healthy eggs, and strong bones.
E. INCOMPLETE SHED
A bearded dragon may sometimes not shed completely. A part of its skin may get stuck on its tail, constricting it and cutting off healthy blood circulation.
This scenario can result in the tail rotting. We want to stress the fact that this incomplete shedding condition can worsen if the owner fails to keep his bearded dragon well-hydrated with fresh and clean drinking water at all times.
F. INFERIOR MAINTENANCE OR CARE PRACTICES
Bearded dragon tail rot is a common outcome of pet shops selling many baby bearded dragons placed in one tank. These lizard pets tend to bite each other.
Furthermore, a poorly maintained vivarium can harbor parasites, bacteria, and other detrimental elements, leading the bearded dragon to be prone to serious infections. Hypothermia is a wellness condition in which the bearded dragon’s body temperature is kept too low.
Without an accurate digital thermometer, a terrarium can have incorrect lighting, temperature, and humidity levels, causing hypothermia and leading to tail rot.
Moreover, other factors can harm the bearded dragon and lead to tail rots. They are improper humidity levels in the enclosure exceeding or below the recommended 30 to 40-percent range, lack of regular misting activities and warm baths, and not using a hygrometer.
These six common causes of bearded dragon tail rot can make keepers feel concerned. With the help of professional and home remedies, tail rot can be properly resolved at the soonest possible time.
Treating Tail Rot: Professional and Home Remedies
Bearded dragon tail rot is a serious health problem of domesticated lizards. However, owners can save their bearded dragons immediately from further infections and death with the professional and home remedies available.
1. VETERINARY ASSISTANCE
Taking the bearded dragon to the veterinarian is the number-one solution for every reptile disease. We highly recommend this professional remedy, even if the bearded dragon tail rot is still at an early stage.
We understand that many bearded dragon keepers are reluctant to seek a veterinarian’s help. After all, this measure can be time-consuming.
Above all, many bearded dragon owners do not like the costly veterinary treatments. They find it problematic to pay a fortune just for the animal health specialist to take a fast look at their reptile pet.
For example, if a veterinarian recommends surgery or amputation, an owner will have to pay about US$500 or more, depending on the bearded dragon health problem’s location and severity.
Nonetheless, we highly support seeking immediate veterinary assistance. After all, these animal healthcare professionals are in the best position to prescribe the correct antibiotics, liquid and multivitamin supplements, laser treatment, and other necessary procedures to resolve bearded dragon tail rot.
We want to reiterate the fact that tail rot can progress quite rapidly and become deadly, killing the reptile pet.
Therefore, we highly recommend seeking immediate solutions from veterinarians who can quickly resolve advanced tail rot cases, preventing the lizard pet from losing its tail, toes, and above all, its life.
2. HOME CARE REMEDY
Bearded dragon owners who do not have the budget saved for veterinary treatments at the moment can treat their lizard pet’s tail rot from home. We recommend this measure for minor or early tail rot cases.
Home remedies for bearded dragon tail rot involve betadine soak and topical medications. Here are the steps for this treatment option:
a. Make a one-part betadine to five-part water mixture.
b. Gently soak the bearded dragon’s rotting tail in the mixture for five minutes.
c. Softly dab the affected body part with an absorbent paper towel or clean cloth.
d. Apply an antibiotic ointment like Neosporin.
We want to advise bearded dragon keepers to repeat these four steps daily for approximately one to two weeks. If they do not see any improvements in their bearded dragon’s tail, we highly advise them to consult their veterinarian.
Bearded dragon tail rot is a serious wellness problem of these reptile pets held in captivity. Its common symptoms are the bearded dragon’s rotting or dying tail getting increasingly darker in hue, such as black, purple, or blue, because of the lack of healthy blood supply.
This affected body part also becomes very dry, appearing like a little tree branch. With tail rot being a degenerative and painful health issue, we highly recommend consulting a veterinarian.
This animal healthcare specialist can help improve a bearded dragon’s condition and quickly resolve tail rots in advanced stages. They will conduct the appropriate physical tests and scans.
Besides seeking professional treatment offered by veterinarians, we suggest bearded dragon owners purchase lizard pets from responsible breeders and shops that ensure their pet products are disease-free.
The bearded dragon tail rot can also be prevented by keeping these tamed lizards in a vivarium of the correct size, spacious, and with safe and functional furniture.
Among these accessories are functional feeders, hangout decor or hideout decor big rock, and reptile carpets that are all safe and free from sharp or injury-causing edges.
Bearded dragons can thrive if housed alone in a clean artificial habitat with the proper conditions, including temperature, humidity, heating, and UV lamp lighting.
Finally, we recommend providing the domesticated reptiles with a proper diet, nutrition, and hydration with quality health supplements. In this manner, the tamed home companion is healthy and stress-free, keeping concerns about bearded dragon tail rot at bay.