Many articles posted online detail how to generally care for bearded dragons, and we noticed that few of them comprehensively discuss how to properly take care of the bearded dragon’s tail.
New reptile pet keepers may have heard about common bearded dragon diseases. Among them are tail rot, metabolic bone disease, fungal infection, and so forth.
Articles about these subjects detail the ailments’ causes, symptoms, and remedies like the provision of proper doses of multivitamin supplements or liquid vitamins.
However, we noticed that few of these online discussions focus specifically on the bearded dragon’s tail.
In this educational article, we provided bearded dragon owners helpful information about their lizard pet’s tail, such as its nature, functions, and common problems.
We also detailed the significance of veterinarians in keeping bearded dragons’ tails healthy and offered some home care advice. After all, the bearded dragon’s tail is an essential body part facilitating its daily survival.
4 Functions of a Bearded Dragon’s Tail
The bearded dragon’s tail is a significant part of its body. This section is nearly half of this reptile pet’s total length.
Additionally, a bearded dragon’s tail features individual caudal vertebrae or tail bones. The domesticated lizard would look smaller to its predators without its tail.
We want to enlighten our readers about the following fundamental functions of a bearded dragon’s tail:
1. PROTECTION OR SELF-DEFENSE
We want to inform new bearded dragon owners that their tamed lizard’s tail is important for protection. Bearded dragons assert their dominance by making themselves appear larger and more prominent.
Their tails contribute to this action. Besides the puffing out of its beard, the bearded dragon’s tail is its defense mechanism.
The lizard pet usually raises this part of its body to look bigger and deter other bearded dragons and predators.
Bearded dragons usually employ their tails to communicate or send social signals to their owners or other bearded dragons.
They often walk and lift their tails as ordinary body language or gestures to convey their excitement, adventurousness, alertness, and intent to hunt.
Bearded dragons also indicate via their tails whether they want to fight other bearded dragons or otherwise.
A bearded dragon’s tail helps this tamed lizard stand upright or in a balanced or stable manner. We want to inform owners that this domesticated home companion may curl its tail while sitting on a branch or held by its keeper.
Furthermore, a bearded dragon’s tail ensures that this reptile pet can walk, run, or climb with a properly balanced posture.
Male bearded dragons usually twitch their tails and use this body part to inform females if they are interested in having sex. During the mating process in the reptile carpet, these lizard pets intertwine their tails with each other.
These four fundamental functions of a bearded dragon’s tail indicate that this body part is essential. Hence, owners must protect their reptile pet’s tail against damages.
We believe they can perform this important step by learning the typical causes of injuries to their domesticated home companion’s tail.
5 Common Causes of Damage in a Bearded Dragon’s Tail
We want to highlight the fact that, besides being an essential body part, a bearded dragon’s tail is the most vulnerable in this tamed reptile’s physique.
Hence, it is prone to incurring serious diseases and injuries caused by the following factors:
Bearded dragons can get stressed out due to improper housing and diet without the right foods like green leafy vegetables, Dubia roaches, mealworms, and so forth.
They can also become anxious due to being housed with another bearded dragon or the presence of other household pets like dogs and cats.
Stressed bearded dragons can be irritable, have puffed-up or black beards, and lose appetite. Their owners may also find them constantly running around their terrarium or digging and scratching there at night.
These situations can lead to stressed bearded dragons biting off their tails. As a result, they can suffer from injuries, possibly leading to critical health complications.
2. AGGRESSIVE PERSONALITY
We want to advise bearded dragon keepers to be aware of their domesticated home companion’s personality and living conditions. After all, these lizard pets can potentially hurt themselves.
Bearded dragons can be excitable or mischievous, although they tend to calm down as they grow older. Hence, we suggest placing them in a closely monitored tank.
A bearded dragon’s tail can get bitten if these lizard pets are housed together. We all know that bearded dragons are independent and very territorial animals better off alone.
They will likely fight their companion if their owners keep them with another bearded dragon in the same tank. This toxic clash for dominance usually results in these reptile pets biting each other’s tails and bloody injuries.
We want to point out that baby and juvenile bearded dragons tend to nip each other’s tails, mistakenly thinking of their body parts as bugs. Additionally, an aggressive male bearded dragon usually bites a female’s tail.
Owners may hold their bearded dragons improperly. This deleterious practice consists of holding the domesticated home companion by its tail, causing this body part to get fractured.
Moreover, bearded dragon keepers who mindlessly or carelessly leave their bearded dragon wandering outside its tank can have its tail stepped on, stuck on a piece of home furniture, or crushed.
The intense pressure can break or fracture the caudal vertebrae or bones in a bearded dragon’s tail.
These incidents often injure the bearded dragon’s tail, possibly leading to restricted blood circulation or ischemia, as blood cannot flow past the fractured area.
5. OTHER HOUSEHOLD PETS
Bearded dragon owners who keep other household pets like dogs and cats can cause harm to the domesticated reptile’s tail. These large predators with strong hunting instincts can easily bite a bearded dragon’s tail.
These five factors often lead to a bearded dragon’s tail getting damaged. We also want to warn owners that these scenarios can result in more serious health problems.
6 Serious Tail Diseases Affecting Bearded Dragons
Bearded dragon keepers should take care of their bearded dragon’s tail very well. After all, the causes of damage or injuries we discussed in the previous section can lead to more critical diseases, including the following:
1. METABOLIC BONE DISEASE
The metabolic bone disease is a serious and life-threatening health problem in bearded dragons. It is usually caused by zero provision of calcium supplements, besides the essential liquid vitamins and multivitamin supplements.
This situation leads to a deficiency in calcium, which is the significant mineral responsible for proper bone formation and growth.
Furthermore, metabolic bone disease features symptoms in bearded dragons like brittle or weak tail bones. The domesticated lizard’s tail also tends to easily break or get fractured.
If the metabolic bone disease gets to the worst point, suffering bearded dragons tend to appear deformed, with curvy tails, arms that come in, or easily movable and rubbery jaws. These tamed reptiles can also become permanently disabled.
2. TAIL ROT
Tail rot in bearded dragons features bacterial infection caused by injuries, trauma, or incomplete shedding. This serious health condition causes the body part to turn black or dark in color.
Moreover, we want to inform our readers that tail rot in bearded dragons features the tail decaying.
If left untreated, the infection gradually moves up this body part, spreads all over the domesticated lizard’s body, and worse, can result in the tail completely falling off or the reptile pet’s death.
Tail rot is common among baby bearded dragons living groups. They usually nip or bite each other’s tails, which then decompose or rot.
3. TAIL DISFIGUREMENT
Tail disfigurement can be an indicator of a broken tail bone. It is usually caused by bearded dragons falling on the floor or any hard surface, resulting in some painful and damaging impact to their body part.
A bearded dragon’s tail can suffer from swelling, which can signify a broken or fractured tail bone, similar to tail disfigurement.
A domesticated home companion can incur this ailment due to a fall or after a skirmish with another bearded dragon housed in the same tank where it lives.
Additionally, we want to inform owners that their reptile pet’s tail can swell due to tail rot, making the affected body part dead-looking or black in color.
5. TAIL TIP NECROSIS
Tail tip necrosis is a health problem usually caused by incomplete shedding in bearded dragons. It features some reptile pet’s skin not shedding well, which may constrict blood flow to their tails.
6. BLOOD LOSS
Bearded dragons can suffer from blood loss due to the injuries or cuts they incur. Hence, owners should apply proper pressure to halt the continuous bleeding.
They can perform this measure using a ball of cotton wool or gauze. Seeking veterinary assistance is also advisable in this scenario.
We advise bearded dragon owners to respond immediately to their domesticated home companions following an injury to prevent these six serious health conditions.
We also highly recommend heading to the veterinarian’s clinic to address the bearded dragon’s critical situation right away.
Inability of the Bearded Dragon’s Tail to Regrow
We advise bearded dragon owners to take care of their domesticated lizard’s tails very well. After all, the diseases and breakages, including the tail rot, can lead to bearded dragons losing their tails permanently.
We want to warn lizard pet keepers that bearded dragons are incapable of tail regrowth. It is true that this body part’s end where the loss happened can heal.
However, the lost tail is gone forever, making the bearded dragon disabled for good. Bearded dragons can live without their tails. But they will have impaired balance for the rest of their lives.
Moreover, they may struggle when walking, running, and climbing. Bearded dragons without tails look weaker and an easy target to their predators and other bearded dragons as well.
We want to clarify that bearded dragons are not similar to other lizards, such as the leopard gecko. This animal can drop its tail as an escape means from its predators and grow back another one.
With this fact, we highly advise owners to pursue veterinary attention right away, even if the injury or damage in their bearded dragon’s tail is not that serious.
In this manner, they can help their domesticated home companion keep its tail, which is certainly essential for its survival.
Veterinarian’s Importance in Maintaining a Bearded Dragon’s Tail
Seeking a veterinarian’s help immediately is the number-one solution to any damage, injury, fractures, and other problems in a bearded dragon’s tail.
This animal healthcare specialist can perform the necessary blood tests, X-ray procedures, calcium level checks, and so forth.
Additionally, veterinarians can determine precisely the issue and prescribe the appropriate treatment, like antibiotics, helping save the bearded dragon’s tail.
They can also mitigate panics among new bearded dragon owners who encounter their lizard pet’s tail rotting, turning black, or weakly bent.
We recommend bearded dragon owners learn about some advice on how they can immediately respond to their lizard pet’s injury if they cannot head to their veterinarian right away.
7 Home Care Tips for Bearded Dragons’ Tails
We want to highlight the fact that bearded dragon owners can avoid the need to go to a veterinarian.
After all, they themselves can reduce the chances of tail rots, metabolic bone disease, and other healthcare issues by following these seven measures:
1. Do not grab the bearded dragon’s tail.
The bearded dragon’s tail is very sensitive. Grabbing it can lead to fractured tail bones. We also advise owners to monitor their children interacting with their domesticated home companion.
After all, without close supervision, these young people can incorrectly hold the bearded dragon or drop it on the floor, leading to serious injuries.
2. Ensure that no live insects are left on the feeder or around the terrarium.
Live insects like crickets left roaming around the tank can chew a bearded dragon’s tail, especially at night.
We advise owners to make sure none of these foods are left in the vivarium to help the tamed lizards and their tails stay safe and sleep well.
3. Never place two bearded dragons in the same tank.
Bearded dragons tend to fight each other if they live in the same artificial habitat. They will usually compete for food, basking spots, and other necessary resources, often resulting in injuries.
4. Bathe the domesticated home companion at least once a week.
Bearded dragons can stay wholesome if they receive warm baths at least once per week. Hence, their tails are clean, with the skin staying supple and healthy.
We also want to highlight the fact that warm baths facilitate a bearded dragon’s proper shedding process. The soothing bathwater hydrates them and prevents the dead skin from getting stuck on their tails.
5. Gently place an ice pack around the area of a suspected fracture.
We understand that bearded dragon keepers may be unable to go to the veterinarian’s clinic right away.
Thus, we advise them to gently ice the area of the possible broken tail bone. This measure can aid in the reduction of swelling in the bearded dragon’s tail.
6. Always supply the bearded dragon with a health-giving diet and health supplements.
A bearded dragon’s tail can be healthy if its owner ensures it consumes green leafy vegetables, mealworms, live crickets, and other nutritious foods.
Moreover, this body part of a reptile pet can stay in the right condition with a regular intake of calcium powder with vitamin D or calcium supplements. The latter prevents deficiency in the essential mineral for proper bone formation and growth.
Additionally, calcium supplements can help in preventing metabolic bone disease. Multivitamin supplements and liquid vitamins also ensure the overall wellness of bearded dragons and their tails.
7. Ensure a healthy environment in the bearded dragon’s tank.
A healthy bearded dragon means having a disease-free tail. This ideal is achievable with the right terrarium conditions.
We advise owners to observe the proper ways to set up their bearded dragon’s artificial habitat. This measure includes using ultraviolet or UV lamps with the correct reptile-specific bulbs.
We also advise following the sanitary husbandry conditions, such as disinfecting the terrarium regularly using an anti-microbial reptile cleaner safe for bearded dragons.
In this comprehensive guide, we discussed the nature of the bearded dragon’s tail, its importance, vulnerabilities, and maintenance measures.
We hope owners will follow our advice since a bearded dragon’s tail is truly an essential part of its body that significantly impacts its overall existence.