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Reptile Fungal Disease: Yellow Fungus in Bearded Dragons

Are you aware of the reptile infection called yellow fungus in bearded dragons? Do you know how to deal with it? Click this article to learn how!

Introduction

Yellow fungus is one of the most dangerous fungal diseases for bearded dragons. It is also known as CANV, which came from the fungus named Chrysosporium anamorph of Nannizziopsis vriesii. If you didn’t know, the yellow fungus is among the list of potential causes of disease for any reptile, including bearded dragons, with skin issues.

Tip: To strengthen your bearded dragon’s defense against infection, try this multivitamin supplement.

Yellow fungus in bearded dragons is usually associated with stress and usually happens to dragons kept under crowded and dirty environmental conditions. It can also come from those dragons shipped, raised, and displayed for sale in groups. 

Most of the time, some breeders compromise the importance of sanitation because of the lizards’ high populations per cage. Therefore, it causes an increased likelihood of lizards being exposed to the yellow fungus. Plus, crowding causes our reptiles to feel stressed, resulting in a suppressed immune system, where the lizard’s body can no longer fight even the fungus’ lowest level. However, even the healthiest bearded dragons can still get this disease.

What Are the Familiar Signs and Symptoms of Yellow Fungus in Bearded Dragons? 

yellow fungus in bearded dragon

The signs and symptoms of yellow fungus vary depending on the severity. However, the earliest signs include:

  • decreased or no appetite
  • lethargy
  • weight loss

As time goes on, you will notice severe symptoms, such as:

  • discolored brown, gray, or yellow areas 
  • crust dark yellow patches near the vent areas

Also, this fungal infection can shed and reveal: 

  • open weeping sores
  • lesions
  • sunken eyes
  • slow healing of wounds
  • necrosis of the limbs and body

The yellow fungus will usually show up at some point on the bearded dragon’s skin, turning their scales most often yellow, brown, or gray. This discoloration usually starts in a tiny area and then begins to spread. Over time, the scales will become crusty and dark, as well.

yellow fungus in bearded dragon

If you noticed that your beardie is leaving dull-looking rough scales during its shedding season, you should already be concerned. If your pet seems to shed frequently even though he or she has not gone through any recent growth spurt, it can also be a yellow fungus infection.

What Are the Prevention Measures for Yellow Fungus?

yellow fungus in bearded dragon

Fortunately, we have several steps to help keep our bearded dragons from contracting the yellow fungus! Here are the most recommended tips to help all beardie owners prevent the spread of yellow fungus.

  • Disinfect the tanks and accessories regularly

Of course, a good practice of regularly cleaning and disinfecting our bearded dragons’ enclosures using a reptile cleaner is the best way to stay away from all fungal infections, including yellow fungus. 

Before cleaning, we must remove all accessories and thoroughly wash and disinfect each item. Also, we need to disinfect the walls and replace the substrates. 

To ensure additional disinfection, most owners also ensure that their pets’ tanks have adequate UVB levels (using a UV lamp) and the right temperatures on the warm and cool sides of the enclosure. 

  • Keep your bearded dragons clean.

Secondly, bathing a bearded dragon is another effective way to keep out yellow fungus. However, some people will tell you that it is completely pointless and not effective. But for us, regular bathing helps keep them clean, hydrated, and safe from fungal infections.

If you decide to bathe your cute little lizard, make sure to keep it once a week and use warm water with gentle baby soap. Also, make sure that the water is not above their shoulder. Bearded dragons can take a bath no more than 20 minutes tops.

  • Isolate each bearded dragon

Regardless of your bearded dragon has yellow fungus or not, you should consider separating them to reduce the risk of cross-infection and the competition between them. Sometimes too much social interaction with other beardies can create stress and immunosuppression, making our pets more susceptible to infections. 

Tip: To keep your bearded dragon comfortable and cozy, try this hide hole for bearded dragons

There are many other reasons why each bearded dragon has its enclosure. You should never house a male with another beardie, especially another male, since they usually fight with one another and pester females incessantly about mating. All in all, it is not good to put two or more bearded dragons together because the repercussions can be fatal.

Besides that, some beardie owners think that their pets can get along as adults because they behaved well together when they were babies. Well, that’s not true. These reptiles are solitary and meant to live alone. If you are too stubborn, you can increase the risk of injuries among your beardies since they will surely bite one another and leave wounds, developing into yellow fungus.

Is Yellow Fungus Contagious to Humans?

No, yellow fungus possesses little to no threat to humans because it is only a reptile pathogen. However, we still advise you to take responsible hygienic precautions to protect yourself from all infections, including yellow fungus. Without exception, please wash your hands after handling your beardie and disinfect all surfaces, including reptile carpets they approached inside and outside their tanks. We recommend you use hot water to wash your clothes.

What Are the Best Home Remedies for Yellow Fungus in Bearded Dragons?

yellow fungus in bearded dragon

If you can’t make an appointment with your veterinarian right away, try the remedies below to help your bearded dragon kill harmful germs while waiting to see the vet.

  • Betadine baths
  • Lamisil
  • Raw unpasteurized honey

Conclusion

Yellow fungus in bearded dragons is an aggressive fungal infection that affects the deep tissue levels. Unfortunately, in severe cases, it can reach as far down as the internal organs. Once a bearded dragon has yellow fungus, its scales will become discolored and eventually reveal extremely sensitive ulcerated tissues, often swollen, inflamed, and extremely painful.

This disease is very tricky since the first noticeable sign can appear after several weeks of contraction.