One of the most common problems with the health of the bearded dragon is the risk of impaction. Impaction is caused when your lizard can not fully digest their food, causing a blockage of the intestines. This is usually caused by substandard living conditions and an inappropriate diet. Before running to the veterinarian, there are some home remedies that have proved very effective in minor cases.
Although bad agriculture is the main cause of impaction within beardies, this problem may arise in even the most ideal settings. For example, if you have rescued a lizard that has had a serious digestive problem in the past, their intestines are more likely to be affected later on the line, regardless of the current conditions it lives in.
The first thing you will notice in an impacted dragon is a lack of bowel movements. If you spend daily time with your pet, then you will notice when things get irregular. Beardies younger should pass stools almost every day because of the large amount of insects they eat. Adults on the other hand, can only go once every 7-10 days. Again, this depends on your specific dragon and what is "regular" for them. If your adult arrives about 2 weeks without movements, then you may have a problem.
Another good sign of impaction is to feel the stomach of your pet. Feel for abnormal bulges or hard spots. Again, if you regularly handle your pet, it will be easier for you to determine how their stomach should feel healthy. You should also consider the amount of food they eat. A hazy dragon does not eat at all, so it does not require that they pass a stool as often.
A more serious case would actually hinder your pet's movement. Rear leg paralysis is a common symptom of an affected dragon.
"I think my bearded dragon is impacted, what should I do?"
Here is the process I have used to help pass several affected lizards over the years:
- Stop feeding them The insects
- Give the lizard a few drops of vegetable oil or olive oil through a dropper. If you can not get them to swallow the oil by itself, try mixing it with unsweetened applesauce
- Run a warm bath and soak for about 30 minutes.
- While soaking, gently rub the stomach from the muzzle to the vent several times.
- Remove them from the bathtub and put them under the sunlight.
- Repeat several times a day until the impaction passes.
This method has worked a lot for me in the past. However, if your beardies have not yet passed the impaction within a couple of days of this treatment, then get them to an ASAP veteran. What this procedure does is help to hydrate your pet while loosening the impaction by abdominal massage and oil. You can keep away from solid vegetables during this period as well. Offer baby food instead of the normal salad, and make sure they get plenty of fluids. Pedialyte and Gatorade works very well for this purpose.
The health of the bearded dragon is a fairly easy thing to keep in check if you know what to look for. But even the most experienced guards come up against the occasional question from time to time. It 's then that having some tricks in the sleeve will help you. These tips will not only prevent another veterinary bill, but keep your pet healthy and happy by allowing you to take action immediately. The best thing you can do is spend time with your pet every day, this way you will notice immediately when something is not quite alright with your lizard.