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bearded dragon throwing up

In all species, including humans, throwing up is a sign of ill health. Same goes for bearded dragons. If your bearded dragon is throwing up and you don’t do anything about it, it could get much worse.  

There are plenty of reasons why bearded dragons throw up. These reasons range from overfeeding to impaction, digestive issues, dehydration, and even poor hygiene. Oftentimes, you can diagnose why your bearded dragon is sick. However, you may need an exotic vet to check your reptile thoroughly before offering treatment.

In this article, you’ll learn why bearded dragons throw up and other signs of illness in these reptiles.

With this information, you’ll be able to tell if a bearded dragon needs urgent medical support. This post will enable you to take quick action to ensure your pet gets back to perfect health!

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Reasons Why Breaded Dragons Throw Up and How To Deal With It

Dehydration

One reason why bearded dragons throw up is dehydration. Fortunately, this is a simple problem to solve.

Regular misting of the tank, warm baths and giving water in a water dish will help rehydrate your bearded dragon. Supervise any activity carried out with water (bathing, drinking from a water dish). Small bearded dragons can drown easily, and you don’t want that.

High coccidian trouble

Coccidia (eimerias telosporidia) are tiny parasites that live in animal cells and reproduce in them. When coccidia reproduce in a bearded dragon with a weak immune system, the parasite causes severe illness.

Vomiting is a major symptom of coccidia. Other signs of high coccidia are retarded growth and anemia.

Overfeeding

Just like over feeding causes stomach upset in humans, same goes for bearded dragons. When a beardie is over fed with insects or other food, digestion is problematic. Vomiting becomes the next source of relief a bearded dragon usually takes to feel better again.

Poor hygiene

Good hygiene for good life, this should be our daily quote when it comes to caring for bearded dragons. Dirty environment greatly increases the chance of illness for bearded dragons and other reptiles.

When too much bacteria or parasites enter into the digestive system of bearded dragons, they fall sick, resulting in vomiting. A dirty environment becomes the ideal breeding site for bacteria and other harmful parasite. Maintaining proper hygiene is paramount to prevent your bearded dragon from vomiting.

Salmonellosis

This is a gastrointestinal disease caused by the bacteria salmonella when it multiplies in the digestive system of bearded dragons. This bacterium naturally lives in animals, but in small amounts. When this bacterium multiplies rapidly, this could create health problem for your reptile. Vomiting is one of the glaring signs of salmonellosis.

Impaction

Impactions are blockages in the digestive tract of a reptile, which makes passing of waste difficult or impossible. Impaction happens when a bearded dragon eats food bigger than the space between its eyes.

The undigested food blocks the digestive tract. In this case, bearded dragons will throw up little particles of undigested insects. Massaging its stomach gently while giving it a warm bath will help your pet clear its impacted digestive system.

However, it is recommended that you take your pet to a vet, as some cases of impaction may require surgery.

Other Signs of Illness in Bearded Dragons

Your bearded dragon throwing up will not happen without symptoms. Here’s a look at some of the signs your bearded dragon may become ill and throw up:

Sudden weight loss

If your pet suddenly loses weight, this can be a sign of illness. An immediate visit to the vet is necessary. Weight loss may be a direct result of digestive problems in your bearded pets.

Lethargy

A lethargic reptile should see the vet immediately. Even if bearded dragons aren’t the fastest among reptiles, they’re not the slowest. So, when the opposite becomes the case, the beardie may fall ill.

Changes in bearded dragons waste (droppings)

A change in your reptile’s poop could be a sign of illness. A sudden stop in passing feces or in the color and texture of it could signal that something is wrong. Taking note of your bearded dragon’s poop pattern, color, and frequency is a good way to care for its health.

Changes in the eye

A bearded dragon could be ill if it has swollen and puffy eyes, or refuses to open its eyes. Bulging or any other change in eye color could be a sign of illness in bearded dragons too.

Secretion

Fluids from the eye, nose, mouth or ear could be a sign of illness. Take note of any unusual discharge from your bearded dragon

Jerky movement

Irregular movement is one of the telltale signs of Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD).  It usually occurs because of calcium deficiency in bearded dragons’ diet. The disease can be fatal to bearded dragons. So, it is important to take them to the vet when you notice this symptom.

Discolored skin

Skin discoloration could be a cause for concern in bearded dragons; at other times, it may not be serious. Discolored skin could occur because of skin shedding. When that is the case, it usually isn’t a red flag.

But when the discoloration happens close to or on the tail, this could be a sign of rotting. Untreated rot will eventually cause the tail to fall off or lead to death.

Another serious ailment that could cause your beardie’s skin to change color or rot is yellow fungus. If the skin is elevated (swollen), inflamed and rotting, your pet could be infected with yellow fungus. Take the bearded dragon to the vet immediately, as this illness may be fatal.

Constipation

A state where bowel movements become difficult and infrequent, or the intestines become filled with hard feces is constipation. Constipation in bearded dragons mostly occur due to impaction.

Impaction could happen when beardies eat insects bigger than the space between their eyes, or insect with hard shells. You have to take this seriously, as the bearded dragon will feel uncomfortable and eventually get seriously sick without help.

Mild impaction can be resolved at home with a bath and massage. More serious cases of impaction may require surgery, so it is important to take your beardie to the vet.

How To Tell If A Bearded Dragon Is Dying

Negligence can be fatal, as even small changes in their usual habit can signal a life threatening problem.

Any change to what you define as normal for your beardie should be examined immediately. Some of these changes include:

Lethargy

Bearded dragons are active reptiles. When your pet suddenly becomes slow or refuses to move at all, then there is a problem.

Lethargy could occur due to slow body metabolism. Check to make sure the tank is properly heated up, and has proper lighting, as lack of these could cause slow body metabolism.

Shedding too may cause lethargy. If there are no problems with the heat and lighting, and your pet isn’t shedding, your bearded dragon shouldn’t be lethargic. If it is, then it should be taken to the vet immediately.

Labored breathing

When the beardie starts to breath with its mouth, or its breathing becomes shallow, then the beardie should be taken out of the tank immediately. You need to test the humidity and temperature of the tank. After these tests, determine whether the humidity and temperature are at proper levels. Improper temperature and humidity could cause respiratory infection for the bearded dragon.

Lack of movement

This can cause the bearded dragon to stay in one side of its tank and refuse to move. When this happens, the bearded dragon could have a serious ailment. Seeking urgent medical advice is important to ensure your dragon returns to top shape.

How to Ensure Your Bearded Dragon Stays Active And Healthy?

Keeping healthy is important for everyone, animals and humans alike. Here are some ways to ensure that your bearded dragon stays active, healthy and happy:

Pay attention to your bearded dragon diet

A bearded dragon diet consists of insects and vegetables. To ensure that your pet stays healthy, make sure that both are present in its diet. Feed your pet nutritious insects like waxworms, crickets and cockroaches.

It should also be fed healthy vegetables like carrot, kale and pepper. Make sure your reptiles water dish doesn’t lack clean water at any time.

In some cases, particularly when your bearded dragon is throwing up on a consistent basis, antibiotics may be necessary. If you see changes in your bearded dragons diet, it is advised that you seek the care of a vet.

Give vitamins on a regular basis

Dusting insects with vitamin powder is essential to keep your pet healthy. Although pets get their major nutrients from food, but dusting from time to time is a good way to keep your pet healthy.

Avoid over crowding

Bearded dragons do not like living in pairs. To keep your pet happy, get it a big tank with enough space to move around.

If you want to keep your bearded dragon in pairs, ensure the tank is big enough for both pets to ensure each have enough space for itself. Make sure the age difference between both dragons isn’t large, so the younger beardie doesn’t get hurt.

Regular checkups

A regular visit to an exotic pet vet will do good for your bearded dragon, this will ensure that your pet is in perfect health always. Regular checkups help to prevent your dragon from getting seriously ill. A vet will easily detect signs of serious illness during regular checkups.

Learn how to properly hold your bearded dragon

Beardies love getting attention from their owners. But it is important to hold your pet properly to prevent it from getting hurt. Avoiding it up by its tail, and do not make sudden movements while approaching your beardie, as this may startle him.

FAQs

Why is your bearded dragon throwing up?

If you notice your bearded dragon throwing up, it could be because of digestive problems. Your bearded dragon throwing up could also be as a result of wrong diets or illness. If your reptile keeps throwing up, it’s best to get it to a vet immediately.

Why is my bearded dragon ill?

Bearded dragons can fall ill due to poor feeding, infections, trauma, stress, and poor humidity or ambient temperature. A sick bearded dragon will show a range of symptoms based on the illness affecting it. Urgent medical help is a must to save a sick bearded dragon.

What are the signs of a sick bearded dragon?

Should I treat my sick bearded dragon at home?

Some over-the-counter (OTC) medications are available to feed bearded dragons, but it’s better to seek professional help. You may misdiagnose your bearded dragon and offer it the wrong medication. But a qualified vet will perform a thorough assessment of your bearded dragon’s health and offer the right meds.

Why is my bearded dragon laying on its back?

Why bearded dragons lay on their back

Final Thoughts: Bearded Dragon Throwing Up

Is your bearded dragon throwing up? What to do about it may be out of your hands.

If you don’t know what’s causing the sickness, urgent medical care is necessary. When you’ve understood why your bearded dragon threw up, steps can be taken quickly to sort out the problem.

Vomiting in bearded dragons should not be left unchecked, as it is usually a sign of a more serious condition.

It is also advisable to store a small sample of the vomit in a clear bag. Vomit samples can help vets run important tests to know whether harmful parasites or bacteria plague a bearded dragon.

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