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best antibiotics for bearded dragons

Certain situations may require using antibiotics for your bearded dragon. One such situation is when your pet is severely ill, and there’s no vet close by. When under such pressure, owners may opt for antibiotics as first aid treatment for their pet. But, it’s important to know how to use the best antibiotics for bearded dragons before placing any order.

Many antibiotics can be used in the treatment of reptiles. But, unless the situation is similar to those mentioned above, or more urgent, it is not advisable to administer antibiotics without the permission of a vet. Some considerations have to be made before administering antibiotics to your bearded dragons to avoid complications. However, there are supplements you can use in the treatment of certain illnesses.

Each medication treats a specific illness, and has a prescribed dose for each reptile. Using a medication wrongly will be counterproductive. Your bearded dragon could suffer adverse health consequences from wrong medications. In some cases, wrong administration of medication could be fatal.

However, there are supplements you can purchase yourself which can cure your bearded dragon of various illnesses such as mouth rot, tail rot, respiratory infection, pinworms, digestive issues, lethargy, coccidia, appetite issues, and more.

We’re going to be going over the products I personally use for my bearded dragon that you can safely administer yourself.

Additionally, we’re going to explore some of the best antibiotics for veterinarian use. With all this information, you’ll be better equipped to care for your sick bearded dragon!

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Supplements That You Can Safely Administer To Your Bearded Dragon

Before we dive into antibiotics and probiotics that should only be administered by a professional veterinarian, let’s take a look at the best supplements you can administer yourself.

REPTAID XL - Immune Support

Reptaid is a safe, natural supplement that contains a variety of different herbs specifically designed to support immunity in bearded dragons and other reptiles. 

It supports the natural purification of foreign contaminates, helps the body fight infection, strengthens the immune system, supports vision and mouth health, and promotes appetite. If there’s one product that every bearded dragon owner should be equipped with, it’s this one.

Additionally, it comes in a dropper with a simple dosing guide based on your reptiles weight. You can either put it directly into your beardies mouth or you can drop the liquid on a cricket or salad.

Many have reported that Reptaid has cured their bearded dragon of mouth rot, respiratory infection, appetite issues, lethargy, eye issues, and an array of other health issues.

I’ve personally been using this product on my bearded dragon for more than three years and I can’t recommend it enough!

Note: If your bearded dragon is a baby or juvenile (less than six months old), you should purchase the Amber NaturalZ Reptaid. This is the same product but for reptiles under 250g in weight.

Reptile Electrolytes Soak – Prebiotic & Probiotic

This unique product contains a combination of essential vitamins, electrolytes, prebiotics, and probiotics. It’s basically an all-in-one package.

Additionally, it is administered in a unique way – through giving your bearded dragon a bath.

In terms of ingredients – it contains glycerin, sodium chloride, benzalkonium, propylene glycol, and distilled water. All of these ingredients are natural and 100% safe for your beardie.

This product is excellent for aiding in digestion, shedding, immunity, and overall health.

Additionally, it’s created by ZooMed – one of the oldest and largest distributors of reptile products.

I use this product every time I give my beardie a bath and it does wonders – especially for aiding in shedding! This is another one that I highly, highly recommend for the general health of your reptile!

Nature Zone Rot Guard – Tail Rot & Mouth Rot Solution

Nature Zone Rot Guard is another excellent product for the health of your bearded dragons mouth and tail.

If you weren’t already aware, mouth rot and tail rot are extremely common health issues in bearded dragons. However, this product is the perfect solution.

Containing all natural ingredients, the Nature Zone Rot Guard fights the specific bacteria that cause mouth rot and tail rot. In addition, it strengthens the immune system with its unique combination of natural ingredients.

These ingredients include calcium, kelp, thyme, garlic, clove, cinnamon, turmeric, echinacea, clack cumin, pau D’Arco, neem, sanguinaria, grapefruit seed, and goldenseal.

I personally wouldn’t purchase this product unless your bearded dragon’s suffering from mouth rot or tail rot. However, if this does apply to your beardie, it’s a must-have.

Vetericyn Plus – Wound & Skin Care

If your bearded dragon is suffering from a wound – or you simply want to keep your reptiles skin healthy – this is the top of the line product.

It comes in a small spray bottle that you can spray on your bearded dragons skin. It works great if your bearded dragon has an abrasion or is struggling during sheds.

The company, Vetericyn, is veterinarian-approved and has been creating reptile products for more than a decade – guaranteeing the safety and wellness of your reptile.

If your beardie has any form of skin issues and you want to save a trip to the vet – Vetericyn Plus is an excellent option.

I have yet to try this product myself – but based on the thousands of users that have had success with using this product – I’d say it’s worth the buy.

NutriBAC Dietary Supplement – Probiotic

This is another essential supplement for your bearded dragon.

Nutribac is currently the only patented probiotic on the market for bearded dragons. If your bearded dragon is suffering from appetite loss, this stuff works like magic.

It comes in powdered form so it’s easy to dust your insects prior to feeding your bearded dragon. It works by repopulating healthy gut bacteria (intestinal microflora) quickly and effectively.

Appetite loss is extremely common in bearded dragons and can be a result of stress, intestinal issues, low levels of disease, improper lighting, cage mates, brumation, and more.

I always keep this product on standby in situations where my bearded dragon loses its appetite. It’s 100% safe and backed by thousands of users!

What Can Be Treated with Antibiotics?

Infectious stomatitis

The infection attacks reptiles mouth and is common in snakes, bearded dragons, and other reptiles. Purplish spots in the mouth of reptiles are a precursor to this infection taking hold. Diseased tissue takes hold along a reptile’s teeth when the infection increases. Bacterial infections in the mouth of reptiles usually cause this ailment.

Respiratory infections

Gastrointestinal infections are common in reptiles that didn’t receive treatment of infectious stomatitis. Apart from surgical removals, antibiotics can help resolve respiratory infections in reptiles.

Late treatment of these infections with antibiotics may not work. In some cases, your reptiles could need surgery and vitamin supplementation.

Best Antibiotics for Bearded Dragons (For Veterinary Use)

Sulfamethoxazole/ Trimethoprim

Trimethoprim is an antibiotic used to treat parasitic infections and other issues in bearded dragons. It is administered orally, and comes in solid and liquid form.

Make sure your beardy stays properly hydrated while on this medication. The antibiotic is fast-acting, and will usually become effective after two hours, although results may become obvious days later.

Avoid overdosing your pet. If you miss a dose, wait patiently for the next one.

Don’t use this antibiotic alongside others, as this may bring about negative effect due to drug interaction. Drug interaction could result in dizziness, lethargy, and other negative side effects in your bearded dragon. If you must administer this medication alongside others, make sure to do so with the guidance of a vet.

Baytril

Enrofloxacin is sold under the trade name Baytril. The antibiotic is just one among other enrofloxacin medication sold by brands. It was first created for use in humans, but exhibited some severe side effects. After some modifications, enrofloxacin was modified for use in veterinary medicine.

In multiple areas of veterinary medicine, enrofloxacin is highly effective for treating a wide range of bacterial infections. Due of the high effectiveness against bacterial infections, some people may abuse Baytril.

Normally, a sensitivity test should be carried out to know how well the reptile reacts to antibiotics. However, many people fail to carry out such tests. If no sensitivity test is conducted, the reptile’s system could resist Baytril, hampering its efficacy in fighting bacterial infections.

Baytril should never be used without express permission from a qualified vet. Using Baytril as an over-the-counter (OTC) med could be harmful to your reptile’s health.

Top Vet-Approved Probiotics for Bearded Dragons

When bearded dragons get sick, their bodies lack a lot of healthy and helpful bacterial. To regain these, they should take probiotics. Some of these include:

Nutribac

This all natural probiotic works to stimulate the bearded dragon’s appetite by topping up intestinal micro flora. Tis probiotics help reptiles who must have lost appetite due to stress, illness, poor diet etc.

Acidophlus Digestive Tract Conditioner (ADTC)

This is also a natural and wide range probiotic that help to comfort sick animals undergoing treatment (MOSTLY MEDICATIONS) this probiotic helps to boost the reptiles immunity, while helping it to stay hydrated. This probiotic contains lactobacillus acidophilis, which majorly functions to boost the immune system. It is fruit flavored, making it appealing to bearded dragons.

Reptophilus

This a high profile probiotic containing acidophilus and bromelin enzymes, as well as different fruit blend. The medication helps during and after illness to promote a healthy gastrointestinal tract by replacing healthy bacteria lost during illness.

Other Drugs That Can Be Used to Treat Bearded Dragons

Anthelmintics

Anthelmintic medications help in removing parasitic intestinal worms in reptiles. It becomes less-challenging to combat worm-induced digestive trouble in your bearded dragons. Dosage rates of anthelmintic medication differ, and it is important to seek permission from a qualified vet before usage.

Intestinal parasites

The stress of being a captive could come down differently on a bearded dragon. Sustained presence in a closed space makes it easy for reptiles to suffer attacks from parasites. Many parasites require a single host to remain active throughout their lifetime, and some bearded dragons could be favored options.

The heavy burden of being in a closed environment usually transcends to infestation. There are several anthelmintic medications formulated for treating intestinal parasites. However, the efficacy of these medications differs. Also, some parasites can only be treated with a higher dosage.

Here’s a look at some of the infections anthelmintic drugs can handle:

Ascarids

These parasites cause significant tissue damage in reptiles. Ascarids usually affect snakes but rare cases can be evident in other reptiles like lizards, geckos, and bearded dragons.

Reptiles infected with ascarids will frequently regurgitate worms and other feed and suffer inflamed swelling along its stomach wall. Intense gastrointestinal pain and intestinal blockages also accompanies this nematode infection.

Roundworms

Stomach worms are common in lizards and could result in intense infestation and stomach ulceration. These worms cause severe bruising along the stomach worm of their host and could result in swelling.

Hookworms

These worms live in the upper gastro-intestinal tract and cause several wounds at their site of attachment. Hookworms can also lead to intestinal wall blockage and cause other difficulties.

These are some of the best anthelmintic medication out there and suggested doses:

Ivermectin

~0.02ml/kg (increase or decrease in dosage should be determined by exotics vet)

Praziquantel (20g/L) and Oxfendazole (20g/L)

0.05ml/100g (dosage increase, frequency, etc. should be determined by an exotics vet)

Selamectin

Consider seeing your vet for correct dosage for adult bearded dragons. Some vets may not recommend this drug for removing intestinal parasites.

Analgesics

Several analgesic medication are ideal for relieving pain in bearded dragons. Administering this medication correctly is important to avoid your bearded dragon being numb. Here’s a look at some of the best analgesics for bearded dragons:

Tolfenamic acid

4mg/kg or as determined by your vet (Requires permission from your vet before administration). Your reptiles could experience some hangover or lingering effects from this medication.

Meloxicam

0.2mg/kg for mammals or as recommended by your exotics vet.

Butorphanol

0.1 ~ 0.4mg/kg

Dosage of Butorphanol should be determined by:

How To Keep Bearded Dragons Healthy

Although it is not advisable to administer antibiotics and other medications to your bearded dragon without the guidance of a vet, situations that warrant this comes from time to time.

If this happens, do well to find an antibiotic that works for that particular illness that your bearded dragon is suffering from. If antibiotics are unavailable, supplement with herbal medicine and do well to provide your pet with the necessary probiotics during and after treatment.

FAQs

What kind of antibiotic DO YOU GIVE A bearded dragon?

Sulfamethoxazole is among the best antibiotics for bearded dragons. Baytril is another antibiotic medication you can give your bearded dragons. You need to consult a vet before administering any antibiotic medication to your bearded dragon.

Is amoxicillin safe for reptiles?

Amoxicillin is one of the best antibiotics for humans, but may not be a great medication for bearded dragons. Exotics vets usually recommend other antibiotics for bearded dragons instead of amoxicillin.

Can bearded dragons take antibiotics?

Bearded dragons can take antibiotics just like mammals, marsupials, and other animals. The best antibiotics for bearded dragons have to be vet-approved to confirm their efficacy. Your vet needs to approve the antibiotics you administer to your bearded dragons to avoid overdosing.

How can I treat a bearded dragons’ respiratory infection at home?

Under the guide of an exotics vet, you can treat your bearded dragons’ respiratory infection at home with antibiotics. Some of the antibiotics are more potent than others and you’ll require accurate dosage to treat these infections.

Final Thoughts: Best Antibiotics for Bearded Dragons

The best antibiotics for bearded dragons should be effective against treating respiratory infections in your reptiles. Other infections in your reptiles can be treated with ease using other medication too. However, it’s worth noting that not all medication are safe for your bearded dragon.

You need to consult your vet before administering the best antibiotics for bearded dragons. The potency of best antibiotics for bearded dragons can work to get your reptiles in shape again. Make sure you don’t ignore the advice from your vet. You don’t want to have an overdosed reptile to handle.

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