For those who have cared for bearded dragons, constantly checking their pet’s health is essential. Even though a docile pet like this dragon may be used to the harsh conditions of their original habitat, they won’t be called such a contrasting description as a docile dragon for no reason at all. As such, you will need to understand and be ready to provide the right condition to let your dragon pet remain healthy. In this post, you will learn how to spot a healthy bearded dragon.
Unusual Bearded Dragon Behavior That Are Considered Normal
Throughout the year, your pet dragon will undergo several cycles that may seem to be unnatural. You may even suspect that your beardie is sick when in fact it is not. Here are the natural cycles that it usually goes through.
This is a naturally occurring hibernation cycle that your pet has to go through. It usually happens in winter or fall as their physical makeup responds to the changes in the natural lighting or temperatures. There are cases when owners of bearded dragons will manipulate the lighting and the temperatures in their pet’s cage as an attempt to prevent their pets to pass through this phase. It is high;y recommended, however, to let your bearded dragon to do what comes naturally for them.
Although every bearded dragon goes through this phase, they may have different reactions to this period. There are beardies that will take long naps on and off throughout the cycle. Other bearded dragons will sleep without even waking throughout the entire cycle. The length of the brumation period also varies based on the dragon. There are bearded dragons that don’t go through this cycle at all. Some will undergo the cycle for up to a week, while others will be in the brumation period for up to several months.
During the brumation period, your pet will become less active. It will also sleep longer. You may also notice the bearded dragon to have a lesser liking to eat. This is the reptile’s natural response to the cycle. Yet, you won’t notice that your bearded dragon is losing any weight even then if it is healthy.
Bearded dragons will only shed some weight during this cycle if they have parasites. If you suspect that your pet is entering the cycle, make sure that you have it tested for any parasite infestation. It’s also a good thing to weigh their dragon before and during the cycle to see if there are any changes in their weights. This will not be an effective measure, however, if your pet has parasites.
It is important that you keep your beardie’s cage lighted throughout the brumation period and to feed the bearded dragon any time it wakes up or bask in its basking light, To do that, select best UVB bulb for Bearded Dragon. Just keep a bit of fresh food and water in their food and water bowls and monitor if the reptile ate and took a sip.
You don’t need to wake the dragon, however. Just let nature have its way. If you will try to wake your pet, there’s a probability that you will just lengthen the brumation cycle. It is best to just leave your beardie undisturbed.
The baby and juvenile bearded dragons frequently shed their skin in response as they grow. Adult bearded dragons shed their skin once or twice every year, however.
When the time that a beardie will be shedding its skin, you will notice that its color will seem to be fading. Their eyes will appear to be puffed out further than usual. These changes are quite normal. They are just signs of a healthy shedding.
During this period, you will need to make sure that your reptile remains clean and always hydrated. Bathe your pet with warm water. You can also use a spray bottle to mist your dragon occasionally. This will keep your pet moist during the shedding cycle. If the dragon’s skin is kept hydrated, it will be easier for it to shed faster. While it is in its tank, it may be more difficult for the dragon to shed as it will be quite warm in it.
During this cycle, you don’t need to help the dragon by pulling off its skin. Just let it come off naturally. If you will try to pull off its skin when it’s not yet ready to shed, you might just damage its new scale. However, you may need to monitor the tip of its tail and their toes as these are areas where shedding take longer. If the old skin will not shed off from these areas, blood flow may be restricted from flowing through this parts of their body. This may kill the dragon’s skin tissue. Thus, you may help your pet to pull off the skin from these parts of its body. You should also make sure that the skin of the beardie remains moist for a few days as it will promote quicker healing.
While these are unusual conditions that your pet needs to go through, there are certain characteristics that can easily tell you that if your pet is kept healthy.
Signs of a healthy dragon
Your pet dragon will most likely be active most of the time. It will just act unusual or weak only when it is sick or not feeling well. It will be active and alert if it is healthy. Its overall appearance will also indicate if it is great shape. Take note if there’s any part of its body that is swollen or is releasing a puss or any unusual fluid, like around the eyes, the mouth, and the around the joints.
In any case you see these signs, however, you may need to bring your pet to a veterinarian for proper diagnosis.
Bearded dragons defecate regularly. In case it stopped defecating for some time, give it a warm bath to encourage it to defecate. If it still won’t, you’ll need to bring it to the vet. You also need to observe your dragon if it is feces has turned soft, or if it has diarrhea.
A major source of concern will be anything of these signs: paralysis, droopy or swollen eyes, bumps in the legs, tremors or spasms, and other unusual bumps in its body. Any of these signs may need a vet’s proper diagnosis.