You can tell a lot about the health of your bearded dragon by the consistency and color of its poop. Bearded dragons are prone to diarrhea, which is why you want to know what to look for, the causes, and how to prevent and treat it, always ensuring you provide the best care for your dragon.
Bearded Dragon Diarrhea Symptoms
Normal bearded dragon poop should comprise of solid digested food along with soft white-yellow colored solid urine. When your dragon has diarrhea it will be runny in nature and may have brown waste missing or it may be a different color.
If you suspect your dragon has diarrhea, then continue reading for detailed information on the causes, treatment, and how to prevent diarrhea moving forward.
It’s not uncommon for a bearded dragon’s tummy to get upset, the same as a human. The most common cause of diarrhea is diet. Iceberg lettuce, too many fruits, and acidic vegetables can result in diarrhea. In most cases, if your dragon’s diarrhea is a result of diet, the poop should return to normal within a few poops of changing to a less acidic and fruit diet.
Bearded dragons can develop diarrhea when they get stressed. Maybe you've recently changed something in their habitat or introduced another dragon, these are all sources of stress. You will need to identify what is causing the stress and remove it in order to help stop the diarrhea. If the diarrhea continues, then you will want to make an appointment with your reptile vet.
Shedding is a stressful process. It's not uncommon for a bearded dragon to have diarrhea while shedding.
If you've eliminated stress and diet as the cause of your bearded dragon’s diarrhea, then you may want to consider that your dragon may have parasites. Bearded dragons are susceptible to a number of different parasites, including bacteria, worms, and more. The majority of dragons have parasites throughout their lives, but when managed with a strong immune system, it isn't a problem. It’s when the parasites get out of control that your dragon may experience diarrhea. Take a sample of their runny poop and take it with to the vet for treatment.
It is possible that your dragon becomes over-hydrated. This isn't serious and you can remedy the problem, but it is known to cause diarrhea. Too much hydration can be a result of hornworms, a dragon treat with a high level of water. Too many of these treats and your dragon can get watery poops.
Another cause is that your bearded dragon drinks in the bath or they have had vegetables with high-water content, such as cucumber, for example.
There are sometimes where you need to be concerned when your dragon has diarrhea and you will want to seek immediate veterinary treatment. The first serious concern of diarrhea is seeing a lot of blood in the poop. Blood in a poop means internal bleeding, which can be a result of impaction or digestive tract trauma, maybe your dragon ate something sharp. You will want to seek an urgent diagnosis and treatment.
Another concern and time to seek veterinary treatment is if your dragon has ongoing diarrhea that lasts more than four days. Most diarrhea causes can be rectified and resolved within three days. If the diarrhea continues, then you will want to make your way to the vet as soon as possible.
Bearded Dragon Diarrhea Treatment
It's important to collect a sample of the poop when your dragon has diarrhea, which you can take with to the vet for analysis. You can help your dragon by giving it a warm shallow bath for around fifteen minutes daily while checking your habitat temperatures are accurate and that your UV bulb is working properly.
Adult bearded dragons should go to the vet when the diarrhea persists for more than three days, but baby dragons should be taken straight to the vet, as they can get very weak from diarrhea.
Bearded Dragon Diarrhea Prevention
Ensure you maintain optimum habitat temperatures at all times. Dragons are sensitive and the wrong temperatures can result in stress, which can lead to diarrhea. The ideal temperatures should range between 95ºF and 110ºF with the cool side being between 80ºF and 90ºF. Use a thermometer that is quick and easy to read to help you monitor temperate and ensure they remain at optimum at all times.
Keep the Enclosure Clean
Hygiene is very important when it comes to preventing diarrhea in your dragon. Use reptile disinfectant and ensure you provide a daily, weekly, and monthly deep clean to reduce the risk of parasites and keep your dragon happy and healthy.
Well Balanced Diet
Your bearded dragon will have a strong immune system if they have a healthy and nutritious diet. A lowered immune system can make your dragon prone to diarrhea. Ensure you provide a Calcium supplement and a balanced diet of insects, greens, and vegetables. Gut load your insects to ensure the best nutrition possible.
Reduce Parasite Risk
Parasites are a common cause of diarrhea in bearded dragons. This often results from the feeder insects you provide, which is why it's essential you find a reliable supplier to reduce the risk of parasites, preventing the risk of diarrhea moving forward.
Hydration can be an effective way to prevent the risk of diarrhea in your bearded dragon. Diarrhea is a common symptom of dehydration, which can result in death if not remedied quickly.
You can provide misting inside the enclosure now and then, as some bearded dragons may not drink from a water bowl. Misting enables them to drink water off leaves and small pools naturally formed, which provides them with a more natural source of water and hydration. You can also consider adding a small, shallow water bowl to the enclosure if your dragon is happy drinking. It is not recommended you leave the water bowl in the enclosure all day and night, as it can boost humidity levels.