Top Remedies and Advice for Bearded Dragons Tail Rot
Tail rot in bearded dragons is incredibly easy to recognize, but do you know what to do if you spot it?
It is a horrible condition that builds up over time, and your beardie can be affected quite severely by it, which is quite understandable.
Can you imagine the kind of psychological stress if a limb of yours began to rot from the inside out?
Spot it Early
No part of the body simply rots in one day, it’s a gradual process.
Remaining observant and knowing what to look for, you can easily recognize if tail rot is beginning to happen in your bearded dragon.
Beardies are emotional animals, and they can get down when conditions like this emerge.
Causes of Tail Rot
Tail rot is a slow infection that occurs due to an internal infection within bearded dragons. Being ‘internal,’ this condition is a serious one since little is known about the internal organs that have been affected.
The infection can also spread to other sites of the dragon’s body, causing more of your dragons’ body to rot.
Cause #1: Bites and Scrapes
Infection by pathogens is not the only cause; bites from other beardies can also be a common cause. This is one of the reasons why it is advisable to keep your beardies in separate enclosures.
Cause #2: Insufficient UVB Light
Another possible reason for tail rot to occur is that your beardie is not getting enough light. UVB rays are essential for optimal skin health in your beardie.
Bearded dragons need exposure within the UVB region; in its natural habitat, this can be gained from direct sunlight.
Within a terrarium, though, this type of light is typically provided by a UVB bulb.
UVB light is responsible for the production of Vitamin D3, which aids in the digestion of Calcium.
Hence, when exposed to sub-optimal UVB radiation, skin rot on sensitive parts of a beardie can occur.
Cause #3: Calcium Deficiency
Calcium is responsible for the formation of healthy bones. A deficiency of it can result in tail rot, which will begin from the softest part of the tail, and work its way up.
In most cases, a blackish, decaying appearance can be seen, but this should not be confused with a naturally dark tail.
Symptoms of Tail Rot in Bearded Dragons
The first sign of tail rot for a bearded dragon is a blackening of the tail. Although some bearded dragons naturally have dark tails, tail rot will see a more pronounced darkening.
Another possible indication of tail rot is unusual behavior in your beardie.
Significant behavioral signs that indicate something might not be right are:
- Not Eating
The appearance of black beards, and sometimes loss of appetite are also possible indications of tail rot.
Prevention and Treatment
Treatment #1: Use Antiseptics to Treat the Rot
A practical method to treat bearded dragon tail rot is to make use of an antiseptic solution.
Select a non-tissue damaging product that can offer protection against certain bacteria whilst causing no damage to the skin of your beardie.
Betadine is a recommended product that is safe for use. Simply soak the tail in some diluted solution.
Ensure that it has been diluted with water until it looks like a weak tea; this will help to clean the tail.
Caution: Betadine for use in bearded dragons MUST be diluted to appear as weak tea. Full strength is caustic to their scales.
Treatment #2: Treat Bath Water With Conditioners
The presence of chemicals such as ammonia and chlorines, which may be in tap water can also cause tail rot.
When consumed in large quantities, these chemicals can be toxic to bearded dragons.
Ideally, you shouldn’t allow bearded dragons to drink or bathe in untreated water.
The use of a water purifier such as the ReptiSafe Water Conditioner has proven to be highly effective.
It helps to prevent the development of tail rot and assists in maintaining a healthy bearded dragon. Just add two drops of the solution to each cup (8 fl. oz) of tap water.
Treatment #3: Maintain the Correct Temperature and Humidity
To truly cure or prevent tail rot in a bearded dragon, it is essential to avoid extreme changes in your beardie’s habitat.
Drastic changes in things such as humidity and temperature could potentially cause your dragon’s tail to rot. This occurs due to certain bacteria and fungi thriving in certain conditions.
It is essential to know the ideal temperature and humidity for your terrarium and monitor it to ensure it remains at the appropriate level.
Using a digital thermometer and hygrometer will allow you to maintain the optimum humidity and temperature within the tank.
The Inkbird hygrometer is a dual role device which readily detects both temperature and humidity. It is incredibly easy to use and can rapidly switch from Celsius to Fahrenheit.
Treatment #4: Use Disinfectants to Maintain Good Hygiene
Maintaining excellent standards of cleanliness and hygiene plays a significant role in preventing and curing tail rot in a bearded dragon.
Regular use of terrarium cleaning products within your beardie’s enclosure can rapidly kill bacteria which may be causing tail rot.
A highly recommended product is the Zilla Reptile Terrarium Cleaner, which is used by many beardie owners.
Treatment #5: Wipe Down Surfaces
Specialist Terrarium Scrubbing Wipes make for an incredibly quick and easy product to help keep the terrarium clean.
Using these, you can prevent your beardie from developing tail rot through the provision of a clean, hygienic cage.
It is always handy if you are in a rush but want to clean a small area of the tank.
Tail rot shouldn’t be a death sentence for your bearded dragon. It’s both preventable and can also be treated if you have the right information.
Disinfection, water purification, and proper hygiene are all effective methods to prevent and cure tail rot in your bearded dragon.
If you are in any doubt, though, always contact a vet for information.
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