What To Do If Your Bearded Dragon Has Diarrhea
Diarrhea can significantly disturb your bearded dragon, but, fortunately, the symptoms are easy to detect.
Loose and frequent poop is the most apparent sign of diarrhea in a beardie. Occasional or unusual fatigue or loss of appetite may also be indicators.
Symptoms of Diarrhea
The nature of the poop is fundamental, as is its color, interval between poops, and the consistency (watery or hard).
Furthermore, feeding patterns should also be observed. The type of food you feed your beardie is another contributing factor to bowel movement.
Beardies that consume calcium-rich nutrients, such as silkworms, will, usually, poop more than those that mainly consume just crickets.
This is due to the high protein content found in crickets.
Note: To find out what healthy poop should look like you can find out in this bearded dragon poop guide here.
What Are the Risks with Diarrhea?
If left untreated, diarrhea in a beardie can cause other problems. When pooping frequently, the loss of electrolytes can lead to an imbalance, this can be quite serious.
Another concern is dehydration. Diarrhea leads to dehydration in your beardie, which could eventually lead to death if left untreated.
Continue reading to find out what may cause diarrhea in your bearded dragon and what you can do to treat or prevent it.
Causes of Diarrhea
Infection by worms or parasites can often cause diarrhea in your beardies.
Significant causes of diarrhea in your beardie can also be:
- Spoiled Food
- Wrong Tank Temperature
Prevention of Diarrhea
1. Maintain Optimum Temperatures
Beardie’s can be quite sensitive creatures, and they like things to be just right in their tank. If they are not then it can lead to conditions such as diarrhea.
Depending on your beardie’s age, they will need temperatures in their cage to be between 95-110 F.
Did you also know, a bearded dragon’s tank should have different temperature zones?
This allows your beardie to regulate its own temperature by moving between warmer and colder areas of the tank. The cool part of the tank should be between 80-90F.
When using a standard thermometer, it can be difficult to gauge the temperatures in different zones.
Using an infra-red thermometer though, you can accurately measure the temperature in each zone.
Note: You should also ensure that your beardie’s tank has the correct lights setup. If you want to know how to best set up the lighting, you can find a guide on the optimal light setup here.
2. Maintain High Levels of Hygiene
Another way to prevent diarrhea in your bearded dragon is by maintaining a clean tank. This can be achieved through the use of a disinfectant, deodorizer, or a proper cleaning agent.
You do, however, need to ensure that the products you use are safe for your beardie.
One of the most effective terrarium cleaners is Zoo Med’s Wipe Out 1.
It kills stubborn bacterial strains such as Salmonella and it comes at an affordable price too. But more importantly, it is safe to use in your beardie’s tank.
Another convenient solution for keeping your bearded dragon tank clean is Nature’s Miracle Scrubbing Wipes.
These quickly lift stuck-on debris and eliminate unwanted odors and irritant smells.
Also, it contains moisturizing properties too, so it can also be used to keep your pet hydrated.
3. Provide a Nutritious Diet
A poor immune system could be the cause of diarrhea in your bearded dragon. You can easily improve your beardie’s immune system by providing a nutritious diet.
It may be that particular enzymes or proteins are lacking, these line your beardie’s gut, taking a vital role in digestion and detoxification.
If your beardie doesn’t have enough essential proteins and enzymes, it can lead to an accumulation of undigested and unprocessed food.
This then leads to higher levels of bacteria, which your beardie’s immune system cant defeat, thus leading to diarrhea.
Natural food sources alone, are sometimes not enough for building a robust immune system.
To combat this effect, you can use dietary supplements that will replenish intestinal microflora.
Supplements, such as Nutribac, contain Maltodextrin and Bacilus Subtilis, both of which strengthen your bearded dragon’s immune system.
4. Reduce the Risk of Parasites
A common cause of diarrhea in a beardie is through ingesting worms or parasites that are on the live feeders you give your beardie. This is why finding a reputable supplier is so important.
If you want to reduce the risk of intestinal worms or parasites you will want to dust your feeders with a worm guard.
All you have to do is dust the crickets or other food with it. It has the added advantage of replenishing energy and appetite in your bearded dragon too, all of which will assist in curing diarrhea.
5. Ensure Adequate Hydration
Another simple yet powerful method of curing diarrhea in your bearded dragon is thorough hydration.
A common symptom of diarrhea is dehydration, and this could lead to the potential death of a beardie if not quickly resolved.
Death often results from the rapid loss of electrolytes. To resolve this, consider electrolyte replacement.
Electrolyte supplements that rapidly detoxify ammonia, nitrites, and chloramines are the best for bearded dragons.
Reptisafe has the ability to detoxify each of these and is one of the most widely used remedies to fight diarrhea in a bearded dragon.
Diarrhea in a bearded dragon is not uncommon and there are many remedies. The first step involves understanding your beardie’s optimal temperature requirement.
Secondly, ensure you are maintaining the appropriate tank hygiene and adequate levels of nutrition and hydration; restoring all electrolytes which are lost due to diarrhea.
Following these steps is a great step towards curing diarrhea in your bearded dragon.
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