Bearded dragons are some of the most iconic reptiles around and make excellent pets for intermediate to advanced enthusiasts. Unfortunately, bearded dragon tail injuries are something that many owners will eventually experience.
Being aware of common causes and symptoms of possible Bearded Dragon tail injuries can help owners know when medical help may be needed.
So, what exactly causes a bearded dragon’s tail to become injured? In this article, I’ll break down some of the primary factors that put a bearded dragon at risk of suffering from a tail injury.
Causes of Bearded Dragon Tail Injuries
Bearded dragon tail injuries can be caused by a variety of factors. One of the most common causes is improper handling or rough play. Bearded dragons are delicate creatures and should always be handled with care, as even gentle handling can cause injury to their tails.
Other potential causes of tail injuries include accidental falls, being stepped on, and being attacked by other animals. In some cases, tail injuries can be caused by a lack of proper nutrition or an underlying health condition.
Pet Bearded dragons commonly experience some sort of tail injury. Because of the fragile nature of the tail, tail injuries are mostly due to biting, fractures from falling, and tail tip necrosis.
Tail injuries due to biting
Tail injuries due to tail biting are usually due to inquisitive and/or greedy Bearded dragons biting each other. Aggressive males during the breeding season can also bite females on their tails. Also, see mating behaviour in Bearded dragons.
A high incidence of bite injuries occurs when too many Bearded dragons are housed together, or when smaller groups are not fed adequately. ‘Bullying’ is also seen between different sized Bearded dragons, where the tail and other bite-related injuries are common. Also, see biting behaviour in Bearded dragons.
Tail injuries due to fractures
Because of the long and fragile nature of a Bearded dragon’s tail, the individual bones in the tail (called caudal vertebrae) are at risk of breaking apart when too much pressure is applied. Fall injuries can also lead to other bone fractures. Fractures in the tail often lead to blood loss to further parts of the tail which will lead to ischemia. Also, see falling injuries in Bearded dragons for more information.
Tail tip necrosis
Tail tip necrosis is a common consequence of any injury to the tail that prevents blood flow. Apart from biting injuries and injuries due to fractures mentioned earlier, it can also be spontaneous and due to constriction from residual old skin.
Spontaneous tail tip necrosis happens due to the fact that the tip of the tail has less blood supply than the rest of the body. This is because of the distance of the tail from the heart.
When a piece of old skin is not sloughed properly and remains on the tail, it can constrict the blood flow to the tail even more. It is usually seen in growing and adult Bearded dragons.
Symptoms of Bearded Dragon Tail Injuries:
The most obvious symptom of a bearded dragon tail injury is the presence of physical damage to the tail. This can include bruising, swelling, bleeding, and even broken bones. Other symptoms may include loss of appetite, lethargy, and difficulty moving around.
If the injury is severe, the bearded dragon may also experience paralysis or even death.
What Are Some Types of Bearded Dragon Tail Injuries?
Throughout its lifetime, a bearded dragon may experience various tail injuries. From minor incidents to major events, the most common form of injury includes broken tails.
However, one less common but more serious consequence that a bearded dragon can face is tail rot, which causes the affected part of the tail to become infected and rot away from your pet’s body; if left untreated, it can result in amputation.
Other types of tail injuries include abrasions, fractures, bacterial infections, parasites, and even cancerous growths. To keep your beloved pet healthy and safe, it’s important that you know how to properly care for them and are aware of any potential signs of injury so you can address them quickly and effectively!
Tail injuries in pet shops & breeding facilities
These injuries are often a sign of overcrowding or malnourishment. Refrain from buying from these sellers until they rectify the problem
Common consequences of tail injuries in Bearded dragons
Tail injuries in Bearded dragons are rarely serious. Except for the small chance that there is active bleeding, tail injuries in Bearded dragons can most often be treated with daily soaks and an antiseptic ointment to prevent the spread of possible infection. The injured part of the tail will very likely fall off with time with little or no ill effects to the Bearded dragon.
In the rare instance where bleeding occurs, physical hemostasis can be obtained by holding the bleeding site closed with a clean piece of toilet paper or cotton wool for five to ten minutes. It will rarely start to bleed again.
What Should Owners Do If Their Bearded Dragon Has a Broken Tail?
If your bearded dragon has a broken tail, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your veterinarian can assess the injury and determine the best course of treatment. Depending on the severity of the break, your vet may recommend surgery or other treatments to repair the damage.
Clean the Injury
If your bearded dragon suffers from a broken tail, the first step is to assess and clean the injury. A reptile-safe antiseptic solution should be used to reduce the risk of infection and promote healing.
Before using any disinfectants on their beardie, owners should discuss with their vet in case the reptile had past allergic reactions.
Splint The Injury
If an owner discovers that their bearded dragon has a broken tail, it is important to take the proper steps to ensure it heals properly and without complication. The most common treatment for a broken tail is an external splint, cast, or sling, which will keep the tail immobilized until it is fully healed.
If you’re suffering from a mild fracture, the best way to treat it is with a splint. This splint should be adjusted regularly over a period of 4-6 weeks, or until the injury has healed entirely. External coaptation is also commonly used for fractures caused by bone demineralization and cage resting is usually necessary during this time too.
Time To Visit Your Local Veterinarian
If your bearded dragon has a broken tail, it’s time to visit your local veterinarian. A vet can help you determine the cause of injury, as well as advise you on what care plan would be best for your specific bearded dragon. Having a professional on hand to diagnose and treat any medical issues can help keep your pet safe and healthy.
Your veterinarian will also be able to give you advice on how to manage and take care of the tail properly, so it can heal without further damage. They may provide bandaging or suggest other methods of treatment that could help with healing quickly and efficiently. In addition, if necessary, they may prescribe antibiotics or other medications to assist in healing the wound.
All in all, seeking professional veterinary help for a broken tail is critical for ensuring your bearded dragon recovers in the best possible way.
Why Is My Bearded Dragons Tail Bent?
If you notice that your bearded dragon’s tail is bent, it could be due to a number of factors. One of the most common causes is a condition known as “tail kinking” which occurs when the tail is bent or curved in an unnatural way. This can be caused by genetics, improper nutrition, or even trauma from handling or fighting with other dragons.
Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD)
If you notice that your bearded dragon’s tail is bending or curved in any way, it may be a sign of Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD). When your bearded dragon suffers from MBD, its bones become weak and soft due to a calcium deficiency. This can cause the tail to bend or curve.
The lack of calcium and weakened bones often have serious health implications for your beardie. The muscles lose their ability to contract properly, leading to common symptoms such as limb paralysis and other mobility issues. If you suspect that your bearded dragon might have MBD, it is important to get it checked out by a veterinarian right away!
A bent bearded dragon tail is a sign that your reptilian friend might be suffering from tail-biting. This behavior can be caused for a variety of reasons, such as boredom, stress, aggression, or even malnutrition.
If you notice that your bearded dragon is nibbling on its own tail, it’s essential to take them to the vet for treatment as soon as possible – the sooner you identify the issue and begin treatment, the better your pet will heal and recover.
Tail-biting is a serious condition that can cause long lasting damage if not treated properly in time – so don’t delay in seeking treatment if you suspect that your dragon has this kind of problem.
Your vet can recommend the right course of action and also offer advice on how to prevent tail-biting in the future.
How Should You Deal with a Cut on a Bearded Dragon’s Tail?
If your bearded dragon has a cut on their tail, there’s no need to panic. Most of the time these injuries are minor and can be treated at home. You just need to be sure to keep the tail clean and protect it from becoming infected.
The best way to do this is with repeated soaks in warm water, using an antiseptic ointment after each soak to help prevent infection from spreading. Over time, the damaged piece of the tail will naturally fall off without causing further harm to your lizard.
However, if you are feeling unsure of how to go about taking care of such a minor injury, it’s best to seek advice from your veterinarian for further guidance.
What is Bearded Dragon Tail Rot?
A common issue in bearded dragons is tail rot, which is when the tissue at the end of their tail begins to degrade or rot. This area often takes on a dark color and can be difficult to spot in its early stages, so it’s important to keep an eye out for any signs.
The lack of blood flow in this infected area can cause the tail to turn black and brittle, potentially leading to all feeling lost in it. Without treatment, the infection will then spread up the tail and throughout the rest of the body, making it life-threatening if left unchecked.
What Are the Signs of Bearded Dragon Tail Rot?
If you think your lizard has tail rot, look for other indicators like the rot beginning at the tip of their tail and making its way up slowly.
Additionally, be sure to check your bearded dragon regularly so you’re able to recognize any initial symptoms that indicate an issue early on. Doing this may help prevent amputation as a treatment option by getting them prompt vet care.
Is It Possible to Treat Tail Rot at Home or Should You Visit a Vet For Your Bearded Dragon?
Tail rot can be a serious issue for your bearded dragon, so it’s important to take the necessary steps to ensure it’s treated properly. If tail rot is found early enough, then visiting a veterinarian is the preferred approach to make sure that treatment is given properly. Depending on the severity of the tail rot, they may prescribe antibiotics or other treatments to save your beardie’s tail and improve its overall health.
However, if you are unable to access a vet or want to try treating at home first, following these easy instructions after consulting with your vet can help:
1. Keeping your bearded dragon’s tail clean requires washing it on a daily basis with lukewarm water.
2. Create a betadine solution and soak the afflicted part of their tail in it for 5 minutes each day.
3. Dry off the area carefully with a cotton swab and apply some Neosporin cream directly to the wound afterward.
4. Continue with this process for several days while carefully monitoring their condition to make sure the infection isn’t worsening or spreading to other parts of their body.
5. If the infection does not improve after a few days, it’s best to take your bearded dragon to the vet for further treatment.
6. The vet may prescribe antibiotics or other medications to help clear up the infection and prevent it from spreading further.
7. Once the infection has been cleared up, make sure to keep their tail clean and dry to avoid any future issues with tail rot.
How To Prevent Tail Rot In The Future
If you want to keep your bearded dragon from getting tail rot, then make sure you are taking the proper precautions. Start by getting your dragon from a reputable breeder and ensuring that the enclosure is of an appropriate size. The furniture inside should be kept simple and not have any sharp edges. Keeping up with regular tank cleaning and only having one dragon per tank will help prevent issues like fighting which can lead to illnesses like tail rot.
To avoid tail rot, the diet needs to be watched closely, and you should use only high-quality food, supplements, and hydration. Additionally, it is essential to ensure the UVB lamps in use are properly functioning and replaced every 6 months.
When shedding occurs, avoid the temptation of assisting the dragon; instead, make certain it stays well-hydrated. A warm bath is also a helpful way for them to regain their energy if they appear fatigued or agitated.
Ultimately, the best form of prevention against tail rot (and any other illness) is having a healthy beardie who has minimal stressors in their life!
Bearded dragon tail injuries must be taken very seriously. They can cause discomfort and pain to your pet and are often difficult to treat. If you notice any signs of a tail injury, make sure to take your pet to the vet as soon as possible.
With proper care and prompt medical attention, many tail injuries can be treated and your bearded dragon can have a happy and healthy life.