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Reptiles/Bearded Dragon throat impaction


Shonny is about 4 years old...20" long and has been in very good health...has yearly checkups, etc.

The substrate in his "house" are pellets (supposed to be soft to digest if they were to take them in) over a layer of gravel made for bearded dragons.  Shonny likes to push the substrate around and it appears some got into his feeding dish.  I had just provided his regular size of mixed greens chopped finally as well as some "bites".  When I came back an hour or so later he was lying limp on the bottom of house his mouth open, he looked gray and though responsive not in a familiar manner.  My assumption i that he ate too fast and got pellets mixed in with the salad.  I gave him a warm bath and tried to extract some of the caught mixture with a syringe but I don't know his anatomy and although I extract some...mostly isn't much and I'm afraid of injurying him.  There are no vets open at time to treat him so I wondered if you could give me information on what I can do...I do believe he will not make it through the night.  Please, help.  Thank you.

Hello Karen,

Do you have any pictures of Shonny?
Is he still with you today?
I am sorry, I ran out of time last night....  I am so sorry.  Short of getting help from a friend or family member, it is very hard to get that type of substrate out of the throat, but, if you can try to get help doing so.
Gently keep his mouth open as much as you can without breaking his jaw!  Is it stuck in his throat or his beard area?  Try using a swab if you can or if it is in his beard area, you can try gently pushing up on the beard area to see if you can clear it out of that area.
How is he breathing?  



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Tracie Kretzschmar


I can answer questions pertaining to health, UVB specifics, overall husbandry care & supplementation, analysis of blood test results, and behavioral problems & handling. I can answer questions pertaining to bearded dragons, leopard geckos, iguanas, uromastyx & ball pythons. I can answer adeno virus related questions in bearded dragons, & then specifically about the testing methods as well. I am beginning an Pogona Adeno Testing Society in 2008 which will help to begin to start some standardization within the bearded dragon colonies of the breeders who choose to test.


I have been working with bearded dragons for over 5 years now, as well as leopard geckos, too. I am currently doing rescues, as well. I hope to be able to educate people prior to them purchasing an exotic pet in order to avoid any health crisis with them.

I have a master's degree in sports medicine & physiology, & 1 year of vet tech schooling, & am currently working on a reptile certification through the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.

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