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Reptiles/my bearded dragons tail is dead


Sonya\'s tail
Sonya's tail  
QUESTION: Sonya; my bearded dragons tail is dead. Will her tail bother her at all? currently she sits with it under her heat lamp almost as if shes trying to burn it off and the live part left of her tail's scales are starting to look burnt and under the scales it looks almost as if there is some sort of liquid under them. I cant exactly afford to take her to a vet and there is really no good reptile vets in the city i am currently living in. Is there anything I can do for her to make her more comfortable? (the reason her tail is dead is she has an extreme case of calcium deficiency from her previous owners lack of care)

ANSWER: Hello Laina,

I am so sorry about her tail.  How long have you had her?
Has it gotten worse?  I worry about the tail becoming more septic/infection & traveling up the body.
You are going to need to get some betadine & treat it for infection.  Dilute the betadine to weak tea solution & dip it into the solution.  Then put some antibiotic ointment onto the area.  If you are sure that the area is necrotic, you can attempt an at home amputation to help get it healing up, using a sharp knive/scalpel or clippers.  You have to be absolutely sure it there is no feeling in that area.
I sell manuka honey for help with infections, etc.  If you want to try that, let me know & I can send the website to you.

Let me know how she is doing.

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QUESTION: ive had her since september of 2012,it hasnt so much has gotten worse but has stayed the same since november. Where would i be able to purchase bededine? and there is no feeling, i cant tell because it gets in her way alot and shes had to start turning very sharply because of it. how does the manuka honey help? and how do you get the beardies to eat it /lick it? ouh! please do send me the web site.
_thanks laina

ANSWER: Hello Laina,

Poor thing, she would probably feel better if you could debride the dead tissue just in case there is infection.  
The betadine is easy to find at any drug store or pharmacy without a prescription.  It is very good for cleaning skin/scales.
The Manuka honey is an antimicrobial agent & actually has an analgesic effect as well.  

Here is my site:

How is she eating now?  Let me know how she is doing.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Sonya just spat up a brown fluid while I was feeding her a super worm and is holding her mouth open, very weird behaviour she never does this anyidea what happened , she doesn't have a blockage (just went to the bathroom recently and I just cleaned her whole habitat today I also switched her to papertowel instead of the corn substrate except where the heat lamp is for a pecautionary of a fire help!!
Thanks -laina

Hello Laina,

How is Sonya doing today?
How large was the stool?

Are you keeping her tank temperatures in the optimal ranges of 95-105 to help with digestion?
I would look into a probiotic such as non dairy acidophiliz or non dairy soy yogurt to help her with digestion but also make sure she has a couple of hours before lights out for digestion.
How is she looking, does she appear ill?
Spitting up/vomiting is not normal though.  If she isn't able to digest the worms, you can go to a chicken or turkey baby food mixed with squash baby food.  
I am worried about septic conditions in case infection has spread possibly.  Have you begun treating her tail with any antibiotic ointment & cleaning it with betadine or were you able to find that?



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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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