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Reptiles/Swollen Bearded Dragon Foot


I recently received a bearded dragon for Christmas. His named is Gandalf, he's about six inches long, and is almost two months old. I noticed a few days after his purchase (from PetSmart) that he had what looked like a bite wound on this right leg. It looked fine for a long time and seemed to be healing up. Around his first shed, the foot swoll up, and has been like this for a few weeks. I'm not sure if this is an infection, an abscess, or just a rough shed on his foot. Gandalf has been eating fine, 6 crickets a day, with calcium powder on them. He has mustard greens and squash to eat as well. His bowel movements have also been regular, normal and completely healthy looking stool. Gandalf does not act like the foot bothers him, in fact, he uses it normally. I've also tried giving him a bath to help, but the foot seemed only a little better. He has a carpet, no sand terarium. All temps are correct and no tube UVB's. What do you think of this swollen foot and what should I do for it?

Thank you!!!!

Hello Tayler,

He is still a small little thing.  
Do you have a picture of his foot?
Does it look infected from a bite?  Most likely he was bitten by another dragon or cricket in PetSmart which can & will get infected.  This is very common when they keep too many in the same tank!
At least he seems to be walking & using it normally at the moment.  We need to get it cleared up though if it is an infection before it gets worse.  You can get some betadine to help with keeping it clean & if there appears to be a sore spot or any open wound type of area you can get some antibiotic ointment to put on it, daily.
Is there any discoloration of the area that you can tell?
Are you not using any UVB lighting yet?
What type of basking light do you have for him & what are the temperatures in his tank?  Do you use a digital probe or temp gun to measure them?
How large are the crickets, smaller than the space between his eyes?  At his age, he will need tons of crickets/insects daily right now for growing.  However your time allows, he will need at least 2 feedings per day to let him eat as many crickets as he would like.  They need a good amount of food at that age.  I am happy to hear he is eating greens & squash already that is good news!
The calcium powder once daily, 4-5 times per week is good.  How well coated are the crickets?

Let me know how Gandolph is!


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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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