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Reptiles/Side effects of Trimethoprim Sulfa on a Bearded Dragon


I have a question regarding my 10 month old Bearded Dragon. We had to bring her to a Herp Vet approximately two weeks ago, as she hadn't pooped in 6 days. Upon arriving at the vets office we discovered that she had pooped on our way there. The vet did a full exam on her and ran a fecal test. The fecal results came back showing that she has Coccidia. The vet told us that our lizard is very hardy and healthy and that the Coccidia was her only concern with our Beardie. We started her on Trimethoprim Sulfa 10 days ago to treat the Coccidia. We have been observing her closely and have noticed a huge decrease in appetite, she is pooping less frequently, and has less energy since starting the antibiotics. I have tried researching the side effects of this drug and have came up empty handed. Are these side effects normal or should I be concerned?

Hello Michelle,

The TMZ or trimethsulfa medication like all sulfa based medications, can be a little harsh on their system.  It dehydrates the GI tract as well as decrease the natural gut flora bacteria in their tummy also.  This usually yields to a marked decrease in appetite in most of them.
Do you have any probiotics to give to her, such as non dairy soy yogurt, or acidophiliz?  
You can also get some bee pollen to help with immune system boosting & increase on the appetite also.  
Are you giving extra oral fluids too?  



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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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