Reptiles/Bearded Dragon


Hi Jennifer, please help me. I Have a 3.5 year old male bearded dragon. three weeks ago I noticed he was not going to the bathroom and he was refusing crickets, worms but was eating small amounts of veges and fruit. His belly felt hard down where his intestines were and I immediately started him on pedialite and baby food. Trips to the vet were not successful in diagnosis and recovery. I then was giving him his vitamins and he bit the end of the dropper off. The trip to the vet showed small pieces they believed he would pass. At this time I added olive oil to his baby food. He did have a bowel movement which was runny while bathing and blood came out. I called the vet for an emergency visit who thought an emergency visit was not needed as he was not still bleeding. I brought him in the next day they said continue what I was doing and two baths a day. His tummy continues to get harder where his intestines are (under the belly just above the tail and bigger to the left and slightly hard ball to the right area on the belly in front of the tail. The vets recommended mineral oil which was tried and no real improvement. Another trip to the vet and X-rays showed big circular area on stomach directly in front of the tail. We were given lactulose .3ml every 12 hours which he has pooped a bit more. He has lost weight two ounces but his body appears bloated and his beard has turned black again even when he is sleeping. I have been giving him 3ml of critical care food yesterday and 1.5 ml today. He also has a lump on his back the size of a pea that was tested and non cancerous but was to be removed Tuesday, but will not be due to his health. I live in a in northern BC which is a small city on the Alaska highway and the vets admittedly have not dealt with many reptiles. Although they are trying. Please any help you can offer would be so greatly appreciated. I love him dearly and need help.he has another apt. At vets tomorrow.


I'm so sorry I didn't see your question sooner. I didn't receive the normal notification email.
I know how frustrating it can be to live in a rural area with no specialized veterinarians. There are a couple of things that could be causing his problems. My concern would be that he has a mass in his intestines, which is preventing normal digestion and elimination of waste. it's also possible that he has an impaction I would recommend twice daily warm baths and massaging his belly in the area of the "ball" you're feeling.
I would also stop the medication and the reptaid for a few days. Beardies can easily go for a time without food or water. It's possible the stress from the forced feeding and medication is making him feel icky and grumpy.

I wish i could be of more help but without being able to see the animal, I can only guess what the problem might be. You're clearly a great owner and I wish you all the best.



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Jennifer C Parnell


I can answer questions about health, diet, behavior, housing requirements, common illnesses, and general husbandry of most reptiles. My answers are not a substitute for veterinary care. If I don't feel confident about answering your question, I can generally point you to someone who can answer it, or advise you to seek veterinary help.


My father is a licensed veterinarian for 40+ years. He specialties include venomous American snakes, reptiles, rodents, primates, dogs, cats, goats, geese. I grew up assisting him and have always maintained rescued, injured, or unwanted reptiles. I'm familiar with snakes, most common lizards, turtles, terrapins and tortoises. I'm also familiar with Bearded Dragons and currently have several.

veterinary technician wildlife biology

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