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Reptiles/Beardie appears to have Aspirated in bath


QUESTION: Hi Tracie, I have been following you on your Blogs on Beardies and the help that you graciously offer. Thank You. I have a question about the nebulizer treatment you were discussing. Are you referring to using the Albuterol unit dose 0.083% in the SVN (small volume nebulizer.) I ask because I have been wondering if I could try this treatment on mine. She has aspirated her bath water a few weeks ago and I thought it cleared up however she has done it again this time I found her face down and pulled her up to find a black beard and   lifeless. I attempted to express fluid from her lungs and give rescue breaths (without actually making contact to mouth as I know someone will ask.) It worked she is still struggling though with guppy breathing and an ashen color. I ordered Baytril overnight Fed Ex. Am keeping tank and her warm no more baths and droplets of water. I pray she survives we really love her. I never knew they had to be watched around water as she has always pooped and crawled out herself until now. I blame myself for my ignorance.

ANSWER: Hello Nurse Holliday,

I certainly wouldn't convict you for doing mouth to mouth though, as kissing my dragon on the mouth has never made me ill.  :-)
I am so sorry that happened to you both, it is very upsetting almost losing them like that.  I am glad you were able to revive her like that.  
I highly recommend using a nebulizer to help since they don't have cilia in their lungs to help clear out debris.  I also suggest keeping her tank around 80 over night to help with her immune system, too.
The Baytril is it a 10% solution?   You can do 10mg/mls of a sterile saline solution & place the mixture in the medicine cup.  Usually a 15-20 minute treatment, daily helps immensely.  She should do fine in the incubator for treatment.  Did you make shift one for her?

Is she eating anything right now?
What are her basking temperatures & which UVB are you using?  
This is a pretty common occurrence as they can aspirate water fairly easily sometimes.  
Do you have any pictures of her?

Let me know how she is doing.


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

QUESTION: Thank you for getting back to me.Sorry   for the delay I have been grieving. Lola wasn't pulling out of it she was guppy breathing lethargic eyes closed grey. My husband took he to the Herp Vet who confirmed her prognosis was less than 20%. We had them proceed with a comfort passing and she went peacefully. My husband and I have been so broken and lost without Lola. It appears she had an upper respiratory infection turned pneumonia and after just laying her first eggs Easter Sunday it took everything out of her. She was to weak to leave in her pool alone that day 😞 .We have decided to not give up take such a heart breaking lesson to a level of education as we owe that to these little gals and guys. I have made a vow to myself to educate educate educate myself so that I never miss another sign or symptom of an abnormality and I will act on it with a real professional not just a shop owner that gives really bad advice and tells me my intuition is off when I picked up on it maybe being a respiratory infection back in April. I like what you represent Tracie (Truth) and I will continue to follow your messages. My new babies will be shipped from Bloodbank Dragons on Tuesday. I'm hoping you will advise me on my tanks. :) Jayme

Hello Jayme,

I am so sorry you lost Lola, that is horrible.  :-((  I wish I could have helped out more for you.

So she basically had pneumonia then?  There are so few people who have intuition when it comes to reptiles because they hide their illnesses very well.  It sounds like she was a very special dragon, too.  
Thank you, I appreciate your remarks, that is very kind.  I hope I have helped out even if in just a small way.
If you need anything, let me know.  You can always email at:

My sincere condolences to you & your husband.



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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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