Reptiles/Bearded Dragon


QUESTION: Hi I have a two month old male bearded dragon that I just was given two days before Christmas. He weighs 20 g so is very small. First glance he had sore on his head and top of his back near the start of his tail. I put polysporin on it for a few days and noticed one on tail was not healing so took him to the vet who prescribed baytril .32 ml by mouth once a day for 14 days and 1% flamazine cream x2 a day. Over these few days he stopped using his two back legs until he is not using them at all. He gets around well by dragging his back legs and has been eating good. He was pooping until a few days ago but this afternoon peed, but no poop. I took him back to the vet who prescribed more baytril diluted one in ten four hundredths (0.04) of a ml by mouth once a day. I was also told to inject a cricket with one drop of lactulose and give this to him to get bowels moving. I was waiting to see if he would go after peeing but he did not so I gave him the cricket with the lactulose. I bath him twice a day with podialyte and a small scoop of calcuim powder. He eats crickets, dusted and a small amounts of greens. I have his basking temp at 94-98 a and cool side at 85-87. He was diagnosed with Osteomyelitis and I am wondering if you can recommend anything else, maybe better antibiotic ect. All husbandry is appropriate and kept very clean. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I just came across this site as I had lost it. Thanks very much.

ANSWER: Hello Valerie,

Wow that is terrible, he was diagnosed with Osteomyelitis at his age?
Where in his tail or other bone area?

He is very small & young.  Where did you get him?
Are you using a good UVB light also, which brand do you use & what type?  
What do you use to measure the temperatures, a stick on type of thermometer, or a digital probe?
The recommended basking temperatures are in a range of 95-110 with a cooler end of 78-82.  
What type of substrate are you keeping him on, carpet or paper towels?

How large are the crickets, smaller than the space between the eyes?  
Do you have a picture of him & the tank set up also that I can see?

I wonder if his injuries on his head are from a burn, can you tell?  
Be sure to give a probiotic such as non dairy soy yogurt, non dairy acidophiliz, etc to help with appetite while he is on the meds.  
The amount of meds looks pretty small.  The Baytril is diluted also for him so it should be the correct dose.  Has he had a black beard at all or is he lethargic?

It sounds like he is eating well.  Dragging his back legs could be a calcium deficiency if he has just begun doing that.  Or he could be slightly impacted if the insects are too large fr him, too.

Let me know how he is doing.


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

QUESTION: Hi Tracie, thanks so much for the reply. His sore on his spine/back right where the tail starts. The skin has come off the sore and looks like a lighter pale beige color. I had just lost my beardie Allen I had for five years from cancer and my husband purchased two new baby beardies from the Fort St. John pet store. The Osteomyelitis is believed to be in the area where the sore is on the spine/back where the tail starts and the ve,t believes it is into the bone of the spine in this area. I am currently using a     But just purchased a ReptiSun 10.0 and am waiting to be delivered and to place the tube lighting inside the cage. I also just ordered him anvipro plus probiotic online as I cannot purchase here. I will look for yogurt you suggested tomorrow. I use green or beige reptile carpet and terrarium decor cleaner and also take out and exchange to clean carpet every week. I vacuum daily and use plastic, very thin mats by the food. Eco Terra Solar Glo. Which is a self ballasted Mercury vapor bulb including uva and uvb 160 watt. I also have an Eco terra ceramic heat emitter black bulb 250 watt and an Eco terra sun Glo bulb 100 watt. It gets into -39 here so more heat is needed. SAMs basking spot is not very high up as he cannot climb to hi but I will bring up temps like u mentioned.i am using a digital thermometer in the tanks and am not feeding him any food bigger than the space between his eyes. He has not pooped again today and I have given him the lactulose and baytril, not twice but once a day. I bath him twice a day and will continue adding pedalyte to the water but should I continue with the calcium as crickets are gut loaded and I add to greens. I have to add all Medicine to his crickets as I am unable to open his mouth as his head is smaller than my thumb. I have tried rubbing his belly gently in bath as well and I currently exercise his legs three times a day as they are not being used. He is black stripes underneath, but both new dragons look so different than my other guy that just passed. I have not seen either without these markings even when they are sleeping, so I am assuming he is not black as my other beardie that passed would go all black when mad or sick. He is not lethargic and will run on the floor when I let him go and does move around his tank.what is really worrying me is not going to bathroom and having to give him the lactulose as it is hard on him as it was on my beardie that passed. I hope he goes bathroom by tomorrow as he has only peed once in three days. I know the pee and pooh is connected but why is pee coming and not pooh? Any info or ideas would be so appreciated. What do you think his course of treatment should be. I read an injection of antibiotics into area of sore or trying other medication? Is the baytril the best for this? Thanks so much for taking time to respond.

Hello Valerie,

I am sorry you lost your dragon, Allen, it is so difficult to lose one.
The Solar Glo 160 watt MVB is actually pretty good so using the reptisun 10 tube bulb along with it will make a nice overall spectrum.  Be sure to have the tube bulb 8-10 inches from him so the UVB is well distributed between the two.  How far do you have the Solar glo light from him, since  he can't climb well?
Do you have any pictures of him to upload?
What are the temperatures measured with the digital probe again?  Overall you are using 260 watts in the tank, then the ceramic heat emitter at night?  How large is his tank?
If he hasn't had enough to eat then he will most likely only have urates to excrete.  Have you tried using chicken or turkey baby food for him?  You can get a plastic syringe or dropper to drip onto his nose to see if he will lick that off.  You can also try giving sugar free applesauce or canned pumpkin with a drop or two of olive or mineral oil to help if impacted, too.
The baytril should be pretty effective for the infection.  Injections are hard on the tiny dragons, too.  Is the cream helping out?  You should start to see improvement in a week or less with the baytril.
It doesn't sound like it would be metabolic bone disease then, using that light & calcium right now.  Does the wound seem to be hurting him any, that could cause some pain in which he may not want to move much.
His beard isn't black though?  That is a great sign!
Let me know how Sam is doing.



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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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