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Reptiles/Bearded Dragon Wart/Mole/Skin Tag



Hi Mick. Thank you for taking the time to answer my question.

I have a very old bearded dragon. I don't know his exact age as he was found abandoned in a car park. I keep him in a 4ft long, 2ft deep, 3ft high vivarium on repti-carpet. I kept him on coco bark originally but he is very clumsy and would get stuck and find it difficult to move around through the substrate.

His humidity is at 30-40% and I bath him a couple of times a week as his skin gets very dry. Ambient temperature is 35 degrees celcius with the cooler side at 29-30 and the basking spot at 45. I maintain this with a Exo-Terra 100w halogen basking spot bulb pluged into a thermostat. He also has a 15% UVB coil bulb on from 6am - 6pm (also Exo Terra). At night, I lower his temperatures with a night heat lamp instead of his basking bulb. This is a 100w Moon light lamp by Exo Terra. It reduces his temperatures by 12 degrees.

I took him to the vet only once when I first adopted him. He had a stool sample which came back fine, and the vet was happy with his health but believed he was very old.

It's very difficult to feed him. When he first came home, he wouldn't eat anything for weeks. He's been living with me for a year now and refuses to eat everything but an occasional vitamin covered pinkie mouse, calci-worms, butter worms, wax worms and fruit grubs. He won't eat any vegetables or fruit so I gutload everything he eats with fruit and veg, and cover them in a range of supplements such as Komodo insect dusting powder, Medivet reptivite and Prorep calci dusting powder. I feed him everyday as he doesn't eat in large quantities. Sometimes I feed him twice a day when he's being especially stubborn. He often refuses food for weeks at a time so I syringe feed him Vetark Critical Care Formula.

Last time he ate was this morning and it was a small pinkie mouse with prorep calci powder. He has fresh water provided in a water bowl with calcium. I also use the Zoo Med Big Dripper to ensure he's drinking often. He defecates two - three times a day and it looks healthy and normal. I don't know if he was captive bred or wild caught due to the circumstances that he came to me.
He hasn't shed since I've had him (around 10 months) but I believe this is due to his age. He also lives alone.

The query I have is the dark bump he has on his chin. He's had it since he came to live with me and it doesn't bother him at all. I have always put it down to his age but cannot find anything like it after hours of researching online.
It doesn't bother him at all. I can touch it easily. It is leathery and hard and attached to the underneath skin. On the other side of his chin is a very small one.
I woke up this morning to find that the 'wart' has grown substantially in size and is sticking out from his chin a lot more. I'd really like to know what the mass is and if it's going to effect his health at all.

Thank you for your time!
Best wishes,

Thank you for your attention to details in providing the background info.

Can you obtain better photos than these? The quality of the camera is not that great and I need better lighting and focus.

I will also need a photo of his entire body and one of the feces if available.

My concern is this could be anything from a granuloma to possibly cancer. Had he any injury in that area or the oral cavity at any time? Is he ever fed live rodents or any live insects such as crickets that remain in his terrarium?

The UVB provided is inadequate. Compact and coil lamps are inferior and inadequate for this desert species and just a waste of money. I recommend a mercury vapor lamp such as a ZooMed PowerSun or something from the Arcadia brand line of T5 HO tubes. Arcadia is a UK brand.

You may be over supplementing. Does the calcium you are giving contain D3?

The may be a couple of reasons for his feeding habits, but it may be health related or it could certainly lead to health problems. Especially if he is of advanced age, all that animal protein is not good for him. It could lead to premature kidney failure. He really should be moved toward a more vegetarian diet. He likely has nutritional deficiencies and it will be healthier for him. You will simply have to withhold certain food and keep offering more of what he should be eating. He will eat rather than starve himself but he has been conditioned that if he holds out long enough he will get what he wants. I took an older female into rescue earlier this year who would only eat invertebrates from a set of forceps. She had no idea what a bowl was used for or that fruit and vegetables were food items. It only took a few weeks and she began eating everything that was being put in her bowl. She did have a smaller male companion already at the rescue whom she observed and she became interested in what he was eating.  


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YOU WILL GET A REJECTION OF YOUR QUESTION IF YOU FAIL TO FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS TO QUESTIONER IN FULL!. I am primarily here to assist with health concerns. I am here for the more difficult questions. Not for questions that you could research & easily find the answer yourself. My standards are that you provide DETAILED and RELEVANT background history on your pet before you ask me any question about it other than GENDER or ID. The requested information is in the instructions to questioner. Failure to answer each of those questions to provide that background, will result in your question being rejected. I can answer questions related reptile husbandry, identification (esp. in Texas and the SW), legal aspects, and advanced level medical care. I am the director of Wichita Falls Reptile Rescue (TX), a wildlife rehabilitator specializing in reptiles, a founding member of The Society for Horned Lizard Preservation, a subscriber to the International Veterinary Information Service,, educational content contributor to, and a Dept of State Health Services accredited animal control instructor (CE) for reptile handling. I do most of my own veterinary care in-house, including minor surgery and necropsy. I am most experienced in Chelonia with box turtles and common smaller tortoises; and in Squamata with everything from Anoles, Geckos, Beardies, and Monitors, to venomous snakes. I am most known for my expertise with horned lizards (Phrynosoma). With snakes, my primary expertise is in Crotalids (rattlesnakes), but I can answer a broad range of questions about various species. I am not aware of any reptile related question that I would not be able to provide some reasonable answer for. I have a direct style and may tell you something you did not want to hear; but the welfare of the animal comes FIRST with me, and I will always reflect that position in my answer, despite how it might make you feel.


I am a non-academic herpetologist with 25+ years reptile experience, and I am an accredited Texas Dept of State Health Services Animal Control Instructor for Reptiles (CE). I am a reptile rescuer, reptile wildlife rehabilitator, and subscriber to the International Veterinary Information Service, wikivet, and article/journal content contributor to Lafebervet. I have medical and scientific resources available, and I perform in house reptile veterinary care for my rescues. I am not a vet, but I read from the same materials and have had to correct quite a few in the past. The average vet is not well versed with reptile physiology and medical treatments.

Animals that I am currently caring for, or have significant rehabilitation and husbandry experience with: Horned Lizards (5 species); Eastern and Western Box Turtles; Painted, RES, YBS, Soft-Shell, and Cooter aquatic turtles; Russian Tortoises; Fire Bellied Toads; Fire Bellied Newts; Ornate Horned Frogs; Green Iguanas; Desert Iguanas; Spiny Lizards; Long Nosed Leopard Lizards; Anoles; Racerunners; Collared Lizards; Bullsnakes; Eastern Ratsnakes; Great Plains Ratsnakes; Kingsnakes; Gartersnakes; Cornsnakes; Boas; Pythons; Bearded Dragons; Water Dragons; Massasauga Rattlesnakes; Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes; Leopard, Mediterranean, Golden, Indo-Pacific, African White-Spotted Geckos; Savannah Monitors; Jeweled Curly-Tailed Lizards; Long-Tailed Grass Lizards; Fox Squirrels; Deer Mice; Hispid Cotton Rats; Merriam's Pocket Mice; Eastern Cotton-Tails; Blue Bar racing pigeon; Budgies; Asian Forest Scorpions.


Co-Founder & Director: Wichita Falls Reptile Rescue

Founder: The Society for Horned Lizard Preservation

Publications contributor. The Horned Lizard Husbandry Manual - self published 75 pages of care information on genus Phrynosoma.

Wikipedia entry "Horned Lizards" - contributed to a majority of the content., and various reptile related forums and email lists under the handles "fireside3" and PhrynosomaTexas".

My hands-on field, rehabilitation, and captive husbandry experience beats a PhD any day of the week. I am also a state accredited animal control instructor for reptile handling.

Past/Present Clients

I was requested to provide my care manual on the Desert Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma platyrhinos), for the Montreal zoo. My manual is also used by several other zoological institutions in N. America. I also teach reptile education to summer camps, and instruct wildlife rehabilitators on live saving and rehab techniques with reptiles.

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