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Reptiles/Chinese Water Dragon opens mouth a lot


My CWD opens his mouth ever so often. He does this both in and out of his cage and it doesnít seam to be in aggression. He is 2-3 months old. Iíve read about respiratory infections but he doesnít wheeze while he does it and he still eats normally . He does it for a few seconds probably 15 times a day.... Is this normal?

Hello Jenna,

Actually, that is a pretty normal behavior from most reptiles/lizards when basking.  He could be thermoregulating & controlling his body temperature by opening/closing his mouth to cool off.   
Can you review your tank setup with me, such as the type/brand of UVB lighting, (compact/coil or long tube bulb), the temperatures & what type of thermometer you use to measure them with, as well as the humidity, substrate & supplementation?  
Do you have any pictures of him I could see also, as well as him along with your tank setup too?  That would help, so I could see if anything was amiss in the tank.
What do you feed him also?

Let me know how he 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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