QUESTION: Hello. Last night, I noticed my male bearded dragon Alduin was limping on his front right leg. He was laying on my girlfriend's chest for a little bit and fell asleep. When we put him back in his tank, we saw that he was limping. Today he is still limping, and we don't know what to do. He's eating normally and is still very very active and warm, but we're not sure what happened to his arm. There is no exotic vet near us, and we don't have much money. We love our baby, and we really want to make sure he is okay. Any idea what could be wrong?

ANSWER: Hello Victoria,

He looks good, overall.  How old is he?
I didn't see any swelling on the picture, have you noticed any?
Can you review your tank setup with me, such as the type & brand of UVB, supplementation & temperatures?  How old is the UVB that you have?
It sounds like he could have hurt himself while out roaming around.  Did he jump off of something & land wrong?  
Alduin is a great name, too.  You can give him a nice warm bath, daily to help with any pain or discomfort he may be feeling.    
It is a good sign he is still eating & basking also.  Let me know how he is doing.


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

QUESTION: We got him as a baby just a little over one year ago. Aldi is still limping, but also still running around. His UVB is a little bit old, but seems to still be working. We're planning on getting a new UVB (Reptisun) and heat lamp very soon, though. The temperatures are usually in the 80s-90s, and he seems so comfortable when he basks. We have a rock hiding hole that he sits on all the time under his lamps, and I've noticed he likes to leap off of it instead of climbing down. He also has a tendency to lay really close to the glass of his tank and it squishes that one arm. Aldi likes to lay in really weird positions with his arms and legs shoved behind him. We gave him warm baths and he was swimming around and got a little better. My girlfriend massaged his arm as well, and he also got a little better. It seems to get worse when he isn't moving, but it gets a little better the more he moves around. I don't know what he did, but I don't want him in pain.

Hello Victoria,

Aldi is a cute name & he does look good there!  
Even though the UVB tube bulb appears to work, after about a 6 month time frame, the UVB emissions do degrade & do not put out enough quality emissions for him.  
You are using the Reptisun 10 tube bulb, correct?
Be sure it is 6-8 inches from him without screen or plastic in between him & the light for maximum exposure.  It should be mounted alongside of the basking light also, to protect his eyes.
Since he is an adult, he still does need calcium at least 3 times per week either on his greens or on his insects.
It sounds like he strained it by laying the wrong way for too long or by jumping or falling off of something & hurting himself.  
A daily bath may help out along with a quick massage too. His beard didn't look dark, is it a normal color?  If it gets dark then he may be in pain, but if it isn't then it probably isn't hurting him too much.
If you want to give a supplement to help with pain management & or swelling, etc I sell silkworm enzyme called Serrapeptase in liquid form which helps out a lot for them.
The basking temperatures should run in a range of 95-110 with a cooler area/end of around 78-82 for him.

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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