Can Bearded Dragons Throw Up: Causes of Throwing Up in Bearded Dragons and How to Deal With It
Yes, bearded dragons can vomit or throw up. Vomiting is an involuntary reflex when the stomach contents are forcefully expelled through the mouth. There are several reasons why a bearded dragon may vomit, including dehydration, impaction, parasites, and gastrointestinal issues. Therefore, it is important for owners to be aware of the signs of vomiting in their pets and to take appropriate action to ensure their health.
Causes of Vomiting in Bearded Dragons
Ingesting Inedible Objects
One of the most common reasons for vomiting in bearded dragons is ingesting inedible objects such as rocks, substrate, or sand. These objects can cause impaction, a condition where the digestive system becomes blocked, leading to vomiting. To prevent this, provide a clean and safe environment for your bearded dragon and avoid using the loose substrate as bedding.
Overfeeding your bearded dragon can also lead to vomiting. Bearded dragons have small stomachs, and overeating can cause digestive problems. Therefore, it is important to feed your bearded dragon the right amount of food based on size and age. A balanced diet that includes vegetables, fruits, and insects is essential for their health.
Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety can also cause vomiting in bearded dragons. Loud noises, sudden movements, and environmental changes can stress them out. Make sure to provide a quiet and comfortable environment for your bearded dragon. Avoid handling them too much or introducing new pets into their space.
Disease and Infection
Vomiting can also be a symptom of a disease or infection in bearded dragons. Parasitic infections like coccidia can cause vomiting and other digestive problems. Respiratory infections and metabolic bone disease can also cause vomiting. If you suspect your bearded dragon is sick, immediately take them to a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.
Symptoms of Vomiting in Bearded Dragons
Bearded dragons are generally healthy animals but can become ill or occasionally experience digestive issues. Vomiting is one of the most common symptoms owners may notice in their bearded dragons. Here are some of the symptoms that may indicate that your bearded dragon is vomiting:
- Jerky head movements while flinging vomit
- Reduced appetite
- Weight loss
- Lethargy or lack of energy
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
It is important to note that vomiting in bearded dragons can be caused by various factors, so paying attention to the other symptoms your pet may be experiencing is essential. For example, if your bearded dragon is vomiting and has diarrhea, it may suffer from a bacterial or parasitic infection. However, if your pet is vomiting and has a reduced appetite, it may be due to impaction or blockage in its digestive system.
Owners should also know that some bearded dragons may vomit due to stress or anxiety. This can occur if the bearded dragon is in a new environment, is handled too much, or is exposed to loud noises or other stressful stimuli. If you suspect your bearded dragon is vomiting due to stress, creating a calm and quiet environment for your pet is important.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your bearded dragon, it is important to consult with a veterinarian who specializes in reptile care. They can help diagnose the underlying cause of the vomiting and recommend appropriate treatment options to help your pet feel better.
Treatment for Vomiting in Bearded Dragons
There are a few things that you can do at home to help your bearded dragon when it is vomiting:
- Remove all food from the enclosure for at least 24 hours. This will give your bearded dragon’s digestive system a chance to rest and recover.
- Make sure that your bearded dragon is well-hydrated. Offer water in a shallow dish or use a syringe to give water orally.
- Give your bearded dragon a warm bath. This can help to stimulate its digestive system and encourage it to pass any blockages.
- Monitor your bearded dragon closely and keep it warm and comfortable.
If your bearded dragon is frequently vomiting or showing other signs of illness, it is important to seek veterinary care. A veterinarian can diagnose the underlying cause of the vomiting and provide appropriate treatment.
The veterinarian may perform a physical exam, take a fecal sample, and order blood tests to help diagnose the problem. Treatment may include medication, fluid therapy, and changes to the diet or environment.
Following the veterinarian’s instructions carefully and monitoring your bearded dragon closely during and after treatment is important.
Prevention of Vomiting in Bearded Dragons
Bearded dragons are generally hardy creatures but can still fall ill and vomit. Various factors, including improper diet, unsanitary living conditions, and stress, can cause vomiting in bearded dragons. However, you can take steps to prevent vomiting in your bearded dragon.
Maintaining a proper diet is one of the most important factors in preventing vomiting in bearded dragons. Bearded dragons are omnivores and require a balanced diet of insects and vegetables. A diet that is too high in protein can cause digestive issues and lead to vomiting.
On the other hand, a diet that is too low in protein can cause malnutrition and other health issues. Therefore, providing your bearded dragon with various insects and vegetables is important to ensure they get all the necessary nutrients. Also, feed them appropriately sized prey and cut up vegetables to prevent choking.
Another important factor in preventing vomiting in bearded dragons is maintaining a clean and sanitary environment. According to VCA Canada Animal Hospital, bearded dragons are susceptible to bacterial and parasitic infections, which can cause vomiting and other health issues.
Make sure to clean your bearded dragon’s enclosure regularly, including its food and water dishes. I suggest using a reptile-safe disinfectant to clean the enclosure and any accessories. Also, provide a basking spot and a cooler area in the enclosure to allow your bearded dragon to regulate their body temperature.
Stress can also be a factor in vomiting in bearded dragons. Bearded dragons can become stressed from various factors, including overcrowding, loud noises, and handling. To reduce stress in your bearded dragon, make sure to provide them with a spacious enclosure and limit handling to a minimum. Also, keep their enclosure in a quiet area away from loud noises.