Common causes of death for bearded dragons can occur, even with a lifespan of fifteen to twenty years in captivity. Even with this long life span, bearded dragons can get an illness or disease that can eventually lead to death. The best way to prevent your bearded dragon from becoming ill is to practice good sanitary habits and make routine veterinarian visits.
There is still a chance of something going wrong, so it’s a good idea to be aware of common causes of death for a bearded dragon. Let’s discuss some of the most common causes of death for bearded dragons.
Metabolic Bone Disease
Bearded dragons need calcium to build strong bones, and without enough of it the skeletal system becomes very brittle. Metabolic Bone Disease can lead to deformed and brittle bones. Death is certain in severe cases.
Make sure to offer your bearded dragon a varied diet supplemented with a good calcium and vitamin D3 powder that is dusted on the food. Rep-Cal Ultrafine Powder Calcium with Vitamin D3 is an excellent supplement that helps prevent Metabolic Bone Disease.
Bearded dragons also need UVA and UVB lighting which helps the bearded dragon synthesize the calcium for strong, healthy bones.
Unfortunately, many bearded dragons kept as pets today end up dying from impaction. Impaction happens when the bearded dragon swallows a foreign object over time that causes a blockage in the digestive tract.
Many times the bearded dragon may go after a food item, such as a cricket, and accidentally swallow some of the substrate. The substrate pieces then become trapped in the digestive system causing a blockage.
Impaction will most likely result in the untimely death of the bearded dragon unless detected early.
The best way to avoid impaction is to not use loose particle substrate. Use Reptile Cage Carpet, newspaper, or ceramic tiles as a safer alternative.
There are a number of possible infections that your bearded dragon could get. They can range from mouth rot to abbesses to inflamed joints. The best way to control infections is to maintain sanitary conditions within the enclosure.
Remove any droppings and left over food pieces as soon as they are discovered, and sterilize the enclosure with Healthy Habitat cleaner at least twice a month or whenever the terrarium becomes smelly.
If your bearded dragon begins showing any signs of an infection seek a veterinarian immediately.
Egg binding, or dystocia, occurs when a gravid female bearded dragon cannot, or will not, lay eggs. This is due mainly because of the lack of a suitable nesting site.
The eggs will become too large to lay if the female does not find a suitable nesting site. This can cause the eggs to become “stuck”. If this goes on for too long it could result in the premature death of the female bearded dragon.
Symptoms of egg binding include swelling around the mid-section of the body, continual, anxious movement, and constant digging.
If you suspect egg binding, supply a suitable nesting site and contact your veterinarian immediately.
Vitamin toxicity occurs when a particular type of vitamin builds up in the bearded dragon’s body to an excessive level. The most common form of vitamin toxicity is from high intakes of vitamin A.
Bearded dragons metabolize vitamin A slowly and high doses can build up in the body. A good alternative is to use supplements that contain beta carotene instead of vitamin A.
Rep-Cal Herptivite with Beta Carotene is a very good vitamin supplement to use that does not contain vitamin A.
Beta carotene is much easier to metabolize into a basic form of Vitamin A. Any unused beta carotene will easily pass through the digestive system and not build up within the body.
Avoid other types of vitamin toxicity by not giving your pet more supplementation than is recommended and offering a balanced diet that includes plenty of leafy greens and a variety of feeder insects.
Common Causes of Death for Bearded Dragons
Following a few simple precautions can keep your pet bearded dragon alive for many years to come. Remember to always take the bearded dragon to a veterinarian for check-ups each year, and keep the habitat sanitary.