Artificial heat sources are mandatory for any bearded dragon enclosure. These desert reptiles live under scorching heat of the sun in their natural habitat, so when you try to imitate the same in their enclosure, you need to put a source of heat.
What can Causes Your Bearded Dragon Burns
The heat emitters often cause them burn due to the extensive temperature or the decrease in humidity. There should always be the process to supply adequate heat in the enclosures but you never know when it becomes harmful for the bearded dragon.
The heated rocks that are inside the enclosure or the heating pads that are under the tank often are the cause of the burning. When the reptile gets closer to the heating source or sits on it, it can get affected.
Ways to Protect Your Bearded Dragon from Burns
Here are some ways to protect your bearded dragon from burns.
Place a wire screen cover
You can place a wire screen cover into the enclosure which will separate the heat source from the dragon. The dragon sometimes tries to reach near the heat source which will be prevented by a good quality mesh screen cover.
When the dragon will not be able to reach closer to the heat emitter, it will not be burnt.
Heat rocks are a cause of burning. The heating element contained by the heat rocks does not regulate itself and thus often the temperature shots high up.
When the dragon tries to sit on it, it burns the hind legs and belly of the creature. As the rock heats up to very high temperature, the burn can be severe.
Use a proper heat lamp
Heat lamps are necessity as we have already mentioned, for the terrariums of bearded dragons. But you can use a proper heat lamp which will give out heat but not be too hot to cause any harm to the reptile. The size and the heat emission power should be compatible with the size of the terrarium.
You can follow the guidelines where the size of the bulb is mentioned along with the size of the terrarium. Also the veterinarian will help you in this aspect.
Check if all the equipments are in perfect condition
Faulty wiring also can be a cause of excessive heat. When a shorted wire is there, the heat emission suddenly rises up.
As there are too many electrical equipments are inside the enclosure, there can be issues with the wires. If the wire is naked, it may shock the bearded dragon or burn it.
So you must check if all the equipments are in perfect condition.
How to treat your Bearded Dragon from Burns
You must give proper care to the burnt part of bearded dragon. When the skin is broken due to the burn, there can be bacterial infection in the affected area. The fungal or bacterial inflammation can be systemic and will cause severe discomfort to the dragon.
It is difficult to gauge how deep is the wound and how many tissues are affected this way, so it is better to take the dragon to the vet once you notice the burn.
After the vet prescribes medicine, you must wash the affected area and then apply the topical medicine or lotion as per the prescription. Sometimes the lotion is to be put to the bathing water, and you have to follow the rules. There are certain antibiotic creams which can be applied after you give the dragon a dose of povidone and iodine soaking.
If the burn is fatal, the dragon may need to be injected with fluid to keep the balance of the liquid in the body. This process should be entirely suggested and followed by the vet so you should trust him on this matter.
Always choose safe methods to keep the enclosure heated. Halogen lights are great in this matter, as it stays heated even after you switch it off. This way you will be saving the power as well as keeping the dragon safe at the nights when there will be no one to watch over its condition. Also use a proper substrate is necessary as it works like buffer and the dragon is not burnt due to the heated surface.