Keeping a pet at home is equal to bringing up a baby. Among bearded dragons, this problem of uneasy breathing is called upper respiratory infection, or URI. These small creatures get severely affected by this disease and sometime it becomes serious issue.
Understanding the symptom:
As bearded dragons are not very reciprocating and expressive animal, you need to understand the issues it is facing from the behavior. Even if it has caught a cold, you will not notice it at the beginning. So the symptoms will be like, losing the appetite or sneezing.
- Decrease in their food intake is one of the most common symptoms which can be seen in case of any physical discomfort. So when you see it is taking lesser food than regular, be alarmed and start observing other behaviors to understand what is wrong with this small creature.
- If you carefully notice you may find it making a wheezing sound which is a proof that something is wrong with it. Also it can snort while sleeping during this time. You may find that the bearded dragon has grown black beard for a day. Or there can be bubble or string of mucus at the side of its mouth.
What can be the causes:
Respiratory problem is one of the common issues with bearded dragons. Bacteria cause this infection when the moisture in the weather is too much. There can be various other reasons which are described below.
- The bearded dragon originates from Australian desert, which means these are accommodated with hot weather. Also very dry weather is suitable for them.
- Naturally they love to bask under the sunlight or UV light as offered in their enclosure. The dry and hot climate should be maintained within the enclosure as well to keep the dragons healthy.
- Incorrect temperature setting or the insufficient heating can cause those issues. However, temperature and humidity are two correlated factors. If the temperature drops by one degree the humidity will rise. The moisture in the air may cause bacterial infection in the respiratory system of the bearded dragon.
- Using substrate like bark of trees or mulch can be dangerous. Impaction caused by the bark will retain the humidity and it will result in breathing trouble of bearded dragon.
Bathing the dragon once in a while is good and they enjoy it too. If the water level is too high, and the dragon breathes into the water, then lungs get hold of the moisture from where the bacterial infection starts.
How to treat if Bearded Dragon struggle to Breathe:
Going to vet when the issue is serious, is the best option. You should not ignore the problem as it can take a fatal turn. Veterinary doctors often suggest antibiotics which are much effective. Also using a dehumidifier helps a lot. You can use it to decrease the humidity level of the terrarium, which will initiate the healing process.
Heat emitter you use in the terrarium should be fixed in two or three degree higher than usual. The excess moisture will be dried up due to the extra heat. Maintain at least 95 degree of temperature for the mature dragons and 105 degree Fahrenheit for the baby dragons at the basking area of the enclosure.
When you are keeping a small and fragile reptile like bearded dragon as a pet, you need to be extra cautious regarding various parameters. Monitoring it closely and observing its habits and behavior will help you to diagnose the problem at an early stage, and you can treat it well.