Bearded dragons have some weird habits and those who are adopting this small reptile for the first time will take time to understand their nature as well as the regular behaviors.
This is a shocking state when you come back from work after a long day and suddenly find the reptile lying still in its cage, which you have seen, moving and alive in the morning. This common situation occurs a few times in the life of every bearded dragon owners, and you can get frustrated and sad.
Playing dead seems such a threatening condition for the owners which they believe to be true. Sometimes it can be some serious issue when the dragon will not feel well and will go under some attack when they seem dead.
- 1 Why does bearded dragon play dead?
- 2 The primal habit
- 3 Is it for fun or is it a serious matter?
- 4 Brumation
- 5 Does bearded dragon stay motionless and stiff when they are actually dead?
- 6 If you are feeling that your bearded dragon is dying, how can you revive that creature?
- 7 How can you differentiate if the dragon is going to go under brumation or is it deceased?
- 8 How can you prevent the condition of playing dead?
Why does bearded dragon play dead?
Sometimes bearded dragon play dead by their will or sometimes they feel sick and act that way. The common psychological cause can be some different and unusual situation, when they are feeling threatened. They are able to hold their breath for a few minutes at a stretch and that is how it looks like they are dead.
Do not panic if you see this situation extended for few minutes as that is the length of period they can hold the breath. You have to wait for some time to see the change in the condition of the bearded dragon as after some moments it will start moving and will act normally.
You can always take the clue from the experienced ones. So in case you have adopted a bearded dragon, do not be shocked to see such a dead like state of your pet one morning or afternoon. Rather get some information and learn about the experience of other bearded dragon owners, which may help you to stay strong in such situation.
Some owners say that their dragons do not like to take bath and act like dead when bath is given to it. This is a normal phenomenon and there is nothing to worry about such situation. If you are closely observing that creature, you may know under which condition it acts that way.
The primal habit
Bearded dragons, when live in the forest, do act sometimes like dead to defend their lives. There are certain big animals in the jungle that live by eating live bearded dragons. So to escape such situation, when they see some predator nearby, they act like dead.
This way they can cheat on the predators as those go away thinking the reptile is dead. So this is a primal habit of the bearded dragons, which they practice in their captive life too.
Is it for fun or is it a serious matter?
Bearded dragons do not act like dead, unless they are feeling sick. So giving it some time to get revived is okay, but along with that you have to be serious about the discomfort that it is feeling while acting dead.
Think of the incidents beforehand and make note of the actions which may have caused that condition. if you are able to make sure which incident of ingredient has caused this situation then try to avoid such things in the future.
If you are unable to gauge which situation has cause such pain, then it may be due to the forthcoming period of brumation.
There are several other symptoms of the bearded dragon which may ensure that the brumation period is advancing and thus it will explain all the odd behavior of this little creature.
Bearded dragon hates to be handled at this period. They lay still and if you poke them with your finger or some object, it will not move much, showing clear indication that it needs to be left alone.
They take longer to get up and will not act as energetic as normal times. If you find the bearded dragon acting that way, you can be sure that the pet is sure to have brumation in some weeks.
Burying itself inside the substrate, pooping and eating lesser are all such symptoms which, along with acting dead, will ensure that the bearded dragons will brumate.
Does bearded dragon stay motionless and stiff when they are actually dead?
If you are worried or not sure that the bearded dragon is dead or playing dead, touch it, and feel its body temperature. If the body heat feels less or the body feels cold, and the muscles of the bearded dragon feels stiff then you can be sure that it has died.
If you are feeling that your bearded dragon is dying, how can you revive that creature?
If your bearded dragon is lying motionless for a long time and breathing but not showing any other sign of life then you need to be serious and call the vet. If you are unable to get the help from vet soon then do some tricks to revive the bearded dragon.
Giving it a bath in lukewarm water sometimes can do the trick. It will feel rejuvenated and if it was tensed and anxious, the strain will be abolished by the bath. Also they can absorb the moisture through their skin and that will compensate the liquid amount in their body, if they are suffering from dehydration.
Also if your dragon is not eating the regular amount of food for some days and one day suddenly it may seem getting weak and motionless, and then make a paste of all the necessary food items like pieces of fruits, some greens that are suitable for it along with a few roaches or cricket. Use a syringe to feed the bearded dragon. A spoonful of food can do wonder if it was feeling weak due to the lack of nutrition.
If nothing works then take the pet to the nearest vet and let him or her decide the condition, along with suggest proper medication to improve the health of your pet.
How can you differentiate if the dragon is going to go under brumation or is it deceased?
This is not a very simple situation to understand. Bearded dragons act more or less similarly during almost all the conditions, so you cannot decide if the dragon is going through some severe pain or is it just normal passing phase of discomfort.
See the movement
Touch the bearded dragon after 10 minutes of seeing it acting dead. If it has died it will be stiff to touch and feel. If it is okay, then it will react to your touch and will start to move.
Change of body color
There will be difference in body color if the bearded dragon has died before 10 minutes. This is a prominent indication if you see the bright natural green or yellow color changes to a paler shade that the bearded dragon has died. If the color is same as it is, then maybe the bearded dragon is feeling sick.
Condition of mucus and scale
If the bearded dragon is sick then you can see the mucus droppings at the side of the mouth. The color of the scale also changes the condition and the eyes become sunken. But if you are finding all other symptoms missing and yet there is the dead phase then it has some other kind of problem or it can be the result of the brumation.
How can you prevent the condition of playing dead?
When keeping a pet, you have to check it once and often. Do not only visit or check it only at the time of feeding or cleaning the terrarium. You have to make sure that the bearded dragon is moving normally in its terrarium or eating the food and playing in the terrarium decoration.
When you see the dragon not acting normally or not eating the food, then you should give it some special attention. Change the diet and make the lighting and heating arrangement of the enclosure alright, as sometimes the machineries do not work properly and that affects the health of the bearded dragon.
Also give it supplements once in a while as that will cure the problem of malnutrition. Some owners prefer to feed greens and fruits to their bearded dragon as that is the natural way to fix the deficiency of the vitamins in their body.
Check if it has been infested with any parasite and if it is having any infection on the skin of their feet or belly. These parts often remain hidden when they are moving normally so you have to check it closely by taking it out of the cage. this way you will be able to treat the problems that can cause the bearded dragon to act dead in the future.