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Signs That Your Bearded Dragon is Sick

July 15, 2020

Do you have a bearded dragon? These cute little lizards can really make great pets. While reptiles may not be the most charismatic animals, these guys do have their own unique personalities. However, it isn’t always easy to tell how beardies are feeling. This can make it difficult for pet owners to spot signs of illness. A local Greater Cincinnati vet lists some common ones below.

Respiratory Issues

Healthy lizards should breathe quietly and smoothly. If your beardie seems to be wheezing, gasping, or coughing, there may be something going on with him.


Discharge from the eyes, ears, nose, or mouth can also be indications of sickness. Keep an eye out for these things! 

Weight Loss

Rapid weight changes are often a red flag in our animal companions. If your lizard is looking thin or even bony, call your vet.

Eye Issues

Your pet’s eyes should be clear and bright. If he isn’t opening his eyes, or if they seem puffy, bulging, or swollen, you could have a sick lizard on your hands. (It’s worth noting that this can sometimes be associated with shedding, in which case it may self-resolve.)


While beardies aren’t exactly the fastest reptile around, they should be active and engaged. A lizard that seems lethargic or withdrawal may be ill.

Bathroom Issues

Pay attention to your reptilian buddy’s dropping as you are cleaning his cage. Diarrhea, constipation, or changes in the color, texture, or amount of your pet’s waste are all cause for concern. If you see blood in your lizard’s feces, there’s definitely an issue!


Watch for changes in your beardie’s skin. Bumps, lesions, sores, and discoloration can all be indications that something is wrong. Yellow, black, or red spots are also warning signs.

Strange Behavior

Uncharacteristic behavior is also a sign of trouble. Sick beardies may seem weak or grumpy, and they may hide and/or stop basking. Shaking, dizziness, head tilting, and loss of balance are also red flags.

Changes In Condition

Look for changes in your pet’s body composition. If he seems bloated or overweight, there may be something wrong. A prolapsed hemipene that isn’t going down is another cause for concern. Kinks in the tail or back are also signs of trouble.

Please contact us, your Greater Cincinnati vet hospital, for all your pet dragon’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

1404 Old State Route 74
Batavia, OH 45103
(513) 732-1730
Also serving Clermont County, OH and surrounding areas.

***Construction/Detour Update
Old State Route 74 is permanently closed at Hwy Ohio 32. 

Two options to reach us:
1)Turn on Elick and follow detour signs.
2)Turn right on Olive Branch/Stonelick Rd and then left at the light.

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Monday-Friday 9am-6pm
Saturday 9am-12pm

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Voted 2021 Best of the East - Cincy Magazine
Voted 2021 Best of the East - Cincy Magazine