All those who keep reptiles at home should have some basic knowledge about these animal diseases. Since reptiles may not show symptoms of their disease until these are advanced enough as to make it almost impossible to fight them, it is essential to know to see the first symptoms, identify them and (if possible) apply the corresponding treatment. Some of the most common illnesses can be treated perfectly at home; for others, will have to resort to the veterinarian. Anyway, please note that when a disease becomes evident it is likely that the animal either completely unrecoverable.
Since almost all bearded dragons that they commercialize today they were born in captivity, it is very unlikely that we find parasites in them. If they are parasites, chances are that they have acquired them from other terrarium animals. We will distinguish two large groups of parasites: (external) external and internal parasites (internal).
Most common ectoparasites include ticks and mites. Ticks can measure up to 6mm, but when they are attached to the guest and the blood-sucking can grow to the size of a grain of grape. Through its powerful mouth tongs can be virtually anywhere in the body of the lizards. There are different ways to remove ticks. If we pour a drop of oil on the tick, it can not breathe and will be released by itself, so we can remove it easily. Another method is to use alcohol. This makes your mouth tongs to relax and that we can remove them easily with pliers. Retailer is also possible to buy specially designed commercial products to remove ticks of the reptiles. To use them just follow their instructions to the letter, or follow the advice of the staff of the shop.
Mites are fighting otherwise. To begin with, generally only we realize your presence when since they have multiplied in large quantities, which happens with remarkable speed. They usually appear in the folds of the skin of snakes and lizards, so we will find them usually in the armpits, the ear openings, and the cloacal opening. Mites that typically infest reptiles are colored grey and very small (approximately of the same size as a grain of salt). When the mites feed on blood, they acquire a reddish brown color. Frequent is that we only detect the presence of mites to find them dead in the water or container by appearance of their droppings (white powder) between the scales of the affected animal. If an animal in the terrarium has mites, the best is to treat all the other animals of the same terrarium as if they were also infected.
Mites can be difficult to remove. No method is completely effective, and it is likely to be necessary to repeat the treatment several times. Animals are treated at the same time will have to thoroughly disinfect the terrarium. To do so will have to replace the substrate by a new one, bathing all the elements of the terrarium in bleach for at least an hour, wash the proper terrarium with bleach and leaving this Act hard an hour and, finally, rinse with clean water and allow to dry completely before reinstalling the animals. During the treatment against mites is worthwhile employing some very cheap and easy to replace substrate (paper newspaper or sawdust), as it will be necessary to change it frequently. When you are completely sure that mites have disappeared completely can again use their preferred substrate. It is recommended to isolate animals infested in a room in which there are no other terrarium with reptiles. It is also important that you wash thoroughly hands after handling any animal infested. This will prevent that mites can pass to other animals.
To treat the lizards infested several methods can be used. Specialty stores sell specific products against these parasites. Just follow the instructions that accompany them, but taking into account that an overdose could be fatal for animals. You can also use an anti-parasitic paper strip impregnated with dichlorovinyl dimethyl diphosphate. Put a strip of one centimeter in length in a small container with holes that allow exit fumes while animals may come into contact with the Strip; a cardboard box or a saltcellar are more than sufficient. Place this container in the terrarium and do not forget to remove the dish water during treatment. Let the insecticide two days in the terrarium and then replace the container with water for three days. Repeat this process for 15 days (three treatments). After this time the mites must have gone, but we should examine animals for a couple of weeks more to be sure that they are completely free of parasites.
If does not like using chemicals, try remove mites based washing their lizards. Hold the bearded dragon under a water faucet running (warm, naturally) and rub gently with your fingers. The terrarium should be disinfected with a bleach solution. This method is not the most secure, and often necessary to repeat several times to remove all the dust mites.
Endoparasites are not so frequent, but are more severe. Among them we find the cestodes, nematodes, amoebas, and many others. The only way to make an accurate diagnosis is to take a sample of feces to the vet to have it scan them. The most common symptoms include lack of appetite, vomiting, sunken eyes, lack of muscle tone, and watery stools.
These symptoms are the same as those of some bacterial infections, so it is necessary to use a professional immediately.
Other infectionsIt is not often that the healthy bearded dragons from getting infections caused by bacteria or fungi. Healthy individuals rarely get infections, but they can make their appearance on individuals who live in a dirty environment or which are subject to some other kind of stress. It is diseases that might be fatal and which should be treated by a veterinarian. Symptoms of infections of the digestive tract are the same as the endoparasites, but also tend to appear bloody stools. Animals with respiratory infections tend to expel mucus through the nostrils, have Gummy eyes, are inactive and, in more serious cases, breathe making a characteristic noise.
Mouth rot is a quite frequent and particularly unpleasant infection. As its name suggests, is an infection that affects the tissues of the mouth and gums and which is often caused by bacteria and fungi that have been penetrated by any small wound. In the most serious cases it may even affect the jaw. The most common symptoms are a drainage from gums or jaw, animal refuses to eat, it bleeds into the inside of the mouth and appears a thick, purulent substance inside the oral cavity. Mouth rot can become very serious, and it's necessary to resort immediately to the veterinarian. While you wait for the vet, you can clean the infected area with a stick with cotton wool soaked in hydrogen peroxide, iodine, or a mixture of both products.
RecoveryAlways to appear an infection will have to go to a vet experienced in reptiles, but the amateur can also put something on your part to help the animal recovers. First thing you can do is to raise the temperature of the terrarium until this is between a maximum of 38-40 ° C and a minimum of 27 ° C. While the animal is sick you don't want to lower the temperature at night.
The second thing is to slightly increase humidity in the terrarium, especially if the animal does not eat or drink. Often enough with spraying water once a day. The third is to add vitamins and minerals to your diet. Normally just add vitamins to a food every week.
Do not panic if your bearded dragon to eat to be sick, is not worrisome unless fasting continues for more than three or four days and start to notice an obvious lack of weight in the animal. Arrived at this point, if it has not gone even to the vet now is time to do it. Where necessary, this will instruct you on how to proceed to a forced feeding. When lizards will not eat, try to encourage them to drink a drink for athletes with fruit aroma. These drinks are rich in carbohydrates and electrolytes quickly absorbed by the digestive tract.
SalmonellaIn recent times have spread some alarming news about salmonellosis caused by reptiles. It is believed that many reptiles are carriers of Salmonella and other bacteria that are completely harmless for them. However, for humans they are not so harmless. Salmonella can cause serious gastric problems which act in the form of vomiting and diarrhoea. For a healthy adult, it is rare that they are serious infections, but it can be deadly for children, elderly, and people with problems in the immune system.
However, despite what they may say some alarmists, the transmission of diseases from reptiles to people is quite rare and easily avoidable. To prevent salmonellosis just follow strict hygiene standards. Your hands with SOAP and water should always wash after handling animals or any element of the terrarium. Any place that has been in contact with the terrarium or animals must be disinfected thoroughly. Bearded dragons and elements of your terrarium must not be never in contact with places where food (tables of the kitchen, sink, etc.) are handled. If you wash the terrarium and its accessories in the bathtub, then wash with bleach
Finally, if the children handled the reptiles must be monitored closely. They should never touch animals, hands or elements of the terrarium, with the mouth. If you allow children to touch their reptiles Please note that the responsibility is you.
Injuries and first aid
The most common problems of the bearded dragons are the wounds of one kind or another. Most lack of gravity, but it is always better to prevent than cure. The best way to prevent injuries is remove terrarium all stones and branches with sharp edges or spikes, make sure that all elements are stable and not can fall, manipulate the animal safely, and does not allow other domestic animals to come into contact with bearded dragons. If any copy is hurt, we must act according to the severity of the wound.
If you suspect that there may be a fracture there will be obliged to go to the vet. It is the only way to avoid a limb malformation during your healing. In addition, fractures are usually accompanied by a severe shock, so it is urgent to go to the vet.
We can heal small cuts and abrasions easily at home, provided that they are not too deep or bleeding in excess. Clean the wound with hydrogen peroxide or, better still, with Topionic. Either it will be more rub the wound with a little bit of antibiotic ointment or a healing as Blastoestimulina. Check the wound daily, clean, and take care of it until your total healing. If symptoms of infection appear, go to the veterinarian as soon as possible. If the wound has been caused by a clash between two animals, keep them separate.
Wounds untreated, even the smaller ones tend to degenerate into abscesses which appear as rounded up under the skin formations. All abscesses require veterinary intervention. This must make an incision to drain, clean, and suturing the wound. It will also prescribe antibiotics necessary to prevent recurrence of infection or septicemia appear.
Unfortunately, the burns are fairly common in reptiles in captivity. They tend to occur when approaching the animal excessively to a lamp or other heat source. Once again, best to prevent these cases and properly arrange the elements of the terrarium. In case of Burns, it is always best to go to the vet, even if they are of little importance. Burns are infected very easily, so you have to keep them well clean and rub with an antibiotic ointment. A Blastoestimulina sprayer can be used to accelerate his healing also.