Bearded Dragon - Mouth and Tail Rot

This article will explain everything you need to know about tail and mouth rot, including causes, symptoms, and treatment.

Mouth Rot

This is a bacterial infection that affects the gums and mouth of a bearded dragon. This is caused by unsanitary conditions and low temperatures.

What are the Symptoms?

Lack of appetite

Inside or outside of the mouth is discolored or blackened. It can also be a white/yellow substance in the mouth tissue.

Advance mouth rot symptoms are a swollen mouth, loose teeth, and restlessness.

How Do I Treat It?


Treatment consists of various antibiotics, ointments, and instructions on how to clean the rot. Treatment will be determined by the severity of the mouth rot and the stage of the infection. It is not advisable to treat this by yourself since it can spread quickly and even cause death.

Special care will be required regarding cleaning the rot and your beardie will most likely need to follow a special diet. Only a vet can determine the best treatment.

Bearded dragon mouth rot

Tail Rot


The tip of the tail will start to harden, eventually turning a dark brown to black color as it spreads. The tail will also shrivel up, almost like plastic, that has been placed on a hot surface.

Causes of Tail Rot

It is caused mostly by tail trauma, stuck shed, or humidity levels that are too low.

Tail trauma – When the tail was bitten by another dragon or injured. An infection will build up and cause the tail to rot. Injuries should always be treated with a weak Betadine solution and antibiotics. An ointment prescribed by a vet should be applied.

Stuck shed – Multiple sheds on the tip of the tail that did not come off will cut off the circulation in the tail. It will result in a thick dark-colored tissue that will turn hard.

Humidity – Although a dragon should have much lower humidity levels than many other reptiles (around 30 -40%), too low is not good since it will dry out the tip of the tail and lead to tail rot. If the humidity is too low (below 30%), try misting the cage until levels rise.


Tail rot will work its way up to the body if left untreated and infect other parts of the body. It can be deadly if not treated. Seek veterinary care ASAP to have the issue resolved. Amputation might be required and the safest if the tissue has completely died.

Bearded dragon tail rot

Upon waiting for a vet visit, you can bathe your bearded dragon frequently and scrub the infected part gently with a soft toothbrush. After the bath, apply F10 antiseptic ointment to the entire affected area. After amputation, the tail should be cleaned twice a day. It can be done by soaking the wound in a Lukewarm Betadine solution (Betadine mixed with boiled and cooled water. Solution should be the color of tee) for at least 15 minutes at a time. A reptile antiseptic ointment should be applied straight after. Antibiotics will also be prescribed to fight off any infections. Continue cleaning until the wound has dried out completely and formed a hardened layer of pre-skin.

Bearded dragon tail rot

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