Bearded dragons - Injuries, Wounds and Swollen Limbs

Swollen Limbs or Tail

Swollen tails or limbs could be a sign that it is broken or fractured. This usually happens when your dragon has hurt himself, but can also be caused by MBD (Metabolic bone disease). In addition, bacterial infections could also cause severe swelling.

Unhealthy bearded dragon

Treatment: Get your beardie to the vet ASAP for an x-ray and treatment, do not attempt to fix it yourself!


Damaged or Bloody Snout

This is caused by “snout rubbing” or “Glass Surfing” and happens when your dragon is kept in an enclosure that is too small. Beardies will try to “escape” the small space and thus rub their snout until it is raw. In addition, some beardies will still rub their snout even when in a bigger cage as a sign that they want to get out to go stretch their legs, want some attention, want to get to something outside the cage, or if something inside the cage is stressing them out.


Wounds and Injuries from Fights

Wounds should always be treated immediately to avoid an infection. Serious wounds should be looked at by a vet since more advanced treatment might be needed. In my opinion, it would be best to keep them separated and avoid fighting and biting completely, seeing as these wounds can lead to much more serious problems.

How to treat bearded dragon bite injuries?

Use Betadine solution and a clean cloth or cotton pads to gently wash out the entire wound and the area around it. Dry with a separate clean cloth or cotton pad, and then apply an antibacterial ointment such as Dermavet, F10 Germicidal Barrier Ointment, or what has been prescribed by a vet. Do this twice a day, once in the morning, and once in the afternoon. Larger or deeper wounds will have to be seen by a vet, and some antibiotics might be needed to prevent infections, as their mouths carry a few bacteria. If antibiotics are prescribed, remember to give your beardie pro-biotics as well.

Unhealthy bearded dragon


Keep Note - This process must be followed, even if the bite did not draw blood, as bacteria are still left behind on the wound, and thus infection is possible.


How do I Treat a Wound?

It should be cleaned with an anti-bacterial solution. If the injury is on the tail, the entire tail can be soaked in the solution for about 20 minutes. If not, the wound should be cleaned with a sterile wipe dipped in the Betadine solution. After soaking/cleaning, an antibacterial ointment should be applied to the wound. This should be repeated twice a day, or as the vet prescribed.

Unhealthy bearded dragon

These ointments can be purchased at almost any veterinary clinic and it is always a good idea to keep some on hand just in case your bearded dragon injures itself. If the wound is serious, antibiotics might also be needed to help with recovery. Treating bite wounds or injuries is normally not a costly visit to the vet and it can save you from ending up spending a lot more, dealing with an infected wound.


WARNING!!! If the wound is very deep, quite large, infected (Puss in the wound or discoloration), shows bone, or has affected the bone, ligaments, or muscle, then a Vet should be visited ASAP.


Wounds that do not heal within 7 days call for concern and a vet visit should become a top priority.


How do I make a Betadine Solution?

Boil water and let it cool to room temperature, or use saline. Mix Betadine ointment or drops with the cooled water/saline a little bit at a time, until it is the color of weak tee. Always mix a new batch for every cleaning.

bearded dragon care



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