How to Prevent Tail Rot in Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons should shed their skin completely and easily.
Bearded dragons should shed their skin completely and easily. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Bearded dragons are reptiles kept as pets and due to their hardy nature and docile temperaments. Though healthy on the whole, they are prone to tail rot, a condition where not enough oxygen or moisture gets to the bearded dragon’s tail tip. This condition is often caused by poor skin shedding. It can make the bearded dragon’s tail drop off if left untreated.

Recognize the signs of tail rot, which include lethargy and a refusal to eat. The tail tip also darkens when tail rot is present, though this may simply mean that the lizard is close to shedding.

Remove anything from the bearded dragon’s enclosure that might fall on it. Tail rot can result from the trauma of having the tail hit by a falling object, and removing any unstable or precarious tank ornaments ensures the lizard’s safety.

Place a large heavy bowl in the bearded dragon’s enclosure and refill it daily with water. The bowl should be large enough for the lizard to soak in. Increased humidity in the tank allows the lizard to shed more easily. Sometimes, tail rot occurs due to incomplete sheds.

Inspect the bearded dragon’s tail on a regular basis. If you notice that there is some skin that is not shedding, pull it away gently. If the skin does not pull away with gentle pressure, wash the affected body part in warm water for a few minutes before drying again.

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