Atadenovirus (ADV)

Atadenovirus, also known as “adenovirus,” “stargazing,” and “wasting disease,” is a highly contagious disease especially common in bearded dragons.

Bearded dragon atadenovirus ADV

Baby bearded dragon stargazing as a symptom of ADV


  • underweight
  • stunted growth
  • lethargy
  • diarrhea
  • weak immune system
  • susceptible to parasites
  • susceptible to illness
  • neurological problems (stargazing, seizures, twitching, rolling)
  • no symptoms (carrier)


  • direct or indirect contact with an infected dragon


Like a reptile version of AIDS, atadenovirus has no cure. If you suspect your dragon may have it, ask your vet to run some tests. If s/he comes up positive, treatment will be based on addressing issues as they come, and keeping him/her relatively comfortable for the rest of your life. This may involve frequent check-ups, frequent deworming, daily soaking, assist-feeding, and eventual euthanasia.


  • If you have more than one bearded dragon and one is infected, test all of them.
  • House and bathe bearded dragons separately.
  • Wash hands thoroughly between handling each dragon.
  • Disinfect enclosures weekly.
  • Never reuse uneaten salad.
  • Do not share supplies.
  • Do not get more bearded dragons.

For more information on treated and handling bearded dragon atadenovirus, visit this post from Sarah’s Bearded Dragon Rescue.

Source: Reptiles Magazine

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