Respiratory Infection

Bearded dragon with respiratory infection

Due to excess mucus secretion, bearded dragons may develop plugs in their nostrils (shown).

Symptoms:

  • gaping for no apparent reason
  • breathing difficulties
  • puffing up body/throat
  • excess mucus around mouth & nostrils
  • appetite loss
  • lethargy

Cause:

Respiratory infections are rare in bearded dragons, but they are most often caused by poor habitat conditions. Temps under 80 (even at night), high humidity, and stress from poor habitat setup are common causes.

Treatment:

Check your habitat. Temperatures need to be above 80 during the day and night, and the basking temperature should be between 100 and 105. Then check your humidity to make sure things aren’t getting too wet. You may have to remove the beardie’s water bowl and start soaking. If you’re misting, stop.

If these measures don’t let your dragon’s immune system fight off the infection on its own, make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as you can. S/he will prescribe an antibiotic that should clear up the infection in about 2 weeks.