How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Joan Your Own Question
Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 17300
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 20+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
Type Your Reptile Question Here...
Joan is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Does my bearded dragon have tail rot?

This answer was rated:

This is before today. Does my bearded dragon have tail rot? His tail was always a little crooked. But today he shed some of his tail and the tip of his tail is now very dark. 


He is about 3 months old. We have had him for almost a month and we got him from Petco. 


The 1st photo is before today.

The 2nd is the skin he shed today.

The 3rd is his tail today. 


My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am a Vet Tech for 30+ years awith a special interest in Reptiles and Reptile Rescue.

Was the piece of tail that I see in picture two fleshy?

Is the tail darkened and hard?

Can you tell me about your set up?



UVB light? Forescent tube or compact coil, strength and brand?


Temps in basking area, warm side, and cool side of tank?


Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The piece that he shredded was the same as other shredded skin. Not fleshy.

His tail is darkened and hard.

He eats about 20-25 crickets daily. He always has vegetables... Carrots. Sweet potato. Kale. Collard greens. Brussels sprouts. He only just started eating them recently but they are always in his cage.

We use reptile carpet in his cage. He has a UVB light that is on for about 12 hours a day. I think its the zilla brand. It's a florescent tube that goes all across his cage. Not sure the strength? And a heat light on during the day 75 watts I think. That is a zoo med brand.

I trade off supplements. 5 days a week I sprinkle calcium powder on his foot and crickets. 2 days a week I sprinkle a multivitamin powder.

I only have one thermometer it's in the middle towards the bottom. Maybe 6 inches from the bottom and it is regularly at 80-85.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I also just bought Betadine. So I came put that I'm his bath water as well to help heal it. Is that ok? It's didn't spread from yesterday but it was a little harder this morning and a little darker. If this piece fall off what do I do? Should I let him bathe in the Betadine water or just let his tail soak?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Also he has still been very active. Running after crickets and playing in the water. He has still been eating like normal. The only thing is the look of his tail. There are not any other marks on his tail or body as of this morning. Just the tip of his tail.


Thank-you for the information. The middle picture does look like normal shed. I suspect

the tail may have some dry gangrene from the shed that came off constricting the blood flow to the tail. We can try cleaning the tail with a diluted Betadine and water solution to a tea color and clean the tail with it. Do not soak the Dragon in it. Once you clean the tail, apply some Neosporin on it. Clean with the Betadine and water once a day and the Neosporin 4 times a day. This should aid with healing. I do suggest the calcium 5 days a week and the vitamin 2 days a week. If the tail gets worse or it progresses, then a Herp Vet visit may be needed. I can locate one with a State should you need one. Please let me know if you have further questions. Joan

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
How should I clean it with the Betadine. Just a rag wiping the spot? Thanks for your help!


Take a gauze pad and soak it in the solution and wrap the tail for 5 mins. then dry and apply the Neosoprin to the area. Joan

Joan and other Reptile Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
So if it spreads farther go to a bet right? Do you think it will fall off. If so what should I do. Does it look bad to you. I'm worried he won't be ok since it's a little reddish where the black starts. Also is he in pain with this?


If it does spread, then a Herp Vet will start an antibiotic and see if it can be saved. They may decide they have to amputate a part of the tail to stop the spreading. This does happen and it is nothing you have done wrong. I can always locate a Herp Vet should you need one with a State. Joan

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Ok. What if it falls off. Is it painful.


It can be and the Vet at that point will be needed, so the can give some pain medication and suture it off so it does not spread. Right now the treatment you are doing is the best that can be done. Joan

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Ok thank you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I'm sorry I forgot to ask. How long should I do the Betadine and neosporin. His tail looked a little better last night. Still dark and hard but not as red above the dark spot. And it hasn't spread.


Not a problem! The Betadine 2 times a day for 7 days. The Neosporin 4 times a day for 7 days and then we can see how the tail is doing. If it gets worse, then the Herp Vet visit will be needed. I am hoping we caught this early on. I am here for all your Pet Needs. I work with all different animals including Dogs, Cats, Reptiles and small exotic mammals. Joan

Hi Angie,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Swimmer. How is everything going?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Things are going well. His dark tip is still not spreading. And seems to be getting a little better.


How is it supposed to look after the 7 days.




As long as the tail is not red and spreading it may be a bit dark, but the Neosporin should help that. If need be you can syill continue with the Neosporin on a regular basis. Joan

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Swimmers tail just fell off. It was a little red earlier and my mom just checked him. It's too late to get him to a vet. I took everything out of his cage. He just has a paper towel down now and his food dish. It's a little red but it actually looks really good. I put neosporin on it for now. He is acting completely normal. Just a littl confused about his cage being different. I'm going to try and attach a picture of it.


If the tail starts to look bad , suggest having him seen on Friday at a Herp Vet. I would like you to clean with the Betadine and then apply the Neosporin. I do not want this spreading further.Joan

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

For some reason im not able to attach a picture. Betatine tonight? would that hurt it?


Betadine diluted with warm water to clean the area and apply Neosporin. That will not hurt at all. Joan

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

ugh picture won't work. Ok ill do that


You can use and post a link here when it is uploaded. It is a free photo server. Joan

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

ok thanks


this was 2 days ago and it was looking better


this is the piece that just fell off


this is tail now


After seeing the picture of the tail before it fell off, it was necrotic tissue and was to the point of tail rot. It looks clean now, but Swimmer should be on an antibiotic and have a suture or two in the tail to prevent further problems. The Betadine and Neosporin will help until he can be seen, but an antibiotic should help prevent further necrosis. Joan