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Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11459
Experience:  Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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Bearded dragons arm is swollen and cut. Can not grab on to

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Bearded dragon's arm is swollen and cut. Can not grab on to things but can still move arm. How should I handle this injury?

From your description, it sounds like your beardie's wound has gotten infected. such infections can become life-threatening if the y spread throughout the body. The best thing to do is see a reptile vet. If you don't already have a vet, give me your city (nearest larger town if yours is a small one) and state, and I'll help locate a vet.

In the meantime, the bets first aid is to clean the cut with Betadine (available in pharmacies and discount stores). Follow that with a light application of plain Neosporin. This can be repeated twice a day. These measures are first aid only, and don't replace a visit to the vet.

You mentioned cleaning sand out of the wound, which leads me to believe you may be using sand as a substrate. I realize that pet stores and some web sites recommend sand, but it often leads to impactions when the beardie accidentally ingests some while eating or exploring. The best substrates are solid, such as reptile carpet or ceramic tiles.

If you have more questions, or need help finding a vet, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope the wound will heal quickly.


Anna and 2 other Reptile Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
It is calcium sand, is that still not as good as a solid floor? Also we are near vero beach florida 32967. if you could find a good vet for my bearded dragon i would apprecciate it very much
Yes, calcium sand causes the same problem. I'm looking for a vet for you and will post who I find in a few minutes. In the meantime, you may wantt o look at this care sheet, courtesy of Joan, another of our experts. She has many years experience with beardies.


   * Bearded dragons should be housed alone.

    * Ages of bearded dragons follow these guidelines:

1. 0-3 months- baby
2. 3-12 months-juvenile
3. 12-18 months- sub adult
4. 18 months + -adult

    * Bearded dragons live as much as 10-12 years if well cared for properly.
    * Bearded dragons have a very good temperament as long as they are cared for and handled.
    * When you bring your baby home, it may be quite stressful to him/her to get use to new home. May not eat well the first 2-3 days. They may not need to be handled the first 2-3 days if skittish and nervous.
    * Never use sand or any other type of loose substrate: Loose substrates can cause impaction (not being able to go Poop) in all ages of bearded dragons- they lick their environment to explore .It is difficult to keep germ free and clean. Ceramic tile, newspaper, non adhesive shelf liner and reptile carpet is what is most recommended. Use paper towels for the little one and as they get bigger you can change to something else.
    * Be sure you keep your beardie's home as clean as you can. Clean up by spot cleaning when needed. Clean & sanitize entire tank every 10-14 days. A good cleaning solution is a 20% bleach solution. If you choose to use wood climbing branches etc, these should be soaked in the bleach solution and rinsed well. Then bake in 250 degree oven for 30 minutes.
    * Need a climbing accessory: to bask and to warm up under basking heat light and lower branches or platforms to come down and cool off.
    * A hide of some sort like a cave.
    * A food dish and water dish.
    * Plastic spray bottle
    * Can use artificial plants when they get older- 3 months or so.
    * Digital thermostat and/or temp gun
    * Tank size: Minimal size tank for this age is 20 gallon long
    * Minimal size for older beardie: 4 months of age: 40 gallon breeder is the minimal tank size for older dragon. Can divide a 40 gallon breeder for a smaller dragon.

    * Must have two lights for your beardie.

1. A UVB light source-best is 10.0 Reptisun that runs the length of your tank. Your dragon must have this light to metabolize calcium. It should be replaced every 6 months. If not he will get metabolic bone disease, a serious condition. You can also take your beardie outside to bask in the sun for 15 minutes each day if your temps are 80 degrees or above outside. You can purchase cages or reptariums from your pet store. Never leave a beardie outside unattended.
2. A basking type light that puts out heat and warmth above basking spot. Your beardie must have warmth to digest food & thrive.

    * Lights should be on for 12-14 hours each day. Follow the seasons and light timers are a great luxury if you can get them. 6 dollars at Lowe's. No lights or warmth needed at night unless your temperatures get below 62 degrees. If they do, there are ceramic heat emitters that put out no light, only heat. Use these at night if temperatures fall below 62 degrees.

    * Temperatures have to be kept at the following ranges during the day:

Babies: Warm basking log: 105-115 degrees F
Cool side: 85-90
Adults: Warm basking spot: 100-110
Cool side: 80-85
Measure temperatures with a digital probe type thermometer or a temp gun-these are most accurate. Stick on thermometers unreliable.

    * Feeding a Beardie: Beardies eat live prey consisting of crickets, roaches and/or silkworms. Never feed any size of mice to your beardie. Never feed mealworms. They also must be given greens/veggies everyday. The younger they are the more live prey they should have. As they grow older the live prey decreases and the veggies/greens should be the major part of diet. Never feed anything bigger, than the space between your beardie's eyes. This includes both live prey and pieces of veggies/greens,
    * A chopper or food processor is a huge help when your beardie is small. Always offer greens and veggies: collard greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, cabbage, red cabbage, fresh green beans, yellow summer squash, butternut squash, sweet potato, cactus pad. Apricots, strawberries, apples, blueberries, raspberries, cantaloupe- fruits are treats only.
    * What is live prey? The easiest and less expensive live prey is crickets when you have a young or first beardie. The other live preys you can feed are silkworms, and special types of roaches. You can learn to raise your own live prey. Treats can be waxworms, super worms, and tomato/goliath worms. You may find that ordering live prey from the internet is the way to go..... Never leave live prey or greens/veggies in tank overnight. . Crickets can bite your beardie when sleeping.
    * Babies should get 80% live prey, and 20 % greens/veggies. But since the greens/veggies are a must when they are older, get them eating their greens/veggies very early. Give greens/veggies in small pieces everyday. You should eventually start decreasing your older dragon's protein intake when they are about a year to 15 months old. Their protein intake decreases to 20 % live prey and 80% veggies/greens.
    * A baby the size of yours can eat 50-75 crix a day. Never feed crix or veggies bigger than the space between your beardie's eyes. Use this guide when buying crix or chopping your greens/veggies.
    * You must provide calcium dust without D3 and multivitamin dust for your beardie. You should dust the live prey with calcium one time a day, and vitamins 3 times a week. Just collect your live prey into baggie and add enough calcium and vitamin to dust them. Then pour a few at a time into your tank. Some people feed their beardie in a separate tank so that no crickets can hide. Or some take out "furniture" from tank and feed this way. As they get older, 4-5 months or so dust live prey with calcium 3 times a week.
    * Feed the veggies/ greens 1st thing in morning after lights on for one hour at least. Then after 2-3 hours offer crix. Then freshen green/veggies. Then give more crix. Make sure after last crix feeding there is at least 1-2 hours of lights so that they can digest their food before night time.
    * Water: Mist your little one with the spray bottle 3-4 times a day. You can also offer a small dish of water in your enclosure but be sure your dragon is not too small to drown in it. It is recommended that when your beardie is 2 months old you can bathe your baby in a small plastic container with warm water- not hot. It will help them to stay hydrated. As they get older you can move up to the bathroom sink and then to the bathtub. Very important for bath enclosure to be thoroughly cleaned and rinsed prior to bath time. Clean between dragons too if bathing more than one.

It's not unusual to have to drive an hour or two to get to a reptile vet. Here are the nearest vets I could find for you:

Monique Bollhoefer
Clermont Animal Hospital
Clermont (NNN) NNN-NNNN

Randy Eisel
Brown Vet Clinic
801 Vanderhilt Beach Rd
Naples 33963 (NNN) NNN-NNNN

XXXXX XXXXX Hendrickson
All Birds/Cats/Dogs/Exotics
16764 96th Terr N.
Jupiter 33478

Robert Hess Jr
Winter Park Vet Clinic XXXXX
Winter Park 32789 (NNN) NNN-NNNN

Mark Huff
Coral Vet Clinic
9540 Cypress Lake Dr
Ft Myers 33919 (NNN) NNN-NNNN

Rex Koester
Indialantic Veterinary Clinic XXXXX
Indialantic (NNN) NNN-NNNN

If you need anything else, just let me know.


(If you've found this information helpful, please click once on ACCEPT. Thank you.)
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
thank you, one more question, we have 3 bearded dragons. the one that is hurt is a female and we also have another female that is more then twice her size and a male that is also bigger then her but not by much. Should they all be fine together in the same cage? it is a big cage we built ourselves that is about 80 gallons.
How old are all of your dragons?

How long have they been housed together already?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Orange is the one that is hurt and she is 3,
Stubs is the male and is also 3
And Fatty is the other female and we dont know how old she is maybe 5-6 but i have always had them in the same cage but the first of the 3 years it was divided and the last 2 they have been together. just lately we have noticed that the male and the big female have been closer and Orange the one that is hurt was always off to the side. Could one of the other dragons be responsible for this because we just thought she got stuck behind the waterfall in the cage.
I would at least separate Orange from the others. They could definitely be responsible for the injury. Bearded dragons that are housed together often fight and injuries are common. It's best if all are housed separately.