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Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 18678
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
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My bearded dragon has purple bruise like scales

Resolved Question:

My bearded dragon has purple bruise like scales which are soft to the touch.

Sorry i wrote a whole paragraph but the website has deleted it. 

I'll start again. I first noticed this when i saw shedding from his feet, it appears to be a blood blister looking thing, under a few scales, it seems tender to the touch. The same happened when he shed from the nose, the scales underneath were soft and purple coloured. Shedding is unusual as he is a full grown lizard, and very big for a bearded dragon.

He gets regular calcium and vitamin dusting of his mealworms, but he doesn't drink much. As a precaution against MBD and dehydration i have upped his calcium and have syringed some water into his mouth. I dont thnk it is MBD as his bones are not bendy, he is very active and high energy as well.

The only issue has has had in the past is low circulation in his tail, which the vets are just keeping an eye on, i dont think it has gotten any worse but its certainly not any better either.

can you recommend any treatments, do you know what else this could be?

Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Joan replied 6 years ago.


What type of bedding are you using?

Have you had any blood work done?

Can you post a picture of the areas? Use the paper clip icon if you have a PC or if you have a Mac please use Photobucket and post the link. Joan

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Until recently it was paper, but he really enjoys digging so i have put some reptile sand in there. He loves it but it DOES seem to be staining his feet red (i wonder if the sand is dyed). It is certainly proper reptile sand though.

Last time i went to the vet we had bloodwork done, he just over the normal amount of (i cant remember the name of them) parasites, so the vet prescribed some meds and he was treated for them.

I cant post a picture, all i have is a webcam picture and the resolution isnt enough to define the problem scales.
Expert:  Joan replied 6 years ago.


I can tell you that you need to go back to a solid substrate as the repti Sand and calci sand is very dangerous. This will give you an idea about Sand as a substrate: . I suggest using a solid substrate like tile, cage carpet, slate or paper. Sand can also cause skin problems and cormeal ulcers in the eyes. The sand is sold as a safe edible substrate, but it is not and actually very dangerous along with the other loose substrates.


What you are describing under the scales is Vesicular Dermatitis. It is also known as blister disease. It is usually an infection that is deep seated under the scales. This is a link about the problem:


If the Vet you had seen was not one that sepcializes in Bearded Dragons, I suggest that you see one, as this needs to be treated with antibiotics and may need avitamin supplement to booster the immune system. I am going to give you links for Herp Vets in Australia: As it is going to take a hands on exam to properly diagnose and treat this issue. Joan


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