I have a male and a female beardie, they have been together for about 3 years but recently the male has started biting

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Customer: I have a male and a female beardie, they have been together for about 3 years but recently the male has started biting the females eyes to the point that they are both swollen and closed. They have mated successfully in the past so I know how "passionate" they can be. Any suggestions apart from separation
Answered by Yankmedic911 in 4 hours 10 years ago
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Yankmedic911
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172 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Reptile Veterinary, Herp Veterinary, Exotic Animal Medicine, Amphibian Veterinary

Good afternoon. I hope I can provide some expert guidance and advice to help you and your pets. Unfortunately, as you have seen male bearded dragons can be very territorial. This behavior pattern while normal for beardies in the wild can cause problems in captivity since the receipient of the aggression cannot retreat or get away. This aggression is normally directed against other males but females can be targeted as well.

So, here are my recommendations to help deal with this issue, keep your beardies safe and prevent future problems.

1. Please ensure you have enough space for your lizards. Trying to squeeze them into too small a space can lead to aggression problems like that you have been experiencing. A minimum reptile enclosure size for an adult bearded dragon would be 36″ x 18″ x 18″, which is approximately similar size with a 55-gallon aquarium. So, for two dragons you should have a large aquarium in excess of 100 hundred gallons.

2. Sometimes it will help to provide hiding places such as covered enclosures, plants or wood/logs/stone ornaments in the cage. This will provide your beardie someplace to hide and escape. Plants and other hiding areas allow the female to get out of visual contact of the male which should limit the immediate aggressive behavior.

3. Provide live prey periodically throughout the day instead of just once or twice a day in sufficient quantity for both animals. This will allow the male to focus on hunting instead of protecting his territory.

4. Finally, If possible, please separate the two animals for a short term. This will allow your female the time and space she needs to heal. If her droppings look abnormal, she stops eating or drinking or her activity level decreases then she might have an infection or other problem resulting from the trauma. Please monitor your female's eyes. Try to keep the area clean and dry. You can clean the area with soap and warm water on a clean cloth. You can apply an over-the-counter topical antibiotic ointment (e.g. Neosporin for example) to any wounds around the eyes if they exist. Just do not apply ointment or creams designed for the skin in the eyes themselves. You need special ointments designed for the eyes to be safe. If the swelling does not resolve within the next week, they stay shut or you start to see discharge from the eyes then you might have an infection occurring secondary to the trauma the male caused. Consider taking your beardie to a veterinarian who deals with exotic pets if any of these problems occur as it might indicate a potentially life-threatening problem exists that is more than you can handle with home remedies. I hope this information proves helpful and provides a starting point for you to help your beloved beardies. I wish you all the best. Should you have any further questions or concerns please let me know. I will be more than happy to help in any way I can.

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