My son's Austrailian Bearded dragon that's a little less than a year old, was fine and active this afternoon, then about

Expert's Assistant chatimg
Customer: My son's Austrailian Bearded dragon that's a little less than a year old, was fine and active this afternoon, then about 7pm tonight I woke from a nap to find my son frantic and his bearded dragon's back was raw and it looked like the skin on his back had been scrapped off and he was and still is EXTREMELY Lathargic, my 10yr old son said that when he came in from playing outside it looked like the bearded dragon had shed and possibly rubbed the skin off like he does when he usually sheds, but there was no skin on him at all, all day that looked like he was shedding @ all and m son told me he had given him a bath to try to get the rest of the "shed" off and now it looked worse and he thought he had "preshedded"?, but may have rubbed it raw when he bathed him and his skin was EVEN MORE RAW, in fact a lot of the markings and colorling appeared gone, my son put some ointment on it that the vet had given him when the bearded draagon had gotten a sore on his tail that months ago, that healed up well and has been for a long time. we turned off the big heat lamp and just left the low uv lamp that we put on every night and he has a small little shelter in his terarium that he NEVER goes in , in fact sometimes when he won't eat a meal worm, my so will turn it over and put the worm in there and then try to feed it to him later, but he NEVER goes in it and now he's gone in it on his own and is becoming very lathargic and his eyes are open but only slightly, my son went online and it said to put mineral oil on it , so my Mom took my son to get some mineral oil but he's not looking good @ all! What do we do, do we need to call a emergency vet tonight or will he be ok til tomorrow? what do u recomend? We turned back on the "daytime" heating light and the bearded dragon came out of the covering and went up the log to the heat lamp and now has picked up his head. should we rinse the oinment, which is Silver sulfad cream 1%, off before applying the mineral oil?
Answered by Jav917 in 17 mins 10 years ago
Pet Specialist

27,324 satisfied customers

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

Hello and Welcome to Justanswer,

I am a Reptile Expert and happy to assist you, but I need to ask some questions.

Can you tell me about the set up?

Diet prey/veggies?


Temps and how measured?


UVB light? Tube or coil? How old is the bulb and strength?

What type of basking light do you use and wattage?





reptile carpet

95 degrees

high range reptile therm.

fluorescent bulb uba


1 month

basking spottlight

75 watts


You did not mention what type of substrate you are using?

Is the light you are using a red light bulb or a halogen basking bulb?

Do you feed any supplements?



im not useing substrate

i have halogen bulb

yes i use vegetable mix


What I suspect you are seeing is a Thermal burn from the Halogen bulb. If the the Dragon was too close basking bulb for any period of time this can happen. This will need to be addressed by a Herp Vet asap. They will most likely start an antibiotic and give a burn cream to apply to the area. The biggest problem with a burn is a chance for infection. The tank will need to be kept immaculate. If you need a Herp Vet I can try and locate one with a State.

In the mean time I would change to a regular zoo med basking bulb for heat during the day. I also would suggest changing to a tube type Reptisun 10.0 UVB because the coil types have been know to cause eye issues called Photo kerato conjunctivitis.The UVB does not give a lot of heat and should not irritate the area. Please do not use Red light bulbs at night or a heat rock as those can also cause a horrible thermal burn.

The diet you are feeding may need some improvement as we do not feed lettuce because the lack of nutritional value. A good diet consists of collard greens, mustard greens, dandeloin greens, butternut squash and some other misc. veggies. As far as prey silk worms, crickets, phoenix worms and dubia roaches are the live prey of choice for Dragons. A dragon under a year is fed 80% live prey and 20% Veggies and over a year we reverse the percentages. I suggest a good plain calcium supplement to work in conjunction with the UVB light 5 days a wek and a Vitamin supplement 2 days a week.

I am going to give you my care sheet to help with any husbandry issues you may have. Joan

Bearded Dragon Care Sheet

  • 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 beardies 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. 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: 105-125 degrees F
Cool side: 85-90
Adults: Warm basking spot: 110-115
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 meal worms. 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 wax worms, 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 eat 50-75 crix a day depending on the size of the crickets. 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.

*Beardies over the age of one year old during the winter months will go into a Brumation like most Reptiles and Herps. It is a form of Hibernation that is governed by the weather and time of year. The lights should be on a shorter period at this time. Fresh greens should be available during this period. Do not feed live prey during Brumation.

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.

If you have any further questions feel free to ask. I like to start people off with proper husbandry and then see if I can further assist. This is for fruits and Vegetables Diet

This will give you an idea about Sand as a substrate:

Walnut shell Graphic:

sexing bearded Dragons:


I do want to add do not put Mineral Oil on the Dragon. The Silvadene cream that you had used is specifically used for burns.


should i rinse the burn cream before mineral oil


Do Not Use the Mineral Oil as this is a burn. Stay with the Silvadene Cream which is specially used for burns. Mineral oil is not good for burns and may cause more harm than good. I would not handle him too much as stress is not good. Just leave the Silvadene cream on for now and see the Herp Vet asap. Joan

Read less
27,324 satisfied customers
Pet Specialist
+ years of experience

27324 satisfied customers



Licensed veterinarians

31,131 satisfied customers

Pearl avatar
Pearl Wilson, Veterinarian's Assistant
116 Veterinarians are online right now.
Related Veterinary Questions
I'm not very sure because I've never had a bearded dragon
Veterinarian, Co-Owner
828 Satisfied Customers
We just recently rescued a bearded dragon from another
Dr. Caryn – Vet
Reptile Veterinarian
327 Satisfied Customers
He's starting to turn slightly yellow, he barely opens his
Dr. Caryn – Vet
Reptile Veterinarian
327 Satisfied Customers
No major concerns. I just want to verify if my bearded
Dr. Sara
318 Satisfied Customers
Can my bearded dragon sleep too much. I usually put him to
Dr. Caryn – Vet
Reptile Veterinarian
327 Satisfied Customers
How it works
logoAsk for help, 24/7
Ask for help, 24/7
Members enjoy round-the-clock access to 12,000+ verified Experts, including doctors, lawyers, tech support, mechanics, vets, home repair pros, more.
logoExpert will respond in minutes
Expert will respond in minutes
After you reach out, we match you with an Expert who specializes in your situation. Talk, text, chat, whichever you prefer.
logoSave time & money
Save time & money
No scheduling hassles, missing time from work, or expensive consults.
A JustAnswer membership can save you significant time and money each month.
Sarahesq and 87 other Veterinarian specialists are ready to help you.
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.
Why you’ll love JustAnswer
JustAnswer is the best way to get expertise on-demand from doctors, lawyers, vets, mechanics and more. Since 2003, we’ve helped more than 9 million people in 196 countries and have an A+ rating with BBB and a 9.6/10 rating with TrustPilot.
Highly rated, verified Experts
We pride ourselves in our 8-step verification process including license and credential checks. Vetted by us and rated by customers, like you.
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
Web sites like ...leave nothing to chance.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
JustAnswer, Professional Services  General, San Francisco, CA
Google reviews
TrustPilot Reviews