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Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 18221
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
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I have hatchlings and I just found one blown up almost like

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I have hatchlings and I just found one blown up almost like a balloon! He opened his mouth every couple minutes, then died! There was also swelling out of his cloaca? I was thinking RI or parasites, but all the rest are fine. Any ideas?


My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am a Vet Tech with special interest in Reptiles and Reptile rescue.

Can you tell me what type of hatchlings you are speaking about?

I may have some further questions for you.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Bearded dragon, and he had not ate anything he was a day old.



How long did you leave them in in the incubator after hatching?

Can you tell me how many are being housed together?

What type of substrate do you use?

What type of temperature do you have in the enclosure?

Do you have a UVB light?

What are you trying to feed?


Customer: replied 3 years ago.
He stayed in the incubator for 24 hours. Hatchlings are housed together when he passed there were 6, 10.0 tube UVB and heat lamp 90-100 at the basking side and 80-83 cool side, i kept their temp closer to 85 when they had hatched, humidity is never over 30%, paper towel as substrate changed daily, 1/4 crickets and fresh greens offered daily, i also mist them and the lick up water. This happened about 2 wks ago, it was extremely odd how swollen he was. He really was like a balloon. After he died I took him to pet smart to see if any of the "people" that work there had an idea? They didn't, they tried to tell me he was impacted which wasn't possible and the worker basically popped him with a needle. I am a biology major applying to vet school and have taken care of beardies for 5 years. It's really hard to find any adequate literature on bearded dragon hatchlings. Everyone else is thriving.


We do see failure to thrive Dragons. There are a few possibilties. The first could be he may have been bitten or injured by another baby causing a Pneumothorax, which could have caused the Bloating. The next possibility may have been a Kidney or Liver defect which could have also caused the blown up appearance. A parasite load can cause bloating and the breathing issues before death. I tend to thik the Hatchling may have had a Pneumothorax, because the bloated appearance and the breathing issue. That can account for the rapid decline. Unfortunately without a Necropsy, it is impossible to give you a definate answer. I would not say an impaction would cause this, becuase there is nothing that would cause a blockage. I am sorry for the loss and I hope the rest of the Hatchling do well. I would get a Fecal in and have them run it through a lab, and not just inhouse. You want to make sure they also test for Adeno Virus, because that can wipe out your Dragon population. Joan

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Omg, I think I know what it was! Getting squashed or squeezed would do that too correct! 5 yr old got into unlocked cage, she may have tried to grab him and squeezed him? Thanks a lot it helps put closer!!


Yes! Than can be it. The clamping down on the body could have easily caused a Pneumothorax and other internal injuries. That would account for all the things you have descibed. Please do not forget to rate my service when you are ready. My goal is to give you Excellent Service. Joan

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