I have a bearded dragon (7 inches, so 2-3 months?) and he has an abrasion on his nose. He will rub it against his

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Customer: I have a young bearded dragon (7 inches, so 2-3 months?) and he has an abrasion on his nose. He will rub it against his climbing log, so I assumed that he was just simply shedding. Now he's not eating and the abrasion looks like a significant scab which is peeling back his top lip slightly. I have been giving him warm baths every other day, he will defecate in the bath so no impaction and he loves to be sprayed in the face with a mister which I hoped would help the shedding. Today I gave him fluids with an eye dropped and he drank for full droppers before he was done. 29 gallon tank, the substrate is reptile carpet, Reptisun 10.0 T5 high output bulb, temps have been challenging. Today is ranges from 102 to 75. (I have photos of his nose.) I am worried about the lack of appetite. He mostly sits under the basking bulb & seems lethargic. He used to be far more curious and bright eyed.
Answered by Jav917 in 6 mins 9 years ago
Pet Specialist

27,324 satisfied customers

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


My name is XXXXX XXXXX I have been a Vet tech for 30+ years with special interest in reptiles and reptile rescue. If you could post the picture it would be great. YOu can use the paper clip icon in the tool bar if you have a PC, or if you have a pad or Mac please use Photobucket.com and post a link here and I will be able to see the picture.

Can you tell me if your UVB is a linear tube or compact coil?

Does Draco have any retained shed around his nostrils?

Do you bathe him?

Diet Prey/Veggies?





Draco is our first reptile. We bought him on 10/13/2013 from Petsmart. The "reptile expert" at Petsmart told me my 29 gallon tank was too big for his age, so for two weeks we had him in a 10 gallon tank with a Zoo Med UVB Coil Bulb. I read everything I could about bearded dragons and quickly became freaked out by coil bulbs and the size of the tank for temperature regulation. So at two weeks, I moved him to the 29 gallon tank with a Reptisun 10.0 linear tube. I also have a ceramic heater at night suspended over the tank because the house does get cold. Once I moved him, he started rubbing his nose on his climbing stick and lost interest in food, so I thought it was either a shedding issue or stress from changing environments again. (He also had a shed issue on his right eye, that cleared up with a few drops of saline applied 3 x per day)


He may have retained shed around his nostrils. The skin all looks rough and frankly I can't see his nostrils.


I bathe him every other day in warm water. He loves to have water poured over his head.


Diet is mainly crickets, dusted with either calcium or multi-vitamin. Both are Rep-Cal brand. He is given a fresh bowl of greens and shredded carrots daily but I've never seen him eat them. Because he stopped eating the crickets I also bought some small wax worms (I know they're a treat food) just to see if I could entice him to eat. I can usually get him to eat a few crickets if I pull off their backs legs so they can't hop (gruesome, I know). Since his hunger strike I have days where I can get him to eat about 5 crickets, plus 1-2 wax worms. My understanding is that he should be eating closer to 30 per day.


I posted two photos to Photobucket. 1. You will see the top of his nose, the skin is dark brown and rough. 2. You will see his open mouth, with the top lip peeling back but no true signs of mouth rot inside his mouth as far as I can see.




I just searched online and found a nearby vet who sees reptiles, not sure if he is open on veteran's day. I am worried a car trip will add to his stress & compromised immune system.


Thank you for your time.


I just viewed the pictures. Please give me about 15 mins to type an answer. I am a bit slow and have a lot to type. Joan


The pet store did not wxactly give you great information. Dragon start with a 20 gallon long aquarium and then at about 6 months need to be moved to a 40 gallon breeder since they so need the floor space. What you are seeing is not stress related, but a result of what looks like retained nose caps where Draco is having problems breathing and it also looks like we may be dealing with some mouth rot which is ulcerative stomatitis. We can start with some first aid immediately, by giving a daily soak in a 50/50 warm water and Pedialyte soak. The soak should be at about 90* and last 10-15 mins. This will help with hydration. I would not suggest you work on the nose caps, since the area looks raw. You can however start to work around the mouth area. Please take some Betadine and mix with warm water to dilute it. Take a Q-tip and clean around the mouth and with the solution. Do this 4 times a day. Next you can apply a light coat of Neosporin to the snout area and the mouth area. This is some information on Stomatitis: http://www.anapsid.org/stomatitis.html

Now for feeding we want to start on soft food, like chicken baby food mixed with calcium powder, since it is too sore to eat prey right now. This will help until you get Draco into the Herp vet. I can locate some herp Vets with a State.

I want to give you my care sheet to help with husbandry. The supplements and diet may need some correction. The calcium should be plain without D3 and given 5 days a week and the vitamins 2 days a week. The Carrots are a sometimes veggie and can affect the eyes. I think the care sheet will help.

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
  • 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


Babies: Warm basking log: 105-110 degrees F

Warm side 90's
Cool side: 85-90

Adults: Warm basking spot: 105-110*F

Warm side 90's
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


*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

fruits, prey and Vegetables



Walnut shell Graphic: http://mrskingsbioweb.com/beardeddragngrossanatomy.htm


sexing bearded Dragons: http://repticzone.com/articles/sexingbeardeddragons.html

Please let me know if you need some Herp Vets and I will locate them for you. Also getting the Dragon into the Vet if taken in a rubbermade and covered with a towel will reduce stress. Make sure that you have a fecal done when you have the Dragon examined. Many coming out of the Pet supplies have parasites that need to be addressed. Joan


Thank you for your response. This was very helpful. I will go give him a pedialyte water soak. The only vet I have found in the Santa Cruz California area is Dr. Grudin at Ocean Animal Clinic. If you have other herp vet recommendations that would be much appreciated.


I have a couple of lists for Herp Vets:




Dr Gruden is recommeded by other Reptile Owners.


If it is cool when traveling you can take a tube sock and fill with uncooked rice, tie it off, warm in the microwave, wrap in a towel and use it to keep Draco warm on his way to the visit. If it is cool on the way back, they can rewarm it at the office for the trip home.



I just wanted to post an update for other Bearded Dragon owners who may be searching for similar posts.

Draco wounded his nose lunging at his reflection. The black spot was actually necrotic flesh that needed to be removed.

Twice a day I apply prescribed Silver Sulfa cream. Every three days, I give him a subcutaneous injection of Ceftazidime. If using Silver Sulfa cream on a wound, it is important not to let the cream build up. Draco is constantly basking while ill and the cream basically created it's own skin-like coating on his nose and stopped penetrating into the wound, so there was pus under the cream. Now I clean it with a watered down betadine solution prior to putting on the cream.

In 10 days, he has only once willingly eaten live food on his own and that was just 4 crickets. Unfortunately, this means he requires force feedings. First, I did a homemade slurry of live crickets blended with pedialyte and organic baby food. I now feed him Oxbow Carnivore Care, prescribed by my vet. The vet said that while he is ill, just focus on getting calories into him so wax worms are okay just to entice him to eat something even though they are more liked Bearded Dragon candy.

He was 7 grams when he was injured. Since he stopped eating, he lost a gram. It's important to keep a young bearded dragon hydrated first and then get food into him. I use a dropper and drip either water or unflavored pedialyte on his snout. He will continue to drink a drop at a time for a few minutes.

Filling a tube sock with rice and warming it for a trip to the vet was a great tip. I have been very pleased with my "Just Answer" experience.


Glad all worked out and hope he continues to improve! Joan

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