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Ask Joan Your Own Question
Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 18676
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
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He ate synthetic moss that was in the bottom of tank and he

Customer Question

Hello....he ate synthetic moss that was in the bottom of tank and he now won't eat and it appears to be stuck in his throat.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. The Veterinarian will know if the reptile will be able to digest that. What is the reptile's name and age?
Customer: His name is***** is 14 months old
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Fin?
Customer: I don't believe so
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Reptile
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It is a Exo Terra Reptile Moss mat that he ate part of. My daughter saw a string hanging hanging out of his mouth
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.


My name is ***** ***** I have been a Vet tech for 30+ years with special interest in reptiles and reptile rescue.

What type of reptile are we speaking about?

Can you post a Picture of the Moss?

Can you look and see if it is caught in the throat?

What is the reptile doing?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Its a 14 mo old bearded dragon. Its a Exo Terra Reptile Moss mat from petsmart. Apparently the worms we gave him crawled onto it and he now has a ball of it lodged somewhere. There was a string hanging out of his mouth, so my husband attempted to gently pull it to see if he could get it out but he could not. He will not eat
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.

What type of reptile is it?

Can you open the mouth and see if you can use tweezers to pull it out?

What type of worms are you feeding?

I may have further questions.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
its a bearded Dragon. We feed him meal worms. The problem is not the worms. Its the fact that he has a bunch of synthetic moss stuck in his throat.You can't just open his mouth
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.

You need to use a credit card on the side of the mouth and pull down on the beard to open the mouth. Use a pair of tweezers to help remove the moss. You should never use any substrate with fibers or loose substrates. They are deadly. The meal worms and super worms should never be fed either as they are not digestible and can cause liver damage down the road. The only choices to help the Dragon is to try and remove the moss from the throat yourself or an Emergency Vet visit. No other easy choice or way to do this. replace that substrate with Paper, Tile or cage carpet.

Unlike dogs we cannot induce vomiting, so we have to manually remove the moss.


Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?