My reptiles beard and tail turned black today and her stool has been watery the past 2 days. Bearded dragon. Strawberry

Expert's Assistant chatimg
Customer: Hello my reptiles beard and tail turned black today and her stool has been watery the past 2 days
JA: Hi there. I'll do all I can to help. What type of reptile are we talking about?
Customer: Bearded dragon
JA: Did the Bearded Dragon eat anything unusual recently?
Customer: strawberry bell pepper and grape ?
JA: What's the Bearded Dragon's name and age?
Customer: Lizzy 4 months maybe 5
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: no
Answered by Dr. Caryn – Vet in 1 day 1 year ago
imglogo
Dr. Caryn – Vet
Pet Specialist
logo

2,224 satisfied customers

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

Hello and thanks for posting your question on JustAnswer.com. My name is***** and I have been a veterinarian for over 21 years, specializing in aquatics, reptiles, amphibians, avian and other exotic species. You may already be aware, but on this platform veterinarians can provide insight and advice, but as this is not considered a legal client-patient relationship, we are unable to prescribe medications, provide medical records or sign documents for your specific pet. For that you would need to make an in person visit with a local veterinarian. I am happy to chat with you via text but if you are interested in a phone call instead that is an option you can choose for an additional charge. In the meantime, I am putting together some questions that will help me learn more about what’s going on with your pet.

Customer
Okay

A bearded dragon’s beard will turn dark in response to emotional or physiological stress. Some of the causes are not concerning though others may indicate underlying conditions of concern. Causes of emotional stress may include breeding behavior or territoriality (males displaying dominance) or they may be scared, angry or lonely.  They may be getting used to a new enclosure, a new tankmate or perhaps they are not yet comfortable with handling or proximity to their owner. Causes of physiological stress include poor husbandry (e.g., they are too cold, environment is unclean, improper diet), illness or brumation, which is a normal seasonal cycle of lower activity usually occurring during the Australian winter time.

Customer
Thabk you

However the tail discoloration and diarrhea are of concern. How long has the tail been discolored and what part?

If can upload a photo or video that might be helpful.

Here are instructions for how you can share a photo or file with an expert on JustAnswer.com:

https://www.justanswer.com/help/how-do-i-send-photo-or-file-expert

Customer
The tail is now back to regular color her poop was more solid this morning
Customer
Her beard is just black on the bottom

Okay, thanks. There is some degree of voluntary change in color, but usually in response to stress or the environment.

If the tail discoloration returns, persists or is accompanied by a shriveled appearance it may be an injury or tail rot. And that would need veterinary evaluation.

Customer
Ive had her about 2 months and i got a new dragon in a tank next to her but she cant see him ive had the new one for about 2 weeks this is the first time she turned black
Customer
Can i send a photo here
Customer
This is her now
Customer
Customer attachment 8/3/2021 4:13:20 PM
Customer
She was also severly dehydrated after pooping

Okay, it is likely a stress response to something. Yes, you can share a photo with me. Use the attachment (paper clip) symbol below.

As far as the loose stools: There are a number of reasons why your bearded dragon may develop diarrhea. These include infections (parasites, bacteria, viruses such as Atadenovirus), stress, spoiled food, temperature outside of range (too high or too low), poor hygiene (dirty food or water bowls or unsanitary cage) or malnutrition/improper diet. It’s important to make sure that your bearded dragon’s tank is clean, food is fresh and prepared hygienically and that the temperature is appropriate and that your UV-B bulb is in proper working condition. Providing a balanced diet of greens, vegetables and insects along with a calcium supplement is important. To prevent or treat dehydration while they have diarrhea, you can give your bearded dragon a soak in a shallow dish of warm water for 15 minutes once or twice a day to encourage drinking. While your dragon has diarrhea, increasing the frequency of cleaning inside the cage with a reptile safe disinfectant will help avoid cross contamination and repeat infection (if it is infectious). Decreasing the fruit component of the diet may help.

If your adult bearded dragon hast diarrhea that lasts for more than a couple of days or is tinged with blood or the bearded dragon is showing signs of depression or weakness, then I recommend you have your bearded dragon evaluated by a local veterinarian. Baby or juvenile bearded dragons can become dehydrated and weak fairly quickly from diarrhea so a call to a local vet is warranted sooner rather than later. It is recommended that you collect and bring a fresh fecal sample with you so the veterinarian can evaluate the poop to look for possible causes, such as parasites.

Customer
I sprayed her and let her drink water

Thanks, ***** ***** photo now....

She's very cute and I love your tank background!

Customer
Thank you very much lol shes my baby i just want her to be okay
Customer
Does the beard look unordinary at all

There are a couple of small kinked areas near the tail tip. No reason to worry they may be from trauma when she was young, just keep an eye on them.

Customer
Okay

Misting her is a great idea, you could also soak her if you think she's dehydrated. 15-30 minutes once to twice a day in 90F water.

Customer
This is my other one rex

Use a shallow bowl/dish.

Customer
Customer attachment 8/3/2021 4:16:06 PM
Customer
Can you recommend a vet who sees reptiles near the bronx nyc area

She looks very regal on her pyramid! Beard looks ok. Slight darkness could be from thermoregulation....since she's int he basking area she might be trying to warm up.

I don't know any personally but I have some resources to search. I can either give you the websites to search or, if you like, I can do the search for you, whichever you prefer.

Customer
Everytime i take him out his belly turns full white at this point i feel like hes asking to be held lol

(I used to work in City Island btw.)

Customer
Wow i live in pelham bay '
Customer
if you can pleaae find one for me id rather you because your the professional

It was many, many years ago....when I was in high school....at a place named the NorthWind Undersea Institute.

Yes, hold on, searching now.....

Customer
I remember the high school days lol
Customer
thank you

Can you provide your zip code, that might narrow my search? Thanks.

Customer
10461

Unfortunately, I'm not finding anything in the Bronx, at least no vets affiliated with the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians or registered on the anapsid website. There may be exotic vets closer than these, but I know these have qualified exotics vets on staff with reptile experience:

The Center For Avian & Exotic Medicine

***** New York, NY 10024(###) ###-####/p>

avianandexoticvets.com

Long Island Bird & Exotics Veterinary Clinic

333 Great Neck Rd, Great Neck, NY 11021

(###) ###-####/p>

birdexoticsvet.com

The Animal Medical Center

510 E 62nd St, New York, NY 10065

(###) ###-####/p>

https://www.amcny.org/pet-owners/specialties/avian-exotic-pet-medicine/

Customer
Thank you very much you were a great help! Is there a way i can contact you again personally if i have an issue?

There is one other I found if you'd rather travel up to Westchester instead of to the city of LI:

Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics

***** Bedford Hills, NY 10507(###) ###-####/p>

avianexoticsvet.com

I am so glad to be of help! You have a lucky bearded dragon to have such an attentive owner.

Yes, if you have additional questions or concerns related to this incident with your bearded dragon and you post a reply, JustAnswer will notify me that a new comment has been added. I think there is some amount of time before it times out, but I've had clients respond up to a week or more later to the same thread and it's worked. Otherwise if you open a new question you can request me "Dr. Caryn - Vet". They will alert me and I'll have a specific amount of time to respond to your question before they open it up for someone else to answer (in case I'm not available).

Customer
Thank you so much !

You are most welcome. Looks like you have your dragon's environment under control but just in case this is helpful, it's a bearded dragon care sheet that I put together with basic, but important, care information.

Bearded Dragon Husbandry

Bearded dragons are lizards that are native to Australia. With good care they can live 10 years or more and make excellent pets. It is typically recommended to house them singly, though sometimes it is possible to keep breeding pairs together. It is recommended that the enclosure be at least 10-20 gallons for juveniles and 75 gallons for adults. Care should be taken as to the enclosure substrate as they may potentially ingest loose substrates. If you do use something like paper pulp substrate, feed the dragon in a separate enclosure to prevent substrate ingestion. Paper towels or newspaper are good substrates that are easy to replace very 1-2 days to prevent waste accumulation. It is fine to include cage furniture in the enclosure such as large rocks, pieces of driftwood or cork bark. Hiding boxes or areas are required if you have more than one dragon housed together.

Temperature: Temperature is very important for keeping your dragon healthy with a gradient of temperature from cool or warm. Daytime range of 75-80F with a focal basking area of 85-95 is recommended. A nighttime temperature range of 70-75F should be provided. Heated rocks are not advised as these can lead to thermal burns and under tank heating pads should be used with care to also avoid burns. Humidity should be in the 30-40% range.

Light: Provision of ultraviolet B light is required for natural vitamin D production, calcium metabolism and to help prevent metabolic bone issues. Placement of a UVB bulb over the basking area within 18” without glass or acrylic between the bulb and the basking area is recommended. The UVB bulb should be kept on at 12 hours per day, though you can create a summer vs winter cycle with 12-14 hours in summer and 10-12 hours in winter.

Diet: Bearded dragons are omnivores and should be fed about 50% vegetables and 50% insects. Vegetables should be a variety of primarily dark leafy greens (greens: dandelion, collard, lettuce: romaine, green/red leaf, Boston, parsley, broccoli, etc.). Limit feeding oxalate ***** *****s like swiss chard, spinach or beet greens. A small amount of other vegetables (carrots, beans, peas, squash, etc.) and be added; variety is the key! Salad should be chopped and offered in a clean bowl or plate once to twice a day. They can be given flowers and fruit as treats or as top dressing on the salad, with fruit not making up more than 10-20% of plant material fed each day. Insects can worms make up the other 50% of the diet: gut-loaded and calcium dusted crickets, black soldier fly larvae (soldier worm larvae), superworms, mealworms, earthworms, Dubia and cockroaches and the occasional wax worm or silk worms (limit them due to their high fat content). For larger adults, an occasional pinkie or fuzzy mouse can be fed, but sparingly. Younger dragons (less than 6 months), are more carnivorous than adults and should be fed about 70% insects and 30% greens. If adult dragons are picky about eating their vegetables, make sure to chop and mix the salad to decrease their ability to cherry pick their favorites and avoid feeding insects every day to encourage them to eat their salad and on days when both are fed, offer salad before insects.

Supplements: Due to their high requirement for calcium, sprinkle their salad with calcium powder (calcium gluconate, lactate or carbonate) that does NOT contain Vit D3 at least 2-3 times every week. Once weekly you should supplement with a very light sprinkle of reptile mineral supplement.

Customer
I will give you a phone call once i move into my new apartment the tempature is a little hard to control upstais where i have them now but
Customer
Customer attachment 8/3/2021 4:46:58 PM
Customer
Ever since i changed her substrate (to the same one) her humidity has been at 0 and i have a water dish inside there and i spray the tank
Customer
But the himidity stays at 0

Some substrates do impact humidity and it can be hard sometimes to raise humidity, You can think about getting a humidifier or ReptiFogger. Or you can mist more often.

Other ideas:

Add a larger water dish.

Add live plants.

Move the water dish towards the hot side of the tank to encourage evaporation.

Regularly mist your bearded dragon.

But I'd start with a larger water dish, moved to the warmer side of the tank. The increased evaporation should help bump up the humidity.

Customer
I sprayed the enclosure just now so the humidity is now between 30/40

That's great. It's a balancing act since they have such a narrow window of humidity. They are a desert species but do require some humidity for skin health and to prevent abnormal shedding.

Customer
I am a first time owner but im trying my best and learning on my own

Sounds like you are doing your due diligence. There are some good online resources and there are husbandry books out there that can be used as a reference. Here's a website listing some of the books available on bearded dragon care:

https://oddlycutepets.com/best-bearded-dragon-book/

Customer
Thank you

Good luck with your dragon and let me know if you need anything else. Sincerely, ***** *****

Customer
Hello good morning
Customer
Customer attachment 8/4/2021 2:02:48 PM
Customer
I was wondering is it normal for him to puff his body up while basking even though he just finished shedding a few days ago?
they will sometimes puff up or open their mouthes while basking to regulate their body temperature.
Customer
It looked like he was gagging just now for a second and then he stopped and went back to normal
They will open their mouths to cool off. You can double check temperature to make sure it’s not too hot.
Customer
Did you see the video
No there was no video attached.
Customer
I just re sent it

Hmmm, I still don't see it. If the file is over 3 MB it won't upload. If that's the case you can edit it to be smaller (or lower resolution).

Customer
Can i send it to your email
Customer
I cant lower the resoloution idk how on the phone

We are not supposed to share our personal email with clients, sorry. Can you edit (make shorter) the video or split it into multiple segments or take another shorter one? Otherwise, I would recommend you contact customer service and they may be able to walk you through how to solve the video issue.

BTW what was the tank temperature in the basking area?

Customer
The temp is 95 in the basking area

Okay, interesting. That is not too hot, in fact 88-100 for an adult is a good range.

Customer
Let me know if u got that one

Sorry, still no video....

Customer
It was like he was burping he was pushing his beard in and out for a few seconds it looked like choking
Customer
You see the picture
Customer
Customer attachment 8/4/2021 6:18:59 PM
Customer
He wouuld stretch his beard out that far and just flatten it back to regular and then immediatley repeat for a few seconds

Bearded dragons can throw up or try to. This may be due to indigestion, GI impaction (food not moving through the gut), a spoiled food item, foreign material, high load of GI parasites (like Coccidia), dehydration, or toxic plant ingestion to name some. Respiratory infections or a blockage in an airway, such as choking, can cause them to stretch their head and necks and open their mouths, which looks like they are going to vomit but it’s because they are having difficulty breathing.

She may be having some GI issues, especially since you said she had watery stool not too long ago.

Customer
No this is a different one this is the male rex the orange one
Customer
My other one with tbe watery stool is actually looking a little better her beard lightened up and her poop has been more solid

Okay, sorry didn't realize we were discussing a different one....(was wondering why the pronouns were changing).

Glad to hear Lizzy is doing better.

Customer
Thank you sorry for the confusion
Customer
I just soaked lizzy for 5 min becasue shs was very dehydrated from pooping

No worries. Just a side note that bearded dragons can sometimes get into trouble when on sandy/gravel substrates as they tend to ingest some of the substrate when they eat. So you should consider switching it out for something they can't eat.

Here is a nice article that discusses substrate concerns and options:

https://reptile.guide/best-substrate-bearded-dragon/

Here is another article with even more information, discussing the pros and cons of the different substrate options:

https://beardeddragonsworld.com/best-substrate-for-bearded-dragons/

Customer
Hello dr caryn, you still here ?

Hi there. I am but only for a couple of minutes, leaving for an office appointment. (I'll be back on for longer in an hour and a half (12 central time.) If you have a quick question, happy to answer it now, otherwise I am at your service when I return.

I am back online if you have any questions.

Customer
Hello
Customer
The humidity goes insanley high in one of my bearded dragons tank at night
Customer
Idk why

Hi there. How high is the humidity getting?

There are a number of reasons why humidity might elevate, high in room, increased evaporation from water dishes, too much misting, humid/wet substrate that is more wet at night from lower tank temps, etc..

Here are some suggestions to lower humidity:

-Move water dish away from heat source or heat lamps

-Decrease frequency and amount of misting

-Increase ventilation and air flow in the room and the enclosure. Use an air screen on the tank. If using vent holes in the enclosure, ensuring they are on opposite sides of the tank and top vs bottom will help encourage air flow.

-Use a room air conditioner or a dehumidifier in the room the tank is housed in. If using an AC make sure you check that tank temperature stays in the ideal ranges, 75-85 gradient and 85-105 basking area.

-Check the room humidity and consider moving the tank to a different part of the room or home that has lower ambient humidity.

-If none of these work, you can purchase a silica gel dehumidifier for use inside of the tank (for example: Eva-Dry Wireless Mini Dehumidifier).

The most likely reason is the lower tank temperatures at night causes the air to hold less moisture. Suggestions for combatting this include removing water dish at night, not misting late in the day, make sure room air flow is good and ventilation of the tank is good, you can use a dehumidifier at night (silica gel dehumidifier or sometimes a stocking of dry rice can help absorb humidity), adding additional vents to the tank (if it is melamine and modifiable).

Here is a very useful guide regarding humidity and bearded dragons:

https://beardeddragonsworld.com/humidity-for-bearded-dragons/

I hope this is helpful and that your bearded dragons are doing well. Have a nice evening. Sincerely, ***** *****

Read less
unlike
0 Likes
logoBack
logologo
Dr. Caryn – Vet
logo
logo
2,224 satisfied customers
logo
Pet Specialist
imglogo
Dr. Caryn – Vet
+ years of experience
logo

2224 satisfied customers

Ellen

Ellen

Licensed veterinarians

31,131 satisfied customers

Pearl avatar
Pearl Wilson, Veterinarian's Assistant
116 Veterinarians are online right now.
Related Veterinary Questions
Bearded Dragon has had 3 of 4 in the last 2 days be more
2.10.2022
img
Dr. Caryn – Vet
Reptile Veterinarian
1,073 Satisfied Customers
My bearded dragon just gave a wet stool sample, but she gave
12.7.2021
img
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
4,085 Satisfied Customers
He won't eat, poop with very strong odor, turn black in
11.4.2021
img
T Fisher DVM
Pet Specialist
122 Satisfied Customers
My bearded dragon has been making a hissing sound these past
5.9.2021
img
PitRottMommy
Veterinary Nurse
4,085 Satisfied Customers
I got deku about a week ago I noticed that he wa shedding
12.12.2020
img
DrRoyC
Pet Specialist
634 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... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has 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 justanswer.com/legal ...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