You always want to do what is best for your little friend’s health as a beardie owner. But what should you do if you observe that your friend has a mouth issue? Certain odors, difficulty feeding, and obvious swelling or discoloration are indications that your bearded dragon may be experiencing mouth rot, or stomatitis.
Mouth rot in your bearded dragon may be extremely unpleasant and challenging to treat, so it’s critical to keep an eye on the signs and get medical attention as soon as possible. How can you determine if your beardie has stomatitis and what should you do if they do? Don’t worry; we have a short, handy guide that can assist you when you need it.
What is Mouth Rot and How its Treated
A bacterial condition known as stomatitis, sometimes known as mouth rot, affects the soft tissues in your bearded dragon’s mouth.
A white or yellow mucus with a cheesy appearance, as well as swelling of the skull and gums, are symptoms that it may primarily impact the jaw and gums. Additionally, you could notice that your beardie is having trouble eating and drinking, as well as loose teeth.
The main culprit in this case is bacteria, which can seriously harm the health of your dragon. A qualified veterinarian has to take care of and remove the bacterial plaque from their lips.
They must also receive a sufficient amount of antibiotics to effectively treat the illness and prevent the plaque from coming back. Click here to locate one of the most often used antibiotics for this circumstance. (Ask a veterinarian before applying)
If your bearded dragon is really having trouble, it could even be essential to give them medicine more than once rather than just once.
If their surroundings are to fault for their bacterial problems, it can also be necessary to give their tank a thorough clean and give them a different sort of bacterial antibiotic. Betadine and Nolvasan are the two widely utilized treatments for this condition.
The cage can also be cleaned using Nolvasan as a solution. **Speak with your local veterinarian or herbalist before using either remedy.
How Can You Tell if Your Bearded Dragon is Suffering from Mouth Rot?
Mouth rot manifests in a few distinct ways. If any of these signs appear, it is quite likely that your bearded dragon has mouth rot.
In the oral cavity, patches. The first sign to check for is in the oral cavity of your bearded dragon. Look into your bearded dragon’s mouth to see whether there are any areas of yellow- or white-and-gray coloring. These patches are often rather tiny, so pay great attention to check whether any patches of those colors are present.
If those spots are noticeable, then your bearded dragon most likely has mouth rot.
No Hunger. However, sometimes such patches are either absent or incredibly concealed. If that’s the case, there are a few more indications you should watch out for. The chance of mouth rot increases as you observe more of these symptoms.
When a bearded dragon has mouth rot, eating is challenging and uncomfortable. As a result, if your bearded dragon seems to be eating much less than usual, they may have mouth rot.
Bloating. Bloating is typical even though a bearded dragon with mouth rot consumes far less food than usual. A clear indication that your bearded dragon has mouth rot is when it starts eating less but still bloating up.
Broken or loose teeth. The loosening or full loss of your bearded dragon’s teeth are two of the most severe signs. These two signs of mouth rot are very significant indicators. More than that, though, they pose a serious health concern, necessitating an urgent trip to the vet for your bearded dragon.
Bloody Gums. Gum bleeding is a somewhat rare sign of mouth rot. Having said that, it’s a sign that stands out and frequently indicates that your bearded dragon has had mouth rot for some time and is overdue for a medical appointment.
How Do I Prevent Bearded Dragon Mouth Rot?
The majority of mouth rot cases are caused by unfavorable environmental conditions. Bacteria will be present in the insects that are part of the diet. If the vivarium circumstances let it, your bearded dragon may become infected by them.
Your bearded dragon’s immune system will suffer if the temperature in the vivarium is too low. The similar result will also be seen if the humidity is excessively high.
Therefore, it is important to check your thermostats and UV lights to make sure everything is still working. Ensure they are eating a healthy diet and receiving enough calcium and vitamins. If required, you can add vitamins to their live food.
You should be able to identify any problems early on by monitoring your bearded dragon’s behavior and giving him or her regular attention. Early intervention can frequently shorten healing times and eliminate the need for expensive therapies.
Identifying Mouth Rot In Bearded Dragons
Patches of whitish-gray or yellowish-gray skin surrounding the mouth cavity might be used to identify it. Other signs of bearded dragon mouth rot include swelling, reddening, and an increase in salivation.
Additionally, you would have observed a decrease in hunger and a change in your beardie’s usual demeanor.
Even if it hurts to look, a bearded dragon with mouth rot will exhibit signs like bleeding gums or loose teeth. If any of these occur, it is imperative that you visit a veterinarian right once.
If the infection is not treated, it may spread to the blood, bones, intestines, and skull.
What is the Cause of Mouth Rot?
Mouth rot is a sickness that a bearded dragon can get from a number of different causes. Mouth rot can appear in bacterial, fungal, or viral forms. There are several locations where these disease variants can be discovered. It might be challenging to identify the kind of mouth rot infection and is frequently unnecessary.
There’s a good possibility that a mouth rot infection resulted from a compromised immune system, regardless of the particular cause. A compromised immune system is frequently brought on by a variety of circumstances, all of which compromise your bearded dragon’s natural defenses and increase their susceptibility to illnesses.
Stress is the most frequent factor in immune system deterioration in bearded dragons. Similar to how stress affects human natural defenses, stress weakens your bearded dragon’s natural defenses, allowing infections to spread more easily.
A stressful situation frequently results in stress. An setting that is stressful is frequently the result of factors beyond of your bearded dragon’s control.
The following significant environmental factors can lead to a stressful environment: an unbalanced temperature, a broken basking lamp, an unclean enclosure, and an unhealthy food.
Your bearded dragon will struggle greatly to feel at ease in a stressful setting. They will never be able to truly unwind as a result. Insufficiency affects the immune system, which makes it incredibly simple to catch infections like mouth rot and other ailments.
How Could That Happen?
The environment in which your pet lives has a significant impact on this. The immune system’s defenses are lowered under stressful environments. Our key concerns should be low temperatures, poor nutrition, and the presence of parasites.
You should be aware that the sickness afflicting bearded dragons manifests itself as mouth rot. The root of the problem can be bacterial, viral, or fungal in origin.
How Do I Treat Bearded Dragon Mouth Rot?
Some home treatments may be effective if the condition is detected early on and the symptoms are moderate enough.
For instance, you may use a swab to apply some Betadine to the afflicted region. It’s harmful for them to swallow Betadine, so take care not to get too much on the swab or in their mouth. It will probably be necessary to dilute the betadine a little. As each product differs, you can inquire at your neighborhood reptile shop.
Chlorhexidine/Nolvasan also functions well but will also need to be diluted. Utilize a cotton bud or Q-Tip to apply the solution.
After a few days, if the symptoms don’t go away with this therapy, or if you believe the illness was too severe to begin with, you should consult your veterinarian and receive some antibiotics.
Taking Your Bearded Dragon to The Vet
The previously discussed home treatment is quite effective. However, it only works as a home cure if the mouth rot symptoms in your bearded dragon are still mild. You must take your bearded dragon to the veterinarian once those early phases have passed since the home cure is no longer effective.
Try to locate a veterinarian who is familiar with and experienced with bearded dragons if you want to make sure that your bearded dragon’s health is handled in the best possible way. A bearded dragon-specific veterinarian will provide your pet with the greatest treatment while keeping the procedure as simple as possible.
No matter how severe the mouth rot illness is right now, your veterinarian will almost certainly recommend medications. These medicines are meant to treat the infection as well as the mouth rot symptoms.
Make sure you know how to provide this medication to your bearded dragon before you leave the veterinarian’s office. The most important thing is to have a clear set of instructions. In this manner, the antibiotic won’t be administered incorrectly.
What’s After Antibiotics
In addition to receiving antibiotics, you must keep in mind that your child will have difficulty consuming the right nutrition. They won’t be able to consume live prey as they typically would because of the pain in their mouth and their efforts to avoid swallowing any of their bacterial plaque.
You should introduce some form of slurry that combines pureed baby food with the vitamin supplement powders they will be needing.
It is still crucial to use baby food that satisfies your beardie’s nutritional demands and to be aware of the vegetables and fruits they are permitted to consume. They will require their calcium powder, as well as modest amounts of vitamins B, C, and even A.
To give your dragon adequate fluid without requiring them to drink it themselves, it is advised to deliver water to them using an eyedropper or a spray.
Maintaining a warm temperature all day and into the night may be beneficial for your bearded dragon. Their immune system can repair faster when their surroundings is consistently warm.
**Note: Many other bearded dragon ailments are heavily influenced by temperature concerns. Here’s how to prevent your beardie from developing a respiratory illness.
The Home Remedy
One thing you should know before we detail this home treatment is that it should only be taken if mouth rot has just started to develop. This home cure loses its efficacy as soon as the mouth rot symptoms become more obvious and pervasive.
Use an antiseptic or a disinfectant to create this home treatment. This natural cure employs betadine as an antiseptic. However, you must take Nolvasan if you choose to use a disinfectant. Both of these chemical solutions function flawlessly and, in general, yield the identical outcomes.
Pour a small cup of the selected chemical solution into a bigger cup of water. Ensure that this water cup is no bigger than a mug. Until the chemical solution is entirely broken up, combine it with the water.
The chemical solution’s potency will have significantly decreased after that’s done. This makes sure that your bearded dragon won’t get hurt by the chemical solution.
To apply the mixture, take a cotton swab and dip one end into the new mixture. After that, take a cotton swab and use the wet end to massage the affected areas of your bearded dragon’s mouth all over. In order to prevent your bearded dragon from feeling uncomfortable, be careful to complete this process softly yet completely.
You must rinse the contaminated regions after covering them with a chemical solution. The best method is to use a soft cloth and some water. Ensure that all traces of the cleaning agent have been fully eliminated. If you can, clear your bearded dragon’s mouth of any loose debris or mucus.
Repeat the procedure later on in the day. Next, carry out the procedure twice more the next day. Soon after, the symptoms will start to go away. You will need to take your bearded dragon to the veterinarian if they don’t, though.