Tail Rot Bearded Dragon

Because I haven’t yet fed my bearded dragon, he is angry with me. He is snarling at me while puffing up the spiky beard on his chin. But I also noted how black his tail seemed. Does my pet lizard suffer tail rot from a bearded dragon? What should I do, please? Did I misbehave while under his supervision?

Does it threaten my beardie? Bearded dragon tail rot illness might start out mild but soon get worse. Even though a lizard’s tail is often where tail rot is seen, it can also damage the toes.

Just as a crucial fact, the symptoms of tail rot on the toes are quite similar to those of tail rot on the tail area. when the toes of your bearded dragon stop having blood flow. They will really get dark and disappear.

What is Bearded Dragon Tail Rot?

When tissue, often beginning at the tip of the tail, starts to die or rot and acquires a darker color, the condition is known as tail rot in bearded dragons. It’s a frequent ailment in reptiles that might be hard to spot in the beginning and, if ignored, can develop into something harmful and even fatal.

Due to a lack of a good blood supply, the necrotic (dead) tissue near the tail frequently darkens in color (blue, purple, or black). It generally results from an injury, wound, or infection on the tail. Tail rot should be addressed seriously, particularly since many people miss it in the first stages. Treatment is forceful.

If left untreated, tail rot can spread to the rest of the body and cause organ failure, internal infections, and other grave health issues. The tail may need to be removed or lose its attachment in several cases. Always keep an eye on your bearded dragon’s health, and if you suspect tail rot, take it to the vet.

What Does Tail Rot on a Bearded Dragon Look Like?

Tail rot will make your bearded dragon’s tail seem dried out, black, and rotting. Tail rot often begins at the tail tip and progresses up the animal.

Tail rot should not be confused with dragons that have dark tails by nature, since this is a rather common and perfectly normal occurrence.

A naturally black tail won’t seem dried out or decaying.

Causes of Tail Rot

There are two recognized primary causes of this disease. The first type of injury is typically caused by bites from other bearded dragons (frequently when they are kept together as young dragons) or bites from bug prey left in the cage.

Incomplete sheds can also contribute to tail rot, as the old skin can stay and eventually cut off blood supply. Rarely, the same problems might result from an abscess.

Malnutrition and a lack of UVB exposure are some other reasons of tail rot. For day-active lizards like bearded dragons, UVB illumination is crucial, and it should be provided 24 hours a day. This maintains their bones strong and healthy and aids in the metabolism of calcium in their bodies. Remember that these bulbs must be replaced every six months.

On the other hand, if fed an inappropriate diet, your beardie may be receiving calcium to phosphorus ratios that are out of balance. Try to stay away from foods that are known to bind calcium in reptiles, such as those from the cruciferous vegetable family (broccoli, cauliflower, etc.). Here is a wonderful feeding schedule with bearded dragon dietary facts that you may use.

Take your bearded dragon as soon as possible to a trained reptile vet if you are in any way unclear of the reason or are unsure what to do.

Symptoms of Tail Rot

A bearded lizard with tail rot is one that has become necrotic. It occurs when a portion of a lizard’s tail no longer receives enough blood. The lizard’s tail will then change color to a deep shade of blue, black, or purple.

On the other hand, if your bearded dragon’s tail is lighter in color (greyish) than the remainder of the tail, your pet may be going through a molting or shed stage. However, tail rot may be the cause if the tail is darker than usual.

Your bearded dragon will exhibit a number of physical and behavioral signs of tail rot infections. As was already mentioned, the tail has a prominent discolouration. The tip of the tail is typically when the discoloration first appears.

Let’s discuss about the natural look of your bearded dragon. Don’t mistake a naturally dark tail patch on your pet lizard for tail rot. To be certain, ask your veterinarian. Take prompt corrective action, however, if your beardie suddenly develops a very black patch around its tail and it is creeping up closer to its body.

Another observable disease in beardies is tail rot. The tail of a bearded dragon is often flexible. When you hold them, you can tell. However, a condition known as tail rot causes the animal’s tail to become rigid, slanted, and somewhat twisted or kinked. The texture of the beardies’ skin is one of the additional signs of tail rot.

The bearded dragon’s normally very smooth skin will become extremely coarse, flaky, fragile, and dry.

Tail Rot in Bearded Dragons: Should You Be worried?

An unhealthy ailment called tail rot that starts in the tail is concerning. It does, however, spread to other areas.

In four weeks, tail rot can spread to the kidneys and other crucial organs if untreated. Once additional portions of the bearded dragon are compromised, the illness becomes fatal.

When the bacterial infection affects other body organs, it causes rapid cell death. These organs are thus vulnerable to secondary infections, which might culminate in septicemia.

When harmful germs from the tail enter the circulation, septicemia results. These germs are transported by the blood to the heart, liver, and kidneys, among other internal organs.

The microorganism finally results in mortality by causing organ failure.

How Dangerous Is It?

Bearded dragon tail rot is a very dangerous condition. This happens as a result of some kind of trauma that leads to an infection in the tail region.

Frequently, a new bearded dragon owner won’t recognize the condition until it has become more serious. Owners occasionally don’t notice until the tail is entirely gone!

When it happens, it’s unquestionably a major issue that needs veterinary help. If the internal infection is not treated right away, it might spread throughout the body and lead to organ failure.

Can tail rot kill bearded dragons?

Bearded dragons with tail rot are harmful and occasionally fatal if left untreated if not caught in time. The threat comes from the infection spreading to other body organs, which might result in more serious health issues. Take the beardie right away to a reptile vet if you see any symptoms of tail rot.

Addressing the early signs of tail rot as soon as possible is the best approach to ensure that your pet stays safe. In fact, I’d suggest that you

How To Identify Tail Rot

Finding the source of tail rot can be challenging, especially if your bearded dragon has black skin. Look for indications of dehydration in addition to a change in color, particularly at the tip of the tail (dark brown, black).

Tail rot can be identified by a section of the tail that is very dry and has an odd hue. On the damaged areas of your beardie’s tail, look for flaky, brittle, or abrasive textures. A stiff tail that may have a tiny bend in it is also possible.

Occasionally, shedding and tail rot might be confused. Be aware that a healthy tail will still be malleable and supple even as it is shedding.

In contrast to a tail rot-affected animal, which may become rigid or crooked, it will rectify itself and straighten itself following movement. It may just be shedding if the rest of your beardie’s skin is peeling off or appears dry. To help with shedding, make sure your pet is always properly hydrated.

How to Prevent Bearded Dragon Tail Rot

Housing: Firstly, try to avoid housing infants together. Potential injuries that may later result in tail rot can occur during these early life stages.

Their habit of biting each other’s toes and tails is well known. Living with other adults might be risky. Even while some beardies get along, this doesn’t guarantee that it will stay that way. If you intend to do this, be ready with extra setups. I also advise keeping strict watch over them.

Cleaning – To wash down the glass and hides in my own bearded dragon’s tank, I use a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar. The majority of germs are killed by this non-toxic solution, which is also suitable for reptiles.

Before wiping down, let the solution stay for a few minutes. Just be sure to wait a few minutes for it to air out before putting your lizard back inside.

You may always perform a monthly disinfection with bleach water if you are worried about pathogens that are more dangerous. Spray down the tank and hides with a solution of one part bleach to two parts water.

Allow to rest for 15 minutes, and then thoroughly rinse. Before putting your beardie back in, I advise letting the tank and other accessories air dry for around 2-3 hours. Any hazardous gases should have disappeared by then.

Bedding – For my personal piece of mind, I have never given my bearded dragon loose substrate or bedding. It is difficult to maintain clean and isn’t entirely secure if accidently consumed. Additionally, fungus and bacteria that might cause more harm than benefit can live in loose substrates.

I use paper towels because they are cheap, simple to dispose of after use, and convenient. Another alternative that is comparatively sterile is reading newspapers. You may acquire tiles or a piece of vinyl flooring cut to the size of your tank if you want something more aesthetically pleasing. Both are inexpensive and simple to clean.

How To Treat Bearded Dragon Tail Rot At Home

It is often advised to visit a vet for immediate emergency care if your bearded dragon is exhibiting later stages of tail rot, such as a blackened tail that begins around the tip and moves up towards the body.

If an infection is present, the veterinarian may recommend antibiotics and other treatments. Even though we always advise seeing a veterinarian, some owners have had success with home cures.

To begin, combine 3 parts water and 1 part betadine. Stir the mixture until it resembles a dark tea.

Dip the afflicted tail into the solution gently yet firmly, and hold it there for about five minutes. To absorb the naturally antibacterial cleaning solution, keep these areas immersed.

You might need to repeat this procedure multiple times to ensure that the tail is immersed for the whole five minutes if your bearded dragon is really active.

After that, dab the wet tail with a dry, soft paper towel or clean surface. Given that a decaying tail is delicate and easily damaged, this should be done with extreme care.

Apply some triple antibiotic ointment, such as simple Neosporin, to the afflicted region once the tail has completely dried.

For a least of one week and ideally two weeks, carry out the aforementioned tail soaking method 2 to 3 times each day. You should be aware that certain antibiotics may be too potent for the little dragon.

For advice on medications and further treatments, always seek the advice of a veterinarian experienced in caring for reptiles.

When Should You Consult A Vet?

Never forget that tail rot is a painful, degenerative ailment that, if left untreated, can be deadly for your bearded dragon. The greatest thing you can do for your bearded dragon is typically to take it to the veterinarian. If this cannot be done, the aforementioned first aid measures can be used.

Consult a specialized veterinarian if your first attempts at self-care were unsuccessful or if you first became aware of the tail rot after it was already advanced. Lethargy, a lack of food, and discomfort are behavioral indicators of tail rot that indicate the condition has advanced and your beardie needs medical assistance.

To ensure that the rotting tissue does not spread to the rest of the animal, the veterinarian could advise amputation. Even though it may sound severe, doing this could be the only way to save your bearded dragon. The typical post-amputation aftercare regimen includes keeping your beardie’s surroundings clean as well as hydration, healthy foods, and antibiotics.

The veterinarian could also demand additional physical examinations and scans to evaluate your dragon’s internal organs. Only a betadine bath and a few antibiotics will, at most, be recommended.

Now You’re Prepared

As you can see, you shouldn’t be concerned about bearded dragon tail rot. Once you comprehend it, it loses a lot of its threatening qualities.

But now that you’re equipped with the required knowledge, it’s up to you to prevent the usual mistake that business owners make:


It gets more simpler over time to stop being diligent and consistent with care in general. After all, nothing negative has occurred thus far, right?

But you must combat that!

Being committed and caring for their bearded dragon on a daily basis characterizes a good owner. In order for them to survive, keep in mind!

Decide on a timetable and stick to it. This will ensure that your pet has a long and fulfilling life in addition to preventing tail rot in bearded dragons.