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Health of the

Bearded Dragon

Agama Lizard

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It is very frightening when your pet becomes sick,
especially if it is not a common pet like a cat or dog, and
you are not sure what to do to help it. Here are some
warning signs to watch out for and some tips to help you
keep your pet Bearded Dragon Agama Lizard healthy, and maybe
even cure minor problems without an expensive veterinarian

Prevention is the number one way to keep your pet
Bearded Dragon Agama lizard healthy. First of all, a proper
enclosure that created a habitat as close as possible to its
native home should be provided for your pet. A glass
enclosure is preferable, that way you can keep a closer eye
on your pet and notice if it starts to act strangely or a
wound or infection appears on its skin or eyes.

Bearded Dragon Agamas grow to be 20 inches in length and
live on average 7 to 12 years. You shouldn't keep more than
two together in a 3 to 4 foot enclosure and they should be
around the same size or else bullying or even death can
occur, with the larger harassing the smaller lizard. You
will need a full-spectrum UVB light, some heating lamps, a
basking perch, a pool, some climbing branches, and a cave
like structure. The basking area should be on one side of
the tank and the cave and pool should be on the other side
of the tank.

The tank temperature should be regulated to 75 - 80 degrees
Fahrenheit. The basking area temperature should be 95 - 100
degrees Fahrenheit. For the floor or substrate of the
enclosure playground sand is commonly used because it is
relatively dust free and easy to clean but it is not
recommended because of the danger that the lizard will pick
up sand with its food and that will lead to intestinal
impaction. You can use wheat bran as long as it is pest free
and rated for human consumption, outdoor carpeting, non-
stick padded shelf liner, or paper towels. Other recommended
substrates are aquarium or other small clean gravel or even

A clean tank is essential to the health of the Bearded
Dragon Agama Lizard. Clean the tank once a week if not more
often. Do not use harsh chemicals on the inside of the tank
to clean the glass or equipment. If needed you can wash the
equipment with dish soap, rinse thoroughly and let air dry.
Keeping a second tank and equipment in which to put your
lizards while you clean their tank is a good idea. That way
you also have a backup should anything happen to the first
tank. The Bearded Dragon is sensitive to environment
changes, so keeping a second enclosure with which your
lizard is familiar will cut down on stress. More lizards die
of stress and poor diet than any other cause.

Misting the enclosure occasionally to provide proper
humidity levels is good, and using distilled water can avoid
spotting on the inside of the glass. If your lizard is
having shedding problems due to low humidity, spraying the
lizard with some warm water can help. Be careful not to
spray the lizard directly unless circumstances merit it.
Change your lizard's water often. Your lizard may not drink
often but keeping the water clear of debris and feces is

Never overfeed your pet lizard. If your Bearded Dragon Agama
is small, mashing or crushing up its food into smaller bites
is essential for the health of your lizard. Smaller lizards
will take bites bigger than they can handle which can result
in intestinal impaction and death. An adult lizard's diet
should consisting of twenty percent vegetation, including
fruits and vegetables like Collard greens, red or green leaf
lettuce, raspberries, cantaloupes, carrots, and green beans.

The rest of the lizard's diet should be meat items such as
insects and pinkie mice. If your lizard tends to prefer meat
to vegetables, you can help keep its diet balanced by
grinding the vegetables and mixing with the meat, or
grinding both together. Adult lizards should be fed 3 to 5
times per week. Babies and pregnant females should be fed

Bathing your lizard helps not only to keep them clean and
free of pests, but can help with shedding and moisture
problems. Bathe in a sink or tub with warm but not hot
water. The water level should come up to their chest. Gently
stroke and rub the lizard with water. NO soap should need to
be used ever. If you want something to bathe them with ask
your local vet for an option. Bathing the lizard once a
month and only one lizard at a time is preferred. Never
leave your lizard unattended in the bath.

Paying close attention to your pet lizard is the best way to
prevent your lizard from dying. If your lizard isn't eating
regularly or not passing stool often or you notice more
white powdery substance mixed in with the stool, these are
symptoms indicative of sickness or stress. If you buy from a
pet store your lizard is more likely to be infected with
intestinal parasites. This is less likely to be the case if
you buy from a breeder. Once you buy a lizard you should
take the lizard to a veterinarian to have the lizard checked

Here are some common ailments that afflict pet lizards:

1. Mites
2. Terminal Ingestion
3. Thermal Burns from heat sources
4. Calcium Deficiency
5. Intestinal Impaction

6. Hypovitaminosis A
7. Respiratory Infections
8. Dehydration
9. Stomatitis
10. Internal Parasites

11. Coccidia
12. Other Parasites
13. Dystocia (Egg Binding)
14. MBD (Metabolic Bone Disease)
15. Skin Problems

Knowing your pet and its natural rhythms can prevent the
worst from happening. Also see the articles on this site
about Bearded Dragon Agama lizards and Breeding Bearded
Dragon Agama lizards for more information about your pet.
Remember, never take home a pet without first thinking about
its needs and what the future will bring for you and your
pet. NEVER let a lizard loose in your backyard or the wild.
There are pet stores and rescue clubs that will take the
lizard or even putting an ad in the paper is safer for the
pet than releasing it.

Here's to a long life and happy relationship with your pet
Bearded Dragon Agama.

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