Bearded Dragons

Do Bearded Dragons Carry Diseases – Everything You Need To Know

Do bearded dragons carry diseases. Bearded dragons are thought to be the best pet lizard, and we would agree. They’re a hardy species of lizard which are both friendly and full of character, which is exactly what you want from a pet reptile. Being the most popular lizard for reptile owners, it’s no wonder questions like these need to be answered. So, do bearded dragons carry diseases?

(Please scroll down to the bottom of the page to find ‘Other related articles you might like’, once you are done reading).

Throughout this article we will dive into the reason for diseases and infections, and whether they can be harmful to humans. 

If a bearded dragon is well looked after, with a clean environment and a healthy varied diet, then bearded dragons are usually very disease resistant. They are known to be a very hardy animal, given the correct diet and hygiene (which can only be given through the owners).

However, if they are not kept in suitable conditions, their chance of fighting off diseases and infections are decreased massively. In the most serious cases, any of these diseases or infections can result in death for your bearded dragon. Follow this link to find out some death signs to look out for.

So what are the most common health problems for bearded dragons?

There are five main health problems or conditions for bearded dragons. These can sometime be very hard to determine, and should always be seen to by. Veterinarian if you are unsure or have any doubts about its health. 

These four diseases and infections are; 

  • Metabolic Bone Disease 
  • Mouth Rot 
  • Parasites 
  • Respiratory Infections  

Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD)

What is MBD?

Metabolic Bone Disease, also known as Nutritional Secondary Hyperparathyroidism, (even I find that hard to pronounce) is a highly complex disease which is the most common disease or health related problem for pet bearded dragons.

It is commonly found in juveniles as they are at most risk for many health risks due to their age and vulnerability. As mature adults, bearded dragons are thought to be very hardy reptiles. They can eat a variety of foods with little affects on their digestion system. However, as juveniles aren’t so well equipped for such foods.

Feeding juveniles an improper diet that is low in calcium and vitamin D3 is the main cause of MBD.

Signs of Metabolic Bone Disease to look out for include the following;
  • Difficulty walking around
  • Swelling to lower jaw
  • Unable to control their back legs 
  • Twitches and Muscle tumours 
  • Knots under their skin (damaged bone)
  • Bruising

If you notice any of these signs, please take your bearded dragon to a trained veterinarian as soon as possible. You must keep a close eye on your bearded dragon and monitor them daily as signs like these aren’t always easy to spot.

Can this disease be spread to humans?

MBD can not usually be bread to humans from bearded dragons. The bone disease is an internal disease which can not be passed on to humans. Humans are usually well equipped to handle such diseases as we are able to easily access calcium and vitamin D3 from the sun. Where as pet bearded dragons may not get the chance to do so if kept out of direct sunlight. 

Humans calcium requirement is usually lower and their bones bigger, allowing them to store more calcium than needed. Therefore severe MBD is very uncommon for humans. Only in some serious cases of abnormalities in a humans body, which is commonly known at birth.

Infectious Stomatitis (Mouth Rot)

Mouth rot is another disease which can be found in bearded dragons, however its not as common as found in other lizard species. Mouth rot is a bacterial infection of the gums and jaw bone, which can be determined mainly by swelling.

Signs of Mouth Rot are;
  • Hemorrhages on the gums
  • Gum swelling
  • Excessive thick mucus in the mouth
  • Lack of appetite 

If you see any of these symptoms, please get your pet bearded dragon to a veterinarian as soon as possible. To give your pet the best chance of survival and recovery, you’ll need to act fast and get the correct treatments and antibiotics.

Usually Mouth Rot requires injectable antibiotics as well as an antiseptic mouth rise solution. 

Can Mouth Rot be spread to humans?

No, as far as our research has found Mouth Rot in bearded dragons can not be spread to humans. It can however be spread further through its own body though. Mouth Rot can actually spread through to a bearded dragons lungs if it is not treated for a long period of time. The chances of survival become slimmer every day it goes untreated and is determined though neglect.

Parasites 

Parasites are common in the intestinal tract of pet bearded dragons, especially pinworms. This can be a very hard one to spot as your bearded dragon may not show any signs of parasites or discomfort. Annual check ups and decal examination are usually the time when parasites are discovered.

Parasites are thought to generally be low harm to a bearded dragon. They live within a bearded d dragons gastrointestinal tracts. This causes no real harm to a bearded dragons, but it also has no benefits. They can cause a little discomfort in relation to Diarrhea. 

Signs of Parasites include;
  • Change on behaviour
  • Lack of enthusiasm 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargic
  • Loss of appetite
How to treat parasites?

You should always seek advise from a veterinarian. They will usually give you some treatments and wormer medication to treat parasites. 

Preventing the potential cause of infestation is key also. Keeping your bearded dragons enclosure clean and waste free is top of the list. Hygiene levels need to be kept high, and this is the best way to prevent infestations of parasites. 

Can parasites be spread to humans?

YES! 

Parasites such as Pinworm can in fact be spread to humans from bearded dragons. The main cause of spreading is through the ingesting or inhaling Pinworm eggs. Pinworm eggs are commonly deposited onto a surface. Say you touch the surface and don’t clean your hands afterwards and pick up an item of food and eat it. Then you could unknowingly be ingesting the pinworm eggs into your own body.

This is why it is so important to wash your hands every time after handling your pet bearded dragon.

Respiratory Infections 

Respiratory infections are very common in bearded dragons. Pneumonia is probably the most common respiratory infection for lizards as it can be spurred on by many different factors. Bearded dragons which are stressed, have an improper diet, or kept in poor living conditions, are at most risk from respiratory health problems.

These problems can be caused by Bacteria, Viruses, Fungi and Parasites. 

Signs of Respiratory Infection include;
  • Sneezing
  • Deep or shallow breathing
  • Discharge from eyes and nose
  • Excess mucus around mouth
  • Lack in appetite 

Again, preventing the potential cause of infestation is key. Keeping your bearded dragons enclosure clean and waste free is top of the list. Hygiene levels need to be kept high, and this is the best way to prevent Respiratory Infections. 

Can Respiratory Infections be spread to humans?

Certain types of Pheumonia can be spread from human to human, but as far as our research goes we have not found any indication of respiratory infection being spread from bearded dragons to humans.

Please contact a veterinarian for more information about do bearded dragons carry diseases.

Conclusion

In brief, yes, some diseases and infections can be spread from bearded dragons to humans. So please seek further advise from a veterinarian who will know a lot more on these matters if you are unsure. We hope this has spread some light on the question, Do bearded dragons carry diseases?

Thank you again for reading our articles. For more information on bearded dragons please follow our links to further article which we think you may like;

After searching and testing many different products, we have come up with our list of “Must Have” items for recommendations for both price, and durability for the best enclosure accessories.

Bathing Water Bowl – Click Here

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Heat Lamp – Click Here

Reliable Thermometer – Click Here

Vivarium/Enclosure – Click Here

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