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What Is Mouth Rot In Bearded Dragons?
Bearded Dragon mouth rot is also known as infectious stomatitis. As its name suggests it is caused by an infection of the mouth area. It’s generally quite treatable by antibiotics or antiseptic agents, but will often require the input of a Vet due to needing medications.
How Can I Recognize Bearded Dragon Mouth Rot?
The biggest giveaway here is likely to be a change in your dragon’s behaviour. He or she will become more lethargic and quite likely to be off their food. When you notice these changes there’s a number of reasons that could cause it. It’s worth checking their mouth to rule out mouth rot.
If it is mouth rot you’ll probably notice whiteish grey or yellowish grey patches around the mouth. You may also see some reddening and/or swelling. Your dragon may also produce a lot more saliva than usual leading to a drooling effect.
How Do I Treat Bearded Dragon Mouth Rot?
If caught early enough, and the symptoms are mild enough, some home remedies may work.
You can apply some Betadine on a swab to the affected area for example. Be careful not to leave too much Betadine on the swab or on their mouth as it’s not good for them to swallow it. The Betadine will probably need to be watered down a little bit. You can ask at your local reptile store as each product varies.
Chlorhexidine / Nolvasan also works well but will need watering down too. Apply the solution with a cotton bud / Q-Tip.
If the symptoms don’t resolve with this treatment after a few days, or you think that the infection is too serious to begin with, then you’ll need to speak to your vet and get some antibiotics.
How Do I Prevent Bearded Dragon Mouth Rot?
Most cases of mouth rot will come from the environment not being quite right. Insects that make up the the diet will harbor bacteria. These can cause an infection on your bearded dragon if the vivarium conditions allow it.
If your vivarium is too cool this will reduce the bearded dragon’s immune system. If the humidity is too high this will also have the same effect. So it’s worth checking your temperatures and your UV lamps to make sure everything is still functioning. Make sure their diet is up to standard and they’re getting enough calcium and vitamins. You can dust their live food with supplements if necessary.
Keeping an eye on your Bearded Dragon’s behavior and handling him or her regularly should help you to spot any issues early. In many cases early intervention can reduce recovery time and reduce need for costly interventions.
The image used for the featured image for this article was obtained from Wikimedia Commons and is licensed under the Creative Commons License. It has been slightly cropped from the original, which can be found here. Please note, the bearded dragon depicted in the featured image does not have mouth rot but we do not have any pictures of our own bearded dragons with mouth rot because – well, they don’t have it!