Frequently Asked Questions
This is a page where you can email me questions and I will answer them and post them up here for others to glean information from as well. Please put FAQ at the top if you are willing for the question to be posted on here.
Q: How often should my Bearded Dragon poo?
A: That depends largely on the diet and age of the Beardie. If it is a hatchling or juvenile, you can expect them to have a bowel movement at least once a day. An adult fed silkworms will also likely have a bowel movement once a day. However, an adult on a diet of things like crickets or superworms and veggies will likely go between 1-3 times a week. Basically, anything between 1 to 7 times a week is normal.
Q: What are these weird dark markings on my Bearded Dragon's stomach? They look kinda like this (), or a snakeskin pattern?
A: Those are completely normal. They are called stress marks, but despite the name they don't really mean stress. They happen when a Bearded Dragon is cold, irritated, interested in something, and sometimes they just randomly show up just because. At any rate, they are nothing to be alarmed about. A dark Beard is the true sign of stress or upset, not these. These are just common markings, no worries.
Q: There is mold on my Bearded Dragon eggs! What to do?
A: Firstly, healthy Bearded Dragons can hatch out of moldy eggs, so don't throw them away until they start smelling as well, at which point it is safe to give up on them. Just gently wipe off the mold with a cloth, and continue incubating. I have heard of putting antifungal treatment on the eggs and that working as well, but can not personally attest to the safety of that method for the eggs.
Q: Why don't I ever see urine in my Beardie's stools?
A: You don't see urine because the form of a Bearded Dragon's urine is different than a human's. To conserve moisture, Bearded Dragons produce urates instead of urine. The urates are the white, chalky substance mixed in with your Bearded Dragons feces.
Q: My red beardie is small, only about 8 inches (including tail). How do I tell if Horace is a he or a she? Is the right side of his lower abdomen supposed to be hard? Is that his poo or is there something wrong with him?
A: It is hard to sex that young, because he still has not reached sexual maturity yet. However, you can still give it a shot. Gently lift up his lower body so that the area around his legs and near his tail on the underside is exposed. Be sure not to pull the tail back too much while doing this, because if you do it is possible to snap a vertebrae. Once you have the area open to view, you are looking for bumps just above the vent area. One central bump is a female, two bumps towards the sides are the male. Here are pictures showing the bumps: (the first is a male, the second a female):
As for your second question, yes, the right side of the lower abdomen is supposed to be hard, but it is not his feces. I checked some dissection photos to see what is there, but I can not tell if it is an organ or a bone because the only pictures I could find were extremely low quality. Definitely not feces though. I have noticed the same hard lump on, so I can attest to the normality of the hardness there. I intend to look into what exactly it is more, at which point I will update this.
Q: How do I tell how old my Beardie is?
A: Unfortunately it is, for all practical purposes, impossible to know a Bearded Dragon's age without knowing its whole history. This is because a, say, 6 month old Bearded Dragon given poor care in somewhere like a pet shop can be stunted to the point that it looks like a 6 week old. Then there are the genetics, with ever dragon growing differently. Teeth and such are not indicators like they are in horses, either. The best I can do for this question, that being the case, is to post some growth charts so you can see averages and make a rough guess from there. Here is the growth chart for my slowest healthy grower:
2 days old: 3 1/2 inches
1 1/2 months old: 6 inches long
5 months: 10 inches
1 year: 16 inches
18 months: 18 1/2 inches.
And here is a link to more growth charts as well: Bearded Dragon Growth Charts
Q: My bearded dragon recently started doing this thing were he shakes his head up and down really fast like its vibrating and gets his whole body going sometimes, at first i thought he was cold because the first time i seen him do this was in the morning and his lamp wasnt on yet but he does it sitting underneath it sometimes now, he's just a baby about 2 months old just wanted to make sure he doesnt have a cold or something.
A: It sounds like your Bearded Dragon has discovered head bobbing, one of the many forms of Bearded Dragon body language. Head bobbing is a sign to show dominance, but, especially when young and just discovering body language, a Bearded Dragon may do it just because it enjoys doing so. I've caught hatchlings many times arm waving their submission to crickets and their own reflections. Fast, complete body pumping like yours is doing is shown (when they are not just doing it to experiment or entertain themselves) in cases of a male about to mate and in either sex showing, "I am the Emperor of the World" dominance. Sounds like you have a cocky Beardie on your hands. Enjoy him, and don't worry, this is not a sign of a cold or any other health issues, it is just normal Bearded Dragon behavior.
Q: Why is my bearded dragon biting all it's fingers and toes and making them bleed. is this normal? Can i do something to prevent this from happening? I only have one in a cage.
A: First off, no, this is not normal, and obviously is very harmful behavior. If he does this enough, he could lose his fingers and toes. As for why he does it, it usually has to do with retained sheds (old caked-on scales or skin that didn't drop off with a shed like they should have). They stick on his fingers and toes and cut off the circulation, so that he becomes desperate enough to bite the shed off, hurting himself in the process. Treat the wounds with Neosporin or Betadine, and if they are bad enough a vet visit may be in order. Watch out for signs of infection (like pus, smell, discoloration, and swelling.) What you need to focus on as well is how to get the sheds off. First, is your humidity between 30-60%? If not, excessive dryness could make shedding more difficult for him. Next, you need to get that retained shed off yourself, without harming him. To do this, give him warm baths, every day would be good to start with. During these baths, look for retained shed and gently rub it off with a soft-bristled toothbrush. If this treatment doesn't work, then take him to a herp vet to see other options and possibilites as to why he could be doing this.