Bearded dragons are some of the cutest lizards we can have for pets. But, because they require artificial heat to thrive, there may be moments when your precious pet lizard will sustain a burn.
This guide will give you a quick overview on how to treat and prevent bearded dragon burns and more. If the burn is minor, you should be able to apply some aloe and it will heal on its own. However, if you are in doubt about the severity or it’s clearly down to the muscle, go to the vet ASAP.
Unfortunately, bearded dragons don’t tell us when they’re in pain and we may not find out until much later. This is why it’s imperative you always inspect your beardie’s body every so often to ensure it doesn’t have a burn in an inconspicuous place.
How to know if they are burned?
Burning on your bearded dragon will be obvious and look much like when you receive a burn. The skin will peel back along with discoloration and bubbling that may ooze fluids, depending on how bad it is. If you touch the area and the beardie moves or jerks, you know it’s a burn.
What you should do to prevent your bearded dragon from being burned in his terrarium?
There are several preventative measures you can take to ensure your bearded dragon doesn’t sustain a burn in its terrarium or outside of it.
- Separate the Heat Source: If there is a heating pad beneath and/or a light above the terrarium, there must be some distance between the beardie and the heat. This means using a wire covering over the top and using enough substrate (or other buffer).
- Avoid Heat Rocks: Many people love using heat rocks because it keeps their bearded dragon warm, especially during winter. But these are one of the primary causes of burns and you should avoid using them. They don’t regulate themselves and the beardie doesn’t know when to get off of it.
- Appropriate Lamps: Ensure the lamp gives off the proper level of heat appropriate to the size of the terrarium. Always ask your vet and refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for specific bulb requirements. Never use halogen bulbs.
- Don’t Let the Beardie Roam Freely: Always monitor and observe your bearded dragon when you let it roam around the house. Don’t let it come into contact with open heat sources like candles, radiators, fireplaces and etc.
- Equipment Check: If you’ve done all the points above, there may be a malfunction with your light or heating pad. Faulty wiring, a short, or other damage can cause a thermal spike and thus burning your lizard.
How do you treat and heal a burn on a bearded dragon?
If you know it’s only surface burn, you probably can treat the burn by keeping the area clean and moist with pure, fresh and organic aloe gel or juice. Do not use soap and water, just aloe gel or juice. If you need to clean off debris, use a cotton swab or pad with the aloe as the disinfectant.
Should I take my bearded dragon to the vet?
Because bearded dragons can experience various degrees of burn, just like people do, you should take the lizard to the vet. This is especially true if the burn is severe, where you can see muscle tissue, or you are uncertain of the degree. Also, even if the burn wasn’t bad to start but it’s not healing after a week, take the lizard to the vet.
Unfortunately, the breaks and tears that can appear after a burn means your reptile can suffer from fungal or bacterial infections. These can be fatal if you don’t take care of them properly. Vet treatments will include things like pain management, fluid recovery, and antibiotics.
They may also instruct you on feeding in the event the creature lost many fluids. This is likely when its body attempts to heal itself from a severe burn.
Will they get over it and go back to their terrarium with ease?
Because there’s a huge debate over whether bearded dragons feel pain or not when burned, chances are it will go back to its terrarium with ease. Beardies aren’t like people in that regard. But, if yours is avoiding its terrarium because of the burn, make sure the conditions are perfect and desirable for your precious lizard.
When you notice skin peeling, splitting and breaking on your beardie, chances are, it’s a burn from their heat and light sources within the terrarium. When in doubt, take the lizard to the vet so it can get the right care as quickly as possible. But, if you know it’s minor, you can treat it with pure, organic aloe.