Bearded Dragon Care

All The Bearded Dragons Toe Issues And What To Do About Them

The name of the bearded dragon is accurate. It has a dragon-like armor of prickly reptile scales, including a spikey “beard” beneath its chin that swells up depending on its mood. On each of its four limbs, bearded dragons have five toes or digits, each with a toenail. Toes and nails are essential because they allow these animals to climb, walk, and even burrow.

Unfortunately, Bearded dragons can develop a range of toe problems for a variety of reasons. Curled up toes, black toes, toes sticking together, toes falling off, and other ailments ranging from more serious to less serious can all occur. Fortunately, with adequate attention and care, most of the issues can be resolved.

Continue reading to learn more about all the toe issues that can arise in a bearded dragon, including why they happen, and what to do about them.

What Kind of Toe issues Can Arise in A Bearded Dragon?

If your Bearded Dragon develops toe issues, which are regrettably rather prevalent among the Bearded Dragon species, the thrill of taking your lizard home will rapidly fade. Due to many factors, Bearded Dragons are prone to developing toe problems. These difficulties can range from severe to minor, but they can still cause a slew of complications for your small reptile.

Curled up toes, black toes, fractured toes, toes locked together, toes dropping off, and other toe concerns in Bearded Dragons should be taken seriously by their owners. In this article, we’ll go over what these difficulties are and what they can signify, as well as what you can do to help your Bearded Dragon overcome their toe problems.

My Bearded Dragon’s Toenails Are Curling

Why Does Curling Happen?

There are a few reasons why your bearded dragon’s toes curl or point up. Broken toes are one of the most common causes of a lizard’s toes curling. 

Another reason your bearded dragon’s toes curl up is if the place they are resting on is extremely hot. For example, this can occur when your bearded dragon is sunbathing, and the basking rock or platform becomes too hot.

Owners should also note that when relaxing or laying down, a bearded dragon’s toes can also point up. If this occurs, there is nothing to be concerned about as long as your Beardie continues to walk normally. After all, the toes of a Bearded dragon are fairly flexible.

What To Do If You Notice Curling?

If your bearded dragon’s toes are curling and making it difficult for them to walk, it’s time to take them to the vet. After all, if a bearded dragon’s toe curls, this can be an indication of a broken bone.

This can occur as a result of a single event or as a symptom of metabolic bone disease (MBD). As a result, a trip to the veterinarian is required to ensure that your lizard’s toe heels in properly aligned and free of infection.

My Bearded Dragon’s Toenails Are Breaking and Falling Off

Why Do Nails Fall Off Bearded Dragons?

One of the most common causes for a bearded dragon’s toenails to break and fall off is due to a variety of behavioral characteristics. For example, if your bearded dragon gets into a confrontation with another lizard or digs excessively in their habitat, they can lose a toenail.

What To Do If Your Bearded Dragon’s Nail Falls Off?

If your bearded dragon’s nail has been torn off or damaged, it is most likely bleeding. As a result, styptic powder should be used to halt the bleeding. Following that, disinfect the nail and toe as needed until the wound heals.

Owners can accomplish this at home by soaking the wounded toe in a moderate Betadine solution every day for the first few days, then 2-3 times a week once it improves. After that, apply some antibiotic ointment, such as Neosporin.

My Bearded Dragon’s Toenail Has Turned Black

Why Do Bearded Dragon Toenails Turn Black?

If the blood supply to your bearded dragon’s toes is cut off, they will become black and fall off. Therefore, it is critical to ensure blood circulation occurs in order to avoid necrosis.

However, problematic shedding, accidents, burns, illness, and other traumas can also cause a Bearded dragon’s toes to fall off.

What To Do If Your Bearded Dragon’s Toenail Turns Black?

If your bearded dragon’s toes begin to turn black and fall off, medications may be required to combat the illness. Therefore, you will need to act swiftly, especially if the shed is one that is inhibiting blood flow. 

As a result, you can also begin administering washes and removing any trapped shed to avoid necrosis in other toes.

My Bearded Dragon’s Toenails Are Getting Stuck Together

Why Are My Bearded Dragon’s Toenails Getting Stuck Together?

The most likely explanation of your bearded dragon’s toes sticking together is that they recovered that way after the bone was broken previously. For example, if your bearded dragon has already sustained an injury or broken bone, its toes may fuse together during the healing process.

However, be aware that some bearded dragons are born with fused toes. Therefore, you should inquire about the history of your dragon before purchasing it.

Fused toes can also occur as a result of problematic shedding. For example, your bearded dragon may bite its own toes and bleed throughout the shedding process. As a result, their blood will dry, and their toes will stick together.

What To Do If Your Bearded Dragon’s Toenails Get Stuck Together?

You can care for your bearded dragon’s fused toes at home if they don’t appear twisted or fractured. Owners can either bathe or immerse their bearded dragon in a bath to help resolve this issue.

To help the toes separate while soaking, gently stimulate them with a q-tip. If there is blood or it appears that a bite or damage has occurred, apply an antibiotic ointment for several days to avoid infection.

My Bearded Dragon Has Crooked Toes 

Why Do Bearded Dragons Get Crooked Toes?

Metabolic bone disease (MBD) is a common condition in reptiles. MBD is the name for a variety of calcium-related disorders in reptiles. Due to the calcium imbalance caused by metabolic bone disease, your bearded dragon’s toes can appear crooked.

MBD can be caused by either poor diet or handling. Therefore, maintaining correct enclosure temperatures will help reptiles to effectively digest their food. After all, the ability to effectively digest meals is critical for absorbing minerals, including calcium, which encourages correct bone growth.

What To Do If You Notice Your Bearded Dragon Has Crooked Toes?

Oral calcium supplements, rehydration with fluids, dietary assistance, therapy with injectable vitamin D3, and calcitonin injections are frequently required for metabolic bone disease. This will, therefore, require a trip to your local veterinarian.

Owners should also feed their dragons lots of green leafy vegetables to ensure they get enough calcium. For example, spring greens, lamb’s lettuce, and Timothy Hay are all excellent calcium sources for your dragon. However, avoid spinach since it can actually prevent calcium absorption.

My Bearded Dragon Has a Swollen Toe

Reasons Why Your Bearded Dragon Has A Swollen Toe?

If your bearded dragon’s toes are broken, infected, damaged, or if there is any retained shed, they can become swollen. As a result, if the toe, or possibly the entire leg or wrist, of your bearded dragon is swollen, you should presume there is some internal damage.

What To Do If You Notice Your Bearded Dragon Has Swollen Toes

If your bearded dragon’s toes, wrists, or legs get swollen, it’s time to take it to the vet. Since there is likely some internal damage, owners will require an x-ray to identify a diagnosis and treatment plan to restore your bearded dragon’s health.

Final Thoughts

Bearded dragons, unfortunately, can develop a variety of toe disorders for a variety of causes. Curled toes, black toes, toes sticking together, toes falling off, and a variety of other maladies, both major and minor, can all occur. Fortunately, most of the concerns can be remedied with proper attention and care.

Take note that it’s important for you to take your bearded dragon to the vet if their toe issues are making it difficult for them to walk or seem diseased. Owners may, however, strive to keep their bearded dragons’ toe injuries and worries at bay at home by providing them with sufficient observation and care.

For example, if your bearded dragon’s toes aren’t twisted or fractured, you can care for them at home. To effectively resolve this concern, owners can bathe their bearded dragon and their toes in a bath.


Chris is a reptile enthusiast, breeder, and blogger from the Milwaukee, WI area. After breeding hundreds of bearded dragons to supply local pet stores and owning many other types of reptiles, he is now focused on sharing knowledge to help owners properly care for their little reptiles friends.

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