Beardies First

Can Bearded Dragons Get Bruises?

Bearded dragons are relatively fragile reptiles that may suffer from different diseases, some of which can be easily addressed, while others are more serious. This is why it is important to be familiar with the common diseases in bearded dragons and their respective remedies. How about bruises, then? Can bearded dragons get bruises, too?

can bearded dragons get bruises

Sadly, yes, bearded dragons can get bruises because of reasons that may be a cause for alarm, which means that you need to fix the problem sooner than later.

What to Do If You See Bruises on Your Bearded Dragon

Once you notice any bruises, abrasions, burns, and dislocations on the limbs of your beardie, it is a must that you act as fast as you can. You should treat any disease related to the extremities of your bearded dragon right away to prevent the need for surgery, or worse, even amputation.

In addition, when the claws of your bearded dragon turn swollen, or if there are some burn traces on your pet’s limbs, it just makes sense for you to worry. Make sure that all the claws of your pet as well as its gait is also normal.

To ensure that things get worse to the point that a surgical operation becomes necessary, there are two things that you need to check:

  • Layout of your beardie’s tank or enclosure: See to it that the layout of the terrarium of your bearded dragon is conducive to free movement. There also shouldn’t be any elements that may injure your pet.
  • Overall hygiene of the enclosure or tank: Make sure that you use only the appropriate substrate in the habitat and make it your habit to regularly clean the interior of the terrarium.

Common Skin Conditions in Bearded Dragons

Aside from bruises, bearded dragons can also suffer from some skin conditions, such as the following:


Dysecdysis is among the most common skin problems not only in bearded dragons but also in other species of reptiles. This is the incomplete or abnormal shedding of the outer layer of the skin, affecting all beardies regardless of age.

If you have been a beardie owner for some time now, you might already know that their skin is shed now and then. This process happens throughout the lifespan of your beardie and is important for growth. Stuck or retained shed on various parts of the body is the main characteristic of dysecdysis.

Nutritional deficiencies, parasitic infestations, and dehydration are the primary causes of this skin condition. Good thing that this is a treatable and preventable disease at the same time. Feeding your bearded dragon foods with high amounts of vitamin A can protect your beardie from dysecdysis.

Make sure that the humidity levels in your dragon’s enclosure remain at 20% to 40%. If you don’t treat it in time, retained shed may impede blood flow to some body parts of your beardie.

Scale Rot

Scale rot in bearded dragons is the result of bacteria thriving in moist conditions. Your bearded dragon is likely to suffer from scale rot if you expose it to high humidity levels. This condition can cause severe damage to the scales of your beardie. The bacteria may initially infect just a few scales but may spread late on to other parts of the body. To make matters worse, scale rot is also contagious.

Bearded dragons suffering from scale rot have brownish scales and flaky skin. Blisters and abscesses may also form in affected parts which leads to the falling off of scales.

Maintaining the levels of humidity at 20% to 40% can ward off this disease. The enclosure of the bearded dragon must also be cleaned regularly using a disinfectant to prevent bacteria buildup.

Wrinkly Skin

While wrinkly skin is not considered a type of skin disease, this is also a common condition in beardies. The skin of a bearded dragon may become wrinkly if it is underweight or dehydrated. These two factors can both lead to serious health concerns. Be sure that you take your bearded dragon to the vet immediately to get a proper diagnosis.

Skin Burns

Skin burns in bearded dragons are often due to excessive exposure to heat lamps. Burned skin patches can make beardies prone to bacterial and fungal infections.

To keep your beardie safe, make sure that the heat lamp in the enclosure is installed correctly. Turn the lamps only if there is a low ambient temperature.

Bearded dragons only need heat at 75°F to 85°F during the day, while nighttime temperatures must be between 70°F and 75°F. The lamps must also be on for under 12 hours daily to prevent overheating.

Yellow Skin Fungus

Yellow skin fungus or medically called Chrysosporium Anamorph of Nanniziopsis vriesii (CANV) is the type of fungal infection affecting a bearded dragon’s skin tissue. This infection attacks both the upper and lower layers of skin.

This may also spread to other critical organs including the lungs, spleen, and liver when left untreated. When things get worse, however, the severe yellow fungus may even be fatal for bearded dragons. As its name suggests, CANV can cause the skin of the animal to turn yellowish.

But some skin patches may also turn brown once the infection damages the deeper skin layers. The pathogen causing CANV primarily attacks the superficial skin layers with high keratin content. This is a highly contagious disease, which means it can spread easily from one beardie to another.

When you notice discoloration on the skin of your bearded dragon, make sure you separate the skin dragon from the rest. Stress, unhygienic conditions, and poor diet are among the key factors that can make your bearded dragon prone to CANV.

The Bottom Line

Yes, bearded dragons can get bruises and may also suffer from different skin diseases, some of which are highly contagious. This is why it is important to quarantine any sick beardie right away to ensure that the disease doesn’t spread to the rest of the colony. Skin diseases in bearded dragons may also be fatal if treatment is administered late.