Have you noticed blood in your bearded dragon’s stool or around its vent?
Is the bowel movement of your bearded dragon different than usual?
Anal bleeding is a sign of several possible health issues that must be urgently addressed.
A bearded dragon bleeding from the anus may be a severe cause for concern.
A bearded dragon with anal bleeding either has pinworms, an internal injury, or a digestive blockage. Other rarer conditions could occur, but these are the most typical possibilities.
Table of Contents
Possible Reasons A Bearded Dragon Bleeding From Anus
If you notice bleeding around the cloacal or vent area of your pet, or if the bearded dragon poop appears bloody, it may be experiencing one of these health conditions.
- Parasites: most commonly pinworms
- Internal injuries: bleeding in the intestines or stomach
- Constipation: difficulty digesting food
- Impaction: ingesting something its body is unable to digest
And, more rarely:
- Seminal plugs: built-up semen in males which can lead to an infection
- Prolapses: internal tissues slip out through the vent
Read on to learn about each of these health conditions in bearded dragons.
Pinworms In Bearded Dragons
Pinworms are the most common parasitic infection bearded dragons experience.
A veterinarian can detect them by testing a fecal sample from your beardie.
If your dragon has pinworms, your vet will likely prescribe a deworming medication.
Along with medical treatment, it is important to thoroughly sanitize your beardie’s entire habitat and maintain good cleanliness, so the parasites don’t return.
Can Pinworms Kill Bearded Dragons?
Sometimes, pinworms are commensal.
This means the parasites benefit from the dragon, but the dragon is neither harmed nor helped by the parasites.
A bearded dragon may have pinworms for a long time without showing any symptoms.
Other times, pinworms can turn deadly.
Because they feed off the nutrition your bearded dragon ingests, pinworms can cause malnutrition, rapid weight loss, and even death.
Along with anal bleeding or a blood-stained bearded dragon poop, look for these other symptoms caused by parasites:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
If you notice any of these symptoms in your dragon, it is vital to visit the veterinarian.
How To Prevent Pinworms In Bearded Dragons
Maintaining a clean habitat and healthy food habits is best to prevent parasites like pinworms from plaguing your beardie.
- Clean your bearded dragon’s cage regularly
- Clean out the bearded dragon poop every day
- Change substrate every two or three weeks
- Clean food and water dishes with warm, soapy water every day
- Remove any leftover food each day
- Wash your hands after handling your dragon
- Wash your hands between each animal when handling multiple dragons.
Taking your bearded dragon to its annual checkup will also help keep it healthy.
A veterinarian can test a bearded dragon poop sample once a year to ensure your beardie is parasite-free.
Internal Injuries In Bearded Dragons
Another potentially severe health concern, internal injuries, can cause bleeding in the stomach or intestines, resulting in blood in bearded dragon poop.
Ingesting Unsafe Substrate
Internal bleeding is commonly caused by a bearded dragon ingesting unsafe substrate.
Materials like wood chips, rocks, or loose house carpeting can cause serious problems in your pet, including blood in the bearded dragon poop.
It is easy to prevent this.
Only use appropriate substrate for bearded dragons, like this reptile terrarium carpet.
Bearded dragons love to climb, which puts them in danger of falling.
If your beardie ever falls and you later notice anal bleeding, it may have an internal fracture or organ rupture.
Monitor your pet for other symptoms like:
- Abdominal swelling
- Laborious breathing
- Bleeding from the mouth
If anal bleeding doesn’t subside, or your dragon continues to behave uncharacteristically, make a vet appointment as soon as possible.
While constipation and impaction are digestive concerns, impaction is a more serious health problem requiring immediate attention.
Constipation in Bearded Dragons
Constipation occurs when an animal has trouble digesting food, resulting in difficult bowel movements and blood in bearded dragon poop.
It may be caused by dehydration or an unbalanced diet.
Symptoms of constipation include:
- Difficulty performing bowel movements
- Loss of appetite
Impaction in Bearded Dragons
Impaction occurs when an indigestible mass is in the animal’s stomach (such as unsafe substrate, like rocks) or when the digestive system stops functioning correctly (frequently caused by unbalanced diets or incorrect habitat temperatures).
This results in literal blockage of the dietary tract, which can have dangerous or deadly consequences if untreated.
In addition to the symptoms of constipation, warning signs of impaction include:
- Not pooping for a long time
- Swollen belly
- Pale skin
- Rapid weight loss
Impaction is an urgent health concern.
If a warm bath and belly massage doesn’t fix the problem, take your beardie to the vet as soon as possible.
Less Common Reasons for Anal Bleeding
A few other conditions may result in anal bleeding.
However, they typically have more obvious symptoms.
Retained Seminal Plugs
Reasonably common in adult bearded dragons, retained plugs are waxy columns of sperm buildup around the vent.
Usually, they are expelled when the dragon poops, but they can occasionally get stuck.
When seminal plugs get stuck and not manually removed, they may block bowel movements, causing infections and discomfort.
While anal bleeding may be a prolapse symptom, it is usually obvious when a bearded dragon is experiencing this condition.
Generally caused by excessive straining, a prolapse occurs when internal tissue slips outside of the body through the vent.
You will see raw pink or purple skin protruding from the anal area.
A prolapse is considered an emergency health situation.
Keep the exposed tissue lubricated and clean, and get your beardie to a veterinarian as quickly as possible.
Check out our prolapse prevention for bearded dragons post for a great dedicated guide on the topic.
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Different Types of Bearded Dragon Poop and What Do They Mean
Bearded dragons, just like other reptiles, can provide important clues about their health through their poop. Although there can be some variations, certain characteristics of bearded dragon poop can indicate potential health issues.
Let us share with you some common types of bearded dragon poop and what they might mean:
Normal bearded dragon poop is usually firm, moist, and well-formed, with a healthy brown to green color. Sometimes, the color might vary a bit, but as long as the poop looks well-formed, you’re good to go.
Chalky White Urates
You might have noticed that sometimes your bearded dragon’s poop has a chalky white appearance. Don’t worry, it’s usually just the urates, the solid, white part of their feces that includes waste byproducts like uric acid.
In fact, seeing chalky white urates is actually a good sign! It typically means that your bearded dragon is well-hydrated and healthy. When they’re properly hydrated, their waste is excreted in a concentrated form, leading to the white appearance of urates.
However, if you notice that the urates are excessively dry, powdery, or crumbly, it could mean that your dragon is dehydrated and needs more water. On the other hand, overly watery urates could be a sign of overhydration or an issue with kidney function.
If your bearded dragon’s poop looks a bit runny or watery, it could happen for a few different reasons.
It could be due to their diet, like if they’re eating too many watery fruits or veggies. Or they might have picked up a parasite, which can cause tummy troubles and diarrhea. Sometimes stress or changes in their environment can also make them poop differently. If they’re dehydrated, not getting enough water, or their enclosure isn’t at the right temperature, their poop might be looser than usual. And there are some illnesses or medications that can cause this too.
If you notice that your bearded dragon’s poop is consistently runny or watery, or if they’re showing other signs of being sick, it’s really important to take them to a reptile vet.
While it may not be the most pleasant thing to see, but if you notice blood in bearded dragon poop, it can be a sign of a serious health issue. This could be caused by a variety of factors, such as bacterial or parasitic infections, digestive disorders, or even internal injuries.
It’s important to act quickly and seek help from a reptile veterinarian, who can diagnose the specific issue causing blood in the bearded dragon poop and provide appropriate treatment. Delaying care may make things worse, so don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you notice any concerning changes in your bearded dragon’s poop.
Undigested Food in Stool
If you see you bearded dragon pooping indigested food particles, it might mean that their body is having trouble digesting the food properly. But don’t worry, this is pretty common!
It could be due to a few different things, like not having the right temperature in their enclosure, not feeding them a balanced diet with the right size prey and veggies, or not chewing their food properly. To make sure your bearded dragon stays healthy, it’s important to keep their environment warm, feed them the right foods, and take them to the vet if you notice any problems. Regular check-ups with a reptile veterinarian can help keep your bearded dragon feeling great!
Mucus in Stool
If you notice mucus in your bearded dragon’s feces, it could be a sign of some health issues that need attention. Mucus in the stool usually indicates gastrointestinal irritation or inflammation, which could be caused by bacterial or parasitic infections, dietary imbalances, dehydration, or environmental stress. But don’t worry, you can always consult with a reptile veterinarian to address these concerns.
Regular check-ups and fecal tests can help identify and treat infections, ensure a well-balanced diet, maintain hydration, and provide a stable environment for your bearded dragon.
If your dragon is eating too many insects without enough veggies, they might end up with black poop. So, be sure to include chopped plants and vegetables in their diet, especially for active adult bearded dragons, at least two to three times a week.
If you notice that your bearded dragon’s feces is still black even after eating leafy greens, it’s important to have their stool examined. Black poop could be a sign of impaction, which is a condition that blocks bowel movements and can lead to tears, internal bleeding, and severe constipation. If your dragon’s poop is foul-smelling and watery, this might suggest a parasitic infection.
Remember, the feces in a bearded dragon’s environment naturally darkens after a few hours. So, don’t worry if you notice some darkening after a while. Just keep an eye on your dragon’s poop and make sure they’re getting a well-balanced diet.
If your bearded dragon’s poop appears yellow, it’s possible that there may be some liver or digestive issues going on. It could also be due to excessive calcium intake.
However, if you have a female bearded dragon and you notice some yellow stuff, it could be an infertile egg, which is actually quite common. However, it’s important not to try and pull it out.
On the other hand, if you have an adult male bearded dragon and you see some yellow string-like stuff, it’s probably a seminal plug, which is also normal. In either case, giving your dragon a bath and a gentle massage can really help.
If you have noticed that your bearded dragon’s poop is sometimes green, don’t worry! It’s usually just because of some green dye in their food or from munching on some leafy green veggies. It’s totally normal and nothing to be concerned about!
It’s important to keep an eye on your bearded dragon’s poop as well as their overall health and behavior. If you notice anything unusual, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a reptile veterinarian for help. And remember, regular check-ups, a healthy diet, and a comfy environment are key to keeping your bearded dragon happy and healthy!
Bearded Dragon Poop Chart
|Poop ranging between brown and green color
|This is what regular healthy bearded dragon poop looks like.
|Poop ranging between chalky white to yellow/gray
|Chalky white or yellow or gray poop means dehydration. Give more water to your beardie to resolve this.
|Runny stool could be due to parasites, diarrhea, or eating too much fruits and vegetables.
|Bearded dragon bloody stools are pretty serious and could indicate bleeding due to internal injuries or other underlying gastro issues.
|Poop with undigested food in it
|Mucus in the stool indicates gastrointestinal irritation or inflammation, which could be caused by bacterial or parasitic infections and dietary imbalance.
|Mucus or slime in stool
|It is usually caused by feeding your pet too many insects and fewer veggies. Bleeding in upper digestive tract due to impaction can also be the reason.
|Feeding too many insects
Bleeding in their upper digestive tract
|It is usually caused by feeding your pet too many insects and fewer veggies. Bleeding in the upper digestive tract due to impaction can also be the reason.
|Too much calcium
Liver or digestive issues
|It is usually caused by eating too much calcium. If it persists after reduced calcium, there could be an issue with the liver function.
|Color from leafy veggies
|Bearded dragon green poop is a result of eating too many leafy veggies.
What Does a Healthy Bearded Dragon Poop Look Like?
A healthy bearded dragon’s poop should generally have the following characteristics:
The feces should be firm and well-formed, indicating a healthy digestive system. It should not be excessively dry and crumbly or overly runny and watery.
The color can vary but is commonly brown or green. The presence of these natural colors in the feces suggests a balanced and nutritious diet. However, color variations within this range are generally considered normal.
Urates (White Portion)
Urates, the white, chalky substance accompanying the feces, should be present in a solid form. Healthy urates indicate proper hydration. They should be distinctly separate from the fecal matter.
Absence of Undigested Food
A healthy stool should not contain undigested food particles. Proper digestion is a key indicator of a well-functioning digestive system.
No Blood or Mucus
There should be no presence of blood or mucus in the feces. Any signs of these may indicate underlying health issues and require immediate veterinary attention.
While some odor is expected, extremely foul-smelling feces may indicate issues with the diet or digestion. A mild, earthy smell is generally acceptable for a healthy stool.
Regular Bowel Movements
Bearded dragons should have regular bowel movements. The frequency can vary among individuals, but drastic changes in pooping patterns may warrant veterinary attention.
Monitoring your bearded dragon’s poop regularly and being attentive to any changes in color, consistency, or other characteristics is essential for maintaining their overall health. If you notice any abnormalities, we suggest to consult with a reptile veterinarian for guidance and proper care. Regular veterinary check-ups can also contribute to the early detection and prevention of potential health issues.
How to Help a Bearded Dragon Poop?
If your bearded dragon is having trouble with pooping, it can be a bit worrying, but don’t fret! There are a few things you can do to help your little scaly friend feel better. Just remember, if the problem persists or if your bearded dragon seems upset, it’s always best to seek advice from a vet who specializes in reptiles. They’ll be able to give you the personalized guidance you need.
Here are some tips to help your bearded dragon poop:
Provide a Proper Diet
If you want to help your bearded dragon poop and avoid impaction, it’s important to make sure they’re eating a healthy and balanced diet. You can do this by feeding them lots of yummy veggies like collard greens, kale, and mustard greens, along with some appropriate insects. Just try to avoid giving them too many high-fat or low-fiber foods, as these can upset their tummy.
Remember to keep their diet rich in fiber and moisture for a happy and healthy beardie!
Keep Them hydrated
One important thing to keep in mind is to ensure that your little buddy has access to fresh water all the time. Dehydration can lead to constipation, which is never fun for anyone, including your bearded dragon. If you notice that your dragon is not drinking from a water dish, no worries! There are other ways to offer water, such as misting their enclosure or using a dropper to give them water directly on their snout.
Give Them a Warm Bath
A warm bath can help your little bearded dragon poop more easily. To give them a nice bath, just fill a shallow container with lukewarm water and let them soak for about 15-20 minutes. You can even give them a gentle tummy massage to help things along. They’ll feel so much better afterwards!
Make them Exercise
It is important to give your bearded dragon some time to stretch their legs outside of their enclosure. This can help keep their digestive system in tip-top shape and encourage them to have regular bowel movements. Just be sure to choose a safe area and keep an eye on them while they explore!
If you’re worried about your bearded dragon’s bowel movements, don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. Your vet might suggest some reptile-safe lubricants or laxatives to help them out, but it’s really important to check in with a professional before giving your pet any medication. They’ll be able to steer you in the right direction and make sure your bearded dragon can poop easily without any fissures or bleeding.
Whether you have an adult or baby bearded dragon as a pet, it can be quite upsetting to see them bleeding.
Many health conditions can lead to a bearded dragon bleeding from the anus.
Most typically, parasitic infections or internal injuries are to blame.
Take your bearded dragon in for annual checkups, and don’t delay when vet visits become necessary.
Maintaining a hygienic and safe habitat will keep your beardie comfortable and prevent avoidable health problems from ever developing in the first place.