How To Tell If Your Bearded Dragon Is Dying

Is your bearded dragon sick, and you’re worried it might die?

Do you notice your bearded dragon acting strangely?

Bearded dragons can get sick at any time, just like a person, but unlike people, a beardie can’t tell you what is wrong.

Your bearded dragon could have a health issue in response to their environment or food, or it could have a more serious issue like parasites or an infection.

If you are afraid your bearded dragon might be dying, but you aren’t sure you might wonder:

How can I tell if my bearded dragon is dying?

There are several signs which will tell you if your bearded dragon is dying. If your bearded dragon has dull, grey skin but is not shedding or your bearded dragon is uninterested and unresponsive and acting lethargic, but not in brumation, they could be dying. Other signs include a lack of appetite, sunken or droopy eyes, shallow breathing, and spending more time in the cooler area of their tank.

For detailed information on what to look for if you are worried your bearded dragon is dying, continue reading this article.

why did my bearded dragon die

Is My Bearded Dragon Dying? What Are The Signs?

There are a few signs you will see to help you determine if your beardie is dying, and keeping a close eye on your pet looking for these symptoms can help you prevent its demise.

Here is a list of symptoms you might notice if your bearded dragon is dying:

  • Dull or grey skin not during a shedding cycle
  • Acting unresponsive, lethargic, and uninterested. Note: these are factors if your pet is not in brumation
  • Lack of appetite
  • Sunken or droopy eyes
  • Shallow breathing
  • Spending the majority of its time in the cooler side of the tank

The symptoms you might see in your bearded dragon can differ from issue to issue and animal to animal.

You know your pet best, and because of this, you will be the best judge of knowing if something is off with your beardie.

Causes Of Death For Bearded Dragons

If you are wracking your brain trying to figure out what happened to your beloved pet, a vet will be able to do a necropsy and tell you the exact cause.

We have included a list of possible causes of death for your animal:

  • An impaction caused by ingesting loose substrate or food too large
  • Improper temperature leading to overheating or being too cold
  • Infection
  • Parasites
  • Egg binding
  • Ingesting of toxic plants or bugs
  • Metabolic bone disease
  • Stress
  • Organ failure
  • Aneurysm
  • Metabolic bone disease

There are many reasons a bearded dragon can die, but they mostly fall into three categories: old age, illness, and improper care/human mistakes.

sick bearded dragon

Old Age

Beardies can live up to 10 to 15 years when raised in captivity, but once they reach seven to the eight-year-old range, they are recognized at being in the old age stage of life.

Once they reach this stage of life, you may notice they begin to slow down in their movements, are less active, they sleep more, and they will eat less.

In their old age, they can pass from organ failure or an aneurysm as examples, but if your bearded dragon is older, it is likely they naturally reached the end of their life cycle.


Beardies often will die from diseases or parasites or even metabolic bone disease.

With any of these issues, it is important to get them diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible if there is any hope of recovery.

The longer you wait to get your pet help, the harder it will be to cure the issue.

Improper Care

Proper care of your dragon is vital to their health and well being, and even if you don’t mean to, sometimes you might be hurting your beardie if you aren’t paying attention.

A beardie can die from being too hot or being too cold, which is easily controlled by proper tank size, lighting, and temperature.

Other times, a bearded dragon might get an impaction from a loose substrate in their tank.

Impactions can cause a quick death in bearded dragons, and is also possible if they are fed very large insects,

There are several things we, as pet owners, can control in their environment, and it is important we are aware they are getting the proper habitat so they can thrive.

dying bearded dragon

What Can I Do To Help My Beardie?

If you are noticing any of the signs we have discussed, all hope is not lost.

Once you identify the symptoms, you are far more likely to be able to save your pet.

Some of the problems are easy fixes like if your bearded dragon is overheating, or is too cold.

Others, like an infection or parasites, might require a trip to the veterinarian for testing and medication to heal your pet.

If you are at a loss of what to do or what the issue might be, it is always a good idea to contact your veterinarian and get their advice and evaluation.

How To Tell If My Bearded Dragon Has Died

Maybe you have been trying to nurse your bearded dragon back to health, but it doesn’t seem to be working.

Or your bearded dragon is in a brumation period, but you aren’t sure.

We have compiled a list of things to tell if you think your bearded dragon has died.

  • Eyes partially closed, not completely closed
  • Unnaturally limp mouth/jaw
  • Does not respond to physical touch
  • No movement
  • The animal is limp when you handle it
  • No breathing
  • Sometimes their beard and underside may stay black
  • Skin and eyes have an unnatural yellow color


Bearded dragons are susceptible to a range of health issues, and it is important you, as an owner, can look for the signs and symptoms your pet is dying.

Sometimes they are quick and easy fixes to nurse your pet back to health, and other issues can require medicine and veterinary care.

When you are trying to determine if your pet is dying, be sure to look for dull or grey skin when they are not shedding, acting unresponsive, lethargic and uninterested when not in brumation, a lack of appetite, sunken eyes, shallow breathing and spending more time on the cooler side of the tank.

Your bearded dragon may experience slightly different symptoms, so it is important to know your pet and contact your vet with any questions.

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