Select Page

Tail Rot 101

Tail rot, which most commonly shows itself as a darkening of the end of a reptiles tail, is caused when proper blood flow is not reaching the full length of the tail. When blood flow is restricted it eventually rots the tail away little by little. Keep in mind that beardies don’t regenerate tails.

If you noticed an unusual darkness in the tip of your bearded dragon’s tail it’s best you get it treated right away. Without treatment the infection will continue up the tail and possibly make its way to vital organs, which could ultimately lead to death. Not only is bearded dragon tail rot dangerous and potentially lethal to your pet if it’s left untreated, it’s also painful.

What Causes Tail Rot?

There are several reasons why tail rot happens. Retained sheds and trauma are two of the most common.

Retained Sheds

Because shedding seems like such a normal process for a reptile, sometimes we don’t give the course enough attention or know enough about it. Tail rot often occurs from several retained sheds. This means that your pet’s tail didn’t molt completely, and that excess skin has built up atop other layers, thus, creating several thick layers of epidermis. Eventually, the skin will get increasingly tight and restrictive, which ultimately causes blood flow to be cut off to the tail. Don’t attempt to pull this skin off yourself. It will hurt your beardie.

Trauma

Since their tails are long and drag behind them, it’s easy for it to get stuck between things or for something to fall on it. If you have multiple dragons living together, it’s possible for tail rot to even be caused by a bite from another animal. Keep your reptilian buddies separated.

Solution?

Once you’ve noticed this issue it’s always primary to consult your vet. Understanding the severity of the problem is difficult without making an appointment with your pet’s veterinarian and chatting with them personally. They may prescribe home remedies or antibiotics for your dragon, or if the probably has gotten severe, they may even recommend taking off a section of the tail to keep the rot from spreading. Regardless, before attempting to remedy the situation yourself, always consult with the vet.

Prevention

The best thing to do to combat this problem is to take preventative action. This will not only keep your pet from feeling discomfort, but you’ll also avoid a costly vet bill. By taking preemptive action your pet will likely live a happier, healthier life overall.

Be Attentive

Get familiar with the shedding process, and make sure to watch how your pet is molting. As youngsters, these little guys have the tendency to shed often because of growth, so make sure you’re taking notice.

Solve The Problem Early

If you do notice that your dragon is having difficulty with the molting process, it always helps to bath them in warm water. The hydration will help the shedding progression. If this doesn’t work, again, don’t try and remove the layer yourself. Instead, pay close attention and call your vet if you notice that there may be a problem.