A bearded dragon breathing heavy, what is going on? If you are a new bearded dragon owner, this may concern you. In this post, I will share with you everything you need to know about this question.
Bearded dragons are like other pets that show unusual behaviors if something is wrong happens to them. As a beardie owner, you must have already know what is normal and abnormal behavior in your reptiles. This way, you’ll be able to quickly notice signs of health issues.
So, why is a bearded dragon breathing heavy?
It is important to note that heavy breathing in bearded dragons is usual to them. The common causes of this are eating and temperature regulation. However, heavy breathing could also a symptom of a more serious condition like a respiratory infection.
It is very important that you know when your bearded dragon is healthy and when he/she is not. It will help you a lot to take the necessary steps to fix the problem early on before it becomes worse.
But in times when you have no clue about what is going on, I suggest that you seek and professional help specifically from a reptile vet. Also, make sure to do it quickly.
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Table of Contents
Reasons Why a Bearded Dragon Breathing Heavy
As mentioned, there are a few reasons as to why a bearded dragon is breathing heavy. Some of the reasons are normal but some are alarming.
Let’s talk about some of the causes of heavy breathing in beardies.
Heavy breathing is normal for bearded dragons after eating. This happens especially if they ingest large amounts of food.
Unlike other animals, beardies do not rely on acids and bacteria to digest food. Instead, their digestive system relies on the heat they get from their environment. This is the reason why giving them appropriate and enough amount and type of light is essential for their digestive system.
After eating, bearded dragons normally go to bask. During this period, you’ll notice that their breathing changes. In most cases, it is heavy.
If this is the case, there is nothing to worry about. All you need to do is to let your beardie have sometimes to digest the food.
Bear in mind that to prevent this issue to linger for a long period of time, make sure that the foods are prepared correctly. Part of it is chopping the food into small pieces.
As a rule of thumb, never feed bearded dragons food larger than the space between their eyes.
As you know, bearded dragons are prone to several health issues. One of the most common problems is stress. Simple environmental changes can already a viable source of stress in bearded dragons.
But there are other sources of stress in beardies that you might not know yet. The following are some of them:
- Loud music or noises
- Improper lighting
- Improper handling
- Inappropriate humidity
- The incorrect temperature in the tank
- Housed with other pets or bearded dragons
- Being moved to another location
Any of these can cause stress to bearded dragons. If you notice that your beardie is breathing heavily, check whether some of these factors are the reasons.
If you found the possible cause, try to fix it and see if your bearded dragon improves. If not, then something else should be causing it. Do not stop until you pinpoint the real cause.
But a ride to the vet’s clinic is the best option. Sometimes figuring out the real cause of a problem is very difficult and takes a lot of time. Remember that you are not sure what is really happening. It could be something really serious. So seeking help from a vet is the best idea I can suggest.
3. Respiratory Infection
Heavy breathing in bearded dragons can also be a symptom of a more serious condition called respiratory infection. This is not something that you can take for granted. This can be fatal if bearded dragons receive no medication.
That said, respiratory infections are treated with medication done by licensed vets. It can be caused by many things:
- The wrong temperature in the tank (too low or too high)
- Too high or too low relative humidity
- Improper ventilation
- Unhealthy diet
- Acquired infection from other reptiles
Heavy breathing is one of the symptoms of respiratory infection. But there are other signs. Below are some of them:
- Throat puffing
- Mucus in the mouth and nose areas
- Loss of appetite
Heavy breathing plus any of these symptoms can be a sign of respiratory infection. I strongly recommend that you bring your bearded dragon to a vet. It is highly likely that your reptile is having serious health risks.
The good thing about having your beardie checked by a professional is that your pet will get a more accurate diagnosis which leads to a more accurate medical intervention if necessary.
Also, the vet will give you guidelines on how to take care of your reptile while having such a condition.
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Final Thoughts on Bearded Dragon Breathing Heavy
Heavy breathing in the bearded dragon is normal in most cases. It could be caused by eating and stress. However, in some instances, heavy breathing can be a sign of a more serious condition such as respiratory infection.
What you can do is look for signs listed in this post. It is the best way to fix the problem as quickly as possible.
But the key to quick response is being familiar to normal and abnormal behaviors in your bearded dragon. This way you’ll be able to notice problematic behaviors.
I hope this helps. Thank you for reading.