Is your bearded dragon poop runny? If you are a new owner, this probably raises concern to you. I was in that same position back then when I raised my first bearded dragon (Sam).
As you might already know, the texture of the poop is a good indicator of the bearded dragon’s health. In this instance, if the poop is runny, your bearded dragon might be suffering from digestive issues especially diarrhea.
But what causes runny poop in bearded dragons?
Generally, when a bearded dragon poop is runny, he/she might have diarrhea. And diarrhea has several causes. Some of the common causes are parasites and overhydration.
When a bearded dragon has parasites, he/she tends to be gluttonous and gain weight rapidly. Then one day, he/she seems to lose appetite and has constant diarrhea.
Another cause of diarrhea is overhydration. This happens when your beardy had eaten watery foods such as fruits. Fruits that are high in water content should be minimized because they could potentially cause digestive issues.
How to Treat Diarrhea in a Bearded Dragon?
As owners, we always make sure that our beardy gets everything he/she needs. So you provide him/her the perfect tank with perfect lighting and cozy space. You also made sure that your beardy gets the best and nutritious diet.
Unfortunately, one morning, you notice the runny stool. What causes it and how will you deal with it? Is it just diarrhea or something else?
Sometimes we overreact but that’s how you probably feel. If you are reading this article, there is a high chance that you have the same experience.
Well, I am here to tell you that, because we are not sure what is happening yet, you should not jump into a conclusion and worry. You need to make sure first whether or not the runny poop is really caused by diarrhea.
In this article, let me share with you some tips that could help you determine whether or not your beardy is suffering from diarrhea. And more importantly, we will also talk about some techniques you can use to fix the issue.
First, check the poop. Always remember that the color and consistency of the poop is largely influenced by the diet. When the bearded dragon ingested more insects, for instance, the poop will look darker and harder.
Related Article: How Often Do Bearded Dragons Poop?
If the poop is firm but surrounded by liquid substances, it might be just the excess water from the bearded dragon’s digestive system. In most cases, this is normal and nothing to worry about.
However, if the beardy’s poop is runny or mushy and the pooping becomes more frequent than normal, then your beardy might be suffering from diarrhea.
If it is really diarrhea, then it should be treated immediately. This condition can be dangerous especially if not treated quickly. Your bearded dragon can be dehydrated, or worse, sick. In fact, severe diarrhea could potentially kill them.
The following can be taken into consideration when your bearded dragon suffers from diarrhea.
1. Check the Bearded Dragon’s Diet
As mentioned, the diet of your beardy is the major determinant of its health. A healthy diet means good health.
Runny poop is commonly caused by an imbalanced diet. If this is the case, check the diet of your beardy. Chances are he/she might have consumed large amounts of fruits and leafy vegetables.
Don’t get me wrong. Greens and fruits are an important part of the bearded dragons’ diet. However, it is also important to remember though that fruits and vegetables have a high water content that could potentially cause digestive issues in bearded dragons.
A balanced bearded dragons’ diet is a mix of insects and greens. The ratio however depends on the age of the beardy. Young bearded dragons need more insects than greens due to their protein needs to support their speedy growth. Your baby or juvenile beardies should have 70-80% insects in their diet and 20-30% greens.
In contrast, adult bearded dragons need more greens than insects. Their diet should compose of about 70-80% greens and only 20-30% insects.
Another important thing to consider is the water that your bearded dragon is drinking. Tap water can be fine. However, because of the minerals, chlorine and other heavy metals content, tap water should be treated with Water Conditioner (check my recommended water conditioner on Amazon).
Lastly, treating the parasites of the bearded dragon kills good organisms in the digestive system. Therefore, it will take time before the digestive system will back to normal. To help your bearded dragon recover fast, give him/her a Probiotic Treatment (click here to check my recommended probiotic on Amazon).
2. Check the Temperature and Lighting
The temperature in the habitat could also affect the digestive health of your bearded dragon. If exposed to improper or inappropriate temperatures, beardies may suffer from potential health issues.
It is very important to remember that bearded dragons are native to sunny areas such as Australia where the condition is typically hot and dry. In captivity, bearded dragons should also enjoy this type of environment.
That said, you should always consider the right temperature in the bearded dragon’s habitat. The basking area for instance should have a temperature from 95 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool area should have between 80 to closer to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Determining the right temperature can be challenging. Temperature sticks are not accurate. To make sure you have the most accurate temperature rating, use an Infra-Red Temperature Gun (click here to view my recommended infra-red temperature gun on Amazon). This thing can give you a more accurate temperature rating and never get mistaken.
Bearded dragons can get stressed in many ways. One of the most common causes of stress is a change in habitat. If you make changes in the tank, it could potentially cause discomfort to your beardy resulting in stress.
Another cause could be the location transfer. This happens when you move to a new place with your beardy. The travel and the new place could cause stress to your bearded dragon. It takes time for the beardy to finally get accustomed to the new place.
Inappropriate temperatures may also cause stress. As mentioned, you should make sure that your beardy gets the right temperature in his/her tank.
These are just a few factors that could lead to stress in bearded dragons. Certainly, there are many other factors that also cause stress. So you need to pay attention to the environment before stress takes its toll.
Like humans, bearded dragons are vulnerable to stress and potentially bring them harm. Diarrhea is in fact one of the outcomes. If you are not sure though, taking your bearded dragon to a vet is the best option you can do.
4. Check for Parasites
As mentioned, parasites are some of the leading causes of diarrhea which in turn cause the runny poop. Unfortunately, because parasites are often microscopic in size, they are not visible to the naked eye. Therefore, they are hard to determine.
If you don’t know how, then a help from a vet is the best option. Bring your beardy to the nearest animal clinic for quick medical intervention. A knowledgeable vet will be able to pinpoint the main cause of the runny poop of your bearded dragon.
If you can, take a poop sample before going to a vet. It will be used to determine what type of parasites are affecting your bearded dragon. The most common parasites are coccidia, roundworms, and hookworms.
There are symptoms of parasite problems in bearded dragons. The following are some of them:
- Appetite loss
- Indications of stomach pain
- Undigested food in the poop
- Looks tired and lethargic
You don’t need to see all of these symptoms. Any of these could be the sign of parasite problem. A parasite treatment is a good idea. The treatment will surely improve the bearded dragon’s condition.
However, during the treatment, good microbes are also killed making the recovery slow. To help your beardy gains faster recovery, you can give a probiotic treatment such as Parasite Powder (click here to check my recommended parasite powder on Amazon).
Final Thoughts on Bearded Dragon Poop Runny
There are many factors behind a runny poop in bearded dragons. But the most common is diarrhea. Diarrhea is also the result of many influencing factors such as parasites and over hydration.
Parasites can be acquired from dirty environment and food. You should pay attention to their habitat as well as make sure that the food is clean before serving to your bearded dragon.
Over hydration, on the other hand, happens when your beardy eat too much fruits. To keep the digestive system of your bearded dragon healthy, minimize watery foods such as fruits.
Lastly, when dealing with health issues which you have no knowledge about, it is the best idea to take your bearded dragon to a vet. A licensed veterinarian will find out the real problem and could give the most appropriate treatment.
Do not try to solve the health problem of your beardy if you are not sure what is happening. I made the same mistake before. And believe me, it is the worst option. In uncertain conditions, always seek professional help. I hope this helps. Thank you for reading.