Bearded dragons are omnivorous reptiles that depend on vegetables, insects, and some fruits for their daily nutrition. While pet owners ensure that their pets get the best diet at home, what does bearded dragon impaction mean? Since pet owners have to filter out many vegetables and even some insects for these creatures, in the wild bearded dragons have access to everything. What happens to them if they eat something which can cause impaction? What does this disorder mean and what will happen to the dragon if they suffer from this condition?
WHAT IS BEARDED DRAGON IMPACTION
Impaction is the clogging in the large intestine that does not allow the creature to pass stool properly. This disorder begins with constipation and grows so severe that the whole intestine gets clogged. This disorder or health condition causes the lower abdomen of the bearded dragon to hurt and they cannot move freely.
The result of the severity of impaction can be paralysis, which leads to death in bearded dragons. The beginning of this condition is the semi-solid food that bearded dragons ingest without breaking it down into small pieces. The large pieces keep accumulating in the intestine and eventually result in a solid blockage. If your pet dragon or a wild dragon eats insects, vegetables, or fruits without chewing them, this condition can occur within a few days. You can check out What Cant Bearded Dragons Eat to know more about your dragon diet.
HOW TO PREVENT IMPACTION IN BEARDED DRAGONS
Pet owners can prevent impaction in their pets by giving them all vegetables, fruits, and insects in small sizes. The rule is to give your bearded dragon pet food cut down into pieces that are smaller than the size of their eyes. This size is small enough to avoid impaction even if the dragon does not chew it enough to break it down. Another way to ensure that there is no chance of impaction is to keep your bearded dragon hydrated. If there is water in their body, the lining of the intestine and even the food will be suitable for passing out of the body without getting stuck.
Many pet owners believe in giving their pets a semi-solid or almost liquid diet so that there is no chance of impaction. However, we do not recommend pureeing the food because it mixes up the vegetables and the taste is never a treat for your pet. You can keep small pieces of veggies and serve them like a colorful mix.
Imagine a small serving of tiny pieces of chopped squash, capsicum, collard, and mustard greens. The yellow, green and so many colors on the plate will be attractive to these reptilians. Moreover, fruits or vegetables with stiff skin will not be suitable. If you are serving food that has tough skin, peel it and then give it to your dragon.
HOW TO FEED INSECTS TO AVOID IMPACTION
You can serve insects to bearded dragons in abundance because these reptilians love to eat these pests and rely on them for their protein nutrition requirement. If you do not give insects to bearded dragons they will not grow well. However, some insects are tough and cannot be digested like other softer insects. If you are conscious about the kind of insects you feed, your dragon pet will not have to suffer impaction.
For example, bearded dragons love roaches. Dubia roaches have soft skin and they are not too stiff. Your bearded dragon can eat this insect with ease and not get impacted. On the contrary, cockroaches are stiff and they are larger in size as well. If you feed a whole cockroach to your bearded dragon, it will gobble it up because it will like the taste, but the stiff skin and wings will be too hard for bearded dragons to digest. These cockroaches can be a threat to the bearded dragon.
WHAT TO DO IF A BEARDED DRAGON HAS CONSTIPATION
The best way to ensure that your bearded dragon is healthy is to keep a watch on its bowel movements. These reptilians must defecate once a day, and if they don’t then pet owners must take notice of it. If you are able to nip the issue in the bud, this health issue will not become a severe problem ending in impaction.
How you can correct constipation is to feed the bearded dragon fibrous vegetables like squash, mustard greens, and turnip greens. These leafy greens and squash have a lot of fiber and can be a good way to correct constipation at the right time. Moreover, giving water to your dragon, or placing them in a warm bath is also a good way to relieve them of constipation.
In case you feel that your dragon’s appetite is reducing due to constipation, you must take them to the vet and get proper treatment. We always recommend owners take their pets to the vet whenever they see that they are not eating well, or if their bowel movements are not regular.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Will my bearded dragon die from impaction?
Impaction becomes severe in stages and if you are able to check it on time and get treatment to correct it, the bearded dragon can resume a healthy life. However, as the impaction worsens, the cure and treatment become harder and the last stages of impaction may mean that your dragon will stop eating and moving and will eventually die.
What can I do to reverse impaction?
Pet owners can feed their pet dragons fibrous foods in small sizes so that they can eat them easily. Moreover, a lot of water can help increase bowel movements. You can consult a vet and get your bearded dragon treated properly to remove any solid stuck to the intestinal walls. Once these creatures are fine, ensure that their diet is balanced and they do not get impaction of the intestines again.
Bearded dragon impaction can become a serious issue and may even lead to paralysis or fatality in these creatures if not addressed properly. Be sure to feed your dragon small, cut, or chopped vegetables, fruits, and insects so that they remain healthy and happy.
My name is Ashley, and I am an ardent bearded dragon owner. I have been writing about bearded dragons for the website for many months now, and each topic is close to my heart because it genuinely teaches me more as well. The enthusiasm of this team and the brilliance of the project make me write with more zeal.