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Why Did My Bearded Dragon Throw Up? 9 Common Causes And Treatments

How much beer can you drink before you start to vomit? Well, for bearded dragons this is pretty common, and they don’t even drink beer! Here are 9 common causes and of course the treatments or what you can do to help your vomiting bearded dragon.

So, you’re worried about your bearded friend vomiting and is of course wondering why when you’ve done everything properly. Well, it takes so much more than that! They can become really high maintenance, but we do get you, so we’re to help.

This article has been reviewed by Dr. Dilber. Read more about our knowledge control process here.

Why Did My Bearded Dragon Throw Up?

Baby and Juvenile bearded dragons are more prone to vomit compared to adults since they’re way more curious and most likely eat anything that they lick. Even in the wild, it is common for bearded dragons to vomit given their small sizes and this is much more common in captivity.

When a bearded dragon vomits, it can be concerning. After all, when we vomit, it’s usually because we’ve eaten something that doesn’t agree with us. However, there are a few different reasons why a bearded dragon might vomit.

For one thing, they may have eaten something that’s too big for them to digest. This is especially common with baby dragons, who are still learning what they can and can’t eat.

Another possible reason is that they’ve eaten something they shouldn’t have, such as insects that are toxic to them.

Finally, they may have drunk too much water, which can cause them to throw up any food that’s in their stomach. If your bearded dragon vomits once or twice, there’s no need to worry. However, if they start vomiting frequently or seem otherwise ill, it’s best to take them to the vet for a check-up.

9 Common Cause And Treatments When Bearded Dragon Throw Up

Vomiting is actually common among bearded dragons. Several causes include being overfed, dehydration, having bacteria such as Salmonella, and Coccidias, temperature problems, and impaction.

You Feed Your Bearded Dragon Too Much Food At Once

Bearded Dragons may have the name “Dragon”, but it doesn’t mean that they’re appetite is as big as one! Just like us humans, Bearded Dragons also feel “bloated” from all the pigging out which is most likely a cause of why they vomit.

It is highly possible that your Bearded Friend may have way too much dinner last night or may have been overfed the last couple of days. Remember that Bearded Dragons need some time to digest their food, and their food serving should be in accordance with their age.

Other Signs Help Owners Determine The Right Cause

How much do you feed your bearded friend? Baby bearded dragons (ages 0-4) need to be fed 4-5x a day in 10-minute intervals, Juveniles (4-12months) are fed 3x a day, then 2x a day for Sub-Adults (12-18months) then Adults (18+) are fed 1x a day. 

So if you’re feeding your bearded dragon more times than this, then you’re most likely overfeeding them. Take note that calcium supplements should only be fed once a day, and never twice.

Why Did My Bearded Dragon Throw Up
A sick bearded dragon lying in its vomit

Some signs that can mean your beardie is overfed are vomiting crickets, worms, or other parts of their diet. This means that they’re digestive systems are unable to digest their food causing them to throw up instead.

Another sign would be if recently the beardies haven’t eaten that much. Let’s say they can eat up to 3 serving sizes of their regular diet, but for the past three days they only eat half as much.

What Should Owners Do To Help Their Bearded Dragons?

In the case that bearded dragons are overfed, a change in diet is often recommended. For example, baby bearded dragons could eat up to 50 crickets that gradually decrease to 10-20 crickets per day as they reach sexual maturity (18months).

So a change in diet could mean change in veggies or change in feeder, you could try mixing Superworms, Earthworms, or Dubias (Super mealworms),  instead, and for veggies you could change collard greens to parsnips or pumpkins depending on the availability, stock, and season.

You could also opt for warm baby food applesauce, or a hundred percent juice (with no added sugar) diluted with water, as changes in their diet.

Also, it is highly advised that you keep tabs on what they like to eat as well, and how much they eat per day. As they grow older, more veggies should take up more percentage in their diet.

Keep in mind the food that is dangerous for these reptiles too which include spinach and kale as they can cause slower digestion and absorption of their daily meals. You know what they say, you are what you eat!

Your Bearded Dragon Could Drink Too Much Water

Nothing like a refreshing drink during a hot day! But nope, Bearded Dragons can’t relate as they often get their water from moisture of leaves, and plants, or during bath time. (Nice beardies, drinking while taking a bath huh).

Other Signs Help Owners Determine The Right Cause

But for beardies to vomit clear liquid, this could mean that they have drank way too much water that they can’t hold. Sometimes this results from a beardie drinking way too much that he’s practically drowning.

Or they move back and forth too much while drinking. So yeah, you could say that beardies can’t hold their water.

What Should Owners Do Help Their Bearded Dragons?

In a nutshell, these reptiles don’t drink that much but still need an adequate amount of water. But whenever they do vomit, it’s not that alarming, just be sure to lay your bearded dragon flat, and move them around a little bit after vomiting water, then they should be fine.

Another recommendation is even if they have a source of water readily available, you should also make some water droplets fall occasionally to avoid excessive drinking, and could help them avoid feeling thirsty.

bearded dragon getting some massage
If your bearded dragon had drank too much water or you massage it too much, this can cause it to vomit.

Foods Are Too Large For Your Dragon

Have you encountered a burger that’s almost the size of your face? Or perhaps your favorite slice of cake but only bigger than your mouth? Do you feel like vomiting afterwards? The same goes for your bearded dragons.

Other Signs Help Owners Determine The Right Cause

Vomiting bearded dragons are sometimes caused by food intake being larger than their digestive tracts. Baby beardies and juveniles are even more susceptible to this, this is usually yellowish to brown in color.

Note: Yellow to brown vomit often reflects problems in digestive tracts for the beardies.

bearded dragon eating too large insect feeder
Too large feeder insects can cause bearded dragons to vomit

What Should Owners Do Help Their Bearded Dragons?

The size of what you feed them should not be bigger than their head. This goes to show for both plants and crickets. Then gradually move to larger servings (1/8 then ¼ for every few months). 

The size of what you feed them should be between the gap of their eyes. As they grow older, always measure the gap every 2 weeks so increases in portion sizes are accommodated (⅛ then ¼) so they could overfeeding won’t be a problem. 

It is also recommended that your beardies should have a varying insect and plant diet to encourage eating but within the right sizes in terms of servings and the food itself. As eating large foods could cause paralysis and even death. (and we wouldn’t want that now, do we?)

Your Bearded Dragon Have Salmonella

We all have certain bacteria in our body both good, and bad. Small amounts of bad bacteria are not bad, and we need those bad bacteria for balanced metabolism. The same goes for Bearded dragons.

Other Signs Help Owners Determine The Right Cause

Salmonella is mostly present in bearded dragons and that’s perfectly fine as long as it’s in small amounts. A low number of salmonella are part of the bearded dragon’s microbial flora in the intestine. But when it gets too high, or the reptile has a weak immune system, this causes problems such as vomiting.

But do not assume that this is because of Salmonella, it could be for other reasons, just don’t take Salmonella off the table, but don’t assume it as the first cause.

What Should Owners Do Help Their Bearded Dragons?

Now what you can do here is of course have a routine checkup for your bearded dragons. Not only that, but always wash your hands before and after handling your bearded dragons or any other pets to avoid cross-infection.

The same goes for your family, always keep bearded dragons or any other reptiles, away from children ages 10 below to avoid mishandling, and cross-infection.

Your Bearded Dragon Have A High Coccidia Count Or Other Parasites

Coccidia are small parasitic creatures that inhabit digestive tracts of your reptile (any pet in general). Sometimes they become so high that the bearded dragon’s immune system is unable to regulate them any longer. Cocci are parasites that can cause intestinal ulcers and bleed.

Other Signs Help Owners Determine The Right Cause

Several signs that your bearded dragon has high amounts of Coccidia or any other parasites include but are not limited to: Loss of appetite, weight loss, irritability, excessive vomiting etc.

What Should Owners Do Help Their Bearded Dragons?

If ever you suspect that it’s a parasite please go to the vet immediately since the bearded dragon might be in big danger and keep samples of both fecal and vomit matter separated in bags for the vet to properly examine them.

Your Bearded Dragon Is Impacted By Surrounding Factors

Just like humans, there are always a lot of factors on why we get sick, such as the weather, stress, sometimes we ate some bad food, the same goes for our bearded friends such as substrate ingestion, their tank hasn’t been cleaned, or they just ate something bad for them.

Other Signs Help Owners Determine The Right Cause

Substrate impaction, or whenever your bearded dragons accidently ate something from their enclosure is the most common, but the most painful impaction for your bearded dragons. The most common sign is they stop pooping.

bearded dragon eats substrates
Eating substrates such as this could cause impaction making your beardie vomit

Impaction is caused by letting your bearded dragon roam around your home and when they eat small things. This is especially true for babies and juveniles. 

Other signs include disinterest in both food and water, or loss of movement especially in the hindlegs, if this happens, go to the vet immediately.

Sometimes impaction also happens from eating some bad food such as spinach, kales, cherries, and avocados, always have a list ready regarding what your little one can and can’t eat. This also happens when they eat something big and can’t digest.

What Should Owners Do Help Their Bearded Dragons?

Their tanks also play a crucial role in their wellbeing. Temperature level, cleanliness, and substrates are all possible causes of impaction, and impaction causes major pain for your bearded friend.

What you can do is:

  • Maintain the correct temperature between 95F-100F for adults, and 105F for Juveniles.
  • Don’t feed them something bigger than the gap of their eyes.
  • Clean your tank once or twice a week.
  • Rotate their food weekly.
  • Give regular baths.
  • Provide water and change every few hours.
  • Massage its belly with your fingers sliding towards its vent.

Tip: Providing warm baths and massages when you suspect its impaction helps. You can also give a few drops of vegetable oil to help with digestion.

Remember, a clean tank is a healthy bearded dragon alright!

Your Bearded Dragon is Dehydrated

Nothing like cold water during dog days! Water really is refreshing, and even if bearded dragons live in arid deserts, they still experience dehydration.

Other Signs Help Owners Determine The Right Cause

Yep, dehydration causes bearded dragons to vomit too, this is noticeable when your pet vomits clear liquid and in some worse cases, even with blood. This is caused when they don’t have water to lick on their snouts or they just need bath time badly.

What Should Owners Do Help Their Bearded Dragons?

So what you can do is give bath time for 10-15 mins, at least 2-3 times a week. Check and change their water bowls regularly too just keep in mind that the perfect temperature is 80F for bath time!

And if they hate taking baths, what you can do is misting. Misting is using a spray bottle filled with water and spraying outside the tank of the beardies providing them with moisture and still works like bath time. (Works like a charm and works every time).

Temperature In Tank Is Too Low

Hey, can you grab my jacket? It’s too cold. The same goes for your bearded dragons, and it’s sad cause they don’t have jackets or blankies.

Having low temperature in the tank means having low heat levels which causes your beardie to vomit since having low heat levels makes it difficult to digest food for them and eventually vomiting it.

Other Signs Help Owners Determine The Right Cause

Other than vomiting, it is easy to know if the tank has a low temperature. Check your UVB lamps if they’re at 92-110 degrees Fahrenheit

What Should Owners Do Help Their Bearded Dragons?

So here’s what you can do. Always make sure that their tanks have a basking spot, and a cooling spot. Their cooling spot should be 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit. This is so that your beardie will have a cool spot in case it gets too hot or too cold.

Humidity Inside Tank Is Too High

Can someone turn up the AC? It’s like summer. Well, even if your beardies do like the deserts and arid environments, having way too much humidity causes problems too.

Having high humidity is dangerous for your beardies as it can develop respiratory problems. Not only that, but fungi, and molds will grow easier and bacteria could also develop inside your bearded dragons.

Other Signs Help Owners Determine The Right Cause

Signs that you have too much humidity in their tanks does not just revolve around vomiting, it’s also excessive drinking, or more time spent in the cooler parts of their tanks.

What Should Owners Do Help Their Bearded Dragons?

But here’s what you can do. Have a hygrometer ready to check humidity levels, and remember that humidity levels should be in 30 to 40% anything higher than 50% is considered too high.

Last update on 2022-12-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Now, if it is too high,some owners recommend placing a cooling tube inside the tank just to decrease humid levels, other experts prefer placing a mesh dish as a substitution for a wall in the tank, or you could just decrease the lighting by 5-8 degrees to ensure a cooler environment.

Additionally, you could also place water dishes that will be changed regularly to avoid fungi and bacteria build up.

Wrapping Up

Vomiting is really common, but shouldn’t be taken lightly, it is still not normal despite being common. There are some cases wherein surgery is needed, just make sure everything is clean, and you’re feeding them the proper sizes of servings.

But don’t worry mate! Not knowing what to do is normal,so here are common, and several treatments for these common problems are giving them a bath, keeping the tank clean, monitoring what they eat and the temperature level.

Remember, each and every pet is a tremendous commitment no matter the type or breed, so be sure to be always ready, and we got your back here, and we hope this article has helped you take care of your pet!

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