Treating Impaction in Bearded Dragons

We are concerned that our Bearded Dragon is suffering from minor impaction. There is a lot of talk about bathing and massaging. How are those things properly done?

A Bearded Dragon’s digestive tract is considered impacted when its digestive function is prevented or impaired by a blockage – resulting in less frequent or no passing of feces. This condition can be caused by the feeding of inappropriate foods (over-sized or too difficult to digest); poor choice of substrate or an environmental reason such as low temperatures.

If the impaction is resulting only in less frequent passing of feces, you can attempt to aid the digestive process using laxatives or a warm bath. A vet specializing in reptile health can recommend appropriate laxatives; or you can attempt to dose several drops only of vegetable oil. I have heard it be suggested that gently rubbing the abdomen can also assist.

If impaction has resulted in far less frequent or complete cessation of passing of feces, such a condition can quickly become life-threatening and should always be attended to by a vet who specializes in reptile health. A vet can perform an enema and prescribe laxatives appropriate for your lizard.