Bearded dragon impaction is one of the health risks that pet owners should be aware of as this seemingly simple matter can cause the death of your beloved pet dragon. Impaction happens when a bearded dragon’s digestive tract is blocked by a mass causing a visible bump on its spine. Other symptoms of impaction include trembling limbs, having a hard time walking, and paralysis in the limbs. This article will discuss the causes of bearded dragon impaction and what to do to prevent it.
There are three major causes of bearded dragon impaction . First and foremost is the kind of food that your bearded dragon eats. Foods that are too large can cause impaction because they cannot move well in the digestive tract. As a general rule to ensure that what you feed to your pet is small enough and will not cause blockage, the food should fit between space between the bearded dragon’s eyes. In addition, feeding your bearded dragon too much insect with hard chitin shells like mealworms, large crickets, and superworms can also increase the risk of bearded dragon impaction, especially when the dragon is not yet fully developed.
Another cause of bearded dragon compaction is the substrate that is used in the enclosure of the dragon. It has been reported that play sand, calcium sand, pellets, pebble-like substrates and other plant-based substrates can cause impaction. Therefore some people opt to use risk-free substrates like newspapers, paper towels or carpets for their pet’s vivarium. However if you do not want to substitute the aforementioned substrates with the safer alternatives, then you should feed your pet on a plate and not on the enclosure floor, so it will avoid ingesting these potentially harmful substrates.
Last but not the least, inadequate temperatures can also cause bearded dragon impaction. If the enclosure of the bearded dragon is not heated enough after a meal, then the dragon is at risk of not digesting the food properly. To avoid this from happening, you can put a thermometer under the heating light in order to ensure that the temperature is always at 100 to 155 degrees. Also, monitor the temperature occasionally so that you can make the necessary adjustments if the enclosure becomes colder.