When it comes to our pets, all we want is that they are happy and healthy, right? If you are like me you are probably worried all the time about your bearded dragon. Sometimes it might be a little bit too much.
However, how are you supposed to know what is normal and when you should be really worried? In this article you will learn about a couple of reasons why your bearded dragon is lethargic and what you can do about it. And most probably if you should do something about it at all.
Before you start reading about the reasons I want to say that most of the times we are simply worrying too much. It most probably has a very natural reason why your bearded dragon acts like it acts right now. I hope I can take a little bit of your nervousness away with that. So without further ado, here are the reasons for your bearded dragon acting lethargic.
Here are the most common reasons why your bearded dragon might appear weak and lethargic right now.
Especially the hot spot has to have a temperature of 95 °F to 110 °F. If that´s not given, your bearded dragon is not able to get on temperature. If your bearded dragon is not able to get on temperature, it won´t move, eat or drink much. So always check your lighting if your bearded dragon is acting weird.
If you need help with creating the right temperature in your beardie tank, simply read my temperature guide here.
What is bad husbandry? Well, it includes everything when it comes to bearded dragons. Is your lighting okay? Is the tank big enough for your bearded dragon? Do you feed enough? Do you feed to little? Does your bearded dragon get enough vitamins? Does your bearded dragon get enough exercise?
You see there are a lot of points you have to check, but if you do, or if you already did your research, you should have no problem to answers the questions above with yes or no. My bearded dragon care guide, might help you with that.
Unfortunately, a bad beardie diet is so common that I have to mention it again, even though it is a part of bad husbandry. The problem is that the majority of bearded dragon keepers feed their bearded dragon too often, too much and they feed the wrong food.
Adult bearded dragons should not eat too much meat, they should actually eat more greens. If you need some help when it comes to beardie diet, read this article!
Here are the common reasons for such a behavior.
Your Bearded Dragon Is Sick
Bad husbandry is not always the reason for a bearded dragon being sick. Sometimes it is just bad luck. It happens, take your bearded dragon to a vet as soon as possible if you suspect a disease. A common disease in this case is metabolic bone disease, which is caused by a vitamin D3 deficiency. If that´s the case, you should definitely check your UVB lights!
Another common “disease” is impaction. Your bearded dragon might ate some substrate or you might feed feeder insects that are too big. Those things could get your bearded dragon impacted. In really bad cases, bearded dragons can´t move their legs anymore. In this case, you should definitely get your beardie to a vet as fast as possible. If you think it might be impaction, read my impaction guide here, to learn how you can help your bearded dragon.
I know that the word parasites alone sounds disgusting. Unfortunately your bearded dragon could have parasites. Sometimes beardies get them through the feeder insects, so you should always make sure that you order from a trustworthy seller. Another reason for parasites could be a very dirty environment. Where do you keep your bearded dragon? In a tank? Outside? Are you making sure that the habitat gets cleaned often enough?
Parasites drain your bearded dragon´s energy, which can cause the lethargic behavior. You must take your bearded dragon to a vet, there is no way around it. If you do so, don´t forget to bring a stool sample as well. (Not yours, your bearded dragon´s.)
Honestly, this doesn´t happen too often. Bearded dragons are actually used to being dehydrated. In the wild they often times do not find any water and get most of their water from plants and dew drops in the morning and from crickets, locusts and so on and so forth.
If your bearded dragon is lethargic, has sunken eyes, does not want to eat and lost a lot of weight, it might be the reason. However you should also see this symptom: Pull on your bearded dragon´s skin. If it does take a while to get back into a normal position, your bearded dragon might be dehydrated.
Also, your beardie´s stool might be very solid.
Too Much Stress
Bearded dragons are very calm and are praised as the perfect beginner reptiles, or kid´s reptiles. However this fact often leads to a too careless handling and behavior around the bearded dragon. Just because a bearded dragon doesn´t flee or bite, it does not mean that it likes what´s happening.
Further you should create a lot of hides in the bearded dragon tank. If your bearded dragon wants some alone time, it should always be able to hide in a quiet place. This is especially important if you just got your bearded dragon. Give your little dragon some time to get used to the new home.
It is most probably not one the reasons below, however just because they are rare, it doesn´t mean you shouldn´t know them.
Most people know that bearded dragons go dormant once a year. If you are new to reptile keeping and didn´t know that, don´t worry about it, we were all beginners at some time . Bearded dragons brumate most of the time at the beginning of November. They act a little bit weird before that, stop eating and drinking and are very inactive.
If your bearded dragon still acts like that after the brumation, you should take your bearded dragon to a vet. It could be that your bearded dragon was sick before the brumation or your humidity, or your temperature wasn´t okay during brumation. If you need more information on brumation, read my brumation article.
Your bearded dragon might need some sugar. If bearded dragons are stressed as hell for a long time or if the feeding wasn´t okay for a very long time (or after brumation), it can happen that your beardie needs some sugar. You can give your bearded dragon some fruits in that case. Sugar will immediately cause a change in your bearded dragon´s behavior.
So I hope this article helped you to find the reason why your bearded dragon is lethargic. If you have any questions, leave a comment in the comment section below.