Bearded Dragons are lizards commonly found in dry and semi-desert regions. These are mainly found in Australia and are known to adapt in human habitation as well. Many bearded dragons due to their exotic looks are kept as pets and even exhibited. Bearded dragons are often called ‘Beardie’ by the owners as it is a shorter and much interesting version of their original name. As bearded dragons have been used as pets by many people, often due to taking inadequate care of them they are affected by outbreaks of Coccidia which are a serious parasite and can even result in death.
Coccidia are tiny parasites that live in the wall of bearded dragon’s intestine. Coccidia are even present in a healthy bearded dragon, but there are some factors that help Coccidia grow and reproduce quickly.
One of the causes of Coccidia is stress. Stress is usually caused to bearded dragons when the environment changes or when the habitat changes. This lowers their immune system and causes outbreaks of Coccidia. Overcrowding is also a leading cause of stress and can help Coccidia to grow in the intestines. Another cause of Coccidia is improper temperature. Bearded dragons are usually adaptable to semi-desert and dry regions. If the temperature changes, there is a threat that Coccidia will grow in bearded dragon. Another important cause of Coccidia is improper diet. A bearded dragon is used to having leaves, vegetables and some kinds of fruits. There are some foods that are dangerous to the health of bearded dragon and may include wild insects. Wild insects are not recommended to bearded dragons as it poses threats of viruses to the bearded dragons. Other insects with chemicals such as fireflies are also considered fatal. All these dangerous foods are a threat to bearded dragon’s health and may cause Coccidia.
Symptoms and Signs
There are several ways a person can know whether the bearded dragon is affected by Coccidia or not. The first sign of Coccidia in a bearded dragon is running and smelly feces. Due to improper diet there can even be blood in the feces of your dragon. Dehydration and weight loss are also leading symptoms of a severe Coccidia outbreak. Due to Coccidia, bearded dragons cannot keep up with a proper diet and it often results in dark diarrhea.
Coccidia in bearded dragons are difficult to treat but the cure is present. If not treated soon, it can even lead to the dragon’s death. After taking notice of the symptoms, it is very important to take the bearded dragon to a veterinarian. The veterinarian then prescribes sulpha drugs such as Albon and also tells the doses and the correct procedure to administer it. The treatment is a bit harsh so it is advised that the bearded dragon is taken to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Self-precautions along with medical treatments are also very important. It is very important that you keep bearded dragon’s cages clean during its treatment process. A good way of doing that is keeping a newspaper on the base of the cage and changing it twice daily to take care of the dragon’s hygiene and cleanliness. The medical treatment is very important but self-precautions play a great role too.