Why Bearded Dragons Throw Up? [And What You Should Do]

Who does not get panicked seeing their pet bearded dragon throwing up? Vomiting is a clear sign that something is wrong with the body. Sometimes, bearded dragons throw up as a symptom of an underlying disease. Hence, bearded dragons owners fall into anxiety, thinking why bearded dragons throw up.

Incoordination of the lifestyle and diseases of your bearded dragon can cause vomiting. Such as dehydration, low temperature, impaction, overeating, eating oversized foods, and so on. Besides, throwing up is one of the most noticeable, primary signs of several dangerous diseases.

You have to find out what can be the initial reasons for your bearded dragon throwing up. If you do not notice any incoordination, you can consider it seriously as a sign of any severe illness.

However, taking suggestions from a reptile vet is the perfect solution for this. This article is only guidance for you. So, I urge you to go through this article to know about the potential reasons for the bearded dragon’s throw-up.

Is It Normal For My Bearded Dragon To Throw Up?

It is not normal for a bearded dragon to throw up. Such is because a healthy bearded dragon is not supposed to vomit.

So, it is not normal for your bearded dragon to throw up. If your pet beardie throws up, there must be something wrong with your beardie.

Let’s check out the following potential reasons why your bearded dragon is throwing up.

What Does Bearded Dragon Vomit Look Like?

Bearded dragon vomit is a slimy and mucous-like substance. They do not only throw up the food they just ate. It includes insects like mealworms, crickets, silkworms, and so on. Besides, sometimes, bearded dragons can puke or vomit clear fluids.

In some cases, bearded dragons can throw up blood too. Not to mention, the vomit of bearded dragons has a foul smell.

Why Is Your Bearded Dragon Throwing Up? 13 Reasons

Your bearded dragon’s throw-up can be the result of several malfunctions in the daily life of your pet. After researching a while, I’ve summed up some potential reasons for bearded dragons’ vomiting. Let’s go through the following reasons and find out the potential cause.

1. Dehydration

When there are imbalances of water and salt in the body, the bearded dragon can suffer from dehydration. An adult bearded dragon requires at least 10 ml of water per day.

If you do not provide enough water sources for your bearded dragon, your bearded dragon will be dehydrated.

Although a dehydrated bearded dragon lacks water in the body, it may throw up and lose more water in severe cases. Especially, vomiting occurs in hypertonic dehydration.

If you want to know the signs of a dehydrated bearded dragon, you should click here.

2. Overeating: Can Bearded Dragons Throw Up From Eating Too Much?

Like the human, bearded dragons can throw up from eating too much. Usually, baby bearded dragons tend to eat much.

That is because they require a higher amount of nutrients for their rapid growth. Hence, the baby bearded dragon owners often make mistakes by offering too many insects or treats.

Although bearded dragons may show interest by eating all offered food, their stomach can not process all of them. I have portrayed a simple chart describing how many insects you should feed to your beardie daily.

Bearded Dragon According To Age Number Of Insects To Feed
Baby Bearded Dragon25-80 insects each day
Juvenile Bearded Dragon20-50 insects per day
Adult Bearded Dragon10 crickets per day, or 20 crickets per other days

You have to give 10-15 minutes to catch the prey. Then, you must remove all insects from their tank.

But, if you overfeed your bearded dragon, your beardie may not digest the entire food. As a result, your pet bearded dragon will throw up.

3. Eating Oversized Insects

It happens much in cases of baby and juvenile bearded dragons. As a bearded dragon owner, you need to be very careful while choosing insects for offering to your beardie.

This thumb rule is to select such insects that are as large as the distance between the two eyes of your bearded dragon.

Also, the ideal size chart of insects according to your bearded dragon is given here. However, I’ve made this safe size chart by following the thumb rule of selecting insects for bearded dragons.

Different Types Of Bearded Dragon Ideal Size Range Of Insects
Baby Bearded Dragon0.04-0.625 inches
Older Baby Bearded Dragon0.125 inches
Juvenile Baby Bearded Dragon0.5-0.625 inches
Adult Baby Bearded Dragon0.75-1 inch

Besides, you should check the distance between the eyes of your bearded dragon after every two weeks regularly. If you offer larger insects than the safe size, your pet bearded dragon will struggle to swallow the insects.

See also  Bearded Dragon Behavior: Are They Friendly Towards Owner?

As a result, your beardie will throw up due to eating oversized insects. Moreover, in the worst cases, your bearded dragon may become paralyzed or die.

4. Low Temperature In Tank

Maintaining the ideal temperature is a must for keeping your bearded dragon healthy. However, a perfect bearded dragon tank should have a cool zone, a basking area, and a hideout.

You can check the following chart to get enlightened about the ideal temperature range.

Ideal Temperature At Night70-75 degrees Fahrenheit
Ideal Temperature At Daytime75-85 degrees Fahrenheit
Ideal Temperature At Basking Zone88-100 degrees Fahrenheit (for adult bearded dragons)   95-110 degrees Fahrenheit (for baby bearded dragon)
Ideal Temperature At Cool Zone80-90 degrees Fahrenheit

Besides, you might have known that the digestive process of your beardie depends highly on the heat. So, if the temperature of your beardie’s tank drops down, the consumed food will not get digested.

A cold bearded dragon becomes pretty weak and loses interest in eating. Such is because the undigested foods remain stuck in the gut of cold beardies. 

As a result, your pet beardie bounds to throw up the undigested foods because of being cold staying in the low temperature for a long time.

If you want to know more about the cold bearded dragons, you should click here.

5. Digestive Issues

Bearded dragons can suffer from digestive problems for several reasons. Such as impaction, eating larger insects, not getting the heat, parasites, etc. Moreover, if you do not provide a balanced diet regularly, there must be digestion issues.

Usually, it takes almost 24 hours for bearded dragons to digest foods. If your beardie fails to digest thoroughly, it may throw up the food.

However, you can give a warm bath and set up the temperature in an ideal range. Also, you can feed human foods to your bearded dragon, including vegetables and dairy products. It will help your beardie clear out his system.

Besides, you can check for what human foods can bearded dragons eat.

6. High Humidity

You must have known that bearded dragons hail from hot areas. So, they thrive heat and warmth to thrive. Your beardies require only 20-40% humidity in captivity.

If the humidity is high in the bearded dragon enclosure, your bearded dragon will not get the required heat to digest the foods. Besides, your beardies may get a respiratory infection, bacterial attack, and so on. For these reasons, your bearded dragon can throw up or vomit.

7. Infected By Salmonella

One of the most common symptoms of bearded dragon salmonellosis is frequent vomiting. After around 12-24 hours of swallowing the germs of salmonella, throwing-up or vomiting gets started. Hence, you must not take your beardie’s vomiting lightly.

However, you should wash your hand every time after handling your bearded dragon to prevent the outbreak of salmonella.

8. High Level Of Parasites Or Coccidia

Attack of intestinal worms is a deadly problem for all ages of bearded dragons. Although maximum bearded dragons can regulate the level of parasites, an abnormally high amount of parasites makes your bearded dragon sick.

You can tell if your beardie has high coccidia or parasites by noticing several symptoms. Such as loss of appetite, runny and smelly stool, weight loss, vomiting, etc.

So, the reason behind the throw-up of your beardie can be the high level of parasites too. Moreover, you’ll find the presence of worms in the vomit of your sick beardie.

Thus, you must not delay seeking professional help if you doubt your beardie has high coccidia. However, you should refrigerate the vomit of your beardie in such cases before taking the vomit sample to a vet.

It will aid the vet in running the required tests and giving proper treatment.

9. Impaction

If your beardie is vomiting, it can be a symptom of its impaction.

Impaction creates a blockage in the digestive system of bearded dragons. So, this blockage of solid or semi-solid substances can be a part of their indigestible substrate.

Sometimes, bearded dragons can get impacted because of eating up the loose substrate, larger heads of insects, hard-to-digest foods, etc. Also, if the temperature is low, your beardie may get impacted by being unable to digest the consumed foods entirely.

As a result, the bearded dragon can not pass the consumed food in a bowel movement. Hence, your impacted beardie tends to throw up or vomit.

10. Lack Of Cleanliness

Lack of cleanliness causes the growth of parasites which increases the parasite count of your bearded dragon.

Besides, if you do not clean the tank after feeding, the leftover insects will remain there. Thus, your beardies may overeat the insects than their required amount of daily food.

All of these can cause digestion problems and a high parasite count of your beardie. As a result, you’ll find your bearded dragon vomiting or throwing up.

11. Drinking Too Much Water

It is one of the most common reasons bearded dragons throw up. Many bearded dragon owners complain that their beardies throw up after having a bath. Such is because your beardie might drink up much water while having a bath.

Usually, bearded dragons do not need to drink water because their requirements for water get fulfilled from their diet and misting.

However, if your beardie drinks too much water and moves around much, such occurrences of vomiting water can happen. Hence, you must ensure keeping their head up above the water level during the bath.

12. Being Stressed

Although this might not be a common scenario for you, sometimes stress can make bearded dragons throw up. If you notice other signs like a black beard, frantic clawing, etc, you can confirm this reason.

13. Disturbing Too Soon After Eating: Can You Handle A Bearded Dragon After Eating?

Usually, bearded dragons are pretty friendly towards their owners. Also, the beardies are so gentle and easy to handle. But, you must remain careful to hold your beardies too soon after eating.

See also  Do Bearded Dragons Eat Their Babies?

You should give at least 1-2 hours to your beardies under the basking area to help digest the foods. In a word, you should let your beardie on their own after the meal.

When you disturb or try to handle their meal, bearded dragons can get stressed or mad. Thus, this results in vomiting.

So, if your beardie throws up because of your handling, disturbing too soon can be the actual reason behind this.

Why My Bearded Dragon Is Throwing Up Mucus?

You should not take this lightly when your bearded dragon throws up mucus. Such is because the throw-up can be the sign of anything fatal. However, there are a few reasons behind the mucus vomit of bearded dragons. Let’s check them out.

1. Upper Respiratory Infection

The most deadly reason for bearded dragons’ throwing up is their upper respiratory infection. Especially, the respiratory infection can be the result of the attacks of bacteria, fungi, viruses, or parasites. Besides, upper respiratory infection occurs due to a higher amount of moisture in the lungs.

As a result, you may notice mucus coming out of the nose and mouth of your affected beardie. Also, bubbles coming from the mouth and choking are common due to high mucus in the lung.

In such cases, if your beardie is throwing up mucus, the reason must be the upper respiratory infection.

Before this respiratory infection turns into pneumonia, you should take your infected beardie to a vet as soon as possible. In the meantime, you should maintain an ideal temperature in the bearded dragon tank. It will help your beardie remain warm and not make the infection worse.

2. Drinking Dirty And Contaminated Water

Although bearded dragons belong to hot, deserted areas, they require at least 10 ml of water per day. Now, the question is what type of water do you provide to your pet beardie.

Though bearded dragons drink tap water, this tap water is often contaminated with chemicals. Besides, there is a high level of alkaloids, chlorine, fluoride, and other harmful chemicals in tap water.

So, are you providing such water and your beardies throwing up mucus? Then, the provided dirty and contaminated water is to blame for such condition of your bearded dragon.

Also, if you do not change the water from the water dish, this water will be unsafe. Such is because bearded dragons love to spend time soaking in the water.

So, they excrete in the water sometimes. If your bearded dragons end up drinking such water, the water will be toxic for your pet. It results in throwing up mucus.

3. Lack Of Cleanliness

A general rule of cleanliness is to remove all uneaten foods and dirt regularly. Besides, you should do a deep cleaning once a month. 

If you do not clean the water dish regularly, the water will be dirty and unsafe for your beardie. Besides, an irregular cleaning of the substrate can cause the growth of various bacteria, fungus, parasites, and so on.

These will further attack your beardie. Hence, lack of cleanliness can make bearded dragons suffer from a higher count of coccidia or respirational infection. As a result, your bearded dragon will show the sign of throwing up mucus.

Why Is My Bearded Dragon Throwing Up Blood?

Before concluding, you should know the difference between bearded dragon poop and vomit. Sometimes, the bearded dragon owners make the mistake of confusing red or dark-colored stool as blood-stained vomit.

It can happen because of eating red cherries or berries, etc. So, before getting panicked, you should confirm at first.

However, bearded dragons can throw up blood. Let’s check out the following points to know what may be the actual reason.

1. Fatty Liver Disease

Fatty liver disease is a fatal disease that affects the usual activity of the bearded dragon liver by increasing the fats of the liver.

As a result, the liver of an affected beardie can not keep the metabolism rate going. Thus, bearded dragons fail to digest the consumed foods.

Moreover, the fatty liver disease makes the immune system of your bearded dragon weak. Among several symptoms, throwing up blood is a significant sign of the fatty liver disease of your bearded dragon.

If you notice other remarkable symptoms of this disease, you can confirm it and seek proper treatment. So, the other signs are edema, swollen limbs, lethargy, anorexia, etc.

2. Heavy Loads Of Parasites

Usually, bearded dragons can cope with a small number of parasites in their body. But, if the parasite counts get higher, your beardie can throw up blood.

Usually, the parasites pass on the bearded dragon body along with the insects. So, it will cause parasite infection. If you notice blood with bearded dragon vomit, you should not take the risk of heavy loads of parasites lightly.

3. Overfeeding

It happens in the case of obese bearded dragons. Sometimes, they might throw up blood due to overfeeding too much.

As bearded dragons need the help of heat to digest completely, overfeeding makes them vulnerable. Even if they do not throw up blood, they will surely throw up the overfed food or insects.

4. Tumor

Bearded dragons can have abscesses or tumor-like swelling in the body. If your bearded dragon develops a tumor, he will show several symptoms. Such as bleeding from the cloaca, blood vomiting, high blood glucose, reduced appetite, lethargy, etc.

So, if your bearded dragon throws up blood, it can be the result of tumors too. Thus, you must take your beardie to a reptile vet immediately.

5. Injury

Bearded dragons can get injured in several ways. It can happen because of fighting between two bearded dragons, bites from the prey, cuts from glass or screen, etc. So, such injuries can cause trauma or hemorrhage in bearded dragons. As a result, an injured bearded dragon may throw up blood.

See also  Can Bearded Dragons Eat Strawberries?

6. Cancer

Recent researches show that captive bearded dragons have a larger risk of getting cancer. Among other symptoms, throwing up blood is a common sign of cancer in bearded dragons.

Whether you suspect these mentioned reasons or not, you must take this symptom seriously. Do not delay taking your bearded dragon to a vet or hospital if he is throwing up blood.

Why Is My Bearded Dragon Throwing Up Mealworms?

You can offer mealworms as a treat to an adult bearded dragon. So, you can not give mealworms as the staple diet of your beardie.

If your bearded dragon is throwing up, there can be several reasons. These are-

  1. The most common reason can be feeding a higher number of mealworms than your beardie needs. Due to overfeeding, your beardie might throw up mealworms.
  2. Also, feeding mealworms are not suitable for baby or juvenile bearded dragons.  If you do so, the result will bound to be throwing up of mealworms. Such is because mealworms are hard to digest because of contain too much chitin.
  3. However, mealworms usually contain a hard shell. Hence, bearded dragons tend to throw up mealworms when they can not digest these insects.
  4. Besides, the size of mealworms has to be within the space between the two eyes of your bearded dragon. So, your bearded dragon may throw up mealworms when you feed oversized mealworms.

Can Bearded Dragons Throw Up Water?

If you find out your beardie pukings like clear water and saliva, do not get confused. That is because bearded dragons can throw up clear water. Also, this can happen for several reasons.

It can be because of dehydration, respiratory infection, overdrinking, drinking contaminated water, and so on.

Besides, bearded dragons may end up drowning their head while bathing and drinking too much water. On the other hand, if a bearded dragon tilts or gets upside down after drinking water, it can cause vomiting or throw up of your bearded dragon.

What Should I Do If My Bearded Dragon Is Throwing Up Water?

Firstly, you need to calm down as an owner before taking care of your beardie. Then, you can proceed calmly with essential steps.

So, the first thing you need to do is to make your beardie relax. Then, you should let your bearded dragon flatten out.

After a while, you have to take the required steps to make your beardie warm. For this, you can take the beardie under the basking area. So, this will eventually help your beardie feel better.

However, you must not offer any water or food meanwhile taking care of your beardie.

Will My Bearded Dragons Die If They Throw Up?

There are several reasons behind the sudden throwing-up of your beardie.

Some of the reasons are not life-threatening, whereas some cases of vomiting are serious signs of fatal illness. So, there is nothing to worry about when the vomiting is the outcome of the incoordination.

So, you need not always get worried about the death of your beardie when they throw up.

But, when your beardie is displaying other physical symptoms with vomiting, there are chances of death. Especially, if your beardie is throwing up blood, you must not delay a minute.

Sometimes, the sickness of respiratory infection, liver issues, impaction, etc, get worse. In these cases, your beardie will die if it is throwing up and not getting early treatment.

However, throwing up is a bad sign. So, you should comfort your beardie and take it to an experienced veterinarian fast.

What Do I Do If My Bearded Dragon Is Throwing Up?

As a new bearded dragon owner, you might get panicked seeing your beardie throwing up. Moreover, experienced owners often become confused when they come across such a situation all of a sudden.

But, this is not the time to do panic. You should take some immediate actions when your bearded dragon is throwing up. Hopefully, these will help your beardie feel better.

1. Flattening-up

Keep your sick beardie flattened up. Sometimes, beardies get upside down when they throw up. So, the first thing you need to ensure is keeping the head of your beardie up.

2. Giving A Bath

When your bearded dragons throw up, their body loses much water and salt. So, after throwing up, you can make your beardie feel better by offering a nice bath. It will help them rehydrate again.

Make sure that the water level is not going up to the shoulder of your bearded dragon.

3. Not Feeding Immediately

Do not offer food or water right after your beardie throws up. Take some time to continue feeding. Also, make sure that your beardie is not missing proper nutrients due to not eating for a long time.

4. Feeding Baby Foods

When your bearded dragon throws up, it can be the effect of improper food selection and amount. So, you can offer later baby food to your bearded dragon. That is because these foods will be gentle and easy to digest for your bearded dragon’s stomach.

5. Making Your Beardie Warm

Besides, you should keep your sick beardie under the basking area after throwing up. Warming up will help your bearded dragon to feel better.

6. Collecting Vomit Sample

After throwing up, you should take the sample of vomit and refrigerate it. Then, you can take the vomit sample to the vet to examine it.

7. Taking To A Vet

Finally, it will be the best decision to take your bearded dragon for checking-up after throwing up. In case your bearded dragon throws up blood, he may need to get an x-ray.

8. Keeping Tank Clean

When your bearded dragon throws up, you should clean the enclosure afterward. Besides, you can sanitize the entire bearded dragon tank with a 9:1 solution of water and red vinegar.

9. Fixing Temperature And Humidity

The cold environment in the bearded dragon temperature is another reason for throwing up. Hence, you need to fix the temperature and humidity within an ideal range.

Final Words

It is pretty normal to become panicked when you see your bearded dragon throwing up. I hope this article enlightened you on all potential reasons and solutions for bearded dragon’s vomiting.

If you want to keep your bearded dragon healthy, you should fulfill all requirements of your beardie. Lastly, you must not take the throw-up of your beardie lightly.

Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of AcuarioPets.com. I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.


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