Quiz: Is My Bearded Dragon in Brumation?
How to Tell if Your Pet Is in Brumation or Sick
If you are unfamiliar with bearded dragon brumation, it simply refers to the natural process that many reptiles go through in the wild to conserve their energy during the winter. Brumation can be a scary topic for new bearded dragon owners. After all, it is stressful when you are not sure if your pet is sick. So how do you know if your bearded dragon is truly sick or preparing to brumate?
Let’s start by considering these questions. Answer “yes” or “no” for each question.
- Does your bearded dragon appear lethargic?
- Are they sleeping more than normal?
- Are they completely refusing food?
- Are they having less frequent bowel movements?
- Do they seem disinterested in you or unusually adverse to being handled?
- Are they frequently burrowing or hiding in their enclosure?
If you answered “yes” to more than one of these questions, your dragon may be preparing to enter a natural period of brumation. All of these are common signs of dragons in brumation. Keep in mind that most dragons will begin to brumate during the cold season, but there is no set time period. Each bearded dragon will follow a different brumation schedule.
However—and this is where it gets tricky—any of those signs of brumation can also be a symptom of a medical issue. To protect your pet from a potentially dangerous situation, also consider the following list of symptoms. If your bearded dragon is exhibiting any, or even just one, of these symptoms, reach out to your veterinarian as soon as possible to assess your dragon’s condition:
- Constipation (lack of regular bowel movements)
- Discolored skin
- Wrinkly skin
- Swollen limbs or jaw
- Trouble breathing
- Refusal to eat
- General signs of weakness or abnormal behavior
To give pet owners peace of mind, we generally recommend consulting with your veterinarian either way. Your pet’s doctor can help you assess whether your bearded dragon is in fact in brumation or potentially suffering from another medical issue. They can also help you navigate the unfamiliar brumation process and answer your specific questions for how to help your dragon before, during, and after brumation.
If we can provide you with any additional information or support, please don’t hesitate to let us know. ABDragons is here to help, and we have a wide selection of fresh feeder insects like Dubia roaches, Phoenix Worms, and mealworms to keep your bearded dragon satiated and healthy.