What Should Bearded Dragon’s Poop Look Like?
A bearded dragon’s poop varies in color and consistency depending on its health condition and what it has eaten. The normal color is usually brown or white. While some color change is normal and resolves itself, it can signal a serious health condition in other cases. Therefore, you want to keep a keen eye on your beardie’s poop color.
Below is a look at the various bearded dragon poop colors and what they signify. This article will also discuss the causes of runny poop and how often a bearded dragon should poop.
Bearded Dragon Poop Color
Normal Bearded Dragon Poop
Healthy bearded dragon poop is brown with urate. It has a firm consistency with a log-like shape and no foul smell. Since bearded dragons do not pee, they excrete nitrogenous waste in the form of a uric acid paste in the poop known as urate. The urate is a soft part of the feces. It should be white or yellow.
Blood in Poop
Redness in your bearded dragon’s poop is not always a cause of concern. If it recently ate beets or raspberries, some of the redness from the food will most likely pass down to the feces. Often, the redness is consistent throughout the stool.
However, if you notice bloody patches, there might be a severe health issue such as a parasitic infection or internal bleeding. Internal bleeding could be caused by the ingestion of foreign objects or bugs. Bugs have sharp legs that may tear the intestines. Regarding parasitic infections, Coccidia parasites are the most notorious for causing rupturing in a beardie’s intestines.
A single instance of blood in the feces does not warrant a visit to the vet. However, you must monitor your beardie’s poop for the next few days. If the blood in the stool persists, take a stool sample to the vet.
Often, yellow poop is a result of excessive consumption of calcium. Aside from causing bowel movement issues, too much calcium in a beardie’s diet can also cause severe organ damage and liver disease.
The appropriate amount of calcium intake varies depending on a beardie’s age. Hatchling requires daily intake. They need more calcium to support their developing musculoskeletal structure. The recommended calcium intake for juvenile bearded dragons reduces to every other day. Adult bearded dragons need calcium once to twice a week.
Therefore, reduce its calcium intake if you notice your beardie’s poop is yellow. Reduce or temporarily eliminate foods high in calcium from your beardie’s diet, e.g., kale and watercress. Also, if you have been offering a calcium supplement, reduce the dosage or withdraw it for a few days and notice if the poop color becomes normal.
Ensure that your pet bearded dragon gets enough but not excess UVB light. UVB light helps it absorb calcium and synthesize vitamin D, but excessive UVB light causes a variety of problems, like hypercalcemia, hyperparathyroidism, hyperkeratosis, or photo-kerato-conjunctivitis.
Note that there is a difference between the feces being yellow and pooping an isolated yellow substance. In males, a yellow substance is most likely a seminal plug. In females, it could be an infertile egg. If your reptile is having a hard time passing out the yellow substance, a warm bath and a gentle massage will help.
Black poop often occurs if the bearded dragon's diet consists of too many feeder insects and little amounts of vegetables. In which case, you need to incorporate more leafy greens into your diet.
However, if the black poop persists, take a stool sample to the vet for medical examination.
It may indicate a blocked bowel movement that results in severe constipation or internal bleeding. If the black poop is runny, it could signify a parasitic infection.
Note that normal beardie’s feces will darken after a few hours after being excreted.
The most common cause of green poop is a green dye in a beardie’s diet from leafy greens, which is normal. However, foul-smelling or runny stool may signify a serious underlying health condition such as hemolytic anemia or anorexia.
Chalky white poop accompanied by string-like saliva indicates mild dehydration. Mild dehydration is easy to manage by placing your bearded dragon in a short 15-minute bath. You should also ensure that the lizard takes enough water and the tank temperatures do not exceed 105F. If mild dehydration is left attended, it can quickly progress to severe dehydration.
On the other hand, the poop can be white if it is primarily urate. This happens if the bearded dragon is overhydrated or has eaten lots of water-dense foods.
Runny Bearded Dragon Poop
If you notice runny stools, see a vet immediately. Diarrhea can cause dehydration within a few hours. As such, you should tend to it immediately by managing it and identifying its cause.
Several factors can lead to runny poop in bearded dragons, including diet changes, parasite infestation, and malnutrition. High-fiber foods are one of the leading causes of diarrhea in bearded dragons. Seventy-five percent of a beardie’s diet is vegetables high in fiber. Consequently, it can be challenging to provide the correct amounts of fiber.
Feed your pet dragon low fiber nutrient-rich vegetables, e.g., collard greens, cactus pad, or turnip greens. Avoid giving light green vegetables such as lettuce as they are low in nutrients and contain excessive fiber.
Diarrhea can also be a symptom of parasitic or bacterial infection, in which case, it will be accompanied by other symptoms such as mucus in the stool, lethargy, weight loss, and foul smell from the poop. Bearded dragons usually get parasites from ingesting insects.
How Often Should a Bearded Dragon Poop?
The normal pooping frequency for a bearded dragon varies from one animal to another depending on its age, health condition, environment, and diet. It ranges from daily to once per week for adult bearded dragons. If its diet is rich in calcium, it may poop more often. Hatchlings and baby bearded dragons tend to poop up to three times a day, while juveniles poop every other day and adults once per week.
Stress decreases a bearded dragon’s pooping frequency significantly. Stress can result from unfavorable tank conditions such as extremely high or low temperatures, excess moisture in the habitat, change in habitat, or loud noises from the immediate environment. To tell if your bearded dragon is stressed, look out for symptoms such as aggression, biting, and loss of appetite.
Normal beardie poop should be brown with white or yellow urate. It should have a solid consistency with a log-like shape. Some color variations, like green and red, are normal if the lizard’s diet is high in leafy greens and red fruits or vegetables. However, other color variations such as black, bloody, and yellow can signify a significant health issue or malfunction in the digestive tract. A one-off variation in color is not a cause of concern. If it persists, take a poop sample and your bearded dragon to a vet.