Bearded Dragon Brumation

Bearded Dragon Brumation: Do They Swell Up?

During this brumation, your bearded dragon may exhibit a variety of behaviors, such as reduced appetite, decreased activity, and even swelling.

Swelling is not a common symptom of bearded dragon brumation. During brumation, bearded dragons become sluggish and less interested in food. They may seek out an insulated spot to remain in for long periods of time

In this article, we’ll explore the topic of bearded dragon brumation and address the question, do they swell up?

Understanding Bearded Dragon Brumation

Bearded Dragon Chill'n Out
Credit: Sharon Wills

Brumation is a natural process that occurs in bearded dragons during the cooler months of the year. It’s similar to hibernation in mammals, but it’s not quite the same.

Bearded dragons will reduce their activity levels, their metabolism will slow down, and they may even sleep for long periods of time. During this time, it’s important to ensure that your bearded dragon has access to adequate heat, light, and hydration.

Do Bearded Dragons Swell Up During Brumation?

Fatty The Bearded Dragon
Credit: Ross Storr

The short answer is, it’s possible. During brumation, bearded dragons may retain water, which can lead to swelling in certain areas of their body. This swelling is typically most noticeable in the limbs, but it can occur in other areas as well.

It’s important to note that not all bearded dragons will experience swelling during brumation. Some may not exhibit this symptom at all.

It’s also important to keep in mind that not all swelling is necessarily due to brumation. Other factors, such as illness or injury, can also cause swelling in bearded dragons.

What Should You Do If Your Bearded Dragon Swells Up During Brumation?

If you notice swelling in your bearded dragon during brumation, there are a few things you should do.

First, make sure that your pet is still responsive and active. If they are not, it may be a sign of a more serious issue.

Second, ensure that your bearded dragon is receiving adequate heat and light. This can help regulate their body temperature and reduce the likelihood of swelling.

Finally, consult with a veterinarian who specializes in reptiles. They can provide advice on how to manage the swelling and ensure that your bearded dragon is healthy.

Other Behaviors to Watch for During Brumation

In addition to the swelling, there are other behaviors that you should watch for during bearded dragon brumation. These include:

  • Reduced appetite: Bearded dragons may eat less or even stop eating altogether during brumation. This is normal and nothing to worry about as long as they are still active and responsive.
  • Decreased activity: As mentioned earlier, bearded dragons will be less active during brumation. You may notice that they spend more time sleeping or hiding.
  • Darkened coloration: Bearded dragons may also darken in color during brumation. This is a natural response to the reduced daylight hours during the winter months.


Swelling can occur during this time, but it’s not a guaranteed symptom. If you do notice swelling in your bearded dragon, it’s important to ensure that they are still active and receiving adequate heat and light. Consult with a veterinarian if you’re concerned about your pet’s health.