What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of A Broken Bone In A Bearded Dragon?

Bearded dragons are popular pets for reptile enthusiasts due to their docile nature and easy care. However, like any animal, they are susceptible to injuries and illnesses. One of the most common injuries that bearded dragons may experience is a broken bone.

It is essential for owners to be aware of the signs and symptoms of a broken bone in their pet to provide proper care and treatment. Broken bones in bearded dragons can occur due to a variety of reasons, such as falls, accidents, or even improper handling.

The severity of the injury can range from a hairline fracture to a complete break, and the signs and symptoms can vary depending on the location and extent of the injury.

It is essential for owners to be vigilant and observant of their pet’s behavior to identify any potential signs of injury promptly.

In this article, we will discuss the common signs and symptoms of a broken bone in a bearded dragon, which will help owners recognize and seek appropriate medical attention for their pet.

Visible trauma or bones piercing through the skin

Howard the bearded dragon
Credit: Eugene Lagana

You’ll know something’s wrong if you see any wounds or bones sticking out of your scaly friend. Visible trauma is a clear indication of a broken bone in bearded dragons.

Many factors can cause fractures, but the most common is accidents like falling from a height or getting trapped in a tight space. To prevent fractures, you should provide them with a spacious and safe enclosure, avoid sudden movements, and minimize handling.

If your bearded dragon has a broken bone, emergency care is essential. You need to take them to the vet as soon as possible to prevent further damage and complications. The healing process may take up to several weeks or even months, depending on the severity of the injury.

During this time, your pet may need physical therapy to regain strength and mobility. If left untreated, a broken bone can have long-term effects, such as deformities, chronic pain, and other health issues.

Leg dragging

Seeing your beloved pet struggle to move their leg is heart-wrenching and may indicate a possible issue. Leg dragging in bearded dragons can be a sign of a broken bone or a joint injury. The bearded dragon may avoid putting weight on the affected limb or may limp while walking.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to take your pet to the veterinarian immediately. Preventative measures can help reduce the risk of broken bones in bearded dragons. It’s important to provide a suitable habitat and diet to ensure your pet is healthy and active.

Rehabilitation techniques, such as physical therapy and dietary adjustments, can help your bearded dragon recover from a broken bone. Behavioral changes may also be necessary to ensure your pet isn’t putting unnecessary strain on their bones.

Working with a veterinarian can help ensure your bearded dragon receives the proper care and rehabilitation needed to recover from a broken bone or joint injury.

Swollen, deformed limb

If your scaly friend’s leg looks swollen and twisted, it’s important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible. A swollen, deformed limb is a sign of a possible broken bone in a bearded dragon. This could result from a fall or injury, and if left untreated, it could cause serious pain, discomfort, and even permanent damage to your pet.

Once the veterinarian confirms a broken bone, treatment options will depend on the severity of the injury. Recovery time may vary from a few weeks to a few months, and during this time, pain management is crucial to ensure your bearded dragon is comfortable.

Prevention measures such as providing a safe and secure environment, avoiding sharp objects, and proper handling can help reduce the risk of future injuries. Rehabilitation exercises may also be recommended to strengthen the limb and promote healing.

With proper care and attention, a bearded dragon with a broken bone can recover and return to its active lifestyle.

Unable to walk correctly

It’s heartbreaking to see your scaly companion struggling to walk properly. If your bearded dragon is unable to walk correctly, it may be a sign of a broken bone.

The bearded dragon may also display signs of pain, such as whimpering or crying out when it tries to move. It’s important to seek veterinary treatment immediately if you suspect your bearded dragon has a broken bone.

The veterinarian will likely perform an x-ray to confirm the diagnosis and may recommend physical therapy, rehabilitation exercises, or the use of mobility aids to help your bearded dragon regain its mobility.

Prevention is key when it comes to broken bones in bearded dragons, so be sure to provide a safe and secure environment for your pet and avoid any activities that could lead to injury.

Kinked spine

If your scaly friend is struggling with a kinked spine, it’s crucial to take immediate action to prevent further damage and discomfort. One way to prevent kinked spines is to ensure that your bearded dragon has enough space to move around and stretch out.

It’s also important to provide a balanced and nutrient-rich diet that includes calcium and vitamin D3 supplements to promote bone health. Treating a kinked spine will depend on the severity of the condition.

In some cases, supportive care such as rest, physical therapy, and pain management may be sufficient. However, if the kink is severe or causing significant mobility issues, surgery may be necessary.

It’s important to note that breeding bearded dragons with kinked spines is not recommended, as this condition can be passed down to offspring. With proper care and attention, your scaly friend can recover from a kinked spine and regain their mobility.


In conclusion, it’s important for bearded dragon owners to be aware of the signs and symptoms of a broken bone in their pet.

Visible trauma or bones piercing through the skin are clear indications of a serious injury.

Additionally, if a bearded dragon is dragging its leg or has a swollen, deformed limb, it may be suffering from a broken bone.

It’s crucial to seek veterinary attention immediately if a bearded dragon is displaying any of these symptoms.

A broken bone can cause significant pain and discomfort, and if left untreated, it can lead to further complications or permanent damage.

By being vigilant and observant of their pet’s behavior, owners can ensure their bearded dragons receive prompt and appropriate care.