Why does my bearded dragon look bloated

Why does my bearded dragon look bloated?

One common health issue for bearded dragons is bloating. But, what does it mean when your bearded dragon looks bloated?

Bloat in bearded dragons refers to a condition where the reptile’s stomach becomes swollen or enlarged. It can be a sign of various health issues and is usually accompanied by other symptoms.

Symptoms of Bloating

Bearded Dragon at Nature Day
Credit: The Forum

The most apparent sign of bloat is a distended or swollen abdomen. Other physical changes include weight gain, difficulty moving, and a lack of appetite.

Bearded dragons with bloat often exhibit changes in behavior, like lethargy, hiding more often, or a noticeable decrease in activity.

Causes of Bloating in Bearded Dragons

Central Bearded Dragons
Credit: Beth_Kin

Here we have listed 5 common causes of bloating in bearded dragons:


Bloating can occur if your bearded dragon is overfed, especially with high-fat or hard-to-digest foods. This leads to an overstuffed stomach and bloating.


Impaction, or a blockage in the gut, is a common cause of bloating. It can occur if your dragon ingests indigestible materials like the substrate or if it’s fed oversized food.

Parasitic Infection

Internal parasites can cause bloating by disrupting your dragon’s digestive system.

Metabolic Bone Disease

Metabolic bone disease can also cause bloating in bearded dragons, as it impacts the digestive system.

Kidney Disease

Kidney disease may result in bloating as a secondary symptom due to fluid retention.

How to Prevent Bloating in Bearded Dragons

046 Eastern Bearded Dragon (Pogona Barbata)
Credit: Jen 64

Ensure your bearded dragon gets a balanced diet that’s appropriate for their age and size. Avoid overfeeding and monitor the size of food given.

Regular Vet Check-ups

Regular check-ups can help catch any potential health issues early, including those that cause bloating.

Proper Habitat Maintenance

Keeping the habitat clean and suitable for your bearded dragon can help prevent various health issues, including impaction and bloating.

What to Do if Your Bearded Dragon is Bloated

If you notice your bearded dragon is bloated, it’s essential to consult a vet immediately. They can identify the cause and prescribe treatment.

Long-term care for a bloated bearded dragon will depend on the underlying cause. It might involve changes in diet, medication, or even surgery in severe cases.

Why Your Bearded Dragon Is Bloated After Eating

Bloatedness in bearded dragons after eating can be due to several reasons:

  1. Overeating: Bearded dragons may bloat if they eat too much food at one time. This can be especially true if they’re fed a diet high in fat or sugar.
  2. Dehydration: Bearded dragons need a good supply of fresh water. Dehydration can lead to digestive issues, including bloating.
  3. Impaction: This is a serious condition where a bearded dragon’s digestive tract gets blocked. This can happen if they eat too much indigestible material, like sand or certain types of insects with hard exoskeletons. The blockage can cause the stomach to swell.
  4. Parasites: Parasites in the gut can cause bloating in bearded dragons. This could be due to a bacterial, fungal, or parasitic infection.
  5. Improper diet: Bearded dragons have specific dietary needs. Feeding them improper food can result in bloating.
  6. Stress: Stress can also impact a bearded dragon’s digestion, potentially leading to bloating.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a bloated bearded dragon look like?

A bloated bearded dragon has a distended or enlarged abdomen, often accompanied by other physical or behavioral changes.

Can a bearded dragon’s bloat go away on its own?

It depends on the cause. While minor overfeeding may resolve itself, serious conditions like impaction or kidney disease require immediate veterinary attention.

How often should I take my bearded dragon to the vet?

Ideally, you should take your bearded dragon for a check-up at least once a year. However, if you notice any signs of illness, consult a vet immediately.

Can bearded dragons get bloated from stress?

While stress doesn’t directly cause bloating, it can exacerbate health conditions that lead to bloating.

What should I feed my bearded dragon to prevent bloating?

A balanced diet suitable for your bearded dragon’s age and size, with appropriate food sizes, can help prevent bloating. Consult with a vet for specific dietary recommendations.