How can you tell if your bearded dragon lizard is underweight or too skinny?
I have a question concerning my 3-year-old male bearded dragon. I am a bit worried that he is underweight. His tail is very fat and he is active but when he is relaxed the skin on his back is all wrinkled up. His eyes are not sunken in or anything like that; it is just his stomach doesn't seem to have hardly any fat. I was wondering if there is a good and safe way to fatten him up a bit. I have also heard that some beardies are just slim, but I wasn't sure about this. Your help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
It sounds as if your male beardie is normal, however, as always, if you have any concerns, I think that you should make an appointment with your herp vet in order to have him checked out.
If he has the normal amount of tail fat, as compared with your other lizards, he is probably okay. I know what you are describing, the kind of wrinkly appearing skin on the back of a resting bearded dragon. Because their skin does not stretch much, when compared with mammalian skin, they often appear to have excess skin when they are relaxed, so that when they puff up to display or challenge another male, they have skin to utilize for that purpose.
Margaret A. Wissman, DVM, DABVP has been an avian/exotic/herp animal veterinarian since 1981. She is a regular contributor to REPTILES magazine.
Need a Herp Vet?
If you are looking for a herp-knowledgeable veterinarian in your area, a good place to start is by checking the list of members on the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarian (ARAV) web site at www.arav.com. Look for DVMs who appear to maintain actual veterinary offices that you could contact.