Is this a RI?

This forum is for urgent health concerns, where your beardie seems very ill and you need immediate help!

Is this a RI?

Postby Alexmc2003 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:09 pm


Help! I got my beardie about 20 days ago and he or she has been doing amazing. I am pretty sure he or she is about 3 months old. He eats about 18 crickets a day and eats his greens (collards and diff veggies). The past two days he pooped normally and ate normally but i have been noticing he is breathing with his beard and opened his mouth twice when i was holding him. His humidity is only 30% and sometimes gets to about 45% at night or after i mist but once his lights come on its back to a normal humidity. I cannot take him to a vet right now as my mom is having surgery tomorrow and i do not have any cash myself for him at the vet. Can someone tell me some things i could do if it is in fact a Respiratory infection thats not tooo expensive or if i might just be worrying for no reason?
Newbie Poster
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun May 07, 2017 6:59 pm
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Re: Is this a RI?

Postby EllenD » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:20 pm

Hello, welcome to the forums! They do worry you, don't they? LOl..

No, it doesn't sound at all like an Upper Respiratory Infection to me. Usually with a URI they will cough, wheeze when they breath, have a "crackling" sound when they breath, and have a ton of excess mucous in their mouth so that you see thick strings of it when they open their mouth. Also, he's eating normally, so no loss in appetite and no lethargy, so no, he's not sick.

They open their mouths as a way to regulate their body temps. It doesn't mean that his temperature zones inside his tank are too hot, it doesn't mean anything except he's regulating his body temperature. And they also do puff-up their beards for a number of different reasons, but that was most likely related to the mouth gaping to regulate body temperature. Also, they do often store food in their beards when they eat, and you won't know it, then you suddenly see them puff it out, open their mouths, and then swallow, and suddenly their beard is smaller than it was, lol. So it could have been that too. They also puff up their beards when they are going through a shed, to loosen the skin, just as an FYI. They do this for a ton of reasons, but none of which have anything to do with a URI. He's fine.

Just another FYI, humidity inside his tank is not a big deal at all either, as it's not with Bearded Dragons at all. They are completely different in this aspect than any of the tropical reptiles, as humidity doesn't effect them at all unless it's out of control. Most experienced Beardie owners, including myself, don't even look at the humidity at all really. They can live in a humidity of 10% or a humidity of 70%, and anywhere in between. So don't worry about that. What you do have to worry about and what does have to be very specific and exact are the 3 temperature zones inside his tank, and his UVB light. Desert reptiles rely upon proper temps and adequate, strong UVB/UVA lighting pretty much for every bodily process and their lives literally depend upon them...but humidity is pretty much a non-factor...

As far as a respiratory infection goes, what does cause one is if he gets water into his lungs, by say putting his head under water during a bath. That's probably the #1 cause of URi's in Beardies. Just a pro-tip, lol...
"Dance like nobody's watching..."
Gray-bearded Poster
Posts: 2567
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:08 pm
Location: State College, PA

Re: Is this a RI?

Postby Drache613 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:28 pm


If you suspect a possible respiratory issue, for now, I would not mist him in his tank. That is just
so there wont be any mold or fungal build up in the tan from any excess moisture. They can get
chilled in the wintertime, so avoiding excess moisture is helpful.
Can you review your tank setup with us, so we can be sure everything is all correct for him.
Do you have any pictures of him & the tank we could see?
Usually these types of infections exhibit symptoms such as sneezing or wheezing, mucous in the
mouth or nose areas, along with possible clicking types of noises.

User avatar
Posts: 37377
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:33 pm
Location: May, Texas
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Return to Beardie ER

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: ElliotBeansMom