2 swollen fingers- One is red one is just puffy

Buddy- The Bearded Dragon

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Buddy
Hello, I'm new here. I usually get my beardie information here when I have a question, but this time I have a question that I can't find in the search bar that relates to my bearded dragons health right now. Today when I was feeding my beardie, I saw that one of her fingers is really swollen and it looks red and I saw another one that just looked bigger than usual. I'm more concerned about the red one. It's kind of lifted and idk if she's doing that because it hurts her or if it's like that because it's swollen. I can't take her to the vet to find out but I really want to treat it so it doesn't get worse and so she gets better if it hurts her. If this helps, her enclosure (we built it ourselves) has mesh all over as walls and she likes to climb on it when she's roaming around. I read that that may be the reason some beardies hurt themselves like this. Should I get a new enclosure or is it something else?? Please help!
 

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ChileanTaco

Juvie Member
Beardie name(s)
Taco
Welcome here!
Regarding the enclosure: That could be the reason. So is this mesh like a fabric, one of these enclosures sometimes used for chameleons, or is this like the wire mesh for a bird cage? If it is fabric, their nails can get stuck, leading to injuries.
Typically, a bearded dragon enclosure is made of solid walls, like MFD or glass. (Can be bought ready, or as a set to put together like furniture, or can also be made by you if you're comfortable with that.) For climbing, thick wooden branches, stones, and "fake stone" structures that can be built with materials from the hardware store are a good thing. (My dragon also loves to climb! These are safe materials that I use, for example, and they are recommended.)
As you mention the mesh: How does the top of her enclosure looks like? A too fine mesh obscures too much of the light if the lamps sit on top of that. If you could make a photo of that, this would be good.

Regarding the injury: Sometimes as a remedy for small injuries raw honey (not pasteurized) is recommended. But this honestly looks to me quite serious and I would go to a vet with that. Do you have a reptile vet?
 

Buddy- The Bearded Dragon

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Buddy
Welcome here!
Regarding the enclosure: That could be the reason. So is this mesh like a fabric, one of these enclosures sometimes used for chameleons, or is this like the wire mesh for a bird cage? If it is fabric, their nails can get stuck, leading to injuries.
Typically, a bearded dragon enclosure is made of solid walls, like MFD or glass. (Can be bought ready, or as a set to put together like furniture, or can also be made by you if you're comfortable with that.) For climbing, thick wooden branches, stones, and "fake stone" structures that can be built with materials from the hardware store are a good thing. (My dragon also loves to climb! These are safe materials that I use, for example, and they are recommended.)
As you mention the mesh: How does the top of her enclosure looks like? A too fine mesh obscures too much of the light if the lamps sit on top of that. If you could make a photo of that, this would be good.

Regarding the injury: Sometimes as a remedy for small injuries raw honey (not pasteurized) is recommended. But this honestly looks to me quite serious and I would go to a vet with that. Do you have a reptile vet?
I guess you could say that the mesh on the sides is like fabric. We also have like a "gate" in the front that you open by sliding it up that also has holes. The top of the enclosure is wood and we cut the wood and put the fabric mesh where the lights go so the heat isn't obscured. I will definitely try the honey, and regarding the vet- we haven't ever taken her to the vet because honestly, (I'm so sorry if this comes off offensive I'm not trying to be) we think that the vet, considering it being expensive, is only for dogs and other animals like that and for reptiles it shouldn't be considered to take them since they're animals that really do live in the wild and can take care of themselves, if that makes sense. But I will talk with my family and maybe try to schedule an appointment (hopefully if not expensive) just to check out the injury or at least try to talk to a vet online because my beardie is important to me.

First pic is the front of the cage, the gate that slides upward to open.
The Second pic is the side of the cage, the mesh.
Third pic is where we place the lights.

Thanks for responding, btw!
 

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ChileanTaco

Juvie Member
Beardie name(s)
Taco
because my beardie is important to me.
Regarding the vet:
A dragon can care for itself if being healthy and provided with anything they need. If they're seriously ill, they will not heal by some "self-healing superpowers" but will get more ill and die like any animal. (In the wild, only approx. one out of 100 baby bearded dragons reaches adulthood - the other ones are either eaten by other animals, or die because of illnesses from such as parasites, and injuries from such as accidents or when barely escaping a predator and being hurt.)
My dragon has never been to the vet as luckily he's healthy so far (behaving and looking normally). If anything is off, and nothing that can be done at home is a good solution, I'll go to the vet with him.

Which kind of lamps are you using? (Is this a lamp like a coil? Do you have one that is long like a tube?) Is there any of the mesh fabric under the lamp(s)?
The mesh on the sides: If that's fabric and not metal, it's really not good as your dragon's nails and fingers get stuck in that and he hurts himself trying to free his nails and fingers. A metal mesh like for a bird cage could work, but glass on the front, and on the sides either glass or MDF is better as with that you can keep the temperature high inside the enclosure. Do you measure the temperature inside the enclosure, could you let us know the temperature values?

In total, looking at the cage, I would guess you can improve it without the need of getting a completely new one. Likely one of the lamps needs to replaced by a better one. (With the wrong type of lamp, the spectrum will be very different from what natural sunlight is. This means that then his body cannot metabolize his food and the calcium supplement he needs correctly, leading to huge problems with bones, nervous system, skin, organs and even eyes. A dragon will get seriously disabled and die from that over time. With the right type of lamp however, this will work and no such health issues occur.)
Could you maybe take a photo from a bit away, maybe some 2 or more meters away?
 

Buddy- The Bearded Dragon

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Buddy
Regarding the vet:
A dragon can care for itself if being healthy and provided with anything they need. If they're seriously ill, they will not heal by some "self-healing superpowers" but will get more ill and die like any animal. (In the wild, only approx. one out of 100 baby bearded dragons reaches adulthood - the other ones are either eaten by other animals, or die because of illnesses from such as parasites, and injuries from such as accidents or when barely escaping a predator and being hurt.)
My dragon has never been to the vet as luckily he's healthy so far (behaving and looking normally). If anything is off, and nothing that can be done at home is a good solution, I'll go to the vet with him.

Which kind of lamps are you using? (Is this a lamp like a coil? Do you have one that is long like a tube?) Is there any of the mesh fabric under the lamp(s)?
The mesh on the sides: If that's fabric and not metal, it's really not good as your dragon's nails and fingers get stuck in that and he hurts himself trying to free his nails and fingers. A metal mesh like for a bird cage could work, but glass on the front, and on the sides either glass or MDF is better as with that you can keep the temperature high inside the enclosure. Do you measure the temperature inside the enclosure, could you let us know the temperature values?

In total, looking at the cage, I would guess you can improve it without the need of getting a completely new one. Likely one of the lamps needs to replaced by a better one. (With the wrong type of lamp, the spectrum will be very different from what natural sunlight is. This means that then his body cannot metabolize his food and the calcium supplement he needs correctly, leading to huge problems with bones, nervous system, skin, organs and even eyes. A dragon will get seriously disabled and die from that over time. With the right type of lamp however, this will work and no such health issues occur.)
Could you maybe take a photo from a bit away, maybe some 2 or more meters away?
Yes, regarding the vet I will try to treat it with honey and still try to find a vet that treats dragons. Since I'm underage I can't schedule an appointment myself so I'll have to convince my parents to hopefully let me treat this if the honey doesn't work and if I can't find another solution. I'll follow up on what happens. And talking about the mesh, I didn't really understand what you were asking at first but now I do, so the mesh is like a metal just bendy if that makes sense and I wouldn't be surprised if that was the cause of the injury. The lamps I got from a family member (I forgot what reptile they had) but I do replace the bulbs when needed and they do give off a lot of heat but tbh it wouldn't hurt to replace them if necessary. They haven't given me any problems from the past few years that I've had them. I'm not quite sure how to give the information on the bulbs, I'll try my best in my next reply, but hopefully you can decipher how they're like in the pictures. Also, another question, let's say I can't treat this asap, what do you think will happen? From the best thing that can happen to the worst. Can I also try using betadine to treat it? I've heard some people recommend soaking the finger in it. Thanks again for replying and all the help and patience!
 

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Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

You don't need to get a new tank, just make a few changes
as suggested per new UVB lighting. Are your parents willing to help out with a new UVB lighting?
That would greatly improve her health & keep her from developing metabolic bone disease.
The finger is most likely going to be some type of injury that you should be able to treat with some raw honey. I would keep an eye on it, for now & if it doesn't improve soon then you can get an appointment for her. The raw unpasteurized honey should help to ward off any looming infection.

Tracie
 

Chris.

Sub-Adult Member
Beardie name(s)
Luis and Lilith
As mentioned an other UVB light (a tube like the arcadia 12% for example) is a good idea.

You will also want to get rid of the red bulb and switch to some kind of white. Daylight (6500k) would be best but anything around 5000k - 7000k will work.

The finger does look uncomfortable but not too bad. Try the honey and keep us posted.
As for best/worst, it's probably going to get right back to normal. If not treated right he could of course loose the finger or if it gets infected, that could even spread out. If it gets worse, those might be arguments to convince your parents to take him to the vet.
 

ChileanTaco

Juvie Member
Beardie name(s)
Taco
Thanks for posting a image that shows the cage completely. Yes, I agree, you can upgrade this easily, and the most important thing would be to change out the lights, and try the honey.
 

Buddy- The Bearded Dragon

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Buddy
Wow thanks so much for all the information! And for the lights, I do think my parents would be on board with the idea of making a few changes just because I've tried the same bulbs and lights for a few years now. As I said before, I will definitely try the raw honey and if it seems to be getting worse I will consult a vet. And I just found out that, for Buddy's safety, we are definitely on board for replacing the mesh with some glass or other material that isn't dangerous. Thank you guys so much for the conversation! Your posts have kept me helpful. I hope to see you guys in other threads and convos. I'll keep you posted on what happens to Buddy. Thanks again!
 

Chris.

Sub-Adult Member
Beardie name(s)
Luis and Lilith
Oh just another quick question. Regarding the UVB light of 12% and 5000-6500k light bulb, do you think you can post a link to one of those lights or a picture of what I should be looking for? Thanks!

That is the one I use, obviously check the lenght so it fits your enclosure. You want it to span around 2/3 of the tank, leaving out the cold side.

As for the red bulb, if you need it to also put out some heat you might want to look for some reptile specific basking bulb like the flukers one or from arcadia, that is popular in the US I think.

 

hdochow

Sub-Adult Member
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Sir Henry of Scales
the red bulb should be removed entirely. they are not good for them. if you need extra heat you can get a heat emitter. they put out heat but no light.
 

Buddy- The Bearded Dragon

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Buddy

That is the one I use, obviously check the lenght so it fits your enclosure. You want it to span around 2/3 of the tank, leaving out the cold side.

As for the red bulb, if you need it to also put out some heat you might want to look for some reptile specific basking bulb like the flukers one or from arcadia, that is popular in the US I think.

This is perfect. Thank you so much for your time and help!
 

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