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Baby Bearded Dragon with deformed head

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Jesphet

Member
Hello! I am new to this website.
I have concerns about a bearded dragon at my job. I work at a pet store and this bearded dragon showed up in the order. It took us a few days to decide he needed to be isolated until we found out what exactly is wrong.
But as i'm sure you all understand, they don't want to just pay to get him tested.
We know that isn't what its head should look like. The reptile industry we got him from gave back credit and said to watch him for a week. If he does just fine then he is free to a good home and if he dies within that time we have to send the body back so they can run their own tests. They think it is possibly because of a bacterial fungal infection.
He is eating, moving around, and doesn't seem to have trouble standing. And today when I came in he was shedding a bit. So that would be a good sign right?? He ate 3 times today, even ran for the worms.
He is in the back with the proper lighting and heat. I might know a bit about bearded dragons but this has me stumped as most of the symptoms of diseases he doesn't have.
I have named him Julius. ((And just so you all know he will be going to a friend of mine who knows what he's doing.))


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CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
That looks like perhaps a birth defect but the images are pretty tiny. If you've uploaded them here https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploads/ as full size can you try posting them using the XIMG button when you reply so I can see a larger image?

It's a good sign that he is active and going after food on his own. I think for now at least it was certainly the right move to isolate him and keep a close eye on him.
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
I'm not quite sure what to make of that. It's still quite possibly a birth defect. Does the warped area look like it's swelling or skin warping or does it seem like skull bone is warped? If it's skin warping then perhaps it is a skin infection like yellow fungus and should probably be tested for that. That is quite contagious and harmful to other dragons.
 

Jesphet

Member
Original Poster
I touched it a bit, it really just seems like his skull is what's deformed. It looks like it has affect the way his ears developed too. They don't look the same as the other baby beardies. The ears look more shallow, not really hole like?
If this could affect other bearded dragons, I think the ones he was originally housed with would be showing some signs by now. But we've been watching them and they're perfectly fine.
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
It looks like he hasn't developed head spikes the way the others have. More similar to the head shape of a rankins in that way. If the others from his clutch are in good shape then it's not as likely to be infectious (fortunately). Even with a birth defect if he is eating well and moving around he may live a good life and thrive with proper care. I'm glad you're giving him good care and attention from the start, I think that will help him a lot in the long run.
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Wow that is very interesting! I have never seen anything like that before, hopefully he will do
well for you. Is he the only baby who has these issues?
I would say that if he can eat, walk, run, etc then he will probably be fine right now. Bless him.

Tracie
 

Jesphet

Member
Original Poster
So far yes, he's the only one who has come in with an issue like this.
Everyone really thinks it is because of a bite from another bearded dragon. Which could of only of happened at the place he was bred at. I don't know the living conditions there or how they're kept so it's possible he go bit while there.
Though they said he should stop eating, have trouble moving around, not be active, etc. if it was bacterial infection from a bite.
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Bites from tank mates do happen pretty regularly but usually show up in the form of nipped tails or missing fingers/toes. I don't think I've seen a bite to the head appear like that. I agree that an infection caused from a bite would cause lethargy and probably more serious symptoms if it occurred around his head. My best guess at the moment is it's a birth defect.
 

Jesphet

Member
Original Poster
Hey everyone!! I just wanted to let you know that Julius is doing very well!! He made it the week in the pet store with no problems. So I took him to his new home. He's with a well trusted friend! and he is just flourishing. Healthy, happy and loving his new home.
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He'll be going to the vet soon so i'll have an update on how long they think he's going to live and what complications to look out for.
 

kingofnobbys

BD.org Sicko
Apart from the deformed skull , he should be fine and should otherwise grow and develop normally, he'll likely have no other effects on his life or health or longevity.

I'd put money on this being an in the egg development deformity / a birth defect and not the result of a bite from a sibling.

Is good that someone has taken on his care .
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

Wow, that is amazing, I am so happy for the little one. That is fantastic to hear! :D
It sounds like he is really improving & doing well now.

Thanks for the updates!

Tracie
 

Jesphet

Member
Original Poster
The strangest thing has happened!!!
The bump on Julius's head has fallen off with his shed!!!
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the back of his head seems to still be slightly disformed but we'll see as he gets bigger.
But we are all in shock that it just fell off!
 

Gormagon

Extreme Poster
Is it possible that it could have been a calcium deposit (or something similar) that was inside the egg that stuck to his head? Nature is strange like that!!!
 
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