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Beware of vets giving enemas to your dragon


BD.org Sicko
Just a warning about this because there are at times very bad reactions afterwards including beardie dying within a day to a week . Some vets give an enema when a dragon is going in to brumation and not pooing during this time, not recognizing that beardies rarely poo during their " sleepy " phase. An enema is very harsh on beardies and it can really unbalance their system and even possibly perforate the intestine end up with a sick or dead beardie. If your vet ever suggests an enema, be sure that the dragon actually needs it and is truly impacted with foreign materials [ like sand, walnut, wood chips, etc. ] before agreeing to it. Always ask for alternative methods first [ lactulose/enulose ] or better yet try natural laxatives like baby foods [ prunes, squash , sweet potato, mixed with olive oil ] and increase hydration as much as possible.


BD.org Sicko
I second that.

I have a friend who lost her impacted but utherwize healthy and active and very friendly bearded dragon because the vet decided to
> give an enema
> flood the upper intestinal track with water under pressure
and this dragons was sent home immediately despite being
> very cold
> very lethargic
> very dark
> full on black beard
> gaping and having trouble breathing
and was dead within a couple of hours.

The vet involved wasn't some hack general practice vet , but one of the most highly recommended REPTILE vets in NSW who claimed to have trained in zoos.

If the vet suggests a enema , demand to see images proving it's necessary , no images , seek a second opinion .


BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Due to the fact that a few members here have lost their dragons from vets giving them enemas just in the past couple months, this thread will be stickied for awhile to raise awareness.



Hi thanks for this post.

Would it be worth including this part
AHBD":iboddpok said:
beardies rarely poo during their "sleepy " phase.
in the Brumation Care sheets section in the links above, to reassure other keepers that are just learning?

I have certainly been worrying about it a lot since my beardie has been waking up sporadically and eating some locusts and hasn't pooed in 2 weeks. I have been worrying about him getting impaction or the locust fermenting in his gut. Is this not something to worry about then? Thanks in advance.


Hatchling Member
Speaking as someone in the medical field (for hoomans, but same principles apply): Avoid invasive procedures unless you're 500% sure the conservative approaches aren't working and that something is actually bad enough to warrant risking a life for.

ALWAYS start with conservative treatments, then graduate to medical treatments if those aren't working, and THEN FINALLY go for surgical/other invasive treatments if all else fails.

But of course if you or your beardie or any other living entity are very clearly dying, go straight to the emergent approach.


Hatchling Member
I've seen as many dragons get sick or even die from an inexperienced vet pumping meds. in to a dragon or giving an enema, antibiotics, etc when there were simple solutions that long-time owners would know how to handle.
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