Help! Coughing after eating big hornworms.


Beardie name(s)
Abelardo Texas
Hi! So I was feeding my 5 month old dragon juicy hornworms. When he was done with them, he started hacking making noises similar to coughing. He's moving his beard up and down and gives a small cough with noise. He chewed on the worms but very little. He swallowed them whole. Stupid question but hornworms can't survive inside a beardie's stomach right? I would think the stomach acid kills them. Idk I'm paranoid that it will cause impaction and that my dragon is coughing because the worm is moving inside of him. He is still coughing but way less now. I'm so stupid never again, I'll cut them in pieces next time. 🤢

Claudiusx Sicko
Staff member
If the hornworms were a bit big for him, he might have had trouble getting them down. Or he could have aspirated a little bit of hornworm juice as he was swallowing.

He should be fine though, just keep an eye on him and make sure he's improving and not worsening.



Juvie Member
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Rango Rocky Balboa
Is it possible he is choking and trying to cough it up. I would try to open his mouth and see if you see anything stuck in there. Also, it could be the size of the worm so I would go to a smaller size. I found that my bd was not properly chewing them and was pooping them out somewhat whole. Fortunately for me mines didn’t take to hornworms but after seeing the mealworms in their poop I completely stopped feeding them worm. I’m not suggesting you do that.


Sub-Adult Member
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby & Snicker Doodle
I agree with Claudiusx. Hornworms have a very high water content he probably aspirated on the juice.
I wouldn"t cut them up its going to be very messy and dragons prefer live wiggley food. Just feed smaller ones.
They never really chew the Hornworms it's like they can't get them in their belly fast enough lol.
At first i thought something was wrong with my dragons because they would jerk after eating them. Then i realized the blasted Hornworms aren't dead yet and are moving a bit in their tummies.

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