Muscular dystrophy in Beardie

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Ever since my husband got me my baby beardie, Penelope, we've wondered if something was wrong. At first it was just her appetite. It took her about 3 weeks to start really eating correctly. Then her walk was a bit off. We thought maybe she was just a bit clumsy. We had read that bearded dragons were excellent climbers and rarely, if ever, fell off their trees. But Penelope seemed to constantly fall. It got to the point that I started lining the bottom of her basking tree with a soft blanket just in case she did fall.
Last week, we noticed her steps were a bit more exaggerated than they had been before. This week, it's seemed to get worse. We do have a vet appointment set up, but it's not until the 15th. All other vets I called are booked to April.
We've been doing more and more research, and I've contacted some experienced people, and we've come to think that Penelope may have muscular dystrophy. When I sent a video to one lady, she said Penelope could be the poster lizard for this disease.
So my questions are as follows:
1. Is there anyone that has experience with an MD beardie?
2 .Is there any other issue that could mimic the issues that MD presents? How would I know if it's an issue from one of her falls and not MD?
3. What kind of feeding routine is recommended? She can eat by herself so far. She loves her dubia roaches as well as wax worms. I've been told serrapeptase would be good for her. She is underweight so we were thinking of also giving her the Critical Care Carnivore. Can these two things be given together?
I just need advice and recommendations on how to help her. She doesn't seem to be in any pain. She still poops normally and eats every day. I give her calcium and vitamins. She has an Arcadia T5 Dragon 14% UVB tube light and a 100 watt basking bulb. She loves her hide and loves to climb but I'm honestly debating on getting her something smaller and lower to the ground. Any sort of recommendations are greatly appreciated. The picture is how she lays and falls asleep and even sits. She has ballerina legs. She is able to move them and sometimes bends them at the joint like a normal beardie, but it's happening less often than before.

CooperDragon Sicko
Staff member
Poor girl. Hopefully you'll be able to help her adapt and have a good life. I don't have experience treating a dragon with muscular dystrophy, however Sarah from Sarah's Dragon Rescue has worked with several in the past and she is probably the best resource for information about this condition that I can think of. She is part of a Facebook group dedicated to it that you may be able to join.

Drache613 Sicko
Staff member

There have been several members here in the past who had a beardie with those types of
Have you tried CBD oil, for help with those symptoms since it is neurological? There is starting
to be success stories coming out for use of CBD with reptiles & mammals.
Definitely lower the basking spot & adjust the UVB fo her so she doesn't have to work too hard
in order to be at optimal temperatures.
Is she eating pretty well?
She is too young & small for a blood test so that makes it hard to determine any calcium issue.
You could also consider getting her on liquid calcium too just to see if that made any difference,
too. The serrapeptase which is silkworm enzyme would be helpful, also for pain, swelling &
inflammation. The Critical care & Carnivore care can be given together, sure. For palatability,
you could put in some chicken or turkey baby food along with squash or sweet potato baby food,

Let us know how she is doing!
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