Puffing then pooping?


New member
I'm pretty familiar with most of the normal reasons beardies puff up, but this one has us scratching my head. My beardie doesn't usually puff up except to stretch a bit as he's basking, and he sometimes gets black when he's cold, but that's really about it. There's been some times he's gotten aggressive, like when he tried to go under the porch outside and I wouldn't let him, but... it hardly ever happens. He hasn't really displayed any signs of brumation, he's still eating regularly. The only 'odd' thing he does is digging, which he does almost every day when he's tired and wants a rest. His lighting is probably fine, we just changed the bulbs in September.

A few months ago he just... stopped pooping in his cage with any regularity. He'll basically hold it until he gets a chance to poo on our coffee table. Seemed to be just a preference thing - I mean a creature with sensitive smell probably doesn't want to smell its own poo, yeah?

A few days ago, I was holding him with a friend he's very familiar with and handed him to my friend, and he puffed up. Then jumps onto our table and poops. Then acts as if all is well. My friend noticed our heat came on right as he puffed up, but I didn't notice.

Yesterday, I was holding our beardie and I moved him a bit and he got puffy. At first, no black beard, just puffed beard, open mouth... I only noticed because I stroked his chin and went 'oh what' and he's puffed up. Just chilling on the couch. He's been in shed lately, but most of it seems done with, just some stray small spots here and there.

Well, today, same thing, just chilling with him on the couch and all the sudden he's puffy again, no black beard at first... put him on the table, and his beard goes black and he seemed even more aggressive... then jumps off the table and tries to hide under some furniture. I bring him back to the couch, give him some heat, and he climbs onto the top of the blanket and just poos all over it.

I guess I'm wondering, is it normal for beardies to get frustrated with their poops? The only real change lately has been treating him with some hornworms, which are all eaten up at this point.


BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Not wanting to poop near their enclosure/lights is common behavior for them when they have an option available. The puffing could be several things. Perhaps there is still some stuck scales that he's trying to loosen up at the end of this shed. He could just be going through a phase with high hormones which can get them acting a bit odd for a while. If this is just happening around times when he poops, perhaps the worms (or some other food source) have caused increase gas buildup and that is becoming uncomfortable. If that's the case and it's diet based, I'd imagine it will resolve itself soon now that the hornworms have been eaten.

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