Bearded Dragon Prolapse: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

Bearded dragon prolapse occurs when an internal organ, such as the rectum, hemipenes, or oviduct, protrudes from the cloaca. This condition can be caused by several factors including impaction from ingesting substrate or indigestible materials, dehydration, parasitic infections, or reproductive issues. Overfeeding and lack of dietary fiber can also contribute to impaction, increasing the risk of prolapse.

Immediate veterinary care is essential to address prolapse in bearded dragons. Treatment typically involves gently cleaning and lubricating the prolapsed tissue to prevent further damage and attempting to reinsert it. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary. Supporting treatments may include rehydration, pain management, and antibiotics to prevent secondary infections.

Preventing prolapse involves ensuring a proper diet rich in fiber and moisture, avoiding loose substrates that can cause impaction, and maintaining appropriate hydration levels. Regular veterinary check-ups can help catch potential health issues early. Additionally, providing a stress-free environment and monitoring for signs of illness or reproductive problems can significantly reduce the risk of prolapse.