Bearded Dragon With MBD Guide

Metabolic bone disease (mbd) is a general term used to describe a group of conditions that affect the bones of reptiles. It can be caused by a number of factors, including pooa r diet, dehydration, and lack of UVB light. In bearded dragons, mbd can cause deformities in the spine, legs, and skull. If left untreated, mbd can be fatal.

In this guide, we’ll cover the following topics;

  1. What is a metabolic bone disease in bearded dragons?
  2. What are the symptoms of metabolic bone disease in bearded dragons?
  3. How do I know if my bearded dragon has a metabolic bone disease
  4. Is MBD Curable?
  5. Can metabolic bone disease kill a bearded dragon?
  6. What causes metabolic bone disease in bearded dragons
  7. How is the metabolic bone disease diagnosed in bearded dragons?
  8. How is metabolic bone disease treated in bearded dragons?
  9. How long do bearded dragons live with metabolic bone disease
  10. Preventing metabolic bone disease in bearded dragons

Table of Contents

What is metabolic bone disease in bearded dragons?

Metabolic bone disease (mbd) is a general term used to describe a group of conditions that affect the bones of reptiles. It can be caused by a number of factors, including poor diet, dehydration, and lack of UVB light. In bearded dragons, mbd can cause deformities in the spine, legs, and skull. If left untreated, mbd can be fatal.

Metabolic bone disease (MBD) is a phrase that encompasses a group of conditions that weaken bones and affect their function. It’s considered an important non-infectious illness in pet bearded dragon lizards. As a non-infectious disease, it means MBD isn’t contagious and can’t be passed from one dragon to another.

Below are all conditions that are summarized as Metabolic bone disease:

  1. Neoplasia: This is a tumor that develops in the bones or soft tissue surrounding the bones.
  2. Dystrophic calcification: This is when there’s an abnormal accumulation of calcium in the bones.
  3. Osteomalacia: This is a condition that results in thin, porous bones due to a lack of vitamin D or problems with its absorption.
  4. Rickets: This is a condition that primarily affects young animals and results in soft, deformed bones due to a lack of vitamin D or problems with its absorption.

What are the symptoms of metabolic bone disease in bearded dragons?

The most common symptom of MBD is softening of the bones, which can lead to deformities such as kinking of the tail, curvature of the spine, and problems with walking or holding up the body. Other signs include;

  • lethargy,
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss,
  • muscle weakness, and
  • swelling around the joints.
  • Some dragons with MBD may also suffer from respiratory problems due to pressure on the lungs from deformed bones in the chest

How do I know if my bearded dragon has metabolic bone disease? Early signs

Below are early signs and symtomps that your beardie has MBD;

  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy and weakness
  • Stress
  • Constipation

The above four are the most common early signs that your beardie has MBD. If you notice any of these changes in your bearded dragon’s behavior or appearance, take them to see a vet as soon as possible.

Symptoms in more severe cases:

In moderate to severe cases, your bearded dragon will develop the following symptoms of MBD;

  • Receded lower jaw¬†– This is where the lower jaw appears to be sinking inwards and is a late sign of MBD
  • Swollen joints and limbs- This is often seen in the elbows and knees
  • Walking Weirdly – This can be anything from a slight limp to a complete inability to walk
  • Bumps on the spine or bones- These are called osteodystrophies and can be seen on x-rays
  • Soft jaw and facial bones
  • Bowed legs and arched backs
  • Fractures and broken bones¬†
  • Greenstick fractures (bent or folded bones)
  • Trembling and twitching limbs
  • Tremors and seizures
  • Paralysis or difficulty moving

Is MBD Curable?

Although dragons can technically recover from moderate to advanced cases of MBD, they often have permanent physical damage or deformities. The process back to full health is also very lengthy and painful. To avoid letting your dragon get to this point, be sure you are aware of their normal behavior and provide them with care every day.

The cure for MBD is to address the underlying cause. If your dragon is not getting enough vitamin D3, for example, then giving them a supplement will help. If they are not getting enough UVB light, then you will need to provide them with a proper basking spot and UVB light source.

Can metabolic bone disease kill a bearded dragon?

Yes! Metabolic bone disease can kill a bearded dragon if it is not caught and treated early. However, with proper treatment, most dragons will make a full recovery. You’ll notice an advanced and aggressive form of MBD if your dragon is;

  1. Completely unable to walk or hold up its body
  2. Suffering from seizures or tremors
  3. Paralyzed or has difficulty moving

If your bearded dragon is displaying any of the above symptoms, take them to see a vet immediately as they will need aggressive treatment to save their life.

What are the long-term effects of MBD?

The long-term effects of MBD will depend on how severe the case is. In some instances, dragons may make a full recovery with no lasting effects. However, in other cases, the disease can cause permanent deformities such as;

  1. Curvature of the spine
  2. Kinking of the tail
  3. Bowed legs
  4. Arched back
  5. Fusion of the bones in the toes

These deformities can make it difficult for your dragon to move around and may cause pain. In severe cases, MBD can be fatal.

How do I prevent my bearded dragon from getting metabolic bone disease?

The best way to prevent your bearded dragon from getting MBD is to provide

What causes metabolic bone disease in bearded dragons?

There are many different things that can cause metabolic bone disease in bearded dragons. Some common causes include; poor diet, dehydration, and lack of UVB light. I’ll explain each in detail below;

UVB Light:

Bearded dragons need UVB light to help them absorb calcium. If they are not getting enough UVB, they will develop MBD. Make sure your dragon has a proper basking spot and UVB light source. To get the most out of the light, make sure the basking temperature is above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Go for a bulb with output measuring between 8 and 12% like the Arcadia ShadeDweller. This will give your bearded dragon the right amount of UVB they need without being too strong.

Dehydration:

Bearded dragons can easily become dehydrated, especially if they are not getting enough water. Make sure to offer your dragon fresh water every day and mist their enclosure to provide extra hydration. Signs of dehydration include sunken eyes, dry skin, and a lack of energy.

Diet:

A healthy diet is essential for preventing MBD. Bearded dragons need a balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, and insects. They also need calcium and vitamin D3 supplements to absorb the calcium.

If you are feeding your dragon live insects, make sure to dust them with a calcium powder before giving them to your pet. This will help prevent nutritional deficiencies.

How is the metabolic bone disease diagnosed in bearded dragons?

The diagnosis of metabolic bone disease in bearded dragons can be tricky as there are many different things that can cause the condition. However, vets will typically do a physical exam and take x-rays or blood tests to look for signs of the disease.

X-ray exam:

To get a clear image, your dragon will need to be anesthetized. The vet will then take X-rays of the long bones, spine, and head. This will help them look for any fractures or deformities that may be present.

Blood tests:

A blood test can help identify any deficiencies that may be causing MBD. The vet will take a sample of blood and test it for calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D levels. They may also test for kidney function as renal failure can lead to MBD.

How is the metabolic bone disease treated in bearded dragons?

The treatment of MBD will vary depending on the severity of the disease. In mild cases, the dragon may just need to be put on a calcium supplement and provided with a UVB light source. However, in severe cases, the dragon may need to be hospitalized and given IV fluids and injectable calcium.

Bearded dragons typically respond well to treatment and make a full recovery. However, if the disease is left untreated, it can be fatal.

If your bearded dragon is showing any signs of MBD, it’s important to take them to the vet right away. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential for a successful outcome.

How long do bearded dragons live with metabolic bone disease?

In some more severe Metabolic Bone cases, it has been reported to take up to six months for owners to get their bearded dragons moving and walking regularly. For cases that are far much more advanced, a beardie can die within 6 months after diagnosis of adanced MBD. They may live longer if treated early, but the overall prognosis is not good.

Compared to humans getting diagnosed with cancer, the bearded dragon has a shorter life expectancy. However, if you have a pet bearded dragon with MBD and provide them with the proper treatment, they can live a long and happy life.

How do I prevent my bearded dragon from getting metabolic bone disease?

The best way to prevent your bearded dragon from getting MBD is to make sure they are getting a balanced diet and adequate supplementation. A healthy diet includes plenty of leafy greens, vegetables, and fruits, as well as live insects that are dusted with calcium powder.

Bearded dragons also need access to UVB light so they can synthesize vitamin D3. This vitamin is essential for absorbing calcium from the food they eat.

If you are unsure about your bearded dragon’s diet or supplementation, it’s always best to consult with a reptile veterinarian. They can help you create a plan that will prevent MBD and keep your dragon healthy and happy.

Signs of a Healthy Beardie – When they’ve living with no MBD

  • Active and alert
  • Clear eyes
  • Full tail
  • Does not hide for extended periods of time
  • Healthy skin
  • Droppings are firm
  • Eating and drinking regularly

When to see the vet – Health Red Flags You Need to Be Aware of with your Beardie

  1. Inappetence/weight loss
  2. Mucous in mouth or nose
  3. Lethargy
  4. Bumps, sores, or abrasions
  5. Labored breathing
  6. Paralysis of limbs
  7. Abnormal feces

FAQs

Q: what does metabolic bone disease look like in bearded dragons?

A: Metabolic bone disease can present in many ways, but the most common signs are swollen or misshapen bones, softening of the jawbone, and deformities of the spine. Early signs of MBD may also include lethargy, loss of appetite, and weakness. More advanced cases can lead to paralysis, seizures, and death.

Q: Can metabolic bone disease be cured in bearded dragons?

A: Metabolic bone disease can be treated, but it’s important to catch it early. The sooner you take your dragon to the vet, the better their chances are of making a full recovery.

Q: How long do bearded dragons live with metabolic bone disease?

A: In some more severe Metabolic Bone cases, it has been reported to take up to six months for owners to get their bearded dragons moving and walking regularly. For cases that are far much more advanced, a beardie can die within 6 months after diagnosis of adanced MBD.

Q: Can bearded dragons recover from metabolic bone disease?

A: Yes, bearded dragons can recover from MBD if they are diagnosed early and receive the proper treatment. However, the disease can be fatal if it is left untreated.

Q: What is metabolic bone disease bearded dragons uvb

A: Bearded dragons need access to UVB light so they can synthesize vitamin D3. This vitamin is essential for absorbing calcium from the food they eat. Unlike UVA, UVB light penetrates the skin and scales of bearded dragons, allowing them to absorb this important vitamin. Exposure to UVB light also helps bearded dragons regulate their calcium levels, preventing MBD.

Q: What is metabolic bone disease bearded dragon tremors?

A: MBD can cause bearded dragons to experience tremors, paralysis, and seizures. If your dragon is displaying any of these symptoms, it’s important to take them to the vet right away. Early treatment is essential for preventing serious health complications and improving the prognosis.

Q: What is metabolic bone disease bearded dragon treatment?

A: Metabolic bone disease is treated with a combination of calcium supplements, vitamin D3, and phosphate. Bearded dragons also need access to UVB light so they can synthesize vitamin D3. This vitamin is essential for absorbing calcium from the food they eat. Treatment typically lasts for 6-12 months, depending on the severity of the disease. In some cases, lifelong treatment may be necessary.

Q: Can bearded dragons get metabolic bone disease from lack of calcium?

A: Yes, bearded dragons can get MBD from a lack of calcium in their diet. Bearded dragons need calcium to build strong bones and prevent MBD. A diet that is low in calcium or does not contain enough vitamin D3 can cause bearded dragons to develop MBD.

Q: Can bearded dragons get metabolic bone disease from too much calcium?

A: Yes, bearded dragons can get MBD from too much calcium in their diet. Bearded dragons need a balance of calcium and phosphorus to build strong bones and prevent MBD. A diet that is high in calcium or does not contain enough vitamin D3 can cause bearded dragons to develop MBD.

Q: What is the difference between metabolic bone disease and osteoporosis?

A: Metabolic bone disease (MBD) is a condition that results in weak, fragile bones due to a lack of calcium or vitamin D3. Osteoporosis is a condition that results in weak, fragile bones due to a loss of bone density. Both conditions can lead to fractures and deformities. MBD is more common in reptiles, while osteoporosis is more common in humans.

Q: What are the symptoms of metabolic bone disease in bearded dragons?

A: Symptoms of MBD include tremors, paralysis, seizures, softening of the bones, and deformities. Bearded dragons with MBD may also have a poor appetite, lethargy, and an increased sensitivity to touch. If your dragon is displaying any of these symptoms, it’s important to take them to the vet right away. Early treatment is essential for preventing serious health complications and improving the prognosis.

Q: What’s the difference between metabolic bone disease and rickets?

A: Metabolic bone disease (MBD) is a condition that results in weak, fragile bones due to a lack of calcium or vitamin D3. Rickets is a condition that results in weak, deformed bones due to a lack of vitamin D3. Both conditions can lead to fractures and deformities. MBD is more common in reptiles, while rickets is more common in humans.

Q: Are there any home remedies for metabolic bone disease?

A: There are no home remedies for MBD. Bearded dragons with MBD need medical treatment to correct the calcium imbalance and prevent further damage to their bones. This typically includes calcium supplements, vitamin D3, and phosphate. Bearded dragons also need access to UVB light so they can synthesis vitamin D3. This vitamin is essential for absorbing calcium from the food they eat. Treatment typically lasts for 6-12 months, depending on the severity of the disease. In some cases, lifelong treatment may be necessary.

Have you ever dealt with a bearded dragon with MBD? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments below!

Leave a Comment