If you have a bearded dragon with a broken toe, you might be wondering what you should do about it and how you can help to ensure that your bearded dragon recovers properly.
You will need to recognize how to care for the dragon and make sure that the injury is not causing it avoidable pain at any time during the recovery process. You may also want to understand how the injury is likely to have occurred so you can prevent it in the future.
Bearded dragons can be challenging to care for, and a broken toe can be particularly difficult. These injuries usually show themselves through limping and possibly lifting the foot off the ground.
Keep an eye out for this sort of behavior so that you can take action as soon as possible and minimize the pain that your dragon experiences as a result of the injury.
Broken toes can occur if a bearded dragon falls, or a heavy weight drops onto its foot; you should try to avoid letting either of these things happen by securing everything in the cage and not letting your bearded dragon walk on unstable surfaces.
You should also be aware that using a mesh in its cage (e.g. for a hammock) could result in a toe getting caught and damaged. In some instances, a toe that has been inexplicably broken could be a sign of metabolic bone disease (MBD), in which case, a vet diagnosis will be needed.
How Does A Bearded Dragon Break Its Toe?
A bearded dragon can break its toe in a number of ways, including a fall, getting its foot trapped, having a weight fall on its foot, or due to MBD.
All of these result in a serious injury that needs to be attended to, but there are a few things that you can do to avoid or reduce the risk of such injuries occurring.
Prevention is better than cure in many cases, so let’s explore what can happen to a bearded dragon’s toes and how you can avoid this happening.
The first and most likely explanation for a broken toe is that your bearded dragon has fallen or jumped off something, and to avoid this, you should look at your bearded dragon’s habitat and make it as safe as you possibly can.
Bearded dragons enjoy climbing, but you should still make the cage safe. You can do this by not putting in high branches that the animal might fall or jump off, and only providing low climbing spots.
Another possible explanation is a falling object or a tangled up foot, and both of these are also preventable.
You should tie anything that is loose so that it can’t tip or fall on the dragon’s foot, and avoid putting hammocks made from mesh into the cage. Preventing MBD is harder, but a combination of a nutritious diet and good lighting significantly reduces the risk of this disease occurring.
What Do You Do For A Bearded Dragon With A Broken Toe?
If your bearded dragon has broken one of its toes, you should be minimizing the stress that the animal experiences, as it is likely to be in pain and more susceptible to shock.
Don’t ignore the broken toe, even if the bearded dragon does not seem bothered by it; if you think something is wrong, pay attention. Bearded dragons don’t necessarily show when they are in pain, so it’s important for you to be proactive and trust your instincts.
The most important thing to do if you think your bearded dragon has a broken toe is to set up a video call with a veterinarian.
A good vet should be able to diagnose a broken toe using this method, and this is an economical way to ensure that you still get professional advice on how to care for your dragon, without having to take it anywhere.
Don’t try to treat your dragon without getting advice from a veterinarian first, as you could potentially make the situation worse.
It is not easy to strap or otherwise support the toe of a bearded dragon, so it’s very important to defer to an expert in these situations. Follow the advice that you are given to maximize your bearded dragon’s chance of a speedy recovery.
Can A Bearded Dragon’s Broken Toe Heal By Itself?
Theoretically, a bearded dragon’s broken toe can heal without treatment, but it is still important to get it assessed by an expert who can examine the extent of the damage and determine how likely it is to heal well, and whether any action needs to be taken.
In some cases, the toe will need to be realigned with the rest of the foot to ensure that it heals in the correct position.
Don’t leave your bearded dragon’s foot to heal on its own without contacting a vet, even if the break looks straight to you. A vet should be able to look for any underlying issues that may have caused the break, and will ensure that it heals properly.
They should also provide you with information about things to watch out for, how long the healing process is likely to be (often three to four months), and what you should do to care for the bearded dragon in the meantime. If your dragon is suffering from MBD, the vet will advise you on how this should be treated, too.
Handling a bearded dragon with a broken toe may not be the easiest thing in the world, so you should make sure that you have good advice on what to do, and keep monitoring the situation closely. Toe issues are not uncommon in this species, so it’s crucial to keep an eye on the injury and how it is healing, as well as to inform your vet of any new developments and issues that concern you. Minimize the risk of toe injuries by keeping your bearded dragon close to the ground and avoiding any toys that it could get tangled up in, such as hammocks.