With bearded dragons being one of the top three most popular reptiles kept as pets often rotating the top spot with leopard geckos and corn snakes, we see a wide range of different questions from the community about caring for bearded dragons.
One thing that we do see people asking about is a black fungus growing on a bearded dragon but this can commonly be misidentified and get people worried when there is often no need to.
There are a number of black fungal infections that can take hold of a bearded dragon but these truly are rare and the majority of the time, you will usually just be seeing some left over skin shed that has turned necrotic.
This is a very common mistake, especially for people new to keeping bearded dragons but you can often wash it off with some warm water.
As we covered in our article on white spots on bearded dragons, if you do suspect that your pet has some sort of fungal infection, you really should book a video call with a veterinarian to have them assess your bearded dragon via the camera on your smartphone.
Not only are these video calls usually cheaper than a trip to your local veterinary office but they are usually much quicker too allowing you to book it in around your schedule.
This means that you get the same advice from cheaper, quicker and can start to treat your bearded dragon for black fungus or necrotic skin shed as soon as possible.
What Does Black Fungus Look Like On A Bearded Dragon?
Black fungal growths on a bearded dragon look like a small fuzzy growth on the reptile that usually has a moss like surface.
Sometimes you can shine a light on your bearded dragon to get the black fungus to cast a shadow making it easier to tell if the problem is actually black fungus or necrotic skin after a shed as necrotic skin will be more brittle with a rigid surface rather than a fuzz like surface of fungus.
In optimal conditions, black fungus can also grow at a surprisingly rapid pace on a bearded dragon so you can take a photograph of the mark you are monitoring and compare the growth rate each day.
In some situations, necrotic skin that has stuck to your bearded dragon during a shed can grow slightly but it will often shink due to the dead skin oxidizing and the cells condensing helping you decide if it is actually a black fungus infection or not.
You will also often notice that the black fungus will have a moist look to it and shine in the light more where as necrotic skin has a dull look to it.
Black fungus on a bearded dragon will often hold its color too where as necrotic shed will slowly lose its black color and start to turn white or grey over time.
How Do You Treat Black Fungus On A Bearded Dragon?
There are a number of anti-fungal treatments on the market that can often deal with any fungal infection that may grow on your bearded dragon including black fungus.
The problem is, diagnosing the type of black fungus growing on your pet bearded dragon and the required anti-fungal treatment to deal with the condition.
If you are getting your anti-fungal treatment from your vet then they will usually just give you a strong anti-fungal treatment that will work with the majority of types of fungus that will grow on your bearded dragon.
This makes it very effective to treat black fungus as it rules out the guess work of trying to discover the type of black fungus that is growing on your pet bearded dragon.
Just keep in mind that your vet recommends that you use the treatment for the prescribed time period for a reason.
Many people who are treating fungal growths with their pet bearded dragons will stop their treatments once they are no longer able to see the black fungus on their bearded dragon’s skin.
Just like all other types of fungus, it only takes a single spore of fungus in the correct conditions to grow so it can commonly come back so you should always
What Causes Black Fungus On A Bearded Dragon?
The ideal growth conditions for black fungus is based on a warm temperature with plenty of humidity, often the exact conditions of some bearded dragon enclosures.
If you have a pet bearded dragon that likes to play splashing games with its drinking water then it does technically increase the chances of your bearded dragon having problems with fungus.
Thankfully though, it is surprisingly easy to take steps to reduce the chances of the fungal spores actually getting into your bearded dragon’s vivarium to counter the ideal conditions for the fungus to grow.
The basic rule is to only add things to your bearded dragon’s vivarium that is from reputable sources including the substrate that you use as some people do just go out and get their own substrate from the ground to use in their bearded dragon’s vivariums.
This is always a bad idea as getting soil or other types of substrate from the wild not only increases the chances of black fungus spores getting into your bearded dragon’s vivarium but also the chances of parasites and bacteria getting in there too.
This also goes for the soil you use for any live plants that you may keep in your vivarium too as well as any wood branches or logs as they all present a small risk.
That brings our article going over dealing with black fungus on your bearded dragon to an end. We hope that you have found the article helpful and that we have been able to help you better understand that many of the cases of black fungus growing on a bearded dragon is just necrotic skin that has detached from the skin of your bearded dragon during a shed but has not fallen off. This is usually far more common than actual black fungus growths and is also much easier to treat so hopefully, this is all that you see on your own bearded dragon.