Bearded Dragon Tail Rot


Bearded Dragon Tail Rot

Does your bearded dragon have tail rot? Find out what tail rot is, how to identify tail rot, and how to treat tail rot when your bearded dragon has it.

What is Tail Rot?

Tail rot is caused when there is not enough blood flow reaching the full length of the tail. When there isn’t enough blood flow throughout the length of the tail, your bearded dragons tail will start to rot away little by little. Most of the time, the problem will start at the end of the tail and work its way up, which is why it is very important to get it treated right away. If you do not treat it right away, the bacteria will work its way up the tail and possibly spread to your bearded dragons internal organs leading to death. The longer treatment is held off, the more discomfort and pain your bearded dragon will be in.

What Causes Bearded Dragon Tail Rot?

There are two main causes of tail rot. First is pure trauma to the tail. Trauma usually consists of something falling on the tail, the tail getting stuck on an item, or even a bite from another bearded dragon to the tail (reason why you shouldn’t house bearded dragons together). The second is an incomplete shed, a retained shed to be more specific. Usually, this only occurs when there has been multiple layers of retained shed left on the tail. The layers of retained shed will layer up on top of each other creating a very thick tight band causing blood circulation to stop circulating on that part of the tail. This is why it is very important that you understand the full concept of bearded dragon shedding. Whatever you do, do not pull the shed off yourself. You can hurt your bearded dragons tail that way.

How to Cure Bearded Dragon Tail Rot?

The best cure for tail rot is a vet appointment! To really understand the seriousness of the problem, a vet must examine the problem. Your vet may give you a few home remedies that you can do yourself at home to cure the wound, might prescribe your bearded dagon antibiotics if the infection is really bad, or worse case scenario… may suggest to amputate a certain section of the tail to save the rest of the tail. Without a vet appointment, you’re really just risking your bearded dragons health by trying to diagnose the problem yourself.


If you are planning to look up some home remedies to cure the tail rot yourself, just know most bearded dragon owners cause the problem to be worse than what it is when trying to do so. If you can not afford a vet visit, I can not promise you a happy ending, because neither of us know how bad it really is. But to help you out, try the following…


Do your best to clean the tail daily with lukewarm water and keep it away from anything that may infect it like loose substrate or feeders that are in the enclosure. Remove any sand or loose substrate that you may have in the enclosure and put only paper towels as substrate. Make sure the enclosure is super clean. Any bacteria in the enclosure will only make the problem worse.


To treat the infected tail rot area, most bearded dragon specialists will advise to bathe the tail with a betadine solution and water. The color of the water should be a light tea color. Bathe your bearded dragons tail (not your bearded dragons body) in it for 5 minutes a day. Then pat dry the area with some gauze and apply neosporin with NO pain relief to the area. Do this for the next few days and monitor the tail very closely to make sure the tail rot isn’t rising towards the body area.


Hydrogen Peroxide – it will eat the flesh away on your bearded dragons tail causing the tail rot to be worse.

Neosporin with Pain Relief – The chemicals in the Pain Relief are harmful to your bearded dragon.


Note: The information on this bearded dragon tail rot article is not a substitute for veterinary care.


  1. Thank u 4ur help my beardie BB has tail rot and at first I thought it was just shedding but today I saw it and it’s gets worse so I looked it up and I found pics and amedeitly I knew that something was wronge and took her to the vet and they did lazer surgery on her and now it’s all better

    • Hey Seaira,
      Glad you caught it on time and gteat job on being a responsible pet owner and taking BB to the vet. Keep us updated on your beardie and the recovery.

    • Hey Tiffney,
      Vet visits can vary in price by location and the availability of exotic vets. But normally, a routine check up should cost right around $25-$50. This is excluding any x-rays, prescribed medicine, and any procedures that may need to be done to test for certain things that your vet may recommend.

  2. Mine has a little black bit that is shriveled up is this tail rot? here is a picture ( i really hope it isn’t i only got him a few days ago and i haven’t not watched him for more than 29 minutes just cause I’m new to taking care of beardies, but he did just shed yesterday.

  3. I’ve been watching my bearded every since he shed to keep an eye for tail rot. Today I checked it and the very tip of his tail came off. Since then the coloring in the scales hasn’t gotten worse. I bathe him about every 4 days to make sure he’s passing (pooping) and to keep an eye on his tail. Other than this he’s very healthy, active and alert. If any more comes off would it be advised to go to the vet?

    • Hello Eric,
      Seems like you are doing a good job on keeping an eye on it. Keep doing what you are doing and yes, take him to the vet if more comes off. Feel free to share a pic so that we can evaluate.

  4. My baby bearded dragon has a darkish tip and a little bit of it come of is that tail rot i gave it a bath in luke warm water every other day and it didnt do any thing plz HELP!!!

    • Hello Peter,
      Please do not cut anything off yourself. Seek veterinarian assistance. You will cause more harm.

  5. hey, my bearded dragon got a little cut in June and I brought her to the vet twice since then…i’ve been doing everything they said to do, including bandaging up her tail…I noticed that the part of her tail that I bandaged has a slight different color than the rest of the tail but it isn’t turning dark…could this be that I simply have to give it more air rather than bandage it up? I’ve been soaking it and changing it every day since June

    • Hey Michael,
      My bearded dragon had the same thing. It was a bit more darker than the rest of his body. Nothing bad ever happened. I would continue to follow the vets instructions as they know more than all of us. How is the cut? Has it healed already?

    • Hey, thanks for the reply….the cut can only truly heal when she sheds once or twice…what I did was keep her in the cage with no bandage on for a few days to let it get some air without live….but then my mom, who likes to take control of things, decided to put crickets in there and they started picking at her wound….it looked so good and now it’s irritated like how I was months ago…kinda upsetting because it looks great! I was just concerned with the discolor…I’m still going to clean it out with antibacterial soap and dip it in Epsom salt and apply neosporin and then soon take her for another checkup….her behavior has been the same throughout the past few months

    • Hey Michael,
      I would just do your best to keep it clean and to keep anymore crickets from picking at the wound. Let us know how your bearded dragon is as the days go by.

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