What Happens If You Drop A Bearded Dragon? Does It Hurt?

Bearded dragons, with their captivating appearance and unique personalities, have become increasingly popular as pets. However, as responsible owners, it’s essential to understand the potential risks our scaly companions may face. 

One common concern is whether bearded dragons can survive a fall and the consequences this may have. So, what happens if you drop a bearded dragon?

If a bearded dragon is dropped, it can suffer injuries like broken bones or internal damage. Signs of injury may include limping, difficulty moving, swelling, bleeding, or abnormal behavior. It’s recommended to seek immediate veterinary attention to assess and treat any potential harm.

Keep reading to learn more about how to tell if your bearded dragon is okay after a fall and how to properly care for it.

Can Bearded Dragons Survive A Fall?

 a photo of a bearded dragon to answer what happens if you drop a bearded dragon

Bearded dragons are resilient creatures, with a remarkable ability to survive falls, thanks to their unique adaptations. 

Their relatively lightweight bodies, combined with strong bones and muscular limbs, provide them with some resilience against the impact of a fall. Additionally, they possess a righting reflex, which helps them adjust their body position mid-air to land in a safer manner, similar to the way cats twist their bodies to land on their feet.

The righting reflex allows bearded dragons to splay their limbs, spread their body surface, and flatten their tails, which helps increase drag and slow down their descent, reducing the force of impact upon landing. 

It’s important to note that just because a bearded dragon survives a fall doesn’t mean it is unharmed. Internal injuries may not be immediately apparent, so it is crucial to monitor the bearded dragon closely for any signs of discomfort, abnormal behavior, or physical abnormalities.

How Far Can Bearded Dragons Fall Without Getting Hurt?

Bearded dragons have some level of natural resilience that allows them to withstand falls from varying heights. 

While there is no specific distance at which they are guaranteed to remain uninjured, they are generally more capable of surviving falls from lower heights compared to taller ones.

However, it’s important to note that the outcome of a fall depends on several factors, including the height of the fall and the type of surface they land on. For instance, falls from greater heights or onto hard surfaces can still result in injuries, such as broken bones or internal damage.

What Happens If You Drop A Bearded Dragon?

Dropping a bearded dragon can potentially result in various injuries and complications. The outcome depends on factors such as the height from which it falls, the landing surface, and the individual resilience of the dragon.

If a bearded dragon is dropped from a significant height or onto a hard surface, it may experience severe trauma, such as broken bones, internal injuries, or organ damage. 

The impact force generated during the fall can cause fractures, especially in the delicate bones of the limbs and spine. Internal injuries can include bruising, hemorrhaging, or damage to vital organs.

Even if a bearded dragon appears unharmed immediately after the fall, it’s still important to monitor it closely for any signs of injury or distress, as some internal injuries may not be immediately apparent, and symptoms could manifest over time.

What to Do If You Drop A Bearded Dragon?

If you accidentally drop a bearded dragon, it is important to take immediate action to ensure its well-being. Here are the steps you should follow:

  • Stay calm: It’s understandable to feel panicked or upset, but staying calm will help you think clearly and respond effectively to the situation.
  • Assess the situation: Carefully observe the bearded dragon for visible signs of distress, injury, or abnormal behavior. If possible, try to determine the height from which it fell and the type of surface it landed on.
  • Continue to monitor behavior: Keep a close eye on the bearded dragon for the next few hours or even days. Look for signs of discomfort, limping, difficulty moving, changes in appetite, or any other unusual behavior. Internal injuries may not be immediately apparent, so continued observation is essential.
  • Seek veterinary attention: Regardless of whether the bearded dragon shows immediate signs of injury, it is crucial to schedule a veterinary appointment as soon as possible.
    • A reptile veterinarian will be able to conduct a thorough examination and potentially order diagnostic tests, such as X-rays, to assess for any internal injuries or fractures.

Remember, accidents can happen even with the utmost care, so it’s important not to blame yourself. Focus on providing the necessary care and seeking professional help promptly to give your bearded dragon the best chance of recovery.

How to Tell If A Bearded Dragon Is Injured?

To determine if a bearded dragon is injured, observe their behavior, and physical appearance, and look for any signs of distress

Here are some common indicators of injury in bearded dragons:

  • Abnormal behavior: Watch for changes in their usual behavior patterns. This can include lethargy, reluctance to move, hiding excessively, or being more aggressive than usual.
  • Limping or favoring limbs: If the bearded dragon is not putting weight on a limb or showing signs of discomfort while moving, it may indicate a possible injury or fracture.
  • Swelling or bruising: Look for any noticeable swelling or bruising on their body, limbs, or tail. These can be signs of trauma or internal bleeding.
  • Bleeding: Observe for any open wounds, cuts, or bleeding. Injuries may cause visible bleeding, which should be addressed promptly.
  • Abnormal posture or body position: If the bearded dragon appears to have difficulty maintaining a normal posture, such as arching the back or sitting in an unnatural position, it could indicate pain or injury.
  • Loss of appetite: Injuries or underlying health issues can lead to a decreased appetite in bearded dragons. If they are consistently refusing food, it may be a sign that something is wrong.
  • Respiratory distress: Rapid or labored breathing, wheezing, or open-mouth breathing may indicate a respiratory issue or injury.

It is important to note that some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and signs can manifest gradually. 

If you suspect an injury or are concerned about your bearded dragon’s well-being, it is best to consult a reptile veterinarian. They have the expertise to conduct a thorough examination, provide a diagnosis, and recommend appropriate treatment.

How to Care for Your Bearded Dragon After A Fall?

Caring for a bearded dragon after a fall requires careful attention and consideration. Here are some essential steps to follow:

  • Provide a safe and comfortable environment: Place the bearded dragon in a secure and warm enclosure with appropriate temperature and humidity levels. Ensure the enclosure is free from hazards and provides a comfortable space for the dragon to recover.
  • Limit handling and movement: Minimize handling and physical activity to allow the bearded dragon time to rest and recover. Excessive movement or stress can potentially worsen any existing injuries.
  • Maintain proper nutrition and hydration: Offer a balanced diet consisting of appropriate insects, vegetables, and occasional fruits, and ensure fresh water is always available. If the bearded dragon’s appetite is affected, consult a veterinarian for guidance on proper nutrition and possible appetite stimulants.
  • Follow veterinarian recommendations: Based on the examination and test results, the veterinarian will provide specific instructions for the bearded dragon’s care. This may include medication, supportive care, or further monitoring. 
  • Provide a stress-free environment: Ensure the bearded dragon’s enclosure is quiet and free from disturbances. Limit interactions with other pets or loud noises to minimize stress during the recovery period.

Remember, each case is unique, and the severity of the fall and resulting injuries can vary. With proper care and attention, many bearded dragons can recover successfully from a fall and regain their health.

How to Properly Handle A Bearded Dragon?

Handling a bearded dragon requires gentle and cautious techniques to ensure their safety and prevent accidental drops. 

Here are some guidelines for proper handling:

  • Approach calmly and confidently: Bearded dragons can sense fear or nervousness, which may cause them to become agitated or try to escape. Approach them calmly and confidently to help them feel secure.
  • Support their body: When picking up a bearded dragon, use both hands to support its body properly. Place one hand under the front part of its body, supporting the chest and front legs, and use the other hand to support the hind end.
  • Avoid grabbing the tail: Bearded dragons rely on their tails for balance and can become stressed or injured if the tail is grabbed or pulled. Always handle them gently and avoid putting pressure on their tail.
  • Be aware of their comfort zone: Bearded dragons have preferred areas to be touched and may show signs of discomfort if these areas are touched or squeezed. Respect their comfort zone and avoid causing undue stress or pain.
  • Keep a low height: When holding a bearded dragon, maintain a low height close to the ground or a soft surface. If they were to accidentally fall, the height would be minimized, reducing the risk of severe injury.
  • Supervise children: If children are handling a bearded dragon, ensure they are supervised and guided on proper handling techniques.
  • Avoid sudden movements: Sudden movements or jerking motions can startle a bearded dragon, causing them to jump or try to escape. Move slowly and smoothly to prevent any sudden reactions.

Remember, each bearded dragon has its own temperament and preferences. It’s important to respect their individual comfort levels and adjust your handling techniques accordingly. 

How to Prevent Your Bearded Dragon From Falling?

Here are some extra measures you can take to minimize the risk of your bearded dragon falling:

  • Provide a secure enclosure: Ensure that the bearded dragon’s enclosure is properly secured and escape-proof. Regularly check for any loose or damaged parts that could pose a risk of escape or falling.
  • Avoid high climbing structures: While bearded dragons are natural climbers, it’s important to provide appropriate climbing structures that are not too high or unstable. Avoid tall structures or branches that may lead to dangerous falls.
  • Use stable perches and branches: Offer stable perches and branches within the enclosure that can support the weight of the bearded dragon. Ensure they are securely fastened to prevent them from collapsing or tipping over.
  • Select a suitable substrate: Choose a suitable substrate for the enclosure that provides a secure grip for your bearded dragon. Avoid substrates that are slippery or loose, as they can increase the risk of falls.
  • Monitor enclosure cleanliness: Regularly clean the enclosure to remove any debris, feces, or objects that could create obstacles or tripping hazards for your bearded dragon.
  • Supervise during outdoor activities: If you allow your bearded dragon to explore outdoors, closely supervise them to prevent falls. Ensure that the area is safe, free from potential dangers, and securely enclosed.
  • Minimize handling near edges: When handling your bearded dragon, avoid doing so near edges or areas where a fall could occur. Choose a safe and secure location for handling sessions.
  • Consider a harness or leash: If you want to take your bearded dragon outside for supervised outings, you can use a properly fitted harness or leash designed for reptiles to ensure they don’t wander into unsafe areas or fall from heights.

Conclusion 

In conclusion, while bearded dragons possess natural adaptations that enhance their survival chances in falls, the height, landing surface, and impact force remain crucial factors. 

Their ability to withstand falls should not be taken for granted, and it is always better to prioritize preventing accidents and ensuring a safe environment for these incredible reptiles.

Remember, accidents can happen even with the best precautions in place, but as long as you supervise your bearded dragon closely, and provide a safe and secure environment, you will be able to minimize the risk of falls and ensure their overall safety and well-being.

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