bearded dragon impaction surgery postmortem
This impacted bearded dragon was housed on wood chips. Note how grotesquely swollen its intestines are — they are packed with indigestible bedding. Photo credit: Pet Hospital of Penasquitos


  • lack of appetite
  • no poo
  • lethargy
  • partial paralysis in hind legs


  • loose substrate, such as sand or crushed walnut shell
  • excessively large prey
  • eating too much


You can loosen a mild impaction by massaging your dragon’s belly and soaking him or her in warm water. Do this every day until s/he passes stool. It is important to not let him/her get dehydrated.

If this does not help after a week, contact your veterinarian.

Funny story: Nabooru got mild impaction after eating way too many roaches, the little piggy. I was freaking out because it partially paralyzed one of her hind legs, and I was afraid she had broken a bone or was developing MBD. One gigantic poo later, she was back to normal. Sometimes these things just take time and a calm approach.

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