Bearded Dragons Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD)

One of the most common and concerning diseases in bearded dragons is Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD), a condition that can have severe consequences if not addressed early on.

In this article, we’ll delve into the causes, symptoms, prevention, and treatment of MBD in bearded dragons, equipping you with the essential knowledge to give your beloved pet the best care possible.

What is Metabolic Bone Disease in Bearded Dragons?

Metabolic Bone Disease, or MBD, is a broad term that refers to a group of disorders affecting the bones and skeletal system of reptiles, including bearded dragons. These disorders are generally caused by an imbalance in the levels of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D3 in the body. When not properly regulated, these imbalances can lead to weak, brittle bones that are prone to fractures, deformities, and other health complications.

Metabolic bone disease is also known as fibrous osteodystrophy, osteomalacia, secondary nutritional hyperparathyroidism, osteoporosis, or rickets, commonly called MBD.

The impact of MBD on a bearded dragon’s health can be quite severe. In the early stages, you may notice your bearded dragon showing signs of lethargy, loss of appetite, or difficulty moving.

As the disease progresses, their bones may become visibly deformed, making it difficult for them to walk, climb, or even eat. In extreme cases, MBD can lead to paralysis and, ultimately, death.

What Causes MBD in Bearded Dragons?

metabolic bone disease bearded dragon

Understanding and addressing these causes of Metabolic Bone Disease in bearded dragons can make a significant difference in their overall health.

Let’s dive into the primary causes of MBD in bearded dragons and discuss how we can prevent this condition from affecting our beloved pets.

1. Inadequate Calcium Intake

One of the primary causes of MBD is a lack of calcium in a bearded dragon’s diet. Calcium plays a vital role in maintaining strong bones and a healthy nervous system. Without enough calcium, bearded dragons can suffer from weakened bones and other health issues.

Gut-loading insects with calcium-rich food and dusting insects with calcium powder before feeding them to your bearded dragon is the best way to meet your beardie’s calcium needs.

2. Insufficient Exposure to UVB Light

Another critical fac