As owners, we worry when something strange happens to our bearded dragon. One of the things that can happen to them is black spots.
Black spots can appear on bearded dragons for many reasons, but fortunately, it’s not a cause for concern most of the time. However, black spots may also sometimes indicate a severe health issue.
Causes of Black Spots on Bearded Dragons
1. Stress Marks
When a bearded dragon develops black spots or lines on its stomach, beard, or limbs, it’s usually a sign of stress. Black spots appearing due to stress are called stress marks.
If your beardie is stressed, the black spots will also be accompanied by lethargy and a lack of appetite.
Your bearded dragon could be stressed for several reasons, including:
- Incorrect temperature
- Incorrect humidity levels
- No hiding place
- New environment
- Having a small size enclosure
- Placing the enclosure in a busy area
The most common reason for stress marks is incorrect temperature. Ensure the enclosure has both warmer (100° degrees Fahrenheit ) and cooler (80° degrees Fahrenheit) sides.
Also, make sure your beardie is getting enough UVB.
Beardies can also get stressed when moved to a new location. If you have recently moved your beardie to a new location or enclosure, give it some time to adjust to the new environment.
Freckles are pigmentation (small spots) that mostly appear on people but can also appear on animals such as dogs and cats. Even though it doesn’t happen as often, bearded dragons may also have freckles.
Freckles on bearded dragons generally appear during the shedding process when an area on a scale is removed too early and does not develop properly. As long as it does not change in size or move to other locations, it is not a cause for concern.
The black spot you see on your bearded dragon could simply be abrasions or scrapes. Bearded dragons are active animals, and getting scrapes and abrasions is not uncommon. These scrapes are not a cause for concern if kept clean.
Unfortunately, abrasions can cause infection in beardies. So, keep an eye on the dark spot to see if it gets red or oozes, which are the first signs of an infection. If the area becomes black and the black spreads, this could be the start of necrosis, which is when healthy tissues die.
If the black spreads or gets worse, get veterinary help right away.
4. Color Pattern
Bearded dragons in the wild are primarily brown with gray tones. But captive-bred beardies are available in many other colors, such as red, orange, yellow, white, or purple as the base color. Bearded dragons are now available in 22 different colors and morphs.
The black spots on your bearded dragon may be part of its natural color pattern, which is nothing to worry about. If it won’t come off, keep an eye on it to ensure it doesn’t grow or spread.
If you have bought your bearded dragon from a reputable breeder, they will be able to tell you more about its specific color morph and what you can expect it to look like when it gets older. This may help clear up any confusion you may have had regarding the black spots on your beardie.
The black spots on your bearded dragon can be dirt or faeces it picked up in or outside its cage. If the the black spots are just pieces of dirt or poop it will come off easily with a warm bath.
Your beardie can easily get dirty, if you let them roam free in your yard or have a loose substrate in their enclosure.
6. Burn Marks
The black spots on your bearded dragon’s skin can also be burn marks. Beardies frequently sustain burns, especially if their UV lamps are too close to the basking area.
If you think your beardie has burn marks, there are several things you can do to help heal them.
- Silver sulfadiazine cream – used for burns
- manuka honey/ manuka honey cream – used for skin issues
- aloe Vera – cooling gel
Simply put a thin layer the above items on the burn that will help ease the pain, speed up healing process and reduce the risk of infection.
The black spots on your bearded dragon could be fungal infection. A fungus usually starts as a small black dot and quickly grow.
Its really hard to tell if the black spot on your beardie is due to fungus without consulting a vet.
The vet will conduct a few tests and will prescribe medication in case your beardie has fungus. If the therapy fails, the fungus-infected area may have to be amputated. To combat a serious fungal infection, veterinarians will amputate toes and tails if necessary.
If you see a small black dot or dots that move, your pet most likely has parasites. The black spots appear as little bumps.
Remove your bearded dragon from its enclosure immediately if it has parasites. Before putting your pet back in its cage, clean it well, take everything out, disinfect it, rinse it, and let it dry.
Parasites is a serious health concern, and if you suspect your pet has them, you should consult a vet immediately.
9. Scale Rot
The black spots on your beardie could also happen due to scale rot. In moderate situations, only a few scales will have black spots. If the black spots are increasing, seek veterinary treatment.
Scale rot is a common disease in bearded dragons, typically caused by a bacterial infection. Too much humidity in your pet’s enclosure can often lead to bacterial infections.
As long as it does not expand or spread, a black spot on your bearded dragon is typically not cause for concern. Learn about your pet’s marks and spots when you handle it. This way, you’ll be able to spot new spots and act quickly if there’s a problem.