Health & Hygiene for Water Dragons
A healthy Water Dragon will be bright and active. Signed of stress will be signalled by regular hiding under water, and if you notice this frequently happening, you should seek to identify the cause and remove it.
Metabolic Bone Disease
A problem for many reptiles, MBD is caused from a lack of calcium and/or UVA/UVB lighting. Symptoms include a thickened jaw line and/or ankles, bumps along spine, poor color, brittle/broken/misaligned bones, lack of coordination and weakened grip or tendency to fall.
Female Water Dragons will produce eggs during breeding season (December - June), regardless of whether or not they have mated. If she does not have a suitable place to lay her eggs, she will retain them, which will cause suffocation, dehydration or malnourishment, each of which will be fatal. When she wants to deposit her eggs, she will stop eating, but keep drinking. She may also start scratching the glass or ground, her eyes will be closed and she will remain in the lower part of her vivarium. Provide a container of clean sand in which she can deposit her eggs when you see these symptoms develop.
Cleaning the Habitat
Like any pet, regular cleaning of your pet's home will be required to maintain its ongoing health. Establishing a regular routine will help you to keep your Water Dragon's vivarium clean and disease free.
- Remove waste, debris, dead feeder insects, and shed skin from the vivarium
- Bathing pools must be cleaned and disinfected daily and fresh water supplied
- Remove and clean any objects that have fecal matter on them
- Clean and disinfect enclosure thoroughly
- Clean and disinfect interior items such as decorations, feeding and watering items
- Replace soiled substrate
Hand washing is very important when owning any reptile. Washing your hands before and after handling your Water Dragon will help keep you and your pet healthy. If you wash your hands before handling you reduce the risk of passing anything on to your pet.
As with all reptiles, Water Dragons have the potential to carry pathogens such as salmonella so children under five should not handle them and hands should be thoroughly washed before and after handling.
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