Bearded Dragon Turning White: Why?
Has your bearded dragon turned white? Is he showing any other signs or symptoms? If so, then you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we’ll take a look at several reasons a bearded dragon may turn white and what you need to do. Let’s get started!
What’s Behind a Bearded Dragon Turning White?
Bearded dragons use their bodies to communicate how they’re feeling, their health, and much more. Their behaviors may be different than a dog’s or cat’s, but as a pet parent, it’s still important to pay attention to your beardie’s behaviors and watch for any changes.
Beardies are able to change the color of their mouth, nose, legs, tail, head, and more.
Bearded dragons may turn their bodies white for several different reasons, which we’ll take a look at in the following sections.
1). Preparing to Shed
One of the most common reasons bearded dragons turn white is because they’re getting ready to shed. Shedding is a normal part of their life, especially when dragons are going through fast growth spurts. This is often the case with young and juvenile bearded dragons.
When they become adults, beardies tend to shed about once a year. When your beardie is preparing to shed, you may notice the patches on their top skin begin to turn white. This is a normal process, which can last between 2-3 weeks.
If your beardie is shedding, he’ll feel better if the humidity in his tank is between 30% to 40%. It also helps to mist your beardie once a day. If you notice some old skin hanging from him, it’s OK to give your lizard a lukewarm bath. However, never help remove the skin. Let him take care of that—he’s an expert—and you don’t want to accidentally hurt him.
2). Temperature Too Hot
When bearded dragons become too hot, they will sometimes turn white (or black). When they are too cold, they usually become a darker color to absorb more heat. However, if they become too warm, they may turn white to absorb less heat. So, if your beardie’s turning white, be sure to check the temperature in his tank.
Bearded dragons need to be kept warm in order to digest their food. Adults require a warm basking area of about 100°F and a cooler spot between 80-85°F. Younger dragons need it warmer, so you may want to check with the breeder or the vet for their preferred temperatures.
3). Turning White When Sleeping
This is another normal behavior of the bearded dragon. They may turn white while sleeping! This has to do with the lizard’s circadian rhythm.
If tank temperatures are too warm at night (above 75°F), beardies may turn to a lighter shade. So, if your beardie’s turning white or a lighter color when he’s sleeping, this is normal behavior.
4). What if My Bearded Dragon is White and Not Eating?
If a beardie is turning white and not eating, this could be a sign he’s not doing well. If he’s also lethargic, then turning white could be an indication that he’s dying.
In addition, you can check your bearded dragon’s beard. A dying bearded dragon’s beard may be black, but his tail, legs, and face may be pale or white. This can be caused by an obstruction in the bowel, parasites, or old age.
If your bearded dragon all of a sudden changes color, this can be a symptom of an impaction (bowel obstruction). This can be caused by eating large objects, indigestible insect parts, or even from eating the substrate. You’ll need to take your lizard to the vet if you believe this is an impaction.
5). Bearded Dragon Tongue Turning White
Bearded dragons usually have a pink or white tongue that’s a little sticky on the end. This helps dragons grab their prey. While the pale tip of the tongue is normal, it’s not normal for the dragon’s entire mouth to become white or pale. This is an indication of a problem.
A white throat and tongue indicate your dragon may be ill. This can be caused by parasites, anemia, or other health issues. If you’ve noticed these symptoms in your dragon, then it’s time to take him to the vet for a checkup.
6). Bearded Dragon Head & Tail Turning White
Bearded dragons, as mentioned earlier, do shed their skin. Just before this happens, they turn white. However, unlike other lizards, beardies do not shed their skin as a whole piece. Instead, they shed in parts, one at a time.
If your bearded dragon’s head and tail have turned white, it could be that he’s about to shed. It can take beardies a while to shed. This is often the case with young bearded dragons. The older they get, however, the faster the process goes.
7). Bearded Dragon Body Turning White & Not Eating
There are times, as mentioned above when a bearded dragon will normally turn white. However, if his entire body turns white and he’s not eating, this is an indication that somethings wrong.
Your beardie may be indicating that he’s ill or dying, especially if he’s showing some other symptoms or somehow isn’t acting like normal.
You may notice that his feces are runny and smell bad, that he’s lethargic, has lost weight, has cloudy or filmy eyes, and more.
These are signs that are best evaluated by your vet. If your beardie is sick, the vet may be able to successfully treat the problem.
8). Signs a Bearded Dragon is Dying
You may notice these signs and symptoms if your bearded dragon is dying:
- Cloudy/filmy eyes
- Soft, runny, smell feces
- Swollen tail/limbs
- Not eating
- Gasping for air
- Discolored mouth (white or black)
- Weight loss
- Discolored stomach
- Sunken eyes
- Blood, damaged snout
Again, we have to say that any time you’re worried about your bearded dragon’s health and coloring, then it’s best to contact your vet.
While there are some normal instances when a bearded dragon will turn white (shedding, etc.), they may also turn white when they’re ill. This is the time a vet must be seen. They may be able to successfully treat the health issue. Then you and your beardie can enjoy more years together!