Bearded dragon quarantine

Bearded Dragon Quarantine
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To quarantine is defined as the isolation or keeping separate from others. The quarantine period is the time a new or a sick Bearded dragon should be isolated before it is introduced to, or allowed contact with other Bearded dragons.

All newly acquired or sick Bearded dragons should be quarantined.

The quarantine period is meant to prevent the transmission of (clinical and sub-clinical) diseases from one Bearded dragon to another. If a dragon is still visibly healthy after the Bearded dragon quarantine period it will exclude the probability of having a disease and it can be safely transferred to a vivarium with other dragons.

The quarantine enclosure

A Bearded dragon should be quarantined with most of the Bearded dragon needs. Even if this is the case, the enclosure must be hygienic and should have easy access to be cleaned and disinfected efficiently and regularly. Newspaper or brown butcher paper are the substrates of choice and there should be as little cage furniture as possible.

Each Bearded dragon should be quarantined separately.

Quarantine inspections

Before animals are allowed to exit from the quarantine period they should at least be visibly healthy to the keeper. This means that a Bearded dragon should be eating and defaecating normally. Even if visibly healthy, before contact with other dragons are allowed, it is strongly recommended that the Bearded dragon is examined and cleared by an experienced reptile veterinarian.

During the quarantine period, Bearded dragons should be handled with medical latex gloves to prevent the transmission of potential zoonotic diseases (diseases that can be transmitted to humans).

Animals should be thoroughly inspected / evaluated for external parasites and a faecal examination by an veterinarian will identify potential internal parasites. In addition to this it is recommended that up to three faecal examinations are performed during the quarantine period.

Bearded dragon quarantine period

The Bearded dragon quarantine period should be for at least three to six months before it is introduced to other animals. This is especially important before the introduction into a large established established Bearded dragon collection.

During this period, a quarantined Bearded dragon should be closely observed for any signs of ill health or abnormalities. If any signs are observed it should be treated accordingly and the quarantine period should be extended to the original period extending from when the animal is healthy.

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About the author
Renier Delport is a qualified experienced companion animal veterinarian with a keen interest in the welfare of pet reptiles. He's currently working at Vet Hospital Port Shepstone, South Africa and has been treating and keeping Bearded dragons and writing various literature on these and other fascinating reptiles.

Renier Delport is also the author of The Advanced Bearded Dragon Manual and other Bearded dragon related eBooks.