A Bearded Dragons tail is very important to them for many reasons so it’s only natural for owners to want to know if they can regrow their tail.
As a Bearded Dragon enthusiast myself, this is something that I was always interested to know and the answer actually shocked me!
I decided to roll up my sleeves and investigate further to bring you all the answers you are looking for.
So do Bearded Dragons regrow tails? Bearded Dragons can’t regrow their tail or other body parts. The ability to drop and regrow the tails is common among lizards to escape predators and is called ‘autotomy’. Bearded Dragons, however, don’t have the genetic ability to do this.
Read on to find out why tails are important to Bearded Dragons, how they can lose their tail in captivity, what to do if they ever lose their tail and what their defence is instead of dropping their tail.
Do Bearded Dragons Regrow Their Tail (A Closer Look)
As we mentioned above, most lizard species have the ability to drop their tail as the last line of defence when it’s grabbed by a predator.
This is an ingenious survival technique that allows them to escape and then regrow another tail later.
Bearded Dragons, however, don’t have this ability and they can neither drop their tail and grow it back as a line of defence or grow their tail back if it’s been lost in an accident or fight.
The bottom line this that once a Bearded Dragons tail is gone then it’s gone! No matter what the reason is, the tail or any other body part for that matter isn’t coming back.
Even though they haven’t been given the ability to regrow their tail, they have been given other behaviours and techniques to use instead that come in handy in certain situations. (We will talk more about these later in the post)
Why Are Tails Important to Bearded Dragons?
The tail is very important to a Bearded Dragon for many reasons. Without the tail, they would struggle to perform many normal tasks and they can even be outcast socially.
Let’s look at some of the main reason why a Bearded Dragons tail is so important to them.
The tail is vital for helping a Bearded Dragon to balance. If they are climbing, walking or holding their position on a branch, their tail plays an important role in allowing them to balance with ease.
Imagine how the tight rope walking at the circus uses a big stick for balance and without it they would automatically put their arm wide like an aeroplane to aid balance.
This is the same concept as a Bearded Dragons tail, they move it in different directions to stabilize their body and allow perfect balance.
The tail is used to tell other Bearded Dragons and other animals how they are feeling and what mood they are in.
This can help them avoid conflict or even tell other Bearded Dragons that they are happy.
This can be important if you have other Bearded Dragons or other pets in your home.
The tail can also play an important role in mating season. Some Bearded Dragons use their tail to attract the opposite sex.
Again, this is similar to using their tail to submit social signals as they can communicate their mood and intentions with tail positioning.
The loss of a tail can make things very difficult for Bearded Dragons as they now appear smaller to potential predators and even other Bearded Dragons.
The tail makes them look much larger than without it they can appear much smaller and weaker and this can give predators the impression of an easy meal.
The same can be said for other Bearded Dragons. Once they see a Dragon that appears to be smaller than them they will often bully and sometimes even kill the smaller Bearded Dragon.
I would never recommend housing more than one Bearded Dragon in the same tank. Here’s a post that explains why you should never do this and what the alternatives are.
How Can Bearded Dragons Lose Their Tails?
A Bearded Dragon in captivity can lose their tail in many ways. It’s always best as an owner to know in advance what can cause tail loss so you can prevent any danger of it happening.
Let’s take a look at the reasons why a Bearded Dragon can lose their tail in captivity.
1. Tail Bitten Off By Another Bearded Dragon
If you house more than one Bearded Dragon in the same tank there is actually a high chance that one of them could get either part of their tail bitten off or a digit bitten off.
Bearded Dragons are solitary reptiles and they don’t like to share their space with other Bearded Dragons.
This will more often than not cause problems as one of the Dragons will usually seek dominance and this can lead to bullying, intimidation, biting and sometimes even mutilation.
Again, here’s a post that details why you should never house 2 Bearded Dragons together and it also details the alternatives. So if you are thinking of getting another Bearded Dragon or you already have 2 then you might want to read this post.
2. Tail Bitten By Another Household Pet
Having household pets such as dogs and cats isn’t really a problem when you have a Bearded Dragon, for the most part, however, this will depend on the temperament of the pet and how you integrate them.
You should try and get the pets used to each other as soon as possible so they are comfortable with each other presence. I’ve written a post here that shows you how Bearded Dragons and dogs can play with each other and how to avoid any potential dangers.
Even if your Bearded Dragon and other pet get on well, you always need to treat the situation with respect and realise that it only takes a misunderstanding and your dog or cat to feel threatened and your Dragon could lose their tail.
3. Lost Tail Due to Shedding Problems
If your Bearded Dragon has good quality lighting, a good balanced diet and the right habitat set up then shedding will, for the most part, be a simple process.
If you’re not sure what decor such and branches and rocks your Bearded Dragon needs to have a natural-looking habitat that also helps with shedding then check out this guide here that details all the equipment needed.
From time to time, Bearded Dragon will struggle with shedding and pieces of the shed will get stuck.
If this happens on the tails it can cut off the blood supply and eventually the tail will die.
You always need to be observant when your Dragon is shedding and make sure they are shedding smoothly, Never get tempted to pull any of the shed off with your hands as this can cause more problems.
If you are concerned at all about shedding or you want a complete A-Z guide then take a look at my complete shedding guide here where I lay out everything you need to do before, during and after shedding.
4. Losing Tail Due to Tail Rot
Tail rot is an infection that Bearded Dragons can get that can spread up the whole tail until the Dragon loses their entire tail.
In extreme cases, if the infection isn’t treated then it can even work its way up into the body and internal organ where it can cause serious health problems and even death.
Usually, you would notice the tail rot long before it got to this stage as it is quite eye-catching as the infected area will turn black.
The main reason for tail rot is trauma from being nipped, crushed or stood on.
If you spot tail rot on your Dragon then I would recommend seeking the advice from your vet at once as the situation will usually only worsen.
If you are worried about how easily vet bills stack up then I’ve written a great guide that shows the best options for reptile health insurance in the US and Uk.
I’ve researched the best policies and also some alternatives to health insurance that not many people know about. You can take a look at the health insurance post here.
What Should You Do If Your Bearded Dragon Loses Its Tail?
If your Bearded Dragon loses its tail then you really don’t want to start messing with it.
Depending on the situation, the chances are that it could be really painful and need medical attention.
If their tail gets bitten off near the tip then there shouldn’t be much blood, however, the closer to the base of the tail the more blood you should find.
If the opening is oozing blood then you should take a clean gauze or handtowel and gently apply pressure. This is backed up by petmd why also recommend only applying gentle pressure with a gauze or handtowel if there is excessive bleeding.
The next step is to book an appointment with your vet and get seen as soon as possible.
If your Bearded Dragon has tail rot or shedding problems you should also book an appointment at the vets ASAP and try not to mess with the tail until the vet has completed their examination.
What Do Bearded Dragons Do Instead Of Dropping Their Tail?
Bearded Dragons may be at a disadvantage compared to some other lizards that can drop their tails, however, they still have a number of behaviours and techniques they can use to help them escape or frighten away predators.
Let’s take a look at some of a Bearded Dragons main defensive attributes that they can use to make predators think twice.
- Puff up the beard (full post here)
- Turn the beard black
- Turn the whole body black
- Taller stance
- Head bobbing
To summerise this post, Bearded Dragons can’t regrow their tail so you need to make sure you do everything you can to make sure that they stay both healthy and safe.
If anything does happen to their tail then you should get your Bearded Dragon to the vets as soon as possible and refrain from make homemade remedies and solutions.
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