bearded dragon cyst
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Bearded Dragon Cyst

The cysts in the bearded dragons are among the leading causes of concern among the dragon’s keepers. “Bearded Dragon Cyst” Cysts appear as soft swelling with the normal temperature and uniform consistency all across the cyst. The main problem with cysts and tumours is that they are not easy to detect and when they are detected it becomes difficult to make a differential diagnosis. Cysts are often an indication of a serious underlying health condition in the bearded dragons. These cysts could be fatal if neglected.

The earlier they are detected,  the better will be the chances of survival of the dragon. Unfortunately, not all cases of cysts in the bearded dragons are detected at the initial stages. Mostly, the owners of the dragons are unable to detect the unusual swelling on the skin of their pet. Cysts remain neglected because they are painless in most cases but not always, but if the dragon is showing abnormal behaviour that may suggest your bearded dragon is not well.

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Cysts are abnormal swelling that can develop anywhere on the skin and also inside the body. The main causes of cysts in bearded dragons are

  • Genetics.
  • A fault in an organ of a developing embryo.
  • A defect in the cells.
  • Chronic inflammatory conditions like an injury.
  • Blockages of ducts in the body cause fluids to be accumulated.
  • Parasites.
  •  An injury that breaks a vessel.

Cysts are closed sac-like structures that may be filled with semisolid substances, gaseous material, or liquid. In short, cysts can be defined as abnormal sac-like swellings that develop in the affected tissue. In general two causes of cysts are

  • Injuries 
  • Parasites 


In most cases, cysts are caused by trauma or damage to body tissue. Bearded dragons that are in captivity mostly get injuries from fights. This usually happens when two or more males are housed in the same cage. The dragons may bite each other, thereby inflicting painful wounds that lead to the formation of cysts.

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The cyst can also be a result of parasites. If left untreated, pathogenic parasites can cause serious health complications. Parasites are the organisms that live on the other organism and in return harm him. 


Most cysts are asymptomatic at the start and have no signs. However, some cysts on the skin of the dragon, mucous membranes, and those located in palpable organs, especially in the soft organs often can be felt as a lump or bump; sometimes they may cause.

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Some cysts may produce symptoms related to the organs in which they are located (for example, the liver, pancreas, or kidneys). Most of the time, the cysts are painless but in some conditions they cause pain. In later stages presence of a cyst cause the following symptoms 

  • Weakness
  • Dull
  • Depressed
  • Loss of appetite
  • Where a cyst is present, the dragon feels pain.
  • It appears as a soft mass of regular size.


Proper diagnosis of a cyst is difficult because in the initial stages it appears as a simple swelling. Not every swelling is a cyst. Cysts are usually swelling of soft texture, having a regular and uniform size. On aspiration with a syringe, clear fluid comes out. Swellings may be due to

  • Tumours
  • Oedema
  • Abscess

If the swelling is due to the tumours then on aspiration, nothing comes out and it remains painless. If swelling is due to oedema then on aspiration clear fluid comes out and on putting the pressure on the swelling with the thumb, the thumb impression is there. And if it is due to an abscess then on aspiration puss comes out.

Also read: Can Bearded Dragons Eat Fish? Safe or Not

Most owners of the dragons ignore the swelling which could be detrimental. The presence of cysts on the skin is not fatal but if cysts are present in the inner organs like the liver, kidney or lungs then it could be fatal. If you observe any swelling on the skin of your pet then call the veterinarian immediately.


There are different treatment options for cysts. The prognosis of cyst is good if treated properly. Only some cysts are problematic. Most cysts do not require treatment, however, physicians may use the following options to treat cysts.

  • Needle aspiration
  • surgical removal 

Treatment options for the cysts in the bearded dragons may vary depending on several factors, some of these factors are

  • Cause of cyst
  • Severity of cyst
  • Location of cyst
  • The level of discomfort that the cyst is causing.

First of all, the cause of the cyst needs to be addressed and removal of the cause is necessary for maximum results. As stated earlier, most cysts are benign, so you won’t have to worry but if it is cancerous then it could be devastating. Mostly, the cysts go away on their own. Sometimes the veterinarian can aspire it but if it is cancerous then it needs surgical intervention and needs to be removed surgically. Through lancing, the fluid-filled sac can be cleared and disinfected.

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Home Remedies 

As it is very difficult to properly diagnose the cysts at home, treatments at home are not encouraged. Try to avoid any medical intervention at home and if there is any swelling call the doctor. There is one remedy that could be used at home but it is not medically approved or not authentic, some owners of the bearded dragons believe that this therapy is effective. This remedy is the use of garlic and it could be beneficial.


 The cysts could be caused by many reasons. To avoid complications follow the following tips

  • Observe your dragon regularly, if any swelling is observed then call the doctor.
  • Observe the behaviour of the dragon, if any behaviour change is observed then take it seriously.
  • Give the dragon a clean and hygienic environment.
  • Deworm your pets
  • If any swelling is present on the skin of your dragon then don’t try to manipulate it.
  • Always call the doctor for any medical complications.


Q):- Is cyst caused by pathogens?

A):- Mostly, it is caused by injuries but sometimes it could also be a result of parasites infestation.

Q):- Is there any difference between a cyst and an abscess?

A):- Yes, there is a huge difference between them. An abscess is caused by bacteria but there are many reasons for cysts. On aspiration, we get clear fluid from cyst but from abscess we get pus.

Q):- Why does my bearded dragon have a lump?

A):- There are different causes of lumps, these lumps may be due to

  • Abscess
  • Cysts
  • Tumours
  • Inflammation

Q):- What are the main causes of cyst formation?

A):- There are different causes of cyst formation. It could be formed due to

  • Injury.
  • Parasites.
  • Genetics.
  • A fault in an organ of a developing embryo.
  • A defect in the cells.
  • Chronic inflammatory conditions like an injury.
  • Blockages of ducts in the body cause fluids to be accumulated.

Q):- Can I treat the cyst at home?

A):- No, if the cysts persist for a long time then the intervention of the veterinarian is recommended. The veterinarian can go for surgical intervention if necessary.

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