Bearded Dragon Stomach Twitching
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Bearded Dragon Stomach Twitching

Nowadays, most reptiles lovers believe that the bearded dragon is the most common lizard kept in the pet trade today. Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract are common in them, especially in those dragons who are in captivity because they have to eat what they are offered.

“Bearded Dragon Stomach Twitching” Stomach twitching is also among these diseases. Seeing the bearded dragon twitching can be worrying and confusing – especially if it is the first time that you have seen it. Stomach twitching could be caused by poor nutrition, impaction, foreign body or parasites.

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In wild conditions, the dragons have independence and can eat whatever they want but in captivity, they don’t have a choice. Young dragons are more prone to stomach twitching. In these conditions, the dragons look very uncomfortable and show rolling. With proper care and management, this can be avoided.


Poor management and poor diet are the main causes of many diseases in pets. Stomach twitching is also the result of these. There are the following causes of stomach twitching in the bearded dragons

  • Poor nutrition 
  • Impaction
  • Parasites 
  • Foreign body
  • Improper temperature 

Poor nutrition 

Proper nutrition is necessary for a healthy bearded dragon. Poor nutrition is one of the main causes of stomach twitching. The deficiency of the following nutrients can cause the problem

  • Calcium 
  • Vitamin D3

Calcium is necessary for the movement of muscles. It plays an important role in the contraction and relaxation of muscles. As the gastrointestinal tract of the dragon is made up of smooth muscles, it needs calcium for proper contraction and relaxation, which is necessary for the movement of eating material through it. If calcium is deficient then the movement of material through it is hampered and it causes pain and ultimately leads to pressure in the stomach.

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Vitamin D3 is needed for the absorption of calcium. If it is in less amount then despite the presence of calcium, the body can not absorb calcium and calcium is deficient in the body. Then is less movement of the gastrointestinal tract and chances of stomach twitching increase.


Impaction means the bearded dragon eats food items that are too large to properly move through their digestive tract and it can not passes through it easily, it will get stuck and act as a roadblock to anything behind it. In impaction, the bearded dragon hasn’t had a bowel movement in a couple of days or a week. This condition is causing pressure on the stomach and there is too much pain. If it is neglected or left untreated, it could be life-threatening.


Parasites live in the body of their host and cause problems in their host. All bearded dragons have parasites within their gastrointestinal tract to some extent. These parasites only become a problem for the dragons when their count gets too high. They use the nutrients of the dragon and cause ulcers in them which is one of the main causes of stomach twitching.

Foreign body

Any material or substance that is eaten by the dragon mistakenly is considered a foreign body. The Bearded Dragon likes to eat anything he finds in his cage. Many substrates can pose a risk. Some materials have been reported to have caused impaction. The dragons can get these materials from

  • Food
  • Cage

Such detrimental materials could be present in the food of the dragons or could be in the cage of the dragon. Mostly, it is difficult for dragons to digest them and they remain undigested. They are also causing stomach twitching in them. These foreign bodies include 

  • Piece of metal 
  • Plastic 
  • Stone

Improper temperature 

As the bearded dragons are cold-blooded animals and they can’t maintain their body temperature. Their internal temperature depends on the temperature of the environment. For proper digestion of food, they need a 100-115F temperature. If the temperature is not in this range then food remains undigested and poorly digested. Poorly digested food is difficult to pass and it causes pain and stomach twitching in the dragons.


There are no specific symptoms shown by the dragon when he is suffering from stomach twitching. Synonyms shown by the dragons are depends upon the severity of the disease. At the initial stage, the following symptoms are present.

  • Weaknesses 
  • Lethargy 
  • Dull
  • Depress
  • Stressed
  • Rolling on ground
  • Less appetite 
  • Regurgitation
  • Sometimes distended abdomen 

But as the disease progress, the symptoms become more severe and at later stages following symptoms are shown 

  • the inability to excrete regularly or straining
  • slight leg trembles
  •  Dragging one or both the back legs
  •  Not walking properly
  •  A slight bump along the spinal area.
  • Severe constipation

All these signs are not necessarily a problem, because every animal is different and has different behaviour but if you see them and the pet is not behaving like his normal routine, be sure to pay attention. This may be an indication that something serious problem is there


Stomach twitching has no specific signs and symptoms. It is a very confusing disease. To diagnose it is a problem. All the symptoms which are mentioned above don’t confirm the presence of stomach twitching. But if the dragon is showing these symptoms these are indications of something going wrong. The above-mentioned symptoms may be shown due to some other conditions like severe hepatitis, chock or bacterial infection. If your pet is showing these symptoms then call the veterinarian and he will diagnose the problem according to the symptoms and history.


Treatment is depending upon the severity of the symptoms and the cause of the disease. 

  • If stomach twitching is due to the parasites then deformed is the choice.
  • If it is due to a foreign body then call the veterinarian and he will try to take it out physically if it would be not possible then surgery would the option.
  • If the disease is due to poor nutrition and mineral deficiency then the provision of a nutritionally balanced diet would be the option.
  • If it is due to impaction then massage the abdomen of the dragon and try to move the impacted material down the track and it would give relief to the dragon.
  • If this condition is due to poor lighting then provide proper temperature to the dragons.

Which treatment option would be best, is determined by the veterinarian. He will diagnose the cause and will treat it accordingly.

Home remedies 

If the dragon is showing mild symptoms like rolling on the ground then massage its abdomen and it will give relief to the dragon. At the initial stages of the disease, the provision of a soft diet is also beneficial. Provide the dragon with a nutritionally balanced diet but if the condition becomes worse then call the doctor.


To avoid this condition, follow the following precautions 

  • Provide a good diet to dragons.
  • Don’t offer large-sized food to the dragon.
  • Give him proper lighting and heat.
  • Clean its cage regularly and remove any unwanted substrate from its surrounding.
  • Note the behaviour of your let regularly.
  • Observe the stool of the dragon and note any parasite in it.
  • Don’t give too hard food to eat to the dragon.

If the dragon continues to show symptoms then it is also highly recommended that you go with your dragon immediately to a veterinarian that specializes in treating reptiles.


Q):- What are the main reasons for stomach twitching?

A):- There are many different reasons for stomach twitching. Some main reasons are

  • Poor diet especially calcium and Vitamin D3 deficiency.
  • Impaction
  • Constipation
  • Foreign body
  • Improper temperature 

Q):- Why is my bearded dragon twitching and not eating?

A):- If your dragon is showing these signs then he may be suffering from stomach twitching, hepatitis or some bacterial infection.

Q):- How can I protect my dragon from stomach twitching?

A):- To avoid this condition, follow the following precautions 

  • Provide a good diet to dragons.
  • Don’t offer large-sized food to the dragon.
  • Give him proper lighting and heat.
  • Clean its cage regularly and remove any unwanted substrate from its surrounding.
  • Note the behaviour of your let regularly.
  • Observe the stool of the dragon and note any parasite in it.
  • Don’t give too hard food to eat to the dragon.

Q):- Is stomach twitching an infectious disease?

A):- No, it is not purely an infectious disease. In some serious infections, there may be stomach twitching but this is not common.

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