Beardie Rescue, Infected arm?

So this weekend we went to get my partner and help him make the trip to Indiana so he could move in with us…

And his sister decided to dump her 2 year old bearded dragon (that she just got a couple months ago) on me after I pointed out he looked to have an issue with his arm, as she figured I’d be able to “take care of him better” than she would. Probably true but meh, not how I would have liked to obtain a beardie if I was gonna get one. Good thing I did a bit of research so I at least do know what to expect in terms of proper care for this guy.

The arm is swollen and leaking pus, I suspect a burn injury that became infected because despite my advising when she made the impulse decision to get a reptile, she refused to buy any kind of thermostats for the heat mat OR heat lamp for the setup because they were “too expensive”.
I’ll have to pick those up on my own asap, of course.

I guess I’m mainly looking to see what I can do for him in the meantime to ease any discomfort, I plan to take him to the vet of course as I’d think the pus needs to be drained and the wound cleaned out and him put on some kind of antibiotics.
I believe he was still eating from what I was told, he did poop in his transport tub too.

He looks to be in pretty rough shape, not what I would expect a “healthy” beardie to look like at all.

Picture tax, I’ll try and get better pics of his wound if need be, but you can clearly see how swollen the arm looks.

Picture of him in his enclosure before we had packed him up for the trip.


I’d say warm compresses, a good soak in clean water to deal with any dehydration, and gently clean the arm with chlorhexidine. If there is an open wound, try to flush the area as much as possible. If you don’t have chlorhex on hand, go to a pharmacy for a bottle of Hibiclens. Could also use betadine/iodine, but that tends to be more drying to the tissues.


Awwwww @trnreptiles Holly! That poor little boy! God bless you sweetie for taking him in! I know he is an unplanned pet that comes with some baggage but sometimes after the dust settles these turn out to be the best kind!

I hope you are able to draw out the pus and reduce the swelling. @noodlehaus would peroxide be something to use on the pus area to help with infection until he can be seen by a vet? Or would that be too harsh for him?

His coloring is terrible so he definitely needs proper heating and lighting. Holly, he is very lucky to be in your care……….:heart:


Peroxide can actually harm tissue and delay healing (as can alcohol), so I’d definitely say no in this case.


Ok thank you @noodlehaus Jess! I will file that away for future reference! This will be my learning tidbit for the day! :white_check_mark:


Thanks for the advice, I really appreciate it! I’ll see what I can do for this guy and keep ya’ll updated :heart:


Best of luck to you both, hopefully he recovers quickly and without issues. Kind of you to take him, even if the circumstances weren’t ideal.


Unfortunately Pancake didn’t make it.
I had soaked him in some clean water, tried my best to clean/drain his wound — let him rest for awhile in his tank with the lamp set up on a thermostat, but he crashed pretty quickly.

Noticed he was randomly opening his mouth and arching his head back, as if he was having some kind of respiratory distress.

I’m guessing the infection had already been bad enough to turn into full on sepsis, and I wasn’t able to get him help fast enough. I don’t know how long he had the infection so there’s really no telling.

Just, ugh. My partner had to put his dog down this weekend so having to help him through that, as well as trying to help with him moving in, on top of trying to care for this poor beardie… it’s been a lot.

I hate that he had to go like this, and this is why I hate people making impulse buys without doing proper research prior (or just straight up ignoring what I said was needed, in this case)


I am so sorry to hear the poor guy was too far gone, you did the best you possibly could have with the disaster you were handed. My heart hurts for him and for you, having all the extra stress just dumped on you because someone wanted to be willfully ignorant. At least you gave him care, comfort, and peace for the time he was with you.


Well @trnreptiles Holly, you have pretty much said it all at the end of your post so we all know how unnecessary it is that this whole situation had to end in the death of an innocent animal due to purposeful negligence. That leaves a bad taste in my mouth as well.

That being said I truly am very heartfelt sorry that you had to be a part of this :heart::pray::sleepy: and I feel badly about your partner’s dog.

Of course you did the best you could with what you had to work with to try and save. Just remember not to hold anything inside that you might need to share. Grief comes to mind actually. We are here for you Holly. God bless you sweet lady. Sending hugs to you and much love and strength………
Sad Best Friends GIF by Lisa Vertudaches