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Bearded Dragon Sunken Eyes: Reasons and Treatments Guide

Bearded Dragon Sunken Eyes: Reasons and Treatments

When your bearded dragon’s eyes appear sunken, it can be a cause for concern. However, there are a number of reasons why this might happen, and most of them are not serious. In this post, we’ll go through the reasons for drooped eyelids in bearded dragons and the treatments available. We will also provide some tips on how to keep your bearded dragon pet healthy and prevent sunken eyes from happening in the first place.

What to Do When Your Bearded Dragon Has Sunken Eyes?

The first thing you need to do when you notice your bearded dragon has sunken eyes is to take them to the vet. Sunken eyes might be a symptom of a more serious health problem, and it’s critical to get your pet examined as soon as possible.

What to Do When Your Bearded Dragon Has Sunken Eyes?

Let’s define the cause.


Dehydration is the main reason for sunken eyes in bearded dragons. A telltale sign your dragon may be dehydrated is if the skin on its back appears wrinkled.

To check for dehydration, gently pinch the skin on your dragon’s back. If it takes longer than a second for the skin to go back to normal, then your dragon is likely dehydrated and in need of immediate hydration.

There may be a variety of reasons for a bearded dragon to become dehydrated. The most frequent cause is not having enough water available, either due to a change in habitat or not having clean water available.

Other causes of dehydration can include illnesses such as parasites or respiratory infections, which can lead to excessive mouth-breathing and loss of water through evaporation.

Dehydration is a serious condition and can be fatal if not treated promptly. If you believe your pet is dehydrated, the first step should be to give it clean, fresh water.

If your dragon does not drink on its own, you may need to force-feed it with an oral syringe or eyedropper. Once your dragon has had enough water to drink, you should then soak it in a warm bath for 20-30 minutes to help rehydrate the skin.

If dehydration is severe, your pet may also need to be given fluids intravenously by a veterinarian. This is a serious procedure that should only be done by a qualified professional. [1]

If you take steps to prevent dehydration and keep your bearded dragon properly hydrated, the sunken eyes should resolve on their own.

Inadequate Nutrition

Inadequate nutrition is a typical reason for sunken eyes. This might be due to a lack of vitamins and minerals in their diet, as well as not enough food overall.

To guarantee your bearded dragon gets adequate nutrients, offer it a varied diet that includes both greens and insects. You can also dust their food with calcium powder to ensure they’re getting enough of this important mineral. [2]

Inadequate Nutrition

If your bearded dragon isn’t eating enough, you may need to force-feed them or syringe-feed them until they start eating on their own again. Your vet can help you with this if you’re not sure how to do it yourself.

Extreme heat or cold can be a factor

Your bearded dragon needs a basking spot that’s between 95 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature gets too high or low, it can cause sunken eyes.

If you think the temperature might be too low, use a basking lamp to raise the temperature in your bearded dragon’s enclosure. A ceramic heat emitter may also be used, but make sure it doesn’t get too close to your pet.

If the temperature is too high, on the other hand, you might need to move your pet’s enclosure to a cooler spot. You could also try using a fan to create a breeze and help bring down the temperature. Just make sure not to point the fan directly at your animal.


If your Bearded Dragon’s eyes are sunken, it’s possible that she isn’t shedding as frequently as normal. You can offer your pet a warm bath or mist its enclosure with warm water.

Your best bet is to leave your dragon alone during this time and make sure it has access to water so it can stay hydrated. If you see that your dragon is having trouble shedding, you can help by lightly misting its body with water or using a humidifier in the room.


If your dragon is displaying other symptoms of illness: lethargy, lack of appetite, or diarrhea, then it’s likely that sunken eyes are just a symptom. The best course of action is to take your dragon to the vet for a check-up and diagnosis.


Sunken eyes can be caused by a variety of diseases in bearded dragons, including:

  • Gastroenteritis: This is an inflammation of the stomach and intestines that can be caused by parasites, viruses, bacteria, or even stress. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and dehydration – all of which can lead to sunken eyes.
  • Kidney disease: This is a common cause of sunken eyes in older bearded dragons. Kidney disease can be caused by a number of things, including dehydration, infection, and tumors. Symptoms include weight loss, lethargy, and increased urination.
  • Respiratory infections: These are common in bearded dragons and can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or even allergies. Symptoms include sneezing, wheezing, coughing, and difficulty breathing – all of which can lead to sunken eyes.

If your dragon is displaying any of these symptoms, then it’s important to take them to the vet as soon as possible for treatment.

Treatment for sunken eyes will depend on the underlying cause. If the cause is dehydration, then treatment will involve rehydrating your dragon with fluids and electrolytes. If the cause is an infection, then treatment will involve antibiotics or other medications. And if the cause is kidney disease, then treatment will focus on managing the symptoms and supporting kidney function.


One of the more common reasons your bearded dragon may have sunken eyes is due to parasites. If your bearded dragon has parasites, it may lose weight, have diarrhea, and suffer from malnutrition. Parasites can also cause anemia, which can lead to sunken eyes. If you think your bearded dragon may have parasites, take them to the vet for a check-up and to get started on treatment. Blood tests can be done to check for anemia caused by parasites. Treatment usually involves worming medication and iron supplements.

Loss of weight

One of the most common bearded dragon problems, especially in younger dragons, is weight loss. If your dragon isn’t eating as much as usual or has lost interest in food altogether, it’s likely that he or she is not getting enough calories and is losing weight.

Loss of appetite can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, illness, and parasites.

The first step is to take your dragon to the vet for a checkup. Once you have ruled out any medical causes for the weight loss, you can focus on increasing your dragon’s calorie intake.

There are a few ways to do this:

  • Offer your dragon more food, especially high-calorie items like insects and vegetables.
  • Feed your dragon smaller meals more often throughout the day.
  • Add calcium and vitamin supplements to your dragon’s diet. [3]

Low humidity

One of the primary causes of sunken eyes in bearded dragons is low humidity levels. If the air around your beardie is too dry, their bodies will start to shut down certain functions to conserve moisture. One function that’s often impacted is tear production. Without enough tears, the lubrication needed for healthy eye function diminishes and the eyes can begin to sink inward.

If you live in a particularly dry area or if your home is particularly dry, increase the humidity level of your dragon’s habitat. This can be done with a humidifier, by misting their enclosure several times per day, or by using a reptile fogger.

Lack of Sleep

Another reason your bearded dragon may have sunken eyes is due to a lack of sleep. Bearded dragons need between 12 and 14 hours of sleep every night, so if your pet isn’t getting enough shut-eye, it could start to show in their appearance.

There are a few different ways you can help your bearded dragon get the sleep they need:

Lack of Sleep

  • Make sure their tank has plenty of hiding spots where they can feel safe and secure
  • Turn off any bright lights or loud noises in the room where they’re sleeping
  • Keep a regular day/night cycle for them by providing 12 hours of light followed by 12 hours of darkness each day

Excessive Stress From Poor Living Conditions

Stress can be caused by a variety of things, but poor living conditions are often to blame. If your bearded dragon isn’t getting enough food, water, or heat, it will likely become stressed. Stress can also be caused by too much handling or being around loud noises.

Make sure their living conditions are ideal. This means providing them with plenty of food and water and making sure their tank has the correct temperature and humidity levels. You should also try to handle them less and avoid loud noises around them.

How to Fix Sunken Eyes and Lethargy in Bearded Dragons

Provide water

Make sure your bearded dragon has access to clean, fresh water at all times. Try putting a bowl of water in its enclosure or misting its cage with a spray bottle every day.

Feed them with greens

To prevent sunken eyes caused by not enough greens in their diet, make sure to feed your bearded dragon plenty of leafy greens and other vegetables every day. A good rule of thumb is to offer them as much vegetation as they can eat in 15 minutes, two to three times per day.

Treat illnesses

Common illnesses that can cause sunken eyes include:

  • Dehydration
  • Lack of appetite
  • Infection
  • Impaction
  • Kidney disease

Your vet will likely perform a physical examination and some diagnostic tests to determine the underlying cause of your bearded dragon’s sunken eyes. Once the underlying cause is determined, they will develop a treatment plan accordingly.

Reduce stress

Provide more hiding spots in the tank. Dragons feel safest when they can hide away from everything, so giving them more places to do this will help lower their stress levels. You should also try to avoid handling your dragon too much. Although it’s tempting to pick them up and cuddle them, this can be very stressful for dragons. If you need to handle them for any reason, make sure you do it gently and put them back as soon as possible.

Reduce stress

Correct humidity and temperature

Make sure you’re providing them with a good source of hydration, like a shallow dish of water that they can easily access. You should also check the temperature of their habitat to make sure it’s not too hot or cold for them. The ideal temperature range for a bearded dragon is between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fatten them up

If your dragon is looking a little thinner than usual, it might be time to start thinking about fattening them up. This is especially true if they’ve recently been through a shed. A good way to help your dragon bulk up is to feed them more often. Try increasing their meals from once a day to two or three times a day. You can also add some high-calorie foods to their diet, like worms or crickets.

Another method of fattening up your dragon is to offer them food that’s higher in fat and protein. You can do this by feeding them pinkie mice or live earthworms. Just make sure that the food you’re giving them is properly sized for their mouth. [4]

Other Common Bearded Dragon Eyes Problems

Bearded Dragon droopy eyes

It can also be a symptom of other common health problems such as conjunctivitis, eye infections, allergies, stress, improper diet, and dehydration.

Bearded Dragon eye watering

If your Bearded Dragon is suddenly squinting, has watery eyes, or seems to have something stuck in its eye, these could all be signs of an infection or blockage and you should seek professional help right away.

Bearded Dragon puffy eyes

This symptom can also indicate an infection.

Bearded Dragon swollen eyes

Other Common Bearded Dragon Eyes Problems

If your Bearded Dragon’s eyes are swollen or have pus coming from them, this is a sign of an infection and you should take them to the vet right away.

Bearded dragon not opening his eyes

There are several potential reasons why your bearded dragon is not opening his eyes. One common reason is that he could be shedding. If you notice your bearded dragon’s eyes are starting to look cloudy or milky, this is a good indicator that shedding is taking place. Another possibility is that your bearded dragon’s eyes are irritated. This can happen if there’s something in the enclosure (like dust) that’s bothering him. If you think this might be the case, try gently cleaning your beardie’s eyes with a cotton ball soaked in warm water.

If neither of these seem to be the problem, it’s possible that your bearded dragon is sick.

With proper care and treatment, most Bearded Dragon eye problems can be resolved without any long-term effects.


How can I tell if my bearded dragon is dehydrated?

Dehydration is a common problem in reptiles and can be caused by a variety of factors such as not having enough water available, not drinking enough water, or not being able to absorb water properly. Symptoms of dehydration include sunken eyes, lethargy, loss of appetite, and wrinkled skin. If you suspect your bearded dragon is dehydrated, it is important to take them to the vet for a checkup and hydration therapy. [5]

How do I rehydrate my bearded dragon?

You can start by offering them water from a syringe or water bottle. Make sure the water is at room temperature so they don’t get shocked. You can increase the humidity in their enclosure by using a humidifier or misting the enclosure several times a day.

Do baths hydrate bearded dragons?

The answer is no. Baths can actually lead to dehydration because the water will make your dragon feel cold and stressed. This can cause them to stop drinking water and become even more dehydrated.

Are calcium baths good for bearded dragons?

Calcium baths can help improve your bearded dragon’s skin health, but they are not a cure-all. If your bearded dragon has skin problems, it is best to see a veterinarian.

Calcium baths are also said to help with shedding. If your bearded dragon is having trouble shedding, you can try giving them a calcium bath. [6]

How do you get your bearded dragon to open his eyes?

There are a few things you can do to get your bearded dragon to open his eyes. One is to offer him food. Another is to gently stroke his head or back. You can also try shining a light on him, though not directly into his eyes. Finally, you can try offering him water. If he still won’t open his eyes, it’s time to take him to the vet.

Can bearded dragons go blind?

Bearded dragons cannot go blind from sunken eyes. However, if the condition is left untreated, it can lead to permanent vision loss. [7]

Can I wash my bearded dragon with soap?

No, you should not wash your bearded dragon with soap. Soap can cause irritation and even burns on their skin. Instead, you should use a mild reptile-safe cleanser or just water. Reptiles are also very sensitive to chemicals, so it’s important to make sure any cleaners you use are gentle and safe for them.

My bearded dragon’s eyes are stuck shut, what do I do?

If your bearded dragon’s eyes are stuck shut, it is likely due to dehydration. The first thing you should do is give them a bath in lukewarm water. This will help to rehydrate their skin and eyes. If the problem persists, you can try using a cotton swab to gently lift their eyelids open.

My bearded dragon’s eyes are red, what does this mean?

This could be a sign of a number of things including dehydration, stress, an eye infection, or even just irritation from something in the enclosure. If your bearded dragon’s eyes are red, it’s important to take them to the vet to rule out any serious medical conditions.

How often do you mist a bearded dragon?

Bearded dragons need to be misted with water at least once a day, and more often if they live in a dry climate. Try misting your dragon more often and see if their eyes return to normal.

Useful Video: Beardie in for bacterial conjunctivitis and treatment

Final word

If you think your bearded dragon may be suffering from sunken eyes, it’s important to take them to the vet as soon as possible. While some causes of sunken eyes are not serious and can be easily treated, others can be indicative of a more serious underlying health condition. Only a certified reptile veterinarian will be able to give you a definitive diagnosis and create a treatment plan that is right for your pet.

We hope this article has been helpful in shedding some light on the potential causes and treatments of bearded dragons with sunken eyes.


  1. https://totalbeardeddragon.com/bearded-dragon-dehydration/
  2. https://reptilesmagazine.com/the-best-guide-to-bearded-dragon-nutrition/
  3. https://www.reptilecentre.com/blog/2020/02/which-supplements-should-you-give-to-bearded-dragons/
  4. https://reptile.guide/make-bearded-dragon-gain-weight/
  5. https://oddlycutepets.com/bearded-dragon-dehydrated/
  6. https://peticle.com/can-you-give-your-bearded-dragon-a-calcium-bath/
  7. https://beingreptiles.com/bearded-dragon-closes-one-eye/#:~:text=Bearded%20dragons%20can%20be%20blind,front%20of%20them%20very%20well.