Coccidia and treatment

A heavy load of Coccidia

Symptoms and treatment for coccidia

There are alot of different types of parasites, but I though I would do a page on Coccidia since it seems to be the most common one. They are quite common in bearded dragons in small numbers and will do no harm in small numbers. You could never totally rid all of them from beardies without such high doses of treatments that it would kill your dragon, so at small amounts no treatment is necessary. However, for large amounts of Coccidia, treatment is a must.

Cause for them?

It could be many reasons. Improper temps in the beardies viv, no or improper UV lighting, stress, unsanitary conditions, even from the live feeders offered in the diet.


If your beardie had a very heavy load of this parasite, you would know it. Your beardie may experience stomach pain and diarrhea, go off food, rapid weight loss, refuse to bask but rather hide, and may become very lethargic. The only way to be sure of coccidia is through a fecal exam, which should be given to them on a regular basis, at least 1-2 times per year, unless you suspect before hand.

Once your beardie has been diagnosed with coccidia, the living quarters will need  to be kept extremely clean and sterile daily, until your beardie gets a clean bill of health from a vet, through another fecal exam, after treatment

How to disinfect.

Anything that cannot be soaked or baked should be thrown out. Placing old decor back in the tank may still carry eggs, and if injested, your beardie will be reinfected, and you will have to start from scratch. The dragon should be kept on paper towel, and you should use cardboard boxes for hides and basking, that can be replaced daily. You can use a bleach solution mixed with water for disinfecting. (1 part bleach solution, to 10 parts water) Use this mix to soak any any all decor that you can. Let soak for at least 15 minutes, rewash to remove all traces of bleach, and if possible, you can bake decor in your oven, like logs, rocks, etc, at 250f for about 1-2 hours. The tank, tank walls, flooring, etc, must be soaked and washed down with this same mix as well, again, for at least 15 minutes, but do not forget to remove the dragon first!  Once the soaking has been done, wipe up all excess water and bleach, rewash with plain hot water to remove any and all traces of bleach, let dry, then you can add your beardie. This must be repeated daily until the fecal exam is negative.

Treatment for coccidia.

Albon (sulfadimethoxine) will treat coccidia, but sometimes it can take more than one treatment before the fecal is negative. One case comes to mind where I heard of a beardie being on Albon for coccidia, for 21 days, and the fecal was still positive. So multiple fecals between treatments are a must.

Although Albon will rid your beardie of coccidia, it can also do some harm. It will wipe out the good bacteria a beardie has to fight off the bad, (gut Flora) so offering a probiotic after about the third day of treatment, and a few days afterwords would be a good idea to build up your beardies immune system again. I like Acidpohiliz + for this reason. You can also use soy yogurt (dairy free). Bee pollen is a great way to boost your beardies immune system also after harsh meds. One more important thing to know, Albon tends to leave beardies dehydrated, and if so sulfa crystals will form in the urates, so keep your beardie well hydrated, by soaking in luke warm water, and you can also offer water through a dropper, or a plastic syringe.

Preventing coccidia.

There really is no way to prevent it, even the healtiest beardies living in the cleanest conditions can get high amounts of this parasite, but you can help ''flair ups'' by practing good husbandry. Make sure the UV light is replaced on a regular basis also, and keep those feeder bins clean! It is just as important as keeping the beardies home clean.

Nancy McBride.

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Sherry | Reply 07.01.2018 06.21

I would like to know how bathing a beardie can hydrate them. Read where they cannot absorb water through a bath, They have to consume it.

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Latest comments

21.06 | 05:16

You will need to get him antibiotics from a vet. An infection will not go away on it's own, and will continue to get worst if left untreated.

19.06 | 14:27

What can someone do for ear infection

02.05 | 10:23

Happy birthday little buddy. Is he still free of the vruis?
I'm having my sweet rescue girl tested for it, whom was ok for the first three years. :c

15.04 | 11:26

Can I give the pollen to a baby dragon? Is it good to put grape seed extract to his swollen nose? His nose is swallen from one side

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