Common Parasitic Diseases of Bearded Dragons

Although many have favored reptiles over other animals and keep them as pets as they are easy to many and have a very peaceful nature. Their interesting physical appearance entices many animal keepers as well. However, as every reptile carries a host of bacteria, viruses, parasites, as well as worms, proper handling and care should always be practiced if you have reptiles at home. They can carry harmful microorganisms that can cause serious health concerns for women (especially those who are pregnant), children, elderly and those with existing serious health concerns.

If your pet lizard gets sick while under your care, there is a great possibility that it can transfer the microorganism-causing disease to any of your household member. Making sure that you, as well as your family, are fully aware of such conditions and also the best way to keep your family safe.

What causes parasitic diseases in Bearded Dragons?

Bacterial, fungal, viral, and other parasitic diseases are usually caused by primary microorganisms or pathogens. However, they can also be caused by conditions such as humidity, poor sanitary conditions, overcrowding, nutrition, as well as inappropriate temperature.

What happens when a parasite invades a Bearded Dragons body?

Parasitic organisms can affect a Bearded Dragons body externally (such as ticks or mites) or internally (such as gastrointestinal worms). Once the health of a Bearded Dragons is compromised because of a parasitic infection, they become susceptible to other diseases and have a shorter lifespan. They also tend to have stunted or slow growth rates.

As such, it is highly recommended that a dragon or any reptile that has any parasitic disease should be treated immediately. They should also be kept far from where your family comes together so the possibility of transferring the infection will be limited. Precautionary measures related to handling should also be practiced at all times.

Following are the common parasitic diseases that may affect your pet dragon:

Ectoparasites

1. Mites: Mites are widely distributed worldwide. They may be associated with the mechanical transmission of Aeromonas hydrophila, a variety of bacteria, and other viruses. Mites can be seen by the naked eye. However, they can be difficult to see in small numbers. If you think that your pet reptile has mite, gently rubbing the reptile while it is on a piece of white paper will allow you to see the mites once they have fallen off. Reptiles who have mites in their hide often spend a good amount of time soaking to drown the mites. Folds in the face and the space between the eye are the most common areas where the mites are often found hiding.

2. Ticks: Ticks are also common on Bearded Dragons. Some owners use permethrin spray to remove ticks manually. However, systemic antibiotics are often prescribed as systemic infections associated with multiple cutaneous bite wounds is possible when handling the reptile. There is also a great risk of transmitting pathogenic bacteria.

3. Leeches: Leeches are usually found on the legs, head, and other parts of amphibians like turtles and crocodilians.

Endoparasites

1. Protozoa. The most serious protozoan pathogen is known as Entamoeba invadens. Clinical signs that your pet reptile has a protozoan pathogen are observed to be as follows: anorexia, weight loss, vomiting, mucoidal or hemorrhagic diarrhea, and even death.

2. Flagellates: Among the 6 genera of flagellates identified, the most common to cause health concerns to reptiles in captivity is the Hexamita. They are known to cause urinary tract disease in chelonians (turtles) and intestinal disease in snakes. The infection that they care is said to be fatal.

3. Ciliates: Only one known species, Balantidium coli, is identified to also cause human disease. They are also common in herbivorous turtles and lizards.

4. Amoeba: Clinical signs having amoeba (specifically Entamoeba invadens) in reptiles and amphibians (lizards and snakes) include anorexia, weight loss, vomiting, midbody to caudal swellings of the body, and blood and mucus in the feces.

5. Nematodes: Nematodes are one of the free-living species that feed on bacteria and other nematodes. It one of the most common parasites found in lizards. They have been reported to have been found in more than 500 forms of Bearded Dragons. They can infect the bloodstream as well as other important organs of the body, hence should be treated immediately as an infestation of these parasites can be lethal.

Guarding the health of your pet reptile: Guarding the life of your family

As mentioned earlier, parasitic infections in your pet can be transferred unknowingly to other members of the family. As such, you should always be careful about how you handle and care for your reptiles. Here are a few other reminders that you need to always consider to ensure that you and your family are also kept safe while you look after your pet Bearded Dragons.

  • Reptiles should not be placed or kept in an enclosure inside a house where there are children younger than five years old, pregnant women, elderlies, as well as anyone who may be suffering from a serious health problem.
  • All reptiles should be thought to be carriers of one (or many) of the parasites mentioned.
  • Wash your hands with a disinfectant soap and warm water after handling your Bearded Dragons.
  • Always wash your hands any time you have touched your reptile’s cage and equipment, after feeding your reptile, or after removing solid wastes from its enclosure.
  • Keep your pet away from parts of the house where your family comes together or where the essential part of housekeeping is done (kitchen, dining areas, and any other area where food is prepared).
  • Keep your Bearded Dragons confined in best Bearded Dragon enclosure.
  • Wash with hot water and disinfect any surface that your reptile has had contact.
  • Never use the sink or basin used in your kitchen or anywhere else in the house to wash your pet. Always wear disposable gloves when doing regular cleaning. Wastewater as well as solid wastes should be disposed of in the john or outside drain.
  • Change your clothes after having been in contact with your reptile. Wash thoroughly and disinfect the clothes that you wore while handling your pet.
  • Follow expert’s advice on feeding your reptile as well as in providing care for your reptile to ensure that you won’t create any stressful condition that may aggravate your pet’s condition.

Your Bearded Dragons lives for more than a decade. Hence, you should know how to properly care for it to ensure that you and your family will get to enjoy its presence longer without ever having to worry about any health condition that it may have due to improper husbandry.

Skin Fungus Quick Facts

There are a number of skin infections that commonly appear in usually warm and moist areas of the body. Even though they could be so common, they are definitely welcomed. They can actually be itchy and painful at times. They can be found in different parts of the body: between toes, on the nails, in the genital areas, on the face, even on the tongue. You can learn the basic facts including the symptoms, causes, treatment, as well as some effective home remedies for best treatment for skin fungus

Here are some skin fungus that you may have already heard of, even might have noticed appearing on your skin. They could be further classified as bacterial, fungal, and viral infections.

skin fungus

Fungal Skin Infections

1. Ringworm

Ringworm is characterized by red, circular, and itchy rashes. It is known by another name depending on the part of the body the infection spread. If it is on the foot, it is called an athlete’s foot or Tinea Pedis. If found on the groin area, it is known as is tinea cruris or jock itch. If it appears on the skin, it is called tinea versicolor. On the nails, it is onychomycosis. If it appears on the scalp, it is known as Tinea Capitis.

2. Yeasts

Other common skin infections are caused by yeasts like Candida or Malassezia furfur and dermatophytes like Epidermophyton, Microsporum, and Trichophyton. Yeasts, as well as bacteria like Streptococci and Staphylococci, occur normally on the skin. An overgrowth of any of these gram-positive aerobic organisms can cause many health issues, including wound and skin infections.

Fungi can inhabit the soil, air, water, and plants. They can also exist inside the human body. Like microbes, there are beneficial fungi and there are also harmful types. When harmful fungi invade the body, they may not be easy to eradicate. They may also grow back if the person being treated is not carefully following the medications prescribed.

Anyone who is not serious about his or her health is susceptible to fungal infections. Those who are receiving cancer and diabetes treatments, as well as those who have weak immune systems, however, are more prone to having fungal infection.

Common Symptoms

Symptoms accompanying skin fungi are quite similar no matter what kind of bacteria caused them. Here are common signs that can tell that you’ve got some fungus under your skin.

  • Peeling or Cracking Skin
  • Redness or blisters in the affected area.
  • Itching, Stinging, or Burning sensation within the affected area.
  • Breakdown and Softening of Skin Tissue

Causes of Skin Fungus

What usually causes skin fungus to spread? Warm and moist environments encourage the growth of harmful fungi. That is the reason why people who usually have moist feet would note that they have athletes’ foot. Damp socks and unclean shoes that you wear day can cause fungi and bacteria to spread and cause these nasty skin condition. Dirt and sweat attract fungi and bacteria and encourage them to multiply faster than you can eliminate them. Soon enough they have a battalion to fill your feet and nails if you don’t get rid of them quickly.

They can also be rather contagious. Even by just getting in contact with things that touched another person with skin fungi on him will cause the condition to spread on the contacted area as well. They may not be as threatening at the onset. However, if they are not properly treated, they can cause more serious health concerns.

If you observe that some skin fungi have started settling in on your skin, consider these effective home remedies to get rid of skin fungus quickly.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar is known for its many health benefits. Many have claimed to have been relieved of an upset stomach, diarrhea, hiccups, stomach spasms, and indigestion. It is also said that it can help in weight loss, managing diabetes, lowering cholesterol level, clearing acne, and many more health issues. Apple cider has antiseptic properties and it can also help clear out a fungus infection. Just dab a cotton ball soaked in apple cider vinegar on the affected area. Make sure that you have cleaned and pat the affected area dry with an antiseptic soap before rubbing the cotton on it. Do this several times a day until you have seen an improvement on the condition on your skin.

2. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is also known for its antiseptic properties. It has been used to treat several skin conditions, including acne, eczema, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, as well as fungal and bacterial skin problems.

3. Essential Oils

Essential oils are not used only for aesthetic purposes. It is also used to address several health concerns such as stress and anxiety, allergies, indigestion, weight issues, body pains, and more. It is also reported to be an effective treated for skin fungus. Applying essential garlic oil or oregano oil on areas where the fungi have started to settle in will eventually help eliminate these nasty microorganisms.

4. Keep a good personal hygiene

It’s always best to keep your body, especially your feet and hands, the folds of the skin, and all other areas where the fungi could probably start to show up, totally cleaned with mild soap and water. Keep your these areas totally dry as well.

You also need to make sure that you keep personal items in a sanitary place. Have them cleaned before and after using to ensure that no bacteria, germs, or fungi are hiding in them.

5. Avoid direct contact with those who have this skin condition

Fungi can be spread easily, so you have to make sure that everything you touch or walk on are free from any of these fungi. If you observe or feel any of the symptoms that normally accompany skin fungal infections, make sure to treat it right away.

Take preventive measures seriously to make sure that your condition will be under control right away.

How to Lose Weight Fast and Safe

Losing weight is a real torture for some people. They try many different diets and they either don’t give the expected results, or if they do, the lost weight comes back very quickly when the diet is no longer followed. Luckily, there are also many people who managed to lose weight and keep it that way. Is there a secret we don’t know about, and they do? Well, not really.

There are several factors we have to determine before we start losing weight. So, let’s find out more.

What makes us gain weight? This is the main question we have to answer first. Some people like having late meals, some are addicted to sweets or fast food, others can’t live without sodas, etc. As you can see these things make us fat because they contain too many calories and sugars. If we make a change in this field, our weight-loss goals will be easily achievable.

Set up realistic goals. This step is really important because in most cases, we don’t have to lose just 1 or 2 pounds, the number goes much higher. So instead deciding to lose 40 pounds a month, make that number lower, for example – 10 pounds. Why is this important? When you see that you have managed to lose 10 pounds in the first month you will feel more motivated to continue with your new weight loss strategy. On the other hand, if you have decided to lose 40 pounds and managed to lose 10 or even 20, the chances are that you will give up and return to your old habits and gain even more weight than you have had before.

Exercise and exercise. Losing weight can be brought down to a simple formula: Eat less + Burn More = Lose Weight. Yes, it’s that simple. The number of calories you don’t burn will get stored in your body as fat. Any kind of physical activity is better than doing nothing. If you are too busy working and then working at home, you probably don’t have much time to go to the gym or go to the park for jogging or cycling. However, there are small things you can do, which will also help you burn some calories. If possible, walk to the next bus station and enter the bus there. Don’t use the lift. Find a video of some exercises on Youtube, you certainly have 5 or 6 minutes to do some sit-ups or pushups.

Our busy life forces us to do two things, which are bad for our weight and health. First, we skip meals, most frequently the breakfast. Then we have a huge lunch because we are too hungry since we have skipped the breakfast. You simply have to stop doing that. Instead, don’t skip meals, eat more often but less, eat healthy.

Find alternatives for the high-calorie foods you have eaten before. You can always have fresh fruits and vegetables and you don’t have to worry that eating them will ruin your diet. You want something sweet, grab an apple. You need something for a snack – carrots are great. Just remember your goals and don’t give up. If you follow all these advices you will lose weight fast and safely, and the risks of potential health problems because of too much weight will be reduced drastically.

Healthy Way to Lose Weight

It is no doubt that the healthiest way to lose weight is slow changes in one’s diet regime, as well as adding exercise. Starving oneself or pushing the body to overdo workouts is not an optimal way to lose weight.

What can you do to lose weight in a healthy way?

The body’s source of energy is food, and it stores fat, which means that if we consume more food than the body requires for daily activities and the maintaining of cells, we will gain weight. And, to lose weight, the body must use up these fat stores. This can be done by lessening the quantity of calories you consume and increasing the activity levels.

– Reduce the number of calories slowly but surely

Small changes in your nutrition are best, rather than starving yourself and going back to unhealthy eating habits. For example, you can substitute full-fat milk with semi-skimmed.

– Increase the levels of activity

Those who increase their activity level and also keep up the same diet and calorie intake will undoubtedly manage to lose weight. Any kind of exercising – even a short 20-minute walk – is useful, as each time you exercise, you burn calories and fat. Furthermore, there are many ways of increasing the amount of activity, such as team sports, cycling, swimming, aerobics, running, and walking.

– Reduce calorie intake

What does it mean to be overweight? The body mass index (BMI) is used to assess weight. And thus, a BMI of 18.50 to 25 is considered to be healthy, while over 30 is obese.

It is necessary to alter your current eating habits if you really wish to lose weight, which means most sweets need to be cut out, or rather, they need to be limited and healthier choices made.

There are, however, no shortcuts to weight loss – consuming 300-500 calories less a day should result in a loss of 1 or 2 pounds a week, which is a realistic objective. Of all the food types (carbs, protein), it is fat which has the largest amount of calories and thus it is necessary to cut down on all fatty foods and consume more wholegrain bread, as well as fruits and vegetables.

You can reduce calorie intake slowly and surely by, for instance, reducing the sugar in your tea or coffee, replacing fizzy drinks with water, eating less amounts of food, cutting out all snacks and also cutting down on alcohol.

– It is important to have patience and stick it out

The changes might not be noticeable immediately, but they will appear soon enough. Retaining motivation is one of the most challenging aspects of dieting and it is important to find a way of rewarding yourself. You also need to have a lot of support from other people to help you when the going gets hard.

– The health advantages of losing weight

It is a fact that women who are overweight and who lose somewhere between ten and twenty pounds reduce the possibility of developing diabetes by at least one half. As for males, the danger of heart disease is lowered greatly. In general, most people gain weight as they age, and some gain as much as 20 pounds in comparison to their weight when they were eighteen years old, which rapidly increases the imminent danger of problems with the health. For instance, women increase the possibility of heart attacks by being overweight and also may even multiply their risk from serious medical conditions.

The conclusion is that, by retaining your weight within the healthy range, it is less probable that you will be troubled by illnesses in your later years.

Healthy Eating and Diet

To eat healthily does not necessarily mean to starve oneself or to deprive ourselves of the food we love but it is about feeling good and having enough energy in order to be as happy and healthy as possible. This entails learning some basic things about nutrition and using it in the best possible way. Thus, here are some guidelines for planning in advance and not only creating but also maintaining an appetizing and healthy food regime.

1. Planning. Plan a healthy diet as a gradual process, a series of small, convenient steps and not as a drastic change.

  • Start slowly, as changes to eating habits need time. Try making small steps, as for instance using olive oil instead of butter while cooking.
  • Every change is relevant. Don’t forget that the long-term goal is to feel good, and ultimately, to lessen the danger of disease and cancer.
  • Drink a lot of water. Water flushes out our body of toxins and a lack of it can cause low energy, fatigue and even headaches.
  • It is relevant to exercise. Think of this like an additional factor to your diet regimen, as the benefits are huge.

2. Moderation. It seems the essential base of any wholesome nutrition plan is moderation. The body requires a balancing of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, fat, fiber, as well as minerals to sustain health.

  • Don’t deprive yourself of any food. If you have a craving for sweet, overly salty, or other unhealthy foodstuffs, begin by cutting the sizes of the portions.
  • Reduce your portions. It seems serving sizes are getting increasingly bigger, so when eating out, opt for a starter instead of an entrée.

3. What is relevant is the way you eat, not just what you eat. Healthy eating habits can be learned. Food is nourishment and not just something to be gulped down for energy.

  • Chew food slowly. It is wonderful to discover the joy of eating.
  • Listen to the body. Stop eating before you feel completely full.
  • Never omit to eat breakfast. A good breakfast can get the metabolism going, as can eating small meals during the day.
  • Don’t eat at night. Eat dinner earlier during the day, as eating when you are the most active can help regulate weight.

4. Consume lots of fruits as well as vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are the basis of a healthy diet, as they have very little calories and are full of vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, and minerals. Eat greens, sweet vegetables and fruits such as berries.

5. Ingest healthy carbs as well as whole grains. Healthy carbs are beans, whole grains, etc. and keep blood sugar stable. Whole grains are barley, whole wheat pasta, millet and brown rice.

6. Benefit from healthy fats but avoid those which are unhealthy. Consume monounsaturated fats from canola, olive and peanut oil, and nuts and seeds. Also add polyunsaturated oils, including omega-3 as well as omega-6 fatty acids, which can be found in all kinds of fish, corn, soybean and walnuts. Avoid saturated fats from animal sources and trans fats which are contained in processed foods.

7. Protein. It is protein which gives our bodies the needed energy to keep going. The protein in food is broken up into twenty amino acids, which are really the building blocks of the body for energy and growth, as well as being key for sustaining tissues, cells, and organs.

8. Calcium is necessary for healthy bones. Calcium is a key building block for enduring bone health. The sources are cheese, yoghurt, vegetables, and milk.

9. Limit your sugar and salt intake. Sugar can enhance health and weight problems. It is best to avoid all sugary drinks and to consume naturally sweet food such as fruit or peppers. Also, most of us take in an excess amount of salt, which can cause high blood pressure. It is best to avoid processed foods and snacks.