Dehydration is one of the leading causes of death in baby dragons. Many owners have basking temps too high, which causes dehydration at an even greater pace.
Soaking regularly is the easiest way to try and prevent dehydration. Dragons do not absorb water through the vent, as was commonly believed in the past. Soaking allows dragons a chance to drink and also cools them off.
Feeding a balanced diet is also a good step towards preventing dehydration. Greens and veggies can be misted, and horn worms, which can be given as treats, are high in water content.
The main cause of impaction is improper husbandry. Feeders don't cause impaction. Sand doesn't cause impaction. Improper care does cause impaction. This is why, especially for new owners, its important to constantly reinforce proper temps, proper diet, and feeding size-appropriate prey to dragons.
So ... you think your dragon may be impacted due to whatever care issue and aren't sure what to do? Here's a few things you can try.
1. A warm bath of around 100 degrees often helps. The reason why is because the water enters the bottom of the vent opening and relaxes the muscles, causing a bowel movement. No, dragons don't absorb water through their vents. No, putting a dragon in water in hopes of helping a bowel movement along won't harm your dragon, as what's been rumored recently in the dragon community. The people saying that it will have no clue (apparently) as to how the digestive system works and what "feces" actually is made of.
2. A small amount of plain pumpkin often thelps. The pumpkin acts as a slight laxative. Note this is pumpkin (canned is fine) and not pumpkin pie filling, since people often confuse the two.
3. A few drops of pure olive oil will usually help and is not harmful to dragons.
MBD "is" the primary reason why lighting needs to stay updated and why good care needs to be provided, both in diet and in supplementing your dragons well. I worked with several dragons a few years ago that had advanced stages of MBD and in my opinion, MBD is caused by poor conditions, primarily lack of adequate lighting and lack of proper calcium supplementation, and is exacerbated by poor temps and poor diet. MBD is a progressive disease and therefore worsens as time goes on, with conditions that don't change.
Treatment for MBD varies based on the stage at which the MBD is diagnosed. Diagnosis takes place from a vet through a combination of physical exam, blood tests to determine blood calcium levels, and oftentimes x-rays. An evaluation of bone density, blood levels, and physical signs are then used to prepare an appropriate treatment plan.
With very advanced MBD where the dragon cannot walk properly, can't eat on their own, and other such signs, oftentimes the most humane option is to euthanize the animal, so that s/he doesn't have to suffer through a painful, long road where reversal of severe MBD would be impossible on a full-scale.
Treatment options, when detected early enough, include primarily a chance in conditions, instruction on proper diet and supplementing, and oftentimes calcium injections and/or the use of a liquid calcium supplement.
Many people ask me how to get rid of mites. I actually live in an area where mites, ticks, and other little creatures are prevalent. Mites are difficult to extinguish completely from a habitat. It takes a great deal of time and effort.
To get rid of mites, I would do the following:
1. Throw out all porous surfaces. I would seriously just replace the basking logs and other contents.
2. Remove all substrate and put paper towels down. They'll need to be changed every day after you clean with a reptile mite cleaner.
3. Clean, clean, clean, and clean again. Mites can only go away forever with constant cleaning and disinfecting, once you have a mite infestation.
4. Soak your dragon every day while treating for mites. Any remaining mites should float off in the water. Check your dragon's eye areas, as its a common spot for mites to conglomerate.
The main zoonosis (disease capable of transferring from dragons to people) is salmonella. The main mode of transmission is through the dragon's feces. Its very simple to prevent the transfer of this disease -- wash your hands after cleaning your dragon's cages.
Simple hygiene and refraining from putting your hands in your mouth while or after cleaning your dragon's cage and before proper hand washing are all that's needed to prevent any incidence of salmonella.
Yellow fungus is a devastating disease in dragons. By the time that its noticed on the outside in the form of fungus areas, its already started to eat away at the insides of the dragon. There is no cure for yellow fungus. Certain medications can delay future outbreaks but it cannot be cured. Its a painful disease and humanely putting the animal to sleep is the best option, to prolong an animal from suffering, with yellow fungus.
The causes, symptoms, and other detailed information can be found by clicking here.