If your bearded dragon’s femoral pores are clogged, you should determine if the femoral pore blockages is mild or severe. If it is mild, you can start treating the blockage by giving your dragon warm baths, gently scrubbing them with a soft toothbrush, and changing the conditions of their tank. If the blockage is severe, you need to call a reptile vet.
You may have noticed a line of large pores on the bottom of your bearded dragon’s thighs. These are called femoral glands and they are an important part of the lizard’s biological function. However, they can become clogged sometimes and this can potentially be a serious health problem if left untreated.
What Are Femoral Pores in Bearded Dragons?
Femoral pores in bearded dragons are pores on the underside of the dragon’s hind legs. You can find them on the thighs, and they look like small circles They are generally larger in male bearded dragons and they release a substance that helps the dragon mark their territory and communicate with potential mates.
This is actually similar to the pores that are on your nose. These pores are releasing at least a little bit of oil all the time. Sometimes this oil becomes clogged up in the pores. This creates a form of acne that is called a blackhead.
This is what happens when a person does not wash their face regularly, or if their body naturally produces a lot of oil. This is basically the same idea as what happens with the femoral pores of your bearded dragon.
According to science, the secretion scents are so strong that female bearded dragons are able to use them to determine the quality of a male dragons.
They are able to determine things like health, size, diet, and access to resources, just based on the scent alone.
The scent of the secretions is partially based on the resources that the lizard has available to them, which is how mates know how healthy the other lizard is.
Female lizards are even able to determine how old a male lizard is, just based on the strength of his scent.
On the other hand, female lizards have femoral pores that are only active before they mate. This makes it easy for male lizards to know which female lizards have not mated yet.
Are Clogged Femoral Pores Dangerous?
Yes, clogged femoral pores are dangerous for your bearded dragon. There are a lot of problems that can come from this, including infections, and abscesses.
Some of these problems can require your bearded dragon to get surgery in order to recover from them.
How Do You Know If Your Bearded Dragon’s Femoral Pores Are Blocked?
You can usually tell if the femoral pores of your bearded dragon are blocked by looking at them. If the pores look like they are full and/or if there is a substance coming out, then they are probably clogged up.
You should get into the habit of giving your bearded dragon a warm bath a couple of times per week. We will talk more about this later in the article, but for now it is good to know that these baths are a chance for you to see any early warning signs that something is wrong.
After each bath that you give your lizard, you should inspect their body to see if anything is wrong. One of the silver linings to having these femoral pores get clogged is that it is usually pretty easy to tell when something is wrong with them.
When there is only mild blockage the substance that comes out will probably have a waxy substance texture. It will also probably be clear or have a hint of yellow to it. At first this will just look like a small bump outside of the pore.
If the blockage in your bearded dragon femoral pores is heavy though, then the substance that they secrete might be harder.
At this point the bump will start getting larger and it might curl out a bit. In an extreme case it might even look like a small worm is hanging on to the outside of your bearded dragon’s legs. The buildup is also likely to turn yellow or brown at this point.
Why Do Femoral Pores Get Blocked in Bearded Dragons?
Bearded dragons like to have plenty of room to run around and run their legs on things. This is because if they do not do this, the femoral pores in bearded get blocked and cause them serious pain or health problems.
This problem gets even worse if you choose to use loose substrate, or do not have enough rough objects for them to gently rub their legs against.
This is why you should never use only loose substrate in your bearded dragon’s tank. Instead of loose substrate, you should use reptile carpet, tiles, or paper towels for the substrate in your tank
You should also avoid using smooth substrate in your lizard’s tank, for the same reasons. Smooth substrate includes material such as smooth tile, vinyl, or even newspaper.
Smooth substrate does not provide anywhere close to enough friction for your lizard to rub themselves off on.
Another option is to get a basking rock that your bearded dragon can rub themselves against or relax on. This is another way that you can help prevent clogged pores in bearded dragons.
There are also a few other causes that are known to cause clogged femoral pores in bearded dragons.
These include having a deficiency in Vitamin A or having a tank that is not properly humidified. Your lizard’s tank should be somewhere between 30% to 40% humidity.
It is also important to remember that it is not safe to directly give your lizard Vitamin A. This should be given to them as part of a multivitamin called beta carotene. A good source for this is feeding them carrots.
Another reason why your bearded dragon’s femoral pores might be severely clogged is if they are not getting enough exercise.
When a lizard is inactive for a long period of time, this is called brumation. This lack of exercise will make it a lot easier for the femoral pores to become clogged.
How Do You Unclog Bearded Dragon Femoral Pores?
Whatever you do, you should not try to squeeze femoral pores clog out, especially if it looks like they are severely infected. If the infection is severe your veterinarian will have to perform surgery on your bearded dragon in sterile surgical conditions.
This is because if you allow a systematic infection, or reinfection of an old infection, this can lead to even worse problems for your bearded dragon.
You need to clean your bearded dragon pores, just like you clean the rest of their body. If you let your bearded dragon’s femoral pores get clogged, it will cause your bearded dragon pain, infections, or even abscesses.
The good news is that you likely do not need to do anything unless the clog has become long, the pores are impacted, or the area around them is red or painful.
These are signs that the clog is becoming a bigger problem for your lizard. Until this point, the secretion is likely part of the bearded dragon’s normal biological process.
The first step in treating the bearded dragon clogged pores is to look at their legs. Are they swollen? This could be a sign that there is an abscess. Do they look like they are clogged and infected with pus?
If this is the case, you need to take your bearded dragon to the vet as soon as you can.
Do not try to squeeze the buildup out of the bearded dragon pores yourself. This will make the problem worse and maybe even hurt your dragon.
If the legs and pores do not look swollen or infected, you can try to loosen up the buildup to help your bearded dragon excrete the blocked femoral pores by themselves.
One way that you can help loosen the build up in the pores is to give you bearded dragon a warm bath every day.
You should let your dragon soak in warm water for about half an hour to let the buildup in their pores soften. Adding Pedialyte to the bath will help speed this process up.
The next step is to use a soft toothbrush to gently scrub at the pores. This will help pull out some of the buildup without hurting your dragon.
After the bath it is a good idea to apply an antibiotic such as some Neosporin to your dragon’s femoral pores to help prevent further buildup and infection.
It is especially important to apply antibiotics if you notice that the lizard’s pores are bleeding after you finish scrubbing them.
If this bleeding continues or repeats when you wash them over multiple days, then you should take the bearded dragon to the vet. This is a sign that something is wrong.
The buildup in the pores might still be hard after the bath is over. If this is the case, you should put some olive oil or coconut oil on them overnight.
You should also continue these baths every night until the problem is resolved.
Minor clogs in the femoral pores will probably go away after just a couple of soaks. If the buildup is soft enough after you scrub them after the bath, you can try to use tweezers to gently remove the buildup.
Only do this if the buildup is dramatically softer and never squeeze the buildup out.
How Do You Stop Future Buildups?
After you have removed the buildup from your bearded dragon femoral pores, you should continue giving them these baths a couple of nights every week to prevent bearded dragon clogged pores by their waxy secretion .
After the bath, scrub them with a soft toothbrush. This should become an important part of the dragon’s hygiene routine.
In addition to this, make sure that you have plenty of objects for your dragon to rub themselves against.
This is why you need to make sure you have plenty of branches and rocks in your dragon’s tank.
It is especially important to do this during breeding season. This is when your bearded dragon’s femoral secretions glands are going to be more active than they normally are.
It is normal for your bearded dragon’s pores to secrete waxy secretion to excrete wax from their pores.
It is normal to fill the pores again even after you clean them. However, you need to make sure that you prevent the wax from getting stuck and clogged femoral pores.
There are also a few other strategies that you can use to prevent clogged femoral pores in the future. One of these strategies is to provide them with a quality diet of a wide variety of safe and healthy foods.
Another important strategy is to monitor the humidity level of their tank. The humidity level in their tank should be somewhere between 30% and 40%.
This helps them maintain the proper homeostasis that they need to keep their femoral pore secretions flowing.
Do All Bearded Dragons Have Pores?
Yes, All bearded dragons have femoral pores. However, male bearded dragons have femoral pores that are significantly larger than the femoral pores on female bearded dragons. Additionally, male bearded dragons have femoral pores that are always active.
Female bearded dragons have femoral pores that are only active until they mate. This means that male bearded dragons are easily able to tell if a female bearded dragon has not mated yet.
Do All Lizards Have Femoral Pores?
No, not all lizards have femoral pores, but agamid lizards usually do. Bearded dragons are a type of agamid lizard.
The number of pores and their layout is one of the ways that scientists identify different types of lizards from each other.
These pores get much bigger and more noticeable as the lizard grows up.
It is normal for your bearded dragon to secrete a waxy substance out of their femoral pores. This is an important part of their biological process.
However, if these pores get blocked up then this can potentially turn into a health problem if left untreated.