Bearded Dragon Googly Eyes: Should You Be Worried? - Beardie basics (2023)

Every now and then a bearded dragon pokes out their eyes. While this can be alarming, especially when you first see it, it is typical behavior.

Usually, the googly eye lasts for a moment before your bearded dragon returns to normal. Nobody really knows why they do it, but a few theories are floating around.

In this article, we examine the possible reasons why bearded dragon eyes pop out so you can figure out why your bearded dragon's eyes look slightly different.

Anatomy of the Bartagamenauges

A bearded dragon's two eyes are located on the sides of its skull. Because of their location, bearded dragons can see more than humans and have broader vision.

In humans, with our eyes forward, our focus is on what lies ahead. Although some peripheral vision reaches our shoulders, we have to move our body or neck to change what we see.

With bearded dragons, they can see over their shoulders and in front of them at the same time.

You may also have heard that bearded dragons have a third eye! This is barely visible and isn't like your other two eyes. This third eye appears as a gray patch between his other eyes and the top of his skull.

IsBearded dragons third eyeit will not bulge! Although it has no vision, it is vital to the bearded dragon's survival. It recognizes changes in light, protecting the bearded dragons from predators and regulating their circadian rhythm.

Bearded Dragon Googly Eyes: Why Does It Happen?

There are many fascinating behaviors when it comes to bearded dragons. However, the bearded dragon's bulging eye is one of its most intriguing and unusual behaviors.

It can be unsettling and disconcerting when you see the bulging eyes of a bearded dragon; Realistically, nobody knows why they do it. Experts are trying to figure out why this is happening, but have a few theories.

Possible reasons are:

  • Asupport the relocation process
  • Because of high blood pressure
  • eye problems
  • yawning
  • genetic traits

Let's take a closer look at these.

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To support the molting process

The most debated theory about bearded dragons' protruding eyes relates to the molting process.

Bearded dragons are believed to pout their eyes to loosen up the tight skin around the eyes and on the eyelids in preparation for molting. Experts believe this is because bearded dragons tend to do this more frequently when they are younger and baby dragons shed much more frequently than adults.

Unlike snakes with their one-piece scales, bearded dragons shed in different places, making it more difficult. In addition, there are often stubborn dandruff that take longer to disappear. This is usually in the tail area and around the toes but can also affect the face.

The molting process isn't pleasant either, so the protruding eye could help speed it up so it ends quicker.

Before, during or after the shed?

Some bearded dragon owners report their beards bulging before and during the molting process. However, some report that this happens for a short time after the shed is completed.

This could be explained by the fact that the bearded dragon ensures that all loose skin is removed.


Although bulging eyes can be a normal behavior, they can also be a concern. Another expert reason suggests that high blood pressure could cause bulging eyes.

Some other lizards, like the horned lizard, are known to raise blood pressure behind their eyes to defend themselves. Bearded dragons can do this too.

There is no concrete evidence for this theory. Still, it would be logical to assume that the bulging eyes of bearded men could also be due to this.

However, if your bearded man is doing this for more than an hour or several times in a short period of time, you should have his blood pressure checked by a reptile vet.

eye problems

Another reason bearded men have protruding eyes could be due to actual eye problems. This can be as simple as an itch, a foreign object in the eye, or a bacterial infection.

If you suspect an infection, whether bacterial or fungal, you should always have your bearded dragon checked out by a reptile veterinarian.

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A bearded dragon eye infection can also show swollen, bulging eyes.

Yawning and bulging eyes

Many bearded dragon owners think that bulging eyes occur when a bearded dragon yawns or after they yawn. But then again, there's no evidence to support this theory, so it could be a connection.

genetic traits

Sometransform bearded dragonshave more bulging eyes than other episodes. Silkbacks are notorious for this, and it's perfectly normal behavior to googly-eyed at these morphs.

It's just something they do and has nothing to do with the presence of a foreign body or high blood pressure.

What do bearded dragons googly eyes look like?

If you've heard of it but never seen it, you'll be surprised.

The bulging eye that bearded dragons make is quite memorable and not subtle at all. You should familiarize yourself with what it looks like so you don't mistake an eye infection for a simple nodule.

Do all bearded dragons have protruding eyes?

Although all bearded dragons will likely bulge their eyes, some will not do so at all.

Some bearded dragons often buckle, others rarely or never. So it might be possible to have a bearded dragon and not see his googly eyes until a few years later.

It's coincidence: you can see a googly eye several times in a row and never see it again.

How long do bulging eyes last?

If you notice a bearded dragon's eyes popping out, it will likely take anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. After that, you probably won't see them for a while.

You may see your pet doing this for over an hour from time to time, especially if you are trying to loosen all of the skin around the eyes to shed them.

You can still see this when you're not moving for other reasons. However, in terms of time head start, they are generally short.

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Are Bearded Dragons' Bulging Eyes Unhealthy?

Most bearded dragons have protruding eyes for innocuous reasons. That doesn't mean there's anything wrong with your beard. However, as always, if you're concerned, have your bearded dragons checked out.

After all, nobody really knows what causes bulging eyes, so it's worth getting checked out by your doctor.

If the eye bulge occurs from a fall, it's probably nothing to worry about. However, if bearded ones show this behavior for several days and do not go through the molt, you should seek advice.

It's probably nothing sinister, but it's always best to get it checked out.

Is there anything I can do to help bearded protruding eyes?

There isn't much you can or should do when your bearded man has bulging eyes. However, if you're concerned about your barber's blood pressure or his eyes popping out repeatedly for more than an hour, it's probably good to see a veterinarian.

Whatever the reason, it's a good idea to take this opportunity to check out your bearded dragon's habitat to make sure it's set up properly. That meansControl of temperature and humidity.

Regarding the temperature, you need to check that it is right in the coolest areas of the enclosure and in the basking spot. You can buy some relatively cheap temperature guns online if you don't have a reliable temperature gauge.

As far as humidity is concerned, it is also important to get it right. Although shedding is natural, bearded dragons will find it difficult to shed if the humidity is not right, which can result in more bulging eyes.

Signs of eye problems in bearded dragons

Healthy bearded dragons have bright, clear, and alert eyes.

Aside from the bump in the eye, there may be other things wrong with your bearded dragon's eyes.

If you notice dull eyes, it could be due to molting or it could mean something isn't quite right. If there is a discharge, it likely indicates that there is an infection that needs treatment.

Swollen eyes

Suppose your bearded dragon has a swollen eye instead of an eye bump. In this case, it could be due to hypervitaminosis A, which means they've been consuming too much vitamin A.

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Vitamin A is important for a healthy immune system and contributes to organ and eye health. However, bearded dragons can also consume too much. This is unlikely to be the case if you feed your bearded man an appropriate diet and do not supplement him with vitamin A.

However, you should pay attention to foods that are rich in vitamin A and not overfeed your beloved darling.

eye injury

If your bearded man has an injury or a scratch on his eye, you can see his eye is swollen. Because even bearded dragons close their eyes with such injuries.

Here are some common reasons for eye injuries:

  • bad substrate
  • Sharp objects in close proximity
  • Live food not eaten on site.

Using a loose particulate substrate like sand can cause eye irritation. In this case, you should change the substrate to, for example, reptile carpet or ceramic tiles and then get eye drops from your reptile vet.

To avoid this and use a solid substrate, be sure to remove uneaten live feeder insects after 20 minutes. Released insects can cause damage when they attack.


Another possible eye problem is due to tumors. These can be growths around the eye or in the eye itself. But again, you'll need to take your bearded dragon to the vet if you suspect tumors.

Final Thoughts on the Bearded Dragon's Googly Eyes

While it's hard to say why your bearded dragon's eyes are popping out, it's important to remember that most of the time it's completely harmless.

First, it could be due to skin shedding or some other innate behavior to regulate blood pressure.

All you need to do is monitor your bearded dragon and see a vet if the bulging eye lasts for more than an hour.

It's also important to know what bulging eyes look like so you don't confuse puffy eyes with the bulging eyes of a bearded man.

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What does a sick bearded dragon look like? ›

Sick beardies may seem weak or grumpy, and they may hide and/or stop basking. Shaking, dizziness, head tilting, and loss of balance are also red flags.

What does a bearded dragon eye infection look like? ›

When a beardie's eyes droop so that he or she looks like a bloodhound, he or she may have an infection or a problem with parasites. It's also possible that your pal may have kidney issues. Swollen/puffed out eyes are also something to watch out for.

What is abnormal Behaviour in bearded dragons? ›

Abnormal and undesirable behaviors of bearded dragons include: Lethargy. Wobbly walking. Lack of movement.

What does a stressed bearded dragon look like? ›

Depending on your dragon, stress marks may look like dark lines, ovals, or spots, or your dragon's entire beard may be black even while it is not expanded. Sometimes, the stress marks will be found on your dragon's limbs in addition to her belly. If you notice stress marks on your bearded dragon, don't panic.

What does a dehydrated beardie look like? ›

Signs of Dehydration in Your Bearded Dragon

Wrinkly, dry-looking skin. Loose skin. Sunken eyes. Fatigue.

Can you get sick from a bearded dragon? ›

Bearded dragons can carry Salmonella germs that can spread to you and make you sick. Always take steps to stay healthy around your bearded dragon. Bearded dragons can carry Salmonella germs in their droppings even if they look healthy and clean.

Why does my bearded dragons eye look cloudy? ›

If the cloudiness is behind the iris (the colored portion of the eye), behind the pupil, then chances are that your dragon could be suffering from cataracts. The cloudiness is usually not homogeneous in appearance.

How do I know if my beardie is infected? ›

Affected lizards may sneeze, have discharge from their eyes or nose, bubbles from the mouth or nose, unnaturally rapid or shallow breathing, open-mouthed breathing, decreased appetite, and lethargy. These cases call for immediate attention and aggressive therapy from your bearded dragon's veterinary team.

What should a healthy beardie look like? ›

Appearance. A healthy dragon is not skinny. It should have plump fat pads, eyes that are not sunken in but full and out, no discoloration in the scales. The base of the tail should be full, and its hip bones should not be protruding and visible.

How do I know if my bearded dragon is not getting enough calcium? ›

Signs of Calcium Deficiency in Bearded Dragons
  1. Lack of appetite.
  2. Lethargy and weakness.
  3. Stress.
  4. Constipation.
  5. Receded lower jaw.
  6. Swollen limbs and jaw.
  7. Bumps along the spine or bones.
  8. Soft jaw and facial bones.
Jan 22, 2021

When should I take my bearded dragon to the vet? ›

How Often Should a Bearded Dragon Visit the Vet? It is recommended that you have your dragon vet checked every 6-12 months. Regular health checks will allow for the early detection of disease and illness.

What are the first signs of MBD in bearded dragons? ›

MBD does have some specific warning signs. These include swelling of the face, mouth and/or back legs, lethargy, and trembling limbs. In more severe cases, we may also see muscle twitching, general weakness, unusual postures, and deformities.

How active should bearded dragons be? ›

Bearded dragons should spend at least 30 minutes outside of their terrarium a day. The more often they are out (without getting cold or away from their UVB bulbs too often) the more docile they can become.

How do you comfort a bearded dragon? ›

A warm bath (85-92 F) will relax your beardie, as well as giving them a chance to clean and hydrate themselves. Offer food daily. Alongside their normal greens, offer food daily, even if they are disinterested. This will help the beardie to positively associate with you.

Does bathing a bearded dragon hydrate them? ›

In addition to providing a water dish and hydrating foods like cucumbers and grapes, baths can be a great way to keep your dragon hydrated. Many dragons refuse to drink from a water dish but will drink from their bath (maybe yours is one of them!).

What is the fastest way to hydrate a bearded dragon? ›

What are some natural ways to encourage a bearded dragon to drink and hydrate?
  1. Have a soaking dish in your dragon's enclosure so that they can soak anytime.
  2. Add Reptile Electrolytes to the soaking dish.
  3. Offer your Bearded Dragon a warm soak in a tub with added electrolytes once every 7-10 days.

How can I hydrate my bearded dragon fast? ›

  1. Offer water or diluted electrolyte solutions such as sports drinks, Pedialyte or Ricelyte near the reptile's head for easy, convenient drinking.
  2. Use an eyedropper or needle-less syringe to drip water onto the reptile's snout. As the reptile licks the moisture off, continue offering drinks in this way.

Can you take a bearded dragon into Walmart? ›

We do not allow pets in our stores.

How easy is it to get Salmonella from reptiles? ›

Salmonella bacteria are easily spread from reptiles to humans. Humans may become infected when they place their hands on objects, including food items, that have been in contact with the stool of reptiles, in their mouths.

How common is it to get Salmonella from a bearded dragon? ›

Epidemiologic and laboratory data show that contact with pet bearded dragons is making people sick in both outbreaks. Illnesses have been reported from 15 states and as of Oct. 12, 2022, 8 of the 23 illnesses have required hospitalizations. Sick people range in age from less than 1 to 75 years.

What is stargazing disease in bearded dragons? ›

Adenoviruses are highly environmentally resistant viruses that often cause illness of the gastrointestinal tract and liver. This virus, which is also referred to as Atadenovirus, "wasting disease," or "star-gazing disease," has been known to spread to the kidneys, brain, and bone marrow in reptiles.

Why is my bearded dragon looking out the glass? ›

Glass surfing is thought to be a result of stress and a bearded dragon may be stressed for several reasons: An enclosure or tank that's too small for it can stress a bearded dragon out. Another bearded dragon, even if they're not housed together, may be interpreted as competition for a bearded dragon and cause stress.

Why is bearded dragons Pee white? ›

The white color is the urate or their pee – waste product from your beardie's kidneys. Bearded dragons don't pee, so urates come out with their BM.

How long can a bearded dragon go without eating? ›

How Long Can A Bearded Dragon Go Without Food? As desert dwelling reptiles, bearded dragons can go weeks without food, sometimes a few months. This allows them to survive in their native habitat when food sources are scarce. In captivity, this usually occurs during brumation.

What are common bearded dragon illnesses? ›

Common health conditions of pet bearded dragons include CANV, atadenovirus, metabolic bone disease, parasites, infectious stomatitis ('mouth rot'), and respiratory infections. "If they are well looked after, including proper diet and husbandry, bearded dragons are reasonably hardy animals."

What to do for a sick bearded dragon? ›

Take your bearded dragon to a veterinarian.

If you suspect that your bearded dragon is sick, you should have it looked at by a vet. A vet can assess the animal's health and run tests to find out exactly what is causing your pet to be unwell. Find a vet that specializes in reptiles, known as a herp vet.

What are the early signs of MBD in bearded dragons? ›

MBD does have some specific warning signs. These include swelling of the face, mouth and/or back legs, lethargy, and trembling limbs. In more severe cases, we may also see muscle twitching, general weakness, unusual postures, and deformities.

Do bearded dragons change color when sick? ›

They Change Color When They Are Sick

Some of the more common causes for red on your bearded dragon indicate: Staining - It could be that your dragon was stained by something red within its environment, so look around for anything that might've gotten on its skin.

What does a calcium deficiency in a bearded dragon look like? ›

Signs of Calcium Deficiency in Bearded Dragons

Lethargy and weakness. Stress. Constipation. Receded lower jaw.

What do sick bearded dragons eat? ›

For an ill bearded dragon, I recommend soaking bearded dragon pellets in a sports drink and then putting them in the blender to make a gruel or smoothie that can be easily syringe-fed to him. If you choose to locate another herp veterinarian, you have a couple of ways to find one.

How can I quickly hydrate my bearded dragon? ›

  1. Offer water or diluted electrolyte solutions such as sports drinks, Pedialyte or Ricelyte near the reptile's head for easy, convenient drinking.
  2. Use an eyedropper or needle-less syringe to drip water onto the reptile's snout. As the reptile licks the moisture off, continue offering drinks in this way.

Can you get sick from holding a bearded dragon? ›

You can get sick from touching your bearded dragon or anything in its environment and then touching your mouth or face and swallowing Salmonella germs. Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching or feeding your bearded dragon and after touching or cleaning the area where it lives and roams.

How active should a bearded dragon be? ›

Bearded dragons should spend at least 30 minutes outside of their terrarium a day. The more often they are out (without getting cold or away from their UVB bulbs too often) the more docile they can become.

How should a healthy bearded dragon look? ›

A healthy bearded dragon should have bright eyes, a strong appetite, smooth skin, and an overall alert and active disposition. Additionally, its beard should be a vibrant grey or yellow in color, and its scales should be a uniform brown or tan.

What does coccidia look like in bearded dragons? ›

diarrhoea with or without blood, weight loss and depression, anorexia (not eating) or vomiting after eating, or. poor growth and/or death in both young and old or unwell reptiles.

What does scale rot look like on a beardie? ›

Check regularly for early signs of scale rot: Skin or scales are cracked and crusty. Raised or swollen scales. Red, brown, or otherwise dark discolored skin, especially near the tail or on the abdomen.

What color do bearded dragons turn when stressed? ›

Beardies will often darken or turn black if threatened or upset. If your bearded dragon's coloration of skin becomes lighter, it could be due to an impending shed.

What color is bearded dragon vomit? ›

When bearded dragons become over-hydrated, they will throw up water. The vomit of a bearded dragon that has consumed too much water will be clear and slimy. Their vomiting may be accompanied by a rocking motion, which is normal.

How do I know if my bearded dragon is scared? ›

When bearded dragons become very stressed, dark markings can appear on its belly and chin. These marks are a sure indication of stress. It can be very common to bearded dragons that you have recently acquired. The stress marks may go away in a few days once it has become accustomed to its new home.


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