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What Is Yellow Fungus?

Yellow fungus, also known as CANV (Chrysosporium anamorph of Nannizziopsis Vriesii) is a nasty contagious infection which can affect many reptiles including bearded dragons, there have been some very rare cases of humans contracting yellow fungus but only in cases where the person has been severely impacted by other health problems that have compromised their immune system and yellow fungus is not zoonotic which means humans cannot catch it from bearded dragons.

The symptoms of yellow fungus vary by the severity and the length of time that the condition has been there. Early signs include lethargy, decreased or non existent appetite, weight loss. As time goes on you will notice more severe signs of the infection such as discolored yellow, brown or gray patches, crusty dark yellow patches that appear to be coming out of the vent area that appear to shed but reveal open weeping sores, open lesions, slow healing of all wounds and sores, sunken eyes and eventually necrosis of the limbs and body. One of the nasty aspects of this condition is that it usually begins internally so the only signs you will have that it is present are the earlier symptoms, by the time that the visible conditions on the scales are present the disease has already been progressing for an amount of time which makes it difficult to treat which is why it’s important to seek veterinary attention as soon as possible. Unfortunately in a lot of cases this makes it very difficult to manage and it can only be slowed down, however if caught early enough with aggressive treatment, oral anti fungal medications, medicated baths and other topical treatments and it can either be slowed down to prolong the lifespan of the dragon or possibly be treated.

The main reasons that your dragon could contract yellow fungus are poor hygiene; this is one reason it is important to keep your tank and anything that’s used in it clean and to remove any fecal matter and old food from the enclosure as soon as possible. Humidity can also play a part, if your humidity is too high then this can promote bacterial and fungal growth, ideally you want the humidity to be around 30% to 40% but lower is fine, low humidity is a better problem to have to deal with than high humidity, removing their water bowl and letting them drink by dropper or spray bottle can be a good way to achieve this. Also a dragon with a compromised immune system will be more likely to contract yellow fungus so if your dragon seems sick it is important to get this addressed asap as it can lead to worse problems that just the sickness itself. Yellow fungus is extremely contagious and one of the most common causes is simply them contracting it from other dragons, if you have brought a new dragon home it is important for you to enact quarantine procedures until your new addition is given a clean bill of health, so that your other reptiles do not catch anything from your new dragon. Washing your hands after handling your reptile before handling another one is important as is ensuring there are no other forms of direct or indirect contact.
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