CAN BEARDED DRAGON EAT AVOCADO?
No, they cannot. Avocado is a fruit that has high fat nutritional concentration which can cause high cholesterol build up in the blood vessels of your dragon. When cholesterol builds up in the body, the heart is affected, blood pressure begins to rise and even blood clotting becomes almost impossible. Symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, lungs infection and death is prone to occur due to the presence of a fungicidal toxin called persin passed from the seed to the fruit skin capable of harm to your dragon. Oxalic acid is also very high in avocado. Read on to know more.
Avocado is a medium sized fruit, grouped under the laurel family of dark green glossy leaves tree. Sometimes is also referred to as alligator pears, butter fruit and large berry. It has a large seed imbedded on the inside with a rough green surface and a buttery look when opened up. They appear in a variety of shapes spherical, elongated spherical, circular and the likes. It is useful for making smoothies and salad like the Mexican guacamole which has now being adopted in most international cuisine as a condiment. It originates from the highland regions of southcentral Mexico to Guatemala and a native to the Americas. They are best grown under warm climatic condition and said to produce a large amount of monounsaturated fatty acid. Through avocado, vitamin C, E, K and B6 is derived followed by potassium, pantothenic acid, folate, riboflavin, niacin, phosphorous and magnesium.
Looking at the avocado fruit, most especially when opened up. It seems like the best kind of fruit to give to your dragon considering the fact that it feels soft, attractive and very edible but due to some reasons that would be further discussed in this article it is not advisable to feed this to your bearded dragon.
REASONS TO EXCLUDE AVOCADO FROM YOUR DRAGON’S DIET
This is called persin. Persin, this is an oil soluble substance that kills fungi and its obtainable in avocado which is similar to fatty acid. The seed of the avocado fruit has a high level of persin which leaches to the fleshy part of the fruit. From research it is recorded that this does not have any effect on humans aside from those with some allergies but in animals due to its toxic nature the reverse is the case. The excess intake of avocado in domestic animals like the bearded dragon could expose them to problems like diarrhea, respiratory infection, and even death as difficulty in breathing will also be encountered. Fatty acid can also cause coronary heart disease based on consistent consumption.
Avocado fruit has this as one of the nutrients that makes up the nutritional values obtainable in it. Too much of everything is bad and this is as well applicable to food intake. Too much intake of food substances that has vitamin b6 can lead to loss of muscle control which can hinder voluntary movement coordination and from the sound of this it can be very painful. This is not what you want for your dragon. Bearded dragons are known to have beautiful and attractive skin with color variance but is prone to skin disfiguring due to vitamin b6 overdose. Nausea and heartburn is also an inevitable evidence that affect animals that has too much vitamin b6 stored up in their system.
Too much intake of magnesium can be dangerous to the body of your pet dragon and avocado is one of its high sources. It can cause low blood pressure, urine retention, constant vomiting, central nervous system malfunctioning, leathery and sometimes lead to death.
This is a common word often used in describing gross fatness and overweight. To prevent this, most people do indulge in what is called diet control meaning to watch what is being absorbed into the body system. Avocados have high calories, in which its excesses are stored up as fat. The calory in avocado is about 160, while fat is about 14.7g. Considering the fact that a bearded dragon is gentle in nature, the tendency for them to burn out fat is low thereby encouraging more calories to be stored up in their body system. Feeding avocado to your dragon is not the best option as fat can cause obesity which increases the risk of heart diseases, diabetes and high blood pressure.
PHOSPHOROUS TO CALCIUM
Calcium is needed more in the body the bearded dragon as it helps build and maintain strong bones, proper functioning of the heart, muscles and nerves. It is also advisable to take in vitamin D as it enhances calcium absorption into the body. Calcium works in alignment with vitamin D to help fight against cancer diabetes and high blood pressure. Unfortunately, the level of phosphorous to calcium is higher in avocado. If phosphorous is higher than calcium in the blood, calcium absorption into the body will be drastically affected.
OXALIC ACID OR OXALATES
Oxalic acid, this is not suitable for the health of your dragon. Avocado has very high oxalic acid content, which in most cases hinders the processing of calcium in the body. It binds with calcium and other essential minerals supplied into the body through the intake of external food substances and prevents them from being absorbed into the blood stream for healthy purposes. Once oxalic acid becomes excess in the body of your dragon it can cause vital damages to the skeletal system over a long period of time called metabolic bone disease. This disease has visual symptoms like fracture in the bones, paralysis of the limbs, uncontrollable shaking in the limbs, show of weakness and the likes.
Remember that breaded dragons do not have teeth to chew they mostly consume their meals by swallowing. The best way for a bearded dragon to consume an avocado is in a meshed form. If they consume it in its original form the rigidity of the fruit might lead to choking which might lead to death through suffocation.
Should in case your bearded dragon ingests avocado, ensure that you see to the ejection of the toxic persin from their system fast. As any further delay can lead to respiratory problems. Their body would show rejection, through constant vomiting in order to get the toxic persin out of their system. Signs will start to show that they are beginning to experience difficulty in breathing. Once the persin starts to circulate round their body, this can lead to instant death. Contact the nearest herpetologist, a reptile specialist around you if you are confused about what to do.