Anatomy and physiology of bearded dragons are described in the introduction and literature review as well as radiographic investigations.
For the present study twelve bearded dragons were examined radiographically. In winter and summer a contrast study of the gastrointestinal tract was performed. Normal passage times should be determined. Additionally a possible difference between winter and summer passage times should be evaluated. Six bearded dragons were kept by a private owner in single terrariums. The six other animals belonged to the Museum of Natural History in Vienna and were kept as a group. Simple plastic boxes with light bulbs were used to house the bearded dragons during the contrast studies at the university. A constant temperature between 27°C and 29°C existed throughout the study. The only variable parameter between winter and summer was the duration of natural light through a window. Bariumsulphate in a dosage of 15 ml/kg was administered orally. The x-rays were performed immediately after administration of bariumsulphate and after 15 min, 30 min, 45 min, 1 h, 2h, 4 h, 6 h, 9 h, 24 h, 33 h, 48 h, 72 h and 96 h. The different sections of the gastrointestinal tract were clearly distinguishable. The contrast media was eliminated after 270 hours on an average in winter and after 159,3 hours in summer. The colon showed the biggest difference in passage times when comparing summer and winter: the passage time was markedly prolonged in winter.