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Thread: Making peace with my tegu.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    351

    Default Making peace with my tegu.

    I know there are people out there on both sides of the argument, but this post is for people like myself who know that tegus and many other reptiles have feelings, recognise their owners, show affection etc. If you don't believe this that is fine, but this post isn't for that debate.

    My tegu had a recurrent bout of stomatitis, which has been treated and cured. It has been almost a year since. Before that, he would come to me, if I sat on the floor nearby, and rest his head on my leg , cuddle up to me if I held him etc. During the treatment, I had to give him medicine everyday by restraining him, opening his mouth, as well as disinfecting the area where the vet had to debride the stomatitis during which I had to prop his mouth open with this thing the vet gave me, twice a day. He hated it. That is expected. But he no longer likes me and while he isn't aggressive or anything, he doesn't come to me anymore, and will just pretend to sleep when he sees me. I know he is pretending because if I stay there he will open his eyes and quickly close them again if he sees I sm still there. I would then leave and watch him from behind the couch and almost immediately he would get up and roam. Sometimes he is walking about and I get in the room he sees me and lays down on the spot and closes his eyes till I leave. The only times he would not ignore me is when I have food. If he ignores me long enough but I don't leave, he would go and hide. Sometimes I touch him and he would shove me off with a tail whip or sudden movement.

    The vet recommended just leaving him alone and time will make him forget. While I don't usually ask vets for socializing advice, this made sense. So I left him alone, only feeding, changing water, cleaning etc. and an occasional stroke on the back. It's been almost a year now, but he still hates me it seems.

    If he has to hate me, that is fine, as long as he is healthy. But I really hope there is some way I can rebuild this relationship.

    Something good that came out of this is that it got me thinking, and I now have a much better relationship with my father, whom was also over protective like myself to my animals, as I understand his perspective of things. Right or wrong, he did the things he did because he cared about me. I spent my entire late teens until my mid thirties fighting with him, until now. I visit him at least twice a week now and we watch movies together.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    71

    Default

    that's awesome that this experience was able to help u with your relationship with your father. As a father I know that a father role on this earth is to provide love and protect u. Your vet is right give him time and space. The stress of medicating him prolly shocked his system this loving person who cared for it suddenly becomes the boogie man. So it may take over a year, two years but the day he/she realizes that u r not a treat it will be well worth I it
    Hebrews 11:1-Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    351

    Default

    I just think that its been so long perhaps leaving him alone isn't enough. My syrian hamster hated me right off the bat, but now loves me after I discovered that he could be easily bribed with sunflower seeds.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Las Vegas
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    104

    Default

    i have not had this happen with my tegu. but i have had it happen with my green iguana. he got sick when he was about 8 years old or so.

    i had to get him meds by force. for about 4 mouths. he hated me after this. it toke me about a year and a half or so. to get him to come when i called him but after a year of working with him every day. he came to trusting me agin.


    what helped me was making sure when i gave him his food i was right there when he was eating never touching him just watching. when he was done i would give him more food to show him im still his trusting friend.

    try it out see if it helps man. give him some food. only half or so. when you see him done give him the rest on another plate just to the side of him and make sure he see's you put it there
    The ones you love, truly love, Never die. You keep them with you, and like this you keep them alive.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    San Antonio,TX
    Posts
    9,504

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    Don't worry. He will come around again. I know most people would say to wait and I'm not trying to tell you what to do. I had to force feed and give meds to three of our Tegus before. Zeus ( he almost passed away after hibernation in 07), Leo (he got impacted as a baby 07) and Schatzi ( got impacted 09). I never had a problem with them trusting me or cuddling with me after all this. I held them a lot after I had to force feed them to let them know I'm not trying to harm them everything I pick them up. This is a video of Schatzi when I had to force feed her. You can see that she stayed calm. The second video is of Zeus after he got better ( he was just skin and bones after hibernation). He stayed calm, too, after I had to force feed him a lot.



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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    351

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    May I ask what caused the multiple impactions in your tegus? Was it some substrate you were using?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    San Antonio,TX
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    I don't mind you asking. Leonidas was our first Tegu and I didn't know to much about them at this time. The exotic pet store we ordered Leonidas from told us it's OK to feed him inside his enclosure. So I wasn't to worried about it. Well he got impacted by the substrate (link below). He was just a baby and I felt horrible. But everything turned out well. Schatzi got impacted by a rubber cap from a metal door stopper. She was free roaming around and she ate it. After Leo got impacted I stopped feeding them inside the enclosure. So I didn't know what Schatzi could of gotten into until I saw the XR. After a while she pooped it out and was fine.

    This is what Leonidas got impacted from:

    http://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-Reptil.../dp/B001F9AMW6

    This is what Schatzi got impacted from:

    https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q...61129679723571
    Rich is not how much you have, or where you are going, or what you are.Rich is who you have beside you.

    Our videos :

    http://www.youtube.com/user/txrepgirl

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    98

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    Sorry to hear about your experience. I think giving him time/space for a while was definitely the correct answer, but I think its been long enough you can start to take a more active approach and bribe him with food. I think chaos-carl's advice is sound... I'd probably even take it a step farther and lock myself in a small room with him every day, and give him a piece of his favorite food every 10 minutes for an hour until he started to see me as a positive thing again.

    I recently had a similar experience, and while this won't do you any good after the fact, it might help other people in similar situations in the future: A couple months ago we had to have about 1/2 of MacGyver's tail amputated because he smacked it on a wall, ruptured blood vessels, and the tissue died. After the amputation, we had to give him epidural antibiotic injections every 3 days for a month. He really didn't like being poked with needles, and we really hated having to do it... I was scared he was going to hate me afterwards. I made sure he was really calm and relaxed before the injections, and immediately afterwards I gave him a couple jumbo shrimp to take his mind off what happened. He loves shrimp, and seemed to work. He instantly forgot about what happened and went into shrimp-eating-mode.

    I'm sure your gu will come around. The fact that he just ignores/hides from you seems like a good sign that the process is reversible with proper motivation. If he was threatening to bite you every time you got close to him I'd be much more worried. Stick in there and he'll remember how much he loves you.
    MacGyver's YouTube channel @ http://www.youtube.com/user/todeyius

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