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Thread: Breathing and Hibernating?

  1. #1

    Default Breathing and Hibernating?

    I have had Priscus about a year and to be honest I'm beginning to wish I hadnt bothered.

    All its been is constant unremitting worry and stress, mostly unneccessary on my part, about this animal. He doesnt do what he's supposed to, he isnt friendly (2 minutes is about his limit when being picked up), I am covered in scratches and I am honestly at my wits end.

    About a month and a half ago he shed and his personality completely changed. He used to come out and bask under the light, usually when I was in the room reading, and he'd watch me. After this shed he slowed down with eating and hides constantly, comes out every 3-4 days for water and food, sleeps almost all the time. He wedges himself back into his favourite hiding place and thats it for however many days, until he needs a drink again and then he wriggles his way out and takes 2 or 3 really long drinks and its back inside again.

    The problem is where he is hiding he cant yawn and his breathing is starting to sound odd. His nostrils are completely clear but in the morning when he wakes up it sounds like there is a lot of goop in his mouth but because of where he is hiding he cant clear it very well. I am really worried about this but there is another problem.. every single time I get him out from there (under bedroom cupboard) and give him nice comfy sleeping box with a pillow - within half an hour he's climbed out and back under. I am not sure whether its the dust irritating him or something worse. I worry that getting him out will cause him unneccessary stress, if its nothing serious. When he comes out and walks around he moves fine standing up on his legs with his tummy off the ground. When he's out and walking around there are no odd breathing noises and he's not short of breath.

    All his food items are supplemented except the eggs (if they have the shells on, otherwise I supplement too). He's not showing any signs of mineral problems (I had bloods done) and he's big and still growing, at least 2+kg, 32 inches long nose to tail tip and a 5 inch front leg. The basking light is a 10.0 reptisun coil with a halogen light/heat element providing the heat at about 155-117f. The room doesnt get below 75f

    I have taken him out on the lead a couple of times when it has been warm enough, the last time he made a spirited attempt to escape, ended up under a neighbours car but I managed to retrieve him. Amazingly fast animal. I dont think I will be taking him out again, as there is no way I could keep up with him. I dont know if anyone else has noticed this, but after a long walk he seemed hotter at the end of the walk than at the beginning despite the sun and temperature being the same.

    I am honestly at my wits end. I got him from a pet shop who delivered him by shoving him into my hand and legging it leaving me with the wrong caresheet (for a varanid) and a nervous animal with dry shed and a missing toe. I have done everything I can think of to try and tame him down, I am gentle with him, I talk to him, stroke him and everything other people have suggested on here just seems to make no effect.

    Sorry for the essay but all the worry about this animal is actually beginning to affect my health..

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    San Antonio,TX
    Posts
    9,504

    Default

    Hi JemmaUK. I'm sorry you have so many problems with your Tegu. What kind of UVA/UVB light do you use ? I don't mean to be rude but taking him outside just every now and then to get natural sunlight isn't enough. The sounds he makes could be from the dust but I'm not sure. Have you tried holding him when he is cold (like when he first wakes up) or right after he ate ? This is usually when they are the calmest. It also helps a lot to have them on a schedule like having the basking and the UVA/UVB light on a timer (12 hours on and 12 hours off) and when to feed him.
    Rich is not how much you have, or where you are going, or what you are.Rich is who you have beside you.

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  3. #3

    Default

    Well, I took him to the vet and as usual he was the star of the show, although the African Grey Parrot wasn't too keen on him (possibly because it thought he was a predator). Got in with the vet and Priscus made his day, I even got a free consultation. I found out that he's put on 1.25kg in 4 months (over 125% gain in bodyweight since february), the vet examined him and said he's the most healthy Tegu and for that matter large lizard he has seen in years. No mouth problems whatsoever, healthy weight and good shape, perfect teeth (I already knew that to my cost, he bit my right hand in march and it *still* hurts).
    I think the breathing noises might be dust and being in a slightly constricted space, its certainly not a RI.
    I'll try the holding after food idea but I have noticed that when he's around strangers or new places he's much calmer when he is held. I was advised by the pet shop to try and hold him by the back of the neck but he's too heavy for that so I support him under the front legs with one hand and under the back legs with the other - I have tried to put him on my arm, but he doesnt like that much, and usually starts flailing with his legs.
    I have noticed something that I think is a little strange, the colder he is the further he extends his legs when he walks, he doesnt do it when he's warmed up.
    I did try picking him up when cold but it hasnt made much difference to how he reacts to me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    San Antonio,TX
    Posts
    9,504

    Default

    How is he doing now ?
    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

  5. #5

    Default

    He seems to be ok, i think he is in semi hibernation. Was very active today so I took him out on grass. He went very odd, sitting on my feet, gaping his jaws when I tried to pick him up and rippling/lashing tail. The reason may well have been a cat sitting upwind. His mouth seems fine, even after his annoying idea to play poop painting with his nose on way back from vets. Am going to adjust his favourite hiding spot by raising cupboard so he has more room. He also seems to be in semi shed, his tummy is blue tinged and Ive put him in bath couple of times, which he now likes, but no shedding.. even though he hasnt shed in over a month. He's avoiding basking lamp and his temps vary between 28 and 32c at moment. In other news four eggs have pipped, Anery and Snow cornsnakes, two of each so far..

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