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CWD Gaping

Discussion in 'Water Dragons' started by CentriRitanni, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. CentriRitanni

    CentriRitanni Elite Member

    I have a water dragon (Perp) I rescued about 3 months ago, and when I got [her] (still a juvie, so female until proven otherwise), her eyes were crusted shut, and she was emaciated and dehydrated. It was a little trying, but she became much more active and eating better after some treatment. She was healthy. I noticed a week or so ago she was gaping, but only in her basking spot, so I thought nothing of it. Then three days ago she was doing it all over the tank, so I took her to the vet, who cleared her of having any infection and also did a fecal and a blood test. He said she was completely clean and healthy. Today, literally in the same minute she woke up, she went over to her water dish, drank, then started gaping and flicking her tongue. The tongue thing is new to the gaping.

    I've worked on stressors, and spent the weekend figuring out what stressed her out (turns out it was my brother), and yesterday she didn't gape at all. Anyone have any idea what might be causing this behavior?

    She is active, eating well, passing poo, and frolicking in her water. Right now she is in a tank 40"wx18"dx20"h with an incandescent basking light and UVB florescent. I still have her in quarantine, which is why she hasn't been moved to my larger tank yet.

    Temps and humidity have been digitally checked and are normal. 1340011380270.jpg
    Pic attached is The Unknown Perpetrator [Perp]
     
  2. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    Please give us a rundown of how she's being housed...temps, humidity, substrate, lighting and diet :D thanks!
     
  3. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Sounds like she may be too hot. What are your temps? What type of UVB do you have?
     
  4. diehardislanders

    diehardislanders Elite Member

    How much water does she have? My first thought is that she may need water. These lizards swim and like to sink themselves deep in water when stressed. They need alot more water than most people provide for them.
     
  5. CentriRitanni

    CentriRitanni Elite Member

    Basking spot is 89F, rest of tank ranges from 82-88 except hiding hole, which is 78. The UVB light is just a T-8 zoomed light, it doesn't have any specs on it. Substrate is a mix of sand soil and peat.

    Due to her eye problems, she mostly eats earthworms, Mealworms, waxworms, and a little but of vegetation. She can't really catch insects very well, but sometimes I'll rip the back legs off a cricket for her. My older one got into the dermestids' tank and made a massacre, but I haven't fed dermestids to Perp.
     
  6. CentriRitanni

    CentriRitanni Elite Member

    She has ceramic pie dish filled to the brim. She can fully submerge if she chooses.
     
  7. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    Thanks for the info, I still believe she is too hot. Did you just now take the temps? If you don't mind giving us a bit more information such as humidity level and enclosure size, also what type of light are you using for heating? I have a ceramic pie dish but it is only about 2 inches deep, how big is yours?
     
  8. CentriRitanni

    CentriRitanni Elite Member

    The pie dish is just shy of three inches deep, humidity at the moment is 64%, but because of air conditioning my fogger can't keep up, so when the air isn't on, humidity is right around 75%, or just a little over. Size specs are in first post. She had three climbing branches (one right under incandescent light, one under UVB, one right over hiding spot on cool side) all extending from the ground to a top corner.
     
  9. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    How are you measuring the temps? Dial or digital with probe?
     
  10. CentriRitanni

    CentriRitanni Elite Member

    Temps were taken right before the post was made. She is roughly 6" snout to vent and maybe 15" total (haven't measured her in about two weeks and don't want to stress her now). Her body height is about an inch, less than two to the top of her head.

    Like I said, she's still a juvie, but given the condition I got her in, I'm always worried about her, especially when she does things PPE (Purple People Eater, the older CWD) hasn't ever done.
     
  11. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    Oh sorry, I missed that in the first post >.<!!!
    Since you took her to the vet and she was cleared of a RI I would think she is gaping because she is overheated, this is how reptiles let off extra heat, they open their mouths for periods of time...she could possibly be dehydrated as well, does she drink when you spray the enclosure down? You may need to just cover her enclosure to make her feel more safe. Tiny lizards think we want to make a snack out of them :D
     
  12. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    Sorry for the double post but have you heard any wheezing or seen any mucous coming from her snout?
     
  13. CentriRitanni

    CentriRitanni Elite Member

    I have analog stickers to check if something is funky, but I checked with a digital probe thermometer.
     
  14. CentriRitanni

    CentriRitanni Elite Member

    Haven't noticed any telltale noises of respiratory distress, nor has her breathing seemed labored. She actually likes being handled by me (okay, she likes climbing on me and hiding in my hair), and I went through an exhaustive test of finding stressors this weekend. As to dehydrated, I don't think so. She definitely doesn't look dehydrated, and she regularly drinks from her water dish as well as diving into it and splashing around.
     
  15. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, I`d just like to mention that an incandescent lightbulb is good for raising the ambient (air) temps, bad for creating a basking spot, because the heat isn`t directed downwards, but all around. You cannot get accurate readings from the analogue thermometers. I too think the lizard is gaping because it`s too warm.
     
  16. CentriRitanni

    CentriRitanni Elite Member

    Heeding the heat advisory, I dropped the incandescent wattage and moved her water dish to be directly under the incandescent lamp instead of them only partially lining up. Two things: humidity has stabilized (only a 2% fluctuation over 12 hours), and HOLY CRAP SHE IS EATING NONSTOP. Haha, this is not a complaint, I was just surprised. She was already eating quite a bit (though considering she started out emaciated, maybe that gauge was off), but she just ate 20 waxworms, and stayed begging at her bowl, so she got a 9" nightcrawler, then 3 large crickets (with their back legs removed). 4 hours later she was begging at her bowl again, so she got a 7" nightcrawler and 6 cubes of melon (roughly cm^3). 3 hours later she was begging again... and she got another nightcrawler. This herp! :) The tank temp only dropped about 3F overall in daytime temp, but it seems to have made quite a bit of difference.
     
  17. CentriRitanni

    CentriRitanni Elite Member

    I also noticed a trend in her gaping: she only does it right after she gets out of her water dish or directly under the light. The latter doesn't surprise me any, but anyone have a guess why she would do it after getting out of her water dish?
     
  18. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    is her water dish heated?
     
  19. CentriRitanni

    CentriRitanni Elite Member

    Nope. It's just a ceramic pie dish. Nothing special.
     
  20. CentriRitanni

    CentriRitanni Elite Member

    A quick update (and thanks to those of you who have commented so far :) )

    She isn't exactly gaping anymore. She's just sticking her tongue out. Should I be concerned? Part of me wants to take her to a different vet and have her rechecked, but I wanted to know if anyone has seen this sort of behavior before? It's not an emergency, since she was checked, but I also don't want to have a dead dragon because I ignored something I shouldn't have. Any help would be much appreciated.
     

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