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Help! Water Monitor Not Eating

Discussion in 'Monitors' started by William DaCosta, Sep 25, 2017.

  1. hello my name is bill and just a couple days ago I acquired a mistreated Asian water monitor. I am an experienced keeper, I’ve kept pythons, iguanas and all sorts of geckos. Nothing on the scale of a water monitor but motherless I know the ins and outs of herping. However these monitors are the next level for me. I have a 11inch baby water monitor who is very skinny and most likely stressed out. I got her from an expo near me and I felt bad and thought I could nourished her back to good health. I have read up plenty on these animals and I know what I’m doing for the most part I just would love to hear from a more experienced person to make sure I’m doing everything right. She is currently in a 40 gal breeder with the back covered and 2 hides. The substrate is mulchy so it holds humity good and I covered 90% of the screen top to ensure the humity stays in, I mist the cage at least 4 times a day to keep it high. The hot spot is around 120 and the high side is around 90 and low is around 80. My issue is that she will not eat no matter what I give her and she is thin. I’m very afraid to see her die I want to do everything in my power to bring her back to good health without having to see a vet. I have offered eggs, pinkies, crickets, roaches and as a last resort dog food. She just doesn’t want to eat even though I believe I provided the proper conditions to establish an appetite. She really just wants to hide all day. Keep in mind she has only been in this enclosure 2 days so I’m sure she is still stressed but she is also thin and I’m not sure how much longer she could go with out eating. I know this was long but hopefully I provided enough information in this post so I don’t get too many questions about her and the enclosure and I get quick and detailed advice. I included a picture for accuracy. Thank you so much!
     

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  2. Jacob Eddy

    Jacob Eddy Active Member

    You can’t try feeding him a mazourri crocodilian diet, try letting him soak and swim in a containers filled with Luke warm water
     
  3. Thank you its something I will certainly try
     
  4. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member


    Hi, can you put a few photos up of the whole enclosure, it`s of paramount importance to provide everything the monitor needs right now, fishtanks are not at all suitable. There is no point in discussing diet at this time and please do not take offense, my comments are only to help you help the animal.
     
  5. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Food is the least of the monitor`s problems just now, the animal needs to be in a proper enclosure with supportive conditions urgently.
     
  6. Thank you for trying to help, I promise I won’t take any offense or criticism that you have as I am always learning new things. I included a picture of her habitat. I had just gotten home and it seemed that she was exploring her cage and may have eaten a few crickets but I’m not sure. I used stones to raise a ceramic tile closer to the light to provide a hot spot and the way I did it also provides a hide underneath the tile. I was thinking it would be helpful. I’m open to any and all suggestions. Also I heard it was ok to use an aquarium to temporarily house them as long as they were provided with proper privacy?
     

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  7. TamJam

    TamJam Elite Member

    Hi there, what a little sweetheart you have there, and thanks for trying to help him recover from poor treatment.

    If I was him, I would want those glass walls to be covered with some sheets of that nice aquarium paper with the jungle print. Make me feel more secure. And just give me the right conditions and food, and time by myself.
     
  8. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    I just typed out along reply then lost internet connection, give me 5 minutes...
     
  9. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Here goes again... Fishtanks are not at all suitable; no privacy, coming at them from above (as many predators do) all increase the stress. The best way to get them off to a decent start is to house them in a solid wooden enclosure either large enough to last at least a year or better still permanently, repeatedly moving them is also extremely stressful, and obviously more expensive for the keeper.
    How soon would you be able to provide something much more supportive?
    Can you tell me how you measure the ambient and basking surface temps and humidity range, also what type and wattage are the heat/light bulbs?
    You need to cover the whole top as completely as possible otherwise you`ll never stabilise the conditions.
     
    TamJam likes this.
  10. I can find some scrap wood and start building a cage asap, I was planning on doing this anyhow. In the meantime I guess I will cover up the walls of the aquarium to give her privacy? Also the top of the aquarium has been covered since day 1 to ensure humity stays in. I got that part down already. She has 2 lamps, one has a 75w bulb and the other is 100w for the hotspot. I used a friends probe to measure the hot spot at 120. I wouldn’t have an accurate way to measure ambient temps at the moment but considering the cage is sealed and covered up I am confident it is well insulated and I will further insulate it when I cover the walls of the aquarium. I’m open to any other advice/ suggestions. Will she start taking food better once she feels less stressed?
     
  11. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    In your first post you said the top was 90% covered, that will still mean a significant amount of heat and humidity will be lost, I suggest you use kitchen foil to cover it as completely as possible. You cannot accurately measure the measure the surface temp of an object with a probe, you need an IR Temp-gun (I`ll show an example).
    I think 175w in total must be drying out the air at least to some extent? Most keepers these days use the relatively low wattage halogen bulbs @ par 30 or par 38 (must be flood beam and fitted with ceramic holders).
    I cannot see the monitor becoming less stressed to any degree in this fishtank for the reasons I`ve mentioned.
    One of my basking sites with the halogens (I need more because of the monitor`s size) I tentatively suggest you use two @ around 50w.
    23944671826_af1ef18d15[1].jpg
    100_1826.JPG
     
  12. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

  13. I will spend whatever is neeeded on suitable living conditions for my animal as I do care about her, however I do try to budget
     
  14. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Every single day they are not fully supported will have a detrimental effect on their health. I`m being blunt because I`ve seen literally hundreds of cases just like this over the years that inevitably lead to suffering and an early death, it`s a HUGE long term commitment (possibly 20 years or more) how able are you to offer that and what budget do you have at this moment in time?
     
  15. I’ve been working with what I have, I was planning to go buy plywood and use pallets for framing. Would this work? I have plenty of screws and tools to build it.
     
  16. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    If you can make something around 5L x 3W x 3H (feet) it might last 6 months. They can grow between 5 to 7 cm (2 to 3+ inches) per month for the first year or so when properly supported.
    Depending on the framework, you can use either 1/2 or 3/4 inch plywood, you`ll need to seal it all very thoroughly, especially the bottom and sides up to substrate level @ depth of around 30cm (12 inches) using FRP or epoxy resin paint (varnish won`t last on the below ground parts).
     
  17. I will absolutely take your advice, thank you for all your help so far. This monitor will live
     
    TamJam likes this.
  18. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    To put this into perspective, I spent around £500 ((approx. $600) building my first enclosure and I used the house walls for the back and one side, otherwise it would have cost more if I`d had to use framing.
     
  19. Wow, I am going to eventually give a whole room in my house to this animal with accommodations for her of course
     
  20. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    A few pics, I don`t have many in my current album....




    100_1716.JPG 7019176285_0414ab1a8b[1].jpg 13435239175_043dda714b[1].jpg
     
    TamJam likes this.

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