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Argentinian Red Tegu Questions

Discussion in 'Tegu' started by lazylizard, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. lazylizard

    lazylizard New Member

    I have a couple questions about my Argentinian Red Tegus
    First of all let me tell you about him...We bought him from a pet store he was small when we got him, he was missing the end tip of his tail and a finger. (the lady said he got into a fight with another lizard) So, we bought the bedding and had everything set up nicely. PEEEWWW !!! The tank is at the end of our bed and we are very busy people so we only changed/cleaned the bedding once a week most the time we actually put the lizard in the tub and he would swim around and defecate in the water so his bedding stayed fairly clean. That got a tad expensive so we bought some outside carpeting the kind that looks like fake grass its kinda plastic like so is rinses/washed easily. Also at first we were feeding crickes/little bitty no hair mice and hardboiled eggs. But then we started wasting money when he wasnt ready to feed and the crickets would die, and the pet store was always out of crickets so we basically have just been feeding hardboiled eggs for almost a year. Here comes the questions, is the diet/housing we are using harming our lizard? And we went camping in about october and lizard layed next to us on the upturned grill lid, when we woke up he was very cold and there was a giant red sac hanging out of his butt, he had also pooped everywhere. We brought him home immediatley warmed him up and about 12 hrs later the red sac was gone. We never figured out what happened or caused it but he seemed better. Also during this time he has went from energetic to almost dead seeming. So its December now, he has been a very lazy lizard not eating or drinking never even see him awake (we work alot). We were cleaning his tank and put him in the tub with warm water thirty minutes later we go to get him and his is very cold, and lifeless, tounge was greyish not pink wouldnt open eyes seemed dead, blew air into his nose water bubbled out of his nose set him in his tank under the light....he lived but hes still very sluggish keeping his temp at a good 70ish level hes staying warm enough but the other day his light went out while we were sleeping and when we woke up he was freezing cold and the red sack was hanging from his rear again. Again there was feces all over him. Can someone please tell me what the red stuff is and help direct me to a health lizard life?
     
  2. vega74

    vega74 Elite Member

    Not Trying to be rude but I don't even know where to start. I would suggest looking into the possibility of re homing him to someone who will provide care. If feeding correctly is to costly or to much of a hassle he needs to be re homed again no offense. Does it have uv lighting anything or just a room temp Fishtank?
     
  3. alicia123

    alicia123 Elite Member

    Sorry to say, but I agree.
    You didnt do your research and are not able to give the lizard the proper care he needs. I would suggest rehoming the lizard so he is able to get proper care before it is to late.
     
  4. vanessa29

    vanessa29 Member

    So I just spent 30 minutes writing a post to have the page break!!

    How old is your tegu, better yet what is the length of your tegu?
    My biggest concern is the red sack that you are seeing, that is a prolapse ( the rectum has fallen out of the body!). It can get infected very easily and needs to be addressed. Has it gone back in all the way, you see no pink flesh at all at the vent? If you ever notice this again I recommend a vet first and foremost but I get how circumstances don't always permit, soak her in a warm sugar bath for about 30 minutes a day adding warm water when needed to avoid the water going cool. Remove her bedding from the enclosure and place her on paper towel to avoid anything sticking to it. The main causes of this tend to be straining to poop due to poor diet or an impaction. This is a serious problem and needs to be dealt with correctly. If it keeps reoccurring then surgery may be the only answer.

    When you said 70ish for his temp was that at night?? You need to offer her a temp gradient ranging from the hottest spot being 115 to the coolest being 70-75. The only time you want the temps to be maintained at 70ish is at night time or during a scheduled hibernation.


    Your diet isn't even close to being healthy, and it is going to be hard to go from eggs as tegus tend to get "addicted" to them. You need to offer a varied diet, pinkies, mice, day old chicks, ground turkey/chicken always with calcium supplements, chicken gizzards and hearts again with supplements. Whole prey is best but you don't want to offer them every day so maybe every other day and offer the other meats on off days. Anything that is not whole prey should be dusted with calcium. Reds tend to need a bit more fruit in their diet as they tend to have shedding issues. Red grapes, melon, peach, mango, sweet berries are all good choices. I offer a side of fruit each day for both my red and black and white tegu.

    Humidity is a very important aspect that you don't want to over look. It is recommended that a Tegu enclosure be between 60-80% humidity. That is very hard to achieve without the proper substrate or a solid top enclosure and even then you will need to mist the mulch on a daily basis and once or twice a week add warm water to the enclosure and turn the mulch. You want the mulch moist not wet. As long as the mulch on the bottom is damp then you are fine. Another great way to help with their shedding is to offer a humid box. It all depends on the tegus size but I used to use a plastic container that you buy mixed salad in. I would use duct tape to cover the top so I couldn't see in and then cut a small hole out of the top just big enough for the lizzie to squeeze in. I then would add a moist all natural peat moss/ natural black earth soil. I used to find large pieces of skin in there all the time. My red uses that as her daily hide. You need to pay attention the the shedding progress. It is common to have to excess shed around the end of the tail or the toes. If you notice shed you need to give your tegu a warm bath and rub it until you can get it to come off. If ignored then it will restrict that area until the tip of the tail falls off or the toes fall off. Never pull the skin off if it is stuck on there good but keep working with it in the bath, it may take a few days of rubbing it in the bath before it comes off. It is also good to add a couple drops of cod liver oil to your tegus food once or twice a week. It is amazing for their skin and they usually love it.

    As for your lizard seeming really lazy, it is hibernation time for Tegus. Argentine Tegus can hibernate for up to 7 months a year usually in the cool months. some may just slow down and eat a bit less and seem much more sleepy. Some don't do it at all. Most people adjust the lights to only come on a couple hours a day even though they usually won't see the tegu more then once a month. That could very well be why your tegu seems sleepy but I think there are alot more problems that need to be sorted out first. I would keep the lights at 12 hours a day with your basking spot being around 115 ( the hottest spot) and your cool side being about 75. Do you offer UVB? You need to offer either a 10.0 repti sun tube light ( I think these are the best tubes out there) or a mercury vapour bulb ( Mega Ray, Flukers, or Soo Med power sun 160w).

    I would say to get rid of the fake carpet you have in your tank. Tegus are burrowers and it helps them feel secure and safe if they can burrow into substrate. What kind of substrate did you use before the carpet?? If you spot clean each day and don't feed in the enclosure then your substrate should be good for 2-3 months give or take. It is recommended that you use cypress mulch or coconut husk as they retain moisture well without being a breeding ground for mold. Some people also use natural soils and peat moss.

    Okay so I am hoping I covered everything you wanted to know. Obviously the best thing would be to get your pet to the vet and have a complete check up done but I also understand that it is a rough time of year for added expenses so please just be mindful of the things that I stated. Also here are some good website for you to do your own research and it wouldn't hurt to update your Tegu knowledge

    The Tegu Community Forums ( a great community of tegu owners, my board name is nessie)
    www.teguterra.com ( please read their care sheet)

    Please keep us posted
    Vanessa
     
  5. lazylizard

    lazylizard New Member

    Vanessa everyone is right we didn't do any research before buying him i got him as a gift for my boyfriend we've had him for a little over a year now. He was as long as a DVD case but he has doubled in size so we got him a new much larger tank. We will immediately get rid of the fake grass and buy him the coconut substrate again (we used to buy it all the time) and i will take your advice and stop feeding him in his tank. Thanks very much for your information on what was happening with the red sac. This has happened twice and we are very worried about him. As for his diet i will do my best to change as soon as he starts eating again (hes not eating very much lately i think its due to hibernating). We tried feeding canned crickets but the lizard wouldn't even touch em, so we stuck with what we knew he liked and that was hard boiled eggs. The red sac has appeared twice and each time has fully went back into the vent. A lot of the mistakes we have made were due to trying to make our lives easier, but we have seen the errors of our ways and will do our best to change them immediately. Again very sorry we have done this to our lizard we love him and want him to be healthy. Thank you again for all your information its been very helpful. We will stay in touch.
     
  6. vanessa29

    vanessa29 Member

    I am glad you are going to make good use of the information!
    As for tank size, eventually you will need to build a custom enclosure and maybe your Tegus growth rate has been slow up until now once you can start offering the correct temps, food, exercise, and humidity you will notice her thrive. We got out "little" guy in July when he was only 10" in length and only 6 months later he is 32" and we are rushing like mad to get his 8x4x4' enclosure done. Tank size can be anywhere for 6' on and the width should be roughly the total length of the lizard.

    Best of luck
    Vanessa
     
  7. replover

    replover Elite Member

    I may be wrong but I just have a little suspicion that the original poster is joking/pulling a prank? It seems like a list of things that care sheets state are wrong, and a list of things which are the opposite of what care sheets say is right, being put into one post. I mean, I know there are situations like this out there, but surely if someone has done enough research to manage to find this site, they must have found some care sheets?

    I actually read it and I didn't know how old the original post was so I literally checked to see if it was posted on april 1st. Apparently it is not.

    Again, I am not trying to bash anyone, but it really just gives me the feeling that this is a joke/prank post and not real.

    I mean come on...
     
  8. vega74

    vega74 Elite Member

    Replover there is a chance as always that people will do stuff like thapuppy of bordem. I remember a post on here about someone feeding there anaconda spaghetti o's an hard boiled eggs an wanted to know why it was sick. Some people have nothing better to do with there lives. An I am not at all saying this is one of those situations either but it could be!
     
  9. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Although it could be a prank, when you have been doing this as long as I have you will see things like this far too often. An impulse purchase made without regard to anything other than the fact that the animal looked "cool".
    People who are accustomed only to warm blooded pets often do not realize just how much different keeping a reptile is. The whole concept of them needing external heat, UVB lights, specialized diets etc, is something that they have to learn.
    Hopefully they learn it before its too late for the animal
     
  10. vanessa29

    vanessa29 Member

    I never really thought of it as being a possible prank! Maybe I guess you just never know. She wouldn't be the first to not have any idea when it comes to raising reptiles. The info is out there but maybe she hasn't put in the time to locate it. As for care sheets that are a little tricky to find specifically made for Argentine Tegus but they are out there. Most of what I know about Tegus I have gotten from forums like this and talking to large Argentine breeders in the states.
    For the sake of the tegu a prank might be a good thing, with the exception to me wasting an hour to write a post....Oh well someone may find that info useful :)
     
  11. replover

    replover Elite Member

    Spaghetti o's eh?? Did that turn out to be a prank? I hope so.

    I don't even think they would eat spaghetti o's.
     
  12. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    I agree, Some people are just that ignorant and don't know any better. And didn't the lady who owned Marley feed her kraft dinner? That lady was a real winner!:-"
     
  13. replover

    replover Elite Member

    I had no problem locating information before I got my tegu a few years ago.

    That is assuming that this particular tegu even exists.
    LOL! Did you spend an hour writing a reply to the anaconda eating spaghetti o's post too? (Just teasin' ya).
     
  14. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    No worse than the person I talked to who, because she was a vegetarian, was trying to get her kingsnake to eat greens!
    And she was SERIOUS!
     
  15. vega74

    vega74 Elite Member

    An yes mld she did feed marley kraft dinner. An she wasa real winner was missing the front teeth an everything. I guess greens were to expensive for her.
     
  16. vega74

    vega74 Elite Member

    Merlin I am sorry but that's just to funny
     
  17. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Oh my goodness, that's really bad! So was she thinking about tofu or lentals as well?
     
  18. vega74

    vega74 Elite Member

    I can only imagine what else she wanted to feed the poor snake mld.
     
  19. replover

    replover Elite Member

    I once saw a post somewhere where someone had bought two lizards, I don't know (and she didn't either) what species it was but it looked like some kind of lacerta. She posted pics and asked for an ID of the lizards and someone more knowledgeable said that they were insectivores. But noted that in the picture where the lizards were kept in plain white storage boxes, there was an orange peel, some rice and a pair of chopsticks in there! The knowledgeable guy told her basically that's not what they eat and should be eating insects.

    Unfortunately in that case, since there were pictures, it probably wasn't a joke/prank (unless it was a very elaborate prank where they took pictures specifically for the prank).
     
  20. replover

    replover Elite Member

    By the way at least in the case of the snakes, they wouldn't have eaten the inappropriate foods as snakes usually don't even consider those things foods and would just ignore them, right? I mean I seriously doubt the guy really had a snake that actually ate spaghetti o's and got sick as a result of that. I think the snake just would ignore the food, so in that case I think it must have been a fake story.
     

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