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Beware What You Feed Your Guys, You Could Be Killing It.

Discussion in 'Monitors' started by methos75, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. methos75

    methos75 Elite Member

    So sadly my Sav of three years died several weeks back, and wanting to get now to the bone on what went wrong and why see died so suddenly I had a necropsy done to determine the cause of death and the answer was something totally unexpected. I had went to an almost exclusive diet of fresh Crawfish and Shrimp, and they found high high levels of iodine in her blood and the general thought is that iodine poisoning was the cause of death since nothing else abnormal was found. Just FYI.
  2. tbron

    tbron Elite Member

    Sorry to hear what happened. Thanks for the info. I used to exclusive feed my monitor.
  3. methos75

    methos75 Elite Member

    Its something I really never thought of, which is sad since I am an ecologist in training and know how high in iodine local seafood is here. Really dumb mistake that will never make again.
  4. AdamL8

    AdamL8 Elite Member

    What were the conditions of the enclosure? Do you have any pictures of it? While it is entirely likely that the diet largely contributed to the death there are a number of other things that could have also been wrong even if you didn't know it. I do however agree that an all fish diet isn't a good idea.
  5. methos75

    methos75 Elite Member

    She was in a pretty large room sized enclosure at the time, Ambient temp around 80 with the basking area at around 130-140 depending on what temp gun I used, humidity around 70%, she was a little under four feet long when she passed.
  6. AdamL8

    AdamL8 Elite Member

    Do you have any pictures of it or could you get some? Also, at that size and age "she" certainly would have been a sexually mature adult. Did she ever lay any infertile eggs or become gravid that you know of? What did you have for substrate in there and how deep was it?
  7. methos75

    methos75 Elite Member

    Never laid Eggs, I was using topsoil, about two feet give or take. I'll look around for pics and see if we have any, never took any but the GF probably did
  8. TheSmench

    TheSmench Elite Member

    Depending on where the crawlfish where collected they have been know to carry many parasites/bacteria example: Beneckia chitinovora. Even through they can be good a more varied diet is best and one of any of the feeder for the staple of diet isn't a good option. Sorry for your lose and can you give the actually size of enclosure and what type of substrate used possible a pic or two.
  9. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    Sorry to hear about that Methos.
    You aren't the first and certainly not the last to have a reptile die from husbandry errors.
    Unfortunately it seems that is how progress is made in herpetology.
  10. Infernalis

    Infernalis Elite Member

    My condolences.

    Your information will help others greatly.

    I would suspect that the buildup would be from ingesting minute quantities repeatedly over time. Crustaceans and shellfish from the unregulated areas of the orient (for instance) may contain trace amounts of undesirable toxins, it is well known that mining runoff and industrial dumping in the far reaches of the world are a problem as the chemicals leech into oceans and wetlands.

    all the more reason to focus on feeding frozen (thawed) chicks, rodents and other domestic farmed prey.

    As a treat, I do feed "certified chemical free organic" shrimp I buy locally. They are expensive, so I don't offer much. a whole chick is 19 cents, and better food.

    MDFMONITOR Elite Member

    the only true way you'll know is by breeding all your own food!! :)
  12. Rakoladycz

    Rakoladycz Elite Member

    Just wanted to chime in on this real quick. I have had reserve about feeding shrimp in large amounts because they tend to hold levels of mercury, as do many seafood products. Many keepers feed exclusively/largely on shrimp and seafood.
  13. diehardislanders

    diehardislanders Elite Member

    My condolences. And thank you for posting your info so we can learn and discuss. Was her death all of a sudden, or did she degenerate for a little while before?
  14. methos75

    methos75 Elite Member

    No degeneration at all, she was her normal self the night before and as active as usual and she was fine in the morning, went shopping and out to eat for a few hours, and she was dead when we got back. Truly sadden by it, she was an awesome girl and full of personality and everyone loved her. The worst was going to Repticon and seeing all the baby Savs there that looked like her at that age, it was a hard temptation
  15. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    That's such a bummer dude. I'm sorry. :( Thank you for sharing!!! This supports something I've been suggesting to people for a long time.
  16. Rakoladycz

    Rakoladycz Elite Member

    What would that be Aja?
  17. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    ...that sea food shouldn't make up the bulk of a savannah monitor's diet because it tends to be salty and implicitly rich in iodine. ;)
  18. Cap10Squirty

    Cap10Squirty Elite Member

    I have lately been including a large amount of freshly caught trout, bluegill, and other freshwater fish into my monitor's diet. Is there a difference in freshwater VS saltwater fish and iodine content?
  19. methos75

    methos75 Elite Member

    That is a really hard question to answer because vastly more info would be needed, such as where the Fish came from. I was feeding mostly Crayfish that was locally caught in the Atchafayla river. But here in lies the issue, that river is becoming increasingly saline due to wetland lost and subsidization of the natural aquifers here to the point where Bull Sharks are now a normal part of one's catch. So anything fish caught there have a risk of high doses of Iodine being passed on

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