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Blue-tongue Skink Feet/toe Problems

Discussion in 'Skinks' started by Rhemus16, Jul 26, 2017.

  1. Rhemus16

    Rhemus16 New Member

    Hello all. I'm new to the whole forum thing but I have a Blue tongue skink that I could use some help with. I've had him for around a year and he has been having problems with losing toes. I know issues with shedding around the toes can be a common problem for skinks (reptiles in general) so I soak him in warm water for around 20 minutes when he sheds to help the skin come off but his toes have still been getting constricted and become swollen and red so I'm obviously not getting all of the skin off. He has already lost quite a few toes and it's killing me. I just want to help him so I was wondering if anyone has suggestions, questions, or thoughts on this subject. I have searched everywhere and it seems nothing is working so anything would be helpful. Thank you!
  2. AmityReptiles

    AmityReptiles Well Established Member

    What are his conditions. Temps humidity etc? What is the substrate and furniture, also cage dimensions. Pics would help of both the reptile and it's enclosure.
  3. Rhemus16

    Rhemus16 New Member

    His temps range from 76°F on the coolest side to 80 in the middle and 97 under his basking spot. At night it stays around 70. His humidity is usually around 50 and he is on chopped aspen. You will see in the pictures that he has a basking rock (real rock under a concentrated heat lamp), a real piece of driftwood, a pumice rock with a fake plant in it for him to rub on when he sheds, a half log, a large shallow water bowl for drinking and soaking, and a tuperware with paper towel in it that I use as a moist hide by misting inside of it. There is a hydrometer on the right side of the cage and I have a temp gun as they are supposed to be more accurate than the stick in thermometers. He also has two compact fluorescent 5.0 uva/uvb bulbs along with a heat pad on the back wall on the right side for at night in case he gets too cold. His cage dimensions are 36 in x 18 x 12. He is around 17 inches long and was a juvenile when I got him. He eats a mixture of bok choy, zucchini, green beans, peas, and carrots then he also gets crickets and mealworms about twice a week supplemented with a calcium with d3 powder along with multi-vitamin supplement spray. Once in a while (not even once a week) he gets a little bit of berries as a treat as I know those should not be fed to them often. I was also wondering if you could help me identify what subspecies he is because I don't know for sure? That would help me figure out exactly what humidity to maintain for him. I included pictures of his enclosure, all four feet, and his whole body. I did a lot of research before I got him but I'm sure there is still much for me to learn so please any advice on things I am doing wrong or if there is something that you see in the pictures (other than the feet)that isn't right I will gladly be corrected! He's my baby and I just want to make him as happy as possible!

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  4. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, everything I say is to help you help the animal, no disrespect intended!
    The tank is far too small, particularly in width, it needs to be at least 4L x 2W x 2H (feet) for one single adult. How are you measuring the basking surface temp and what is all the white stuff?
    The two compact UVB bulbs are not at all efficient, much better are the linear UVB tubes such as the T5 HO (high output) such as Arcadia or Zoo-Med fitted with a reflector and approx 2/3rds the enclosure length. The analogue gauges can be quite inaccurate (as much as 15% + out) you need a digital hygrometer, I believe you can buy them for around $13U.S in Lowes or Walmart.
    The toe loss is possibly (probably?) due to the humidity being too low and unshed skin constricting the toes blocking circulation so the digits die. Is the top part screen?
  5. Rhemus16

    Rhemus16 New Member

    I understand you are just trying to help and thank you for taking the time to respond! I know it is the minimum size recommended for them but it was the largest one I could find other than getting a custom one or ordering one online which are far too expensive for me. As soon as I possibly can I plan on upgrading it! I also take him out of his enclosure as often as I can so he can get some excersize and exploration time :). When you asked what the white stuff is are talking about the substrate? That would be chipped aspen I'm probably going to switch to cypress mulch soon since that is supposed to be better for maintaining higher humidity. I did a lot of research on the bulbs before I decided and I understand that there has been quite of controversy over the best uvb bulbs and whether they need them at all. Due to the risk of metabolic bone disease I personally did not feel comfortable going completely without uvb bulbs but I found lots of people who said that from their own experience as long as you supplement their diet with calcium that has d3 in it you don't necessarily need the large linear bulbs. I decided that if it wasn't going to put his health at risk then I was going to go with the compact bulbs because the fixture and bulbs were cheaper. I will invest in a digital hygrometer as soon as I possibly can and will recheck his humidity and yes the top is screen. I'm also assuming the toe problems are due to leftover shed but I need advice on what to do about it. I soak him when he sheds to try and help the skin come off of the toes and it seems like most of it comes off but there must still be some leftover since his toes are getting restricted. I also read that putting pure emu oil on their feet can help so I got some a couple weeks ago and have trying that. Do you have any advice on what else I can do?
  6. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    I have to say that if you cannot afford a suitable enclosure from the beginning it puts the animal`s health at great risk.
    Supplements for the most part are pure guesswork, it`s as easy to overdo as underdo. The compact UVB bulbs are not very efficient. The digital hygrometer is urgent. If you cannot do whatever`s required perhaps it would be kinder to find someone who can, I don`t doubt you want the best but it seems you cannot provide it at this time. As far as treating the toes, if they are healed there`s nothing to do except provide suitable conditions so it doesn`t happen again, otherwise you are not fixing the cause (it all comes back to that)...
    Allowing "outside" time is o.k if the lizard is acclimated to the enclosure and yourself but it must only be for a very few minutes because they lose heat very quickly (unless your house has a very similar climate to where they originate from, which I`m guessing it doesn`t)?

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