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My Collared Lizard is Losing Severe Amounts of Weight

Discussion in 'Herp Health' started by IloveBeardies, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. IloveBeardies

    IloveBeardies New Member

    We bought two collared lizards a while back, and "Jack" is losing extreme amounts of weight. He hasn't been growing very fast, this is especially sad because he was the larger of the two and now "Jill" is Huge compared to him. He's still eating pretty well, he ate fifteen small to medium crickets today with some chicken baby food. We've also been giving him some pedialyte in his water. But he seems to lose weight over night. Just yesterday he was starting to look much better, and now today he looks twice as bad. His hips are so sunk in, along with his legs and head. Just when he seems to be making a recovery, he starts losing weight again. He's so skinny and sickly now and we just don't know what to do. He used to be so energetic and lively and now he just hides all the time.

    Jill has been attacking him as well, could this be a cause? We're actually wondering if we have the two switched with their genders, because it looks like they're trying to mate. Jill viciously attacks his neck, Jack keeps trying to run away but Jill is so much bigger he has a hard time fighting back. He twitches his head like he's really hurt every time this happens and flinches if we go near his neck. He has become aggressive towards Jill lately and has been snapping back at her when she(maybe he) gets close.

    If you guys could offer any insight of why this is happening or what we can do to boost his weight we would greatly appreciate it.
  2. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    I think you need to separate them ASAP.
    If he is sick, he should be in quarantine and sounds like you need to take him to the vet and bring a fecal sample in to check for parasites.
    Quarantining Reptiles
    Are they both males?
    There will always be a dominance issue when placing 2 reptiles together, you really need to separate them before one of them gets hurts badly or is killed by the other.
  3. IloveBeardies

    IloveBeardies New Member

    Thanks we'll separate them right away. No we're pretty sure ones male and ones female, not necessary sure which one is which, but we'll see if the vet can confirm. That's the weird thing too, most of the time they're really sweet to each other.
    They were together before we bought them and they normally sleep cuddled next to each other. Jill's recent behavior is really shocking especially since they were sharing a terrarium almost half the size of the one they have now with no problems. They're both pretty young according to the place we got them from, and they currently share a 50 gallon tank.
    Does anyone have any other suggestions on how to fatten him up?
  4. bucher70

    bucher70 Elite Member

    Thats where your vet comes in, thats the most important part of your pets care.
    They may be asserting dominance over each other with suttle body language that you dont notice, until they are physically fighting. Reptiles dont need " friends". Most are very solitary until it is time to breed or brumate. And they usually tolerate each other during brumation only because, adequate winter hides are few and far between. I dont know if collard lizards brumate or not, just talking generalities.
    So first, seperate, then vet to rule out any other health problems.
  5. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    They were never really cuddling. They just both wanted to be in the same spot.

    Separation is key and so is a vet visit for the sick one. Parasites, especially a heavy load, can drop weight super fast. Its a very simple treatment to get rid of them, but a fecal float will be needed to see what kind of parasites they are, which will determine which medications are given. This is why you need to separate as well, you need to be sure you bring in the right sample.

    Once the sick one is treated and not fighting all the time, the weight will return.
    Herp Vet Connection
  6. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Collared lizards are native to the US so yes they do brumate in the wild.
    If you can't tell which is which, how can you be so sure that you have two genders? What are you basing this on?

    It really sounds like you have two males, or at the very least a pair that will not tolerate each other. They need to be seperated NOW!
    The reason they have started fighting is that they are becoming mature. Reptiles are not social animals and tend to stake out a territory, driving off all comers. And they can be very aggressive in it.

    Anytime a reptile shows rapid noticeable weight loss its a serious situation. They don't just loose weight that quickly for no good reason. A vet is needed ASAP.
  7. IloveBeardies

    IloveBeardies New Member

    Alright we got the two separated, and planning on getting him to the vet ASAP. He's already eating more since we've separated them. I don't know maybe they are both males. We were basing it off the experience of the man we bought it from. He's pretty experienced with reptiles but he hasn't had as much experience with collared lizards, so he could have been wrong. Either way he's already perked up since. So hopefully with a trip to the vet and being separated he'll start gaining weight. Poor Jill hates her temporary housing :p, but we figured we would clean it out and let Jack keep the current terrarium so he wouldn't have to adjust to a new home again.

    Does anyone know some foods that would help him during his recovery?
  8. Rakoladycz

    Rakoladycz Elite Member

    Just offering his regular food and then the pedialyte in the water can't hurt. Moving Jill rather than Jack seems like a good idea to me. Just curious how you acquired them? I know the pet shop I tend to get my feeders from is supposed to know a lot about reptiles, but every time I go in and talk to him about anything specific I already know far more than he does about it just by his response's typically. Not always but just be careful about taking just anyone's advice. (same guy sexed both of my snakes at the time, a ball and a corn... both genders were wrong when I got them to the vet had them probed)
  9. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    The best thing you can do is just to keep offering as much as he wants to eat, and keeping the temps and surroundings correct. Good job on moving the healthy one, this makes the stress on the sick one even less.
  10. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    I would have to agree with everyone on the good call to keep jack in the original enclosure, this will be so much more helpful for his recovery.
    Best of luck at the vet and hopefully jack will recover without any problems.
  11. IloveBeardies

    IloveBeardies New Member

    We got them from a store called the Reptile Jungle I believe, a local store in town. He's got some of the healthiest reptiles I've seen especially compared to somewhere like petsmart. He really gut-loads his crickets, and is an experienced handler. Problem is, Jack and Jill were one of his first Collared Lizards to be sold at his store and some of the first he's handled. Thanks everyone for all the advice and all the help. Hopefully Jack will make a speedy recovery.

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