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Young Nile Monitor Won't Eat

Discussion in 'Monitors' started by Koogar, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. Koogar

    Koogar Active Member

    I got my monitor just a few months ago from the same pet store I got my sugar gliders from. I knew he was healthy, well cared for and that the store owners honestly care about the animals. This was my first time owning a carnivorous lizard but I had owned an iguana and Chinese water dragons as a kid, as well having successfully hand raised orphaned pet rat babies. I also worked with snakes through most of my middle and high school years so I was familiar with the various needs of a reptile. I had done my research prior to choosing a Nile monitor (I actually debated between Nile, Savannah, and Water monitors.) I thought I knew what I was getting into but I know from experience that pet ownership is a constant learning experience.

    With all that said, I'm really concerned for my Burundi. I've been giving him gut loaded crickets dotted with a reptile vitamin. He never ate more then five at a time and only ate every other day. I've been breeding the crickets myself so I could monitor their health and eating. I recently moved Burundi to a larger enclosure (from a 20g tank to a 50g) and now he's stopped eating. I checked the temperature and it's still in the high seventy, low eighty range through out his enclosure except his basking spot where it reaches a good 110. I also switched to a bigger water dish and included a small, hand built misting system to add some additional hydration. I clean this dish out daily. Because I was concerned about if he just wasn't getting enough full spectrum lighting, I went and purchased a new UVA/UVB light for the primary lighting. It's now been ten days since he last ate. I took him to a highly recommended exotics vet and was told nothing was wrong. But my monitor is losing weight and I'm getting nervous. I started just giving him straight vitamins yesterday, two drops yesterday and two today, just so he's eating something. I found out my former father in law is breeding dubia roaches and he's going to bring me a few tomorrow. I'm hoping since they don't jump around like crickets do, it'll be easier for Burundi to catch them.

    Should that fail, I want to know what I should do next. I've scheduled another appointment with a second vet about two hours away but my time restraints forced me to make it a week out.

    And because I'm sure it matters, he's housed on ReptiBark, drinks filtrated water (if I won't drink it, my pets don't drink it), and I'm using Fluker's Reptile Vitamins. I order my gut load for the crickets from the same person I get my sugar glider's food. She eats the same crickets and has shown no signs of illness. The crickets also get calcium enriched Fluker's Cricket Drink. When I purchased the tank decor, I steam cleaned all plastic items and put the wood in my oven for a short period to kill anything that might have gotten on them at the pet store.

    I really don't want to lose Burundi. I don't have pets. I have four legged children.
  2. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    So the temperatures in your enclosure are 110 ambient air temp near the basking lights and 70 to 80*F ambient air temp throughout the rest of the enclosure?

    What are you using to measure these temperatures? (infrared temp gun, digital probe unit, analogue stick-on 'dial,' etc.)

    What is the ambient humidity in the cool part of the enclosure? With what are you measuring it?
    (stick-on 'dial' hygrometer, digital unit, etc.)

    Can you please post a photo of the monitor showing his body, and a photo of your enclosure? :)
  3. Koogar

    Koogar Active Member

    The temperatures provided are air temps. I used a digital probe that I was able to borrow from the university to check it. I know it's not the most accurate but it was what I had available. I was saving up for an infrared when I got my monitor but shortly after I bought him, my circumstances changed and I was actually looking to re-home him. When they changed again, for the better, I stopped looking for a new home for him but I haven't quite recovered my savings yet. I also won't be able to post pictures as I don't have a camera available (among the things I sold to keep up on pet care were my camera and my cell phone so I no longer have either option.) I know pictures help and I honestly wish I could provide them. I'll ask around and see if I have a friend who can come by and take pictures for me.

    For humidity, I have nothing to measure it with. I just know the air feels heavier when I'm cleaning things out.
  4. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    It sounds like his heat and humidity are off.

    1. What kind of substrate are you using and how deep is it?
    2. How long, wide, and tall is the enclosure?
    3. From what is the enclosure made? Is it a glass aquarium with a screen lid?
    4. If applicable, do you have the screen lid covered to minimize air flow?
    5. What are you using for heat?
    6. If bulbs, what type are they? (fluorescent, incandescent, ceramic, halogen, etc.)
    7. What is the wattage? How many bulbs (if applicable)?
    8. How far is the basking platform from the heat source?
    9. What is the ambient air temperature of the room?
    10. If you're using a glass tank, are all sides see-through?
    11. Does he have any hides?
  5. Koogar

    Koogar Active Member

    1. I'm using Reptibark, about two or three inches deep.
    2. 48 1/4"L x 12 3/4"W x 20"H according the the manufacturer.
    3. Full glass with plastic lids.
    4. -
    5. ExoTerra heat bulbs and something that came in a black box from a local pet store.
    6. I honestly don't know. I checked the box for the basking bulb just now and it doesn't say. I don't have the boxes for the other one.
    7. 75W for the basking bulb.
    8. About eight inches.
    9. I keep it around 75 for my sugar glider.
    10. I had some old jeans that I used to insulate the sides and back. I know recycled denim is used as an insulator in houses. I figured it would have the same effect for a cage.
    11. He has three. One under his basking ledge, one in the middle of the enclosure (made up from some drift wood pieces) and one on the far side near his water.
  6. crocdoc

    crocdoc Elite Member

    Without photographs of the enclosure, we'll all just be guessing. You know the old saying 'a picture is worth a thousand words'? That applies here. If you could get a friend to take a photograph or two of your setup, my guess is that we'll be able to pick out the problems pretty quickly.
  7. Koogar

    Koogar Active Member

    It's all kind of a moot point now...

    Burundi passed away last night. Around midnight I borrowed a friend's car and rushed him to the 24hour vet I take my sugar glider to. She gave him some fluids and we had him on a heat pad but it just wasn't enough. He passed away just after two in the morning.

    I think I'm going to stay away from reptiles for a while, at least until I can make improvements to the enclosure and get it set up for my next scaley child...
  8. bucher70

    bucher70 Elite Member

    Very sorry to hear about your loss. Dont beat yourself up too much. Nile monitors are considered a very advanced reptile to keep. In the future, stick to more easily manged animals.
  9. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    Oh no, sorry to hear this! RIP Burundi
  10. crocdoc

    crocdoc Elite Member

    Post photographs of the setup before you get the next one and we'll be able to help you avoid this happening again.
  11. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    That's too bad. :(
  12. Koogar

    Koogar Active Member

    For anyone who's followed this thread and is interested, I've had the opportunity presented to me to adopt a couple ball pythons. With more experience with snakes then lizards, I thought this would be a better choice for getting back into the herp world. Everything is just about done being set up for when I bring Cleo and Xander home. I'll be putting on the finishing touches Thursday morning, then bringing them home Thursday night.
  13. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    Are you housing them together?
  14. fortino555

    fortino555 Member

    I'm sorry for you loss. Niles are so beautiful, I someday want to own one.

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