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Old 05-08-20, 04:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation What is wrong with my lizard? Starting to worry

I have one out of 5 lizards in a tank that over the last week is starting to look grim. They are fence lizards (sceloporus undulatas), similiar to an emerald swift. She has shrunk up and her sides look sunken in, the back of her legs look the same. She has a ridge on her back, im pretty sure is her spine. There is some stuck shed at the base of her tail. I have been rubbing mineral oil on her working on that. I haven't had a chance to pull her out of the tank yet. Her 4 tank mates are doing fine. Could this be some kind of full body stuck shed? It's not obvious other than that one spot. She still seems active. I have not seen her eat but have seen her pursuing crickets. She drinks. Working on pics.

https://i.imgur.com/XOEdqiI.jpg

Last edited by David339; 05-08-20 at 04:32 PM..
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Old 05-08-20, 06:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: What is wrong with my lizard? Starting to worry

Have you had them all checked for parasites? Fence lizards are mostly, if not entirely wild-caught. Also, with so many in the tank, her tank-mates might be out-competing her for food.
You may want to separate her from the bunch and have her tested for parasites. If she does have any, they'll all need to be treated. Separating her will also give her a better chance at catching food and maintaining what weight she has. Hopefully she feels better soon!
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Old 05-08-20, 06:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: What is wrong with my lizard? Starting to worry

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Originally Posted by Veronica View Post
Have you had them all checked for parasites? Fence lizards are mostly, if not entirely wild-caught. Also, with so many in the tank, her tank-mates might be out-competing her for food.
You may want to separate her from the bunch and have her tested for parasites. If she does have any, they'll all need to be treated. Separating her will also give her a better chance at catching food and maintaining what weight she has. Hopefully she feels better soon!
She's acting fine but definitely doesn't look it. Hasn't been an issue in the time I've had them. Over a year, they were little 2 inch lizards at first. I feed in the evening while the big girls are sleeping also. They aren't into being handled and are fast so I'll get her out when she's asleep in the morning. They are slow to wake up.
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Old 05-08-20, 09:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: What is wrong with my lizard? Starting to worry

What are you using to provide UVB, and when was the last time the bulb was replaced?

Do you know the surface temperature of the basking spot?

Do you happen to have a couple inches of soil as substrate? Preferably covered with some leaf litter and a couple cork flats? That combination really helps create humid hideaways for lizards.

How many males are in the tank?

How large is the tank? Fence lizards are typically very territorial and very aggressive. That female could be the lowest in the pecking order, making her stressed, contributing to her issue.
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Old 05-09-20, 07:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: What is wrong with my lizard? Starting to worry

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What are you using to provide UVB, and when was the last time the bulb was replaced?

Do you know the surface temperature of the basking spot?

Do you happen to have a couple inches of soil as substrate? Preferably covered with some leaf litter and a couple cork flats? That combination really helps create humid hideaways for lizards.

How many males are in the tank?

How large is the tank? Fence lizards are typically very territorial and very aggressive. That female could be the lowest in the pecking order, making her stressed, contributing to her issue.
I have a 50w uvb/uva heat bulb for each basking spot on either side of the tank, these are 6-8 inches over a reptihammock. I don't know the exact temperature of the basking spot, should be around 90 degrees. I tested these bulbs at distances way back when i got aquatic turtles and it's been years. There are 2 basking lights on either side of the tank. I have about 3 inches of coconut fiber substrate with leaf litter. I spray the sides and fake plants morning and afternoon because they will not use a water dish(I've tried). I believe there is only one male. I have wondered if this female was a male because she is the smallest of the 4 females. She doesn't have the blue markings like a male. I haven't checked her for femoral pores though. It's a 29 gallon tank. I've been meaning to split off 2 females to another tank with a male I have separate. I never put him in with these because I know the males fight. I've never seen any aggressive behavior nor any injuries from tank mates. I haven't seen one do push ups since they were little guys. Her skin almost has a slick appearance, I thought this was from using mineral oil on the stuck shed. I did get that loose last night and don't see any other kind of peeling areas.
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Old 05-09-20, 08:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: What is wrong with my lizard? Starting to worry

Take her to a vet ASAP. Internet guesses wonít help you at all.

Good luck.
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Old 05-09-20, 02:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: What is wrong with my lizard? Starting to worry

Might be too late. She's not eating. I can see that now that I have her isolated. Didn't have a chance during the work week. She hasn't been very active today except when I was handling. They are wild caught and anything diet wise / habitat / lighting should be having an effect on all 5 lizards. They eat crickets as staple and mealworms. These get dusted, are gutloaded, and i have calcium powder without vitamin d in the water dish they ignored. They recognize this like a leopard gecko would and eat it as needed. They've been living together fine for a year and a half-ish fine. Trying a supplement.

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Old 05-09-20, 04:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: What is wrong with my lizard? Starting to worry

She isn't going to make it... Barely moving or breathing. Even if I touch her. Any idea what happened? I suppose I should've vetted instead of trying to get her better on my own. I've dealt with other things on my own without needing a vet. Nose rubs and such.
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Old 05-09-20, 10:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: What is wrong with my lizard? Starting to worry

A 29 gallon aquarium is pretty small for two basking spots; you should remove one light. My guess is that your temperatures are too hot and the lizard dehydrated. Chronic dehydration can cause all sorts of problems. The others were probably more aggressive and forced that one lizard out of humid spots that were somewhat cool. The aggression was probably pretty subtle and may have started as the lizards started to reach maturity. You should get a digital thermometer to check the ambient temperature throughout the cage, figure out your highs and lows. Then get a non-contact/infrared thermometer and use it to measure the surface temperature of the hot spots.
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Old 05-10-20, 07:44 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: What is wrong with my lizard? Starting to worry

Monday or tuesday was the first I noticed her stomach looking sunken in. Then she started to look better and then she quickly declined over the week. She didn't make it. There was weird grey looking splotches on her belly. They didn't look like injuries. I haven't seen salt formations on their noses or anything like that but have had minor stuck shed issues with them. Usually stuck tail shed. I will look into my heats and make sure that's not the issue. I'd hate to lose another one. Also adding lizard supplement to my medkit. I have a lot of reptiles/amphibians and that was my first death... That female always was smaller than the other 3.
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Old 05-10-20, 10:47 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: What is wrong with my lizard? Starting to worry

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Originally Posted by David339 View Post
Monday or tuesday was the first I noticed her stomach looking sunken in. Then she started to look better and then she quickly declined over the week. She didn't make it. There was weird grey looking splotches on her belly. They didn't look like injuries. I haven't seen salt formations on their noses or anything like that but have had minor stuck shed issues with them. Usually stuck tail shed. I will look into my heats and make sure that's not the issue. I'd hate to lose another one. Also adding lizard supplement to my medkit. I have a lot of reptiles/amphibians and that was my first death... That female always was smaller than the other 3.
Iím sorry that happened, but donít wait so long next time to take a sick animal to the vet. We take on that responsibility and obligation when we get a pet. Asking strangers on the web who havenít seen the animal and who are not veterinarians is never the right way to diagnose an issue that serious. Take a sick animal to the vet ASAP.
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Old 05-10-20, 12:25 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: What is wrong with my lizard? Starting to worry

98 degrees at basking spot, 78 degrees at top of tank (center of both basking spots) which is on par per their care sheet. I didn't realize how serious the issue was and thought I could handle it myself. Unfortunately I couldn't.
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Old 06-21-20, 07:17 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: What is wrong with my lizard? Starting to worry

I have since had a similar issue with the one lizard I have in a tank solo. Zilla Caloric supplement and appetite stimilant is working for him. If I had known about this stuff I could've saved the last lizard.

I'm still curious what's causing the appetite issue. I've had some humidity/shed issues only. Prior to being on supplement he ate some mealworms and pooped them out almost completely undigested. I never saw this with the other lizard.

He had a bad nose rub which I took care of and it healed all the way. I've seen it back a little bit recently but is already mostly healed.
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Old 07-01-20, 04:19 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: What is wrong with my lizard? Starting to worry

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