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Old 01-31-12, 11:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Long term low level dehydration = Terminal Gout

Dehydration Kills Monitors!

Sadly on January 24 my Savannah monitor of 5 years passed away from errors in husbandry. It has taken me this long to find it in myself to discuss it, But I feel very strongly about getting this paramount information out so that others may benefit from it.

This particular monitor was raised on a diet of primarily invertebrate foods, so the mythological "fatty liver disease" was not the problem. He was given 40 acres of prime country real estate to roam upon, so he was incredibly well exercised, his cage was located in my reptile room that is environmentally controlled to never fall below 80 degrees (F) and his basking area was maintained at 125-135 at all times except at night.

We never even knew anything was wrong until one day in November he started coughing, We took him to a vet for a checkup, and unfortunately this vet was not qualified to diagnose yet alone treat reptiles, and he incorrectly assumed that a Baytril regimen would cure this, and I foolishly believed him.

After 14 days of steady Baytril treatments, my monitor was not improving one bit, so we decided to find a different vet and we found Dr. Sanford who has two masters degrees in zoological medicine, and is reptile certified.

She did the blood work and found that his uric acid levels were off the charts, she prescribed a treatment for gout but also advised us that his chances for recovery were slim to none, as his internal body chemistry had been so far out of balance for so long that she believed that permanent organ damage had already set in.

After only three doses of his gout medication he began vomiting blood, then diarrhea set in and it became very clear that he was suffering in ways I hope I never have to witness again as long as I live.

The decision was made that putting him down was the only humane option available.

The official post mortem diagnosis was long term low level dehydration, a condition that is brought on by insufficient humidity in the enclosure, a fate that all too many Savannah Monitors suffer when kept in anything but ideal conditions.

In conclusion, If you have a Savannah Monitor (Or any other monitor lizard) you simply must have at least one accurate digital hygrometer installed in your cage, you must maintain the ideal humidity levels for the species you keep, or the Monitor will eventually die a very ugly death.

There must be substrate deep enough to support burrowing, if you do not follow this advice, I don't care how "healthy" your lizard may look, they are dying slowly inside. By the time symptoms manifest and become visible it's too late.

The laws of survival in the wild mandate that they remain vigorous and functional until their final moments or risk falling prey to the next predator up the food chain. Therefore even if you ASSUME your animal is doing fine, the hard cold truth is it may not be so.

Proper caging and proper humidity levels are the ONLY way to ensure a long and healthy life...

The attached photograph is hard to look at, so I will not embed it in this post, you may click the link and view it at your own discression.

http://www.chompersite.com/gout/neardeath.jpg

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and best wishes to all of you and your captive monitors..
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Old 02-01-12, 05:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Dumbest monitor posts of all time...

Good on you for having the courage to post about it on a public forum, so that others can learn. It's a shame he had to turn it into a chest-beating exercise about him but I suppose somewhere in his post there were a few tidbits of information, which is a rare thing for him. Normally it's just about him.

Jarich - apparently Hitler liked dogs. Haha. No, I'm not making comparisons. Just sayin...

Actually, I do think FR has softened a bit over the years as he used to be even more of a ****.
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Old 02-01-12, 05:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Dumbest monitor posts of all time...

Herp center stickied it in the monitor forum.
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Old 02-01-12, 10:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Dumbest monitor posts of all time...

You guys say you want to help keepers so their animals stay alive hopefully a full lifetime.There are those that have been fielding these questions for as long as some here have been alive-imagine the amount of animals that have died because people hadn't heeded their advice-CrocDoc voiced a similar frustration recently about who voices for the animals.Someone tried to help, someone ignored ,a cherished pet died-the only concern should be what can you learn from this-not cowardly bashing people behind their backs. Moe
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Old 02-01-12, 10:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Dumbest monitor posts of all time...

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Originally Posted by mo9e64 View Post
You guys say you want to help keepers so their animals stay alive hopefully a full lifetime.There are those that have been fielding these questions for as long as some here have been alive-imagine the amount of animals that have died because people hadn't heeded their advice-CrocDoc voiced a similar frustration recently about who voices for the animals.Someone tried to help, someone ignored ,a cherished pet died-the only concern should be what can you learn from this-not cowardly bashing people behind their backs. Moe
What the heck? Moe you're back?!?!?!!!!

Good now can you answer my question of how much my 6 foot snake should weigh? You kind day just peaceful out on me last time.
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Old 02-01-12, 11:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Dumbest monitor posts of all time...

Korbin5895 just came back to say hello-going to keep a low profile,surf the sites and just listen to some good advice.I'm actually quite shy,so i am going to stay out of the limelight-didn't realize i was so infamous,guess i brought it on myself.I just hope you guys can keep your focus on the things that are important not the petty things like Moes opinion on diet etc.
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Old 02-01-12, 11:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Dumbest monitor posts of all time...

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Korbin5895 just came back to say hello-going to keep a low profile,surf the sites and just listen to some good advice.I'm actually quite shy,so i am going to stay out of the limelight-didn't realize i was so infamous,guess i brought it on myself.I just hope you guys can keep your focus on the things that are important not the petty things like Moes opinion on diet etc.
Well welcome back! My name is Kevin. I honestly look forward to seeing you around. Oh, don't forget to answer my question!
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Old 02-01-12, 11:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Dumbest monitor posts of all time...

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Someone tried to help, someone ignored ,a cherished pet died-the only concern should be what can you learn from this-not cowardly bashing people behind their backs. Moe
I'll tell you what bothered me about that thread, Moe. I know that it took a lot of courage for Wayne to post about the death of his monitor and his own role in that. Especially as it's probably still very raw. It's something that people rarely post about, yet is extremely important so that others can learn from it and not have to learn through their own mistakes. Do you think Frank's chest-beating "I told you so" and carrying on about how wonderful he was for predicting the animal's death will encourage or discourage others from following Wayne's lead and talking about mistakes?
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Old 02-02-12, 07:25 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Dumbest monitor posts of all time...

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Originally Posted by crocdoc View Post
I'll tell you what bothered me about that thread, Moe. I know that it took a lot of courage for Wayne to post about the death of his monitor and his own role in that. Especially as it's probably still very raw. It's something that people rarely post about, yet is extremely important so that others can learn from it and not have to learn through their own mistakes. Do you think Frank's chest-beating "I told you so" and carrying on about how wonderful he was for predicting the animal's death will encourage or discourage others from following Wayne's lead and talking about mistakes?
Bang on Dave.
That's what impressed me. Wayne KNEW he would get banged up for reporting the facts behind Chompers death and still did. He could have like so many covered up the fact that mistakes were made.
I think this will be a good stepping stone that will prevent more Sav deaths.
Great website by the way Wayne. Now we have TWO websites to direct new Sav owners or those looking to purchase.

I won't even get into the FR topic. For such an apparently knowledeable breeder (as a highly successful monitor breeder was saying to me) he sure isn't passing any of it on.
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Old 02-02-12, 01:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Long term low level dehydration = Terminal Gout

I gotta say Wayne... that took some cajones to post. don't know that I coulda manned up and admitted my mistakes.
but though you doing it, you have definitely made me re examine my blackthroat's caging, and I've realized its not ideal.
I've sealed up as much as a can for now, and will either build a new top for the cage or build a whole new enclosure in the coming couple weeks ( figure I will have to soon anyway as he (starting to think maybe a she) will outgrow it soon anyway).
debating weather or not to build a stand alone enclosure or modify and alcove I have in my apt. Its 8'x7'x5' so I'm pretty sure that will suffice.
There is so little info out there on Monitors in general and even less GOOD info, That its very easy to make mistakes.
Currently I have him/her in a 6'x2'x2' Glass terrarium, about 90% of the screen top is covered with styrofoam and sealed both to prevent humidity loss and to insulate, I also have covered the back and 2 ends with 1/2" styrofoam to insulate the enclosure have a strip of flexwatt under the cool end (dt temp is about 85(f) nt temp 78(ish), hot end is about 90-95 and 80ish at nite. basking spot is a little low. 120ish that will be remedied soon.( have to set up the lights in the enclosure instead of on top so I can seal the rest of the screen.) I do not have a hydrometer YET but I do make sure the soil is always humid. I redig it all every week and really give it a good soaking and spray it everyday (or when its starting to even look close to dry) I don't have enuff dirst for him to burrow everywhere but i do have the end with the basking spot build up to about 14-18 inches ( until of course he decides to throw all that dirt across the enclosure lol. ( thus the redigging every week to set that end up again ).
I really wish there were some good BT resources out there like your site and Savannahmonitor.org
I have read that the husbandry is similar but not the diet, how off base is that? or is it?
all in all I think that he is doing alot better than the previous 36"x18"x10" screen top enclosure.
Sorry for the thread jack, just thought you'd like to know that dealing with your lose the way you have has not fallen on deaf ears.
I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say you have our condolences and we are all anxiously awaiting the arrival of Little Foot
Thanx for all the info
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Old 02-02-12, 01:29 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Long term low level dehydration = Terminal Gout

Plus He has a big water "pool" that he loves to bath in... i mean he even puts his head underwater and looks around almost like he's hunting
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Old 02-02-12, 03:51 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Long term low level dehydration = Terminal Gout

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Originally Posted by mo9e64 View Post
Someone tried to help, someone ignored ,a cherished pet died-the only concern should be what can you learn from this-not cowardly bashing people behind their backs.
Continuing along the theme of FR's posts not being about helping other people, but about tooting his own horn: If the health and success of captives were really his concern, he'd be more inclined to accept a two way flow of information rather than the unidirectional flow he insists on. There's a good example of this in another thread on that forum today, regarding his (lack of) 'success' with lace monitors. If he's had as many adult, breeding lace monitors as he's claimed in the past then his females are dying at a very young age - probably a fair bit younger than Chomper's five years, by my calculations. I have information which may help him, but there's no way he'd ever accept it. Instead, he's suggested that I: 1. Ask him questions 2. Stop being 'boring' by continuing with the same successful formula and start 'experimenting' so that I, too, could have a growing pile of dead females who have succumbed to reproductive failure.
um... pass?
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Old 02-02-12, 10:52 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Long term low level dehydration = Terminal Gout

CrocDoc, I don't condone disrespect to anyone,but all i can say is i understand his reaction-that doesn't make it right.When their are disagreements,sometimes there is history behind it,that's why it's hard to judge without taking everything into context.That's why i choose to go with my experiences with individuals.I'd rather not take sides and get good advice from you,Frank ,whoever will help me raise my monitors successfully.I hope we can just start with a clean slate-there are things i can learn and have enjoyed browsing the site the last week or so.
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Old 02-02-12, 11:00 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Long term low level dehydration = Terminal Gout

Wayne, you have no idea how much I respect/honor/look up to you. You are an amaizing person for posting this.
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Old 02-02-12, 11:05 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Long term low level dehydration = Terminal Gout

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I hope we can just start with a clean slate-there are things i can learn and have enjoyed browsing the site the last week or so.
Fair enough, Moe, and no worries.
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