Another rescued skink - this one is sick

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kingofnobbys
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Another rescued skink - this one is sick

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:28 am

My wife found a very lethargic and scrappy looking adult water skink near the back of our house this afternoon , she thought it was dead as it didn't retreat or move when got very close to it check it, only bursting into life when I sent her back down an empty old cricket tub lined with paper towel to rescue it and bring inside for me to examine it.

I believe it's one of the gang of skinks who has been living under my house and hanging out under the rim of the back sum.

Been very cool this week , 15 degC overnight and not getting past 20 degC during the day. (Nearly summer here and it's like winter during the days this week while last week were cracked 100 in the old scale for few days).

I've recommissioned Lucky's and Wriggles' old 10L tub to rehabilitate this new rescued water skink in.


The water skink tub is now on the lounge directly under the aircon and where I can see it easily and I've slipped Lucky' / Wriggles' old 5W heatslab under one end of the tub and set the temperature to 35 degC.

While the heatslab was warming up I tried to get the rescue to eat , but noted it's eye lids appear glued shut so it is at the moment (temporarily ?? blind) and placing a mealworm resulted in not interest, same with small silkworm (about mealworm size) , same with a disabled smaller medium cricket - can't see the insect.
Tried squeezing out some mealworm guts onto it's snout, no response.

Likely too cold and lethargic , and very stressed - but worth a try.

Local reptile had already closed for the day so a vet visit will have to wait til tomorrow at the earliest.

I also tried dripping water on it's snout, no response ... body temp too low ==> lethargy.
So broke out the my lizard first aid kit and a 1ml syringe + a 18G catheter tube and slipped the end of the skinny flexi tube into the corner of it's mouth , gave the tube a good biting ( :) that was encouraging ) and I managed to get about 0.5 ml of water into it's mouth very small squirts (don't want to overload it or make it accidently aspirate some water while it's such a weak state.

Then I deposited the skink in the tub directly over the heatslab , and after about 15min it was crawling about and sniffing about and tasting the air ==> very good sign , but the eyes remained shut.

Legs and arms all seem to work OK ==> very good sign

Initially I was not sure it would last much long or see the night out.
I've constructed a little hide for it from an old cricket tub , cloth tap over the outside to make kit nice and dark inside - will help the skink feel secure and safe and deposited the now blind but active skink it's new little house and deposited the house in the warm end of the 10L tub.

No movement seen til my wife started a stirfry in the wok , that got the skink's interest , and can see it crawling about in the little hide and it just poked it's nose out and had a really good sniff of the air - the same way Lucky & Wriggles used.

IF the skink survives the night. I'll try some 1/5th strength Manuka honey in sterile saline ( I have this in my First Aid Kit) on it's eyes and give a drink made with 1/3 - 1/4 strength Manuka honey in water and either some HerpaBoost or Critta Care by feeding syringe IF it's not able to feed (still can't see).
I'll give the vet a call and ask if I can get hold of some antibiotics (either injectable or oral) to administer , I don't think the vet can do much more than get the skink onto a cause of antibiotics.


Summary

Sick adult eastern water skink found on our old concrete slab near the back of the house by my wife on 14nov2017 at 4pm .

Issues
• Shedding / recent but closed up injuries on it’s body (back and sides and legs and arms and head)
• No evidence of penetrating injuried on chest and belly
• Conjunctivitis in both eyes , eyelids glued shut by dry puss (?)  blind at present
• Recently dropped tail
• Cold

Used a catheter tube to give it about 0.4ml of water by syringe.
No luck getting it to eat the inards from a mealworm.
Warmed up in Wriggles’ old 10L tub on her old 5W heatpad set to 34degC. Took 1hr and it was crawling all over the place and quite active.
Arms and legs seem to be working OK.

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Both eyes appear infected and so crusty *MeStoopid they are glued *my stars! , I tried gently wiping the eyes with soggy piece of surgical swab, still closed and the skink didn't enjoy this.

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Initally suspected the poor condition of the skink was due to a lot of injuries that has formed scabs , but I noted scales were coming off , so I'm thinking it's in shed .
Yes - it's had a run in with something that scared it enough for it to drop it's tail relatively recently.
kingofnobbys
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Re: Another rescued skink - this one is sick

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:24 am

Update :

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Sleeping , I had lifted the bit of paper towel that she'd crawled under off her after lifting her room of her "bed"/"hide".

Was expecting to find she's expired since she disappeared in the hide at about 6pm but was encouraged to find she was still breathing normally.

While she was asleep I opted to apply a couple of droplets of 1/4 strength manuka honey to each eye and to the stump rather than stressing her unnecessarily while she's awake.

Will order in some Terrmaycic Opthalmic Ointment as the little tube I have from when I was treating Puff is now past it's UBD. I'm hoping I can get this "over the counter" ,even if I have get it flown to me from the USA.
In the mean time I'll keep her warm and quiet and do a few eye soaks with 1/4 strength manuka honey.

I made up the manuka honey eye soak / ointment using a 1 ml syringe and a 14G drawing up needle.

Procedure:
1) draw up 0.1 ml of manuka honey from the tube into the syringe using a 14G drawing up needle.
2) draw up 0.4 ml of saline using the same drawing up needle into the same syringe.
3) mix by drawing the needle plunger all the way out and reversing , but only a little way several times.
4) using the same drawing up needle and syringe deposit a couple of small drops on each eye and let the spread / soak in for 15mins, repeat = a couple of small drops on each eye.
5) draw the needle plunger all the way out , place drawing up needle cover over it - to seal it and keep it clean.

If she is still alive tomorrow when I get up , will also try her with a luke warm dilute Betadiene soak tomorrow - but I'll have to be very careful she doesn't drink the solution.
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Re: Another rescued skink - this one is sick

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:07 pm

Update 2:
Very good news.

She was up and sitting in her water dish (more a pond for her) and "looking" around this morning when my wife got up for brekky , and she really responds to my wife's voice .... she's the one who has been feeding my resident wild skinks while I've been housebound - too dangerous for me try to get down the steps while I'm rehabilitating and using a walker still.

I've been studying the photos of the outside water skinks who live under back of my house , she's one of the gang who hang out together under my back steps and porch and back tap's sump.
She's also a skink who's been resident , but never came inside , since 2014 - so I think she's about 4 years old and I'm very sure she is a daughter of the old matriarch who lived for nearly 10 years in my shed who I also befriended ( I have been checking the dots on the side of her neck and comparing .)

I've made a more private hide for her with a smaller entry hole in the side - see seems to really like it.
The other hide has been up turned and is now ontop the new one and she seems to like the private rooftop retreat and explored and spent a while in it immediately

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Cheaky bugger hey !

She is very aware of what's going on and of her surroundings and if I wasn't sure her eyesight is very restricted at the moment I'd think she's studying me (right now as she's been staring at me for 30mins).

She's been drinking of her own accord , and bathing too , and is definitely in shed. So will get a better sight of any scabs and wounds once she's finished shedding (fortunately with water skinks sheds are quick affair , over a few days normally).

Weighed her at 23g.

I can already see some improvement in her left eye - it's open just a crack :) , the diluted manuka honey seems to be doing the trick.
Will order in some antibiotic eye drops/ointment , if the honey does the trick I'll simply set the drops/ointment aside in the lizards' shelf in the fridge.

She's had another couple of small drops of the honey solution on each eye and her tail stump at 1pm , she was very good , hardly squirmed and immediately started licking her lips when placed a drop on them - loves the taste of the honey solution (as they all do).

Not fed her yet , there is a 2in plastic petri-dish with some mealworms in it and the lid on in her tub - I want to see if she shows any interest in the worms in the petri-dish and tries to get at them -if she does , I''ll drop a worm in the tub for her to see if she can catch it and eat it.

Ordered in a tub of BSF lavae , as I don't have any silkworms that are small enough for her and I'd rather give her these instead of crickets (except one's I kill for her) or mealworms.

Will make up a sloppy mix of Veta-Farm lizard pellets and RepCal juvenile beardie pellets with a little CalciVet and Herpa-Vite mixed in later today to see if she'll remember the smell and part-take.
I have HerpaBoost and CrittaCare on standby , but would rather not stress her unnecessarily by syringe and feeding needle feeding.

Spoke to the local vet over the phone - told him I've another rescued skink , his advise is make a booking for next week and do as I'm doing. If anything happens I can bring her in anytime if it's an emergency , all her treatment in the practice is at not cost (since she's wild).

2nd Update for today :
No attempt made to get at the mealworms.

Tried a few killed medium-small crickets , deposited not far from her hide's entrance --- hoped maybe the smell will get her interested.

She LOVES her cozy warm little hide, keeps poking he nose out every so often and sniffing the air (diner time - food cooking - very interesting smells for a skink).

3rd Update for today :
Never touched those dead crickets, so I gave her 0.5ml - VERY SLOWLY - of VetaFarm Critta-Care - took about an hour because I didn't to stress her by forcing the feeding needle down her throat into her stomache , so I opted to dabbing a tiny droplet of manuka honey on her lips to get her licking and then I'd deposit a drop of Critta-Care on end side of her mouth and end of nose and wait for her to lick most of it off and eat it before repeating.
Overall , she did much better than I expected with the assist feeding by syringe.

The dose of Critta-Care is 5ml per 100g BW once per day , for her 23x5/100 = 1.1ml , so 0.5ml on our first effort is good IMO.
The 18 Gauge crop needle drew up the mixture OK , but slowly.


Patience and having a lot time are virtue , I'd forgotten how time consuming feeding a small sick lizard can be.
I had to do similar things for Lucky my first rescue who was only a little juvenile and only 5g at the start , and I was really struggling with his intensive care doing a lot of firsts .... was very time consuming as well as very fiddlely and messy with him as I had not intensive care kit like I do now - add it's hard to get a grip on her as she's in shed and the old skin is loose. I'm covered with tiny bits of shed , and some of it is super sticky to the shirt and hands.

She essentially was so tired that she flopped where I deposited her when I returned her to her tub.
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Re: Another rescued skink - this one is sick

Postby kingofnobbys » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:00 am

Still here , eyes are still glued shut with puss.
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Re: Another rescued skink - this one is sick

Postby kingofnobbys » Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:29 am

Meant to update yesterday : here is yesterday's update.

Right eye appeared open just a crack today :) .

She did really well with the assist feeding of VetaFarm Critta Care - Reptile , I deposited a drop of manuka honey on her snout first and the slipped the little 23G plastic catheter tube into the corner of her mouth , this encouraged her to lick the honey and while she was doing this I deposited a small drop of Critta Care on the side of her mouth and snout.
She took 0.4ml in about 20min and was licking the Critta Care quite nicely , only had to "tickle" the tongue from the back corner of mouth a few times to keep going.
She also told me when she'd had enough ,the skink neck twisting thin that water skinks do when they are full and trying to make more space.

She is also getting stronger.

I feel that she's making slow improvements.

Seemed to enjoy the UV from the old 26W UVB200 ( which now performs like a 26W UVB150 ) , spent 2.5 hr under it before crawling off to a shady / warmer area.
Lucky and Wriggles ( water skinks ) used to only bask for maybe 1 hr before they crawled away looking for shade.
Been overcast / rainy most of the month til the day we rescued her ,so she probably needs the UV .

My kit (add a 23G catheter (plastic) tube:
Image
1ml syringe has made in the syringe 1:4 manuka honey in saline, has drawing needle attached.
5ml syringe has Critta Care Reptile in it - I keep the Critta Care in the Syringe in the fridge between feeds, has a feeding needle attached.

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Fluffy close up of her worse eye , yesterday ( that's a bit of shed hanging off her near it ).

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Nasty lacerations on her back - whippersnipped ??

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Bathing and drinking in her shallow pond (only about 3mm depth of water in it). Saw her little blue coloured tongue for the first time while she was drinking.

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Exploring while basking under the old 26W UVB200, it throws a bit of warmth (BTW).

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Basking under UVB today after feed.
Her back is a rough state - lots are lacerations , all being treated with 1:4 manuka honey.
Her tummy and chest are in good shape.

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nap time after a bit feed of Critta Care this afternoon. Stayed there for 3hr then moved about 3 inch to a cool area .
Not sure what the 2 blemishes under her chin are - keeping a close eye on them.

Today's Update :

Named her Fluffy .

I'm hoping Fluffy wasn't attacked by one the flee ranging local cats , or the dogs next door , I'm hoping she was just accidentially whippersnipped and her tail actually got cut off in the accident. but will never know.

Today she took another 0.4 ml of CRITTER CARE with manuka honey entrée to get her licking her snout, her limit seems to 0.35 - 0.4 ml which is about 1/2 the recommended daily feed but I'm happy to get that much into her.

I'm thinking of upping the concentration of manuka honey eye drops from 1:4 to 1:2 so they are a little less fluid and stay on the eyelids were I want to be and will give her the benefits of the antibiotic properties in manuka honey. 1:4 seems too liquid and runny.

Today while I was feeding her - slow time consuming job but at least she's getting the hang of it and knows when I touch the corner of her mouth with plastic tube form a 24G SURFLO IV catheter it means => lick lips and nose , so it's getting a bit quicker a process.
I'm glad I haven't needed to resort to using the feeding needle to get food directly into her stomach , but on the second day this was looking like a necessary evil.

More improvement , I'd sware she turned to look over my thumb at the corner of the lounge (lots of possible hidey places there and she may well know them and remember them if she's been coming inside over the last few years) and then she tried to leap off my hand --- only stopped her by holding one of her legs , settled and finished her meal after that.
She probably has some vision through that little slit in her left eyelid , and the fact she tried to make a bid for freedom is IMO a very good sign.
She's an assertive little girl.

Another indication that she has some sight is I placed her in her rooftop private basking spot in preparation to place her (in her tum in the 30L archive box) under the 26W UVB200 , no soon has I turned then UV on she got active and climbed down and made for her little warm hide's door and disappeared inside. Obviously had enough UVA & UVB the other day.

=========

UPDATE : Cheakie is back inside, saw her come out from under the (just closed by me) laundry door, she explored the bedrooms, bathroom and study and then disappeared back under closed laundry door into the laundry - not seen her a few weeks, but heard something in the bedroom yesterday making scratchy sounds behind the chest of draws.

My wife reports the number is skinks hanging out under the back sump is now two , was 4 . (They were very hungry this afternoon and enjoyed a feast of mealworms and dead crickets, and got two dead small (mealworm sized) silkworms and a bunch of dead crickets yesterday so they are very well fed.
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Re: Another rescued skink - this one is sick

Postby kingofnobbys » Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:49 am

update - 1 week on .

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One of Fluffy's goofy sleeping positions , how I found her last night - sound asleep - when I had to wake her to do her eyes and stump and back lacerations with 1:2 manuka honey mix at 1am. She thinks it's comfortable.

Both her eyes open a crack today , could see the LED headtorch reflecting off the eyeballs .
ImageImage

Even opened her left eye all the way just briefly and momentarily while I was letting explore my hand and chest . :) I am very pleased !!

Found another poo in her water dish this morning and she again wasn't hiding in her little hide while sleeping over night but chose to sleep up against the wall of the tub where I can see her / and she could see me ( and the TV ? ).

Some mealworm sized silkworms + a small tub of BSF lavae arrived today , maybe this time next week she'll be chowing down these instead of my needing to assist feed her with Critta Care by syringe.

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