Just took in a neglected BTS

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fornarnia96
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Just took in a neglected BTS

Postby fornarnia96 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:19 pm

Hello all! I just took in a neglected BTS from someone who lost interest in taking care of him. I randomly asked one day if I could have the skink and he told me yes! I couldn't stand to see the poor thing be neglected anymore. I understand that it's a huge responsibility for a 20 yr old college student.

The BTS is approximately a 17 year old male. I believe he is a Northern. It took me some time to read up on most of what I need to know. Poor thing's substrate hasn't been changed in at least two years, and his nails haven't been clipped in probably 3-4 years. All the supplies the previous owner gave me were probably a decade old or so. I've purchased all new supplies including substrate and crickets and worms. I've been feeding him canned dog food and veggies as suggested by this site (50/40/10). I believe the tank is a little too small but I can't afford a new one at the moment and it's the one he's been living in his whole life. I plan on taking him out to have supervised free time in the house. I know how to clean the tank and plan on changing the substrate this weekend (unfortunately I have had exams this week).

One thing I'm worried about is the nail clipping. I've read some places online that you can't cut the nails off all at once even if they're over a half an inch long, which this skink's are. Is this true? I want to cut them short as soon as possible because this skink's nails are all curled together and it's interfering with how he moves. Also, should I leave food out for him or put some down every three days, let him eat as much as he wants in one sitting, and then take it away?

Any other beginner advice in dealing with a severely neglected BTS would be much appreciated! I have no experience with them but I desperately want to help this little guy and be a better owner than the previous one! Thanks so much. :D
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Re: Just took in a neglected BTS

Postby splashy07 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:51 am

Let me start by saying you are a saint for trying to save him. I would start with a vet visit to rule out severe illness, malnutrition, etc. I've never heard of not trimming all the nails, you would just have to be very careful because the vein may have grown down further than normal with the length of the nail. A picture of him would help, I'd like to see his condition and correctly identify the species, as that would have much to do with his needs. For now I'd let him eat all he wants, and keep him as clean as you possibly can, even if you have to use newspaper or paper towels for a little while. Make sure he has sufficient heat and hiding areas too, so he feels comfortable and learns to trust you. I wish you all the best. Post a picture as soon as you can, I am concerned.
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Re: Just took in a neglected BTS

Postby Janella » Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:44 pm

I agree with Splashy07 as well. Thank you so much for taking him in and giving him a chance. Definitely needs a vet visit asap. Please post pictures, so we can help more. Thanks and good luck!
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Re: Just took in a neglected BTS

Postby Janella » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:24 pm

How's the skink doing???
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Re: Just took in a neglected BTS

Postby fornarnia96 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:53 am

Update on the skink!

His name is Steve since that's been his name for 17 years and I didn't have the heart to change it. He's been eating pretty well, though he can be picky with certain veggies. I have clipped his nails, but not all the way down because two of them started bleeding. I got the bulk of the nail off and now I will clip a little bit off at a time every few days or so. I bought him an entirely new tank that had much more room. We had him out of his tank for about two hours and at first he was pretty nervous, but he warmed up to us petting him pretty fast. He can be very playful and I discovered he absolutely loves blueberries. When we placed him in the new tank, he pooped and peed immediately and he ran around for a bit since he has so much extra room now! :D He could hardly turn around in his old one since it was so narrow.

Here are some pics of him when we had him out and of his first few minutes in his new terrarium. Can any of you identify if he is definitely a Northern?

Thank you so much for the advice!
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Janella
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Re: Just took in a neglected BTS

Postby Janella » Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:02 pm

That is wonderful news regarding Steve. I am sure he is in skink heaven now enjoying all his new space. He does look like a Northern to me. Thanks again for rescuing him.

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