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Norther eating stones. Solutions?

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:13 pm
by Vegasarah
So I have been bringing Rocket outside for a romp around in the yard, but I have to watch him like a hawk because he has been eating stones. Or at least trying to. Any pebble, even if it is twice the size of his head, he picks up and tries to eat! I would tack it up to him just being a bottomless pit for food, but its only rocks. Not grass or bark or any other small things.

I had s tortoise that did this too and it was easily solved by breaking up a cuttle bone into bite sized bits. He ate those and stopped eating stones. I was told there was only a small risk of impaction because it is pure calcium, which is water soluble.

What is everyone's thoughts on this? I'm afraid there is some kind of deficiency and he is trying to balance himself out?

Re: Norther eating stones. Solutions?

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:15 pm
by Edward
I had a Northern female who would do this frequently. She was housed outdoors and so, for all I know, she did it all the time. Never had any health issues to my knowledge so ... I'm not sure if there is any harm in letting them do it. :chin:

Re: Norther eating stones. Solutions?

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:32 am
by Linnea
my guess is that if your bluey eats a large pebble then getting it out of the system may be a problem. im by no means a vet or so but......to my knowledge eating rocks is not good. if it got stuck in the intestines it would be a major issue on such a small reptile.

are you providing calcium with d3? are you giving dog food with veggies and greens? if not then it may be an idea to switch to this and see if it gets better. then you can rule out some parts of the regular vitamin defiency at least. try looking over the food charts once more (sorry if people have already said this a thousand times)

Re: Norther eating stones. Solutions?

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:04 pm
by Vegasarah
I supplement with calcium with D3 daily and a reptivite once a week. I feed dog food and cat food mixed. Superworms or crickets or roaches once a week.
Greens, weeds, squash, and occasional apple or berries. I think his diet is really pretty good, I always consult the feeding chart when I make his meals.

I don't know, maybe it's just a weird habit... I just hate having to always watch him so closely and pull pebbles out of his mouth. :roll:

Re: Norther eating stones. Solutions?

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:07 pm
by Katrina
I've had skinks that do this, it seems completely normal for some of them. I'm not sure if they think they are eggs or something weird, I've found it is usually white rocks that they try to munch on, but it is very normal. Obviously, don't let them eat them... But most of the ones mine try to pick up are larger than their heads so it isn't a huge concern. Sucks when you have to supervise closely outside, but I haven't figured out why some do this, it is definitely a fairly common occurrence though.

Re: Norther eating stones. Solutions?

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:33 pm
by Richard.C
could think there mushies?and maybe think there halucinating its actually a stone,hehe

theres always the chance the rock has smell to it that they think tastes yum

Re: Norther eating stones. Solutions?

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:53 am
by Vegasarah
So what about access to a cuttle bone or pieces of a cuttle bone? Is there actually a risk of impaction or would a bluey be able to break it down and process it? Anyone think this might be dangerous?? They sell these at pet stores for reptiles...

Re: Norther eating stones. Solutions?

Posted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 4:14 pm
by Vegasarah
Bump- I'm still wondering if the eating of the cuttle bone would be of benefit or harm?

Re: Norther eating stones. Solutions?

Posted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 4:24 pm
by Jeff
Cuttlebone is not going to hurt, but it is just as easy to add calcium to the food. Does cuttlebone have D3 in it? If not, I would go with a powdered calcium that does instead.

Re: Norther eating stones. Solutions?

Posted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 4:48 pm
by Vegasarah
Well it would just to 'curb' the pebble-eating behavior, not as a primary source of calcium. I supplement with calcium with D-3 as well as a repti-vite.

Re: Norther eating stones. Solutions?

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:28 am
by Lea
Try button mushrooms if you want a diversion from the stones. While they aren't good to feed regularly, they will be a whole lot better than stones and look similar, so are an easy distraction. I had a shingleback who used to try and eat pebbles all the time. I solved the problem by providing her with a softer, more palatable alternative. She took to the mushrooms quickly and left the pebbles alone. Try and get a mushie that is similar in size and colour.

Alternatively, clear all the stones :noknow: that will soon solve the problem.

Re: Norther eating stones. Solutions?

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:50 am
by Vegasarah
That is a good idea, LeaBibly, I should try that. Unfortunately, large spaces of my back yard are landscaped with rocks to keep the weeds down! I would be removing tons of rock to clear it. I also am going to buy a larger kiddie pool for Rocket and probably plant it like a little garden with edible plants and grasses to run around in. I just think the risk of him eating a stone would be too high, it just makes me so nervous.

Re: Norther eating stones. Solutions?

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:28 pm
by Lea
How about covering the area he runs about in with a large weed mat? You could put some potted plants etc on it to provide interest with smells and sights or some edible items, to stimulate him and help him slowly forget his stone fetish!