Is he getting old?

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tiliqua38
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Is he getting old?

Postby tiliqua38 » Mon May 07, 2012 8:50 am

I have a question and concern about my bts, Bubba. I have had him for over 12 years now and he was a full grown adult when I got him. I have no way of knowing how old he was when he came to me, but he was as big then as he is now. For background, back then my kids were little and I was a stay at home mom. I was getting pretty bored so I got a part time weekend job at the petstore just to get out a little. Bubba was at the petstore and wasn't selling because of the price tag I think. He was such a sweet laid back lizard and would hang out with me while I was working. So....he finally came home with me. He has been very sweet and extremely healthy and hardy all these years. His normal thing is to be sluggish and refuse food during the winter months, starting beginning of October and he would usually "wake up" in the beginning of February. For a couple of months after "waking", he would be restless and all over the place. And much too interested in getting out to eat well at all. Anyway, this year has been different. It is now the beginning of May and he has not been acting like that. He still stays buried and is not following his 12 year routine. I let him go throughout the week, but on the weekend I will dig him up to spot clean the cage and at that point offer him some food. The last two weekends he has warmed himself under the lamp and then eaten the food I've given him (after I've dug him up and done spot cleaning). But if I try to feed during the week he just ignores it. He will not come out on his own. I don't know if our weird weather this winter and spring messed him up or what. Or is it possible he is getting old? Has anyone here had a senior skink? What has been your experience? What are your thoughts on Bubba?
mixed breed - Cocoa RIP
shih tzu - Gizmo
Chihuahua - Marley
terrier/Chihuahua mix - Kendra
tortie cat - Angel RIP
black cat - Jake RIP
Irian Jaya BTS - Bubba
2 Leopard geckos - Bert and Ernie
Three toed/gulf coast integrade box turtle - Peanut
Three toed box turtle - Pebbles
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Re: Is he getting old?

Postby Kbell31 » Mon May 07, 2012 10:29 am

This may have been talked about already but it brings me to ask what is the longest time a member has had a skink? I think they have lifespans of 20+ or so years? I would imagine 12 years old is middle aged, think maybe a 50-60 year old human? Haha I really dont know just a guess, but probably right about when things start going slowly downhill instead of up? No offense of course to my fellow middle aged members :D

Back to your question, if those are just the only issues you are having with your skink and all else seems normal, body weight is good, bright eyes, normal looking limbs, feet etc, my guess and I say guess, is maybe his clock is just off a bit due to his older age or weather. I say that only bc I have a treefrog who had a similar issue this spring. Waking up from hibernation was very off, it took much longer than normal for her to start eating again and even though she is probably around 5 or so years old I accredited to our very strange spring where it was unseasonably warm very early in the year and then it got very cold.
When life gets difficult, always remember you are being planted NOT buried!
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Re: Is he getting old?

Postby tiliqua38 » Mon May 07, 2012 3:46 pm

Thanks for your input and thoughts. Bubba however is older than 12 for sure. I got him over 12 years ago, and he was a big hefty lizard then. I'd say about 23 inches. He now pushes 24 inches. So though I do not know his age or how old he was when he came to me, I do know he was not real young when I got him. And I don't know what to expect in his old age.
mixed breed - Cocoa RIP
shih tzu - Gizmo
Chihuahua - Marley
terrier/Chihuahua mix - Kendra
tortie cat - Angel RIP
black cat - Jake RIP
Irian Jaya BTS - Bubba
2 Leopard geckos - Bert and Ernie
Three toed/gulf coast integrade box turtle - Peanut
Three toed box turtle - Pebbles
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Re: Is he getting old?

Postby tiliqua38 » Mon May 07, 2012 3:57 pm

You know, I just thought of something while reading another thread. I have never known Bubba's sex, but kind of assumed male based on his restless spring behavior all his life coupled with a lack of appetite at that time. Now I'm wondering, is it possible that he has gotten so old now that he is not interested in "finding a mate" anymore, and therefore did not go through his usual crazy, restless spring period? Just a thought.......
mixed breed - Cocoa RIP
shih tzu - Gizmo
Chihuahua - Marley
terrier/Chihuahua mix - Kendra
tortie cat - Angel RIP
black cat - Jake RIP
Irian Jaya BTS - Bubba
2 Leopard geckos - Bert and Ernie
Three toed/gulf coast integrade box turtle - Peanut
Three toed box turtle - Pebbles
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Richard.C
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Re: Is he getting old?

Postby Richard.C » Mon May 07, 2012 5:52 pm

could quite easily be a temperature thing,if they pick up whats going on outside they can follow that

also as they get older,they dont eat as much,so if they get enough from that 1 meal,that may be enough to geth through to the following week,if it is a male,another thing ive noticed is they can be tempremental feeders early in a season,well all season for some,females need to pack on condition to not only survive,but to reproduce as well and survive for the following season


ive got a few animals,attained as adults,had 1 since 1995,and she was big then,didnt have the young look,but im not 100 percent sure how old she was then,she had another litter of 5 babies recently,and is still going strong,no signs of slowing down anyways

normally really old ones slow right down,im not far off having owned this lass for 20 years,and she was quite mature looking when i got her,my avatar pic is actually her>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
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Re: Is he getting old?

Postby tiliqua38 » Mon May 07, 2012 6:16 pm

So it basically can be the weird spring we had or it can be an aging thing then....

Yes, it was February of the year 2000 when I got Bubba. And again, he was big and hefty and not young. Who knows how old he is...
He has always been a fussy eater in the spring months. The change is that he is not pacing the cage and trying to dig his way out, which is his usual behavior in spring. He is just staying buried all the time.
mixed breed - Cocoa RIP
shih tzu - Gizmo
Chihuahua - Marley
terrier/Chihuahua mix - Kendra
tortie cat - Angel RIP
black cat - Jake RIP
Irian Jaya BTS - Bubba
2 Leopard geckos - Bert and Ernie
Three toed/gulf coast integrade box turtle - Peanut
Three toed box turtle - Pebbles
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Re: Is he getting old?

Postby Richard.C » Mon May 07, 2012 10:17 pm

could be age related,but it could me a few things to,like cooler season,sometimes males dont pace,but odd when the last 12 years he has all but this season,do u cool him over winter?

what type is he,any chance of pics,behaviour does sound very male though,especially picky eating and like u mentioned,its hard to know age when theres no history,could have been old when u first aquired him

if hes holding weight ect id imagine hes ok still,though it is odd hes changed behaviour when u have had him so long,12 years is a decent length even if it was a juvie when u aquired it
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Re: Is he getting old?

Postby tiliqua38 » Tue May 08, 2012 3:38 am

I don't have any recent pictures, these are maybe 3 years old?? I'm not sure. He is an Irian Jaya.
Image
Image
And this pic is probably more like 5 years old.
Image
mixed breed - Cocoa RIP
shih tzu - Gizmo
Chihuahua - Marley
terrier/Chihuahua mix - Kendra
tortie cat - Angel RIP
black cat - Jake RIP
Irian Jaya BTS - Bubba
2 Leopard geckos - Bert and Ernie
Three toed/gulf coast integrade box turtle - Peanut
Three toed box turtle - Pebbles
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Re: Is he getting old?

Postby Richard.C » Wed May 09, 2012 11:16 pm

he looks spritely in thos pics,i know newest one was 3 odd years old,does he still look similar,weight wise and looks,looks in tip top shape looking at those pics
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Re: Is he getting old?

Postby tiliqua38 » Wed May 16, 2012 8:58 am

Yes, he still looks the same. Just never comes out. Same thing this past week. I dug him out on Saturday to check on him, etc. Put him under the spot lamp and gave him some food. I figured I'd treat him to live nightcrawlers this week, which he really enjoyed. It is now Wednesday and I haven't seen him since. And I'm sure I won't until I dig him up again.

I'll try to take some current pics and post them.
mixed breed - Cocoa RIP
shih tzu - Gizmo
Chihuahua - Marley
terrier/Chihuahua mix - Kendra
tortie cat - Angel RIP
black cat - Jake RIP
Irian Jaya BTS - Bubba
2 Leopard geckos - Bert and Ernie
Three toed/gulf coast integrade box turtle - Peanut
Three toed box turtle - Pebbles
tiliqua38
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Re: Is he getting old?

Postby tiliqua38 » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:30 am

I just wanted to post an update to this. Bubba continued in this manner until very recently. He would come out once a week to eat and spent the entire rest of the time buried in shavings (no exaggeration). It was like I didn't have a lizard anymore. This has been going on for a year at least. Well, recently I decided to change his housing. He has always lived in a glass tank, a 40 breeder. I kept three sides covered with paper and the front open. I decided to try different housing and see how he liked it. I am now housing Bubba in the largest rubbermaid storage bin they make. It is a 50 gallong storage bin but has the floor space of the 40 breeder. I bought a second one to kind of use as a stand. Bubba's home sits stacked on top of a second one. I have his aspen bedding in there as substrate and his heat light on one end with a basking log underneath it. On the unheated end he has his water bowl and some fake vines to hide in. Guess what? I have my lizard back. I don't know what or why, but he seems to be happy now. He's coming out to bask, and then he explores for while. He seems to enjoy crawling through the vines. He is alert again. This makes me very happy. I've been keeping reptiles for over 15 years and this is what it's all about. Figuring out what makes them happy and comfortable. I wanted to post this because at one point in time I read a thread on this forum where people were discussing how some feel it's neglectful to house BTS in rubbermaid totes. So from someone what has used both glass tanks and totes, I just wanted to tell of my experience. I'm of the opinion that for a lot of terrestrial herps totes make great inexpensive housing. and if reptiles could talk, I bet a lot of them would tell us they actually prefer them.
mixed breed - Cocoa RIP
shih tzu - Gizmo
Chihuahua - Marley
terrier/Chihuahua mix - Kendra
tortie cat - Angel RIP
black cat - Jake RIP
Irian Jaya BTS - Bubba
2 Leopard geckos - Bert and Ernie
Three toed/gulf coast integrade box turtle - Peanut
Three toed box turtle - Pebbles
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Re: Is he getting old?

Postby critterguy » Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:13 am

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Re: Is he getting old?

Postby Richard.C » Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:37 pm

Excellent,thanks for follow up post,im glad u experimented,as theres usually reasons why the change,nothing wrong with totes either,if anything can make them feel more secure,there just harder to sit and watch the lizards in,but thats a person thing,lizards welfare is of way more importance

Theres a great lesson in this thread,dont be afraid to experiment if your animal isnt behaving as u think it should or it used to behave,sometimes a re jig can do wonders
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Re: Is he getting old?

Postby dsteamn » Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:55 pm

I think that's an awesome story. It just goes to show you how resilient these little guys can be. I've said many times before that if you pay attention to your animal, they will teach you what they need to have to be healthy happy. Congrats on figuring it out and getting your friend back. And thanks for the update. I love hearing stories life that.

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