Merauke BTS Won't Eat

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ssmith73
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Merauke BTS Won't Eat

Postby ssmith73 » Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:20 pm

Hello,

On 11/14 my daughter and I got a 6 month old Merauke BTS. The first couple weeks she ate every other day. The last two weeks she has not been eating. Only a few bites when I hold her in front of the dish. I have been mixing it up every feeding, organic spring greens, collard greens, green beans, 3 different kinds of premium dog food and a couple of cat foods plus Bluey Buffet. Temps are between 90-95 in the basking area and 78-82 on the cool side.

I'm concerned!!!!

Why wont she eat?

Any suggestions out there?
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Re: Merauke BTS Won't Eat

Postby mb606587 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:16 am

From the FAQ section: BTS not eating? Read this!

Where did you purchase your skink from? Best case scenario, your skink senses it's a bit colder out and its body is adjusting. Your basking spots could use a small bump up in heat. I'd go at least 100F for a juvenile. Add a rock or anything your skink can climb onto so your skink can get closer to the heat light because trying to switch to a more powerful bulb could make your cool side too warm. Not too unusual for skinks to slow down feeding especially in winter. Worst case scenario, you were sold a sick skink.
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Re: Merauke BTS Won't Eat

Postby Susann » Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:54 pm

Yeah, it's pretty common for skinks to go on occasional food "breaks" and usually a few weeks for a juvenile is no big deal. But at 6 mos old, it's not necessarily common, especially if it is a Merauke. Sometimes adult males go off food during mating season, which is right now, and yours could just be feeling the hormones already.
If he starts to look like he's losing weight though, I would think about seeing a vet, especially for a fecal test. Like mb606587, I'd like to know what type of place you got him from, because that may change the urgency if he doesn't start eating soon, for example if you got him from a pet store or an expo.

Keep us updated how things are going.
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Re: Merauke BTS Won't Eat

Postby ssmith73 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:16 pm

I got her from an expo in Eau Claire WI. THe gentleman said that she was captive bred, "His Baby". She still isn't eating! I have bumped up the heat on the basking side and still trying various foods. I tried bananas that I have read they love but she's not interested. She has been having smaller loose mucus looking stools. Sounds like we need to take a trip to the vet.

P.S. sorry for the late response. I didn't think most post went through.
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Re: Merauke BTS Won't Eat

Postby mb606587 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:51 pm

Yes, after a month of not eating, I think a vet check may be necessary. While I would like to believe that the vendor was truthful in telling you that he bred your skink, and the age kind of does match the time of year a CBB Merauke would be born, the unfortunate truth is that some of those vendors do lie. The possibility exists that you have an imported skink with internal parasites, which would cause runny stools and a refusal to eat.
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Re: Merauke BTS Won't Eat

Postby ssmith73 » Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:31 am

mb606587 wrote:Yes, after a month of not eating, I think a vet check may be necessary. While I would like to believe that the vendor was truthful in telling you that he bred your skink, and the age kind of does match the time of year a CBB Merauke would be born, the unfortunate truth is that some of those vendors do lie. The possibility exists that you have an imported skink with internal parasites, which would cause runny stools and a refusal to eat.


I have made her an appointment for 1:40 today. The last two days I have been giving her a little soaked in warm water. This morning after I removed her from the water she actually took one bite of food. Fingers crossed that it is not parasites. I have always wanted a blue tongue and the opportunity was there so I got her! Super bummed that she isn't eating!
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Re: Merauke BTS Won't Eat

Postby ssmith73 » Thu Dec 13, 2018 6:56 pm

So I ended up taking her into a very reputable reptile vet. She said all externals looked great. Not to dehydrated as I have been giving her daily baths. She said her eyes look great and her saliva also wasn't pasty and stringy like it would be if she super dehydrated. I now have to collect a stool sample and bring it in. Fingers crossed that it isn't parasites. The vet also suggested trying insects and even a pinky to peek her interest. Oh and she did confirm that Blueberry is a female.

Thank you all for the suggestions. I will follow up once I know more.
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Re: Merauke BTS Won't Eat

Postby mb606587 » Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:49 pm

Hopefully the fecal test will come back negative but even if it doesn't, you have your answer and easy enough to treat. And out of curiosity, how did your vet determine Blueberry is a confirmed female? I know there is a method that involves x-ray imaging, but it would be costly and very few vets are knowledgeable enough to do it. I wasn't aware of any other way.
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Re: Merauke BTS Won't Eat

Postby ssmith73 » Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:48 am

mb606587 wrote:Hopefully the fecal test will come back negative but even if it doesn't, you have your answer and easy enough to treat. And out of curiosity, how did your vet determine Blueberry is a confirmed female? I know there is a method that involves x-ray imaging, but it would be costly and very few vets are knowledgeable enough to do it. I wasn't aware of any other way.


She used probe. I guess the sex of the skink can be determined by the depth at which the probe stops. Not sure but I'm not a vet.
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Re: Merauke BTS Won't Eat

Postby mb606587 » Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:10 am

Aaah forgot about probing. Thanks
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Re: Merauke BTS Won't Eat

Postby splashy07 » Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:13 am

From what I have been told by multiple breeders, probing is not always accurate in BTs.
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Re: Merauke BTS Won't Eat

Postby ssmith73 » Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:43 am

I guess my long term concerns are that she/he starts eating again. I do not plan on breeding the skink. Just always wanted one because I think they are awesome animals.
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Re: Merauke BTS Won't Eat

Postby splashy07 » Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:55 am

That they are, and I hope yours gives you many decades of enjoyment! Be warned, they are addicting and few of us have stopped at just one! All the best of luck with yours.
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Re: Merauke BTS Won't Eat

Postby ssmith73 » Fri Dec 14, 2018 4:00 pm

splashy07 wrote:That they are, and I hope yours gives you many decades of enjoyment! Be warned, they are addicting and few of us have stopped at just one! All the best of luck with yours.


I know right! I am thinking I still want a Northern! lol

Update on feeding as well, she didn't eat a ton but today I boiled an egg and tried feeding her. she went to her hide so I placed some egg in the hide. Came back later and it was gone. I have put some dubia roaches and super worms in her enclosure today as well.
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Re: Merauke BTS Won't Eat

Postby splashy07 » Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:58 am

Haha, yes, I was keeping Indonesians at the time when I sort of tripped over a northern. Totally unexpected. Now I have six and have been breeding for three years. Hi. I am I skinkaholic. Nice to meet you. My current grand total is 15. All the best of luck with yours!
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Re: Merauke BTS Won't Eat

Postby ssmith73 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:05 am

Update:

Blueberry has 2 different kinds of parasites. One for sure was hookworm, I cannot remember the other. The Vet prescribed an oral medication given once a day for five days. At least I know why she isn't eating and hoping that the meds kick in and she begins to eat again!

Does anyone know if it sometimes takes awhile for these parasite to fester? Like I said when we first brought her home she ate pretty good for the first few weeks. I was actually snooping on my daughters iPad and found a video that she made of Blueberry chowing down. She made that video on 11/16. I don't think she got the parasites from here so I'm thinking she had them before we got her.
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Re: Merauke BTS Won't Eat

Postby splashy07 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:25 am

More than likely a pre-existing condition, and very common with imported animals. The stress from multiple transports and new surroundings can cause parasites to manifest themselves in a harmful way. I'm sure it has nothing to do with you and would have happened regardless. All the best, and glad he is getting the care he deserves.
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Re: Merauke BTS Won't Eat

Postby mb606587 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:33 pm

Agreed, it was sold to you with parasites. Many imported reptiles will have them in some form or another. Unless you are feeding insects or rodents caught directly from your backyard, internal parasites should be virtually non-existent in captive reptiles. As a precaution, I'd change the substrate out during treatment, and directly after treatment to minimize any re-occurrence. You could opt for paper towel or reptile carpet temporarily during treatment. Here is a thread worth reading that may shed some light on your situation being that your Merauke was sold to you as Captive Bred or Captive Born. Is My Blue Tongue Skink Captive Born and Bred (CBB), Captive Bred or Captive Born (CB), Farm Bred, or Wild Caught (WC)?. Unfortunately, there's not many Merauke breeders out there and reptile expos usually aren't the best place to find them.
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Re: Merauke BTS Won't Eat

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:05 pm

The meds will likely put her off her food somewhat.
Make sure to sterilize her tank THOROUGHLY , this also involves ditching the existing bedding / substrate as it'll be infested with paracite eggs from her poos and will only serve to continually reinfect her , I'd have her on absorbant kitchen paper towels , replacing each time she poos , until the vet gives you the all clear on the paracite infection.

eating could try :
>> nudging up the temperatures a bit (no hotter than 100 F at the basking spot) and cool zone no cooler than 80 F (?) , help boost her immune system and metabolic rate …. not sure if that's right temps for MBTs.
>> bumping up the UV to a good 10% UVB at least 24W , the extra UVA from this bulb or tube will help boost the metabolism and appetite
>> nudging up the photoperiod ( 14 hrs maybe 15 hours ) will help her - she'll have more time to bask and stay warm each day.

When does the vet want to see her again for a follow up ?
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Re: Merauke BTS Won't Eat

Postby ssmith73 » Fri Dec 21, 2018 4:03 pm

kingofnobbys wrote:The meds will likely put her off her food somewhat.
Make sure to sterilize her tank THOROUGHLY , this also involves ditching the existing bedding / substrate as it'll be infested with paracite eggs from her poos and will only serve to continually reinfect her , I'd have her on absorbant kitchen paper towels , replacing each time she poos , until the vet gives you the all clear on the paracite infection.

eating could try :
>> nudging up the temperatures a bit (no hotter than 100 F at the basking spot) and cool zone no cooler than 80 F (?) , help boost her immune system and metabolic rate …. not sure if that's right temps for MBTs.
>> bumping up the UV to a good 10% UVB at least 24W , the extra UVA from this bulb or tube will help boost the metabolism and appetite
>> nudging up the photoperiod ( 14 hrs maybe 15 hours ) will help her - she'll have more time to bask and stay warm each day.

When does the vet want to see her again for a follow up ?


Thank you for the advice! I have changed out her substrate twice now. I also have bumped up temps a bit! Since start the meds, I have noticed her basking a lot more often.

Tomorrow is the last day of the meds. While cleaning her enclosure out today, I placed her in a tub with some Dubia Roaches and some Super Worms. I really wasn't paying attention as I was cleaning and I heard noises from the tub. I look over and she's in attack mode just chasing the roaches and then rubbing the super worms into the floor. She ate them all! 4 roaches and 7 or 8 super worms. I'm thinking of offering her some veggies and normal foods.

I am excited to see her eating and hunting!

I was going to buy a northern from a breeder in Nevada but I came across this one at the Expo.

The Vet really didn't say to follow up unless her appetite didn't get better.

Hopefully we are on the right track!

I love these forums, it's nice to get tips and suggestions from all of you!

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