Adopting a sick blue tongue, also hi!

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Adopting a sick blue tongue, also hi!

Postby Kitiara » Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:02 am

Hi guys and gals! I am new to this forum but not new to reptiles or medical care. I am in need of some help, however. I’m picking up a sick BTS today. It’s an odd situation that I’m receiving her, so bear with me.“She” has eye issues and has been diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection. She has been kept under poor husbandry for the last year, and although she has been seen by a vet the only meds I’m gaining access to are her eye drops, Neomycin. I’m trying to get in contact with the vet because she was also prescribed injections, Baytril AND Ceftaz. The reason I cannot get the injections immediately are because they need the meds for other animals as well, so I’ll have to purchase her injections separately. I’m hoping the vet will give me a script since she’s already seen the animal.

Aside from that, apparently they thought she was an Australian BTS, but now are thinking she is Indonesian. I will post pics as soon as I get her so hopefully you guys can help me ID for sure. I want to have all her temps and humidity correct for her species. Her diet has been spotty, she has been offered salads but apparently all she will eat is a little bit of egg or a fuzzy occasionally. I’m hoping once her environment needs are met her appetite will pick up, but any tips to get her eating a varied diet are appreciate!
Thanks in advance!
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Re: Adopting a sick blue tongue, also hi!

Postby splashy07 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:09 am

Bless you for rescuing this poor animal, and HI! Welcome! Try and post a picture as soon as you can and we will start from there.
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Re: Adopting a sick blue tongue, also hi!

Postby kingofnobbys » Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:28 am

Kudos to you for rescuing this skink. It can be very rewarding caring for a rescued injured or sick reptlle, helping it recover and return to good health and rehabilating it (and a roller coaster ride too).

Photos of the skink and good closeups of the areas of concern will be a big help to so we can see what you are concerned about.

How is the skink currently housed ? photos help.
Temperatures , UV , humidity will help.

Have you considered nebulizing F10 daily to help with RI ?
…. this is often very effective with even long term intractable RIs because the very fine F10 mist gets very deep into the lungs and helps kill off the virus or bacteria causing the RI whereas antibiotics given by injection can become ineffective because the germs become resistant to them (you mention prior keeper has poor husbandry so likely never followed through with the full cause of antibiotic injections , and long term use of antibiotics is murder to the protective gut flora too so can actually make a reptile sicker).

If you want more information on the gear needed and procedure for nebulizing using F10 or mix of F10 and antiobiotics feel free to PM me for a more information.
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Re: Adopting a sick blue tongue, also hi!

Postby Kitiara » Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:34 am

It’s currently being housed on newspaper with a small water bowl, a moist hide with moss, and a heat lamp-before that she was in a larger open air enclosure with a heat bulb and I believe UV. Not high humidity at all, and temps at night drop pretty bad at her current location. I cannot provide pics of those enclosures because it is my employers location. (we know the issues of our location and are working to improve all these problems but since some of the animals have had chronic issues they are rehoming them until the building is redesigned). They’ve also hired new zookeepers since the last person in charge basically ignored all animal advice. It’s quite a mess.

As for her setup in my home, I have a 40 gallon breeder setup with 100 watt mercury UVA/UVB bulb and I also have CHM’s to bring the temp up more. The lid is screen but I can close it in more if needed for higher humidity. I know a 40 is the smallest recommended, but it was what I had on hand until my husband can build her a custom enclosure. I was waiting to provide substrate based on yalls recommendations for her species/plus her illness.
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Re: Adopting a sick blue tongue, also hi!

Postby splashy07 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:21 am

A 100w mvb should be sufficient for that size tank, as that is what I previously used before switching over to all pvc enclosures. If Indonesian species, you don't want to dry the air up too much, as CHE's often do. One side of the screen can be covered with foil to keep in heat/humidity. I previously kept Halmaheras/Merauke in such an enclosure with no issues. Now let's see what kind of BT you have.
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Re: Adopting a sick blue tongue, also hi!

Postby Kitiara » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:02 am

https://ibb.co/bvpQR4J
https://ibb.co/93bY7dK
https://ibb.co/t34FhGX
https://ibb.co/nb5dYgX
https://ibb.co/F5t6j7t


Sorry for the links I just now picked her up, so wanted to get pictures to y’all quickly. I’m on my way home with her right now.
Last edited by Kitiara on Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Adopting a sick blue tongue, also hi!

Postby splashy07 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:07 am

That is a Merauke, RI's are common if humidity requirements are not met. 70+ at the very least.
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Re: Adopting a sick blue tongue, also hi!

Postby Kitiara » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:08 am

The humidity was at 30% when I picked her up. Will raising her humidity to 70% affect her URI?
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Re: Adopting a sick blue tongue, also hi!

Postby splashy07 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:18 am

All considering, she really doesn't look bad. They are surprisingly resilient animals and will more than likely be fine with some husbandry adjustments. As far as substrate, a humidity friendly type such as coco husk, cypress mulch, repti bark or similar with a moist hide for shedding. A large water bowl big enough to soak in will benefit also. I've never seen a blue tongue of any type eat a salad...my shinglebacks don't even like them and they're supposed to. Mixed greens in with other foods such as a high quality dog food may be accepted. As far as vegetables go on their own, mine will only accept peas and carrots! I think you'll have a great pet there with just a few changes in environment!
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Re: Adopting a sick blue tongue, also hi!

Postby splashy07 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:20 am

The lack of humidity is what more than likely caused her RI in the first place. Eye problems, shedding issues, etc all are the result of low humidity in this particular species. Check for old stuck shed around toes and if present let her stand in lukewarm water for a bit to loosen. I didn't notice any in pictures but my eyesight isn't the greatest with this lighting here at work!
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Re: Adopting a sick blue tongue, also hi!

Postby Kitiara » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:24 am

Thanks for your replies! I’ll post a pick of her setup once I get it a little more organized. I have a pie dish for her bowl, and coco husk substrate mixed with eco earth. As for diet, I got her feeding chart. They had been giving her raw turkey with some veggies mixed in or a hard boiled egg here and there, and fuzzy mice. She hasn’t been eating much, but then they offer her food every day. So 10% every day doesn’t sound like she’s starving, and she looks at a decent weight.
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Re: Adopting a sick blue tongue, also hi!

Postby splashy07 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:26 am

Yes, her weight looks good and a seasonal slowdown is not peculiar. All the best.
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Re: Adopting a sick blue tongue, also hi!

Postby mb606587 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:32 pm

Agree with all of the above. 30% humidity is much too low for a Merauke and would certainly be a cause for respiratory infections if kept in those conditions. Also abrupt declines in temperature or providing inadequate heat can and will usually do the same. Generally, RI's should be treated by a vet, which you indicated you sought one out so good on you for doing that, but as was also stated above, your skink's health should quickly improve once proper conditions are provided. For humidity, 70% would be a perfect number to achieve (I believe the standard you will usually see is 60%-80%). I tend to notice that my Meraukes do just fine even at that lower threshold of 60% so don't beat yourself up if you have trouble hitting the higher percentages as long as they aren't retaining shed, especially on the toes, and the skin is smooth and glossy, not dry and flaky.
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Re: Adopting a sick blue tongue, also hi!

Postby Kitiara » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:55 pm

This is her new set up, I have some adjustments to make. For one, she’s larger than any of the hides I had on hand so I will have to find some large tupperwares or create larger hiding places! When I handled her putting her in, there was some definite crackling noise from her lungs and foam/slime along her mouth and nostrils. The skin around her mouth and nose looks tightened, best way I can describe it. I’m hoping the vet will get back to me on her prescription today, it’s my only day off and I won’t be able to get her to a another vet until saturday otherwise.
Other note: this cage was a used set up and that temp sticker on the wall came with it. I have a temp gun =D and I have a digital hydrometer on order coming in tomorrow.


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Re: Adopting a sick blue tongue, also hi!

Postby splashy07 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:02 pm

Great substrate choice. Keep her as warm as you can until you can get her to the vet. See if you can get temps 95+, you may have to cover half the screen. That will also keep humidity in. Heat lamps dry up the environment quickly. Best of luck, and again bless you.
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Re: Adopting a sick blue tongue, also hi!

Postby Susann » Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:42 pm

She is a beautiful Merauke, and with a new, more humid environment and her RI cured, I bet she'll be much happier and healthier.
Her diet definitely needs some work, and when she is situated and you get the RI taken care of, I'd suggest printing out our Food Chart to keep on hand. I also suggest that you, at first, start her on just plain canned dog food sprinkled with a tiny amount of calcium w/D3 powder, and when you have her eating that consistently once or twice a week, start mixing in some of those other vegetables and greens (chopped very finely) from the food chart.

Otherwise, here are a few threads from the FAQ section that may be helpful to you:
New BTS --what to expect
Feeding your BTS
BTS not eating
1.0 Merauke
Bred Meraukes for years, now I get to just enjoy my BIG boy Milo!
Sue Bee on FB.
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Re: Adopting a sick blue tongue, also hi!

Postby Kitiara » Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:38 pm

Thanks Susann, there’s been so much going on with her environment AND her diet, plus the illness, I definitely would like her eating better! I picked up some canned dog food earlier while out and about, two different kinds with good ingredients. I’ll figure out what she likes and build on that. I think her appetite has been okay but her diet can’t just be fuzzys and hard boiled eggs.
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Re: Adopting a sick blue tongue, also hi!

Postby Janella » Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:32 pm

Awe, thank you for helping this poor skink. I pray she gets better quick. Keep us posted.
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Re: Adopting a sick blue tongue, also hi!

Postby Kitiara » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:34 pm

GREAT news! Not only did she eat some canned dog food with a little calcium powder she also did a full shed! Her eyes look a ton better already!
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Re: Adopting a sick blue tongue, also hi!

Postby Susann » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:37 pm

:ohyes: :thumbs: :yes!:
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