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Blue Tongue Skink Puffing Up and Hissing To Himself

Posted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:37 pm
by Wolf9182
Its quite strange really.

For about a week now, i've observed my skink just sitting in his cage, he'll be under a hiding spot, basking, whatever and will randomly just puff all the way up, like he is defending from a predator and start hissing quite loudly, it only lasts a few seconds until he is all deflates. When he does have these little episodes he doesn't act aggressively or anything towards me, i can touch him, interact with his cage, etc, perfectly fine.

Now, i've never seen this behaviour before, not in the 12 years i've had him and it is a little worrying. So i guess, should i be worrying? As in is it something like he is in pain or struggling to breath?

Re: Blue Tongue Skink Puffing Up and Hissing To Himself

Posted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:35 pm
by mb606587
Give him a look over. Make sure there are no external injuries or mites that are bothering him. Check his eyesight. Sometimes that fails as they age. I have a senile old skink that gets grumpy from time to time and will hiss and display at me randomly but never seen them do it at seemingly nothing. If the behavior continues and it is concerning to you, a trip to the vet may not be a bad idea.

Re: Blue Tongue Skink Puffing Up and Hissing To Himself

Posted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:34 pm
by kingofnobbys
Glass sided petshop sold tanks have very reflective surfaces, these reflections can really upset a territorial male dragon or skink who a bit hormonal (in season) .

Are you sure he's not bothered by the ghost skink who is stalking him and always staring back at and displaying back at him.
I've see skinks charge a mirror and hit it with enough force to crack the mirror and knock it over and stun the skink for a while. Some scare themselves away LOL .... skinks don't understand reflections .

Re: Blue Tongue Skink Puffing Up and Hissing To Himself

Posted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:27 am
by Wolf9182
kingofnobbys wrote:Glass sided petshop sold tanks have very reflective surfaces, these reflections can really upset a territorial male dragon or skink who a bit hormonal (in season) .

Are you sure he's not bothered by the ghost skink who is stalking him and always staring back at and displaying back at him.
I've see skinks charge a mirror and hit it with enough force to crack the mirror and knock it over and stun the skink for a while. Some scare themselves away LOL .... skinks don't understand reflections .


Yeah its always entertaining watching my beardy contemplate why he can't get through the invisible wall to the other beardy. However with my blue tongue, i made the tank myself and its wooden board painted a creamy white 3/4 sides with the front being non reflective glass sliding doors, which the enclosure is also rather secluded from any activity in the house, it fits all the husbandry requirements, you could even call it oversized in dimensions, initially i made the tank because i was looking at getting an Ackies monitor, however none were for sale in my vicinity so i just ended up upgrading my blue tongues tank, which that was probably 6 years ago now. Humidity is perfect, temps are good.

It could just be a senile lizard thing, but i'm still watching him, he is clear of mites, injuries, etc, recently shedded and no constriction on the toes as i make sure to bath him and help get any lingering toe scales off. I would take him to the vet, however i'd need to do some research as i don't know how experienced any of my local vets are with reptiles and alas have never needed to take one of my lizards to the vet.

My only other slight worry is around his faeces and appetite, his poo's aren't quite as large as they used to be and appear dryer, his appetite has seemed to change also, wants to eat more insects / meat and is refusing most veg or fruits bar Banana and a very minimal amount of greens, ordering some bluey buffet soon to see if that might be a good option.

Re: Blue Tongue Skink Puffing Up and Hissing To Himself

Posted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:01 am
by kingofnobbys
Wolf9182 wrote:
kingofnobbys wrote:Glass sided petshop sold tanks have very reflective surfaces, these reflections can really upset a territorial male dragon or skink who a bit hormonal (in season) .

Are you sure he's not bothered by the ghost skink who is stalking him and always staring back at and displaying back at him.
I've see skinks charge a mirror and hit it with enough force to crack the mirror and knock it over and stun the skink for a while. Some scare themselves away LOL .... skinks don't understand reflections .


Yeah its always entertaining watching my beardy contemplate why he can't get through the invisible wall to the other beardy. However with my blue tongue, i made the tank myself and its wooden board painted a creamy white 3/4 sides with the front being non reflective glass sliding doors, which the enclosure is also rather secluded from any activity in the house, it fits all the husbandry requirements, you could even call it oversized in dimensions, initially i made the tank because i was looking at getting an Ackies monitor, however none were for sale in my vicinity so i just ended up upgrading my blue tongues tank, which that was probably 6 years ago now. Humidity is perfect, temps are good.

It could just be a senile lizard thing, but i'm still watching him, he is clear of mites, injuries, etc, recently shedded and no constriction on the toes as i make sure to bath him and help get any lingering toe scales off. I would take him to the vet, however i'd need to do some research as i don't know how experienced any of my local vets are with reptiles and alas have never needed to take one of my lizards to the vet.

My only other slight worry is around his faeces and appetite, his poo's aren't quite as large as they used to be and appear dryer, his appetite has seemed to change also, wants to eat more insects / meat and is refusing most veg or fruits bar Banana and a very minimal amount of greens, ordering some bluey buffet soon to see if that might be a good option.


I couldn't find anyone online who stocked Bluey Buffet in Australia (when I looked about 6 months ago), I'd like to have it as an option for my bluetongues and water skinks. Who will you be buying it from .

Re: Blue Tongue Skink Puffing Up and Hissing To Himself

Posted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:07 am
by splashy07
Had a similar experience, and found a loose rather large insect that I thought he consumed but did not, and it was alive and annoying him!

Re: Blue Tongue Skink Puffing Up and Hissing To Himself

Posted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 11:26 am
by mb606587
Wolf9182 wrote:I would take him to the vet, however i'd need to do some research as i don't know how experienced any of my local vets are with reptiles and alas have never needed to take one of my lizards to the vet.


It can be difficult to find a vet you can trust. Most aren't very knowledgeable when it comes to exotic animals, specifically reptiles. This is why I tend to recommend finding one, even for minor issues. This way if down the road an emergency arises where time can't be wasted, you know exactly where and who to see.

Re: Blue Tongue Skink Puffing Up and Hissing To Himself

Posted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:05 pm
by Wolf9182
kingofnobbys wrote:
Wolf9182 wrote:
Yeah its always entertaining watching my beardy contemplate why he can't get through the invisible wall to the other beardy. However with my blue tongue, i made the tank myself and its wooden board painted a creamy white 3/4 sides with the front being non reflective glass sliding doors, which the enclosure is also rather secluded from any activity in the house, it fits all the husbandry requirements, you could even call it oversized in dimensions, initially i made the tank because i was looking at getting an Ackies monitor, however none were for sale in my vicinity so i just ended up upgrading my blue tongues tank, which that was probably 6 years ago now. Humidity is perfect, temps are good.

It could just be a senile lizard thing, but i'm still watching him, he is clear of mites, injuries, etc, recently shedded and no constriction on the toes as i make sure to bath him and help get any lingering toe scales off. I would take him to the vet, however i'd need to do some research as i don't know how experienced any of my local vets are with reptiles and alas have never needed to take one of my lizards to the vet.

My only other slight worry is around his faeces and appetite, his poo's aren't quite as large as they used to be and appear dryer, his appetite has seemed to change also, wants to eat more insects / meat and is refusing most veg or fruits bar Banana and a very minimal amount of greens, ordering some bluey buffet soon to see if that might be a good option.


I couldn't find anyone online who stocked Bluey Buffet in Australia (when I looked about 6 months ago), I'd like to have it as an option for my bluetongues and water skinks. Who will you be buying it from .


Ordering one of the big tubs internationally, it sucks that they don't have much stocked here in Aus, doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Re: Blue Tongue Skink Puffing Up and Hissing To Himself

Posted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:44 am
by kingofnobbys
Wolf9182 wrote:
kingofnobbys wrote:
I couldn't find anyone online who stocked Bluey Buffet in Australia (when I looked about 6 months ago), I'd like to have it as an option for my bluetongues and water skinks. Who will you be buying it from .


Ordering one of the big tubs internationally, it sucks that they don't have much stocked here in Aus, doesn't make a whole lot of sense.


You must REALLY want the stuff , to literally double it's price (or more) to get a tub from o/seas (assuming customs lets it into the country).