New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby rixusaku » Thu Jan 28, 2021 7:59 pm

If it were me in that situation I would give the new skink a week to try and acclimate. They might still be hiding for the first couple to few days (based off of other prey mammals I've kept in the past mind you, not reptiles and certainly not skinks) and then once they realize there's no one around (if you cover the front) they might try and start coming out more. However, if after a week they still haven't tried to come out even once, I would either try calling their breeder or wherever you got them to see if they have any recommended tips or to call a veterinarian office you plan on taking your skink to for a yearly checkup if you haven't already established that yet. A veterinarian experienced with blue tongues (which I would imagine is easier to find in Australia than the USA) will have tips and recommendations for you or may advise you bring them in so the vet can check them out.

I might even take it a step further (though this might be my own new skink owner jitters talking) by covertly trying to check in on the skink at least once a day to make sure they're still breathing. They do have irregular breathing patterns, so they don't look normal when they're breathing (mine takes some quick breaths, pauses, may take one breath, pause, then some quick breaths again, and add randomization to that but sometimes there's a stream of what looks like normal breathing we're used to seeing in...everything), but if it's been a while between breaths or if it looks like they're breathing too fast or too heavy, I would call a vet and explain the situation. It might be nothing but it's better to be safe than sorry. I don't know how prolonged hiding without heat or UVB/UVA will affect baby skinks. It might not affect them too negatively, but still better to ask a vet or at least someone more experienced than me on that. I do think your line of thinking of no heat means less activity which leads to little/no eating is correct. Maybe this has inadvertently introduced brumation (hibernation)?

I would normally agree with the person who said to leave their cage uncovered since that's how they'll normally be (it's what I did with my skink, then again, I'm keeping mine in my spare bedroom because of space issues in my apartment so technically I'm doing what was recommended in the video I linked you since I'm not in there all day), but considering your skink is in perpetual hiding right now and not eating, getting them to eat is first priority in my opinion and however you need to get there should be applied, which is going to be some trial and error of trying things out, but I would never try force feeding unless it is done by or recommended by a vet. If the skink is too scared because people are around, either removing the people or removing the sight of people would be my best bet to getting them comfortable. Then you can uncover them or have people hang around more to get them used to that since that's also important, but it may just be a later step for right now. It's what my internal instincts on the situation tell me anyway.

I hope everything works out for you and your skink!
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby rixusaku » Thu Jan 28, 2021 8:20 pm

Another thing to add (sorry, I keep remembering things the more I think about this thread lol) is that this thread from this forum is one of the items that helped me come up with my taming method for my skink and what I was comfortable with trying:

viewtopic.php?f=24&t=20375
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby Noodlebasket » Thu Jan 28, 2021 8:59 pm

Hey OP, given your level of concern you could consider taking them to the vet? A lack of appetite could be an indicator for parasites, and you seem to be stressing a lot about the little dude. If you aren't financially strapped a vet visit could give you peace of mind, and you can ask them a bunch of questions. I'm rooting for ya pal.
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby frankie » Thu Jan 28, 2021 9:06 pm

Thanks noodle! Yeah you guys have helped me tons so far and I think I have found out every thing I can here. I'll take it from here and seek a vet if need be. Cheers!
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby rixusaku » Thu Jan 28, 2021 9:13 pm

Good luck!! Do keep us posted about the little guy if things progress or if they get worse (praying it doesn't get worse). I personally would like to know if the little one is getting any better over time. :D
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby frankie » Thu Jan 28, 2021 9:47 pm

Haha! Slight update, just received this email notification from him

This cameras gonna be good

Nibbles and drinks
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby frankie » Thu Jan 28, 2021 10:26 pm

Hey Rixu,

Is this shedding I can see in this image?? Around his tail
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby rixusaku » Thu Jan 28, 2021 11:24 pm

That's what I like to see! Eating skinks. Also, I can't exactly tell, but from the image it does look like some shedding on their tail. That can explain the low eating at least. Looking good! The camera set up was a good idea. :thumbs:

Edit: thinking about it, it can also explain some hiding. Mine dug himself under the carpet liner I had under the substrate for his shed to which I didn't see him for most of the day.
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby frankie » Fri Jan 29, 2021 12:39 am

yeah his first week plus shedding is a bad combo and it makes me think that's a bit of an explanation for things.

Thank god for the camera, now for the next stage where I try watch his feet for shedding. I got a feeling I won't be seeing him in person for a bit still but this puts me at ease and stops harassing you guys lol. I got heaps of vids of him eating and drinking, and walking past, it's clearly shed.. some feet look clean, his back looks shiny and already shed, but his back left foot seems to have some on it still
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby rixusaku » Fri Jan 29, 2021 6:27 am

For the shed I would definitely wait a few days, 3-4 days, before trying to intervene with that. It can take them a few days to get all of their shed off but it can occur naturally. If theres still shed on their feet or head after a few days you can gently try and rub them off. That ReptileMountain.TV guy has a video on removing shed that I found helpful. If the shed doesnt come off, using a moist towel or carefully soaking them in shallow water should help do the trick in loosening the shed.

Mine had a really nice and successful shed without the need for help, but I didn't like how he got himself under the carpet liner. The shed being under the carpet plus him knocking the water over made the shed moist and turned it black by the time I cleaned everything (maybe black shed is normal but with my circumstance I think it might have been some bacteria or mold growing) but my guy liked getting under there a lot. So I got rid of the liner after I cleaned the shed (I wanted to time my tank deep clean schedule to his shedding to make my life easier since he seems to bury his) and I'm thinking of getting a moist hide to put in the tank around the time he starts his next shed so he can use it for that extra moisture if he needs it.

Aaah I'm so glad to hear your skink is doing fine. It's a wonderful and relieving feeling. You might not need to cover the tank after all but I'll leave that to your discretion. I would definitely still give your little one some time to get used to everything though, and go with whichever taming method you find comfortable and you think would work best for you guys. There's lots of taming methods out there for you to try if you look for them. Someone on here said that baby skinks can get more scared of things than older ones so be mindful of how they're doing on everything. I know you will, but always good to be transparent. ;)
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby frankie » Sat Jan 30, 2021 5:57 pm

Thank Rixu :)

Seems to be a clean shed so far, and I can zoom in on snapshots from the camera to look at his feet etc. I haven't covered the tank, but today I've moved the food bowl to under some foliage on the cooler end just for a small change to see if he's more comfortable to eat frequently there. I also have dry food now and got some calcium supplement

Thanks
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby rixusaku » Sat Jan 30, 2021 6:01 pm

That sounds perfect Frankie :D
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby frankie » Mon Feb 01, 2021 7:03 pm

Hey guys,

Just back again shortly, I'm wondering if I should remove the little guy from the hide under the ramp. It's coming up to two weeks now and he still spends most of his time under there, I feel like he's always just going to hide under there as the "safe place" and never hide anywhere different.

I'm no longer too concerned about his health as I captured him eating and drinking on camera, but I can't exactly form a bond with him when he's just under there all the time.

I look under occasionally to check on him and sometimes he's peering right at me and I wonder if I should try to offer him food under there, or really just let him come out in his own time.

Note that this spot was never intended to be a hide, he's just discovered it on his own and no longer seeks to explore anywhere else in the cage.. it's like a tunnel that human hands won't fit in (im sure he's worked that out too). He doesn't bask either and that spot can't be too warm.

I appreciate you've already all contributed some advice to this but honestly don't have anywhere else to ask!

Do I be patient?

Thanks,
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby rixusaku » Mon Feb 01, 2021 7:37 pm

I would continue to be patient but also offer treats ( a reasonable amount for them, lol). If they don't come out for treats while you're there you can set a couple pieces by the entrance of the enclosure to get them in the mind-set that the area the treats are in is something good/safe instead of solidifying that the area they're in is good enough to never come out of. You can personally try handing out treats every time and then leave the treats by the entrance if they don't come out after a while or don't seem interested in leaving their spot. Try coaxing them to the treat and out of the hiding spot by not placing the treats close to them. I'm sure it will take a while doing this but I think they'll start getting comfortable around their enclosure or even you if given a treat once a day or every other day.

You could also try inching the food and water dish away from being close to them each day or after a week's time to get them to gradually come out and get them comfortable moving about their enclosure more, even if it might just be that inch each time.
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby frankie » Mon Feb 01, 2021 7:42 pm

Ok.. I'll keep the treats going, I read to him last night for a good 15 mins

Just got to teach him I'm not going to eat him. How do you guys get snails? Don't have any at my pet stores here :/ I'll find one of your previous messages as I think you mentioned what you use for treats
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby rixusaku » Tue Feb 02, 2021 6:08 am

Yeah snails are hard to find in pet stores for some reason for me too. I bought mine off Amazon but maybe they'll have some snails at specialty lizard or exotic pet shops?
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby frankie » Wed Feb 03, 2021 2:23 am

Little confused over what to do with his shedding, I can't see him so got no idea if he's little feet have shed on them still

I'm laying treats around and I've found evidence of dead skin around the warm (basking area), I think I'm slowly making progress but really don't want to dig him out to check shed ruining that progress?? Is it ok if I leave him or is it highly recommended to have a look?

Thanks
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby rixusaku » Wed Feb 03, 2021 6:17 am

Hmm....I can't really say for sure. I dont know what will happen if you dig the little guy out. How long has it been since he started shedding though? I know that if shed is stuck on any of the toes there's a risk of the skink losing that toe entirely because the shed will shrink as it dries out and will cut off the circulation, or something similar to that. I dont know how long you can wait before that becomes an immediate risk though. It's why it's recommended to check the feet after a few days to make sure there's no stuck shed, and if there is, to gently try and rub it off, never pull on it, and if it doesn't come off to gently soak them in shallow warm water to help loosen it up before trying to gently rub it off again.

I think someone more experienced will be able to tell you what will happen to your progress if you dig them out. I'm sorry I can't be much help on that.
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby mb606587 » Wed Feb 03, 2021 8:44 am

Having to dig out a skink ocassionally for a health inspection won't harm your skink. If these creatures were so delicate so as not to be able to be touched, we wouldn't be able to pull them out as babies and mail them across the country every year during baby season. Just don't get into the habit of overdoing it when it's not necessary. If your humidity is where it needs to be, no reason to suspect your skink will have any issues shedding skin. During sheds, I mist the enclosures more frequently.
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Re: New blue tongue hiding (tried to handle too early?)

Postby frankie » Fri Feb 05, 2021 6:09 am

Ok didn't know about the misting so good tip! I have an eastern so I think his humidity toleration is quite low as it is.

I've been making progress so I'm content for now :wink:

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