very worried...i think beans might be sick

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very worried...i think beans might be sick

Postby beaniebaby12 » Fri Mar 12, 2021 10:26 pm

hello everyone, i hope you are all doing well.

my 3 year old northern beans has been doing well over all lately. he’s been eating so much food, i’ve been seeing him drink water (which i rarely get to see him do because he usually does so at night), and he seems to be getting around just fine. climbing up on his things, his basking area, all of that.

i get home from work tonight and i take him out of his tank for maybe two minutes. he likes to hang out on my shoulder so i let him chill there. i’ve been reading through a few posts trying to figure it out initially, so here are some things that could have happened but why i am worried he is sick:

-when i took him out, my dog was in the room. i would never let him be on the floor with my dog, no matter how much i think my dog wouldn’t do “anything.” beans saw my dog, licked a lot, but generally kept doing his thing.

at this point, i looked at him through the mirror i have in my room and noticed what looked like drool coming from his mouth, as if spit was coming out. i, of course, got worried and decided to put him back in his tank. after a little bit, he got to burrowing. it’s around the time that starts going under his substrate to sleep.

-then he starts coughing. it was periodically, but i would say he coughed at least 5 times in the last 30 minutes. i got a video of it if there is some way to show everyone. he has been quiet for a little bit now.

i am very much freaking out. i want to take him to the vet tomorrow morning, but i was wondering if anyone has experienced something with drooling/ coughing. he ate his entire meal yesterday, ive seen him drink water since then, and he’s been moving around. high 90’s (~97) basking spot with high 70’s cool side (~77), generally 40-43 humidity on warm side. no nasal discharge or anything wrong with his eyes. any advice or suggestions would be appreciated!
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Re: very worried...i think beans might be sick

Postby Noodlebasket » Sat Mar 13, 2021 12:34 am

At a guess I would say it's a respiratory infection. If your humidity is off, or the skink experiences dramatic changes in humidity, it can lead to an infection. The vet you plan to take them too will have all the information for you, but with the sneezing / coughing and the mucus discharge that seems most likely. Of course with skinks it would also be literally nothing, still safer to check with the reptile vet. Good luck!
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Enclosure - 1/2" PVC 36"x18"x18" with 3" dam
Substrate - 40% Coconut Fiber Plantation Soil 40% Cyprus Mulch 20% Sphagnum Moss
Heating - Arcadia Deep Heat Projector 75W
Lighting - Halogen 5.0 UVB100
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Re: very worried...i think beans might be sick

Postby Janella » Sat Mar 13, 2021 6:15 pm

Hello, it sounds like your little friend may have a touch of a respiratory infection. I would get him to an exotic/reptile vet. Let them know exactly what you saw and heard (bring the recording along). If it is an infection, they will have him on antibiotics for a bit. I would bump up your basking area just a touch too. The extra heat will help clear the infection. Try 100-105. Keep us posted what the vet says.
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Re: very worried...i think beans might be sick

Postby splashy07 » Mon Mar 15, 2021 4:42 am

This is common if you disturb them soon after eating or drinking. Stress could cause this also if he has just had a drink or meal. He may have been terrified of the dog. An RI would take time to progress and he wouldn't have eaten a large meal if he was sick. Refrain from taking him out of his cage after eating. Northerns seldom get RIs, and when they do symptoms don't occur suddenly.
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Re: very worried...i think beans might be sick

Postby 40colby » Mon Mar 15, 2021 8:11 pm

Yeah, if he ate or drank and you handled him soon after, that could have affected his digestion. Once right after my skink drank water I picked him up and he spit it all out over the back of my shoulder. So now after he eats or drink, I don't touch him for a good hour or so to let him digest the food.

How is he doing now?
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Re: very worried...i think beans might be sick

Postby beaniebaby12 » Mon Mar 22, 2021 3:09 pm

Hi everyone! Sorry for my late response, but we got our answer! He does have a slight upper respiratory infection and he’s gotten injection antibiotics to help treat it. The vet said he did have some mucous in the back of his throat and that when they listened, they could hear his wet breathing. He got an x-ray done that they sent to another office to fully analyze to make sure nothing else is going on and that it hasn’t spread to the lower respiratory tract (haven’t gotten the results back) but he should be alright! I was told he was feisty and on the move, and they said it’s a good sign because that means he wasn’t lethargic and is at least feeling okay, so it’s a good thing we got him in before he did start feeling unwell. He’s been eating and normal at home, so I’m glad at the very least he is not feeling bad. Thank you guys so much for your responses, and I will certainly keep you updated after everything!
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Re: very worried...i think beans might be sick

Postby Janella » Mon Mar 22, 2021 5:20 pm

I am glad that you took him in and found out that he does have an RI. At least you caught it early and your skink should bounce back in no time. Here is to a speedy recovery!
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Re: very worried...i think beans might be sick

Postby splashy07 » Tue Mar 23, 2021 7:57 am

I have to ask, as Northerns aren't really prone to such things. Does he spend a lot of time out of his cage? Being too cold, sub-optimal conditions, or being around another sick reptile are the only instances I've ever heard of this type of thing in a northern.
All the best, and hoping for a speedy recovery.
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Re: very worried...i think beans might be sick

Postby beaniebaby12 » Tue Mar 23, 2021 5:42 pm

He doesn’t spend too much time out of his cage, no. The longest I really ever let him out is usually 15-20 minutes because he loves looking at himself in the mirror, lol. As for sub-optimal conditions, the only thing I can think of is that his humidity has been a bit finicky with the weather changes I’ve been experiencing where I live, but I’ve also been having difficulty before. I would spray down the tank multiple times a day just to get humidity up enough, so I bought a fogger to keep it just right. His lamps dries the whole tank up so without it, it’s at like 17% humidity and his scales get really dry. I’ve tried moss, different substrate, etc. With the fogger, it stays within 35-45% humidity. I’ve already thought that maybe it’s too much moisture so I lessened the time it’s on. I’m trying to find a happy medium that works best for him.

He’s the only reptile in the house, and the only reptile that has ever been in the house so nothing could be caught by another.

His temperatures are 100 in the basking spot, 95 ish hot side and high 70s to low 80s on the cold side depending on the weather. Low 70s for night time temperatures.

I’ve brought up the fogger to the vet and she didn’t say anything besides that the humidity that I keep his tank at was good, so I’m not sure. I’ve been keeping note of changes but it’s hard to say. Let me know if there could be something else! I surely would love to never give him another antibiotic shot ever again, I hate it so much :(
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Re: very worried...i think beans might be sick

Postby rixusaku » Tue Mar 23, 2021 7:34 pm

I've had a lot of success with a humid hide in my tank for my northern since humidity levels drop here in Arizona. He fits as an adult in this Large Zilla Rock Lair I got off Amazon. I line the bottom with moistened coco fiber, some sphagnum moss (I don't buy the kind that's dyed green, mine is naturally light tan in color) and then coco husk filled on top for some insulation and to give him something comfy to burrow in. Every couple to few days I open the top and give it a quick spray with my misting spray to make sure the moss and coco fiber doesn't dry out too quickly. He likes being in it and sleeps in there from time to time.

Edit: I only put maybe 4 long strands of the moistened sphagnum moss in it since I've recorded humidity levels getting to 80% with more than that in the hide.

Edit 2: I think I should specify that the misting spray I use is a misting spray bottle. Just in case.
Last edited by rixusaku on Wed Mar 24, 2021 7:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
| Noodle | Male | 2 years | Northern |
| My Care Experience: Since January 2021 |
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Re: very worried...i think beans might be sick

Postby splashy07 » Wed Mar 24, 2021 5:09 am

I would not use a fogger with a northern. What substrate do you use?
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Re: very worried...i think beans might be sick

Postby beaniebaby12 » Wed Mar 24, 2021 6:03 pm

I use a mix of reptibark and jungle mix. I heard this was a good combo for a northern on this site because I made a post when I first got him. The substrate his previous owner had him on kept getting stuck in his nose so I was not dealing with that. I appreciate you telling me about the fogger though! I was just at a complete loss with his humidity. I also can’t find a humid hide big enough for him because as far as I know, he’s bigger than average and I’ve never seen him curl up to fit in one. I don’t know though, I might try moss again. His humidity has never been higher than 50 (trial and error). I’m open to hearing anything else and I appreciate the help!
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Re: very worried...i think beans might be sick

Postby Janella » Wed Mar 24, 2021 6:13 pm

The substrate is fine and that is what I use and have used for my Northern for years. My humidity for him is usually between 40-60% and I have never had an issue. I usually just pour about 12-16oz of water spread out over the substrate once a week. Humid hides do help if needed. The fogger probably did just the opposite and spiked the humidity to much and caused an unbalanced area for him. They make all kinds of hides out there. You just need to find one that works well for him.
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Re: very worried...i think beans might be sick

Postby rixusaku » Thu Mar 25, 2021 7:32 am

Wow he must be a really big boy then! My northern is just under 2 feet, about 20 inches and still growing a little. If that large hide above won't work for you, I hear that DIY tubs work. You get one with a lid and cut out a hole in the side big enough for them to fit into, making sure to sand down the edges so they're not sharp. There's a lot of tutorials online of you search for it on Google. My northern has been fine in 35-45% humidity and I haven't seen mine go up to 50%, the humid hide gets to about 60% which makes a nice micro-climate when he wants it.

I wish you luck!
| Noodle | Male | 2 years | Northern |
| My Care Experience: Since January 2021 |
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Re: very worried...i think beans might be sick

Postby rixusaku » Thu Mar 25, 2021 8:03 am

I just read the care sheet on this forum again and it reccomended humidity levels between 25-40% as a good middle ground for northerns, so I think beans is going to be more than fine being under 50%.
| Noodle | Male | 2 years | Northern |
| My Care Experience: Since January 2021 |
beaniebaby12
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Re: very worried...i think beans might be sick

Postby beaniebaby12 » Thu Mar 25, 2021 10:53 am

rixusaku wrote:Wow he must be a really big boy then!


Yeah he’s quite a big guy. I went to a reptile zoo not too long ago and they had a northern there around the same age and the one there was so small compared to him! I couldn’t believe it. Here is sort of a comparison. Normal I believe but still a long guy lmao
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Re: very worried...i think beans might be sick

Postby rixusaku » Thu Mar 25, 2021 1:32 pm

Long boy is long, haha! Such a cute skink
| Noodle | Male | 2 years | Northern |
| My Care Experience: Since January 2021 |
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Re: very worried...i think beans might be sick

Postby rixusaku » Thu Mar 25, 2021 2:33 pm

Here's a scale photo of Noodle in case you're still wondering if the large Zilla hide I mentioned before will be too small for Beans. Oh, they do sell an extra large too. I'm 5' 3" and he's almost the length of my entire arm, lol!

163860061_1966816080124002_1752271105205706309_n.jpg
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| Noodle | Male | 2 years | Northern |
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