New owner

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Jay
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New owner

Postby Jay » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:48 am

Hello, I am new here and a new blue tongue skink owner. I just received my skink today and am concerned with how skinny he seems. I was told he is a merauke and about 1 month old. Could someone confirm this for me? Is this skink dangerously underweight? Also, I am using cocopeat (maybe it is called coconut fiber elsewhere) as a substrate but the seller told me to not use that because it is not safe, but only use newspaper. From my research coco fiber seems to be a much better option to paper. Is it safe? Thank you for any input you have for me.
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Re: New owner

Postby mb606587 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:02 pm

Yes, that is a very young Merauke. I wouldn't say it's dangerously underweight either. Cocopeat is perfectly fine and is used by many. I would not use paper for very long either. Many use paper only for the first few weeks as it makes it easier to see that your skink is pooping normally and is not infested with mites. After that, get rid of it.
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Re: New owner

Postby mb606587 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:58 pm

With how young your skink is, you can and should feed a mostly carniverous diet. Calcium dusted live insects and/or canned cat food should be offered daily with portions as much as your skink will eat. So long as your skink is healthy, that will help pack on some good size to it. It's pretty normal for skinks to stress out the first few days and refuse to eat but if you can get it eating consistently, that will be a good sign.
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Re: New owner

Postby Jay » Thu Dec 05, 2019 7:07 am

Thank you for your replies. I have not been able to find any canned cat food here that was not fish. I gave him some dog food today and he was quite eager to eat it. after he ate he kept thrashing his head around sliding the side of his face along the floor - he then continued to do it in his cage and was getting quite the mouthfuls of cocopeat. Is this normal behavior? I have noticed that one side of his mouth doesn't look right. other than these things he seems to be in good health, not stressed and quite calm .
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Re: New owner

Postby Jay » Thu Dec 05, 2019 7:09 am

is this an infection or a wound or nothing to be concerned about?
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Re: New owner

Postby mb606587 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 7:42 am

That looks like an abscess and not likely to heal on its own. A good vet should be able to clear that up.
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Re: New owner

Postby mb606587 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 7:43 am

After seeing more pics, I'm not as confidant it's Merauke. Take a picture of the belly and post it.
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Re: New owner

Postby Jay » Thu Dec 05, 2019 5:17 pm

I live in Indonesia and I do not think there are any reptile vets here - none that I know of. Is there anything that I can do about this myself?
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Re: New owner

Postby mb606587 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 5:29 pm

If you can get yourself some manuka honey, some have had success swabbing the mouth with it. Manuka honey has antibacterial properties, however it may still not be a substitute for antibiotics.
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Re: New owner

Postby Jay » Thu Dec 05, 2019 5:35 pm

Actually this morning his mouth looks quite different. did it clear up on its own?
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Re: New owner

Postby Jay » Fri Dec 06, 2019 3:20 am

that isn't a Merauke belly is it? But his legs look like a Merauke....
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Re: New owner

Postby Jay » Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:41 am

I would be disappointed to find out it is Halmahera since I paid extra to get a Merauke. It would be good to know what it is because is it right that a Halmahera needs higher humidity? We have been keeping it between 60 and 70. His basking heat is 35 degrees. We wanted a Merauke because we heard that they were friendlier. This little guy is super calm and after reading a lot about babies I am wondering if he is too calm. We have only had him 2 days and he is eating well, not skiddish at all. He spends the day basking and walking around a bit and moves into his hide at night when the light goes off. We have taken him out briefly and he doesn't hiss or huff. He is not very active, certainly not skiddish and doesn't seem to mind being handled.
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Re: New owner

Postby splashy07 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:56 am

I have kept both some years back and there is no difference in their personality. Looks Halmahera to me. Humidity should be 80 at the least.
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Re: New owner

Postby Jay » Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:03 am

ok thank you. I thought that the Halmahera has solid black legs.
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Re: New owner

Postby splashy07 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:29 am

Could even be a cross of the two, I've seen such likely hybridization. Regardless, I'd go for the higher humidity levels. Adorable little guy nonetheless!
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Re: New owner

Postby mb606587 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 12:39 pm

He's very young so tough to say for sure. Alot of baby Indos look similar at that age. He does look Halmahera, although I've seen baby Meraukes with the black stripes that lighten as they age also. Time will tell. The second picture of the mouth does look substantially better than the first. Still a bit of discoloration so just keep an eye on it. If you can get the manuka honey, it wouldn't hurt to try that to be on the safe side.
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Re: New owner

Postby Jay » Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:52 pm

ok thank you very much. I have been chatting with the breeder who insists he is a Merauke because he only breeds Merauke. So I guess we will just wait and see. Can you tell me what to look for as he gets older to determine if he is Merauke or Halmahera? If I keep his humidity at 70 it will be safe for either one?
thank you so much
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Re: New owner

Postby Jay » Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:55 pm

oh I mean - humidity at 80 will be safe for either one?
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Re: New owner

Postby mb606587 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 7:56 pm

80% humidity would work well with either. For a Merauke, look for those bands to lighten up to a tan or dark brown color and a salmon pink belly after a shed.
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Re: New owner

Postby Jay » Sat Dec 07, 2019 3:44 am

Thank you for all of the help. I have not been able to find the type of honey you suggest.
It is hard here in Indonesia because I don't know of any reptile pet shops or vets. The guy I bought him from has told me to use mouth ulcer medicine or betadine. would that be safe? The wound looks worse today - now it has turned a black colour.
I have the humidity up to 80% now.
Also does the substrate look ok? As I said I don't know of any reptile pet stores so I bought this at a plant market - it is coco peat and also some coconut husk chunks. I cooked it in the oven for awhile just in case it had any bugs in it.
thank you for all of the help
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