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Old 03-13-2005, 03:12 AM
Janeczka Janeczka is offline
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Blue-Tongue Skink litter disease!


Our baby Blue Tongue Skinks recently got these humps on their backs, and when we looked at them in their cage again, they'd be swallowing the straw we put in their cage . This is pretty strange. There was 5, but 2 died of this disease , and that was just the limit for us, so we looked it up on BlueTongueSkinks.NET , our skinks search engine, and found this disease to be the same as our babies had.
Here is a picture of this disease, it isn't our skink though.

http://img235.exs.cx/img235/6867/met...infectedsk.jpg


The cure, as we read on BlueTongueSkinks.NET, is said to be, sunlight. Our skinks need that sunlight. The site also mentions that not all ultraviolent lights can do the job, properly, so a little sunlight a day, should be good. We have them outside in the sunlight each day now, but what i'd like to know is, how long will it take for them to recover? Does anyone know, and recognize this disease to help us? These exotics are such a trouble taking care of *properly*!
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Old 03-13-2005, 03:21 AM
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MissAmandasZoo MissAmandasZoo is offline
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no help here, but i wish you luck!
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Old 03-13-2005, 03:30 AM
Janeczka Janeczka is offline
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Thanks, I hope they'll recover soon. One baby's tail just fell off as well, for no simple reason but I think it may have been his shedded skin that didn't come off completely which made his tail to fall off. It's so hard caring for these exotics !
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Old 03-13-2005, 07:11 AM
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Mygala Mygala is offline
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I looked on the site, and saw that they did mention Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD). This is a real possibility as the cause of your "disease", as one of the symptoms can be malformation of bones in young herps. PART of the "cure" for that is the same as what you read. More sunlight (Ultraviolet light in the "B" spectral range, or UVB for short). There is a lot more to it, however...

In herps, (as in most animals) sunlight containing UVB causes a chemical reaction that forms Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) from other chemicals and enzymes under the skin. This vitamin is necessary for the body to metabolize (use) calcium in the diet. Thats why, in America at least, most milk has Vitamin D in it. You get the calcium from the milk, and the Vitamin D (to help your body use it) at the same time.

However, giving Vitamin D in the diet is not as efficient as having it made through exposure to sunlight. To treat MBD most effectively, you need to have three things: Calcium enough to strengthen the bones, Vitaman D3 in sufficient quantities to help metabolize all that calcium, and Enough UVB to produce that D3.

I'd recommend that you see a good, qualified vet (sooner, rather than later), that has experience in dealing with reptiles and exotics. He/she can get you quickly started with injections of vitamins and calcium supplements if needed. A good vet will also check for other possible causes and complications that might have ensued.

In the meantime, give your Skink as much sunlight as you can. Be VERY careful to not get carried away. You don't want to cook him out in the sun!

A vitamin supplement made for reptiles would be good too. You can pick one up at any good pet store that deals in reptile. Follow the directions on the package.

A good diet, such as the one suggested on the web site you mentioned will supply calcium. You can also help this with a calcuim supplement. Again, you should be able to get some at a good pet supply/pet store. AND again, follow directions.

This is process that will take months to reverse, and there may be permanent malformations in some of the bones.

During this time, let me also urge you to handle your skinks as little as possible for the next six months to a year. Their bones are very weak, and you could damage them or cause more malformation to occur.
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Old 03-13-2005, 10:16 AM
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Mygala Mygala is offline
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Here is another care-sheet for BT Skinks. I'd look for any books you can, and read up as much as you can on the web.

http://www.anapsid.org/bluetong.html

I love BT Skinks, they can be really engaging animals, but you're right, they can be troublesome to care for properly, and they are not pets for everyone.

That's why I think anyone should research any potential pet BEFORE they get them. All too often, the owners lack of knowledge can translate into pain, suffering, illness or death for the animals.
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Old 03-13-2005, 06:13 PM
Janeczka Janeczka is offline
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Where we live, at our library, there aren't any herp-related books to rent out, which is quite unfortunately, and not even our local pet store stocks them.

Mygala ~ Thanks, that was very helpful. They are in the process of recovering, I just am worrying that i'll take too long. When they were born, we didn't know that they needed sunlight as much, all though the were kept in a pretty sunny room. I'm afraid that they will still be pretty sick all their lived because they didn't receive that sunlight as babies.
Quote:
That's why I think anyone should research any potential pet BEFORE they get them. All too often, the owners lack of knowledge can translate into pain, suffering, illness or death for the animals.


Yes, I feel terrible at the moment. It's as if we put this disease upon them. I wish I could correct this instantly.
Our second problem is, where to find a herp-veterinarian. All our local vets don't accept reptiles at all, and I wouldn't know where to start searching for one. Another problem is, one of our babies's tails has fallen off because the skin that was supposed to be shed didn't come off completely and blocked the blood supply to his tail. We read on that skink caresheet that if their tails fall off you have to treat it with antiseptic stuff, which we did, but the site also mentions that if it swells up, you must seek veterinarian advice instantly. I am afraid we won't find one.
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Old 03-13-2005, 06:13 PM
Janeczka Janeczka is offline
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Where we live, at our library, there aren't any herp-related books to rent out, which is quite unfortunately, and not even our local pet store stocks them.

Mygala ~ Thanks, that was very helpful. They are in the process of recovering, I just am worrying that i'll take too long. When they were born, we didn't know that they needed sunlight as much, all though the were kept in a pretty sunny room. I'm afraid that they will still be pretty sick all their lived because they didn't receive that sunlight as babies.
Quote:
That's why I think anyone should research any potential pet BEFORE they get them. All too often, the owners lack of knowledge can translate into pain, suffering, illness or death for the animals.


Yes, I feel terrible at the moment. It's as if we put this disease upon them. I wish I could correct this instantly.
Our second problem is, where to find a herp-veterinarian. All our local vets don't accept reptiles at all, and I wouldn't know where to start searching for one. Another problem is, one of our babies's tails has fallen off because the skin that was supposed to be shed didn't come off completely and blocked the blood supply to his tail. We read on that skink caresheet that if their tails fall off you have to treat it with antiseptic stuff, which we did, but the site also mentions that if it swells up, you must seek veterinarian advice instantly. I am afraid we won't find one. Would you know how to search for one?
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Old 03-13-2005, 06:33 PM
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Sunny rooms aren't good enough, UVB is absorbed by glass, so what passes through a window, or aquarium glass is inadequate.

In the short term, treat the tail with triple anti-biotic ointment, like Neosporin, and keep an eye out for signs of infection.

How you would find a vet in Oz, I couldn't tell you. I'd call the closest vet, or one you have a relationship with, and ask him/her who the closest herp vet might be. There may be listings in the phone book, or ask at nearby pet shops. If the shops don't know of any vets, ask if there are any other herp owners, or a reptile club of some kind. Contact them and see who they go to.

Just a couple of suggestions,
Good Luck.
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Old 03-14-2005, 03:57 AM
Janeczka Janeczka is offline
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We read on one site, and the pet stores also told us this, that reptiles can do nicely in "just a sunny room" which obviously isn't working at all! That site said they'd kept their's in a garbage tin which we didn't do at all. I just hope we'll get them better.
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