Savannah Monitor... - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-19-2008, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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Savannah Monitor...

Prepare for a somewhat long post, this has kind of been in the making in awhile and I'm going to try to get all my questions out at once

Hello! I am a new member to the forum. I mainly joined because I was sick of hearing so many different opinions on the proper care of the Savannah Monitor Lizard. I have a "second-hand" Savannah Monitor which was pretty well cared for in its past owner's care except for the fact that it got lost in their rather large (actually, it's a mansion, lol) house. The lizard, Brewster, was gone for about two months and I think this is one of the reasons why he/she didn't grow much until getting in my care. Brewster is about 2.5 years old.
Now, to my questions - I am hoping experienced monitor owner can answer these with solid advice.
1. Live or pre-killed, frozen mice? I went to one pet store, and the reptile person told me to only feed him frozen. Then, another woman who was the "top reptile adviser," told me that if the mice are frozen they will lose the majority of the nutrients in the freezing process.
(Just to note, I do mix up my monitor's diet. The past owners fed him a lot of shrimp for some reason and he really does enjoy that, so he gets that on occasion. I also have fed him snails from my non-pesticide garden, eggs, and a few table scraps here and there such as chicken pieces... if you have any suggestions of different things to try let me know)
2. What type of substrate is best? I was using sand, from the beach because the original owners told me that it was the best. I know that sand gets into their system sometimes when they are fed in the cage. The reptile adviser #1 told me to get the mulch-like cypress from Petsmart. I did so about two weeks ago and now my monitor's skin has kind of faded into a ever-so-slight reddish tint. It does worry me, however because my monitor is messy ^_^ and likes to play in the water so a patch of mulch gets soaked. This usually occurs while I'm at school so the wet mulch has the opportunity to sit there for up to 8 hours (school day.)
3. When a monitor is going to shed it's skin, does it begin to somewhat turn white? There are a few patches of slight white on the side of his/her head. Is this something I need to worry about?
4. I have seen that feeding a monitor that is slender dog food on occasion is reasonable if they are under 3 years old. Does anyone have something to say about this? I feel as if my monitor is too tiny. Should I try calcium powder?

This is my first carnivorous lizard, so any / all advice is appreciated. I have looked at books and many resources, and asked many people and I am getting completely mixed results. Lizard gurus please help me out
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-20-2008, 12:34 PM
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I have worked in varies pet stores and have owned a few savanna moniars so heres my 2 cents.

For your first question: You can do all three. Freezing can be irritating to defrost (i feed my snake frozen and its annoying to wait) It is also the cleanest way. Pre-killed can be good but you need to get it home before it stiffens up. Live pinkies or fuzzies are fine as well. NEVER EVER feed a live full grown mouse to you monitar. Mice can fight back and bite your reptile. this may cause infection.

Feed crickets in the diet as well. No matter how old they are, crickets are a great source of natural foods.

For your second question: cypress is better than sand, yet, mix the two, adding more sypress than sand. It makes a great mix and your monitar will like it. dont let it get too too dry tho, but not to to damp either. Get a large water dish if it is not large already for the water fun, just make sure to clean it when it gets dirty.

For your third question: the white is actually the dead skin that has peeled off the new skin. nothing to worry about. its normal.

Your last question: i wouldnt feed dog food. its not a natural food product for it. If you want to ad calcuim, buy calcium powder from a pet store and "dust" crickets and pinkies(dead or live). Every reptile grows at a differnt rate. IF you really think he is too small for his age, a vet visit never hurts


I hope i helped
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 10:49 AM
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We have a monitor (Pandora) and have heard a ton of different things about her (actually him we just found out she was a he)! Anyways we do feed her mice and rats we never feed her frozen! I don't think that she was taken care of very well from the previous owner! I think we have had her about a year and she is just now getting used to us! She doesn't really like to be held that much! Is there a way to get to her let us hold her and not want to bite us!! She is a very lazy lizard too! I have attached a picture of HIM!! Sorry I am just used to him being a her! HAHAHAHAHA
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-03-2008, 10:18 PM
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Alright, I know these questions have already been answered and I've only been an owner of a monitor for a little under a year BUT I figured I'd give in my two cents as well.

I bought my Savannah Monitor from PETCO when it was a tiny little baby, so I've had it and seen it grow for a while. At first I started feeding mine frozen pinkies and fuzzies, but that starts to get VERY expensive, so I was told by another monitor owner that cat food can actually be fed to them SO I have been feeding my monitor cat food ever since, with an occasional treat of crickets and mice, and it seems to be working out just fine for me. He seems to grow fine and of course, they're lazy as **** so he's fine with that.


As for the substrate, I personally use sand because it is easy to clean and I've read that they actually have an internal system that takes care of the ingested sand, so I never worry about him swallowing a few little sand pieces, or whatever you'd like to call them. I used to use the whole wood mulch deal but he started eating those so I decided that wasn't a good idea.


Also, I would suggest holding it as much as possible if it isn't already friendly because my monitor, is the most chill I've ever seen. My mom has grown fond of it as well so between me and her, we hold him almost nonstop. He just falls asleep in our arms and is totally comfortable with us and we take him for walks when it's extremely nice outside and it's honestly just nice to have a lizard like that, rather than a crazy *** mean one.

I hope at least some of this helped even though it was somewhat of a repeat from other posts.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-11-2008, 10:15 PM
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well i guess i will give my 2 cents too, However I have never had a SM but the best way to answer questions in my opinion is by looking at how they naturally live

What is the ground like where they live, i think they live in the desert on sand so that's what i would do, or mix it like they said, if they normally would live on it then it probably is ok

and as for taming, i have an iguana and the best way to tame him was to go slow and keep messing with him

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 12:15 AM
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Quote:
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What is the ground like where they live, i think they live in the desert on sand
Might I point out that what their habitat is like is right in their name, and they're not called the desert monitor lizard.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 12:32 AM
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That is very true, but might I point out, it is very hard to get mad tall grass and tumble weeds into your pets cage! Hah


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-12-2008, 05:47 AM
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as far as i know the savannah isn't all grassy.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-13-2008, 06:08 AM
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I've seen animals of all sorts (including an adult male rhinoceros) die of compaction caused by sand and substrate issues. It's not something you should dismiss lightly. Depending on the animal's eating style and the diet, it could be real risk. My Savanna's were pretty "energetic" feeders, so substrate was ingested often.

To solve this with my herps, I've always kept the majority on rabbit pellets. They are inexpensive, smell good, are easily digestible, and they have the added bonus of acting like a "clumping" litter, making spot cleaning much easier.

If you have to go with sand for aesthetic reasons, there are sands made of crushed oyster shells that are billed as being somewhat digestible and less likely to cause compaction. In addition, any that is ingested is supposed to increase calcium intake. I've never tried them, but they sound better than just plain sand IMO.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-13-2008, 04:45 PM
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i only have an iguana and never have kept him on anything but paper and once and a while coconut fiber but only when he acts really bored and needs to play in it now he has a nesting box with the fiber and the rest paper

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-13-2008, 05:51 PM
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I've also kept reptiles and used rabbit pellets as substraight... aww and I thought I was being original! I didn't know anyone else did that, I just had a lot of left over rabbit pellets

But serously, you can buy some types of rabbit pellets at feed stores in huge bags and they're not that expensive. The animals can digest it if they accidently eat some, and it doesn't look half bad in the cages either.


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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-14-2008, 05:41 AM
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Quote:
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I've also kept reptiles and used rabbit pellets as substraight... aww and I thought I was being original! I didn't know anyone else did that, I just had a lot of left over rabbit pellets

But serously, you can buy some types of rabbit pellets at feed stores in huge bags and they're not that expensive. The animals can digest it if they accidently eat some, and it doesn't look half bad in the cages either.
Great minds think alike! hehe

Actually, I know lots of people who have been doing for years, particularly tortoise breeders.

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-14-2008, 01:28 PM
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Impaction.

Many zoos use rabbit pellets for their off-display animals, because it's cheap and easy to deal with, and doesn't have the "environmental issues" that tree mulches do. One of the funny things I noticed, when I was at San Antonio zoo. They had some rare species of uromastyx on wild bird seed (little black oil sunflower seeds, millet pellets, etc). Apparently it works really well as a substrate for species that you don't have to be concerned with a lot of moisture.

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