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New adrenaline rush

Discussion in 'Introductions and Welcomes' started by Debita, May 3, 2018.

  1. Debita

    Debita New Member

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    Hey Hey... This is my first correspondence as a new member of TeguTalk. I just love these animals - although my luck with them is questionable. I first found your site the night my first tegu died (a 4-5 month old). I was devastated. I thought everything was going well - she was eating, and I thought she was active, but she was my first, so I had nothing to compare her activity to. I have 2 dragons and they aren't cruising around every second, so I thought she was active enough. She developed a hump on her back between her back legs, and the reptile shop told us to not worry about it. She was dead about a week later. The night before she died, she jumped into the worm dish, circled around inside it 3 times, then jumped out. She seemed as if she wanted to drive something out of her head. I never saw her move like that before. So - she's gone. Don't know why, and no one has any idea so far, what that hump on her back was. I had this very sweet animal that never gave me pause, worrying about her/him biting me.
    So - I purchased a year old from Tegus Only - Rodney Irwin. Great guy - very helpful, even let me cry on his shoulder for a couple mins. He shipped our new Tegu (Skully) from Florida to California as promised. She/He is beautiful - I'll try to figure out how to post a pic soon. This was about 2 1/2 wks ago....she eats, she basks, and she hates me very much. Whether she's fed or hungry. I'm not allowed to touch her at all - even though she's treated like royalty. For the first 2 weeks I didn't even try after reading other posts about them settling in but today I thought I deserved a little attention. I put my hand toward her backside to just pet her a little when she became a blur. With lightening speed, she flew at my hand. If it weren't for the glass that she slammed her head into....I'd be a bloody mess. She was powerful and split second aggressive. It was as if the whole tank was a snow globe of mulch. So- I ask myself - how important is it to own one of these? I'm not much of a turtle person - but I've loved lizards since I was a little girl. Do some of you use gloves because of this? She had just finished eating her ground turkey (mixed with calcium and bee pollen), raw egg, banana, gizzards and broccoli. (My husband thinks she eats better than he does.) How do you get back on the horse?
  2. VenusAndSaturn

    VenusAndSaturn Member

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    I'm so sorry about your first tegu... it sort of sounds like MBD to me, however I really only have experience with that stuff with beardies and usually when a lump/hump develops on them it's usually setup related (Mostly due to poor diet or lighting). I'm not too experienced with tegus yet as I've only had mine since October.
    Beardies are definitely lazier than tegus are, although I do have a very active bearded dragon named Venus, normally does laps around in her 75 gallon before basking again.

    Rather than coming to her, let her come to you. You don't really want to force anything, maybe throw in a old shirt you wore for a day or two to get her used to your scent and associate that scent with safety or at least a positive feeling.
    Hopefully a more experienced person will chime in on the situation, my tegu for the most part has been pretty tame.. only once tried to bite me and that was just to try and see if I tasted good..never really had a problem with her but it may be because I got her when she was a month old.

    Personally I've never wore gloves, then again my tegu is still fairly small but a little blood loss isn't much to worry about.. at least for me...and at least when it comes to claws, bites however I rather not have happen but if it does happen its most likely my fault for triggering that response.
  3. Skeep

    Skeep Active Member

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    I'm really sorry to hear about your last tegu. I know I would have been devastated! Hopefully this time it will go much better for you.

    Tegus are quite defensive about their backside, and won't let you reach over there until they trust you more. When your tegu is ready to accept contact, in the beginning, it's best to start with the top of the head and snout. Let her get used to that first, then when she doesn't mind that anymore, move back to the shoulders etc. Other than that, just give it more time.

    I wouldn't use gloves unless it was really needed. If she lets you do stuff in her cage (like change the water) then I would think you're OK. Just move your hand towards her slowly from the front next time.
  4. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Hi Debita and welcome. I'm sorry for your loss. You can have confidence in Rodney's animals. My four are from him.

    Along with other good advice above, be sure to talk to him even if he is in his hide and your doing maintenence in his enclosure or out. No hurry. Keep him well fed. They come around soon enough.
  5. Debita

    Debita New Member

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    (For Venus and Saturn)
    Thank you so much for your comment - I liked the idea about letting her come to me - I'll just have to start at ground zero again. It really freaked me out. She didn't appear to be ready to attack, so it completely caught me off guard. Hard to imagine sticking my hand into her tank again - but I'll have to do it. Thx!
    Last edited: May 3, 2018
  6. Debita

    Debita New Member

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    Thx for the reply - Maybe I should have known about the backside thing - I stroked her head once in the last 2-3 weeks, but when I moved down her neck and to her back she ran off. Today she was so quick that I was actually afraid she might get out of the tank she jumped so far. She really whacked her head on the glass doors. Could this mean I have an unusually aggressive one? Sorry - I don't know what to think about it.
  7. Debita

    Debita New Member

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    Thanks for the help - would you know if there is any wisdom in keeping his food from him for longer than a day? Would that endear him to me in any way, or just make him more aggressive? My (very inexperienced) instinct was not to let him get away with it. Is that wrong? Were the ones that you got from Rodney this aggressive and spooked? When I go into the tank, sometimes he starts breathing very hard like I'm stressing him out. My first Tegu did that too, but would let me pick him up, bathe him...etc. I can't imagine trying to bathe Skully. I'll make sure I keep talking to him, and get an old shirt in there. Thx for taking the time here...
  8. Debita

    Debita New Member

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    I forgot to ask - What does MBD mean?
  9. VenusAndSaturn

    VenusAndSaturn Member

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    I doubt she's entirely aggressive... just scared of you, I wouldn't give up just yet. It may take a bit before she fully trusts you but I'm sure with time and patience everything will be fine.
    As for the backside thing, yeah they definitely dislike being touched there. My own tegu is okay with everything being touched except her the bottom portion of her back. She will slightly move a bit forward and glare at me if I pet her there for too long.
    And for the breathing thing, my tegu used to do that a lot when I first got her. She's calmed down a bit since then however if she ever feels uneasy you can see her beginning to breathe a bit hard.

    I wouldn't hold food from her, it would probably make her hungry and I doubt she'd be too happy.
    Also MBD means metabolic bone disease.
    Skeep likes this.
  10. Debita

    Debita New Member

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    Thanks!!
  11. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Feed him on schedule. Let him eat his fill. Make sure his enclosure is a few feet off of the ground so your approach isn't frightening from above.

    All mine huffed and puffed on and off for a few weeks. They would see me feed and water them and hang out without bothering them and they became curious. Mine live outdoors in the summer.
  12. onnie0047

    onnie0047 Member

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    I have 2 B/W from Rodney and one Red from a Florida pet store. Right now I have the two younger ones housed together in the front room. The largest one in by itself for now in my home office. I have my desk near one and my chair when I watch tv next to the other one. I use their behaviors in "training" them to want me to feed them. When I first got them I wanted them to recognize me for the supplier of their food so I fed them on a 2 or 3 day schedule. I would always wait for them to come out and bask thenI would put a bowl with food in their cage. I had to search for something they really enjoyed, in one case it was liver and blackberries the other two (from Rodney) prefer live prey, which I only gave once or twice a week at first. So each time I fed them what them seem to like, along with other kinds of food I would place in the same place in the enclosure, on the same plate, or in the case of live prey, I would put in the same area of the cage and watch to ensure a safe feeding. After a while, I started to notice that they would come to the glass of the enclosure to get my attention. When they started doing that, I would then put food in their enclosure. I had to experiment because not every time they came to the glass did it mean they wanted to eat. If they were just sitting at the glass, it meant they were just watching me, if they were climbing the glass, it usually meant they wanted to eat. Finally they realized what actions made me feed them (hay wait!!! I just realized they were really training me!). Then I moved from feeding them in the enclosure to feeding them out of the out of the enclosure. After a while, they realized that when I opened the glass, it usually meant food was waiting for them someplace, all they needed was a ride, so instead of calling a Uber, I guess they called me! Now when I open the glass, they crawl over to where I am standing and I pick them up and take them to eat. Sometime the B/Ws will just come to me other time they don't want near me. Sometimes when I pick them up they still do the death roll but Two of the 3 I can pick up almost all the time, hold and walk with them with little issues...The Third is the spawn of the Devil, not quite sure what is going through his little brain, but 7 months later and all he does is give me the stink eye and jumps, hollows and buries himself in the sub-stright. When I got the Red, I though because he was "captive" bred he would have been a little easier to calm down and become easier to handle, no so.....anyways that is kinda how I been doing it, will it work for everyone, nope but so far for them most part its seems to be working for two of my three.....
    Akaiahua and Walter1 like this.
  13. Debita

    Debita New Member

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    Thanks for your help - I'm realizing that there are so many situations that it sounds like you really have to exercise your instincts and just let a lot of it unfold. After she tried to remove my hand yesterday, she has acted like we're going to go way back to before whatever ground zero is... She's lowering her head now every time I enter the room. I believe she thinks that the glass door she slammed into was me causing her harm, so she's waaaay more apprehensive about my presence, showing twice the fear that she has ever shown. It's frustrating - but I just love her. Your Devil's spawn comment was hysterical. Made me cheer up a little about the whole situation. I had a veiled chameleon (Cowboy) that hissed every time I went near it - but I really thought that it had a right to it's fear. Those are some completely defenseless animals, that's for sure. So, maybe I'll have to just admire Skully from afar for awhile - and get another Tegu so I can try the cross training idea!! That was great - like the adult dog that potty trains the pups. Thanks so much - it really helps to have this support forum. Most of the commentors are pretty funny. Thx Thx!!
  14. Debita

    Debita New Member

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    Ok - thx so much for responding - I'm still somewhat rattled after yesterday. It doesn't feel like I'll ever reach out to him again - I think my heart stopped racing about 30 mins later. Rodney said to feed every other day - and pet store guy said to get him on the frozen pinkies if you can. He's eaten three of them so far, and seems to like them over other meats that she leaves. Does that sound right? The enclosure is off the ground by at least 3 ft I think, so that's covered. Oh - one important question is...can they eat all kinds of raw meat? I tried a few bites of raw pork chop with him yesterday, and he gulped it down like it would be a favorite. Thanks for your help. (Haven't done the shirt yet.....I think I'm afraid to put my freakin' hand in there!)

    One last thing - I have no idea how any of you get your Tegu's outside at all. I think you must be using some kind of wire cage or something?
    Last edited: May 4, 2018
  15. Debita

    Debita New Member

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    For Venus/Saturn

    I was able to check out some pics of the MBD you talked about and while most of them seemed more deformed than my Tegu looked, I could see how it could have been that. It just happened so darn fast, 2 weeks prior to her dying, we were talking about how she had grown 2 inches in 2 weeks. Two weeks after that, she was gone. I think the hump was there for at least a month, but she still seemed so healthy. Ugh! - thx again for your help.
  16. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    For feeding do as Rodney says. Put shirt in at night when he's sleeping. Place a chair near enclosure, and read, drink coffee, etc. so he sees you. Eventually, the figure out that you are interesting, harmless, and provide food. In a way, don't care so much.
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  17. Debita

    Debita New Member

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    Haha...always caring too much. You might be a savant. Impatience is way up there too. Thanks - I got the shirt in last night, and he hasn't shown his face today yet. I'm sure he thinks I figured out a way to get in the tank with him. I've stopped giving crickets, but still leave the superworms in there. I mash up the ground turkey with the supplements, and give the gizzards at the same time. A pinkie a week, and he picks at veggies, banana, and doesn't much care for the berries yet. Do you have any other ideas about this? Is there a Tegu catnip I don't know about? Ok - so stop caring so much....got it.
  18. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Frozen/thawed mice is an excellent staple food. You're otherwise on the right track.
  19. Debita

    Debita New Member

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    Thx so much. Last thing - the raw meats are good no matter the type?
  20. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Including organ meat, such as liver, heart, gizzards.

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