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Starved Red Tegu - How can I help it?

Chezkc

New Member
I work for a school in Taiwan and they have a red Tegu in a really small terrarium in their science room that has been starved to the point that you can see its bones. I only found out a few days ago that it is a tegu - before that all I knew was that it ate baby mice. I kept hassling the guy who's lizard it is to get it food and he eventually got it some baby mice but it won't eat them - it's as if it doesn't have the strength left to even swallow them. I also noticed that there is no heat lamp for it and it's kept in a dark room all day with no sunlight. It's ground cover also appears to not have been changed for a long time and it really stinks in there. I live in a town where there are no pet stores stocking supplies for reptiles but I managed to go to the city to buy heat lamps and clean ground cover. What else can I do to help this lizard survive? Should I try to force-feed it something like eggs with a syringe? I really don't know anything about lizards and really need help please.
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Walter1

Moderator
Staff member
1,000+ Post Club
5 Year Member
The lizard must be able to bask at around 115F AND move away to mid-80sF AND have a mid-upoer 70sF hide. Can not happen in a small enclosure.

Must have water at all times. If perls up from heat, offer raw scrambled egg. Hard to resist.
 

AlphaAlpha

Well-Known Member
maybe blitz together some meat with water to make a soup and syringe into its mouth or just leave in a dish if hes drinking. Get some multi vitamin and codliver oil too to put in.

And the best of luck as that looks like one unhealthy tegu:(:(
 

Amy Broxham

New Member
I work for a school in Taiwan and they have a red Tegu in a really small terrarium in their science room that has been starved to the point that you can see its bones. I only found out a few days ago that it is a tegu - before that all I knew was that it ate baby mice. I kept hassling the guy who's lizard it is to get it food and he eventually got it some baby mice but it won't eat them - it's as if it doesn't have the strength left to even swallow them. I also noticed that there is no heat lamp for it and it's kept in a dark room all day with no sunlight. It's ground cover also appears to not have been changed for a long time and it really stinks in there. I live in a town where there are no pet stores stocking supplies for reptiles but I managed to go to the city to buy heat lamps and clean ground cover. What else can I do to help this lizard survive? Should I try to force-feed it something like eggs with a syringe? I really don't know anything about lizards and really need help please.View attachment 13970
This breaks my heart! :(
 

rats

Member
5 Year Member
Very, very sad. It probably would be too expensive to take it to a herp vet, which is what I’d recommend.... so try liquids like raw scrambled egg with herptivite/reptivite or other vitamin nutrients added. If he shows interest in food after the liquids, try soft meat like ground turkey, maybe with raw egg on the side/top. Clean the tank, use something simple like newspaper or paper towels to line it, easier to clean up ongoing. Good luck, I hope it stays alive.
 

Daddy

New Member
First priority move it, clean substrate and HEAT it . one he gets that warmth few days to adjust offer food and once its warm it should at least try.and give it a bath in warm water to hydrate. Keep us updated!
 

Jorgo

New Member
Since it hasn't been mentioned - convince whoever owns the Tegu to give him up? Perhaps he can go to an animal shelter, or maybe a pet store in the city may know some people if you yourself do not want to take him as a pet (wanting to help an animal in need does not necessarily mean ownership after all) I doubt it will be easy, but clearly the current owner is not taking proper care of him....and judging by your statement of having to hassle him to buy food, it not just from a lack of knowledge, but potentially a lack of caring.
 
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