My lizard is losing his scales. could it be parasites? or what could it be. it not shedding he was given to me about 6

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Customer:

my lizard is losing his scales. could it be parasites? or what could it be. it not shedding


 


he was given to me about 6 months ago by a pet store because he was very sick and they had already lost two.  he is a wild caught.  when i got him i took him to a vet and they treated him for mouth rot and severe parasites.  he seemed to be doing better until this past week.  now he is loosing his scales in places.  like you touch him and then look at your hand and it will be covered in scales.  he still eats but not as much as he was a couple weeks ago.  ive been feeding him crickets and worm dusted in calcium and vitamin dust and then also carrots, collard greens, kale, sweet potatoe, and celery leaves.  as well as the carrot leaves.  

Answered by Anna in 1 hour 9 years ago
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Anna
30+ years of experience
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17,034 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Reptile Veterinary, Herp Veterinary, Exotic Animal Medicine, Amphibian Veterinary

Hello,

I apologize that no one has responded to your question sooner. Different experts come online at various times. I just came online and saw your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a biologist with a special interest in reptiles. I'm sorry to hear of this problem. Some additional in formation will be useful.

What temperatures do you maintain under the basking light and on the cool side of the cage?

What brand and size of UVB light do you have? Is it a straight tube or a spiral/coil type? How old is the bulb?

What substrate do you use on the floor of the enclosure?

Thank you.

Anna
Customer

right now he had no substrate because of his condition. the uvb is a uvb and heat bulb combined. it is a flood light looking bulb. it is only 2 months old. the basking part is around 100-105 and the rest of the cage is around 80-85. i do not know the brand or size of uvb bulb off the top of my head.


 


also his feces is normal. he goes about twice a day.


 


where he is losing his scales is white and seems to be tender for when you touch near there he flinches


Thank you for getting back to me. Is your light a mercury vapor bulb then?

Also examine your lizard very carefully for tiny black dots. Here is a photo that shows what you're looking for - notice the dot right where the head joins the body:

graphic
Sorry - My post got cut off. Do you see any tiny black dots?
Customer

no he doesnt have mites. that is what everyone was thinking but he doesnt. i can not find online anywhere anything that looks like what is going on with him, and the vet here wants $160 just to see him and i do not have that kind of money right now. also he is very lethargic

Customer

if you would like i can attach some pictures of him

Please do that. You can upload a photo by clicking on REPLY, then at the top of the area where you would type is a tool bar with icons. Click on the little paper clip icon (it's right next to the YouTube icon). Instructions will pop up. On some browsers, this doesn't work. if that happens, you can put your photo on one of the free photo sharing websites, such as www.photobucket.com. Then come back here and paste the link to your picture in a REPLY.

Anna
Customer

in those areas he has no scales at all. when i hold him my hands are covered in tiny scales. and in one spot when the scales came off he actually ended up with an open wound.

Customer

will i be able to reply in the morning? i need to go home so i can take care of the rest of my animals

Yes, if you need to reply, in the morning will be fine. Thank you for the photos. I think you are dealing with a bacterial or fungal skin infection.First of all, don't use nay more mineral oil. you probably heard about it on an outdated website. It is an old remedy fro parasites. While it cna be helpful in very tiny amounts, for example when eye caps don't shed, if used on large areas it can even be fatal.

Because your lizard is lethargic, I would start with a first aid measure. Buy some Pedialyte (yes, the kind for human infants). Prepare a shallow bath consisting of 1/2 water and 1/2 Pedialyte. Soak your lizard for about 20 to 30 minutes twice a day the first day. Reptiles can absorb the electrolytes and fluids through their vents (where droppings pass out), so make the water deep enough to cover the vent. Be sure to supervise closely. Repeat once per day after that.

Next, prepare a dilute solution of Betadine in water. Betadine is sold in the first aid departments of discount stores and pharmacies. The solution should be the color of weak tea. Put it in a container so it is about shoulder deep, and place the iguana in it. Use a small container (a paper cup works well) to scoop up the solution and gently pour it over the parts of the lizard that aren't in the water. Don't get it in his eyes. After this first treatment, you can mix up the same solution and apply it only to the affected areas of his skin, using a cotton ball or swab. Do this after his Pedialyte soak. This measure should help if there is a bacterial infection or parasites you can't see.

If you don't see any improvement within a week, or if his general condition deteriorates before that, you'll need to find a way to see a vet. He may ahve a fungal infection or an underlying health condition causing the problem. $160 for an office call is exorbitant for almost any part fo the United States. I suggest you look for a different reptile vet. Find some in your area and call to ask about fees. Here are directories where you can find vets:

http://www.anapsid.org/vets/index.html#vetlist

http://www.arav.org/find-a-vet

http://www.herpvetconnection.com/

In most areas, an office visit should be under $60. Treatment, of course, will be additional.

If you have more questions, let me know in a REPLY. I hope the first aid measures will help.

Anna

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Please remember to rate my service only after you have all the information you need. Thank you!

Anna41541.0969520486
Customer

i have been soaking him in nupro a custom electrolyte formula mixed with water for 4 day. twice a day for 30 mins. i will go get the betadine tomorrow and try that. thank you. i am going to hold off on rating your services to be sure i do not come up with anymore questions. thank you

Even after you rate, you can still reply to this question. I'm glad to hear you already have been doing electrolyte soaks. I'll keep an eye out for nay more concerns tomorrow. I wish you success in treatment.

Anna
Customer

i used to be a wildlife rehaber in NC. so as long as someone points me in the right directions i know i can get him better. its just i only did mammals and turtles. and that partly why the pet store was willing to give him to me after they lost two of them. i don't think it helps any that he was wild caught as well. because when i got him no one not even the vet that i took him to then thought he would live this long. but im determined to not let him die.


 


crazy question though. could athletes foot on a person transfer to him? my boyfriend recently got athletes foot and after you said it could be a fungal skin infection it made me realize that him and the lizard got this around the same time. maybe just coincidence but just curious.

Most of the fungal infections lizards get are specific to reptiles, but athlete's foot has been known to infect dogs, so I suppose it isn't completely impossible. If this turns out to be a fungal infection, it can be very difficult to treat. Oral antifungal medication as well as topical ones may be needed. If you scroll down about 3/4 of the way on this website to the section on fungal skin infections, you can read more about them:

http://thereptilewhisperer.blogspot.com/2010/05/care-of-newly-acquired-reptiles.html

Anna
Hi Jennifer,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Morganlander. How is everything going?

Anna
Customer

i took him to a vet they gave me meds. but he is doing a lot worse. i will be supprised if he makes it through the night. i am now having to give him sub q fluid and tube feed him and critical care carnivore and herbivore mix. he is on fortaz, panacur and metro compounded. i really hope i can get him to recover. i have put 6 months into saving him and i do not want to loose him now. he is defiantly a fighter though.

I'm so sorry to hear he's not doing well. That's so sad after you've tried so hard. It sounds like he has multiple problems. I hope you can nurse him back to health.

Anna
Customer

i hope so too. im trying my hardest. ive overdrawn my bank account just so i could get him the meds

You are a very devoted pet owner. Hoping for the best.
Customer

he just died. the lady i took him to tonight said that the fortaz was causing his kidneys to shut down.

I am so sorry. You did everything you possibly could to help him. He was in horrible shape when you got him, and since you've had him, he has known what it is like to be cared for. Fortaz can be risky when there is already some kidney failure occurring, and with all the problems he has had, that could have been the case. This is so sad after all you've been through with him. I know words don't really help, but all I can do is offer my condolences. I'm sorry.

Anna
I just wanted to let you know that you may be getting some automated follow-ups from JustAnswer that look like they're from me, but they're not. Please just ignore them.

Take care,
Anna
Customer

ok. thanks. ive gotten one. but i ignored it because it wasnt from anna it was from someone else

Yes, unless you have another question, just continue ignoring them.
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