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great advice Chel...sorry troubles etc..

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Posted by Pennebaker on January 26, 2003 at 05:08:43:

In Reply to: Tom..Please Read..Regarding Chucks posted by chelonian on January 25, 2003 at 23:40:16:

OUCH, Tom. That is a hard winter. I'm very sorry to hear about your loss, especially since I'm working with petros, cycluras and sauros too. I can totally feel your loss. I lost a couple chucks this winter too.

Chelonian's words ring true with my experiences. My chucks basically refused to go down. I had them outside here in Albuquerque until half-way through December. They insisted on coming out to bask on sunny days even with highs in the 50s. Thinking i'd try to mimick their natural wintering accomodations as much as possible, i had constructed south-facing crags and caves. When they began to lose too much weight, basically demonstrating to me that they'd die before they went down, I conceded and brought them inside.

I've never seen such stubborn lizards! Most of the species with similar ranges and climates went down for at least a month-or-so: fringe-toeds, DIs, HLs, collareds, gambelia, alligator lizards. My Petros kind-of went down, but all the spinys refused(I expected as much from the sceloporous).

So, i ended-up having to nurse most of the chucks back into shape and lost 2 baby Os along the way. My suspicions were that the chucks had some sort of parasites, which was eventually confirmed by a fecal. This might explain why the chucks didn't want to go down. Maybe they knew they were overloaded? While i had treated them for mites in Autumn, i had declined medicating them for worms and-such because we were so close to cold weather. Based on their body-weight i figured they had a handle-on any parasite build-up that may have occurred. "I'll med em'in Spring" i said to myself. DOH!

To make matter worse, i was still fighting-off the ever-persistant mites too. Poor skinny-little oiled-up, parsite-infested chuckies. It was a heart-wrenching sight. I went through a whole session of different meds and the now the chucks are starting to put on good weight again.(Dave, you'd be happy to know that your lil' Nevada pulled through just fine and is now my fattest Nevada).

On a different note,I lost a an entire breeding-group of collareds about 3+? years ago. They were tentatively diagnosed as having herpes. We did a necropsy and many of the symptoms and conditons were consistent with herpes. However, we were not able to afford the specific procedure necessary to confirm. The vet we consulted at the time seemed fairly convinced it was herpes and was quite excited about it. Who knows, he might have done further research on it with out our knowldege.
Anyhow, this virus was BAD. Uncurable as far as i know. The insidious lil' virus is also spread by touch, human touch! If you touch an infected lizard and refrain from sanitizing your hands, you can give it to yourself and other lizards. Lovely, huh? Outward signs are tricky because they do not necessarily signify the latent cause. However, most of our's developed severe conjunctivitus and open-sores along their throats(inside). It started with one and over the course of 3-4 months, spread to 4 other collareds before i knew what happened. You know how collareds are with sand and eyes, right?
The original carrier was though to have a been a WC female collaris collaris. I may have inadvertantly transmitted it to some chamelons as well during that time as i lost 2 chams due to very similar conditions shortly after i lost the collareds. It was a terrible event and one that turned me into a hand-washing neat-freak with my lizards. I have had no problems since then and it's been well-over 3 years.

Well, i gotta stop rambling cause the children-of-the-night cry out for food. Sorry, once again Tom. Great input everybody.


: Hi Tom.I was talking to my vet in Tucson who treats the reptiles
: at the ASDM about 2 months ago.We were talking about the varius he had mentioned that they have isolated a chuckwalla herpes virus.I don't remember all the exact details but I will be seeing him Monday,Jan27 and I will find out more details.It sounds to me you have some parasite or massive infection of some sort going on with your animals.I would difinitly have some fecals done on your remaining animals.I don't really believe the chucks truly go down.I have seem my hispidus out and sunning on days in the upper 60's lower 70's.They will be out for sure this week,as it is suppose to reach 80's. Anyway I will let you know when I get some info..

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