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Posted by KristyN on April 08, 2003 at 11:41:19:
In Reply to: Re: Trying to save a 5+ ft male posted by Brian-SFCRC on April 08, 2003 at 08:24:50:
Thanks so much for your help, Brian! Here is more info on your points:
But first.. a QUESTION... What is the BEST food to force-feed to sustain life?
1. "Be CAREFUL" - Thanks! He IS very agile and powerful. I don't handle him alone. He is like a Tokay gecko, so we don't let our guard down for a second. I'm sorry about your hand... your description certainly got my attention.
2. "Vet" - What a shame you can't advise. On one front, I can understand, but on another it's sad when dealing with extreme cases.
3. "Psychological" - This is, at first what I thought it was. But so much time had passed and I tried so many different things. When I first got him, he was handleable and wouldn't bite. Does it make sense that he would get SO much worse? Maybe we should focus on this more?
4. "Food & Import" - My understanding is that he came from Florida, but that' all I know. I have tried literally every type of food I can get here in North Dakota... scores of fruit and vegetable types. Is there something else I can try. He DOES drink water willingly.I have had best luck with bananas because when he opens his mouth, you can get it in there pretty good. Then, it's like peanut butter... he can't spit it out and eats it.
5. "Antibiotics" - There probably isn't anything over-the-counter? On a vets suggestion, we did apply Peroxide to the perimeter of the mouth. And you're right, the tounge tip IS swollen, along with a small sore that has healed just at the snout's tip. I suspect that is where he was previously force-fed.
6. "Enclosure" - I have a fully-dedicated room with racks and tree limbs. It has lots of basking spots and water sources. It houses 6 other large iguanas - I tried that, thinking he would model the behavior of the others. He just hides or sits there in the "same" position. When challenged by the dominant male in the group, he had no interest, even though he is much larger. We tried letting him run free in the house... same thing... just hides. Right now, he's isolated in a smaller room: 7' tall X 4' deep X 7' wide. It has good lighting and other amenities... but he just goes in the back corner and hides. Maybe I should more closely approximate his surroundings in the wild. How can I do that? Should I try?
7. "Fecal sample" - I have been on the lookout for one, but they have stopped for several days now. Do you think a "non" herp vet can still do the testing?
8. "Tesplod sign" - I think I follow what this is. Sadly, he is undoubtedly in the advanced stages of malnourishment. It's heartbreaking. Force-feeding has been difficult because he often 'shakes and twists' during the process and is able to throw out even the food and water that has already gone down.
Thanks again, so very much!