With baby season right around the corner I thought it might be a good idea to type of a list of common rookie mistakes for young tegus.
Written By : Tyler Garcia
- Lighting and Heat
- Most care sheets are fairly outdated and generally say to bask around 95-100. Recently we’ve found that they do better at 115-140.
- Tegus being diurnal animals require full spectrum lighting. It is possible for them to get be kept without them uvb but this should not be attempted for beginners.
- When measuring basking temp be sure and use a temp gun not a digital probe or dial thermometer
- These little guys are very inquisitive and very smart, they are able to jump higher than you’d think and a tank or cage without a secure top or door is easy pickings for a young tegu.
- Another form of escapes generally comes when being allowed out of the enclosure. There have been several tegus that have made it out of their keepers hands and under cabinets, sinks, or holes in the wall, always double check a room before attempting to bond with your gu.
- Also included in this is outside time, MANY tegus escapes on their first outings into the world. The strange noises and smells that can be overwhelming and can cause a normally calm baby to freak and take off.
- Many things can happen to a new baby. They are not as strong or predictable as their older counterparts. High falls are a big concern and a common cause for injury. We must remember that tegus are terrestrial animals and cannot protect themselves from falls like arboreal reptiles. A fall can lead to a number of problems from broken bones to internal hemorrhaging.
- Drowning is another form of death for young tegus. Many are lost every year due to this. The most common reason being that they are left unattended in the tub.
- This is kinda self-explanatory but I’ll at least elaborate on it a hair. If the animal is under heated or on the wrong substrate, it can cause some real problems.
- Dehydration is also common when babies are put in screen top cages or not misted properly.
- This once again comes to out of date care sheets. The old accepted diet was a ground diet with powdered supplements and fish oil added to it. This is fairly difficult to do, getting the right measurements of each and every vitamin and mineral can be complicated even for advacnced reptile keepers. This is why I always will and do suggest a whole prey diet from day one. With a whole prey diet supplementing isn’t near as important and makes life much easier to keep a happy healthy tegu.
- While mentioning diet I figured I should touch on obesity. This runs rampant in MOST reptiles and can be a serious problem later in life. Many see the fat lazy tegus and think that’s the norm. Once again we've learned recently that this is actually quite the opposite. Most are overweight and under heated and this is why they are not active. That does not mean that tegus are not affectionate animals, they are however a lot more active than once thought.
- If a whole prey diet is not used, please rember that suplementaion is a MUST a good calcium powder with out d3 is necesary as well as a vitamin suplement. Frequency of these items would strongly depend on what the diet consisted of so I am unable to recomend how often to apply.
Written By : Tyler Garcia