Help! Green Anole Hasn't Eaten In Over A Month

Discussion in 'Anoles' started by curlyswirls, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. curlyswirls Embryo

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    I adopted my green anole a little less than a year ago. Because he was adopted I can not give his age, but he is full size. We have a 10 gallon terrarium for him. He has a basking light and heating light during the day, and at night he has a black heating lamp. I mist his cage three times a day and he has a water dish.
    When I first got him, he was very stressed and he avoided eating and was brown all the time. After a week he calmed down and remained a vibrant green. I started feeding him meal worms and crickets. He never seemed to eat the crickets and would only eat a meal worm approximately one every two days.
    My anole has not eaten in over a month. I have a meal worm in there for him that I will change every couple of days. I tried adding a cricket but he didn't seem to budge on that either. During the day he is a brown color but at night he will turn bright green.
    After a week of not eating he seemed to start shedding, but just his nose. There was a white layer of (skin?) covering his nose and eyes but he eventually shed it after another week to two weeks. There is still some remaining over his eyes. I thought maybe he can't see so I tried putting food right in front of his mouth but he wasn't tempted. After two weeks of not eating, I thought he could be constipated since he has only eaten meal worms. I put him in a warm bath but he didn't like it much. We had him out of the cage for about half an hour while I deeply cleaned his cage. During this time he didn't move much. Previously he was fast like an anole should be. He is now very thin, approximately the size of a pencil.
    I tried to include as much information as I can. I have asked people at my local pet store and they don't seem to know much so this is my last resort to try to save him. Any input is appreciated! Thanks!
  2. lizardgurl87 HOTM Winner April

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    732
    Well, I got my anole around June and don't really know his age either, but I'd say around a year or two, could you try to give an estimate? He will go through periods where he will eat and not eat, but I don't think for that long ever. I at first had him in a 10 gallon, until I got a bigger tank- about 20 gallon special Zoo Med terrarium, which he likes much better. I do have a water dish, which he doesn't use much, but you could at least try that. You were coating the food a few times a week before, right? Since, that will give him the calcium and vitamins he needs, but you can give him too many...Rhubarb(my anole) seems to eat the food more when it's coated cause it's more noticable and it might taste better to him lol. Sadly, I don't want to say it,but it could be old age or sickness...I had a girl with him a few months ago and she had egg binding(since they mated and she was too small, she couldn't get the eggs out)she didn't eat for almost a week and got really small and inactive before she passed away...I wish I could help more, but maybe you could list exactly what you use in the tank(bedding, decor, even the supplements you put on the food)and maybe you could post a picture, I'll try to help the most I can cause I hated it when my girl anole started doing bad, but if I can't I'm sure there's someone else on here who can! I hope he gets better soon!!!
  3. curlyswirls Embryo

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    I have uploaded a photo of his tank and a couple photos of him. They were taken in the morning so he is still partially green, but otherwise he stays brown all day. As you can see his ribs are showing very much and he has very shallow breathing. The best estimate for his age I can give is over three years. I attempted to look of signs of old age in an anole and didn't get much information on the symptoms or signs. Maybe someone here does? I do coat his food with Reptocal. IMG_3441.jpg IMG_8205.jpg IMG_6906.jpg
  4. Cammy Moderator

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    919
    Poor baby! =( Unfortunately, judging by your description and pictures, it seems like your anole is likely beyond recovery. You may want to take him to the vet so they can perform a humane euthanasization, as he is clearly suffering in his current state.

    There are a few changes to the husbandry that could stand to be made. Making these changes probably won't save your anole at this point, but they can at least prevent the same thing from happening in the future should you choose to get another anole.

    First, I notice you have three compact/dome lights on your setup. You say you have one "basking light" and one "heating light" for the daytime. Does this mean you have a coiled/compact light bulb as your UVB source? Unfortunately, these are not very reliable bulbs. Studies of UVB output have shown that they deteriorate very quickly (meaning they stop producing the necessary level of UVB within a few weeks), and they have been linked to skin and eye damage in some cases, especially when a reflective dome light was used (which I believe the Zoo Med double light is). Unless you were changing the UVB bulb every few weeks and he was never getting very close to it, it's highly likely he is suffering from a calcium deficiency due to lack of correct UVB levels. In the future, you want to use only the long, tube fluorescent bulbs for UVB. Make sure they specify on the package that they produce UVB--a "day light" or "full spectrum" bulb is not necessarily a UVB producing bulb. The anole needs to be able to get within 6-10 inches of this bulb to absorb its UVB properly. Make sure there is no glass or plastic (which filter out UVB) covering on the bulb fixture. For your 10 gallon tank, a 24" fixture with an 18" UVB bulb should do the trick. You can still use the Zoo Med fixture for your heat lamps as long as you are maintaing the proper temperatures.

    Speaking of temperatures, I don't see any thermometers in the cage. Are you using a temp gun? If so, you can disregard this paragraph. If not, it's very important you pick up something to measure temps with. Make sure you are using either a temp gun or a digital thermometer with probe. These will allow you to get an accurate surface temperature reading. Mercury, stick-on, and round gauge type thermometers are not very precise (or accurate, in the case of the round ones) and only give a vague reading of air temperature, which can differ from surface temperature by many degrees. Temperatures for anoles are 75-80F on the cool end, 80-85F on the warm end, and 85-90F up at the basking spot. Temperatures can drop at night, but just make sure they are not falling below 65F. Providing the correct temperature gradient along with the UVB light is extremely vital to your anoles' health.

    Humidity is also an important thing to measure and keep track of. I don't see a hydrometer but it may be hidden by your plants if you do have one. If you don't, make sure you pick one of those up as well. Humidity should be around 70-75% for your anole. Your current bark chip bedding may help maintain a moderate level of humidity, but just make sure the anole is not ingesting any fibers from it. If you find you are unable to keep humidity high enough, try switching over to a safe soil or peat moss substrate and see if that helps. (Obviously make sure you are misting several times a day to keep humidity up. I see a spray bottle in the background so I assume you are already doing this.) Another thing I'd invest in are a few more climbing fixtures for your anole to hide and bask in. Fake plants from craft stores are a good, cheap alternative to expensive decor from a pet store. Make sure you rinse them off well before placing them in the cage. Remember, this is an arboreal species. They should have plenty of climbing height to take advantage of. An adult anole should ideally have a taller cage than a standard 10 gallon, although a juvenile would be fine in there.

    Finally, try to avoid feeding mealworms to your anole except for as a very rare treat. They are very poor nutritionally and can be difficult for smaller lizards to digest due to their thick, chitin shell. Stick to gut loaded and dusted crickets as a staple. There are two kinds of worms that can be used as a staple (silk worms and phoenix/calci/repti worms), so if you have a very picky eater in the future, you could try those instead. Most healthy anoles will devour crickets, though, unless they get spoiled on worms, so hopefully you shouldn't have that problem.

    I think I've covered all of the basics...I'm very sorry for overwhelming you with information, but I just want to make sure you have a healthy, long-lived pet in the future. If you have any questions about anything I've mentioned here, or anything in general, feel free to ask. I'm very sorry about your anole and wish I had better news for you, but at this point it is probably kinder to have him put down. =(
  5. lizardgurl87 HOTM Winner April

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    Thanks Cammy for helping me help her and sadly, he looks like my girl did right before she went..I hope the things Cammy suggested will help, but 3 years is about an average life span.
  6. Cammy Moderator

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    Wellllll, technically 3 years is the average lifespan, but only because of common care misconceptions. With proper care, they should actually live around 5-7 years, although some have lived longer than that. I have one customer whose anole is 10 years old and still alive and kicking!
    lizardgurl87 likes this.
  7. JEFFREH Administrator

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    It's unfortunate that there are so many care miconceptions in our hobby, and with common pet reptiles like anoles in general. New keepers often look to the advice of a pet store employee who has often only been trained on a small informational pamphlet about the species... which generaly has poor care information within it to begin with and promotes the sales of hazardous or unnessesary products for the store's benefit (ie. calcium sand, expensive heat producing bulbs that don't produce UVB, worthless thermometers, etc). Don't get me wrong, there are quite a few knowledgeable pet store staff that know their stuff and as a result save lives of animals, but keep in mind most of them are taking it as a part time job that doesn't entail fast food or some other retail position. It's not the employee's fault, or the keeper's fault necessarily - they were misguided and given poor information to begin with. This is why we have our forum, to help other hobbyists in properly caring for their animal's and promote a long, healthy life.

    Anoles are very deilicate creatures compared to other herps, when their immune system becomes compromised or things aren't 100% in husbandry, it can be hard for them to bounce back. I agree with Cammy in that he looks to be in pretty bad shape. It's not your fault, and perhaps some husbandry changes could aid in recovery, but this species is delicate... perhaps a vet visit from a qualified herp vet can decide the severity of his situation (as pictures are sometimes hard to judge), and you can proceed from there as to whether or not the animal should be humanely euthanized or if there is light at the end of the tunnel.
    http://herpvetconnection.com <-- Herp vets in your Area
    electrofelt likes this.
  8. lizardgurl87 HOTM Winner April

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    732
    I've heard of them living longer too, but I meant "average" by what the books and pamphlets say. A lot of times though, you never know the exact age in the first place, I'd guess Rhubarb's around a year or older, but you never know o_O
    That's also awesome that you know someone with a 10 year old one! They must take great care of it!
  9. ChickenPerson Embryo

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    Did he make it?
  10. Tarik Embryo

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    2
    Ive had one die on me at the age of six and he was not eating for a month so i started to give mine a mate which showed him eating and he started. But yours could be a different story cause i see you have wood ships in there so may e he swallowed one of those

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