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RE: What have I gotten myself into?

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Posted by: kinyonga at Fri Nov 17 16:12:22 2006  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by kinyonga ]  

Background information...I have kept/bred/raised/hatched water dragons for well over 12 years. I'm not a vet...what I have learned is from my own experience and from what I have read and learned from others. I keep a wide variety of other reptiles too.

You said..."The woman who's given the lizards to me has already treated them with antibiotics and has gotten them to look pretty healthy, aside from the obvious wounds"...they look quite good except for the mouths/jaws/lips. Its good to know that she had them treated with antibiotics...but that might not have been enough. Even though the vet said it should be okay, I would keep an eye on the sore areas and if there is any indication that the wounds are not healing I would take them to the vet again. Most of the time with mouth problems like this, the areas that are sore need to be cleaned out properly by a vet along with them being given antibiotics or the sores will return or not heal. Their pus is like cottage cheese in texture usually and the bacteria involved are stubborn.

You asked..."Any advice on anything special I should do other than what I will find on the caresheet(s) on this site?"...IMHO you need to gutload the insects with a nutritious diet and dust them before offering them to the dragons. I would also advise that you feed them insects one day and alternate days feed them a mixture of veggies, greens and fruits.

I gutload my crickets with a wide variety of greens and veggies. I dust them with a phosphorous-free calcium powder at most feedings since insects have a poor cal./phos. ratio. I also dust them with a vitamin powder twice a month. I make sure the one I use has a beta carotene source of vitamin A because it won't build up in the system like preformed vitamin A will. If they don't get any direct sunlight, then I also dust twice a month with a vitamin D3/calcium powder. Vitamin D3 from supplements can also build up in the system (but not from exposure to UVB/sunlight) so don't overdo it.

I offer the dragons a mixture of greens (dandelion greens, endive, collards, kale, ROMAINE lettuce, mustard greens, etc.), veggies (sweet red peppers, squash, sweet potato, carrot, zucchini, etc.)and some fruit (apple, pear, melon, berries, etc.) (as I said above).

You said..."They've come complete with an excellent setup, heat lights, full spectrum lighting, basking spot, and I believe the cage itself is some sort of vision cage. I'll be cleaning them out in the morning and putting in fresh bedding. Any advice on a specific bedding I should consider?"...sounds good. (I have no idea what a "vision cage" is though.) I use cypress mulch for bedding. My cages are about 2/3rds land and 1/3 water. I will assume that you know the appropriate temperatures? Even if you aren't keeping them together, the female can lay eggs in the spring and early summer and she should have a place to lay them in the cage.

You asked..."Can I expect them to become handleable? They put up with being picked up with right now, can I expect them to become tamer the more I work with them or will they essentially become a look-don't-touch sort of pet?" depends on the individual...but most of them will tame down quite a bit. Mine will ride around on my shoulder (or head, if I were to allow it).

Even though you never expected to end up with this situation, I think you might find them to be interesting pets! If you have any other questions, just ask. I'll do my best to answer.


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