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Dumeril's stops feeding every February. What's up?

Discussion in 'Lizard Discussion' started by tupinambisfamiliaris, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. tupinambisfamiliaris

    tupinambisfamiliaris Member 5 Year Member

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    I've got a 3 year old captive bred Dumeril's monitor that I bought from Ben Aller. Ben's a great guy, BTW and one of few if any dumeril's breeders here in the US. The monitor is always active and appears healthy. The February comes and it stops eating for about three weeks. It gives me fits every year.

    I feed it crawfish, shrimp and softshell crab (all supplemented) and it readily eats all year until then. The first year it was agrowing juvie, so I figured maybe it needed a biiger enclosure. I bulit one. It started eating again and I though I had the problem licked. Then came Feb 08 and it went off feed for a couple of weeks. I even took it to a vet this time. He said there was nothing visibly wrong, weight was decent. He gave me some Baytril to treat any possible parasitic infection, which I think just stressed an already shy monitor. He started feeding heavily again two weeks after the vet visit.

    This year was no different. Hardly any feeding since Valentine's day up until tonight when he pigged out, much to my surprise. Looks like I'm back on the merry go round again.

    I know that not a lot of folks keep these guys, and that Indonesian varanids can be tough charges. If anyone has any insight or experience with dumeril's, let me know what you think. I'd wanted one of these guys since I started keeping and it would devastate me to lose him, as captive bred specimens are practically non-existent these day.

    Some general info: He's in a 5ft by 3ft by 3ft enclosure. He has two very large cork rounds to climb and hide in. There are two levels to the cage, the bottom covered in six inches of topsoil/sand and the top lined with carpet. It has a large Rubbermaid hide full of eco-earth and spaghnum. There is a very large cat litter box full of water at the bottom that he soaks in frequently. I clean it at least once daily. His staple food is crawfish, but he also takes crab and shrimp. I mist 3-4x daily and wet the soil in the morning. I don't use any UV lighting. The heat source is two 90w halogen floods inside the cage and it gets up to 160f in the hottest spot, which is big enough for him to get his entire body under. The animal itself is about 3ft long. It has no lost toes, claws, or tail kinks and other than the anorexia is flawless the rest of the year. He doesn't like handling, but will not bite for anything. It also remains very strong even when off feed.

    Tahnks for reading and any advice is appreciated!
  2. dicy

    dicy New Member 5 Year Member

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    best advise i can give u is to check out varanus.nl forum i know there r a few people there that breed and keep them but keep us updated on the thing its interesting to hear how ore whuts going on
  3. Beazer

    Beazer New Member 5 Year Member

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    Any news to report? My question would be, is it 100% male? If its female that actually might make a lot of sense? Also, do you mix it up with insects in the diet too?
    Doctors use baytril a little bit too much, so next time I would avoid it. If you can, get a cheap microscope (400x) and learn to do fecals for it so you arent just treating it for something that isnt there (most vets are morons when it comes to reptiles, even the self proclaimed reptile vets). Also, why treat the parasite infection and not the parasites? Dr. Klingenburg (hope i spelled that right) came out with a good book on reptile parasites (including introduction, how to identify, how/when to treat, proper dosage, and how to prevent).
    One more question, do you over feed or are you pretty good at recognizing over feeding? Like Dicy said, it would be interesting to find out what problem, if any problem is, or if it is a female who is potentially a good breeder?

    -Jon DeLong
  4. tupinambisfamiliaris

    tupinambisfamiliaris Member 5 Year Member

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    He's good again. Eating lots of shellfish, swimming , climbing and hiding. Could very well be a female, I suppose. Started acting fine again at the end of Feb like always. I think next year I will try to raise the ambient temps and see what difference it makes. Basking temps are in the 120s, but it's a 5ft tall enclosure. Maybe I need to get more heat at the bottom when winter hit, as it spends lots of time down there.
  5. tupinambisfamiliaris

    tupinambisfamiliaris Member 5 Year Member

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    Oh, and I generally feed as much as it will eat. I offer food five days a week.

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