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First tegu

Justnbh302

New Member
Hi everyone. After years of longing for a large lizard I finally have the space/resources to jump on it. I made a risking decision and ordered from a notorious wholesaler (backwater reptiles). I didn’t want a hatchling so I order the “large” (which I thought was going to be a big baby). I ending up getting an adult male. He is 2 1/2 ft long without the tail. He is a true Argentine b&w but I’ve read that they actually sell some wild caught animals out of Florida. Regardless of that he looks very healthy beside a little stuck shed. He’s docile and doesn’t mind being pet. He just doesn’t like being picked up ( legs off the ground). The first day I let him settle in. The second day he ate a large meal of rodents and ground turkey. He basked for a few hours and went into his burrow. Since then he has come out for no longer than 20mins at a time. He even puts up a fight when I tried to take him out to soak him. Is this the start of hibernation? Could he already have been hibernating before I got him? I have all my temps right, 110 basking, about 75 on the cool side. Humidity is a little low but I’m working on ways to fix that. I mist the cage everyday. I tried to feed again yesterday and he literally pushed the food out the way. Tegus are by far the smartest reptile I’ve had, so I figured he’s refusing for a reason. I’m building his final enclosure this weekend. 6x4x3. Currently he’s in a 4x3x2 cause I wasn’t expecting an adult. Any tips for a new tegu owner? I’ve been keeping reptiles since I was 15, I have a few adult red tails so I’m not new to large reptiles. Thank you all and I’m happy to be apart of your forum.
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Justnbh302

New Member
I’m sorry if I’m writing a lot but I left some out. There was 2 days between each feeding if that matters. Maybe he was still full ? I just went downstairs and he was basking again. I do have another question though. My girlfriend has a toy sized dog that goes sniffing around the cage. The dog only weighs all of 5lbs. Can I be sure he won’t mistake her for food ? Or should I just be careful not to let them cross paths ? Thank you again.
 

rantology

Active Member
I would not let the tegu and the dog interact... a little 5 lb dog, there will always be risk involved supervised or not IMO. You could probably bump the basking temp up since he's an adult to ~120-130 ... otherwise, it seems like you are off to a good start. He could be refusing food for a few reasons - settling in after a move can take weeks and they can lose appetite. It is indeed brumation season so many gus are starting to go down right around now. I would offer food every 3 days and let him set his own pace from there, as long as his body mass is looking healthy you shouldn't need to worry too much. Congrats on the handsome fella!
 

Justnbh302

New Member
I would not let the tegu and the dog interact... a little 5 lb dog, there will always be risk involved supervised or not IMO. You could probably bump the basking temp up since he's an adult to ~120-130 ... otherwise, it seems like you are off to a good start. He could be refusing food for a few reasons - settling in after a move can take weeks and they can lose appetite. It is indeed brumation season so many gus are starting to go down right around now. I would offer food every 3 days and let him set his own pace from there, as long as his body mass is looking healthy you shouldn't need to worry too much. Congrats on the handsome fella!
Thank you. I will definitely take heed to the advice. I’m sorry if I was ranting a little in my original post. I’m just so excited and would love to share with other owners. I don’t have to many people around me interested in reptiles.
 
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