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Hatchling tremors

LizardStudent

New Member
Hey guys, I've had my blue tegu hatchling since September 1st, she's 2 and a half months old. Yesterday I had her out on my lap and she was fine, but waking up this morning she has bad tremors in her legs and even her back, almost like bubbling under her skin. I don't know how it could've gotten so bad when yesterday nothing was shakey at all. I've got her under an 18" T8 UVB/UVA bulb, cool side is about 80 while warm side is about 90 and her basking spot usually sits right at 108. Humidity is anywhere from 70%-90% from a fogger that goes off every two hours. I feed her gutloaded crickets along with superworms, lobster roaches, chicken hearts/livers, cooked egg, and occasional fruits and she gets fed once a day. I dust with flukers calcium and flukers multivitamin every other day, unless she gets a pinky mouse then I don't dust. I'm thinking this is a calcium deficiency and I immediately went out and bought liquid calcium for her this morning when I saw her like this. My question really since it just started today, is should i try to up her calcium with the liquid and see if she gets better? Or take her to the vet (it'd be a few days before they could get her in)? Or is it something else i haven't considered? Thoughts?
 

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rantology

Active Member
If it persists, the safest bet is to see a vet. You've done everything I would have- It's much more difficult to diagnose internal issues... Sending good vibes to you both and hope you will keep us updated
 

LizardStudent

New Member
Thanks for the response. After giving her the liquid calcium yesterday along with the multivitamin dusting, her shaking went from virtually her whole body to just her toes, and eventually seemed to go away almost completely. She was lethargic and inactive all day, but she went to bed in her burrow at her usual time. As of this morning she's slow moving, but the tremors seem gone. Crazy how fast the liquid caused her to show improvement. I'm gonna keep giving it to her for a few days and see how she does, if she remains lethargic or the trembling comes back then its time for the vet. Don't wanna say too early, but its looking to me like this was more of an immediate calcium deficiency rather than something more longterm or sinister setting in
 

rantology

Active Member
Good on you for acting so quickly and I'm glad it worked so fast! How old are the supplements you are using? They can expire after ~1 year (can keep better if refrigerated also)... I give mine Repashy supercal HyD on every feeding.
 

LizardStudent

New Member
Good on you for acting so quickly and I'm glad it worked so fast! How old are the supplements you are using? They can expire after ~1 year (can keep better if refrigerated also)... I give mine Repashy supercal HyD on every feeding.
The supplements are only maybe two months old, but I didn't know they had a 1 year shelf life so thank you! I had read in several places to dust food approximately 4 times a week, but after reading some threads on here I think that dusting every meal that doesn't have whole prey is more appropriate and I'll be doing that from now on!
 

Shasta1979

New Member
Id you're not feeding whole prey and just dusting I think you should dust every day id just stay away from mixing large amounts into Turkey mashes ect. Also I use to worry about calcium with D3 becauee I have arcadia 4 foot 12% t5 uvb and they mostly say if you have proper lighting you don't have to use D3 but I know reputable breeders who raise outdoors and still use repashy calcium plus with D3 every feeding theyre not using whole prey so with that being said I dust with repashy calcium plus with D3 every feeding thats not whole prey but I just don't do more than dust. My 4 tegus are doing amazing and have perfect sheds high contrasting colors and amazing feeding responses. There's too much conflicting info out there so use what you need to and rely on youe own instincts and your tegus behavior first and fore most then if you cant figure it out then ask a vet not a forum no disrespect to anyone but every life long breeder ive spoke to always says ask a vet first if you don't know and are unsure. Oh one more thing I also dust when feeding pinkies because they don't have a bones developed yet from what ive read its mostly cartilage in pretty sure until they reach about Hopper size and have a hardened skeletal system. At least that's what ive been told and I always dust my pinkies hope this info helps and good luck
 

Roadkill

Active Member
5 Year Member
Temperatures: not only is this a factor in the health of the tegu for activity and physiological aspects, but heat is a factor in the function of UVB causing a change in vitamin D3 to a more functional molecule, vitamin D3 being necessary for calcium metabolism. Everyone reports the cools, warm ambient, and basking temperatures....but the only temperature that is really important to the health of the animal...is the animal's temperature. They are not passive objects that just assume the temperature of where they are, they have physiological, anatomical, and behavioural means of adjusting their temperature. We as caretakers should be monitoring the animal's temperature even more so than the environment's.

"Dusting" with calcium: how I loath this term, as it promotes the idea that "not much is needed, a little bit once in a while is fine". We should be calculating the calcium content of the meals and food items we supply our animals. Every meal that is low in calcium needs to be supplemented. Not every other time, not 2 times a week, not when we decide it's convenient - every meal. Now, having said this, I will admit it is unknown the exact amount of calcium that is necessary to maintain a healthy tegu. I haven't seen an empirical study to investigate this. The best we have to go by is the approximate amount of calcium that is in whole vertebrate prey as this seems to be sufficient for health. There's plenty of studies that have given this information so it's easy to find and approximate. Having a weigh scale is of immense help when keeping exotics.

Supplements: as rantology has indicated, many of the supplements and food items have a shelf life. For some things this is a legislation regulation for consumer protection, for other things it is a very real factor as the molecules can degrade over time. Something like calcium carbonate powder is likely to have an extremely long shelf life...but has often been demonstrated to not be as effective for absorption and has other problems. Liquid calcium is much more readily absorbed...but tends to have a short shelf life.

Lighting: you mention you have an 18" UVB/UVA lightbulb...however, there are many variables that are not taken into account. If this is the only bulb for a large enclosure it is most likely insufficient. What distance is the bulb from the animal at the shortest? What strength is the bulb? Is there anything between the bulb and the animal (glass, protective screen, etc.)?

The fact that there has been significant improvement with an acute change in supplement would indicate that calcium and possibly vitamin D3 are the primary issue at hand. Re-evaluate your husbandry to address these. However, as rantology has implied, there are many steps and organs involved in the calcium/vitamin D3 biological pathway. If tremors persist even with improved husbandry, it could be a sign of health issues elsewhere. Keep a focused eye on your tegu for the next while.
 

Roadkill

Active Member
5 Year Member
Id you're not feeding whole prey and just dusting I think you should dust every day id just stay away from mixing large amounts into Turkey mashes ect. Also I use to worry about calcium with D3 becauee I have arcadia 4 foot 12% t5 uvb and they mostly say if you have proper lighting you don't have to use D3 but I know reputable breeders who raise outdoors and still use repashy calcium plus with D3 every feeding theyre not using whole prey so with that being said I dust with repashy calcium plus with D3 every feeding thats not whole prey but I just don't do more than dust. My 4 tegus are doing amazing and have perfect sheds high contrasting colors and amazing feeding responses. There's too much conflicting info out there so use what you need to and rely on youe own instincts and your tegus behavior first and fore most then if you cant figure it out then ask a vet not a forum no disrespect to anyone but every life long breeder ive spoke to always says ask a vet first if you don't know and are unsure. Oh one more thing I also dust when feeding pinkies because they don't have a bones developed yet from what ive read its mostly cartilage in pretty sure until they reach about Hopper size and have a hardened skeletal system. At least that's what ive been told and I always dust my pinkies hope this info helps and good luck
Proper lighting is NOT a substitute for vitamin D3, nor is vitamin D3 a substitute for proper lighting: they do not replace the other. Proper lighting should be used with vitamin D3 as UVB does not MAKE vitamin D3, it causes a bond rearrangement in the vitamin D3 molecule to promote to a more bioactive form. Supplementing with vitamin D3 but not giving exposure to UVB can lead to hypervitaminosis D3. Using UVB but having insufficient precursor in the diet will still likely lead to vitamin D3 and calcium issues.
 

Shasta1979

New Member
There's def studies that talk about over dosing on D3 and if you go to arcadias sight they have a chart showing what strength species and distance that each bulbs is use at and for also if you buy their revitalise D3 is tells you if you have proper uvb lighting that you are to only use this supplement every 8th feeding since your uvb lighting should be the rest. This is why I state that you can never just go by what other tegu owners say as exact info because theres so many conflicting opinions..nothing I say is meant for anyone to take as perfect into just suggestions from my experiences and like i said no health issues should be evaluated by some ones opinion on a forum and best to consult an exotic vet withour hesitation. Imo if you have proper husbandry give you animals some natural sun every chance you get and at least use a myth vitamin with calcium and D3 in moderation on your non whole prey foods every meal you should be ok as far as the animals health goes and at least shouldn't see a major deficiency of any kind. I have 4 perfect tegus one BW two super blue crosses and Red and none have any issues on any front but ive been in the situation where I had no idea and was confused with all the info going around and realized your animals behavior is all you need to go by besides the basics anything else is really up in the air like the amount of any supplement you should or shouldn't use. Like the arcadia thing I mentioned about not needing D3 with proper lighting except for every 8th feeding. So if that's not correct then a major lighting company is mis leading everyone so thats why I said to at least use some D3 with every feeding and I hope the into helps but in no instance should this info be anyones gold standard
 

bocacash

Member
5 Year Member
Very good discussion...on a fairly complicated topic ! I have found (and try to implement) the commonalities in multiple/varied articles and opinions regarding most topics regarding Tegus. The common threads seem to have more value than the unique ones...for steady 'best practices' and good health.
 
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