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Sudden Charging and Aggressive Biting

Smasher

New Member
Messages
18
Hello I am new to this forums page and have my red tegu Roshi. She has mostly been an angel since I got her but right away as soon as I got her I noticed she did a lot of like rubbing on the glass and wouldnt stop. Rubbing her nose raw with it I decided to put up black vinyl coverings on all the walls besides my doors. I figured this would fix that problem and it mostly did, but now she has become super Aggressive but only sometimes. She will charge around her cage slamming into the walls head first and if I put my hands near the cage at all she jumps and tries to bite them. Thinking maybe she just wanted out I stupidly decided to try and get her out of her cage since she seemed irritated. She than bit me very hard and actually drew blood for the first time. They were different from the other times she has bitten me where she’s smelled fruit on my fingers and just gave me a little test nibble and than instantly let go. This was very different it was hard and she tried to chew on me. I tried not to encourage the behavior so I put her back in her cage and she continued to charge into the walls. I’m just unsure of what has happened. She was fine earlier in the day. Was letting me pet her and falling asleep on me, but than recently she has started doing this almost every night about an hour before bed. I can’t tell if she’s just trying to defend her territory and I should let it be or if there’s something going on with her. She is also going through a shed but she’s shed before and never acted like this. I don’t know if possibly she is starting to hit puberty as I got her about two months ago and I’m unsure of her actual age as the place I got her from wasn’t too helpful on that Just said she was a baby red tegu. She’s only about a foot long and doesn’t really have a bright red color to her at all more of a tan with red rings and a green tint to her back. Don’t know if maybe the place I got her from ripped me off or something but it was called underground reptiles. I’ll include some pictures of her as well. Any help is appreciated. The pictures are of her on her basking spot and the other is a couple days after I got her and she fell asleep in my blankets with me.
 

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Debita

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She's too small for puberty...she just has demands now that she's settled in. My male B/W did this for a long time. I never saw him ram his head into anything, but climbing the walls and getting his way was going on for a long time. Try not giving her what she wants when she's acting up. Let her finish her fit, then after she's calm, give her a trip outside the tank, or her favorite food. Don't allow her to get her way when she is aggressive.

Make sure her temps are correct (I've actually never heard of one slamming their heads yet) . Babies can't tolerate super hot temps that adults can. Also - fresh water is important. It should always be available. It feels like she's trying to get away from something to me.

Also - he/she looks like a cute baby to me, and has tons of potential. Their color comes as they mature. The only time they have green is when they are hatchlings, and they grow out of it (usually) around 1-2 months. Don't think you've been ripped off. This is a great looking baby.
 

Smasher

New Member
Messages
18
I might try turning down my temps than. Her cool side is about 78 and her hot side is about 88-90. The basking spot is around 100ish so maybe it’s just to hot for her. The place id read said to make their basking spot like 110 degrees so I tried to get it close to that.
 

Debita

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Those temps sound pretty good! There's not much difference in a tegu that actually needs something, and a tegu that is pissed off. I wouldn't take the temps down under the 100 for her bask, and if you can get her cool side down to 75 or lower since she's still so young. As an adult, you'll want to aim at 70 for the low side. It's always the dilemma for Tegu owners to get those temps where they need to be. Most of the time, tanks are too small to achieve it.

Does she have a good hide inside her enclosure? That would be another easy fix. They have a serious need to be covered up and find their security somewhere.
 

Smasher

New Member
Messages
18
She does have a hide but she refuses to use it opting to instead dig under her basking spot and using it as a hide. Could it be a humidity issue? My humidity is usually around 55-60%? Also I will say I wasn’t upset with her colors or anything just had a bad experience immediately after getting this girl with the seller where I bought food with her that was supposed to be shipped with her and they just didn’t send it till like 5 days later so I thought maybe they just ripped me off again.
 

Debita

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Oh - I wasn't judging....just didn't want you to think you got something "unworthy". She looks good to me. I have no problem believing your issue with them. I got my first Tegu (a beautiful blue) from a Reptile store, and was in heaven. She developed a bump on her back in about 2 months, and I went to them for answers. They said - "oh, it's prob nothing to worry about". She died within 10 days. I was crushed, and out of $450 plus an empty tank. She had Metabolic Bone Disease, which members from this forum told me after assessing her pics. I had never heard of it. We could have fixed her if they hadn't told me the wrong info.

I keep my humidity for Skully at 70-80%. Now that I mentioned what happened to my baby blue - you're giving calcium with vit D, right? I do remember my blue banging around in her tank before she died, so make sure your calcium is dusted on her food.
 

Smasher

New Member
Messages
18
Yes I give her 2 or 3 dustings a week normally but I’ll try giving her one today and seeing if it makes her feel any better might need to do it more. I also have been having slight issues with feeding. She won’t eat almost any fruits and seems to only want crickets.
 

MiuMiu

New Member
Messages
4
Hello I am new to this forums page and have my red tegu Roshi. She has mostly been an angel since I got her but right away as soon as I got her I noticed she did a lot of like rubbing on the glass and wouldnt stop. Rubbing her nose raw with it I decided to put up black vinyl coverings on all the walls besides my doors. I figured this would fix that problem and it mostly did, but now she has become super Aggressive but only sometimes. She will charge around her cage slamming into the walls head first and if I put my hands near the cage at all she jumps and tries to bite them. Thinking maybe she just wanted out I stupidly decided to try and get her out of her cage since she seemed irritated. She than bit me very hard and actually drew blood for the first time. They were different from the other times she has bitten me where she’s smelled fruit on my fingers and just gave me a little test nibble and than instantly let go. This was very different it was hard and she tried to chew on me. I tried not to encourage the behavior so I put her back in her cage and she continued to charge into the walls. I’m just unsure of what has happened. She was fine earlier in the day. Was letting me pet her and falling asleep on me, but than recently she has started doing this almost every night about an hour before bed. I can’t tell if she’s just trying to defend her territory and I should let it be or if there’s something going on with her. She is also going through a shed but she’s shed before and never acted like this. I don’t know if possibly she is starting to hit puberty as I got her about two months ago and I’m unsure of her actual age as the place I got her from wasn’t too helpful on that Just said she was a baby red tegu. She’s only about a foot long and doesn’t really have a bright red color to her at all more of a tan with red rings and a green tint to her back. Don’t know if maybe the place I got her from ripped me off or something but it was called underground reptiles. I’ll include some pictures of her as well. Any help is appreciated. The pictures are of her on her basking spot and the other is a couple days after I got her and she fell asleep in my blankets with me.
Someone Said they're not old enough for puberty, since you don't know the age I'm just gonna say it's probably puberty. Either that or a health problem. Certain types of vitamin deficiencies can cause psychological problems before slowly killing the reptile. Its probably puberty though
 

Smasher

New Member
Messages
18
I mean I’m gonna assume probably something with her habitat to be honest or I need to give her more calcium as other than when she is in that cage she is fine. I have her out right now and she’s just kinda chilling with me before I feed her.
 

Smasher

New Member
Messages
18
Oh the other thing I forgot to mention about why the seller seemed off. I don’t know when you can sex a tegu, but they were selling her as we know this is a female. I know typically baby reptiles are notoriously difficult or impossible to sex until they reach juvenile age, so I didn’t know if they perhaps lied about that as well and I’ve got a boy instead.
 

Debita

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Yeah, and I don't understand why they even try to pass them off as one sex or another. I'd love to know how they determined it, because you're right - it's quite difficult. Respectfully, I have to disagree with MiuMiu. At a foot long (I think you said that?) - while that would be the best thing ever to have them be in puberty that small, odds are that she is just having a tantrum, and wants her way with something. I would hate for you to think you're going through puberty now, only to find out ... here it comes at around a year. Nobody wants to go through puberty for 2 years.
 

Smasher

New Member
Messages
18
Yeah, and I don't understand why they even try to pass them off as one sex or another. I'd love to know how they determined it, because you're right - it's quite difficult. Respectfully, I have to disagree with MiuMiu. At a foot long (I think you said that?) - while that would be the best thing ever to have them be in puberty that small, odds are that she is just having a tantrum, and wants her way with something. I would hate for you to think you're going through puberty now, only to find out ... here it comes at around a year. Nobody wants to go through puberty for 2 years.
I agree I feel like this is definitely something she wants so I’m gonna try raising and lowering some stuff and just getting her out of the cage more. I should also mention the cage is plenty big. It is a 3ft L x 2 ft W.
 

Debita

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I forgot to tell you too....my male couldn't care less about fruit. The only way I get him to entertain a scrap of fruit is to mix it into his ground turkey. He also hates insects, except giant grasshoppers that we were inundated with here in AZ. He thought those were worth his time. I had a female that loved fruit, and would chase it all over the floor. They really are different one to another.
 

Smasher

New Member
Messages
18
I forgot to tell you too....my male couldn't care less about fruit. The only way I get him to entertain a scrap of fruit is to mix it into his ground turkey. He also hates insects, except giant grasshoppers that we were inundated with here in AZ. He thought those were worth his time. I had a female that loved fruit, and would chase it all over the floor. They really are different one to another.
Mine ate fruit when I first got her but when offered yesterday refused it after one bite.
 

Smasher

New Member
Messages
18
I’ve noticed very different personalities. I’m really excited to move here in a few weeks to somewhere she can just be out and about in my room with me getting to explore without me being like no you can’t walk that way and stuff. I think it will really help the attitude. I did have one more question about babies though. How often should I be feeding her? I feed Roshi about every day but I didn’t know if the possibility that the cite I got that from was also wrong.
 

Debita

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No, you're good for now - she should eat all she wants for the most part. As they get into that second year, (maybe even a little before that) watch for her to slow down and need only feeding every other day. My 4 yr old male actually goes and hides after a big meal for 2 days, then the third day he emerges with a big apetite. They will actually tell you if you watch for it. Don't worry if she decides she doesn't need to eat one day. It's completely normal, and it gives you a nice break!!

Don't worry about questions!
 

Smasher

New Member
Messages
18
Alright thanks. Just kind of skeptical of some things I’ve heard now. Uh since I don’t know Roshi’s sex, is there anyway once they are old enough to sex them?
 

Debita

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If it's a male, there are 2 tiny raised scales or bumps on either side of the cloaca (vent). Super hard to see on young ones, but I'm sure good breeders, or those that have been doing it for awhile can detect it better than most of us. But - a males' jowls start showing at around 6 months or a little less. At least my B/W did. I knew he was a guy at the first sign that his stream-lined neck started reshaping to have a slight curve on the jowl area. My female stayed completely streamlined in the same area and after having both, it seems pretty clear when you see it. Any small bulge at all in that area is going to be a male. Maybe it's a little different time-table for Reds. Not sure, but the overall idea is the same.
 

Smasher

New Member
Messages
18
So I have finally figured out what was wrong with Roshi after days of changing things I finally decided to get her out of the cage and examine her head to toe. I checked out her belly and I noticed her belly was all red and swollen. (At first I thought it was just her vent and that she had some problems passing something.) I quickly noticed it was across her whole belly though and I realized I believe she is allergic to the substrate I was using. Which would explain why she constantly seemed irritated unless she was out of the cage and why she was charging so hard into the walls to try and get out. I feel really bad but I’m happy it wasn’t something more serious like a clogged vent. I just need a new substrate now for her that is not coconut husk. Does anyone have any suggestions?
 

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