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Tegu won't eat veggies, sleeps all day

abskidoodle

New Member
Messages
8
Location
Washington State
Hi all, my name is Abi, and I'm a relatively new Tegu momma. I have a black an white argentine tegu named Griphook that I got from Petco (yes I know, Petco is the worst) at the beginning of September. The manager there said he wasn't sure exactly how old Griphook was, but his guess was about 6 or 7 months, and now he's probable about 8 or 9 months old. When I brought him home, I put him in a 35 gallon tank (while I waited for the availability of a much larger one) with some cypress mulch as substrate, a warm hide and a cool hide, and a water dish big enough for soaking. I know for a fact that his humidity was nowhere near high enough in the 35 gallon tank, but the temperatures were good as long as I ran the box heater in his room a few times a day.

Now I have him in a 150 gallon tank, where he has about 3-4 inches of cypress mulch substrate throughout, a well-positioned basking lamp above a rock hide/basking platform that I made with bricks and a slab of rock, he has two ceramic heat emitters (one on either end of the tank) in Fluker's 8.5 inch non-dimmable lamps, a UTH mounted on the side behind the basking spot, and I have an automatic mister with two nozzles set to a fine mist spray every half hour for 20 seconds to keep humidity. There is also the half log hide on the "cool" side as well as his water dish, and I added some faux plants and a twisty vine log for him to climb around on.

So, here's the problem. I can only get him to eat dusted Dubias and thawed pinky mice. He absolutely REFUSES to eat any sort of fruit or vegetable, even after I tried feeding him a sort of homemade Reptilinks with a base of raw turkey with finely chopped kale, squash, kiwi, and mango mixed in. On top of his refusal to eat vegetables, he stays burrowed in his substrate 24/7 unless I dig him out to feed him and bond with him. When I let him free roam around the room, he spends all his time curled up in a dark corner.

Do you think this is a heat and humidity issue? If so, how can I fix it? Do you think he has parasites from his time with Petco? He seems depressed and sleepy all of the time and I don't know what to do. He has all this space and things to climb on like juvenile Argentine tegus love to do, but he sleeps and sleeps and sleeps.

I have heard mixed messages about digging a sleeping tegu out of a burrow, someone online said that it "destroys all trust you've built with the animal" and then a local reptile store owner and the daddy of two healthy adult tegus told me that it was really the only way to get him to come out of his shell. I'm so lost and confused and I feel like a horrible tegu mom. Please help!!
 

Frankyismyboi

New Member
Messages
10
It could be the temperature, what is his hotspot at? And some tegus will refuse to eat certain vegetables, mine doesn't really like them either, the way I get him to eat them is that I get a really smelly food like boiled eggs cut it up with some kale, or Brussel sprouts and mix it in with it and maybe add some water to throw him off. It's also getting to brumation time so that could be the problem. But it is probably the temps, for him to digest properly get the hotspot temp at least up 110. I also got my tegu at PetSmart and he is about a year and a half year old now, he eats comes out on his own and loves to wander around my room and dig through my stuff! lts okay I freaked out over my tegu the first months to!
 
Last edited:

abskidoodle

New Member
Messages
8
Location
Washington State
It could be the temperature, what is his hotspot at? And some tegus will refuse to eat certain vegetables, mine doesn't really like them either, the way I get him to eat them is that I get a really smelly food like boiled eggs cut it up with some kale, or Brussel sprouts and mix it in with it and maybe add some water to throw him off. It's also getting to brumation time so that could be the problem. But it is probably the temps, for him to digest properly get the hotspot temp at least up 110. I also got my tegu at PetSmart and he is about a year and a half year old now, he eats comes out on his own and loves to wander around my room and dig through my stuff! lts okay I freaked out over my tegu the first months to!
I'm glad to see somebody else with a chain-pet-store tegu! Not glad that they sell them, just happy to see similar experience. As for basking temps, his basking spot gets about 90-95 during the day, and I can't seem to get it higher. I use a zoo med 150 watt basking lamp along with a UVB lamp, and the UTH mounted on the side. Could be because his enclosure is elevated and against a poorly insulated window. He does have his own room, so perhaps a space heater of sorts to raise the overall room temperature would help.
I'm conflicted over whether or not he's brumating. Do I increase the temperature and see if he livens up a bit, or do I keep the temperature lower and let him sleep through the winter? To sleep, or not to sleep? That is the question.

Thank you so much for the tips and encouragement!! It means a lot to me
 

Frankyismyboi

New Member
Messages
10
I'm glad to see somebody else with a chain-pet-store tegu! Not glad that they sell them, just happy to see similar experience. As for basking temps, his basking spot gets about 90-95 during the day, and I can't seem to get it higher. I use a zoo med 150 watt basking lamp along with a UVB lamp, and the UTH mounted on the side. Could be because his enclosure is elevated and against a poorly insulated window. He does have his own room, so perhaps a space heater of sorts to raise the overall room temperature would help.
I'm conflicted over whether or not he's brumating. Do I increase the temperature and see if he livens up a bit, or do I keep the temperature lower and let him sleep through the winter? To sleep, or not to sleep? That is the question.

Thank you so much for the tips and encouragement!! It means a lot to me
No problem! Since he changed cages, he could be settling into his new cage still. And for brumation they don't really need to go into brumation, and he is still young, so he probably isn't in brumation. Or he could have a different schedule, I would leave him alone for about 2 days, if you do it won't hurt him, he will probably get hungry and come out to look for food. You should probably raise the temps as well so he could feel the heat and come out. Don't worry girl! You're doing great!
 

Stellalife1

Member
Messages
53
Hi all, my name is Abi, and I'm a relatively new Tegu momma. I have a black an white argentine tegu named Griphook that I got from Petco (yes I know, Petco is the worst) at the beginning of September. The manager there said he wasn't sure exactly how old Griphook was, but his guess was about 6 or 7 months, and now he's probable about 8 or 9 months old. When I brought him home, I put him in a 35 gallon tank (while I waited for the availability of a much larger one) with some cypress mulch as substrate, a warm hide and a cool hide, and a water dish big enough for soaking. I know for a fact that his humidity was nowhere near high enough in the 35 gallon tank, but the temperatures were good as long as I ran the box heater in his room a few times a day.

Now I have him in a 150 gallon tank, where he has about 3-4 inches of cypress mulch substrate throughout, a well-positioned basking lamp above a rock hide/basking platform that I made with bricks and a slab of rock, he has two ceramic heat emitters (one on either end of the tank) in Fluker's 8.5 inch non-dimmable lamps, a UTH mounted on the side behind the basking spot, and I have an automatic mister with two nozzles set to a fine mist spray every half hour for 20 seconds to keep humidity. There is also the half log hide on the "cool" side as well as his water dish, and I added some faux plants and a twisty vine log for him to climb around on.

So, here's the problem. I can only get him to eat dusted Dubias and thawed pinky mice. He absolutely REFUSES to eat any sort of fruit or vegetable, even after I tried feeding him a sort of homemade Reptilinks with a base of raw turkey with finely chopped kale, squash, kiwi, and mango mixed in. On top of his refusal to eat vegetables, he stays burrowed in his substrate 24/7 unless I dig him out to feed him and bond with him. When I let him free roam around the room, he spends all his time curled up in a dark corner.

Do you think this is a heat and humidity issue? If so, how can I fix it? Do you think he has parasites from his time with Petco? He seems depressed and sleepy all of the time and I don't know what to do. He has all this space and things to climb on like juvenile Argentine tegus love to do, but he sleeps and sleeps and sleeps.

I have heard mixed messages about digging a sleeping tegu out of a burrow, someone online said that it "destroys all trust you've built with the animal" and then a local reptile store owner and the daddy of two healthy adult tegus told me that it was really the only way to get him to come out of his shell. I'm so lost and confused and I feel like a horrible tegu mom. Please help!!
He will out grow that 150 g. Pretty quickly. Warm side should be about 90 with basking at about 115-130 .they seem to like it hotter as they get. Older. Cool side should be about 75-78*. You will never get the temps or humidity where you want them if you have a screen top. Try ground turkey, blueberries, greenbeans, talapia, egg yolks with shell & throw it all in a food processor with vitamins. They are opertunistic eaters and won't starve themselves. You can also add freeze dried omnivore mix, baby greens without the spinach, guava, kiwi parsley...there are lists of foods you can find on the web. This type of feeding is called a mash. You can make extra & form into "meayballs" & freeze for less prep work. Chicken hearts, liver, gizzards... eggs are like crack to a tegu! Put a raw egg yolk over his mash if you need. This way he can't pick & choose only the things he wants. Rose City Reptiles on youtube has a ton af great info on feeding all the way to brumation. There are also diy enclosure making sights on fb as well! . He should have atleast 10 inches of substrate to dig in also. Good luck!! :)
No problem! Since he changed cages, he could be settling into his new cage still. And for brumation they don't really need to go into brumation, and he is still young, so he probably isn't in brumation. Or he could have a different schedule, I would leave him alone for about 2 days, if you do it won't hurt him, he will probably get hungry and come out to look for food. You should probably raise the temps as well so he could feel the heat and come out. Don't worry girl! You're doing great!
 

Stellalife1

Member
Messages
53
No problem! Since he changed cages, he could be settling into his new cage still. And for brumation they don't really need to go into brumation, and he is still young, so he probably isn't in brumation. Or he could have a different schedule, I would leave him alone for about 2 days, if you do it won't hurt him, he will probably get hungry and come out to look for food. You should probably raise the temps as well so he could feel the heat and come out. Don't worry girl! You're doing great!
What are you using for a basking spot? Alot of people use a cement block or ceramic tiles. The hold heat better. Basking spot should be.no less than 110. Your tegu will not be able to digest properly.
 

abskidoodle

New Member
Messages
8
Location
Washington State
What are you using for a basking spot? Alot of people use a cement block or ceramic tiles. The hold heat better. Basking spot should be.no less than 110. Your tegu will not be able to digest properly.
I am using a piece of flagstone tile set on top of two bricks to make a combo basking spot/warm hide. I am trying to get the temp higher without success. The 150g is open on top, and right now I have a combination of a 250 watt heat lamp, a 250 watt ceramic heat emitter, and a UVB bulb above the basking spot with a UTH mounted on the side. I don't yet have an infrared thermometer, so I don't know the exact temperatures, but according to a side-mounted digital thermometer it reaches about 94 during the day. Do you have any tips on keeping/creating heat?
 

abskidoodle

New Member
Messages
8
Location
Washington State
He will out grow that 150 g. Pretty quickly. Warm side should be about 90 with basking at about 115-130 .they seem to like it hotter as they get. Older. Cool side should be about 75-78*. You will never get the temps or humidity where you want them if you have a screen top. Try ground turkey, blueberries, greenbeans, talapia, egg yolks with shell & throw it all in a food processor with vitamins. They are opertunistic eaters and won't starve themselves. You can also add freeze dried omnivore mix, baby greens without the spinach, guava, kiwi parsley...there are lists of foods you can find on the web. This type of feeding is called a mash. You can make extra & form into "meayballs" & freeze for less prep work. Chicken hearts, liver, gizzards... eggs are like crack to a tegu! Put a raw egg yolk over his mash if you need. This way he can't pick & choose only the things he wants. Rose City Reptiles on youtube has a ton af great info on feeding all the way to brumation. There are also diy enclosure making sights on fb as well! . He should have atleast 10 inches of substrate to dig in also. Good luck!! :)
I did make my own food mix for him with many of the above listed ingredients, and he didn't show any interest. When I fed him today, I tried dusted Dubia roaches first, but he showed no interest. I tried again with a thawed pinky mouse and he swallowed it in two seconds. I swear it's the only thing he will eat. I will try eggs next. We raise chickens so I have plenty of eggs, and I'll probably make sure to get a rooster this spring so I can get whole-prey out of them too.
 

Stellalife1

Member
Messages
53
I am using a piece of flagstone tile set on top of two bricks to make a combo basking spot/warm hide. I am trying to get the temp higher without success. The 150g is open on top, and right now I have a combination of a 250 watt heat lamp, a 250 watt ceramic heat emitter, and a UVB bulb above the basking spot with a UTH mounted on the side. I don't yet have an infrared thermometer, so I don't know the exact temperatures, but according to a side-mounted digital thermometer it reaches about 94 during the day. Do you have any tips on keeping/creating heat?
Put tinfoil over the top and leave about 4 inches open on cool side the warm hide, you can actually make a humid hide out of it.if the side mount is reading 94* that's most likely the ambien heat on the warm side rather than the tile. He may be burying himself cause that heat uncovered is too hot & dry. The basking uva/uvb can be as close as 16-18 inches. You are definitely going to need a larger enclosure soon which you can manage the temps & humidity much more easily.
 

Stellalife1

Member
Messages
53
Put tinfoil over the top and leave about 4 inches open on cool side the warm hide, you can actually make a humid hide out of it.if the side mount is reading 94* that's most likely the ambien heat on the warm side rather than the tile. He may be burying himself cause that heat uncovered is too hot & dry. The basking uva/uvb can be as close as 16-18 inches. You are definitely going to need a larger enclosure soon which you can manage the temps & humidity much more easily.
You will find a huge difference in heat & humidity once you put the tinfoil on. You shouldn't need all that wattage. You may consider a grow tent! 4x4x8 on its side. That is the minimum recommended size enclosure for a tegu. There are TIY tent enclosure ideas on youtube and on fb....
 

abskidoodle

New Member
Messages
8
Location
Washington State
You will find a huge difference in heat & humidity once you put the tinfoil on. You shouldn't need all that wattage. You may consider a grow tent! 4x4x8 on its side. That is the minimum recommended size enclosure for a tegu. There are TIY tent enclosure ideas on youtube and on fb....
That's the minimum size for an adult tegu. Griphook is only 16 inches long and weighs 5 ounces. I know more space isn't bad for a juvenile tegu, but I'm gonna wait to swap until he's a bit bigger and has more regular eating and sleeping habits. No point in 128 cubic feet of floor space when he spends all his time curled up sleeping in the same spot. First, I'll work on fixing the temperature/humidity issues, then I'll work on perfecting a more adult-friendly tegu enclosure. I probably will use a grow tent until my fiance and I move and have the space for a permanent wood-frame enclosure. Thanks for all the tips though!!

Also do you have an opinion on whether or not he's going into brumation? I know it's hard to say without knowing the exact temps, but even on the cool side of his enclosure he doesn't explore, and when I take him out in the house to run around, he goes straight for a dark cozy corner for a nap. When I took him outside on leash at 75 degrees and sunny, he curled up under a patch of dandelion greens. He flicks his tongue and has curious eyes, but it's like he's always looking for a place to continue his nap.
 

Stellalife1

Member
Messages
53
That's the minimum size for an adult tegu. Griphook is only 16 inches long and weighs 5 ounces. I know more space isn't bad for a juvenile tegu, but I'm gonna wait to swap until he's a bit bigger and has more regular eating and sleeping habits. No point in 128 cubic feet of floor space when he spends all his time curled up sleeping in the same spot. First, I'll work on fixing the temperature/humidity issues, then I'll work on perfecting a more adult-friendly tegu enclosure. I probably will use a grow tent until my fiance and I move and have the space for a permanent wood-frame enclosure. Thanks for all the tips though!!

Also do you have an opinion on whether or not he's going into brumation? I know it's hard to say without knowing the exact temps, but even on the cool side of his enclosure he doesn't explore, and when I take him out in the house to run around, he goes straight for a dark cozy corner for a nap. When I took him outside on leash at 75 degrees and sunny, he curled up under a patch of dandelion greens. He flicks his tongue and has curious eyes, but it's like he's always looking for a place to continue his nap.
My 2yr old went down 2 weeks ago. If he isn't interested in food & your temps are on point, he could definitely be going into brumation. Once she started just taking a few bites, I stopped feeding and did dig her up, give plenty of roam with normal temps for 2 1/2 - 3 wks with only offering water. I would let her sleep for 3-4 days at a time when dig her up, gave her acouple good soaks & roam time . She did poop 2 wks after not feeding. Now my ambien temp is about 70F with a heat emitter on rocks thats about 100 ( dark) and a clean water supply always. She has not come up for almost 2wks now. I'm confident that she is empty of food & has water available . She buried herself away from the hot spot so I don't expect to see her any time soon....
 

abskidoodle

New Member
Messages
8
Location
Washington State
My 2yr old went down 2 weeks ago. If he isn't interested in food & your temps are on point, he could definitely be going into brumation. Once she started just taking a few bites, I stopped feeding and did dig her up, give plenty of roam with normal temps for 2 1/2 - 3 wks with only offering water. I would let her sleep for 3-4 days at a time when dig her up, gave her acouple good soaks & roam time . She did poop 2 wks after not feeding. Now my ambien temp is about 70F with a heat emitter on rocks thats about 100 ( dark) and a clean water supply always. She has not come up for almost 2wks now. I'm confident that she is empty of food & has water available . She buried herself away from the hot spot so I don't expect to see her any time soon....
I appreciate the term "dig up," I don't know anyone else with a tegu and I feel like it's wrong to dig them up when you need them out and awake, but it's what I have to do. Pictures and videos show tegus just walking out onto an outstretched arm, but that has never been the case with Griphook.

Should I wait to stop offering food completely until he refuses anything? Right now he'll only eat pinky mice. I've tried soft boiled eggs, raw turkey, tropical fruits, etc. He even refuses the insects now, but he always has room for a rodent lol. If I leave one in there with him and walk away, I'll check back later and it's gone but without a single glimpse of the tegu.

I've been thinking that his enclosure is a little too warm, especially since he frequently burrows in the coolest portions of substrate. So I'm reducing the temps with fewer and lower wattage bulbs. I feel like this combined with his fondness for pinky mice means that I should order them in bulk rather than stopping feeding him for the winter.

Thanks for sharing you experience!!
 

Stellalife1

Member
Messages
53
I appreciate the term "dig up," I don't know anyone else with a tegu and I feel like it's wrong to dig them up when you need them out and awake, but it's what I have to do. Pictures and videos show tegus just walking out onto an outstretched arm, but that has never been the case with Griphook.

Should I wait to stop offering food completely until he refuses anything? Right now he'll only eat pinky mice. I've tried soft boiled eggs, raw turkey, tropical fruits, etc. He even refuses the insects now, but he always has room for a rodent lol. If I leave one in there with him and walk away, I'll check back later and it's gone but without a single glimpse of the tegu.

I've been thinking that his enclosure is a little too warm, especially since he frequently burrows in the coolest portions of substrate. So I'm reducing the temps with fewer and lower wattage bulbs. I feel like this combined with his fondness for pinky mice means that I should order them in bulk rather than stopping feeding him for the winter.

Thanks for sharing you experience!!
Try mixing in a food processor ground turkey, chicken hearts, liver, gizzards, talapia, sweet potato, egg yolk with shell, omnivore mix, salmon oil or salmon, mango, kiwi, green beans, parsley, mixed baby greens without spinach ... or many variations of this either use a meat grinder or food processor & mix to the consistency of " meatballs" tegus are opertunistic eaters. They will not starve themselves. You can also add blueberries, raspberries, & Rapashy cacium plus..... when you mix it all, ( mash) they cannot pick & choose what they like & don't like
I appreciate the term "dig up," I don't know anyone else with a tegu and I feel like it's wrong to dig them up when you need them out and awake, but it's what I have to do. Pictures and videos show tegus just walking out onto an outstretched arm, but that has never been the case with Griphook.

Should I wait to stop offering food completely until he refuses anything? Right now he'll only eat pinky mice. I've tried soft boiled eggs, raw turkey, tropical fruits, etc. He even refuses the insects now, but he always has room for a rodent lol. If I leave one in there with him and walk away, I'll check back later and it's gone but without a single glimpse of the tegu.

I've been thinking that his enclosure is a little too warm, especially since he frequently burrows in the coolest portions of substrate. So I'm reducing the temps with fewer and lower wattage bulbs. I feel like this combined with his fondness for pinky mice means that I should order them in bulk rather than stopping feeding him for the winter.

Thanks for sharing you experience!!
 

Stellalife1

Member
Messages
53
Try mixing in a food processor ground turkey, chicken hearts, liver, gizzards, talapia, sweet potato, egg yolk with shell, omnivore mix, salmon oil or salmon, mango, kiwi, green beans, parsley, mixed baby greens without spinach ... or many variations of this either use a meat grinder or food processor & mix to the consistency of " meatballs" tegus are opertunistic eaters. They will not starve themselves. You can also add blueberries, raspberries, & Rapashy cacium plus..... when you mix it all, ( mash) they cannot pick & choose what they like & don't like
If your temps & humidity are all on point, stop pinkies & try a mash! My red is 2 1/2 yr old rescue. She was only fed quale eggs & blueberries for her 1st 2yrs of life. Has no front toes because someone didn't research before investing in a tegu. She took to mash very well & loves to dig ( she was on fake green turf only) she gained 2 1/2 pounds and grew ALOT once she got what she neede within 6 months! It is getting to be time for brumation but if your tegu goes down with food in its belly, the food will rot & your tegu will die. So if everything is on point & you find he is sleeping for days on end. You can keep everything on point & get him moving & warmed up without feeding for 2-3 wks and he will brumate. Always make sure to have fresh water. Some people leave a basking light on for a couple extra weeks just incase they wake up & want to bask. I have a heatemitter that is 110 on heating rock but no other heat or lights on...
 

Stellalife1

Member
Messages
53
Try mixing in a food processor ground turkey, chicken hearts, liver, gizzards, talapia, sweet potato, egg yolk with shell, omnivore mix, salmon oil or salmon, mango, kiwi, green beans, parsley, mixed baby greens without spinach ... or many variations of this either use a meat grinder or food processor & mix to the consistency of " meatballs" tegus are opertunistic eaters. They will not starve themselves. You can also add blueberries, raspberries, & Rapashy cacium plus..... when you mix it all, ( mash) they cannot pick & choose what they like & don't like
If your temps & humidity are all on point, stop pinkies & try a mash! My red is 2 1/2 yr old rescue. She was only fed quale eggs & blueberries for her 1st 2yrs of life. Has no front toes because someone didn't research before investing in a tegu. She took to mash very well & loves to dig ( she was on fake green turf only) she gained 2 1/2 pounds and grew ALOT once she got what she neede within 6 months! It is getting to be time for brumation but if your tegu goes down with food in its belly, the food will rot & your tegu will die. So if everything is on point & you find he is sleeping for days on end. You can keep everything on point & get him moving & warmed up without feeding for 2-3 wks and he will brumate. Always make sure2
 

abskidoodle

New Member
Messages
8
Location
Washington State
If your temps & humidity are all on point, stop pinkies & try a mash! My red is 2 1/2 yr old rescue. She was only fed quale eggs & blueberries for her 1st 2yrs of life. Has no front toes because someone didn't research before investing in a tegu. She took to mash very well & loves to dig ( she was on fake green turf only) she gained 2 1/2 pounds and grew ALOT once she got what she neede within 6 months! It is getting to be time for brumation but if your tegu goes down with food in its belly, the food will rot & your tegu will die. So if everything is on point & you find he is sleeping for days on end. You can keep everything on point & get him moving & warmed up without feeding for 2-3 wks and he will brumate. Always make sure to have fresh water. Some people leave a basking light on for a couple extra weeks just incase they wake up & want to bask. I have a heatemitter that is 110 on heating rock but no other heat or lights on...
Well the problem is that I can't tell if he sleeps 24/7 or if that's just what I see, because according to a family member, he'll be out basking at 6:30 - 7 a.m. some mornings, but every time I look in on him, which is at least 6 times throughout the day, he is burrowed. He really really loves to dig also, Petco didn't give him enough substrate to burrow in when he was under their care. Today he did more exploring than usual when I dug him out to roam. I just don't want to accidentally starve him if I wrongfully assume that he's ready to brumate. Thanks for the tip about the empty stomach and fresh water!!
 

Stellalife1

Member
Messages
53
Well the problem is that I can't tell if he sleeps 24/7 or if that's just what I see, because according to a family member, he'll be out basking at 6:30 - 7 a.m. some mornings, but every time I look in on him, which is at least 6 times throughout the day, he is burrowed. He really really loves to dig also, Petco didn't give him enough substrate to burrow in when he was under their care. Today he did more exploring than usual when I dug him out to roam. I just don't want to accidentally starve him if I wrongfully assume that he's ready to brumate. Thanks for the tip about the empty stomach and fresh water!!
If temps are all on point, try the mash. If you keep temps on point, and uva/uvb, humidity all acurate, he won't fully brumate if you are really worried about the whole process. Even very young tegus will brumate. I don't know if you said how old your tegu is? Younger tegus seem to like basking temp around 105-110* hot side should be about 90F. And cool end should be 75-80 with humidity around 60%
 

abskidoodle

New Member
Messages
8
Location
Washington State
If temps are all on point, try the mash. If you keep temps on point, and uva/uvb, humidity all acurate, he won't fully brumate if you are really worried about the whole process. Even very young tegus will brumate. I don't know if you said how old your tegu is? Younger tegus seem to like basking temp around 105-110* hot side should be about 90F. And cool end should be 75-80 with humidity around 60%
My tegu is about 8 ish months old I think. The manager wasn't sure how old he was, but 7 months was his best guess, so he's 8 or 9 months now.
 

ScaryAnimal1961

New Member
Messages
13
Hi all, my name is Abi, and I'm a relatively new Tegu momma. I have a black an white argentine tegu named Griphook that I got from Petco (yes I know, Petco is the worst) at the beginning of September. The manager there said he wasn't sure exactly how old Griphook was, but his guess was about 6 or 7 months, and now he's probable about 8 or 9 months old. When I brought him home, I put him in a 35 gallon tank (while I waited for the availability of a much larger one) with some cypress mulch as substrate, a warm hide and a cool hide, and a water dish big enough for soaking. I know for a fact that his humidity was nowhere near high enough in the 35 gallon tank, but the temperatures were good as long as I ran the box heater in his room a few times a day.

Now I have him in a 150 gallon tank, where he has about 3-4 inches of cypress mulch substrate throughout, a well-positioned basking lamp above a rock hide/basking platform that I made with bricks and a slab of rock, he has two ceramic heat emitters (one on either end of the tank) in Fluker's 8.5 inch non-dimmable lamps, a UTH mounted on the side behind the basking spot, and I have an automatic mister with two nozzles set to a fine mist spray every half hour for 20 seconds to keep humidity. There is also the half log hide on the "cool" side as well as his water dish, and I added some faux plants and a twisty vine log for him to climb around on.

So, here's the problem. I can only get him to eat dusted Dubias and thawed pinky mice. He absolutely REFUSES to eat any sort of fruit or vegetable, even after I tried feeding him a sort of homemade Reptilinks with a base of raw turkey with finely chopped kale, squash, kiwi, and mango mixed in. On top of his refusal to eat vegetables, he stays burrowed in his substrate 24/7 unless I dig him out to feed him and bond with him. When I let him free roam around the room, he spends all his time curled up in a dark corner.

Do you think this is a heat and humidity issue? If so, how can I fix it? Do you think he has parasites from his time with Petco? He seems depressed and sleepy all of the time and I don't know what to do. He has all this space and things to climb on like juvenile Argentine tegus love to do, but he sleeps and sleeps and sleeps.

I have heard mixed messages about digging a sleeping tegu out of a burrow, someone online said that it "destroys all trust you've built with the animal" and then a local reptile store owner and the daddy of two healthy adult tegus told me that it was really the only way to get him to come out of his shell. I'm so lost and confused and I feel like a horrible tegu mom. Please help!!
I mix small pieces of greens or some berries with ground turkey. Scary doesn't seem to notice it is in there and he gobbles it right down.
 

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