Darwin

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Darwin

Postby CooperDragon » Wed Jan 20, 2016 12:53 pm

A Craigslist ad came up over the weekend for a dragon who was to be re-homed to make room for a salt water aquarium. Based on the photos, the little guy looked pretty skinny and needed some quick help to find a good home. Today we brought home our new buddy Darwin (named after the Northern Territory capital in Australia). He is very calm and curious/alert, but he is skin and bones and quite dehydrated looking. When we got him home, we offered him some water via syringe. He was skittish at first but once he figured out I was offering water he started lapping it up non stop for about 10 minutes. Of course I overdid it a bit and he wound up storing some in his beard which I promptly pushed out.

After that, he was more alert but still skittish so I put him in his tank. He sat on the log for a minute and then started licking around. I put him near the water bowl and he immediately dunked his head in and started drinking. After a few more rounds of that, he's content on his basking spot all pancaked out acting like he's never seen good UVB exposure before. He's got nose sheds going so he's rubbing his face on the logs a bit now.

He's quite a calm, curious little guy and I look forward to getting to know him. He has quite a bit of work to do in terms of getting his fat pads restored and building his muscles back up but I'm pretty confident at this point. I'll make a salad for him later once he's settled in a bit and see if he wants to eat. I'll introduce some bugs in the next few days but don't want to shock his system as I'm not sure what his routine or diet was before so we'll start from scratch with water.

I weighed him at 318g and he's about 18in long. He's estimated to be a year old but I wasn't able to get any of his history so I'll just go with what I've got. Here are some photos and videos of him. I've also set up the live webcam so you can check in on him whenever you'd like. You can access the cam here: http://darwin.hopto.org:2222/videostream.cgi?user=darwin&pwd=darwin

Just after we picked him up
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Getting some water via syringe
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Video: https://vimeo.com/152469845

First look at his new home
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Drinking from his water bowl
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Video:https://vimeo.com/152468142
Last edited by CooperDragon on Fri Oct 21, 2016 10:23 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Darwin

Postby AHBD » Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:23 pm

Aw, I knew you were going to get a new dragon at some point, and probably a rescue of some sort. :) It sounds like he'll settle right in, and although 318 is pretty thin he isn't emaciated or dformed, just underfed. He'll have a good home now I'm sure. And you still have that colony of geriatric superworms ! :D [ I think ? ]
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Re: Darwin

Postby sweetiepie9 » Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:28 pm

He's really tiny for a year old, so pedialyte baths would be good for him, one a day, then regular bath again later if you want. He'll get more water in his body and organs with daily baths. So the pedialyte recipe so you don't have to buy any, is 1 qt hot water, 2 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp salt. You can make 4 of this recipe, then put warm water until the water is to his shoulders so he can get a good 20 min soak.

Then only give him soft bodied bugs, no super worms yet. So dubia roaches, silkworms, horn worms, phoenix worms to start. When dragons have been starved like he has, it's good to start him with a mix of critical care (you can order this on Amazon or ask your vet, I get mine through my vet) and butternut squash baby food, just for a few days. Get a 5 ml syringe at any vet or pharmacy to feed it to him. Feed him a few times a day, if you can. Between the pedialyte baths and this mix, he'll start to hydrate properly and gain a bit of weight, then you can introduce soft bugs to him slowly.

I'm SO glad you got him, he'll now have a great home and because he's still young, his body will get into better weight. 315g for an 18" dragon is too skinny. My 18" dragons are between 480g to 580g, depending on their bone structure. Nathaniel has a much more delicate bone structure than Gabriel or Castiel. So another 100g will do well, but he'll need to gain slowly so he doesn't damage any internal organs, especially the kidneys and liver.

I hope you keep me updated, loved the pictures and he sounds as if he's found a piece of heaven on earth :D
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Re: Darwin

Postby CooperDragon » Wed Jan 20, 2016 2:18 pm

Thanks for the advice and well wishes =). I'm going to keep him on water for a bit. I put together a salad for him but he hasn't shown interest in it yet. I have both baby food and Critical Care on hand but will reserve that until it appears he needs it. Once he got some water he worked up lots of energy and started exploring. He is a skinny little thing like Dundee but other than some pretty serious dehydration and malnutrition he appears to be quite healthy. His bone structure is good and he moves about without a problem. He's alert and curious. He had a big poop that was full of water but pretty well formed. Stunk to high heaven but I don't know what his diet was or how long he'd been holding it in. I'll give him a few weeks to work up to a regular, healthy diet and see how he is then. He'll get a vet checkup at around 3-6 weeks out (after he settles in) either way so we have a baseline for him and can get a fecal test done.

Yes, I do still have that superworm colony. Three of them are beetles and are just hanging out doing their thing. I think there are still some worms in there too. The order came in July 2014 for Dundee so geriatric indeed. The dubia colony is unstoppable at this point too so he'll have access to more bugs than he can eat. I'll get some silks for him once Linda has some back in stock too. Baby steps on the feeding though, I agree.

I have a new Herpstat on it's way so I can program his lights to do all sorts of good stuff. Excited to try that out.

How's your new guy Impulse doing so far Deb?
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Re: Darwin

Postby AHBD » Wed Jan 20, 2016 2:37 pm

They must be getting around with walkers. :lol: O.K, corny, I know....are they still shedding ? The fresh shed ones will be fine for him. And I know you probably know this, but watch that he doesn't dunk + drink, sometimes they aspirate that way and/or just suck too much in + then vomit it up. Poor fella probably hasn't had a drink in months.
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Re: Darwin

Postby CooperDragon » Wed Jan 20, 2016 3:07 pm

I just checked on them. Two of the three beetles are missing. Not sure where they got off to. The worms that are there are hardened so maybe they're finally gone. I might just put the remaining beetle in with the dubia. It's been pretty cold in the basement lately (enough so that I just put a CHE on over the dubia) so maybe that had something to do with it. Oh well.

I think Darwin did get a bit too excited about the water and I should have restricted him a bit. He wound up sucking it into his beard which I saw and rubbed his beard so he'd spit it out. He went slower after that but is still a little mucousy so I'll just keep him warm and keep an eye on him for now. He hasn't shown interest in the water in the last couple of hours so hopefully he's had enough for now.
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Re: Darwin

Postby CooperDragon » Wed Jan 20, 2016 6:23 pm

Pretty good day for him. I got him to eat a little bit. He had a few green bean pieces, some green bell pepper pieces, some bok choy greens and some collard greens. He wound up roaming the living room and falling asleep curled up behind the couch. I moved him back to his log and he's fast asleep.

[Click image to enlarge]


I picked up one of the BR40 chicken heat lamps and some new dome fixtures at the farm store tonight. Found some broken glass stuck to the side of the ($2.50) bulb but it was from another bulb during manufacturing I guess and I just wiped it nice and clean. Tested it out and got some nice readings just over 100 at 16'' up. I won't use it as my main bulb but it will be a secondary portable basking spot for now so I can test it out a bit. The dome fixtures are a good deal at $8. Ceramic base and rated to 250w.
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Re: Darwin

Postby sweetiepie9 » Wed Jan 20, 2016 11:51 pm

I'm SO glad you found that ad and brought Darwin home!

I really think he'd be better off with the baby food and the critical care for a couple of weeks, as I've dealt with emanciated dragons before and their kidneys & liver can malfunction if they're fed bugs too quickly, as they're very difficult to digest. If his poop still stinks on his next movement, then he has parasites and needs vet care right away. The parasites can take over his digestive tract and make him very sick, which he doesn't need now that he's getting good care. I'm just speaking from rescuing dragons in bad shape for 9 years. Please don't take any of what I've said the wrong way, I fed one of my rescued dragons bugs too early and a year later her kidneys failed. So that stayed with me and I still miss my fiesty Angel.
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Re: Darwin

Postby Tylerman » Thu Jan 21, 2016 6:21 am

Congrats Cooper. I know with you, he will have a great home! Keep us updated
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Re: Darwin

Postby Betty53218 » Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:20 pm

I'm so glad you rescued this little guy Liam! He looks soooo skinny in the videos. He has a good daddy now and I know you will take good care of him and fatten him up. Can't wait to see how he progresses in the months to come.
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Re: Darwin

Postby AHBD » Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:24 pm

It's amazing the difference in his appearance just after the hydration. Moderation in everything right now, but he'll probably do just fine. I agree that a week or two on the critical care would be a good idea, and it's good that he takes water via syringe as well as a water bowl so anything you need to give him in terms of added supplements can be added to it. If the previous owner estimates him to be one year old, he should continue to grow, [ but not definitely ] but he could gain another 2-3" in length in the next year. At 18" he will be fine at around 400 -450 grams, eventually gaining more as his length increases. The weight should come on slowly but surely.
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Re: Darwin

Postby CooperDragon » Thu Jan 21, 2016 3:31 pm

Pretty happy camper so far today. Ate a few more pieces of veges (collards, squash, green beans) over the course of the day and had some more water to drink. Ran around and explored the house a bit. He's more active than I expected (and what I'm used to) which is fun to see. I offered a syringe of carnivore care mixed with bee pollen and a pinch of supervite. He lapped up about 1.5ml but then wouldn't take more and wanted to wander around a bit more. He's hanging out in the basking spot now. He's down to 312g today but I attribute that to water weight being lost. Still alert and looking good. Seems to like finding his portable basking lights in the living room and kitchen.

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Re: Darwin

Postby AHBD » Thu Jan 21, 2016 6:50 pm

Sounds like he's doing pretty good. :) And his back legs actually have a bit of decent muscle mass ....I think he'll do well for you. Just be sure that he gets lots of warmth + UVB, I know he's already busy scampering around the house so be vigilant about him getting adequate heat + UVB.
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Re: Darwin

Postby CooperDragon » Thu Jan 21, 2016 6:55 pm

They look decent in the photo. They're a bit scrawnier in reality when he doesn't have them bunched up. Need to work on building the muscle back up and restoring the fat pads at the base of his tail. He gets plenty of heat and UV. He moved about his tank and spent plenty of time in the basking area where the temps run about 97-104 depending on where he is and the UVI across the basking area is between about 3.5-5. I monitored him on the webcam while I was at work to see what he was up to and how he was using his new space. He was only out of his tank for about an hour or hour and a half total today (before and after work).
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Re: Darwin

Postby sweetiepie9 » Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:53 pm

He looks really alert, make sure, if his poops continue to smell bad that you get a fecal done on him, but another week won't make a difference. I'm glad you gave him the Carnivore Care, it's wonderful stuff. I'm also glad he's getting around as that's what's going to build up his muscle mass & he's still getting lots of UVB! Being in a deep sink will help too, if he doesn't care for baths, as he'll start jumping to try to get out or maybe he'll be a swimmer, both great ways to build muscle up. Just slow and steady, like you're doing, for rescues, he'll gain the weight eventually, you'll see.
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