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Rescue Silkie with stunted growth

PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:27 pm
by Mackenzie03
I have a rescued silkie ( Bruni) that I have had about 2 months. He was left in a dorm building of my college when everyone left for coronavirus lockdown. A custodian took him and placed him in the zoology lab over that time period. He was kept in a critter keeper with rainbow fish gravel, no lights or heat, a water bowl seldom filled, and thrown a few oversized crickets over this time period. When I found him he was severely malnourished, covered in layers of shed, and lethargic. There was a slight tail nip that has since healed and luckily, he still had all his toes. He has since then been to the vet several times and has a clean bill of health, but still only weighs 8 grams ( has gained 3 in 2 months). He is parasite free and very active, but his growth is severely stunted. He is not a great eater, and eats 6-10 bugs per day which is drastically less than my other bearded dragon did. The vet is experienced in bearded dragons but has never seen one with growth stunted like his. For his size, he is an adequate weight now, but he is not much longer or bigger than a hatchling. He also shows no symptoms of MBD and is quite happy and active now. Does anyone have any advice to help with his growth/experienced a similar situation?
Tank Set-up
Basking spot: 109.3
Cool end: 81.2
Reptisun 10.0 UVB ( the tube)
40 gallon breeder ( will be moved to a 120 when full size )
Bio active set up ( from bio dude)
- recommended by vet to increase humidity for the silk back’s sensitive skin
(also frequent bathing and lotion (udderly smooth) )
Misting and shallow water bowl

Mainly Dubia and BSFL, sometimes crickets, silkworms, hornworms, and wax worms
Finely chopped greens and vegetables offered daily(he has eaten some mustard greens and strawberry so far)

Re: Rescue Silkie with stunted growth

PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:43 pm
by Mackenzie03
[Click image to enlarge]
[Click image to enlarge]
[Click image to enlarge]

Here he is today.(He was just in shed so still has some on his head and tail).

Re: Rescue Silkie with stunted growth

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:14 am
by KarrieRee
Wow poor guy -- he is so lucky to find YOU and have experience w/ dragons and a good vet that has knowledge of dragons----------- I would say your doing a great job w/ him -- cudos to you!!! As far as him growing I have not a clue to silkies--- but there are a few on here that can help you ----shame on the people that went off and left him in the dorm!! Total ill responsibility :evil: -- keep us posted on him after the ones on here give some suggestions --

Re: Rescue Silkie with stunted growth

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:42 am
by Claudiusx
Hi there,

Poor fella. Silliest are generally of lesser health than other dragons, but thats not to say they can't live a healthy life.

How does he like that basking spot temp? Its a bit higher than typically suggested for silkies, although I'll admit I've never owned one.

What lotion are you using?

Is your reptisun the t8 or t5 version? And what distance is it from the basking spot? Silkies are much more sensitive to uv than normal dragons so keep that in mind.

The bioactive might just be a nice benefit for a silkie due to the higher humidity. But word of caution, make sure there is nothing in there he can scrape or cut himself on. Once again, softer skin is more prone to cuts and abrasions.


Re: Rescue Silkie with stunted growth

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:15 am
by Mackenzie03
Yes, I think part of his problem is that silkies are just in general not as healthy and weaker than regular or leatherbacks. The basking spot he seems to like and has several places to get out of the heat if necessary and chooses to stay basking. His UVB is a T8, and is placed 14 inches from the basking spot. I also have a 5.0 UVB for tropical reptiles which is sometimes recommended. I will change to whatever is best. I used the 10.0 as the vet was worried he would need a better source of UVB since he had none for the first months of his life. I use both aloe and udderly smooth for his lotion and his skin has healed really well. He was also covered in cuts from the gravel I assume and maybe cricket bites so Manuka honey seemed to heal everything. The background is completely sealed and smoother over and all the wood has been sanded smooth( since moving to the 40 gallon from a quarantine tank he has had no cuts). From what I can tell he is definitely a hypotranslucent and looks to be red as well, so he had to have come from a breeder so as to why someone left him I have no idea.