Can I force feed my lizard? And when would be best to do so?

SoupCookie

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Joined
Jul 6, 2021
Messages
30
Location (City and/or State)
South Africa
So, some of you may know that I recently got a new lizard, and that it has been eating really (2-4 dubias a day, 4-6 mealworms) well up until recently, where it just stopped eating, barely eating 1 mealworm a day. We did call multiple vets, all of them are full and one still needs to get back to us, but I fear that that vet might also be full... I don't like force feeding, but it might be the only way out, I wake up every day, just hoping that my lizard is still alive at this point...

I'll keep the rest of the story for after questions:
When should I start to force feed my lizard, at what point would it be considered a good idea to just keep them alive with? My lizard haven't been eating for a week, and you can start to feel it's bones near its tail, and he has completely stopped pooping now (there is usually poop in his enclosure once I wake up, including yesterday, a very small amount, but not today)...

What should I be feeding my lizard? Insects? Some sort of meal we can put into a syringe or something?

How should I be force feeding? I read a few articles about force feeding my lizard, but they all just recommend a professional to do it (which we can't get to at the moment)

He is still running around, not as much as before, but is still going around the enclosure doing his own thing, he does drink water from his water bowl, and he is obviously hungry, because yesterday he grabbed a mealworm from the feeding tongs (which he usually only does when he's very hungry, otherwise he waits until I put the bug down before trying to grab it), but refused to eat any more...

Any help would be appreciated...

(Note: Just ignore the heat thing in the enclosure, there is a real thermostat that measures the temperature more accurately)

Lizard: Agma atra (close family to bearded dragon) also known as Bloukop koggelmander

Some other notes usually brought up in these posts:
The enclosure is an emergency enclosure, since he was unexpected, and we did not have any other enclosures to put him in...
Once we finish building my tortoises enclosure (was moved to a smaller enclosure for the time being) we plan on buying a different color heat lamp and a different type of UVB bulb (as recommended by you guys)
The temperature sits between 33 and 35 degrees Celsius, and humidity between 30% and 40%
 

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maggie3fan

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OMG! If you have not been taught how to how to force feed and where you have to know what is trachea or what is esophagus for Pete sakes. You can't just stick a hose down there and expect it to work. You could kill him, I went to to school to learn how to be an animal health technician so I was taught how to do that and it still scares the **** out of me. You need to learn breathing tube on one side and swallowing on the other. You cannot just stick that that tube into the esophagus and filling up with with fluid and kill him. Do not please do not please do not force feed your lizard. Raise the heat up.... make make it hotter make it a little more humid and regular lights on and off for 12 hours...
 

SoupCookie

Member
Joined
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Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
South Africa
OMG! If you have not been taught how to how to force feed and where you have to know what is trachea or what is esophagus for Pete sakes. You can't just stick a hose down there and expect it to work. You could kill him, I went to to school to learn how to be an animal health technician so I was taught how to do that and it still scares the **** out of me. You need to learn breathing tube on one side and swallowing on the other. You cannot just stick that that tube into the esophagus and filling up with with fluid and kill him. Do not please do not please do not force feed your lizard. Raise the heat up.... make make it hotter make it a little more humid and regular lights on and off for 12 hours...
I hear you, thank you for your speedy reply

That sounds way to scary and way too out of my league, I was hoping it would be similar to snakes, I think 100% you're right, I shall not attempt to force feed him, thank you for notifying me :)

How hot do you think I should make it then? 38 degrees maybe? And for humidity? Between 40 and 50%?
 

maggie3fan

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Jun 30, 2018
Messages
6,359
Location (City and/or State)
PacificNorthWest
I hear you, thank you for your speedy reply

That sounds way to scary and way too out of my league, I was hoping it would be similar to snakes, I think 100% you're right, I shall not attempt to force feed him, thank you for notifying me :)

How hot do you think I should make it then? 38 degrees maybe? And for humidity? Between 40 and 50%?
Sorry...I really don't know anything about their upkeep, but I feel he has been put in a whole different world, lizards especially beardies are very intelligent and so he's taken out of his familiar atmosphere and put him in something strange and he's going to be stressed out he's going to stop eating and he's going to act just like a an exotic tortoise would do under those situations. I say be patient feed him everyday the same at the same time build up a routine with this guy and I'm sure that within a few days he'll settle down start eating and be happy
 

Tom

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When a reptile is not eating it indicates a problem. Fix the problem, and there appetite will usually come back. Force feeding an animal that has shut down its digestive system is not the way to go in almost all cases.

Here are problems I see in your enclosure:
1. Colored light bulbs should never be used with reptiles. Use white bulbs during the day, and use some sort of non-light editing heat source for night, if night heat is needed.
2. No coil bulbs, and that one looks too close. Use an HO tube for UV, or use sunshine in a safe secure outdoor enclosure. New LED UV sources have recently hit the market, but we don't know much about them yet. MarkW84 is testing some right now. UV output has been good so far, and he has not reported any problems yet.
3. That tank looks too small and too barren. Add more stuff. Branches, rocks, plants etc...
4. What are your four temps in there? Basking area, warm side, cool side, and overnight low. I don't know this species, but if it is native to your area, then a night time cool down seems appropriate, so no light or heat at night.
5. Though I don't know this species, lizards of this type are usually insectivores. Crickets, roaches, super worms, etc...
6. Is this a wild caught lizard? If yes, parasites are likely, and could be the source of the problem. A fresh fecal sample checked by a knowledgable vet could confirm or deny this possibility.
 

nicoleann2214

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Joined
Mar 11, 2020
Messages
889
Location (City and/or State)
NY
So, some of you may know that I recently got a new lizard, and that it has been eating really (2-4 dubias a day, 4-6 mealworms) well up until recently, where it just stopped eating, barely eating 1 mealworm a day. We did call multiple vets, all of them are full and one still needs to get back to us, but I fear that that vet might also be full... I don't like force feeding, but it might be the only way out, I wake up every day, just hoping that my lizard is still alive at this point...

I'll keep the rest of the story for after questions:
When should I start to force feed my lizard, at what point would it be considered a good idea to just keep them alive with? My lizard haven't been eating for a week, and you can start to feel it's bones near its tail, and he has completely stopped pooping now (there is usually poop in his enclosure once I wake up, including yesterday, a very small amount, but not today)...

What should I be feeding my lizard? Insects? Some sort of meal we can put into a syringe or something?

How should I be force feeding? I read a few articles about force feeding my lizard, but they all just recommend a professional to do it (which we can't get to at the moment)

He is still running around, not as much as before, but is still going around the enclosure doing his own thing, he does drink water from his water bowl, and he is obviously hungry, because yesterday he grabbed a mealworm from the feeding tongs (which he usually only does when he's very hungry, otherwise he waits until I put the bug down before trying to grab it), but refused to eat any more...

Any help would be appreciated...

(Note: Just ignore the heat thing in the enclosure, there is a real thermostat that measures the temperature more accurately)

Lizard: Agma atra (close family to bearded dragon) also known as Bloukop koggelmander

Some other notes usually brought up in these posts:
The enclosure is an emergency enclosure, since he was unexpected, and we did not have any other enclosures to put him in...
Once we finish building my tortoises enclosure (was moved to a smaller enclosure for the time being) we plan on buying a different color heat lamp and a different type of UVB bulb (as recommended by you guys)
The temperature sits between 33 and 35 degrees Celsius, and humidity between 30% and 40%
That’s a cool lizard! My lizard was a picky eater (bearded dragon) I read that if you sprinkle some bee pollen on their food it’s like candy for them. He seems to enjoy it, and eats his meals just fine.
 

nicoleann2214

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2020
Messages
889
Location (City and/or State)
NY
So, some of you may know that I recently got a new lizard, and that it has been eating really (2-4 dubias a day, 4-6 mealworms) well up until recently, where it just stopped eating, barely eating 1 mealworm a day. We did call multiple vets, all of them are full and one still needs to get back to us, but I fear that that vet might also be full... I don't like force feeding, but it might be the only way out, I wake up every day, just hoping that my lizard is still alive at this point...

I'll keep the rest of the story for after questions:
When should I start to force feed my lizard, at what point would it be considered a good idea to just keep them alive with? My lizard haven't been eating for a week, and you can start to feel it's bones near its tail, and he has completely stopped pooping now (there is usually poop in his enclosure once I wake up, including yesterday, a very small amount, but not today)...

What should I be feeding my lizard? Insects? Some sort of meal we can put into a syringe or something?

How should I be force feeding? I read a few articles about force feeding my lizard, but they all just recommend a professional to do it (which we can't get to at the moment)

He is still running around, not as much as before, but is still going around the enclosure doing his own thing, he does drink water from his water bowl, and he is obviously hungry, because yesterday he grabbed a mealworm from the feeding tongs (which he usually only does when he's very hungry, otherwise he waits until I put the bug down before trying to grab it), but refused to eat any more...

Any help would be appreciated...

(Note: Just ignore the heat thing in the enclosure, there is a real thermostat that measures the temperature more accurately)

Lizard: Agma atra (close family to bearded dragon) also known as Bloukop koggelmander

Some other notes usually brought up in these posts:
The enclosure is an emergency enclosure, since he was unexpected, and we did not have any other enclosures to put him in...
Once we finish building my tortoises enclosure (was moved to a smaller enclosure for the time being) we plan on buying a different color heat lamp and a different type of UVB bulb (as recommended by you guys)
The temperature sits between 33 and 35 degrees Celsius, and humidity between 30% and 40%
Also, like Tom said, I would ditch those bulbs and distance them from him. What was he fed before?
 

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