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Reptiles/re: sick anole. Is there anything I can do?


QUESTION: Hi. I'm hoping you'll have some suggestions. The temperature got up to 120 in our 10 gallon tank and we didn't realize it until we went to feed her and our anole looked very sick. The evening before she was hanging under the UV (Not sure if it's UV but we bought it at Petco and they said we had to have it) light upside down which she does every night for hours. Now she's very lethargic, her eyes are only slightly open and she is hanging mostly upside down on branches or around our black temp gauge. I bought two new plants that are safe for anoles today, added a lot of moisture to the tank and watered well. I'm pretty sure she is blind. I tried to feed her a small cricket yesterday and it crawled on her throat and almost her eye and then we pushed it away. Is there anything we can do? I know you mentioned baby food. Is there a particular type of baby food. When we come near she moves around the branch she is on so I'm not sure how to feed her. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

ANSWER: Hello Stephani,

I am sorry about your anole, is she a green or brown anole?  Do you have any pictures of her?
What type of thermometer are you using, a digital probe, temp gun or a stick on type?  
Which UVB light are you using?  There are some that are horrible & will cause eye damage & poor health.  Is it a tube or a compact/coil light?
You can get some chicken or turkey baby food, along with some pedialyte to mix with that to help with hydration, too.  Can you possibly soak her in warm water daily, for a few minutes to help with hydration?
Use a plastic dropper or syringe to feed her with by dropping some on her nose to see if she will lick some of it off for you.

Are the temperatures back down to where they need to be?  What is the humidity in her tank?
Are you using carpet for substrate?

Let me know how she is doing.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Traci, thank you for your response. Thank you so much. I've been giving her drops of Pedialyte and baby food (chicken) and leaving the drops on her nose, but she won't open her mouth. The drop sits on her nose or she rubs it on the bark she's holding on to. At first she skirted around the bark, but now at least I can leave drops on her nose. Not sure what to do if she won't open her mouth.

I don't think she'll let us hold her. She's very skittish still although not jumping to other branches, but moving on the one she's on.

She used to turn green and brown, but lately she's just been brown. I put the green plants in yesterday afternoon and she turned green last night - the first time in a long time, but now she's brown again.

I have coconut bark on the bottom of the tank with tree branches and the two green plants. I have a red heat light when the temp goes down to 70, but when it goes back to 75-80 I've been turning it off.  I've been trying to keep the tank at 80-85 and a little cooler at night.

I have a coiled light. Not sure if it's UV. They told me I had to have it at Petco. I've had this set up for her for a little over a year, but our original plants did die off and it got way too hot.

I have those circle temperature and humidity gauges. I also have a heat pad on one side of the tank.

We love her so much. I'm just hoping she'll open her mouth and eat the food...

Hello Stephani,

Lola is a green anole then, if she turns green.  Since she is brown right now that means she is stressed & does not feel well.  Just be sure her humidity stays up for her.
The round type of thermometer will be ok for measuring the humidity but for more accurate temperature measurements I would get either a digital probe or temp gun to have better readings.

If she is not going to open her mouth, you are going to have to use a swab to get her mouth open so you can squirt it into her mouth by the side, quickly.  She needs the nutrition if she is not eating on her own right now.  
The compact/coil light is not a very good light.  In fact, it can & will harm the eyes & cause health issues.  I recommend turning off that light & just use a plain regular house hold basking  light that is non colored, etc.  What wattage is it? It has the incorrect wavelength of UVB which produces UVC.  
In the meantime while you are letting her eyes heal, etc go ahead & order either the Reptisun 5 or 10 tube bulb for her.  
The coconut bark is fine for her, just keep it clean so she wont have any trouble with worms or parasites.  
Let me know how she is doing!



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Tracie Kretzschmar


I can answer questions pertaining to health, UVB specifics, overall husbandry care & supplementation, analysis of blood test results, and behavioral problems & handling. I can answer questions pertaining to bearded dragons, leopard geckos, iguanas, uromastyx & ball pythons. I can answer adeno virus related questions in bearded dragons, & then specifically about the testing methods as well. I am beginning an Pogona Adeno Testing Society in 2008 which will help to begin to start some standardization within the bearded dragon colonies of the breeders who choose to test.


I have been working with bearded dragons for over 5 years now, as well as leopard geckos, too. I am currently doing rescues, as well. I hope to be able to educate people prior to them purchasing an exotic pet in order to avoid any health crisis with them.

I have a master's degree in sports medicine & physiology, & 1 year of vet tech schooling, & am currently working on a reptile certification through the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.

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