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Reptiles/steve/chompers-american alligator


QUESTION: ok, steve is our family pet. he is an american alligator 2ft 4in long. steve runs around the house as he pleases. he sleeps with jerryy in his bed our 29yr  old son. we've had steve for about 2yrs now. and i don't know why but this last month steve wont eat. iv'e try'd just about every thing i think..i can tell his belly is gettin empty by holding him. he wont even open his mouth and wait for pray like normal. i'm scared! please help me what can i do to help steve or maybe is this normal??????

ANSWER: Hello James,

Wow, that is pretty neat.  Do you have any pictures?  How old is he, around 2 or slightlty over?
Could you run over your set up that you have for him, such as the basking temperatures, humidity, substrate, etc.
There are not many documented husbandry sheets on keeping them & still up in the air regarding UVB lighting.  However, they do need some UVB in their earlier years at least.  I tend to lean towards them benefitting from it into adulthood to help with calcium & vitamin absorption.
What has he been eating previously?   
I am looking foward to seeing pictures.


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QUESTION: thanks for getting back with me. we have him a pool one foot deep by 5ft round a swimming pool.with a flat rock in it he lays on some times and a heat lamp that puts out 275watts. it is 2 ft above his water. i am not sure how to put pictires on computer from phone yet. im workin on it. he has always lived in the same atmosphere since we got him.does he need live plants maybe?   he eats frozen shrimp from the grocery store some times raw meat and gold fish and minnows.

Hello James,

I hope he is doing better.  That is great to hear you have him in a 1 feet pool with some rocks.  You can try some plants, that may help out with scenery.
Maybe try getting a UVB light also, either the Reptisun 10 or Arcadia D3 12% tube bulb used in combination with the basking light should be good.  That could help to increase his appetite, also.
You can also send pictures to my email at:

Also, he could be slowing down some for the wintertime too, reptiles in general, do have brumation or slow down cycles in colder weather with shorter days.

Let me know how he 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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