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Reptiles/chinese water dragon

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Question
hello, i have a chinese water dragon, i just found out it is a female, in got her last summer from petsmart , she was very small then but is about 12 inches now, she is eating fine and does come out but lately seems to be spending a lot of time in her log,she is out from about 6 am and goes in at about 4pm , she used to stay out longer , when she poops it is not runny but not solid either . i was wondering a sure fire way to check and make sure she is  not gravid or has eggs stuck or whatever

Answer
Hi Johnathan,

You should not have to worry about her being gravid yet. She is still too young and too small. At 12 inches, she would be around a year and egg production generally starts closer to 2 years of age. It is also size dependent.

It is good that you are aware of the issue though. Many owners of female reptiles don't realize that eggs are a possibility even without breeding and lose their females to complications from egg retention.

In another 6 to 12 months you can make sure she has an appropriate place to lay her eggs if she does produce some. Several inches (7 to 9) of moist sandy soil is needed. A container hidden in one corner of the enclosure is suitable.

Gravid females will also gradually stop eating completely at which point you should be able to see the slight outline of eggs along their sides.  

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Expertise

I can answer questions on the proper husbandry and diet of Iguanas, bearded dragons, geckoes, skinks, chameleons, tortoises, box turtles, treefrogs, non-venomous snakes and tarantulas. Also the breeding of some species of feeder insects. I have no experience with venonmous snakes and only limited experience with aquatic turtles.

Experience

I have been keeping and breeding reptiles for over 30 years. In addition to my regular job in the medical field I also worked for several years in a pet store that specialized only in exotics. The job entailed both caring for and answering questions on innumerable species. It required constant, extensive research into a wide range of reptiles. I have been called to appear on televised national media (CBC, CTV and Life Channel) as well as CBC radio to discuss the proper care of reptiles and other exotics in captivity. I currently own one or more species of those listed under my expertise with the exception of chameleons. I owned chameleons for years but keep none currently. I keep over 20 snakes comprising 5 species, both Colubridae and Boidae. I bred corn snakes for several years. I have a particular interest in treefrogs and currently have 5 different species. I've raised redfoot tortoises for 10 years and have two iguanas, one for 12 years.

Publications
A small and now defunct local magazine called "Pet Vue"

Education/Credentials
Diagnostic medical microbiology with some parasitology experience.

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