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I have a blue tounge skink. I'm not sure how old it is or the gender but we refer to it as a she and her name is Daisy. We got her from friends who were moving 4-5 years ago give or take a few and we honestly don't know much about skinks. We know enough to feed her when she's out, change her water every other day and to take her out. we don't take her out often, only when she is out of her box and doesn't seem to be hungry. We leave her light on all day and turn it off at night. I don't really think there is an issue with her health, except recently I've been having a tough time figuring out what she wants. The main foods we give her are eggs, bananas,and dog food since that's what our friends would feed her. Most of the time she is hiding in her box structure and she comes out when she sheds, which from the research we've done happens every six weeks or something and we've never kept track but its about that long in between her shedding. When she sheds her scales come off in pieces. She is currently shedding but she is out more than she's ever been and we have been giving her a lot of egg, scrambled or hard boiled with the shell of the egg also. Today she was out then she went back in her box and then she is half in half out an she ate a quarter of a hardboiled egg and stopped but she seemed hungry or thirsty and I can't tell which. She perks up when I put my hand in there and she seemed interested in water when I changed her corner tray and then put some in a bowl directly in front of her face. I can't figure out if she's thirsty, hungry, or if she wants to come out. She isn't handled a lot so she breathes really loud when we touch her but once she's out she's totally happy. Usually though she's outside of her box so its easy to pick her up. She is a very private animal and for a while when we first got her would not eat unless we left the room but now my mom hand feeds ger sometimes. In these past like three days she has been out a lot more than I feel like is usual and I saw her looking like she was preparing to get into her water twice in these past few days which I would say is more often than she normally is in her water (again though she does this when we are not in the room so I can't be sure) so my question is, are her actions normal and are we taking care of her correctly? How do skinks drink? I have never seen her drink before I don't think so I'm also just wondering how they get their water. We have a snake too and he/she drinks her water like a dog but I don't know what skinks do. I feel like that's a lot of rambling so I apologize. I use all experts for my pet rats and I was wishing there was one for reptiles because I find it hard to find clear information on reptile care so I looked and found you, so this is also me just trying to make sure we are not doing something wrong:)

Answer
Hi Isabel,

I do apologize for the lateness of this reply. Every now and then one of these questions goes straight to my spam folder and I end up missing it. That happened to yours.

Blue Tongues are one species that I have worked with but have never personally owned so I really don't have long term, day to day observational experience with them.

None of the behaviours you mention sound like any cause for concern and his/her continued appetite and active behaviour are positive signs of good health.

Often, changes in behaviour can be traced to hormonal fluctuations that adult reptiles such as yours would experience. Snakes often become very active and restless during breeding season while lizards, such as iguanas can become aggressive, for example.

I am linking one of the best care sites for BTS. One thing I would encourage is that you try to vary his diet a bit more by  including some chopped greens like collards and some vegetables. This site has an extensive list of suitable foods you can offer.

http://bluetongueskinks.net/care.htm


You mentioned that his heat source is a light which is fine but make sure his temperature under the lamp is sufficient. Blue tongues need a basking area temperature that is right around 100F in order to properly digest their food and to keep their immune system and other body systems functioning well. Temperature and diet are the two most critical aspects of reptile care.

As long as a shallow dish of clean water is accessible then your skink will find it and use it as required. Reptiles don't drink often or for very long so you may not see it happening.

Blue tongues dip their long wide tongues into the water to bring droplets up into their mouths, similar to a dog.

There is a video of a BT drinking linked here.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_iTnYYTBhE

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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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