A new keeper's guide to the Pogona Rankini / Henrylawsoni Dragon

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 Post subject: Template for Questions Related to Health
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 7:48 pm 
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Thu Apr 10, 2008 3:52 am
Seattle, USA

Pet Dragon Info:
Rankins: Mitzi (F).
Beardies: Luca (M), Mocha (M)
Blue Tongue Skinks: Teal (F), Cinnamon (?)
Giant Mexican Horned Lizards: Linus (M), Louis (M)
Uromastyx: Brian (M), Chloe (F), Kora (F), Kami (M), Melody (F), Murray (M), Omar (M)
Hi everyone,

One of the most common questions we have on this Board comes from owners concerned about the health of their animal. Usually, they have observed a pattern of behaviour that is unusual or out of the ordinary and they are concerned that there may be health issues surrounding it. When health is a concern the answers to the question become extremely important, not only to the person who asked the question but to others who may be observing similar behaviour in their animals.

The problem with health related questions is the number of variables. Many issues can be traced back to environmental (husbandry) problems but this information is not always presented in the original post and make take several posts to surface. This means the time it takes to reach a possible diagnosis or to provide suggestions can be delayed.

I'd like to try and establish a 'template' for folks to use when they are posting these questions to help cut down on the time taken to gather this information (and hence to get their question answered). I would suggest providing the following info in your post:

Name of animal ?

Age of animal ?

Sex (M/F)

Have you weighed the animal, if so what is the current weight in grams ?

How long have you owned the animal ?

Does the animal live alone or is it housed with another animal ?

What are the dimensions of your enclosure ?

What is the enclosure made of ?

How often do you clean the enclosure ?

What is the source of heat (e.g. 75W incandescent spot light) ?

What is the source of UVB (e.g. ReptiSun 5.0 24" UVB strip) ?

How old is the UVB strip/bulb (months) ?

What is the distance between the UVB light and the cage floor ?

Do you use a dimming thermostat ?

If so, where is the temperature probe situated (cool zone/midpoint/basking zone)

What is the temperature in the cool zone (F or C) ?

What is the temperature in the basking zone (F or C) ?

What substrate (bedding) are you currently using ?

Describe the animal's regular diet

Have there been any changes in the diet, if so what was changed and when was it changed ?

Do you provide a dish of water for your animal and is it changed daily ?

Has the animal been seen by a vet (either now or in the past) ?

Is there any history of previous health issues (if so, please describe the condition and treatment) ?

When did you first observe the changes in behaviour ?

Please describe the current symptoms - If the animal is not housed alone please be sure to include observations regarding cagemates; Do they seem to get along ? Do they fight ? Does one of them seem much bigger than the other ? Does one of them eat everything and the other nothing ? Do they both exhibit the same symptoms ?

What (if any) action have you taken ?

Having the answers to these questions up front can significantly reduce the response time.

Hope this helps,

"Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted" - Prof. Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
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