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Veterinarian Practice & General Health Issues Anything to do with veterinarians, health issues, pathogens, hygiene, or sanitation.

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Old 02-17-2010, 03:48 AM   #1
Lucidum
Mangrove Monitor Health Issues

Hello all. I'm buying an (allegedly) breeding pair of Mangrove Monitors from a local pet store. They're around 2 feet long, and according to the shop owner around 2 years old. I'm not able to sex them of course until I purchase them, but the owner says they're one male and one female. The male one (if it is indeed that) is extremely active and the picture of health, super-alert, vocal and hissing when held, voiding his bowels to resist handling, etc. However, the supposedly female one is scrawny, her hip bones are showing, her tail and body are thin, and she seems very lethargic, although when placed on a floor or other surface she becomes more active (this doesn't seem to apply to the too-small cage she's kept in). Her back and neck also shows scarring and tissue damage. I understand that Mangrove Monitors are rough in mating, so I'm wondering if the female's health is due to that, or some other concern.

Anyone have any ideas?
 
Old 02-17-2010, 03:55 AM   #2
hhmoore
I doubt a 2 ft mangrove female has been breeding, personally. I'd suspect other issues, and steer clear unless you are confident you can resolve them (unless you just really want the one that looks good).
When rehabbing mangroves (many years ago), I always made a point of using full spectrum lighting, which I didn't make a habit of with monitors. I don't remember WHY I did it, or believed in it; but I do remember being convinced of the value.
 
Old 02-17-2010, 04:07 AM   #3
Lucidum
Well the shop owner IS selling me both for $150, and the male is literally in PERFECT health, or as close to it as it can be for a reptile. I'm confident I can at least re-acclimate the female since I've got a much bigger cage (the shop's keeping them in a 15 gallon); I've got a 30 long that I can house the two in for starters. I've got the full-spectrum lighting (even though there's debate about whether or not monitors need it) to provide for them, and an appropriate diet of gutloaded crickets and mealworms as well as hopper mice. Should be able to give proper care for the male and hopefully resuccitate the female.
 
Old 02-17-2010, 05:00 AM   #4
hhmoore
I'd keep the female by herself, at least for the time being.
 
Old 02-17-2010, 11:46 AM   #5
Olexian Pro
I don't have any particular experience in practice with this species, but from a medical standpoint I can tell you that a poor body condition score (as you have described) with visible external wounds (regardless of the cause) should be a red flag to any buyer. This is an animal we would categorize as being in a compromised state of health and for the purpose of anesthesia and surgery we would probably grade this individual as a grade 2/5, or possibly even a grade 3/5 ASA anesthesia risk, meaning that this individual animal exhibits mild evidence of systemic compromise (with the understanding that I have not seen this animal).

Given your description, I wouldn't take either of these individuals simply given the likelyhood that the male has already been exposed to the female (who exhibits evidence of a systemic disease process). Despite being sub-clinical at this current point in time. the male has already been exposed and could potentially develop clinical signs later. We see this alot, especially given that reptiles are relatively stoic until the "sh!t hits the fan." Often times, clinical evidence of disease in reptiles will only manifest when the animal becomes critical and all too often, it is too late. 10 bucks says the male develops similar clinical signs within the next 3-6 months. Just a hunch.

I say this because it sounds like the female is debilitated already and despite the occasional perk up, that isn't saying much!!! Her clinical picture can rapidly change when you get her home regardless of your efforts (meaning that I have had similar experiences before).

If you do decide to take these guys, I would take them to a veterinarian first, before you commit to buy them, for a pre-purchase exam. Any breeder who does not allow you to do this at your own expense is hiding something from you.

Ask your vet run a fecal exam to check for GI parasites, request a hematology smear for blood cytology as well. This can be used to verify the presence of blood parasites, the morphologic appearance of heterophils can be assessed to detect possible infections (bacterial, viral, fungal etc.), select types of cancer can be observed, etc.

In addition, also request radiographs to look for evidence of metabolic bone disease (also known as secondary nutritional/renal hyperparathyroidism. Radiographs will show evidence of cortical bone lucency, soft tissue/joint effusion and increased soft tissue opacity/aberrant soft tissue mineralization if the animal suffers with this disease. These three tests wont cost you much at all and will save you alot of money and future headaches after the rest of your collection has been exposed to these individuals.

I'm gonna be honest with you in that I smell something fowl here and these animals don't sound like much of a deal at all!
 
Old 02-23-2010, 04:27 PM   #6
TailsWithScales
Drat I cannot believe I didn't see this sooner! Sorry for a late reply.

I agree with Jason (Olexian Pro) in that this is a bad deal and I'm really hoping you didn't pick these two up. If you have then you can disregard all that I'm about to say if you'd like but I'd still like to comment as it may help others in the future.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucidum View Post
Well the shop owner IS selling me both for $150, and the male is literally in PERFECT health, or as close to it as it can be for a reptile. I'm confident I can at least re-acclimate the female since I've got a much bigger cage (the shop's keeping them in a 15 gallon); I've got a 30 long that I can house the two in for starters. I've got the full-spectrum lighting (even though there's debate about whether or not monitors need it) to provide for them, and an appropriate diet of gutloaded crickets and mealworms as well as hopper mice. Should be able to give proper care for the male and hopefully resuccitate the female.
$150 for two indicus (mangrove monitors) is CHEAP and a huge red flag. Especially a supposed 1.1 pair. Which in my personal opinion I'm willing to bet isn't true. This is a species that adult size is 3.5 - 4 foot so being two foot adults is REALLY tiny.

What I'm more then willing to bet is going on is these animals are indeed young and mistreated or they're adults who've been severely stunted by being kept in and extremely tiny cage for a really long time.
I'm also willing to bet that the 'female' is a male. Fighting behavior is really close to breeding behavior and most pet shops do not realize the difference. By the sound of it the more dominant animal is getting ALL the food and in turn all the nutrients. Probably the good /only basking spot if there is one. Being that stressed out, constantly being beat up on and not getting enough nourishment is more then likely the cause to the 'female' being in such poor shape. Also varanids kept in close quarters will fight even if they're a 1.1 pair. Two, 2' monitors in a 15 gallon is cruelty. Again HUGE red flag.

I say pass on the sale if you haven't already. If you did purchase the animals how are they doing?
 
Old 02-28-2010, 07:00 AM   #7
s4sainz
This sounds a bit fishy, I would definately steer away from this transaction, it just doesnt seem worth the troubles in the long run.

I agree with christine


" This is a species that adult size is 3.5 - 4 foot so being two foot adults is REALLY tiny.

What I'm more then willing to bet is going on is these animals are indeed young and mistreated or they're adults who've been severely stunted by being kept in and extremely tiny cage for a really long time. "


I have had both adults and hatchlings v. indicus, and theese varanids are no joke, they are very very active alert monitors, and can get quite large in no time. They should be alot larger than 2ft at 2 yrs old, they should be full grown or almost. males reach sexual maturity quicker than females, so they should be seperated at once, male monitors are typically very aggressive breeders. Theese guys need a very large arboreal cage, they can become quite robust. It's obvious theese guys are being kept in horrible conditions, and will only cost you in the long run. I say its just too much hassle
 

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