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 #2304389


Cipactli Cuetzpallin
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 Baby has an eye injury!

Ok, so, here in Los Angeles, California, it has been freezing and raining recently, and I found a southern alligator lizard hatchling that measures 2.6 inches overall, but its tail was brutally taken off, and its left eye is either swelled or worse ,stabbed at, as I saw a TINY drop of blood on it. It was just sitting there motionless, and I was scared it was dead at first, but as I got closer, it moved a little and I gently picked it up and put it into a spare 20 gallon tank I had, with paper towels at the bottom. I put a lamp for it to warm up and I put a clean black sock so it could hide and sleep inside it as if it were a cave. It has been doing well for the second day now, as it seems to be able to move and do everything quite normally, except it turns its head to the right to see something better of course. I suspected it was a cat that attacked the poor lizard as my neighborhood is full of strays, however, there were no other injuries besides the eye and the tail, and I saw the tail nearby when I found the lizard, but no cat in sight. So now that its the second day I have it, I am worried about how it should eat, as I put a mealworm and a tiny cricket near it but it just won’t eat them. I know a stressed, injured lizard will not eat at first, and I understand that, but it has to eat eventually. So please, what can I do to feed it? Also, I took out any crickets or mealworms left in the tank because I am worried they might get at the lizard’s injured eye, so should I hand feed it? How would I hand feed crickets to the lizard? Any suggestions and advice would be most appreciated. And I am sorry about calling the lizard "it", I don’t like calling any type of animal that, but I don’t know its gender. I will try to put up some pictures of the lizard later when I can find a quality camera.



04/05/14  12:11am

 #2304392


Acre
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  Message To: Cipactli Cuetzpallin   In reference to Message Id: 2304389


 Baby has an eye injury!

To hand feed you could try stroking it’s mouth with a small cricket - this sometimes triggers them to bite it, and then hopefully they hang onto it and swallow it. Maybe you could approach from the "blind" side so as not to upset it or maybe use long tweezers or forcepts so you don’t have to get your fingers too close to it. I would wait one more week though and DON’T HANDLE IT - that will stress it out. Make sure there is water in the cage - a very low container, maybe a jar cover full. If you can get it to take food then get some Reptivite or other vitamin supplement to coat the food (shake-and-bake style in a plastic bag) before feeding the lizard. And stay with crickets - mealworms often don’t move enough to interest them. As a desperation measure, if all else fails, you could try a small amount of cat or dog food. People on this forum have said they will sometimes take that. I would only use it to get the little guy started feeding; I wouldn’t keep him on it for any length of time. Good luck.



04/05/14  08:22am

 #2304401


Cipactli Cuetzpallin
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  Message To: Acre   In reference to Message Id: 2304392


 Baby has an eye injury!

Thank you for replying! The baby is still doing good right now, and I tried to use the tweezers method, but he still doesn’t want to eat. I guess I should wait another week, but I’m only worried for it because it only has about an inch or less of tail, and that only means an inch or less of fat reserves. And now, I am thinking of getting a more comfortable substrate for the tank because I see the lizard tries to burrow into the paper towels I put in there, so what type of substrate do you think would be the best and safest for burrowing? Would you suggest I make a natural looking habitat overall? I’ve read paper towel is the best you could do for an alligator lizard yet I’ve been advised to make the tank look natural because it can reduce stress in the lizard.



04/05/14  02:47pm

 #2304528


Acre
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  Message To: Cipactli Cuetzpallin   In reference to Message Id: 2304401


 Baby has an eye injury!

I use the "Forest Floor" stuff - it’s easy to burrow in and a bit moist.



04/11/14  05:42pm

 #2304561


Cipactli Cuetzpallin
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  Message To: Acre   In reference to Message Id: 2304528


 Baby has an eye injury!

I tried looking for the forest floor, but they weren’t available in any of my pet stores at all, so I ended up buying zoo med reptibark. So far, the lizard (I really have to give it a name) seems to like it and burrows in it with ease, but I’m worried it might be uncomfortable, so do you think adding eco earth or moss would make it better somehow? Also, it turns out that my alligator lizard didn’t end up losing its left eye, as its whole eyeball is now visible and moves normally, but the eyelids are kept closed sometimes, probably still recovering from whatever happened. Now, I don’t know what to make of his injury, or if it was even an injury at ALL. There was all this blackish dark red gunk on his left eye and I was afraid of even touching it because I thought I would harm the lizard that way, but over this past week it cleared up and now I can actually SEE his left eye and it can move perfectly in order to look up at me or look in front of him to see a cricket. I really regret not taking any pictures, because you would definitely notice the differences between the lizard 10 days ago and now.



04/13/14  04:33am

 #2304592


Acre
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  Message To: Cipactli Cuetzpallin   In reference to Message Id: 2304561


 Baby has an eye injury!

Repti-bark is OK; you might want to mist it occasionally to add some humidity.
Has he started eating?



04/14/14  08:19am

 #2304613


Cipactli Cuetzpallin
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  Message To: Acre   In reference to Message Id: 2304592


 Baby has an eye injury!

Oh yes, he is eating but its mostly just one or two crickets and he’s done. Also, he seems to not want to eat at all if he manages to miss his shot at catching a cricket. He just gives up and watches it run away quickly, and that’s when I’ll have to take him out and put him in a smaller plastic container with the cricket in it until he eats it.



04/14/14  08:17pm

 #2304616


Acre
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  Message To: Cipactli Cuetzpallin   In reference to Message Id: 2304613


 Baby has an eye injury!

Glad to hear it. Very small ones do much better in smaller cages where the crickets have less chance to escape. It’s also important that they be warm enough. Optimum for fast reflexes is 82 F. They don’t need to be that warm all day; just for some hours before and after they feed. Too warm and dry - for too long - isn’t good either; especially when they are small and dry out quicker.
If they have difficulty or if you can’t find small enough crickets at your local pet store you can also pull the jumping legs off the crickets before offering them (they come off real easy).



04/14/14  09:33pm


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