Your Reptile and Amphibian Resource and Information Site

Uromastyx Forum

Click Here To Register and Become A Member Of The RepticZone Family  

Back to Uromastyx Forum   Forums   Home   Members Area  

Erinkayz   OverlordMaddy   Hippo130   LookingforUro   UROKEEPER  

 Member  Message


View Profile

 Eating paper towels? Newbie Suggestions?

Okay, so I must admit I’m fairly new at this, but I’m pretty sure I’m going about it right. My Uro seems very healthy, and active.. but since I had him on a paper towel substrate he’s been eating and tearing up the paper towel! Is this common? Or more importantly, unhealthy? I took it out and put him on some reptile carpet for now, besides his arrangement of rocks he likes to climb on. I’m waiting for him to grow bigger and then I need to change his substrate again.. Suggestions?

I have more questions in the description of my Uro below...

1) How long have you owned the animal
- about one month

2) Dimensions of the enclosure you are using. Measure it- do not guess or give gallon size
- 36 x 18 x 13

3) Species (if known), length, and weight of the animal
- I’m actually not sure, maybe you can help me out with the species as well? He’s about 4.5-5 inches long, not sure how much he weighs but he’s gained weight since I got him? haha

4) Listing of all animals kept in the enclosure referred to in the post
- only Dabbs (my Uromastyx <3)

5) Basking spot temperature and how that temperature was measured.
- 105 degrees with a stick-on thermometer

6) Temperature throughout the rest of the enclosure (warm and cool areas) and how these temperatures were measured e.g. digital thermometer, stick on dial thermometer. Provide the nighttime temperatures as well.
- I have not measured the temperature on the other side of the cage, however, I’d guess around 85-90 degrees within distance to the heat source. The night time temperature ranges from 70-75 degrees.

7) Acknowledge whether you are using a UVB bulb and if so, the brand, age of bulb, and distance from the bulb to the Uromastyx.
- I’m using a 160 watt UVB bulb made by Solar Brite. I bought it upon buying my Uro so it’s a little over a month old. The closest my Uro can get to the light would be if he climbed his rock to the top, and then he’d be probably 6-7 inches from the bulb.

8) Diet items being fed and how often each item is fed
- I feed my Uro every morning before I leave for work/school. I give him a mixture of collard greens, bok choy, and dandelion greens. Kind of like a tossed salad.

9) List of the supplements being used, how much is used, and how often the supplement is used.
- I use REPASHY Superveggie supplements daily, just a sprinkle on top of his salad. He has an excess of salt buildup around his nose, and his skin is very soft (especially his underbelly).

10) Type of substrate (cage bottom material). If this is sand, state whether it is calcium sand
- I had paper towels, but that became a dilemma. At the moment I have a reptile carpet, but I’m looking for suggestions on better ideas.

11) Describe your animal’s daily routine. When it exits the hide, when it retreats for the night, how long it is usually out throughout the day, is it active during this time, how much time does it spend sitting on the basking spot….
- I don’t know during the time I’m not home, however he always seems to play with his food because when I get home it’s a mess. He can be very active, running around the cage often doing the "glass-dance." Loves to play peek-a-boo, where he hides and then comes out and spies on me until I catch him and he hides again. When he sleeps, occasionally he retreats in a certain corner of the tank, away from the basking area. More often he’s been sleeping under his basking rock, which I’m assuming because it retains heat. He basks standing along the side of the cage, then switches to his rock. Then goes back to sleep. He does this throughout the day.

12) Describe your animal’s appetite.
- I feed him a generous portion of greens in the morning (approximately a small handful). He’s a vegetarian because I hate dealing with crickets, but he seems to enjoy it. Finishes about 1/2 to 3/4 of the portions daily.

13) Describe any unusual behaviors you are seeing or any recent changes in behavior. Also note whether any recent modifications have been made to this animal’s environment. e.g new enclosure, move to another room, new heat bulb....
- Since it’s been extremely hot in my room at night I’ve had trouble accommodating his temperature needs with my sweating habits, ugh. I don’t know how to balance the air conditioner and his needs without keeping the UVB light on. I’m assuming I need another type of heat source. Suggestions?

14) Describe how often this animal is handled and the type of handling.
- I like to take him out myself (and only myself) once or twice a day for a short amount of time. I hold him in my hands, but sometimes he becomes fidgety if I do not calm him down with the warmth of my hands. I talk to him in a relaxed tone (maybe I’m weird) but after I do that he tends to be calmer, and lets me pet him.

15) State whether the animal has been to a vet, when that was, and whether the animal was diagnosed with a medical condition. Also state whether the Uromastyx has ever had a fecal check. If so states when the fecal check was done, what was found, and if medication was prescribed.
- Never been to a vet, he’s my baby.

09/10/13  03:24pm


View Profile

  Message To: Erinkayz   In reference to Message Id: 2301028

 Eating paper towels? Newbie Suggestions?

Other than the UVB bulb, what other bulbs do you have? I’m not familiar with that brand of bulb, we only carry Zoo Med and Exo Terra in the pet stores where I live. Depending on the type of UVB bulb, it might not necessarily be giving off much heat either. I use a Zoo Med 10.0 fluorescent bulb and the bulb may get hot to the touch, but it gives off little to no heat other than that. I know the Zoo Med Power Sun bulbs give off heat AND UVB, but that’s the only bulb I’m personally familiar with of that kind, and I’m not even sure if they give off enough UVB for a desert reptile.

As for eating power towel... Uromastyx aren’t the brightest creatures. For all I know, he could be confusing it with some sort of plant. If the paper towel is passing through his digestive tract with no difficulty, I guess it’s not particularly dangerous. But I think most people would agree it’s probably best for your Uro NOT to eat the paper towel. I’ve heard a few rare stories of Uros eating their cage carpet too. I guess it depends from Uro to Uro. Keep a close eye on him.

As for species, looks like U.Geyri. Commonly known as a Saharan or Nigerian Uromastyx, I believe. I also own one.

You should probably measure your basking spot with an infrared temp gun or a digital thermometer with a probe. The ones that stick on the wall won’t give a reading of the actual basking SPOT, just the basic ambient temperature of the side they’re on. A Uros basking spot should be 130+, but it’s hard to tell if your spot is actually reading that or not if it’s only measuring the temp by the wall.

09/10/13  06:34pm


View Profile

  Message To: Erinkayz   In reference to Message Id: 2301028

 Eating paper towels? Newbie Suggestions?

Thanks for actually posting your husbandry info, many people skip over it because it takes time, when it could be really good info for the more experienced uro keepers on this forum.

I’d assume that eating paper towel would be quite dangerous as it could cause impaction, putting your uro on repticarpet was probably a good idea, I did read a post however where someone’s uro died due to eating repticarpet. I’m planning to use slate tile when I get my uro this weekend along with rocks and branches strewn about, he won’t be able to eat slate (I should hope not, at least), it retains heat well, and is easy to clean up. That’s just what I’m going to use though, not that slate is the only possible option.

As far as being common, I believe (from info I’ve read on the wiki) that uro’s are pretty rambunctious, prone to being a bit of a bulldozer in their movements, and I’m sure you’re not the only one who’s had a uro that decided to nibble on it’s substrate.

09/10/13  06:35pm


View Profile

  Message To: Hippo130   In reference to Message Id: 2301038

 Eating paper towels? Newbie Suggestions?

I have had my uro on slate for 7 months now. It has worked great. It heats up nice and retains the heat for a little while after the lights go out. It is easy to clean and each piece is removable if I ever need to wash it. When he makes a mess with his veggies all I have to do is vacuum it up.

09/10/13  08:43pm


View Profile

  Message To: Hippo130   In reference to Message Id: 2301038

 Eating paper towels? Newbie Suggestions?

your cage is much too small. tile is good for young ones but not in a cage that small. Please change you cage to a 4x2 minimum. afterwards you can use tile or thick brown craft paper. the nails do not rip it up like normal paper towel. several layers of black and white newspaper may also work. try and hold it down with cage hides etc... in a cage that small the least of your worries should be from a uro eating paper.

09/22/13  09:04am

Back to Uromastyx Forum   Forums   Home   Members Area