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 Some BTS care information

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dsteamn
VaHerp Senior Crew
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PostSubject: Some BTS care information   Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:56 am

I am in no way a BTS expert, but I did a LOT of research when I got mine and learned a lot of things about how to care for them. Several of you are inquiring about what I do with my blueys, so here are a few things to know.

Temps - 75 and 95 degrees with basking area

Decorations - they like to hide in baskets or under rocks

Substrate - Cypress mulch

Supplements - Calcium and vitamins (such as Reptovite)

Sexing - cannot probe like snakes/males present hemipenes as adults

Brumation - occurs in winter months

Shedding - similar to snakes/tend to soak in water bowl/make sure to check toes for full shed - may need to remove toe sheds to prevent necrosis

Natural sunlight - Should have at least 15 minutes per day. Otherwise, UV lighting should be provided to prevent MBD.

Medical issues
For problems with their skin, I use Emu oil. You can find this in most health food stores.

For mouth rot, use a 50/50 solution of peroxide and water. Dip Q-tip in solution and gently rub the area to keep it clean. Keep the scabbing moist so it can heal from the inside. This can be done by placing a thin film of Bag Balm over the wound after cleaning.

If skin becomes stuck on toes, soak skink in warm water for 20 - 30 minutes. Gently squeeze toes between thumb and forefinger and pull to remove shed. If it is still stuck, continue soaking. You may need to hold the foot with a soft cloth rather than your fingers.

If you have other questions as to how I care for my BTSs, please let me know. As I said at the beginning, I am in no way an expert, but I have acquired a huge amount of knowledge since I started this venture, and I'm happy to share what I know.




I'm merging some old threads so I pulled this from the other BTS sticky (posted by dsteamn):

I typed this out earlier this evening and thought I posted it, but apparently it has gotten lost in cyberspace. If it shows up, I apologize for duplicating it but I thought better to have it twice than not at all.

Babies should have a diet of mostly protein. That will be reduced and fruits and veggies increased as they get older. A BTS diet should consist of 60% vegetables, 30% protein, and 10% fruit. I mix all of the food together so they can't pick out the vegetables. Otherwise, they tend to go for the fruit and meat. Their meals are supplemented with calcium and vitamins. It doesn't matter if you use powder or liquid, but the powder is easier to use on insects.

BTS will train you to their feeding schedule. Babies should be fed once or twice a day. As they get older, they will want fewer bigger meals. I usually feed my adults a couple of times a week except when they are brumating. During that time, my male eats every 7 - 10 days. My female will only eat every 2 - 3 weeks. They also lose interest in fruits and vegetables and prefer to have more protein. Their appetites can be smaller too since they are sleeping most of the time.


BTS DIET

PROTEIN
Boiled chicken turkey or pork, raw or cooked hamburger, raw boiled or scrambled egg, boiled chicken liver (favorite food), dog food, super worms, pinky mice, rat pups, snails, and yes, they eat dubai roaches (make sure they are no bigger than the space between their eyes)


VEGETABLES
RAW: spinach, beet greens, kale, collards, red yellow and green peppers, egg plant, yellow and zuchini squash, peas

BLANCHED: carrots, sweet potatoes


FRUIT
apple sauce (no sugar), minced apples, grapes, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, all melon, bananas, peaches

My BTSs basically eat every day items I have in my refrigerator with a few exceptions. I do not feed starch, dairy, sugar, spices, food that comes from the ocean, or foods that produce gas. If you follow those simple guidelines, pretty much anything else is fair game.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
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Focal
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PostSubject: Re: Some BTS care information   Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:11 am

Thanks. I made this a sticky.

Quick question, well two questions Very Happy

Is mouth rot pretty common? I noticed another member had an issue and it was addressed here. Are they prone to getting mouth rot more than other reptiles?

Emu oil; you mention skin problems. Is the emu oil for shed issues or do they have other skin problems? Thanks.
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dsteamn
VaHerp Senior Crew
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Posts : 313

PostSubject: Re: Some BTS care information   Sat Dec 31, 2011 12:24 am

Mouth rot can be quite common for skinks that eat wet food. It tends to happen when food stays on their mouth and breaks down the tissue. You'll notice after they eat, they will rub their mouth on the substrate to try and clean it. If I see this, I'll take a dry paper towel and wipe them off to make sure its all gone.

It can also start if they bite down on something that causes bruising or a break in the skin. It can actually be fairly easy to take care of if caught in time. Once takes hold though, it can be an involved process to get cleared up. The most important thing is to keep it clean with peroxide and dry. Keep the scabbing off and it will clear up.

Emu oil is a great cure all for many things with skinks. You can use it for everything from dry feet, toe problems, scratches, bites, stuck scales, to just a good general moisturizer for their skin. Its kind of pricey for the size of the bottle, but a little dab will do ya, so it goes a long way.
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