Dave’s Skinks Update October 2019 – May 2020

May 18, 2020
by Dave of Dave's Skinks

So sorry for staying away, but so much has happened since my last blog post and I don’t want to hold back!

In October 2019, me and some friends took down all the enclosures, sanitized, and gave everyone fresh substrate. Then the skinks went down for brumation. Before the season ended I decided to keep one holdback from 2019 while acquiring two Magma babies from James Fenn. To my surprise, they all went down for the winter.

Late December, everyone started to wake up – early. The babies were hungry! They’ve been eating and growing like monsters ever since. However, Charlie woke up looking a little different. He had a cut on his toe and all his elbows were red – unusual. A further inspection of his pad with the bad toe revealed a deep crack in his skin. Time for a vet visit.

I’ll jump to the end and let you know now everything is fine and Charlie is 100% recovered without issue. But it was a touchy road getting better. It was my fault, not Charlie’s. I didn’t heed my own advice. The substate I used back in October came from Lowe’s, not a reptile approved company. One should bake or freeze the product to kill germs and bugs. I gave it a visual inspection, said it was fine and took a chance. Charlie is a Sunrise/Sunrise/Red, meaning he’s a specialty morph; accomplished through inbreeding. This process results in the bright and vibrant patterns, but diminishes the immune system. There was just enough bacteria on the substrate to adhere to Charlie’s skin in brumation, when his core temperature is lowest and immune system at it’s weakest. 

Took two visits to the vet. Two rounds of medication: Nolvasan Solution, which gets diluted and the reptile soaks in a warm bath, and Baytril, a broad-scope antibiotic. I was using Neosporon, coconut oil – it all helped but nothing was making him 100% better. He was removed from his enclosure, everything was disinfected again. He was moved to a quarantine tank on towels with a heat mat. It must have sucked for him. He had nothing to do in there but look at me, with those desperate eyes wanting to go back to his normal home. Heartbreaking. Positively, Charlie was named after Charlie Manson because he was a tyrant when he was younger. Very bitey, very aggressive. Now giving him medications daily and being home unemployed, we got to spend lots of time together. After two skin sheds, his body had recovered and it seems I’ve now made a new friend for life; a skink fo lyfe.

Let me be the test subject… Buy reptile approved products OR take precautionary actions. No other skinks were infected. But sometimes it just happens that way, and I should have done more to protect my friend. Lesson learned.

January 16th I reached a personal milestone of 1000 unique followers on Instagram!

Breeding was exciting this year. I had more adults to pair with than any year prior, and had more time on my hands for Dave’s Skinks. Mr. Egghead gave indicators he may be a she and a she interested in being a mommy. Dinobot, who I believed to be male, as he triggered Big Mamma years prior, was now getting excited for George. Never thinking he was a she, I paired the two up a few times. George did not perform well this year. He would lock on and then miss his hemipens, ending on the female’s hip usually. Successful locks were had with Gladys, and Big Mamma – who had not taken a mate in 4 consecutive years – but I’m rooting for all these unlikely pairings now. Only time will tell if babies actually come but I’m staying optimistic.

Now we play the waiting game…

March 31st I officially launched the Dave’s Skinks YouTube channel. Read more about it here: https://davesskinks.com/starting-the-daves-skinks-youtube-channel/

May 10th, 2020

Goldilocks starts doing a funny walk, and I happen to catch baby number 3 being born! In my fifth successful year breeding, I finally witnessed a formal birthing with my own two eyes. I get out the camera and catch baby number 6 being born. You too can see it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CABb9PNhC8X/

Very excited for what’s in store and more updates to the website coming soon.