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Monitor Not Eating And Having Diarrhea

Why does my savannah monitor lizard shake and have loose stool?

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Hi, My name is Marlene. I have three savannah monitor lizards: one adult, one juvenile and one 9-month-old. The latter monitor crawls everywhere and seems to have a nervous condition and won't eat. I have tried to deworm him, now his stool is liquidy. What should I do?

Hi, Marlene. Please take your monitor to a herp vet as soon as possible. It is obviously very abnormal for a young, growing monitor to refuse meals, and you are right to be concerned.


I don’t know if what you are describing is diarrhea that the little one is having or if it is polyuria (urinating too much). While many herp folks deworm their own animals, it is always best to do that under the supervision of a herp vet, to ensure that it is performed properly. Also, it is a good idea to have fecal parasite exams performed on your herps from time to time to assess what kinds of parasites are infecting your critters.

From what you wrote, I can’t tell if you are housing your three monitors together, which is not a good idea. I don’t quite understand what you mean by a “nervous condition” that the little one is demonstrating. I assume that this is a new behavior for him.

Please find a herp vet who can help you diagnose his condition and help you treat it properly. Your vet can also help you to ensure that you are keeping your lizards at the proper temperature and humidity and that you are feeding and housing them correctly. Good luck with your young monitor.

Margaret A. Wissman, DVM, DABVP has been an avian/exotic/herp animal veterinarian since 1981. She is a regular contributor to REPTILES magazine.

Need a Herp Vet?
If you are looking for a herp-knowledgeable veterinarian in your area, a good place to start is by checking the list of members on the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarian (ARAV) web site at www.arav.com. Look for DVMs who appear to maintain actual veterinary offices that you could contact.