Reptile Forums banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
152 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

My crestie was hunting some locusts in her viv, but ate a piece of the woodchip/ bark bedding substrate, ive heard of stories about this being an issue, but surely in the wild they will ingest some of their natural surroundings at some point in their lives....

Should i be worried, or will it just pass through her system...

Many thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
803 Posts
How big was it? If you have a live substrate like that then (personally) I wouldn't recommend feeding live food in the viv as ingestion of it will always be a possibility. I'd switch to a more soil/eco earth/coco fibre based substrate which is easier to digest as it'll be eaten in smaller quantities.

The 'in the wild' argument (not yours specifically) always needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. Yes, in the wild they will ingest substrate but in the wild they would be living in perfect conditions for their digestion, whereas in our houses, though they may be near perfect, it's unlikely that all of us are getting it 100%. With us, they also wont eat half of the crap they will in the wild, so the assumption is that their digestive systems will be slightly more sensitive, too.

I'd just keep an eye on her behaviour and if it seems like she's slowing down, not eating properly or not pooping properly, then I'd get her looked at. If it's just a tiny bit, then she'll probably be fine :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,484 Posts
as said keep an eye.

I am coming to the conclusion that this is not an issue in the wild for many species as they are able to obtain temps high enough to facilitate good digestion. That coupled with a vastly more varied and fibre rich diet would in deed help.

I think that the temp advice for keeping cresties is too low currently and does not compare with the heat and light levels in the COO in which they are designed to live.

the same is said for leos and B.Ds both live in sanded environments and would as part of the eating process eat sand and dirt but I can find no record of wild impaction.....but in captivity it is an increasing problem according to the vets. I think that it is partly due to a restricted captive diet and lower temps.

john.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sky7ine

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,668 Posts
I think we greaatly under-estimate the stomachs of our little companions, I experimented a little while ago with a peice of baark from my own iguana enclosure and droped it into a vial of vinegar (left it for 24 hours) the remaining result was literally a fine powder which would pass through any digestive system at an optimaal temp.

So if vinegr can do that, in a stomach with acids much stronger, fused with muscle traction, locomotion, etc I really can't see how it could be an issue (even in a smaller reptile) without their being secondary problems somewhere.

I am pretty sure when reptiles evolved this had to have been one of the first things nature addressed.

I Really will eat my hat if a bit of bark doesn't pass in an optimal enviroment.
Hope he/she is okay for you though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
152 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone for your advise, the bark piece was small, say, no larger than 5mm and not very thick at all and my crestie is around 5-6 months or so old.

I will keep an eye on her and perhaps think about changing the substrate or just go back to feeding them live food in a clear container, so nothing foreign can be ingested.

Thanks again guys.

Sam
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
803 Posts
5mm should be fine, though bear in mind it's not always the size that's important. Substrate like chips can be very sharp and damaging on the way down as cresties (and most lizards) don't tend to chew too much and will often swallow things whole or partially chomped on
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
531 Posts
Everyone here is more experiences than myself being new to crestie husbandry. I can only reiterate the need to check that he continues to poop, if he doesn't then I fear impaction may be a serious concern.

That said 5 mm doesn't sound too bad and if they can poop out undigested bugs on occasion (my fellow didn't take to his wax worm) larger than that then I don't think it should be a problem.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top