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Hi everyone,

I have a new pair of young chuckwallas which I brought home a few days ago. They appear to be settling in well, both are eating well and while the male is still a little nervous the female is quite calm and doesn't mind being gently handled (male will let me stroke him but not pick him up yet)

I've been having to clean the inside of the glass every day due to spray residue which I had assumed was due to them eating messily (the male in particular likes to shake his head as if tearing a big leaf off of a plant, even if he is just eating a bite sized morsel!) but this morning he spat/coughed/sneezed/spluttered???

I've only seen him do this once, but that is obviously what is causing the residue so he (or both of them) are doing it regularly.

So, having never kept chucks before I'm wondering if this is normal behaviour for them, or if it's a sign of a possible respiratory problem?

They both seem very healthy and active. Eyes are bright, no gunk in or around the mouth, no noisy breathing or anything like that.

I've kept lots of snakes and smaller lizards over the years but never a med/large lizard and have experienced a reptile sneezing so no idea if I need to worry about this, or if this is normal for larger lizards?

I think I'm going to book them in for a checkup anyway, but in the meantime does anyone know if this is likely a problem or not, and anything in particular I should check or watch out for?

BTW they are currently in a wooden 48" viv, humidity is nice and low at around 22%, ambient temp is low 30s with temp in the basking area in the high 30s. UV provided by 12% UVB flourescent tube.

Thanks

Billy
 

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Hi Billy,

Not to worry, this is a natural process in chuckwallas, though sometimes messy! They have the ability to sneeze out excess salts that accumulate in the blood through the nose, using a special mini organ in the head near the nose that removes it from the blood. As examples green iguanas and uromastyx also do this. It will often look white and crusty and sometimes accumulates around the edge of the nostrils, but only need be wiped off. Obviosuly if it ever looks more like mucous and there's any excess mucous in or around the mouth it might indicate something more abnormal, but for now it sounds completely normal :)
 

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Hi Billy,

Not to worry, this is a natural process in chuckwallas, though sometimes messy! They have the ability to sneeze out excess salts that accumulate in the blood through the nose, using a special mini organ in the head near the nose that removes it from the blood. As examples green iguanas and uromastyx also do this. It will often look white and crusty and sometimes accumulates around the edge of the nostrils, but only need be wiped off. Obviosuly if it ever looks more like mucous and there's any excess mucous in or around the mouth it might indicate something more abnormal, but for now it sounds completely normal :)
Wow that is really cool and interesting, thanks :)
 

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"Snalting" some people call it :lol2:

Used to have it with my Ig's all the time, pain in the :censor: to keep the glass clean! :whistling2:
 

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Ever seen those marine iguanas from the Galapagos? They expel excess salt by sneezing it out. Stuff cleaning one of them out, although if could come in handy for the fish and chips.
 
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