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 To pee or not to pee?

OT: Is search broken?

I was always under the impression that uromastyx did not pee, or if they did it was rare.. but I’ve seen quite a few people on here mention their uros peeing a lot. Now I’m worrying that mine are dehydrated. I don’t keep water in the cage and i usually shake off the water from my rinsed greens because it’s hard to keep the humidity low where I live. How do your lizards get all their water?

Gonna fill out that "answer before posting" thing before anyone asks. Don’t know that it’s needed, but it gives me something to do :P

1) How long have you owned the animal
Yuri - I’ve had him since high school, can’t remember which year... so at least 4 years.
Slagathor - a few months

2) Dimensions of the enclosure you are using. Measure it- do not guess or give gallon size
Yuri is in a 4x2x2 foot glass cage
Slag is in a 4ft L x 18in W x 2ft H aquarium while we get his custom made.

3) Species (if known), length, and weight of the animal
Yuri is an adult Mali, at least 10 years old, 14ish inches long
Slag is a sub adult ornate, haven’t measured his length yet.

4) Listing of all animals kept in the enclosure referred to in the post
They live alone

5) Basking spot temperature and how that temperature was measured
120-130 in both, with a digital thermometer. Yuri has a "lower step" on his basking spot, I measured it once at 110.

6) Temperature throughout the rest of the enclosure (warm and cool areas) and how these temperatures were measured e.g. digital thermometer, stick on dial thermometer. Provide the nighttime temperatures as well.
Night is 72-75 in both
Slag’s day temps are 105(lower basking area)-> 95 -> 85 as of noon today, they’re usually pretty steady
Yuri’s are around 100 - 80.

7) Acknowledge whether you are using a UVB bulb and if so, the brand, age of bulb, and distance from the bulb to the uromastyx
Yuri has a zoo med 10 uvb bulb 8in from basking sight, his new mega ray is in the mail
Slag has a 160watt mega ray about 14 in from the basking spot

8) Diet items being fed and how often each item is fed
They mainly get dandelion with bok choy, peas, carrots, squash, and some random fruits. They get escarole and edible flowers when I get a chance to travel to the "big city," which isn’t very often. They also get lentils once a week.

9) List of the supplements being used, how much is used, and how often the supplement is used
Use bee pollen about every other week

10) Type of substrate (cage bottom material). If this is sand, state whether it is calcium sand
Washed play sand

11) Describe your animal’s daily routine. When it exits the hide, when it retreats for the night, how long it is usually out throughout the day, is it active during this time, how much time does it spend sitting on the basking spot….
Lights on 8-8.
Yuri wakes a few hours after the lights come on, I blame it on him preferring the hide on the far cool side. Spends his time eating and standing around. He spends some time basking, most of his time next to the basking spot, and likes to wonder over to the food dish every now and then. He does get bursts of energy some times.. every now and then I’ll hear some sounds and come in to find him dash across the cage.

Slagathor wakes early, basks and runs around.. I feed them around noon, he eats it all right away then basks, he’ll lay down next to the basking rock for a while and is usually running around again before night fall, Goes to sleep at about 7pm, one hour before lights out.

12) Describe your animal’s appetite.
I swear slag eats his weight in greens every day. I had to limit his veggies because he’s picky and goes for them first.

Yuri doesn’t go for the food right away, he’ll watch it for like 30-40 minutes first. He eats a handful of greens and will pick at the veggies, but never finishes all the food.

13) Describe any unusual behaviors you are seeing or any recent changes in behavior. Also note whether any recent modifications have been made to this animal’s environment. e.g new enclosure, move to another room, new heat bulb....
They’re like clock work... Slag ALWAYS poops on his basking rock, but that’s just annoying, not abnormal :P

They’ve never ever peed. Slag’s poop is pretty wet I think, because it’s always smeared around when I find it. Yuri’s is moist, but firm.

14) Describe how often this animal is handled and the type of handling.
I don’t take them out for play. I probably handle them once every other week for 1-2 minutes ... trying to teach people that reptiles aren’t monsters. During this time I’ll usually check them out to make sure they’re in good health. I also hand feed Yuri. Only got slag to take food from me like twice.

15) State whether the animal has been to a vet, when that was, and whether the animal was diagnosed with a medical condition. Also state whether the uromastyx has ever had a fecal check. If so states when the fecal check was done, what was found, and if medication was prescribed.

Yuri’s been, nothing bad found... that was years ago.
Haven’t taken slag in as he’s active and seems healthy.

08/19/08  05:41pm


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  Message To: Orni   In reference to Message Id: 1836347

 To pee or not to pee?

I have a couple of suggestions . I am confused you stated your basking areas were 120-130* in both (5) , then you stated that Slags lower basking area was 85-95 and Yuri’s was around 80*-100* .Sounds like you have two levels . Can you post some pictures ? I would raise the basking areas on both uro’s to 120-130* .I have another question . I do not use a Mega Ray bulb . What is the recommended distance that the light should be from the bottom of the cage if there is one ? I would try to add more variety to their diets and only feed carrots, peas and fruits as a rare treat .Bok Choy only once a week. Feed more squash ( that will help hydrate them ) , escarole ,and endive .I would never limit the amount of fresh recommend staple veggies for a Uro . If they eat everything offered ,offer them a second helping but make sure its the recommend staple foods .I would rinse them in cold water , shake a little off then feed. A lot of the moisture will evaporate from your lights .

You can drop a few drops of water on the lips with an eye dropper and see if they will lick it off if you think they maybe dehydrated . Just because they do not pee a lot does not necessarily mean that they are dehydrated . If you can posts some pictures of their undersides and top it would be helpful also. My Mali eats a lot of squash and the main fruit he gets as a treat is mango . Mostly I feed flowers as treats .

I would have a fecal check done on both just as a precaution . I have mine checked once a year .Since its been awhile I would have them both checked asap to be on the safe side . They can pick up parasites from the veggies .

Usually damp veggies is not enough to make that much difference in your humidity level. Sounds like you do not have the proper temp gradient or to low of basking temps . How are you measuring the humidity levels and what are they ?

08/19/08  06:16pm


El toro
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  Message To: Orni   In reference to Message Id: 1836347

 To pee or not to pee?

The way I read the temps, they sound fine. Maybe I misunderstood, but I took the "100 - 80" for Yuri’s cage to be the gradient: warm side to cool side. Is that right?

As long as they’re eating plenty of leafy greens, they should be getting enough water, barring any health issues. You can shake off the rinse water or not - the greens themselves provide plenty of moisture. If you feed huge amounts of dry foods, it might be a problem, but as long as they aren’t showing other signs of dehydration (sunken eyes, etc), I wouldn’t worry too much. The thing to remember, too, about the "pee" thing is that yes, they do release excess liquid when passing feces, but the heat in the cage dries it out pretty darned quickly, so if you aren’t there to witness it, you might not realize how much they’re putting out.

08/19/08  06:42pm


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  Message To: El toro   In reference to Message Id: 1836435

 To pee or not to pee?

If you don’t get to visually observe either Uro going his/her business, try and catch them in the act. Most of us work full time and come home to dry, solid excrements when we get home. What you might not see is the excess water being ’peed’ out just prior to them doing their stuff. (at least if I remember correctly they excrete excess water first). Unless it is on top of my fake rock ledge, I don’t ever notice it, as it usually dries up by the time I get home.

Feeding staple greens like endive and escarole every day will keep them hydrated, while using shredded carrots, bok choy and occasionally some lentils rotated in.

08/19/08  07:26pm


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  Message To: Orni   In reference to Message Id: 1836347

 To pee or not to pee?

The reason I wonder about your temps is because you stated that you had a problem with the humidity level.

08/20/08  07:35am


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  Message To: Skullkeeper   In reference to Message Id: 1836952

 To pee or not to pee?

Heh, I’ll explain the temps again.

He has a main basking spot and the basking temperature has varied there depending on what time of day I looked at it, but it’s always above 120. He has a lower step that I normally don’t measure, but I did once, it was 110 that day. The floor of the hot end of his tank measures around 100 and the far end of the tank is around 80.

Slag has a larger basking rock, one side stays around 130, the other in the lower 120s. The floor next to it is in the low 100’s, 105 when I looked yesterday. The 95 was still on the "hot end" further from the basking spot, and 85 on the cool side.

Yuri’s tank is made of thin glass, so it loses heat easily, he’s got 3 heat lamps right now. I’ll try to get some pictures if you want when I get my camera back from my brother.

I live on the gulf coast, in Louisiana. The humidity around here at this time of the year is often HIGH. The humidity can be fine near the basking area, but shoot up on the cool end of the tank. Annoying. The cage I’m planning for slag is going to be made mostly of wood, so I’m hoping the added insulation (not screen top) will keep the moist air out. Yuri will get one some day as well.


Mega rays have to be at least one foot from the basking spot.


I have one of those cheap dial humidity readers, I don’t leave it in the cages b/c I only have one. I’ll mess with it today and get some readings.


What do dehydrated uromastyx look like other than sunken eyes?

08/20/08  11:04am


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  Message To: Orni   In reference to Message Id: 1837046

 To pee or not to pee?

Make sure you do not use Pine or Cedar to build it! I made that mistake. They emmit toxins.....Oak is the way to go. From your description it sounds like your uros are very well taken care of!

08/20/08  11:33am


El toro
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  Message To: Orni   In reference to Message Id: 1837046

 To pee or not to pee?

I wouldn’t worry too much about the humidity. As long as your temperatures are fine (and it sounds like they are), the humidity shouldn’t be anything to worry about. I lived on the gulf coast for a while, so I know what you’re talking about!! Is your house air conditioned? That will help, too.

08/20/08  11:48am


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  Message To: Orni   In reference to Message Id: 1837046

 To pee or not to pee?

I have had my humidity level go up to 42% in the summer here in Ohio. I would not want it over 50%. Ideally it should be 20-30%. But the temperature gradient is the most important thing. Usually air conditioning will take a lot of the humidity out of the air or you could buy a dehumidifier if it stays to high .You can get digital thermometers with a hydrometer on it , that’s what I use .

08/20/08  01:04pm


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  Message To: Skullkeeper   In reference to Message Id: 1837140

 To pee or not to pee?

Sunken eyes and wrinkles can be a sign of dehydration . Also look at his stools . Do you see a large amount of seeds in it ? Is it moist when fresh ? No stool can also be a sign of dehdration.If you think he maybe dehydrated do not feed any dry foods like seeds , dry beans or iguana pellets .

08/20/08  01:18pm

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