Like humans, ackie monitors can become overweight. This can be difficult to gauge if you are not familiar with what a healthy ackie’s body condition is supposed to look like.
According to Dennis King, most V. acanthurus are smaller than 300g total body weight. According to Water and energy turnover in a small monitor lizards, Varanus acanthurus by Gil Dryden et al., ackie monitors have a maximum body mass of ~350g.
But the fact is that ackie monitors have a range of builds, and so relying on weight alone to determine obesity is not reliable. Evaluating body condition and comparing with photos of healthy wild ackies via sites like iNaturalist and Flickr is a good way to establish a reasonable baseline expectation.
- Reduced activity/laziness
- Tail has a creased/segmented appearance
- Belly dragging
- Feeding too often or too much
- Too much vertebrate prey
- Small enclosure
- Not enough exercise
- Low temperatures
First, reevaluate your husbandry with the ReptiFiles Ackie Monitor Care Guide and make necessary corrections. Reduce frequency of feedings and/or the amount you give. Encouraging exercise will be helpful as well and increase the enclosure size if below the recommended size of 5’L x 2.5’W x 3’H. Weigh your ackie weekly with a digital kitchen scale to measure progress. If your ackie has not lost weight after a month, consult an experienced reptile veterinarian.
More ackie monitor health topics:
- Egg Binding
- Egg Cycling
- Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD)
- Respiratory Infection