While most Northern blue tongue skinks in the US are captive bred and have low parasite loads, most Indonesian skinks currently available in the US pet trade are wild-caught, which means that they likely carry parasites — and lots of them.
This isn’t too much of a problem for a healthy wild skink, as their immune systems keep the parasite population from overwhelming the skink’s body. However during capture and transportation a blue tongue skink can get very stressed, which depresses the immune system, and in turn parasite populations can grow out of control.
- Weight loss
- Low body fat
- Loss of appetite
- Extremely smelly poo
- No poo
Take a sample of your skink’s poo to the vet at least 1x/year to be analyzed for parasites. The sample must be fresh, preferably refrigerated and less than 24 hours old, for accurate results. If the vet finds parasites, they will prescribe an oral dewormer for treatment.
During treatment, dust feeder insects with a powdered probiotic like NutriBAC df. If possible you can also administer probiotic paste (dosed by weight) like Bene-Bac Plus. Probiotics help counteract deworming medication’s side effects and promote good appetite.
Best practice for reducing the likelihood of re-contamination in your skink’s enclosure is to keep the enclosure clean. Do a deep-clean once every 3-6 months so you can scrub every surface with a veterinary disinfectant like chlorhexidine or F10SC. Remember to pay attention to the instructions, because contact time is very important to successfully using these disinfectants.