Obesity is a fairly common problem with blue tongue skinks, as they eat virtually everything that they are offered. Although skinks naturally have a chunky, sausage-like appearance, the body should appear relatively streamlined and proportionate. Heavier individuals with a disproportionate appearance should be evaluated for possible obesity.
- Reduced activity/laziness
- Large jowls (lots of excess flesh under the chin)
- Legs appear too small for body
- Head appears too small for the body
- Heavy breathing
- Feeding too often
- Too much fat in the diet
- Not enough vegetables
- Small enclosure
- Not enough exercise
- Low temperatures
First, reevaluate your husbandry. Are you feeding your skink too often? Are temps too low? Is your enclosure too small to promote adequate activity? Does your skink not have enough opportunities for enrichment? Correct as needed.
Reduce frequency of feedings and portion size. If you aren’t already, add more vegetables to its diet and reduce fruit treats.
Encourage exercise with a larger enclosure, more supervised free roam time, and taking him/her outside in a fenced space. If you have a kiddie pool or bathtub, you can also encourage your skink to swim in shallow water with close supervision.
Weigh your skink weekly with a kitchen scale to measure progress. If you bluey hasn’t lost weight after a month, consult a certified exotic veterinarian. There may be a deeper problem at work.