Spine Deformity

blue tongue skink with spinal deformity
blue tongue skink with spinal deformity - x ray
Images contributed by Kristyn Shea


  • “hunchbacked” appearance
  • flattened midsection
  • unnatural spinal dip between front and back legs
  • able to twist into corkscrew shape
  • able to fold body in half backwards



Relocate to a larger enclosure, preferably with much more floor space than height. Provide more hides and enrichment items, and minimize opportunities for the skink to climb and damage its spine further. Encouraging horizontal exercise and weight gain can strengthen muscles and help normalize appearance.

In severe cases, your skink’s internal organs will have been rearranged to accommodate the spine’s unnatural position, and you skink will have a smaller stomach as a result. Small, frequent feedings will be more effective than the usual occasional large ones.

Depending on the extent of the damage, this deformity may be permanent.

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