Lizards, Toads & Tortoises....oh, my!

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sunshine_hugs

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So, I'm not entirely sure where to post this, so please let me know if it's in the wrong place.

My Redfoots are housed outside. I currently have 8 redfoots in two different enclosures (made a second enclosure for my hatchlings, due to advice on here. I'm so thankful I did, as they really seem to be thriving so much better).

Anyway, I find other creatures in my enclosures all the time. Lizards and toads mostly (I'm not including the countless insects). One lizard seems to frequent us on a daily basis, and is getting brave around the kids and me....it basks on the stones....eats the food the tortoises leave behind....and I've even caught the lizard in their water dish (I do clean the water dishes daily). The toads seem to just hide in the vegetation, but I think they're nocturnal, so I don't really know what they're up to.

I've read things about people talking about not mixing species, and how it could spread disease. I worry that it's possible my tortoises could get sick from another little creature, but have no idea how to prevent the problem. Our entire enclosure is not covered (the main pen is approx 12' x 10)...I just put them in a "sleeping box" at night (not really a box....it's just a part of the enclosure that I can secure off for night time).

Can anyone advise as to if I should be worried about the lizards or toads? I enjoy watching them, but don't want to cause problems...and even if I did cover the entire pen, the smaller lizards would be able to get in.

Thanks.

...a picture of one of the lizards (I'm clueless as to what kids)




....a picture of the main pen

 

Team Gomberg

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Don't worry at all. :)

Confined living situations with various animal types is not the same as different animals crossing each others paths occasionally while outside.

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Tom

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There is most certainly a disease risk there. If the lizards and toads poop and the tortoises eat it, they will be sharing all of the local intestinal flora and fauna. Some pathogens and parasites are very host specific and some are generalists. I don't know what you can really do about it. I would do regular fecal exams and medicate where needed.

Everyone who keeps tortoises outside has this same issue. It doesn't usually lead to any problems. I don't know how it is in your area, but where I am it has not caused me any problems that I know of. I also have lizards and toads all over my enclosures. Not to mention rodents and birds that make their way through.
 

sunshine_hugs

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Thanks for the responses. There are no specialty vets here, but I do have friends that work at the vet college here, so I'm sure they could test faecal samples.

They all appear healthy and seem to be growing at the same rate. How often should I test them? Once a month? Every 6 months?

Anyway, I will not worry myself about it, but make sure to keep an eye on everyone...and I'll continue to enjoy watching the lizards all over the place!
 

Cymmie

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I would do it every six months, which is normal for any reptile that you are worried about, it's what I do for my chameleon ^^ but I defer to anyone with more experience with these things if they have a better suggestion.
 

Tom

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How often depends on how vigilant you want to be about it. I'd say a random sample every six months would make me happy. If I noticed an issue, I might make a special effort to test right away for that individual. Or you could just not worry about it, if everything seems fine.
 
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