Your baby lizard is very delicate. This is the most vulnerable time in their lives. There is not too much time for a learning curve to take place, your husbandry has to be meticulous at this stage. And differs with every variety and also each individual lizard. Do your new friend a favour...
Do not find care sheets. Find care sites. A one page read is an overview ...... not an education. And it is the details you are missing that may cause your new lizard's demise.
Your only defensive weapon is your power to observe what is going on immediately. To recognize what you are seeing, it is imperative you know what to look for and do not procrastinate in finding the solution. A week of illness for a hatchling is too long.
Most vet visits are the result of husbandry practices gone wrong. ie. too cold, too hot, wrong substrate, poor diet, too many or too few vitamins, another lizard in the same set up, wrong materials, water condition, too much humidity or too little.
How much basking is he doing? Where is it doing it? Use a digital thermometer and check exactly the temps where your lizard chooses to lay. How much gaping? Feces look normal and take place regularly. Is the head up and alert? Is it eating? What have you seen today vs. yesterday and the day before.
THINK LIKE A LIZARD
Stress is a huge factor when a baby enters your home. Their instincts tell them to be terrified of the situations we place them in! There are these MONSTERS in their world that are THOUSANDS of times larger than they. The noise they are surrounded by completely foreign to their ears. The activity level surrounding them is hundreds of times the norm. Instinct says flight or fight. Yet neither are available to them. And in a matter of a week or 2 they have now been through a minimum of 2 separate situations. Three, if you have purchased from a pet store. Maybe even shipped in little boxes. And they are now alone. No hatchmates to make a community decision about when to panic.
If you can conquer stress you are well on your way to being successful. Stress will cause a hunger strike. Stress will cause a lizard to hide and not bask, taking it's toll with a lowered body temp, which in turn lowers appetite again, or creates an environment for respiritory infections. Once immunity is lowered you are inviting fungal infections and growth of internal parasites. Are you getting the picture? Set the environment up prior to bringing a baby home...try not to change things around for the first couple of weeks. ~ I said a couple but the timeline will be decided by your lizard. Start with a small change and watch his reactions. If he is put off food for a day or two because of it, you are seeing that he does not take to change well and will need to be watched after you make "upgrades".
Once placed in his house, LEAVE him be! Leave his cage furniture alone. No nose to the glass watching him. He needs time to settle. Few are interested in eating at this time. If you get one that does thank your guardian angel.
Your first line of defence is to purchase an electrolyte product when you buy your baby. Electrolyte products have two important components: they help to deal with stress and secondly, increase appetite. It can be used in the water bowl or mixed with water and sprayed onto foods or placed in baths. Start using it immediately for a better beginning for your buddy. I use the exo terra but there are other brands. Pedialyte unflavoured in a ratio of 1 part pedialite to 3 parts water is comparable as a choice.
Use the electrolite as directed immediately, and hopefully you will have gotten by this in just a couple of days. If not, dehydration is your next concern.
If not drinking, is it a lizard you can soak? Have an eye dropper ready....water and electrolyte, pedialyte works too. Dehydration is far more likely to happen before starvation.
Select a quiet corner of your home with distance from passing traffic. Think about how close and loud the dog is, discourage the cat from hanging about, and the kids, and yourself! Let them adjust and introduce these stressors slowly into the environments around them. Don't pick them up. Covering a part of the cage from view may help if the lizard is very skittish. Design places it can feel hidden and safe while still basking. Plants, fake or real will help as well. Don't place them near the TV or music source.
Most lizards display the same type of behaviours, common to many diseases. Slowing appetite. Laying for extended periods with head down. Hiding extensively. Lethargy and looking depressed. Dull, listless, darkened colouring. If I see this in one of mine, I will use the electrolyte immediately. Sometimes, it may only take giving them the supplement for a couple of days to reverse what you are seeing. Like kids....it may be a small cold, upset belly and may pass quickly with little effort. Just a minor hump in the road.
You will still see these symptoms for more complicated issues and if a couple of days of using a supplement isn't getting results....move forward.
There are a few common illnesses in lizards including: parasites, Metabolic Bone Disease, dehydration, impactions, rostral damage, skin problems. Knowing what these are and how to handle them will give you the much needed power of observation that provides a quick heads up that trouble is brewing. Educating yourself on the common issues will allow you to recognize exactly what you are seeing.....and you and the lizard will live a healthier life. Learn how to handle each effectively and have what is needed onhand. Health resources
But, reptiles can suffer from a huge number of problems, same as people do. Your baby may have a heart problem, a liver disfunction or a score of other problems it was born with, or a lower immunity system. Cancer and tumors can also develop. Making that vet appointment is a priority if you have not seen improvement using common available methods.