-sigh- you can try to help, but people just won't listen until they learn the hard way, will they?
My mom's friend is getting into reptiles. But she doesn't 'get' that you need to research them and their care. They first caught their own texas spiny lizards. Cool lizards--but no one keeps them as pets. No one really knows how to properly care for them, not even really the experts. And they were beginners. Turns out they were loaded with parasites and started to develop metabolic bone disease, and one developed a HUGE cyst(as big as his leg!)
Eventually they finally realize they can't keep these as pets. They gave them to a rescue who will get the lizards used to being in the wild again and be sure they don't spread new diseases to the native environment since they were in captivity so long.
I tell them about the joys of buying a captive bred reptile from a good breeder, and how easy crested geckos are to care for. They don't need crickets, you can feed them the crested gecko diet. They only need regular room temp, because they are from a cool climate. All they need is humidity. They are doing great with him. SO..they wanted another lizard.
So they buy an anole. Anoles aren't too hard, and they listened to me on care. But anoles are native here, so every time one of their kids found another anole, they'd stick it in the same tank. So in a ten gallon tank..they have five anoles. Four of them wild caught--and loaded with parasites. Now their store bought anole is sick as well and losing weight, as well as aggression issues in such a small tank with NO COVER but a single fake plant. NOW...they went and bought a long tailed lizard to share the tank with them.
I'm just... I keep telling her things. But it goes in one ear and out the other. She doesn't trust me, even though every single time I've been right. She told me she thought her lizard was going through puberty, I told her it was a cyst. Took him to a vet..yup..cyst... Told her they were diurnal and needed uvb...they said no...he gets MBD because of no uvb... Warned her they needed heat and that the analog thermometers don't work..turns out hers was 30 degrees off, and he was in 70 degree weather the whole time..wonder why he wasn't eating or growing? She started feeding the anoles bugs she found outside, since some of her anoles were just fine outside.
Thought she turned over a new leaf with the anole and crested gecko. But..Apparently not. I will always be here to help when her animals get sick, but I don't know how to get it through her head to listen to those who have dealt with reptiles for years, and to not just get anything and everything and just guess on what to do. She's started hiding things from me(didn't tell me she bought the long tailed lizard, only found out cause mom went over there and basically tattled on her)
So... Basically I told her.."They are your lizards. But you need to know the risks. When housed together without quarantine, you can really spread sickness around into a tank, and could end up with thousands in vet costs with that many animals. If one of them gets ill and starts vomiting up food, with a shared tank, you don't know who it was that threw up... You run the risk of death by aggression and stress..Bugs from outdoors often have parasites or worse, toxic chemicals from bug sprays they are immune to or any other toxins they could have simply not yet died from...Feeding that to your animals can kill them instantly" She's decided she accepts those as risks... Because she doesn't think it's going to happen. But she can't read reptile body language yet. She thinks 'cuddling' is them being sweet, because she relates them to mammals. What she is seeing is actually a symbol of dominance, and can stress out the animals to the point of death through not eating and lowering immune system allowing parasites to take over.
kfojgd;g;jf;rj. dsljerjeojeoreorwejfeld. weowuropwerowerj!
I only hope she realizes what's happening before she loses all of them.