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Jewelled lacerta rescue - health questions

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  • Jewelled lacerta rescue - health questions

    I seem to give off a chemical that attracts people who don't want their pets. My latest "giveaway" is a two year old female Jewelled Lacerta. When I brought her home I held her and inspected her for any health issues. I have no experience with Lacertas, but I do keep cresties and until recently, a bearded dragon (another rescue who was in bad shape with MBD, my vet and I couldn't keep him going anymore after a year).

    I found a lot of stuck shed on her, especially her feet and toes. One toe looks twisted and the claw is missing, but hopefully that will heal. She appears to have been neglected, and kept under the wrong conditions. She is smaller and thinner than normal, though not emaciated. What I'm most concerned about is that she seems to have a respiratory infection. I noticed she sneezes every so often and rubs her nose on her basking rock. On close inspection I noticed one nostril is red and inflamed looking, the other looks fine. I checked inside her mouth but it looks fine. I was going to soak her to get rid of the shed and make sure she's not dehydrated, but not with an upper respiratory infection. Her moist substrate will have to do for now.

    Behaviour wise she seems alert, and not as skittish as I expected. Of course, I've only had her a few hours and it's night time now. She has been climbing around exploring and watching what's going on outside her cage.

    The husbandry information I found for this species is sketchy at best. Different websites contradict each other. I did my best based on advice that was common to more than one website. She's in a 40 gal long terrarium, with screen top. At one end she has a new Powersun bulb for UVB and basking, and there's a UTH. Temps are about 40 c and 25 c.

    Substrate is currently about 6 inches of damp coir/sphagnum/sand/bark chip mix (all I had on short notice). I bought more coir because I know they are burrowers, will add it once she has time to settle in. Decor for now is large cork bark pieces set at angles to allow her to climb, hide and bask, a reptile hammock, and a flat basking rock. She has a large, deep water bowl.

    For tonight I gave her some dusted greens and a bit of fruit. Tomorrow I'll offer dusted roach nymphs and some CGD. I also have red wiggler worms for her. I buy crickets regularly for my cresties and tarantulas, so she'll be getting those as well. I dust with Reptivite and calcium/D3 or Repashy dusting mix.

    My two questions: I read that in lizards a mild upper respiratory infection can be caused by poor husbandry, and will resolve itself after husbandry issues are corrected. Is this correct? Or should she just go straight to the vet?

    Is my setup correct for this species or do I need to make some changes? Any other info on Jewelled Lacertas would be greatly appreciated! So far I'm really taken with her, and I'm amazed that more people don't keep these beautiful lizards.