Caring for a Savannah Monitor

What you should know if a Savanah Monitor catches a cold. Seriously, George, incidentally named after ‘George of the Jungle’, caught a cold. Snot bubbles and all just like a baby. I had to call a veteranarian to see what I could do. I was told that I could take some of the antibiotics that I had left over from an infection and mix it in some water and use a plastic blue bulb (that you use on babies too) and force it down George’s throat. I also had to use the blue bulb in order to draw out the mucous that was in his nose. He had to be kept warm under a blanket, preferably sleeping on my chest at night which were the instructions from the vet. He got all that special treatment and then some. It was touch and go for a while but after three days of antibiotics he was breathing easier. It was then I learned that because they had to have the heat lamp over them all the time that you don’t put them under a window you are going to keep open even in the Florida heat.

George used to go the beach with me. He would sit on my shoulder and hide under my hair as I walked the beach. This was all well and good until one day, after his usual romp in the sand, he headed out to sea. Literally he was swimming across Tampa Bay. I had to go retrieve him. Also this day after a further romp in the warm sand he turned up missing. Evidently he headed for a shady spot like he would in the wild. He ended up under a friends truck in the axle. He was covered in grease. I took out the “GOJO” (used to getting rid of great on your hands) and covered him and washed him off. He later started to spit blood and sneeze. I had no idea what was wrong with him. Someone suggested that he might have eaten some glass that he wandered through getting to the truck. I thought of the “GOJO” and said to myself “I’ve killed him!” Off we went to an emergency room for animals.

The doctor there said if George had eaten glass they couldn’t do anything about it because it wouldn’t show up in an x-ray. They gave him a shot of Vitamin K and a syringe full of water under his skin to help keep him hydrated. They told me to take him home and keep him extra warm. They could not decide if the “GOJO” had been bad for him but agreed that it had made sense to try it. Although they would not have suggested doing such a thing!

George again got to stay with me on my chest in a blanket all night, still spitting blood, even into my hair. The next day he stopped spitting out blood and wandered slowly throughout the house when he was not tucked warmly away in his blanket on me.

I have to say that having a Savanah Monitor taught me that wild animals, exotic ones at that, need special treatment. I would not recomment this kind of pet to anyone who couldn’t afford the veteranarian visits as it is higly likely that it will need specialized attention. Wild animals and exotic animals need indivualized and specialized care that you have to know enough about the animal to get them to the doctor’s.

Needless to say George was fine and lived happily ever after sleeping with mommy, walking the warm sands of Gandy Beach, Florida and eating his mice. Oh, did I forget to tell you? Savanah Monitors eat mice so you must also learn how to stun a mouse and leave it for the Monitor to eat. They eat their food whole like a snake. They also can’t unclench their teeth once their prey is in them because they would lose the live animal.

It is very difficult to unclench their teet as I would know. George’s adventures were not over with the beach. I had a beautiful, baby pit bull who was so kind to everything and she played and chased the ferret around the patio in fun all the time. Well she got too close to George at feeding time and George felt fur and smelled it and latched onto it. Here I am watching the Monitor latching onto the dog and not wanting to let go while the dog was ki-yacking the entire time. I had to get a butter knife to pry George’s jaws open to get the dog out of his mouth. Something to learn about Monitors, don’t allow them near a furry pet because that pet may become lunch. Thankfully George was only a small Monitor. Had he been bigger this situation might have become a fiasco.

So, beware, Savanah Monitors can definitely liven up your life but you must be prepared for the ups and downs that come with a wild or exotic animal.