Do Not Stifle Me,  Woman!

I shall stifle myself, now leave me alone! I’ll take a few bites of food and a cuddle, but otherwise, “Leave me be!”

This is what happens when you tell your lizard he needs to poo in February … and in the cold chill of America!!

Lil’ Murph is not cooperating!

It has been 8 days since his last poo. That is too long. I’ve told him this, but he is not listening.

In the winter months, when his metabolism slows, I get worried.

Thankfully, thus far, he has not gone into full brumation. He gets a bit lethargic, does not eat much, and does not poo much, but more than a week without a potty is pushing it. We are creeping up on compaction worries at this point.

Though it is not consumption of sand or other materials causing it, in Murph’s case it is a slow metabolism. Basically, compaction is a form of constipation, and it is deadly.

Brumation is the reptilian form of hibernation & it is a scary time for reptile parents.

I’ve read horror stories of folks thinking their reptiles were dead & even burying them, only to discover they were alive, but sleeping very deeply.

Murph’s sister, Copper, went into full brumation a couple of times and it was horrible!! I missed her terribly & worried about her every day. Every single day was stessful, always hoping I had more life from her to love.

There are tests parents can perform to know they still have their scaly darlings. Here is a link to that:

Murph is a special character, as some of you know. He refuses too poo in his cage. He will only poo in the kitchen sink, after observing whatever goes down the drain goes away (this is observance & intelligence at work)!!

It’s fine though, nothing a lizard bath & bleach in the sink won’t fix.

Murph will also potty outside, particularly after watching his brother dog walk around & poo.

As a last resort, when Lil’ Murph gets to walk around the house for exercise, he’ll head to the rug, the office for privacy, or the kitchen floor to poo (much easier to sanitize, thank you, Murph), BUT HE WILL NOT POO IN HIS CAGE!!

I leave newspapers in a corner of his enclosure, just in case. He use to potty there when he was desperate. But, that was years ago, and he is more stubborn now than before, perhaps.

Why?! Why doesn’t Murph poo in his cage?!? Because lizards are very clean animals, that’s why! They don’t want that crap around or on their person.

Honestly, they don’t want poo on newspaper near them either! Since Murph has spent much time in his cage & beneath his special lights this season, he is a tad bit stubborn.

I have given him time to walk around the house, I have given him “spa time” and soaks in the sink, I have given him under-belly, as well as all-over massages, I have manually moved his legs up & down, up & down to stimulate a possible poo event, to no avail … stubborn butt!

If he doesn’t go soon, I have to take him to the vet. He isn’t eating much already, which is good in regards to he is not, or will not poo enough to please me. We don’t want to over-feed a gut that is not releasing it’s intake.

He is, however eating a tiny bit daily, of sweet potato, watermelon, bok choy, & bell peppers, so with these & his “spa time” he is properly hydrated.

Snap out of it, Love!!

See, does he look inspired to eat?!

“Give me Lizardry or give me Death! – Dawn Renée


  1. Nice informative article Renee…
    Most animals love to stay clean and won’t poo in their living space…the natural instinct is to move out …a bit away..
    Wishing you and your family including Murph a healthy and happy days ahead..
    Stay blessed 🙏😇

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, Jas, very much! Yes, and isn’t it neat to know that reptiles are no different than the rest of them, or us, for that matter?! Lizards are more loving, intelligent, & cleaner than many people know. Warm & bestest : ) wishes to you and yours as well. Happy you love Murph with me. Thanks for your endless support.


  3. I absolutely will, Moni!! Thanks!! He is cool, right?! It would be cool if he did a poo, too! I’ve been giving motivational speeches & letting him walk around, saying excitedly, “Go poopy! Go poopy!l … you know, sounding like an idiot
    : ) It’s not working yet. Have a funny story for ya, I’ll email you about it later.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s so odd! With all the dozens of lizards I’ve had, of all kinds, I never had a problem with them and the winter. Their cage was pretty much the same warm temperature year-round.
    I left the iguana cage open so he could go in or out at will. He learned never to poo outside the cage: if he had to go, he’d hurry upstairs to get back inside. In winter, he was old and experienced enough to know what to do to keep himself warm. Cuddling up with a dog or cat (or both) always worked well for him.
    I’m mystified as to why your Murph would have a hard time with the winter. That habit of pooping outdoors–understandable, but not helpful.
    Iguana poo dries up quickly and is easy to get rid of.


  5. That is something for me to research. I wonder if Bearded Dragons are more likely than Iguanas to brumate, or atleast have slower metabolisms at such times of the years. I mentally see your Iguana having done these things, and it’s absolutely adorable!! They are so intelligent and sweet, apparently & especially yours.


  6. I’ve had over a dozen different kinds of lizards; and as long as the lizard cage environment was warm, nobody ever showed any sign of brumating.

    Most of the beardies you can buy (so I’ve heard) are captive-bred, which is a new phenomenon. You’d think that’d make it easier for them to adjust to American climates.

    You don’t want to let your lizard get too hot. In my long-time lizard cage I had an overhead light bulb in a reflector and another low-wattage bulb inside a jar on the floor of the cage, with the jar inside a heavy gym sock.

    It stood up just fine to a Michigan winter.


  7. As you know, so often, it is said the basking area should meet a certain temp, say, 95 – 110°, but as you state, about not being too hot, my Beardies have never liked being that hot. They move shortly after warming to where they want to be, scooching over to their cooler upper and lower areas, where the uvb still shines through. Thank you for the info. Yes, you would think after generations in America they may not do this if all is correct in husbandry. A gym sock … new concept.


  8. Ours didn’t poo for almost three weeks which worried me but he wasn’t eating much …. I took him out for a hot bath and he swam in it every night… then one day, giant poo 💩! Yay! He literally jumped out of the little bathtub when he pooped…


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