Acquired: Online breeder / seller
Oklahoma, United States
Posted Dec 11, 2013
I've owned two ornate uromastyx, and they were the hardest lizards by far to keep, including out of my other three breeds of uromastyx. Ornates are gorgeous, both of mine were a lot less shy and skittish than my other uromasyx, and they took to being handled almost immediately. But they are extremely delicate and are stressed out very easily. Both of mine looked perfectly healthy one day and then were incredibly sick the next. My one ornate, Shaka, got all puffed up as uromastyx do, and then she couldn't deflate herself. She stayed puffed up to the point of extreme rigidity for about six hours before we took her to the emergency clinic, where she spent the night in an oxygen tank and received multiple different medications. The breeder told us it had something to do with their ileocecal valve getting stuck, and that it is actually a common occurrence in ornates. And my vet had never seen anything like it, because the other breeds don't do that, so that is something to be aware of. Lulu and Shaka both had great personalities, but they require much more care and attention than our other uromastyx, let alone all of our other lizards. I would only get an ornate if you have a lot of time to spend trying to keep everything perfect for them, because of how easily they get stressed out. We are planning on possibly getting another ornate in the future, but not until we have the ability to keep everything as stress free as possible for one.