Common Reptile Ailments
Below you will find some of the more commonly encountered
health problems while keeping reptiles, some of which are easily
dealt with. We always recommend that any but the simplest of
problems should be dealt with by a vet. The information was
collected from various sources. Remember Prevention is better
::METABOLIC BONE DISEASE (M.B.D.)
Usually suffered by basking diurnal lizard species, most commonly
encountered in Green Iguana’s & Water Dragons.
A combination of poor husbandry and improper nutrition. The
lack of calcium, also the lack of Vitamin D3, This is Usually
acquired from the sun, so be sure to provided a suitable U.V.B.
fluorescent tube with an output of no less than 5% to compensate,
(UV light is necessary for vitamin D synthesis which is necessary
for calcium to be absorbed).
Swollen limb joints, shaking I tremors, lethargy, limping,
soft bones and loss of appetite. This is a life-threatening
disease, so consult a vet as soon as possible.
Most Commonly found in snakes. Usually starts with a swelling
of the soft tissue of the mouth, and if not treated will spread
to the bone, affecting the jaw, gums and teeth.
Poor husbandry, (poorly cleaned or uncleaned tanks).
Cuts caused by mouth rubbing.
Swelling of the gums A grey cheesy substance in the mouth.
Mouth open for long periods of time. Always isolate the infected
animal, always wash hands to prevent spreading infection
to other animals. To Treat mild cases You can buy medicine
from your reptile store and apply it regularly with a Q-tip.
In server cases consult your vet.
This is usually STRESS related.
Vivariuml Tank to large,
To much handling,
To correct the problem causing stress, and hopefully restore
appetite, provided the right
environment, humidity and temperature are vital so take care
to get them right, Handle as little as possible. If any weight
loss occurs consult your vet.
::VENTRAL SCALE ROT or Ulcerative dermatitis
substrate kept too moist,
Unclean substrate resulting in bacteria
or mould build up, This is sometimes said to be caused by
under floor heating, which if the tank is not cleaned regularly
could be true.
Appetite Loss. Red patches on the ventral scales, which if
left untreated will develop into open sores. Blisters on
the ventral scales. Mild cases can be treated by cleaning
the wound each day with warm water, then applying vetadine.
While treating the animal keep in a bare tank on Kitchen
roll, this should help eliminate possible infection. In server
cases consult your vet.
Usually caused by ceramic heaters and other heat sources.
A burn will usually appear as a red or greyish swollen or blistered
area, In extreme cases the scales can be completely missing.
Take the time to ensure that your animal can not make direct
contact with the heat source, you can buy readily made wire
cages to enclose your heat source from your reptile store
or you could make your own.
Can be treated by cleaning the wound each day with warm water,
and then applying vetadine. While treating the animal keep
in a bare tank on Kitchen roll, this should help eliminate
possible infection. In server cases consult your vet.
::VOMITING / REGURGITATION
There are several things that can cause Vomiting and Regurgitation:
Stress resulting from to much handling. Overfeeding I feeding
too large a meal. Extremes of temperature, too hot or too
cold. Food not defrosted properly.
Don’t handle for 24 hours after feeding, and if you transport
your animal for any reason allow 5/6 day rest before feeding.
Always make sure the food is fully defrosted and warm to the
touch. Check the temperature in your tank regularly.
If the problem persists consult your vet.