Reptiles & Amphibians

These are resources we've gathered that relate to amphibians and reptiles.

DIET SUPPLEMENTS FOR REPTILES

Nutritonal problems are the one of the most common reason pet reptiles become sick. Captive reptile diets are notorious for being imbalanced in many vitamins and minerals. This is mostly just due to the fact that it's still very hard to completely simulate their natural food sources using what is available to us in stores. Supplements give us a helpful and necessary tool to make up for these gaps. This short article will discuss our recommendations for providing supplements to pet reptiles. 

GREENS/VEGETABLES FOR HERBIVOROUS REPTILES

UNDER CONSTRUCTION
 
Choose a variety of the follow to feed daily -
Spring Mix, Field greens,  Dandelion greens, Collard greens, Endive, Escarole, Mustard Greens, Squash (acorn, butternut, hubbard, scallop, spaghetti, summer), and Turnip greens. Also  Shrubs/Cultivated plants (hibiscus, cape honeysuckle, mulberry, strawberry bush, grape leaves, viola, violet, pansies, poppy, petunia, geraniums, etc.), Alfalfa (plants), Cactus pad/leaf (prickly pear), and Lettuce (red leaf, romaine)
 

Cryptosporidiosis in Reptiles

Cryptosporiosis is caused by an internal parasite that can infect many different species of animals. It is caused by a protozoal, or one celled, parasite called Cryptosporidium. There are several species of Cryptosporidium, but the most commonly encountered in reptiles is C. serpentis. Cryptospordiosis is an important disease in reptiles due to its tendency to be highly contagious and high mortality rate. 

Kidney Failure in Chameleons

One of the things that can cause chameleons to stop eating and become weak is kidney failure.  This disorder should be suspected in any chameleon that has two or more of the following signs: a lump just in front of its pelvis, inability to defecate (or pass eggs), fluid beneath the skin under its jaw or neck, dehydration even with plenty of water offered, a foul odor to its breath, swollen joints, bloodshot eyes, or white shiny deposits in the lining of its mouth.

Nutritional Secondary Hyperparathyroidism/Metabolic Bone Disease

Nutritional Secondary Hyperparathyroidism (NSHP), commonly referred to as “Metabolic Bone Disease”, is a common and serious health problem in pet reptiles. This disease causes the bones to become soft and brittle, easily bending and breaking. These fractures are referred to as pathologic fractures or fractures that occur during normal activity due to disease of the bone, not because of excessive trauma. In many cases, reptiles may have multiple fractures all over their body. Young growing reptiles may also develop swelling of the jaw and limbs, called fibrous osteodystrophy or “rubber jaw syndrome”. In severe cases, where the calcium in their body becomes dangerously low, reptiles develop muscle tremors, paralysis, and can lead to death.

Heating and Temperature Control for Reptiles

Reptiles are often referred to being “cold-blooded”, which can be misleading.  More appropriately they should be considered poikilothermic or ectothermic. This means that, unlike mammals and birds, reptiles are unable to regulate their body temperatures internally and change their body temperature in adaptation to their environmental temperature. Because reptiles do not need to expend as much energy heating their bodies, they have a much lower metabolic rate than that of mammals. Each reptile species has what is referred to as its preferred optimal temperature zone which is a narrow temperature range at which they are active and undergo typical functions such as feeding, digestion, fighting off infections, and reproduction. Outside of this range these functions may be hindered or cease altogether. Some species will hibernate during colder months and during this time their metabolic rate will decrease.  

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