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. 

Basic Care: Crested Gecko

Crested Geckos can be a great beginner level pet reptile owing to their captive care needs. They are different from many other lizards in their ability to use their adhesive setae (hairs) on their feet to adhere to smooth vertical and horizontal surfaces. This ability developed due to their arboreal habitat and the need to not fall out of trees. They only grow to a maximum length of 8-9 inches and are relatively long lived with many living into their mid teens and even up to 20 years old.

Basic Care: Tegus

Tegus are intelligent and curious lizards that can be tamed and trained with regular handling and interaction.The Salvator species are the most commonly kept Tegus in captivity and include the Argentine black and white tegu (Salvator merianae) and the Red tegu (Salvator refescens).

Basic Care: Tree Monitors

Tree Monitors are native to forest areas in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and parts of Australia.  They come in a varsity of colors including the blue (Varanus macraei), black (Varanus beccari), green (Viranus prasinus) and yellow (Varanus reisingeri) with the blue tree monitor being the largest. The average male is approximately 42 in (3.5 ft) and females tend to be about 4 inches smaller in size. The other sub-species range in size from 24-36 in (2-3 ft).

Gout in Reptiles

What is gout?

Gout occurs because of a buildup of uric acid in the blood. This can result in being deposited in the joints, which is called articular gout, or in the organs, which is called visceral gout. This can occur either because of the body producing too much uric acid or from the body not being able to get rid of the uric acid.

Basic Care: Peter's Banded Skinks

Peter's banded skinks are uncommon in the reptile hobby. These inquisitive skinks, about the size of a leopard gecko, can make great pets with the right care. They tend to become quite tame and will often beg their owner's for treats. Peter's banded skinks, Scincopus fasciatus, are a monotypic species of the Genus Scincopus which are recognized by their squat bodies, robust limbs, short tails and orange/yellow and black dorsal banding patterns. This species has two described subspecies, S. f. fasciatus  and S. f. melanocephalus. The former being described possessing distinct dark transverse blank bands with little to no black on the head while the latter is described as having an almost completely black head and far less distinct black banding. Most captive specimens can be presumed to be of the S. f. fasciatus subspecies based on morphologic appearance. These nocturnal lizards are native to the Sahelian and southern Saharan regions of northern Africa. These sandy regions are extremely arid with limited annual rainfall. Average high temperatures within these regions range from 24 to 42°C (81-108°F) with coolest temperatures dropping as low as 15°C (90°F). Similar environmental conditions should be provided in captivity. Little data is available concerning the natural diet of Scincopus fasciatus. They are believed to be primarily insectivorous, but may consume some plant material. A variety of commercially available insects should be offered along with small amounts of fruits, flowers, and vegetables. The diet should be supplemented with vitamins and minerals. This species UVB lighting requirements are also unknown. Providing this lighting should be strongly encouraged given recent studies have demonstrated benefit in another nocturnal lizard, the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius).

Bearded Dragon Nutrition

Proper nutrition is a very important part of caring for your bearded dragon. Bearded dragons are omnivores, meaning they eat a combination of both prey items and plants. Studies in Australia of wild adult bearded dragons show the eat approximately 90% plants and only 10% prey items and juveniles each equal amounts of each. Similar percentages should be attempted in pet bearded dragons using this feeding guide.