Illustrated Articles

Reptiles

  • Prednisone/prednisolone is given by mouth or injection and is used on and off label to treat Addison’s disease, inflammatory conditions, neoplasia (cancer), and immune-mediated diseases. Give this medication as directed by your veterinarian. Common side effects include increased drinking, increased urination, and increased appetite. Do not use in pets that are allergic to it, or pets with systemic fungal infections, viral infections, ulcers, tuberculosis, or Cushing’s disease. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Telemedicine is the act of practicing medicine from a distance and your appointment will be conducted by a licensed veterinarian. Before your appointment, gather information on your pet’s history and your current concern. Look at a calendar and write down a timeline of your pet’s problems. Be prepared to answer questions that you would normally be asked at an in-person appointment. Write notes to help you remember everything. Most telemedicine appointments involve the use of some type of video chat. Conduct your visit in a quiet area with good lighting and have your pet with you before the call starts. Not all concerns can be addressed through telemedicine. If your veterinarian is unable to arrive at a diagnosis via telemedicine, he or she can help you determine the next step for your pet to ensure that he or she receives optimal care.

  • Having your pet properly prepared for a blood test helps to ensure that the results are as accurate and reliable as possible. Preparation for these two types of tests is slightly different. Your veterinarian will give you specific instructions before your appointment. It is important that you follow these instructions exactly to ensure accurate test results.

  • Abdominal swelling in any reptile is always a concern that needs to be brought to the attention of a veterinarian well versed in reptile medicine. In female reptiles, this swelling often means that the individual has eggs or fetus that are ready to be delivered. When the female cannot deliver the eggs or babies, this is referred to as dystocia. This condition can be life threatening and need attention ASAP.

  • Swellings on or around the joints in reptiles can be an indication of uric acid deposits in the area. This condition is referred to as gout. Gout is often painful and may also affect internal organs. Treatment will require medications and sometimes surgery.

  • While there are many species of pythons and boas, those noted here are among the easiest to keep; however, constrictor snakes, like the very large reticulated python, can be dangerous in the hands of an inexperienced keeper, while others, such as the royal python, can be frustrating because of their long periods of not eating. Therefore, if you are choosing your first pet snake, you may want to go with an easier to keep, relatively smaller snake, such as a rainbow boa.

  • The family of Colubrid snakes comprise over 1,000 different species. These snakes are non-venomous, often make very good pets and come in a variety of colorful patterns.

  • It is key for the health and safety of all snakes that proper housing be planned for the eventual adult size of your pet snake. For their enjoyment, hide boxes and branches are beneficial additions to the caging environment. Proper bedding, lighting and heat sources will differ depending on the species and size of your snake.

  • Sulfadiazine/trimethoprim is given by mouth in the form of a liquid suspension or is given by injection in the hospital, and it is commonly used to treat bacterial and parasitic infections, sometimes off label, in dogs, cats, small mammals and other exotics. Common side effects include a decreased appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea, although more serious side effects are possible such as dry eye, or liver, blood, or urinary problems. Do not use in pets that have severe liver damage, blood cell problems, dehydration, or sulfa allergies. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Sulfadimethoxine is an antimicrobial given by mouth in the form of a tablet or liquid suspension, used primarily to treat coccidiosis. Its use for treating small mammals and reptiles is off label. Common side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, and decreased appetite. This medication should not be used in pets that are allergic to it, pregnant, lactating, or have severe liver or kidney dysfunction. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.