Lizards

Wellness Info

Post-Purchase Exam: Physical Exam, Fecal Analysis, CBC (Complete Blood Count), Disease Screens (as appropriate, including Adenovirus for Bearded Dragons)

6-Month Exam: Physical Exam, Fecal Analysis

Annual Exam: Physical Exam, Fecal Analysis, CBC/Chemistries

Geriatric Exam: Physical Exam, Fecal Analysis, CBC/Chemistries, Radiographs, Ultrasound

Emergencies

If your exotic pet is exhibiting any of the symptoms described below, contact us immediately at 843-216-8387.

Weak or unresponsive, inability to grasp, keeping eyes closed, open-mouthed breathing, tremoring or twitching, prolonged lack of appetite, vomiting or regurgitation, frantic movements, bloody droppings, prolonged straining to pass stool or egg, prolapse.

It is important to keep your reptile warm. You can soak your pet in a small amount of lukewarm water for 15-20 minutes twice daily, which may help with hydration. It is important that we examine your pet as soon as possible to correct the underlying condition.

Services

Wellness Exams, Grooming, Boarding, Microchipping, Gender Determination, Diagnostics, Spaying/Neutering

Boarding

In order for your pet to board with us we require an exam within the last year with a clean bill of health. A fecal test with no parasites seen is also required. Your pet can have no changes in health since the last examination. If your pet’s examination was done by a different veterinarian, it needs to have been within the last six months and your pet’s complete record needs to be sent to our facility several days before boarding so we can evaluate the record to ensure all testing was done to our standards.

Common Diseases/Conditions

Inappetence, Parasites, Reproductive Disease, Foreign Object Ingestion, Metabolic Issues

Adenovirus aka “Wasting Disease” or “Star Gazing”: A contagious and devastating viral disease quite prevalent among Bearded Dragons.  Infected young Beardies do not thrive, spend a lot of time hiding, and may die suddenly without any other signs.  Some adults will have compromised liver and intestines; they may become underweight and sleep a lot.  Bearded Dragons who become infected as adults may die suddenly from neurological complications, but more often will develop liver disease and other health problems. Some adult Beardies seem to be resistant to infection.  We strongly recommend screening your Bearded Dragon for Adenovirus.

CANV (Chrysosporium anamorph of Nannizziopsis vriesii), aka “Yellow Fungus Disease”: Very common in Bearded Dragons, it primarily affects the skin, but can also invade bone, joints, and internal organs.  Most affected Beardies will not survive the disease, but if diagnosed and treated early chances of survival are greater.

“Metabolic Bone Disease”: This condition usually results from a diet low in calcium/Vitamin D and inadequate access to UVB light. Inappropriate temperatures, subclinical dehydration, and liver disease which impairs Vitamin D metabolism can also play a role. Young lizards grow quickly and have a higher need for calcium than adults except for ovulatory females. Clinical signs of MBD can include spinal deformities, angular limb deformities, mandibular bowing, or pathological fractures. Lethargy and anorexia are common. Hypocalcemic tremors are rare, but are a medical emergency.

Parasites: Coccidia, pinworms, and flagellates are among the most commonly diagnosed parasites in reptiles.  They cannot be seen with the naked eye, but microscopic fecal analysis performed in our laboratory will reveal their presence and permit us to provide the appropriate treatment immediately.

Reproductive Disease: Common in female lizards, clinical signs can vary but often include decreased appetite, lethargy, and coelemic (abdominal) distention. Female lizards can ovulate and lay eggs without a male present. Often, by the time the lizard is presented to us, the disease has progressed for some time. Emergency “spay” surgery is usually curative. If you have a female lizard, you may want to consider a prophylactic “spay” to prevent these issues from occurring.

Salmonella: ALL reptiles are capable of carrying Salmonella bacteria in their intestinal tract and can intermittently or continuously shed the bacteria in their feces, so they are not suitable pets for very young children or those with compromised immune systems.  Good hygiene must always be practiced around all reptiles.

Choosing a Pet

TYPE PROS CONS

Bearded Dragon

Friendly and interactive, good “starter reptile” Eat live insects as well as vegetable matter
FYI: Need UVA and UVB light

Chameleon

Intriguing creatures Very difficult and costly to care for in captivity, very delicate and easily stressed, eat live insects
FYI: Need UVA and UVB light, special water system

Gecko

Interesting, attractive creatures Eat live prey, including worms and insects, cannot tolerate high temperatures, certain types are nocturnal
FYI: Humidity is a big issue, too little or too much can cause health problems

Iguana

Suitable pet for adults Grow very rapidly, can grow to 5 or 6 feet
FYI: Need UVA and UVB light, herbivorous

Monitor

Intelligent Can inflict painful bites, escape artists, eat live insect prey and stunned or killed rodents
FYI: Need UVA and UVB light

Skink (Blue-Tongued)

Curious, docile, easy to handle Can inflict painful bites if hungry, eat live prey, stunned or killed rodents and vegetable matter
FYI: Need UVA and UVB light

Uromastyx

Social, easy to handle Need sizable enclosure to thrive
FYI: Territorial, cannot be housed together, need UVA and UVB light, humidity is an issue, too much can cause health problems