Reptiles

Finding the Right Herp for You!

Just because most reptiles can be housed in small to medium size enclosures, does not mean that they are easier to care for than a dog or a cat.  Purchasing a reptile for companionship is a big responsibility, and should not be taken lightly.  It is recommended that you and your family research the species of reptile you are looking to add to your household BEFORE you bring him or her home.  Our veterinarians are knowledgeable in the husbandry needs of a wide variety of reptiles.  Please call if you have prepurchase questions or need help choosing the right pet to fit your lifestyle! 

Husbandry

Reptiles have VERY specific needs when it comes to their diet, enclosure, and environment.  Approximately 90% of all medical issues arising in reptiles could have been prevented by proper husbandry.  It is crucial, as a reptile owner, to have the appropriate caging, lights (heat and FULL SPECTRUM UVA/UVB lamp), temperature, and humidity.  It is also important to feed the appropriate diet depending on the species, for example most tortoises are strictly herbivores and eat only leafy greens, while red-eared sliders are omnivores and will eat both worms and veggies. 

Wellness Exams

We recommend yearly wellness exams for all reptiles.  During the exam, your veterinarian will assess your pets health and will discuss with you proper diet, enclosure, nutritional supplements (if needed), and optimal temperature/humidity ranges.  You will also receive tailored information from your veterinarian making further recommendations for your pet's health and husbandry.  Many times turtles and tortoises need beak and nail trims (as they do not wear their beaks as much as they would in the wild in captivity).  These trims can also be performed if needed at the time of your exam.  If your reptile has special needs, a trimming schedule will also be provided to you. 

Sick Pet Exams

Often times reptiles are very ill by the time they are taken to see a veterinarian. Any sign of decreased appetite, lethargy, or weight loss in these species is an indication that your reptile should be examined by a veterinarian. Waiting too long may be detrimental to the recovery of your pet.  Our hospital offers diagnostics (blood work, x-rays, and infectious agent testing), and medical treatment for all reptilian species feeling under the weather. 

Herp Informational Websites:

Melissa Kaplan's Herp Care Collection: Fantastic website for new and seasoned reptile owners with how-to instructions on enclosure design, diet, and general husbandry.

www.anaspid.org

Tortoise Trust: Great website with care sheets explaining husbandry and diet needs for a wide variety of chelonians. 

www.tortoisetrust.org

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