Reptiles & Amphibians
These are resources that relate to amphibians and reptiles.
Enrichment is a continuously growing and evolving concept in animal care which centers around the idea of keeping captive animals stimulated in their environments by allowing them to engage in as many natural behaviors as possible and giving options on how to interact with their environment (essentially giving them choices). Enrichment is widely utilized in zoos and most commonly with large mammals; however, many other species including birds, reptiles, and small mammals are often overlooked.
“Gut loading” refers to the practice of feeding insects a nutritious diet before they are eaten by your pet. Most commercially-available prey insects are deficient in many nutrients that our insectivorous pets require. Gut loading enhances our pets’ nutrition in two ways:
Sometimes reptiles require intramuscular injections as part of their treatment protocols. Intramuscular means “in the muscle”. Reptiles have vascular and renal anatomy that differs significantly from mammals, so they must receive intramuscular injections in the proper location to work properly.
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.
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.