Reptiles & Amphibians
These are resources that relate to amphibians and reptiles.
What is the cloaca?
In our reptile patients, there is one opening to the outside world, called the cloaca (or vent). There are three body systems that feed into the cloaca- the gastrointestinal tract (coprodeum), urinary tract (urodeum), and genital tract (proctodeum). This means that this one opening excretes products from each of these body systems (eg. fecal matter, urine).
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.