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Reptile’s diseases in captivity:

First, before acquiring a reptile, it is good to document and have several sources of infor- mation. Indeed, most diseases are due to maintenance problems. Moreover, depending on your region, it is sometimes difficult to find a specialist veterinarian who can properly treat your reptile.

Skin diseases:

Reptile skin can be infested with external parasites, which can cause infections. For example, ticks or aoutats can be observed, or cutaneous nodules that shelter larvae and worms. In these cases, consult a veterinarian. Avoid as much as possible animals collec- ted in nature that are often carriers of these parasites.

Turtles are also frequently infested with myases (development of fly larvae in the skin tis- sue) and leeches (mainly parasitizing aquatic turtles).

Finally, snakes sometimes can have a mite called Ophionyssus natricis. This mite there is the plague of reptile breeders, because often when we see it, it is too late and we are al- ready infected. Some breeders use anti-parasities for dogs or cats, but these are not sui- table for our reptiles. We prefer a more natural method. Taurrus is a substrate mixed with ophionyssus natricis-eating mites. Thus, they are harmless to our animals and destroy everything, even the mite larvae. (Link taures e-shop).

Bacterial diseases:

These can cause ulcers. This mainly affects turtles. SCUD (Septicemic Cutaneous Ulcera- tive Disease) is a disease caused by a bacterium normally present in the digestive flora. This bacterium, Citrobacter freundii, causes skin disorders by contaminating wounds. This disease mainly affects aquatic species (especially soft-shell turtles). We then observe ge- neral disorders (anorexia, depression) associated with skin symptoms, death occurs quick- ly by sepsis.

Other bacterial infections cause skin disorders. Bacterias are associated with Citrobacter freundii or not.

For example, bacteria include Aeromonas hydrophila (hemorrhagic skin lesions or septi- cemic form), Pseudomonas, Staphylococci, Proteus… Finally, fungi (Aspergillus fungi, Mi- crosporum, etc.) can also be associated with bacteria during these skin ulcers, but they are mainly opportunistic infestations.

In case of injur or ailments, consult your veterinarian as soon as possible for the welfare

of your animal.

Reptiles can have salmonella on their skin without symptoms. These bacteria can be transmitted to humans. So, be sure to wash your hands after handling your reptile.

Moisture dermatitis/ Blister disease or blister disease:

With snakes or lizards, this disease causes blisters between the keratin and the germ layer of the scales, most of the time on the ventral. These blisters usually contain sterile liquid, but contamination occurs if they break out. They then have pustules or ulcers in the most severe forms.

Softening of the shell of turtles:

There is sometimes a softening of turtle scales, due to insufficient lighting or heating or a food imbalance (excess phosphorus or calcium or vitamin D deficiency). The carapace can also deform due to osteoarthritis, as well as their jaws or the limbs of certain lizards.

Skin diseases are very common in reptiles. If your reptile has skin symptoms such as it- ching, skin abrasions, blisters. It would be prudent to consult your veterinarian to find the cause of these symptoms. But, if all the conditions for maintaining your reptile are met, there should be no special problems.

Moulting problems (dysecdysis):

Difficult moults are common and are usually related to insufficient moisture in the living space of your reptiles, or to the absence of objects or surfaces on which they can often rub to remove exuvia, from the head to the tail. Normally, this one comes off in one piece.

Sometimes, a bad moult will be the result of another pathology: dermatitis, scar, mites…). If you have this problem, place your snake in warm water to help it moult. Then, scratch with your fingers or with a molting scraper (link e-shop).

Reptiles in captivity:

It is important to know that, regardless of species, they are wild and non-domestic animals. Whatever the species, the reptile does not tame itself, and these animals are rather inde- pendent and never seek the presence of the human, it tolerates it.

In addition, the care for keeping a healthy reptile in captivity is more restrictive than our pets. The equipment will be the key to the proper maintenance of your reptile. Whether for a small reptile or a large one, the equipment is similar: terrarium with a suitable size, source of heat, hiding places, bowl of water…

Respiratory diseases or deep respiratory tract diseases:

With reptiles, it is a veterinary emergency

The origin of pneumopathy will not be the priority, the urgency will be to help him breathe and fight this disease.

Then you have to find the origin and also assess the risk of contagiousness, because the risk can be high depending on the strain.

We can mention bacterial, viral, parasitic but also fungal origins.

How to recognize a pneumopathy: the reptile keeps his mouth open, his head raised trying to look for air and putting his forelimbs in motion. Drool or more severe stench and blood can be observed. The prognosis is generally unfortunately quite bleak. It will be necessary

to go as soon as possible to the veterinarian so that the animal receives antibiotics or a suitable treatment. Often, inadequate heat is the source (cold blow), but sometimes other underlying diseases may be the cause.

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