reptile collage trdvm

The Town and Country Animal Hospital veterinarians and staff have years of experience in treating a variety of reptiles.

Our veterinarians and staff have years of experience in treating a variety of reptiles including snakes, geckos, iguanas, chameleons, bearded dragons, turtles, tortoises, and more.

Reptiles

Reptiles can be great pets. Some reptiles are very easy to care for while others require very specific requirements in their nutrition, lighting, humidity, and heat. It is important to discuss with a knowledgeable veterinarian prior to and after the purchase of a reptile to learn the exact care your reptile will require.

Reptile Services

  • Complete physical examinations
  • Complete blood profiles and testing
  • Fecal exams for parasites
  • Digital radiology
  • Surgery
  • Endoscopy
  • Nutritional, husbandry, and habitat consultation
  • Emergency and urgent care (during regular business hours)
  • Reptile boarding

We are aware that some pets are uncomfortable in a waiting room with other animals.

We have a large waiting room with room to separate your pet from other incoming patients, and we will work with you and your pet on an individual basis to prevent any discomfort in our reception area.

Please be sure your reptile is properly restrained in a safe carrier for transport to Town and Country Animal Hospital.


Signs that Your Reptile May Be Sick

It is extremely important to be aware of signs of illness in your reptile so that you can have your reptile treated quickly. A good knowledge of your reptile’s natural behavior as well as the nutritional and habitat requirements will help you to become a more aware owner. If you can determine that your reptile is sick early in the disease it will make it easier to treat and you will be likely to have a much better outcome than when the disease has advanced too far for treatment.

The following are a list of signs that may be seen in a sick reptile. It is always important that if you notice in change in your reptile to call and speak with one of our friendly staff members.

  • Change in drinking or eating habits
    • This can include eating more, eating less, anorexia, vomiting and/or regurgitation
  • Problems with shedding
    • This can include taking too long to shed, not shedding or incomplete shedding
  • Change in stool or urine production
    • This can include diarrhea, no stool or urine production, change in stool or urine appearance, straining to urinate or defecate, and/or increase in stool production
  • Lumps, bumps or lesions
    • This can include blisters, scabs, bruises, cuts, inflammation, tumors, redness or irritation of the skin
  • Change in general appearance
    • This can include weight loss or gain, skin color, swelling of limbs or jaw, and/or soft spots or lesions on shell
  • Change in activity level
    • This can include an increase or decrease in activity and/or hiding
  • Behavior changes
    • This can include aggression, tremors, seizures, excessive digging, and/or heat seeking
  • Unusual breathing
    • This can include open-mouth breathing, sneezing, wheezing, squeaking, excessive drooling, and/or bubble production from nostrils or mouth
  • Limping or lameness
    • This can include swelling of limbs, lethargy, unable to climb, etc. It is important to keep climbing objects out of the habitat if you believe your reptile is lame. Reptiles that are lame can easily fall from climbing objects and can incur more injuries.

Because each reptile has it’s own special dietary and husbandry needs, it is best to speak with a Town and Country Animal Hospital veterinarian to discuss what is the best for your reptile.

Below are just a few helpful tips for different species of reptiles:

Iguanas

  • Feed fresh, high quality , pesticide-free greens and chopped or grated raw vegetables
  • Offer access to fresh air and sunlight, or a UV-B generating fluorescent bulb
  • Mist twice daily with a fine spray of warm water
  • Wash hands after handling and cage cleaning
  • Disinfect sinks and tubs used to wash the iguana and its cage
  • Offer a tall cage that contains branches for climbing and basking
  • Provide temperature gradient
  • Daytime: 85-90°F with a daytime “hot spot” in the housing set at 95-100°F
  • Nighttime: 75-80°F
  • Provide a 12 hour night/day cycles
  • Do not use mirrors or reflective material in the housing area
  • Keep housing area clean and include a flooring substrate that can not be accidentally ingested such as sand or mulch
  • Do not feed meat protein such as dog food, cat food, or monkey chow
  • Do not include “hot rocks” in the housing area
  • Do not allow your iguana to sun outside in a glass inclosure, it may cause overheating
  • Do not use under cage heating pads
  • Do not allow your iguana to have free roam of the house, this can lead to injury and accidental ingestion of foreign objects or toxic materials
  • Keep your iguana away from chemical with toxic fumes such as paints, build materials, and household cleaners

Ball Pythons

  • Buy your ball python from a reputable breeder
  • After purchasing a ball python have your pet examined by a veterinarian to make sure it is healthy
    • then leave your pet in its enclosure for 1-2 weeks to acclimate to its new environment (unless it needs to be fed)
  • It is best to interact with your ball python in the evening when it is most active
  • Use a pillow case as a transport container for short trips
  • Give your ball python a large enclosure for plenty of room to move about
  • Maintain a daytime temperature of 80-85°F with a basking area of 90°F
  • Allow your ball python to have free access to fresh, clean drinking water in a bowl that is large enough for your snake to soak in
  • Maintain a high humidity level, especially during shedding
  • Use easy to clean flooring substrates such as newspaper, paper towels, Astroturf® or indoor-outdoor carpet that can not be accidentally ingested
  • Provide climbing branches and greenery for basking
  • Make sure that your snake enclosure is escape proof, do not allow your snake free roam of the house
  • Avoid offering your ball python live prey that may injure them; live mice and rats can bite your snake and cause infections
  • Do not use “hot rocks” in your snake enclosure, these products can cause thermal burns

Box Turtles

  • After purchasing your turtle, take him/her to a veterinarian for a physical exam to determine if he/she is healthy
  • Provide high quality, pesticide-free vegetable and animal sources of food
  • We recommend feeding sweet potatoes, broccoli, cantaloupe, berries, flowers (hibiscus, geraniums, nasturtiums), worms, slugs, crickets, grasshoppers, and chopped pinkie mice
  • Avoid feeding foods that contain few nutrients such a iceberg lettuce
  • Feed young turtles daily
  • Feed adults less often and smaller quantities of animal protein
  • Do not feed your turtle dog food, it does not contain the right balance of protein and fats
  • If housing outside, make sure that the fence is recessed into the ground at least 2 inches to protect from digging out
  • Keep the enclosure temperature at 80°F during the day and 65°F at night
  • Allow your turtle to have land and water areas in its enclosure; for the land area use 2-3 inches of sterile potting soil with finely shredded orchid bark
  • Provide direct outdoor sun or full-spectrum lighting indoors for 14 hours a day
  • Prevent direct contact with heat or light sources, this can cause thermal burns
  • Provide a basking area that is heated with a radiant heat source such as a heat lamp, never use “hot rocks”
  • Provide a sleeping area/hiding area such as a three sided box or flower pot on its side
  • Avoid using flooring substrates that can be accidentally ingested such as sand, aquarium or pea gravel, ground corn cobs, walnut shells, wood shavings or chips, or artificial grasses
  • Do not allow your turtle to have free roam of the house, this can lead to injuries and accidental ingestion of toxic materials

Bearded Dragons

  • Quarantine new dragons in a separate location of the house for 3-6 months before introducing them to other dragons
  • If you are housing more than one dragon in an enclosure, make sure that they are approximately the same size with plenty of space to move about and watch for signs of fighting and/or stress
  • Provide a temperature gradient in enclosures from an area that is 70°F to a hot basking area that is 95°F
  • Provide exposure to unfiltered sunlight or commercial full-spectrum fluorescent blubs
  • Allow supervised time outside when the temperature is above 70°F with access to shade and water
  • Provide a large enclosure with smooth sides to prevent scratches and thick climbing branches or rocks
  • Provide a large, shallow water tray for soaking
  • Provide easy access to fresh food and water
  • Provide acceptable flooring substrates such as newspaper, alfalfa pellets, cypress mulch, organic recycled cellulose fiber; do not use kitty litter, sand, gravel, corn cob, walnut shell, or wood shavings
  • Provide hiding areas such as a cardboard box or plant pot
  • Do not place toxic live plants in the enclosure
  • Do not allow free roam in the house, this can lead to injuries or ingestions of toxic or foreign materials
  • Do not house adults with hatchlings, adults may eat the hatchlings
  • Do not allow direct contact with heating or lighting elements
  • Do not feed lightning bugs
  • Feed your dragon in the morning and offer both live prey and salads
    • live prey may consist of crickets, superworms, mealworms, wax worms, locusts and pinkie mice depending on the size of your dragon
    • salads may consist of chopped mixes of a variety of greens including romaine, dandelion, turnip greens, mustard greens, beet greens, kale, collards, bok choy, Swiss chard, escarole, spinach, and cilantro
    • vegetables can comprise up to 20% of the diet and can include squash, zucchini, sweet potato, broccoli, peas, beans, okra, and grated carrots
    • fruits can comprise up to 5% of the diet and can include papaya, melon, and banana
  • Treats may consist of flower blossoms and infrequent small amounts of dog food

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If you have any questions or concerns about your reptile please call and speak to one of our caring staff members or veterinarians.