Each week, many reptiles are brought in for consultation at the consultant centers. Land and aquatic turtles, iguanas, agamas, geckos and various snakes (snakes, pythons, boas, etc.) are the species most often encountered.
The things you should know about the medical care of reptiles is very special and it is necessary to know these animals well in order to treat them:
Knowledge of the living environment and diet of each of these species is essential for their medical care. Each has specific needs in terms of temperature, humidity, diet and environment. Their illnesses are also very often linked to living conditions (terrarium and food) poorly adapted to their needs.
The clinical examination of reptile supplies requires specific restraint and suitable equipment: it is necessary to be able to hold snakes and lizards without risks for the handler or for the animal.
It is important to know all the anatomical peculiarities of these species in order to efficiently perform blood samples, x-rays and anesthesia.
The physiological needs of reptiles justify the existence of dedicated hospital rooms, separate from dogs and cats, and equipped with adapted hospital terrariums.
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– The annual health check
There is no vaccine for reptiles. A consultation for an annual health check is therefore recommended. These regular visits are an opportunity to receive dietary advice, to check the terrarium parameters and adjust them if necessary, as well as to plan any antiparasitic treatments for your animals. They also make it possible to highlight a beginning of affection that has gone unnoticed and to carry out routine care such as filing the claws in iguanas, carapace care in turtles, etc.
– When your reptile is sick
It is advisable to consult a veterinarian quickly in the event of medical problems (noisy breathing, wheezing or open mouth, change in the appearance of droppings (diarrhea, change in color, consistency, etc.), and stop transit (constipation), reduction in appetite, weight loss, egg retention…).
If you wish, or must, identify your reptile by microchip and register it in the national exotic species file; this identification is accompanied by the drafting of a specific administrative document, often necessary for protected species in order to officially declare them to the public authorities.
-If your veterinarian has identified a problem in your reptile that requires specialist advice
Performing specific additional examinations (radiography, endoscopy, fibroscopy, ultrasound, scanner, laboratory examinations, etc.) or surgical intervention.
How does a reptile consultation work?
The different stages of consulting a reptile are:
- The collection of data relating to your animal: age, origin, sex, diet, lifestyle
- The collection of data relating to its living environment: size of the terrarium, temperature at hot and cold points, day and night temperature, heating mode, presence of UV, hygrometry, decorations and hiding places, substrate on the ground …
- The collection of medical history and data from additional examinations already carried out by your attending veterinarian if he referred your animal to us
- The assessment of symptoms through a complete clinical examination. Help is sometimes requested for the restraint of large snakes.
- Any additional examinations (blood test, x-ray, ultrasound, scanner, etc.). In each case, the indications of these examinations as well as their price are presented to you in order to carry them out with your agreement.
- The discussion with you about the diagnosis
- Explanation of treatment
- Hospitalization of your reptile if necessary (in agreement with your attending veterinarian)
- The report of the consultation to your attending veterinarian guaranteeing good continuity of care for your animal.