People with limited living quarters may find that reptiles such as lizards or turtles fit perfectly into their lifestyles. Before deciding on a reptile, learn as much as possible about them and their needs. Poisonous snakes and certain reptiles should never be kept as pets. Ask your veterinarian about the suitability of a particular animal before you make your decision. There are many things to consider before committing to a reptile as a pet.
Finding out if a Pet is Legal Where You Live
Many areas have enacted laws pertaining to keeping reptiles. Some are general and some are quite specific; in many places any reptiles that are considered dangerous (venomous snakes, alligators, etc.) are illegal but some places are even more restrictive (for example, in some states all consticting snakes including ball pythons are illegal).
Salmonella Risks and Prevention
All reptile owners need to be informed about Salmonella infections. While the risks shouldn't keep most people from keeping reptiles since with the proper management the risks are minimal. Still, owners should be aware of the risks, and the US Centers for Disease Control recommends that certain risk groups should be careful about contact with reptiles and amphibians.
The Importance of Light and Heat
Many problems with keeping reptiles can be traced back to not providing the proper environmental conditions, particularly heat. Proper lighting is also important for many reptiles. The equipment to provide the proper heat and light to captive reptiles is often quite expensive, but is absolutely essential to keeping pet reptiles healthy. It is important to find out exactly what conditions your reptile needs and never cut corners when it comes to meeting those conditions!
Why Choose Captive Bred Reptiles
There are numerous reasons why you should pick a captive bred reptile if at all possible, as explained here.
How to Pick a Healthy Reptile
It is important to keep in mind that depending on where you get a reptile, it may be very stressed, dehydrated, and prone to illness. Here are some items to look for when buying your reptile to increase the chances of picking out a healthy pet reptile.
While there are many types of reptiles that could be good pets, here we cover a few you could consider.
Lyme Disease & Your Pets
How to Prevent and Remove Ticks Lyme disease is a top concern for dog owners who enjoy walking with their dog in grassy and wooded areas. Transmitted by deer ticks, Lyme disease can result in fever, joint lameness, fatigue, and general discomfort for your pet. While treatment is available, Lyme diseaseRead more
Leptospirosis is a re-emerging disease. This bacterial disease most commonly causes liver and kidney problems in dogs, but can also cause lung, pancreas, and eye symptoms. It is a zoonotic disease, meaning it can be transferred from animals to people, in fact, it is the most common zoonotic disease inRead more
Is Your Pet In Pain?
There are signs to look for when your pet is experiencing pain. Together you and your veterinarian can identify and help your pet with pain that may be present. The issue of pain in animals is so critical that the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) teamed up with the American Association ofRead more
Is My Dog Sick?
Identifying the signs of sickness in a dog can be challenging, even for the most vigilant pet owners. Since a sick dog is unable to verbally communicate what hurts, pet owners must pay close attention to identify the signs of illness. Subtle changes in behavior or appetite may be symptomatic of an underlyingRead more
Helping Dogs with Low Vision or Blindness
As veterinary medicine advances, dogs are living longer and longer. With advancing age, more geriatric diseases are becoming prevalent. Problems with vision, such as cataracts, glaucoma, and keratitis, are common. Many of these problems occur so gradually that some people don't know they have a blindRead more
H1N1 or Swine Flu Virus
The H1N1 or swine flu epidemic has many people concerned. It certainly holds the potential for severe, worldwide disease in humans. Currently, most cases in the U.S. have not been as serious as in other countries. Flu viruses commonly mutate though, and even a small mutation could increase the pathogenicityRead more
Glaucoma in Pets: What You Need to Know
Glaucoma is typically a disease affecting middle- age to older pets. The symptoms can be very insidious in that they may not be noticeable at first, but eventually you may see a red eye or a dilated pupil, and ultimately, as the disease progresses, you can see that the eyeball is larger than normal. GlaucomaRead more
Don't Sneeze at Pet's Cold or Flu-Like Symptoms - Get to Your Vet
On February 14, 2011 IDEXX Research Laboratories confirmed that the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus was present in two cats from the same Wisconsin home. The cats were treated at an emergency veterinary hospital for severe respiratory distress. The owner of the cats had been experiencing flu-like symptoms. TheRead more
Evaluation and Diagnosis of a Red Eye in Dogs
Dogs occasionally develop a red eye. The redness may be in the white of the eye, in the clear part of the eye called the cornea, or within the eyeball. There are many causes of a red eye, but all ocular diseases should always be considered an urgent matter, and be checked immediately by a veterinarian. Evaluation ARead more
Ear Problems for Pets
Symptoms of ear disease are shaking the head, scratching at the ears, discharge from the ear canal, odor from the ear, or redness of the ear flap or entrance to the ear canal. Your pet may be tilting their head to one side although it's important to point out that there are causes for this other thanRead more
Dog Allergies and Lesion Locations
Dogs are taken to the veterinarian for skin problems more than any other reason. Most often they are itchy and that itchiness is typically due to allergies. The text of canine and feline dermatological diseases is large because there are hundreds of skin diseases, however, it can help to start with someRead more
Canine Lyme Disease
There are several options for protecting dogs against canine Lyme disease. One option is vaccination, which may be the best choice for pets who live in an endemic area. Annual vaccination is an affordable means of protecting pets against this disease, which can have serious health implications. SomeRead more
Canine Juvenile Orthopedic Diseases
Puppies are happy and full of energy, running, wrestling, and playing so much that we often wish we had that much energy! But when that puppy is not happy, when it is lethargic and limping, then a visit to the veterinarian is in order. There are several orthopedic diseases that affect young dogs. OsteochondrosisRead more
Canine Hip Dysplasia: Causes & Treatment
Canine hip dysplasia is the abnormal formation of the hip joint and one of the leading causes of rear leg lameness in dogs. Hip dysplasia is most prevalent in larger breed dogs, especially German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Labradors, Saint Bernards and Rottweilers. On the other hand, hip dysplasiaRead more
Cancer in Pocket Pets
A tumor (also known as neoplasm) is an abnormal growth of cells; this growth may be either benign or malignant. Benign tumors do not spread throughout the body and often have a limited impact on a pet’s overall health. Malignant tumors can develop in one location, such as a hormone-producing gland,Read more
Addison's Disease in Dogs
Addison's disease is an endocrine disorder where the adrenal glands, near the kidneys, fail to produce enough hormones. This disease is relatively uncommon (approximately one case per 3000 dogs) but it is more common in dogs than humans. It is very rare in cats. The common symptoms of Addison's areRead more