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Reptile advice: common conditions you can prevent

We’ll help you look out for everyday ailments and understand how to treat them

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Getting under your reptile's skin

Like all pets, reptiles can sometimes develop conditions that are easily prevented – if you know how. For instance, most reptiles shed their skin, but if it doesn’t shed completely, it could indicate your pet is under stress or there are problems with its vivarium or diet. Take care to keep them in the correct conditions and remember, don’t try and pull off the shedding skin. In minor cases, a warm bath should do the trick. In more serious cases, give Vets4Pets a call.
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It’s completely normal for reptiles to carry a few parasites, but if they start to get out of hand, it could mean that your pet is stressed or ill. Make sure you keep its everyday environment nice and clean as that will help control parasite numbers. You should also ask your vet to test for parasites every year in order to nip problems in the bud.

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Metabolic bone disease

Early signs of this condition include softening of the bones, swollen joints or, in turtles, abnormal shell growth. Advanced signs including tremors, broken bones and general weakness. It’s caused by dietary deficiency of a lack of ultraviolet light, so make sure your pet gets a well-balanced diet with correct lighting. If you spot the symptoms, contact your vet.

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Just like humans, constipation can occur when something else is wrong with your reptile. For example, reptiles often consume materials along with their food that pass through normally, but can occasionally cause a blockage. The wrong temperature can also cause digestion problems. Contact your vet to clear the constipation, and take a look at your pet’s diet and environment to stop it happening again.