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Reptile Center Survival Guide

Bacterial Diseases in Reptiles



Symptoms and Types 


Bacterial diseases will generally infect the reptile, causing abscesses and ulcers in its tissues and organs. (These infections may even present pus-filled pockets in the reptile's tissues.) One such bacterial infection is mouth rot (necrotic stomatitis). It is due to Pseudomonas or Aeromonas infections and affects turtles and tortoises.


Bacterial infections of the eye are also common in all reptiles. The eye infections usually appear as swollen eyelids or small white spots in the eye's cornea; it may also develop ulcers or abscesses in the eye.


Pneumonia is another common bacterial infection in reptiles. The disease may be sudden and cause death in a few hours, or may develop over months causing chronic respiratory problems in the infected reptile.




All reptiles are susceptible to diseases due to bacterial infections. The most common reason for bacterial diseases is the weakened immunity of a reptile, usually because of sickness. These diseases can either be primary infections or secondary (opportunistic) infections.


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