http://www.petmd.com/reptile/health/rss Health Library en Adenovirus Infection in Reptiles http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/digestive/c_rp_Adenoviruses Many different types of viruses can cause disease in reptiles, but the adenovirus is of particular concern to owners of bearded dragons. Other reptiles, including some snake and lizard species, can also be infected, but young bearded dragons are the most susceptible.
 
Symptoms and Types
Typical symptoms of adenovirus infection include:
 

Weight loss
Diarrhea
Weakness
Depression

 
Unfortunately, some animals may die so quickly that these clinical signs do not have a chance to develop fully.
  ...read more]]>
http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/digestive/c_rp_Adenoviruses#comments Digestive Wed, 02 Jul 2008 18:46:09 +0000 187 at http://www.petmd.com
'Red-leg' Syndrome in Amphibians http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/skin/c_rp_am_red_leg “Red-leg” syndrome is a widespread infection seen in frogs, toads, and salamanders. It is recognized by the redness on the underside of the amphibian's legs and abdomen, and is generally due to Aeromonas hydrophila, an opportunistic bacterial pathogen. However, viruses and fungi may also cause similar reddening. Underfed, newly acquired amphibians that are kept in poor-quality water or other less-than-ideal environmental conditions are particularly susceptible to “red-leg” syndrome.
 
Symptoms
 
The reddening of the amphibian's legs and abdomen is ...read more]]>
http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/skin/c_rp_am_red_leg#comments Skin Tue, 23 Sep 2008 20:11:21 +0000 569 at http://www.petmd.com
Abnormal Beak and Skull Growth in Reptiles http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/musculoskeletal/c_rp_bone_and_muscle_disorders  
Turtles and tortoises do not have teeth, but instead grab and chew their food using the sharp edges of their beaks. If an animal’s beak becomes overgrown or does not wear properly, it may have difficulty eating.
 
Symptoms
 
Signs of abnormal beak growth include:
 

Overgrown upper beak
Upper and lower beaks that do not meet evenly
Difficulty grabbing, chewing and/or swallowing food

 
Causes
 
Poor beak alignment often begins when a turtle or tortoise ...read more]]>
http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/musculoskeletal/c_rp_bone_and_muscle_disorders#comments Musculoskeletal Wed, 02 Jul 2008 18:54:04 +0000 189 at http://www.petmd.com
Abnormal Skin Shedding in Reptiles http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/skin/c_rp_disecdysis  
Abnormal skin shedding, or disecdysis, is one of the most common health problems affecting pet reptiles. Some species of snakes and lizards shed their entire skin in a single complete piece, while other reptiles shed their skin in patches. In all cases, however, once the process is complete, the reptile should be completely covered in a fresh, new layer of skin.
 
Symptoms and Types
 
After an incomplete shed, pieces of old skin often remain attached around the toes and tail, or over the surface of the eye. Bands of unshed skin may act as a tourniquet and caus ...read more]]>
http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/skin/c_rp_disecdysis#comments Skin Tue, 25 Nov 2008 18:48:36 +0000 789 at http://www.petmd.com
Amebiasis in Reptiles http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/digestive/c_rp_amebiasis  
Amebiasis is one of the most serious diseases in reptiles. Due to an infection with the protozoan microorganism Entamoeba invadens, amebiasis, if not treated in time, this disease can even be fatal in some reptiles.
 
Meat-eating reptiles are more prone to amebiasis than plant-eating reptiles. Among these, carnivorous snakes, including vipers, rattlesnakes, bushmasters, boas, garter snakes, water snakes, colubrids and elapids, are more susceptible to the disease than their turtle or lizard counterparts. However, there are some reptiles -- garter snakes, ...read more]]>
http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/digestive/c_rp_amebiasis#comments Digestive Wed, 01 Oct 2008 20:58:02 +0000 609 at http://www.petmd.com
Diabetes Mellitus in Reptiles http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/endocrine/c_rp_diabetes_mellitus  
Reptiles suffer from hormonal disorders, although rather infrequently. But one of the most common hormonal disorders for reptiles is Diabetes Mellitus, usually occurring in turtle and tortoises. It affects the reptile's adrenal glands, causing them to secrete less insulin or rendering the insulin inactive in the blood. Much like humans, insulin is needed by the reptile to keep the sugar levels in the blood (blood glucose) at a normal range.
 
Symptoms
 

Increased appetite
Increased thirst
Increased u ...read more]]>
http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/endocrine/c_rp_diabetes_mellitus#comments Endocrine Mon, 28 Jul 2008 19:57:53 +0000 317 at http://www.petmd.com
Ear Infections in Reptiles http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/ears/c_rp_aural_abscesses  
Turtles, especially box turtles and aquatic species, are at risk for developing ear infections. If the infection leads to the development of pus and the pus becomes trapped underneath the reptile's eardrum, aural abscesses can occur
 
Symptoms
 
Symptoms of aural abscesses include:
 

Swelling or bulging of the ear drum
The presence of thick pus behind the ear drum
Pain when the animal opens its mouth
Loss of appetite

 
Causes
 
The underlying causes of aural abscesses ...read more]]>
http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/ears/c_rp_aural_abscesses#comments Ears Tue, 25 Nov 2008 17:53:29 +0000 788 at http://www.petmd.com
Ear Infections in Reptiles http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/ears/c_rp_ear_infections Turtles, especially box turtles and aquatic species, are at risk for developing ear infections. Because a turtle’s eardrum is located on the outer surface of its head, infection is trapped underneath the membrane and forms an abscess.
 
Symptoms and Types
 

Swelling or bulging of the ear drum
Thick pus may be visible through the ear drum
Pain when the mouth is opened
Unwillingness to eat

 
Causes
 
The underlying causes of aural (or ear) abscesses are not completely understood, but som ...read more]]>
http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/ears/c_rp_ear_infections#comments Ears Thu, 24 Jul 2008 15:46:26 +0000 288 at http://www.petmd.com
Egg Binding in Reptiles http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/reproductive/c_rp_dystocia  
Female egg-laying reptiles can produce eggs even when a male is not present, so all females are at risk of being unable to pass an egg that has formed, a condition known as egg binding. Species that produce live young can also have difficulty giving birth, also known as dystocia.
 
Symptoms and Types
 
Females that are struggling to pass their eggs or give birth often act restless and repeatedly attempt to find places to dig. Straining and a swollen cloaca -- the common chamber into which the intestinal and urogenital tracts discharge -- may also be observed. As ...read more]]>
http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/reproductive/c_rp_dystocia#comments Reproductive Tue, 25 Nov 2008 18:59:35 +0000 790 at http://www.petmd.com
Gastrointestinal Tract Infection in Reptiles http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/digestive/c_rp_cryptosporidiosis  
Protozoa cause many infectious diseases in reptiles, one of which is a very serious parasitic infection called Cryptosporidiosis. This protozoan infection increases the thickness of the intestinal and stomach inner linings, thereby reducing their ability to function properly. Lizards are generally infected in the intestines, while in snakes the infection is found in the gastrointestinal tract. Unfortunately, cryptosporidiosis is untreatable in reptiles.
 
Symptoms and Types
 

Vomiting
Diarrhea
Lack of appetite]]>
http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/digestive/c_rp_cryptosporidiosis#comments Digestive Wed, 01 Oct 2008 21:09:26 +0000 610 at http://www.petmd.com
Infectious Cloacitis in Reptiles http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/reproductive/c_rp_infectious_cloacitis  
In reptiles, the ends of the digestive, urinary, and reproductive tract combine to form a common chamber and a single opening to the external environment. This structure is called the cloaca or vent. A reptile’s cloaca can become infected and inflamed, a condition known as cloacitis.
 
Symptoms and Types
 
Symptoms of cloacitis include:
 

Swollen tissue around the vent
Bloody discharge from the cloaca

 
Cloacal infections can spread to other regions of the body (e.g. into internal organs or under ...read more]]>
http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/reproductive/c_rp_infectious_cloacitis#comments Reproductive Mon, 28 Jul 2008 20:03:34 +0000 319 at http://www.petmd.com
Internal Abscesses in Reptiles http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/skin/c_rp_internal_abscesses  
An abscess is a pocket in the skin or membrane, usually filled with pus. It can happen anywhere in the reptile's body, but those which are found under the skin (subcutaneous abscesses) are the easiest to identify.
 
Symptoms and Types
 
As stated earlier, abscesses are filled with pus. Because of this, the area around the abscess may show redness or irritation. And the reptile may even scratch at it because of the discomfort.
 
In snakes, the pus is not liquid, like in other animals, but rather of a cheesy consistency. Due to the thi ...read more]]>
http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/skin/c_rp_internal_abscesses#comments Skin Mon, 28 Jul 2008 20:07:58 +0000 320 at http://www.petmd.com
Intestinal Parasites in Reptiles http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/digestive/c_rp_worms  
Intestinal parasites can be a serious problem for all pet reptiles, as many reptiles captured from the wild often already have parasites. Captive-bred reptiles, in particular, become parasitized through contact with other reptiles or contaminated objects and environments, or by eating infected food items. Reptile parasites reproduce rapidly and can cause devastating illness and quickly spread throughout an entire collection.
 
Worms are one of the most common intestinal parasites. Among reptiles, the most common infections are roundwo ...read more]]>
http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/digestive/c_rp_worms#comments Digestive Thu, 04 Sep 2008 21:05:30 +0000 433 at http://www.petmd.com
Metabolic Bone Disease in Reptiles http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/musculoskeletal/c_rp_hyperparathyroidism  
Reptiles that eat primarily insects or plants are at risk for developing metabolic bone disease, which is caused by an imbalance in the levels of calcium, phosphorous, and vitamin D in their bodies. Snakes and other carnivorous reptiles that are fed whole prey generally get enough calcium and vitamin D in their diets, and metabolic bone disease is rarely a problem for them.
 
Symptoms and Types
 
Typical symptoms of metabolic bone disease include:
 

Limping
Bowed legs
Hard lumps al ...read more]]>
http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/musculoskeletal/c_rp_hyperparathyroidism#comments Musculoskeletal Tue, 25 Nov 2008 19:50:52 +0000 792 at http://www.petmd.com
Obesity in Amphibians http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/digestive/c_rp_am_obesity Generally referred to as obesity, excess body weight is as much a problem in amphibians as it is in humans. This nutritional disorder puts a strain on and taxes many of the body organs, even resulting in death in severe cases. And while obesity is more common in large amphibians, such as the South American horned frogs, Barred Tiger Salamander, and Eastern Tiger Salamander, it occurs because amphibians in captivity will continue to consume prey made available, without regard for their energy needs. Therefore, this disorder can easily be rectified with a stable, species-specific diet (c ...read more]]> http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/digestive/c_rp_am_obesity#comments Digestive Mon, 22 Sep 2008 17:41:31 +0000 541 at http://www.petmd.com Oral Inflammation (Mouth Rot) in Reptiles http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/mouth/c_rp_infectious_stomatitis  
Sometimes referred to as mouth rot, infectious stomatitis is a very common disorder that can affect pet lizards, snakes, and turtles. When a reptile is under stress, its immune system becomes weak and unable to keep the bacteria that are normally present in the mouth in check. The resulting infection leads to mouth rot.
 
Symptoms and Types
 
Signs of mouth rot can include:
 

Loss of appetite
Reddened oral tissues
Thick pus and/or dead tissue within the mouth
Drainage from the mouth ...read more]]>
http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/mouth/c_rp_infectious_stomatitis#comments Mouth Wed, 01 Oct 2008 21:15:52 +0000 611 at http://www.petmd.com
Respiratory Infections in Reptiles http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/skin/c_rp_pneumonia  
Pneumonia and most other respiratory infections in reptiles are caused by bacteria. In some cases, however, viruses, fungal infections, or parasites may be to blame. Treatment varies depending on the microorganism involved, so take your pet to an experienced reptile veterinarian for diagnosis if it begins to exhibit signs of a respiratory infection.
 
Symptoms and Types
 
Typical symptoms of a respiratory infection include:
 

Difficulty breathing
Mouth held open while breathing
Unusual wheezes, crackles, or other ...read more]]>
http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/skin/c_rp_pneumonia#comments Respiratory Tue, 25 Nov 2008 20:07:35 +0000 793 at http://www.petmd.com
Skeletal Deformity in Amphibians http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/musculoskeletal/c_rp_am_metabolic_bone  
Metabolic bone disease develops in amphibians as a result of deficiencies of vitamin D, calcium or phosphorus. Vitamin D, specifically, is essential as it controls the absorption and metabolism of calcium, and an imbalance can cause problems in the animal's bones and cartilages.
 
Symptoms and Types
 

Bone fractures (due to reduced bone density)
Curved spine (scoliosis)
Deformed lower jaw
Bloating and muscular spasms, in severe cases

 
Causes
 
Amphibian ...read more]]>
http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/musculoskeletal/c_rp_am_metabolic_bone#comments Musculoskeletal Thu, 14 Aug 2008 20:01:36 +0000 404 at http://www.petmd.com
Skin and Shell Infection in Reptiles http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/skin/c_rp_skin_shell_infections  
Symptoms and Types
 
Skin and shell infections in reptiles have many different names depending on their location and characteristics:
 

Cavities containing pus in or under the skin are called abscesses.
Fluid-filled pockets within the skin are the hallmarks of blister disease.
If the blisters rup ...read more]]>
http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/skin/c_rp_skin_shell_infections#comments Skin Mon, 24 Nov 2008 18:39:47 +0000 786 at http://www.petmd.com
Stargazing Syndrome in Reptiles http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/neurological/c_rp_stargazing_syndrome Stargazing describes an unusual body position that is seen in some reptiles, especially snakes, which suffer from a disease or injury that inhibits the normal function of the central nervous system (i.e., the brain and spinal cord). This, in turn, causes the affected reptiles to twist their heads and necks and look upwards towards the sky. Stargazing is not a disease in and of itself, but is a symptom of other disorders, the most important of which is a viral infection of boa constrictors and pythons called inclusion body disease.
 
Symptoms and Types
 
A stargazer’ ...read more]]>
http://www.petmd.com/reptile/conditions/neurological/c_rp_stargazing_syndrome#comments Neurological Fri, 18 Jul 2008 21:01:00 +0000 271 at http://www.petmd.com