Health Library en Adenovirus Infection in Reptiles 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

Unfortunately, some animals may die so quickly that these clinical signs do not have a chance to develop fully. more]]> Digestive Wed, 02 Jul 2008 18:46:09 +0000 187 at
'Red-leg' Syndrome in Amphibians “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.
The reddening of the amphibian's legs and abdomen is more]]> Skin Tue, 23 Sep 2008 20:11:21 +0000 569 at
Abnormal Beak and Skull Growth in Reptiles  
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.
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

Poor beak alignment often begins when a turtle or tortoise more]]> Musculoskeletal Wed, 02 Jul 2008 18:54:04 +0000 189 at
Abnormal Skin Shedding in Reptiles  
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 more]]> Skin Tue, 25 Nov 2008 18:48:36 +0000 789 at
Amebiasis in Reptiles  
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, more]]> Digestive Wed, 01 Oct 2008 20:58:02 +0000 609 at
Diabetes Mellitus in Reptiles  
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.

Increased appetite
Increased thirst
Increased u more]]> Endocrine Mon, 28 Jul 2008 19:57:53 +0000 317 at
Ear Infections in Reptiles  
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 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

The underlying causes of aural abscesses more]]> Ears Tue, 25 Nov 2008 17:53:29 +0000 788 at
Ear Infections in Reptiles 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

The underlying causes of aural (or ear) abscesses are not completely understood, but som more]]> Ears Thu, 24 Jul 2008 15:46:26 +0000 288 at
Egg Binding in Reptiles  
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 more]]> Reproductive Tue, 25 Nov 2008 18:59:35 +0000 790 at
Gastrointestinal Tract Infection in Reptiles  
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

Lack of appetite]]> Digestive Wed, 01 Oct 2008 21:09:26 +0000 610 at
Infectious Cloacitis in Reptiles  
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 more]]> Reproductive Mon, 28 Jul 2008 20:03:34 +0000 319 at
Internal Abscesses in Reptiles  
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 more]]> Skin Mon, 28 Jul 2008 20:07:58 +0000 320 at
Intestinal Parasites in Reptiles  
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 more]]> Digestive Thu, 04 Sep 2008 21:05:30 +0000 433 at
Metabolic Bone Disease in Reptiles  
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:

Bowed legs
Hard lumps al more]]> Musculoskeletal Tue, 25 Nov 2008 19:50:52 +0000 792 at
Obesity in Amphibians 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 more]]> Digestive Mon, 22 Sep 2008 17:41:31 +0000 541 at Oral Inflammation (Mouth Rot) in Reptiles  
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 more]]> Mouth Wed, 01 Oct 2008 21:15:52 +0000 611 at
Respiratory Infections in Reptiles  
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 more]]> Respiratory Tue, 25 Nov 2008 20:07:35 +0000 793 at
Skeletal Deformity in Amphibians  
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

Amphibian more]]> Musculoskeletal Thu, 14 Aug 2008 20:01:36 +0000 404 at
Skin and Shell Infection in Reptiles  
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 more]]> Skin Mon, 24 Nov 2008 18:39:47 +0000 786 at
Stargazing Syndrome in Reptiles 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’ more]]> Neurological Fri, 18 Jul 2008 21:01:00 +0000 271 at