Illness and Injury Tips

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First Aid For Reptiles: Cuts and Scrapes

The best thing you can do for an injured reptile is be sure its cage is clean (to avoid infection), warm (the high range should be around 90F) and comfortable (offering a safe, dark hiding space for the reptile).

You may want to clean or flush the wound area with dilute (0.5%) chlorhexidine diacetate, Betadine or povidone-iodine. Abcesses may be opened and flushed. Finish by applying a human triple antibiotic ointment that you can buy at the drugstore.


"Stargazing" in snakes: when they turn their heads up

If you see your snake "stargazing", or turning its head up and curling it over its back, this is a bad sign of neurological impairment. Possible causes are IBD (inclusion body disease), bacterial infection to the brain, or OPV (ophidian paramyxovirus). Get this animal to the veterinarian as soon as possible, and isolate it from the rest of your collection.

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Linda Handiak