Exotics - Reptiles 1

pbhati17's version from 2017-02-08 00:51

Reptile Hx & Physical Exam (HTRS = Helpful Things Rush Said)

Question Answer
What are some questions you should ask about environmental Hx?Enclosure security
Hide box
Reptiles & Amphibians are "extotherms," which influences their... (What body stuff?)Metabolism
Immune system
What are the average temperature ranges for day & night, for TEMPERATE & DESERT reptiles?TEMPERATE DAY: 80-90⁰F
(*there might be species differences outside of these ranges)
Humidity is important for reptiles. How can you measure the humidity & what are the needed humidity ranges for sub-tropical, temperate & desert reptiles?Measure humidity w/ a HYGROMETER
Subtropical humidity: 70-90%
Temperate: 60-80%
Desert: 30-50%
What are some problems that can occur if the humidity is too low?Dehydration
Dysecdysis (difficult shedding)
leading to toe necrosis/restriction
What kinda substrate is a big no-no?CEDAR & PINE SHAVINGS ARE A NO-NO! There are aromatic oils which hurt resp & are toxic & potentially carcinogenic
HTRS: Which type of material that enclosures can be made out of is particularly problematic, especially w/ iguanas?WIRE ENCLOSURES! Iguanas hang their toes in there & the wire can cut their toes etc when theyre big & weigh a lot. Also the wire can heat up from the lights & get too hot & possibly burn the critters
What are some techniques you can use to ↑ the humidity?Soak pans
Spray bottles
Bottle containers
Live plants
(Caution: make sure plants aren't toxic to your animal)
What is a POTZ? How do you establish a POTZ? (Examples)"Preferred Optimal Temperature Zone." There are 2 different kinds of sources of heat:
(1) RADIANT heat: bulbs/ceramic
(2) SURFACE heaters: heat pads (NOT HOT ROCKS FOR THE LOVE OF GOD)
What are some tools you can use to measure temperature/ambient enviro of tank & what must you keep in mind about these tools for measuring?Thermometer for temp & hygrometer for humidity... you must keep in mind the LOCATION IN THE TANK of these tools... put it where the animal is usually hanging out so you know the actual temp... & 1 in the cold end & 1 in the hot end!
Which heating product should you never use?HEAT ROCKS ARE DEATH ROCKS. BIG NONONONONO. They short out, get too hot & burn your reptile (don't know better when to move bc move based on core temp & these are so hot that they burn skin before the core temp rises)
What must you know about the lighting requirements of reptiles?They need FULL SPECTRUM! That is UVA & UVB!!
What do reptiles specifically need UVB?Reptiles undergo "cutaneous photolysis" in which they use the UVB to take 7 dehydrocholesterol (preVitamin D3) & convert it into the Vitamin D they need. If they don't get this, they'll get metabolic bone dz (aka 2° hyperparathyroidism)
How should you position the bulb for a reptile enclosure? How long should you run the light? How often should you change the blub?You would position the bulb 6-18"s away from the top (depending on the bulb, read the box) & NOT SHINING THROUGH GLASS (glass will block the UVA & UVB). You should have the light on a 12-14 hour photo-period (depending on season). Also, you should change the bulb EVERY 6 MONTHS, EVEN IF IT ISN'T BURNED OUT (the UV effects wear out)
What should you base your substrate choice/depth around?The BH of the animal! Also: If they can eat it, don't get it!
Pros & cons of sphagnum mossPro: keep your air moist & warm. Con: Yeast likes moist & warm
What should you know about aromatic substrate?DANGEROUS. Don’t do it
Name off some various types of substratePaper
What are the major benefits of cage furniture?(1) REDUCE STRESS (stress can cz immunocompromise, esp. in exotics)
(2) Provides shelter
(3) assists w/ shedding (something for them to rub up on).
Cage furniture should be chosen based on animal's needs. Name some types of reptiles which would need different cage furnitureIs the pet arboreal (lives in trees)? Is it terrestrial (lives on ground)? Is fossorial (likes to burrow under stuff)?
HTRS: Driftwood is awesome for cage furniture!Hooray!
What must you be careful about w/ cage furniture (sanitation related)THAT FURNITURE STAYS w/ THAT REPTILE! Don’t give furniture to different reptile, might transmit dzs.
What are 3 things you must do/consider for your sanitation regimen?(1) REMOVE FECAL MATERIAL REGULARLY (duh)
(2) Exchange substrate on a regular basis
(3) Disinfect things
What can you use to disinfect the case/furniture what? What must you keep in mind while doing this?REMOVE ANIMAL FROM CAGE WHILE DISINFECTING!
Can use:
Trifectant (Vetoquinol, also sold as Virkon)
If your setup inclds an AQUATIC environment, what 8 things must you keep in mind?Chlorine content
RO (reverse osmosis)
Water quality parameter checks should be done regularly
If you have an aquatic setup, what are 4 types of filtration systems you can consider?Mechanical
Ozone/UV sterilizer
What might you be concerned about if you are using a biological filter?↑er risk for:
When would you want to use an ozone/UV sterilizer?For larger systems
For LIZARDS, what should the size of the enclosure be?WIDTH should be 50% of the animals length
LENGTH should be 2xs the animals length.
For SNAKES, should the size of the enclosure be? What else should you make sure w/ the enclosure?SNAKES ARE ESCAPE ARTISTS-make sure the cage is THOROUGHLY secured. The perimeter of the tank should be 2xs the length of the snakes body.
HTRS: If you're worried about snakes biting you when feeding them in the cage, what is a super awesome solution?Have a door you use exclusively for feeding them through & the other door you do everything else through. They know where the food comes out then.
Chelonians incld what animals?Tortoises, Turtles & Terrapins


Question Answer
What are some problems (& their sequelae) czd by an enclosure being too small? How can you prevent the problems czd by an enclosure being too small?It can lead to ROSTRAL ABRASIONS, which if they get infected, can lead to osteomyelitis. PREVENTION can be obtained by reducing visuals (w/ lighting, covering class, or making break patterns in the glass)
Inappropriate POTZ (preferred optimal temperature zone) → too cold: This can lead to what problems? What are some of the Txs for these problems?It can lead to hypothermia & anorexia & it can cz them to be IMMUNOCOMPROMSED → abscess formation. You treat these abscesses w/ removal, culture, antimicrobials & supportive care
HTRS: Why can you only remove abscesses & not drain them?Bc reptiles lack the enzyme to liquefy caseous material, so they are dry & hard & need to be manually removed
Inappropriate POTZ (preferred optimal temperature zone) → AKA inappropriate ETR (what does this stand for?) TOO HOT: what happens & what are the sequelae? How do you treat?ETR = environmental temperature range. When it gets too hot they can get hyperthermia & if it is a heating element which was the problem (ESP A HOT ROCK,) they can get thermal burns. If this happens you must treat contaminated wounds, use antimicrobials (local & systemic) & use supportive care
Housing considerations → animal density. What did she caution w/ this?Do not maintain multiple animals together
What should you know about live prey feeding?(1) Ethical considerations-the prey doesnt have a chance
(2) Danger to the reptile-a not-hungry snake wont eat live prey & the live prey will eat IT (see pic of snake w/ all its skin eaten off). Look into pre-kill methods
What happens if the water quality is poor due to poor filtration?Can lead to contamination (↑ microbe count), ↑ ammonia & pH fluctuations
What should you know about turtle shells?THEY ARE BONE. If they get infected (say, from poor water quality) they have an OSTEOMYELITIS!! BAD NEWS!
What is the 1 omnivorous reptile?Box turtles
What are the 2 insectivorous reptiles?Chameleons & Anoles
Are water turtles insectivores, herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?Most water turtles are carnivores
Are monitor lizards insectivores, herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?Carnivores
Are iguanids insectivores, herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?Herbivores
Are spiny tailed lizards (uromastix spp) insectivores, herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?Herbivores
Are chuckwallas insectivores, herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?Herbivores
Are prehensile tailed skinks insectivores, herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?Herbivores
Are tortoises insectivores, herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?Herbivores, w/ a few exceptions
Name a Chelonian that's dangerousAlligator snappers


Question Answer
Name 3 types of lizards that are dangerousHeloderma horridum (beaded lizard)
Heloderma (genus of venomous lizards, like the Gila monster)
Komodo dragon (& other monitors)
What is some specialized equipment you'd need for handling dangerous reptiles?Snake hook
Snake tubes
Experienced handlers!!
What is tail autonomy??This happens in lizards! It is tail loss as an antipredator response. The lizard is able to evade predation bc the tail comes off & they can run away & the tail moves & is usually brightly colored so distracts the predator. TAKE AWAY MESSAGE: don't grab the lizard by the tail!!!
What happens after the tail of a lizard gets pulled off?It does technically grow back, but it is replaced by a cartilage center & it is more blunted & less patterned
What types of lizards (& some specific species) will lose their tails?Iguanids
Geckos (Agamids, Monitors, True Chameleons)
What is a particular thing you need to worry about w/ geckos & handling? How can you prevent this?Gecko skin tears very easily! You can use a small plastic tube for handling
What is a super useful way to handle iguanas specifically?"Iguana burrito" - fold the limbs against the body, avoid tail & claws
Large constrictor snakes bigger than _________ or wider than _________ should not be handled alone>8 feet or wider than an arm
What kinda snakes have caudal autonomy?Not many do, only a few boids (family boas are in)
What are some tools you can use to handle/restrain snakes? How would you hold them?Snake hooks
Hold immediately behind the head firmly. ALWAYS SUPPORT AT LEAST 1/3 OF SNAKES BODY
How do you restrain chelonians?For water turtles, avoid mouth & front claws! Sedation may be necessary for a full physical exam (ESP if it's an oral exam)
How is a PLR (Pupillary Light Reflex) different w/ reptiles?There is 100% decussation (no consensual pupillary response) & the pupil will restriction quickly (STRIATED mm instead of smooth)
Which reptiles lack a palpebral reflex? Corneal reflex?Absent in snakes & some geckos (they lack eyelids). This means they also lack a corneal reflex
HTRS: How to get things to stop biting?Try to spray some Listerine in their mouths
How would you NOT want to sedate a tortoise?Dont bother trying to gas them-they can hold their breath for like forever
So if snakes don't have eyelids, what do they have? What unique problem can this present?They have a "spectacle" aka brille, which is a clear scale which goes over the eye. There is a potential space btwn the brille & the cornea. However, if they molt the old spectacle can get stuck to the new one-DONT PULL IT OFF you can rip off the new 1 too. An ascending infxn from the mouth can make its way btwn the brille & the cornea. This can lead to subspecular abscesses
What is a parietal eye? What is its purpose? Who has the parietal eye? What husbandry related thing must you keep in mind w/ spp w/ a paretial eye?It is a degenerate eye (primordial kinda) which is on the dorsal midline on the top of the head. It connects to the pineal gland! LIZARDS have it & what it does is regulate the time the lizard basks. Bc of the location of this eye, all lizards should be given an OVERHEAD light/heat source
What should you think if you see crystalline salts around the nostrils of a reptile?This is normal in iguanids & other species.... it might signify dehydration, or it could be normal

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