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Reptiles come all in colors, shapes and sizes and from a broad range of different environments. In the wild, reptiles get their nutritional needs met by what’s available in their natural habitat. But, reptiles kept as pets in the United States have complicated nutritional needs. Each type of reptile has different nutrition needs. Those slithering snakes are easy to feed. The prey animals you feed them are essentially the same as they would eat in the wild. With these prey, snakes can get the protein they need. If there is a deficiency problem, it’s typically due to an issue with lighting, temperature or humidity. Snakes need these elements properly controlled for good health.
Lizards like iguanas need calcium to thrive. And vitamins A, D, E and the mineral phosphorous are needed in order for lizard to metabolize calcium. If you’re feeding your lizard insects, you’ll have to provide a vitamin supplement. Many reptile food products sold in pet stores contain the nutrients needed for lizards to absorb calcium. If you’re not sure about the right dosage and combination, just ask your vet. Turtles need Vitamin A for cell regeneration, tissue growth and supple skin and mucous membranes. These pets need turtle pellets that provide them with proper combination of minerals and vitamins.
Before deciding to bring home a reptile, ensure that you understand the nutritional requirement for your species. Reptile food labels can be a bit misleading. That’s because the FDA doesn’t regulate reptile food products. Check with a veterinarian who specializes in reptiles if you have any questions about your pet’s nutritional needs.
At St. Francis Animal Hospital, our veterinary services for reptiles include preventative care, emergency services, veterinarian care for reptile illnesses and educating reptile owners about proper care, diet and nutrition. A reptile is different from other pets, as it’s cold-blooded and has different needs for good health and wellness. We recommend that you bring your reptile in for a checkup right after you bring your reptile buddy home and follow-up with regular visits to avoid potential health problems. Be sure to bring your pet in if it refuses to eat for a long period of time, is wheezing, has puffiness or fungal growths. These are signs that medical attention is needed.
For more details about caring for your reptile or to learn about the ways that our Las Vegas clinic can help reduce risks to your reptile, give us a call today at 702-675-8366.
Now accepting new clients by appointment only.
Dr. Drake and CarolAnn are amazing! They have been caring for my dogs for over 10 years now and I have never had one complaint. They are always so happy to see my dogs and provide them with the most compassionate care. I recommend them to any seeking an honest, caring, loving, empathizing and helpful veterinarian!