Choosing a Healthy Reptile For a Pet

Are you considering purchasing a pet reptile? Lizards and snakes can be wonderful pets for those that are looking for something different from the traditional dog or cat. At the same time, just as is the case anytime you purchase a new pet, it is important to take steps to make certain the reptile you bring home is in good health and likely to be by your side for years to come.

Check the Body

The first thing you should do before purchasing a new reptile is to check its body thoroughly. A healthy reptile will look fleshy and plump rather than skinny and bony. Stay away from lizards with visible tail bones and prominent hip bones. Similarly, you should not be able to see the backbone of a snake and there should be plenty of flesh between the front legs and the neck of a turtle that you are considering .

Look Over the Skin

A reptile’s skin will also help you determine whether or not it is healthy. If the skin is dull looking or wrinkled, it is a telltale sign that the reptile is dehydrated and unhealthy. A healthy reptile’s skin should be supple, while a turtle’s shell should be firm. You should also make certain there are no scratches, bites or defects in the reptile’s skin or shell.

Examine the Eyes

Looking at a reptile’s eyes will also give you a good idea as to whether or not it is healthy. A healthy reptile’s eyes will be clear and clean, which means there should be no crusted material or discharge coming from the eyes. In addition, a reptile’s eyes should not be swollen, as this is a sign that it is suffering from a systemic illness.

Inspect the Head things to do in pomona this weekend with the kids

In addition to the eyes, there are plenty of other areas on the head that should be examined. A runny nose, for example, is a sign of poor health. In addition, the reptile’s mouth should be pink and smooth. A gray or pale pink mouth may be a sign of illness, as are patches of green, white or yellow on the tongue or inside the mouth. You should also inspect the rest of the reptile’s head in order to make certain there is no swelling and that it is symmetrical. This includes looking at the reptile’s jaw, as an asymmetrical jaw can be a sign of bone disease or abscess.

Study the Living Quarters

In addition to checking over the actual reptile, you should also study its living quarters in order to get an idea of how well it has been taken care of. The tank in which the reptile is housed should be clean and well kept. Furthermore, there should be no feces on the reptile’s back or belly. Similarly, the tank should not be overcrowded and there should be no sign of mites in the tank or on the reptiles living within it. Mites can be seen as tiny specks of brown, black or orange that move about in the tank or on the reptile. Although mites are fairly easy to treat, you certainly don’t want to bring a sick pet to your home!

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