Melissa Kaplan's
Herp Care Collection
Last update January 1, 2014

Health, Illness, Injury and Stress

Many of the iguana-related articles are applicable to other types of lizards and other reptiles, so don't skip them just because you don't have a green iguana...


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Cover Image: Iguanas for Dummies.  Book written by Melissa Kaplan.
by Melissa Kaplan

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The following statement may appear obvious, but given the number of people who post questions on email lists, message boards and by personal email, it bears repeating: If your herp is bleeding from a wound or internally (bloody vomit, or blood in the feces or urates), paralyzed, or has abnormal swellings on any part of its body, or may have a broken bone or shell, or has ingested a potentially toxic substance, do not post a message or send an email: get your pet to a herp vet right away.

While many of the following articles appear, at first glance, to be about green iguanas, the fact is that other types of lizards - and other reptiles - may experience the same or similar health problems. If you are looking for information for your reptile, don't skip a title here, or close an article without reading, just because it has the word "iguana" in it.

One last word before I leave you to browse the rest of this page...
One of the most upsetting category of email and posts I read are from people whose pets clearly need veterinary care--often urgently so--but the people won't go because they can't afford it. Frankly, people who can't afford to pay a vet shouldn't get a pet. That being said, I do understand that for many people, life changes can result in the loss of income for someone who used to be able to afford whatever came their way. But when it comes to our children or our pets, when they require medical intervention--and no matter how well we care for them, at some point a medical situation will arise that requires urgent or emergency medical or veterinary intervention--we have to prepare for that eventuality before it happens. For many of us, that means doing without even more than we usually do without when money is tight. It also means socking away money when we have a little extra. It might be "extra" because we didn't go out to eat or to movies for several months, or we didn't indulge in the same amount or brand of legal recreational substances, or we skipped a year of season tickets to our favorite theater group or sports team, or upgrading to the latest version of whatever device we're inordinately attached to. I'm not speaking from a theoretical standpoint here: I am disabled and know all too well what it is like having a bare, spare budget. But I still make sure that I can provide veterinary care for my reptiles. If you'd like to start building a fund for your veterinary needs, a good place to start is by reading Motley Fool's 60-Second Guide to Short-Term Savings, part of the Fool Savings Center. Okay, soapbox over. Now go read about all the things you hope you never have to see a vet about.



Page Index
Animal Poisoning Hotlines
Caring for Sick Reptiles
Complementary & Alternative Medicine
Eyes, Ears and Nose
Integument -Skin/Scales/Claws
Metabolic/Nutrition/Environment-Related Disorders
Picking Healthy Reptiles


Cardiopulmonary Function
Respiratory Infections


Caring For Sick Reptiles
Basal Metabolic Rates for Reptiles
Dehydration in Reptiles
Emaciation (Starvation) Protocol
Fluids and Fluid Therapy in Reptiles
Medicating Sick Herps


Central Nervous System/Neuro/Endocrine
Clinical Neurology in Small Animalsl
Hypoglycemia and Hyperglycemia in Reptiles
Journal Abstracts: Circadian Rhythms and Thermoregulation in Reptiles
Journal Abstracts: Parietal (Pineal) "Eye" Function in Reptiles
Myoclonic and Other Spasms in Iguanas
Parietal Eyes
Sleep - Something More Than Merely Rest
Tetany in Reptiles


Diagnostics (See also Stress)
Abnormal Lab Values in Reptiles
Effects of Hemolysis on Plasma Electrolyte, Chemistry Values
Fecal Examinations
Feces and Urates
How can you tell if a nonresponsive reptile is alive?
Lethargy in Reptiles
Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS; Endoscopic Surgery)
Signs of Ingestion of Toxic Substances
Signs of Illness & Stress
Signs of Pain and Discomfort in Herps


Clinician's Approach to Kidney Disease in Lizards
Constipation and Diarrhea
Constipation in Reptiles
Kidney Failure
Laxatives and Reptiles
Protein, Gout and Renal Failure in Reptiles
Vomiting/Regurgitation in Reptiles


Euthanasia of Reptiles
Decapitation of Reptiles: Inhumane Euthanasia
Importance of Necropsies in Reptile Health and Husbandry


Eyes, Ears, Nose
Bulging, Drooping, Distended Eyes in Reptiles
Removing Retained Eyecaps
Reptile Vision


Adenoviruses in Reptiles
Infectious Diseases of Reptiles (Jacobson)
Iguanid Herpesvirus (IgHV-1)
Inclusion Body Disease
Merck Manual > Reptile > Bacterial Diseases (Table of Drugs/Dosages)
One Herper's Experience with IBD
Paramyxoviruses in Reptiles
Reptile Allergies
Reptile Herpesvirus Citations
Salmonella and Other Zoonoses
Small oozing bumps and lesions on reptiles
Spiders and Scorpions Venom Harms Reptiles
Stomatitis in Reptiles
Viruses an Unexpected Danger to Reptile Pets



First Aid Kit for Reptiles
Tail Breaks and Drops
Tail, Limb and Digit Autotomy
Reptile First Aid/Wound Management


Integument - Skin, Scales and Claws
Blister Disease
Claw Trimming - Britton
Claw Trimming - Kaplan
Dry Gangrene of Tail and Toes
Reptile Skin Basics: Construction, Infection, and Color
Reptile Skin Shedding
Small oozing bumps and lesions on reptiles
Treating Ripped Out Claws


Metabolic/Nutrition/Environment-Related Disorders
Calcium Metabolism and Metabolic Bone Disease
Firefly/Lightening Bug Toxicity
Hepatic Lipidosis (Fatty Liver Disease): Prevention is the best cure
Kidney Failure in Green Iguanas
Metabolic Bone Disease: Identification and Treatment
Miscellaneous Factors Affecting Health and Welfare
Overview of Digestion in Green Iguanas and Other Herbivorous Lizard Species
Tetany in Reptiles
Vitamin D: From muscle strength to immunity, scientists find new benefits


Dry Gangrene of Tail and Toe
Kinks and Bends in Tails
Proliferative osteoarthritis and osteoarthrosis in 15 snakes
Tail, Limb and Digit Autotomy


Cloacal and Hemipenal Prolapse
Dystocia (Egg/Fetal Retention)
Further Thoughts On Spaying and Neutering...
Reproductive Disorders of the Female Reptile
Seminal Plugs/Secretions
The Use of Hormone Antagonists to Inhibit Reproduction in the Lizard, Eublepharis macularius


Amphibian Pain and Analgesia

Herp Pain And Analgesia
Signs of Pain and Discomfort in Herps


Picking Healthy Reptiles
Picking A Healthy Iguana
Picking a Healthy Reptile


Change-Related Stress
Disease-Associated Preferred Body Temperatures in Reptiles
Signs of Illness and Stress in Reptiles
Hypothermia in Iguanas and Other Reptiles
Moving, Vacation and Boarding Stress


Cancer Registry & Surveillance System for Companion Animals
Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS; Endoscopic Surgery)
Sharon Redrobe (BVetMed DZooMed MRCVS) Reptile Health Papers
When Your Venomous Snake Gets Sick: Veterinary Basics 

Need to update a veterinary or herp society/rescue listing?

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Behavior Crocodilians Herpetology Parent/Teacher Snakes
Captivity Education Humor Pet Trade Societies/Rescues
Chelonians Food/Feeding Invertebrates Plants Using Internet
Clean/Disinfect Green Iguanas & Cyclura Kids Prey Veterinarians
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