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

Common Reptile Drugs and Dosages

Warning: The provision of this information is for the use of wildlife rehabilitators working in conjunction with veterinarians, and for veterinarians abroad who may not have easy access to such information or to other vterinarians who are knowledgeable about reptile medicine. Herp owners are strongly encouraged to not self-treat their reptiles and amphibians without the guidance of a reptile vet. The increasing availability of over-the-counter products and some legend drugs does not mean that treating animals, including reptiles, is a straight-foward matter. There are many factors herp vets must take into consideration when deciding upon the course of treatment, drug to use, and dosage to give, factors the following document does not address. Failure to take those factors into consideration may lead to the death or permanent injury of the reptile.

Compiled by Melissa Kaplan


Unless otherwise noted, the doses below are from Mader (1996) and Frye (1993).

Note: All drugs are administered s.i.d. unless otherwise indicated.



Dose Frequency Comments
Amikacin (amiglyde sulfate) 5 mg/kg IM, then
2.5 mg/kg IM q 72 hr
Highly nephrotoxic - give with SC/IC fluids
Amoxi (amoxicillin)

10 mg/kg IM q24h

22 mg/kg PO q 12-24 h

Ineffective unless used with aminoglycosides (such as Amikacin)
Baytril (enrofloxacin)

Lizards and snakes:
Routine: 5 mg/kg IM/PO q 24h
Resistant: 10 mg/kg IM/PO q 24h


7.5-10 mg/kg diluted with normal saline IM

All reptiles: Highly cytotoxic and nephrotoxic - give with SC/IC fluids. Injectible form may be administered PO. NOTE: When given PO, it may be mixed with a small amount of Syrpalta, banana, applesauce, etc., to make it more palatable; increase dose to 10 mg/kg for PO. There are now flavoring agents vets can use to mix the orally administered Baytil with making a more palatable medicine that is easier and safer to administer than by injection.

Tortoises: Give in front legs only, up to 21 days (Lancaster, pers comm, 1997). May also give PO.

Flagyl (metronidazole) 150 mg/kg PO weekly anaerobes
Fortaz (ceftazidime) 20 mg/kg SQ/IM q 72h *

This is a 3rd generation cephalosporin (newer than Baytril)used parenterally for gram-negative infections, and is particularly, useful in reptiles.

May cause pain on IM injection; SC injection probably less painful. Is kept in freezer and must be brought to room temperature before injecting.

May cause hypersensitivity reactions, diarrhea, granulocytopenia, thrombocytopenia, mild azotemia. May need to reduce dose in renal failure; use with caution.

* From Mader
From Plumb's Veterinary Drug Handbook, 5th Edition


Type Diagnosis Dose Comments
Calcitonin (Calcimar, Miacalcin) Hypercalcemia 1.5 U/kg SC tid Need additional fluids for diuresis. May be lethal if given before Ca:P levels are normalized.
Secondary hyperparathyroidism 50 U/kg IM once; rep in 2 wks if needed
Calcium glubionate (NeoCalglucon, Calci-Syrup, Sandoz Mild MBD 1 ml/kg PO bid OTC in most states; can be ordered through pharmacies if not otherwise in stock.
Dystocia 1 mg/kg PO bid up to 5 ml/d Continue until eggs are laid; if not laid within 24 hrs, consider needle aspiration or surgical extraction. See Dystocia
Calcium gluconate (various manufacturers) Iguana: hypocalcemia 100 mg/kg IM qid prn .
Calcium lactate (Calphosan) hypocalcemia 250 mg/ig IV, IM bid .




Type Drug Dose mg/kg Route Frequency
Tapeworm Praziquantel







rep q 2 wks 1x

rep q 2 wks 1x for cestodes and trematodes in some species

in snakes


  Niclosamide 150 PO rep q 2 wks 1x
Hepatic worms Fenbendazole (Panacur)* 50-100 PO rep q 2 wks 2-3x
Hookworms Fenbendazole (Panacur)





rep q 2 wks 2-3x

rep q 2 wks until 4 negative fecals obtained†

Lungworms Fenbendazole (Panacur) 50-100 PO rep q 1wks 2-3x



Sulfadimethoxine (Albon) 25 PO rep q 6 days until negative fecals obtained ‡
Fenbendazole (Panacur) 100 PO rep q 2 wks until negative fecals obtained ‡
Ivermectin (Ivomec)* 0.2 IM rep q 2 wks 2-3x
Piperacine citrate 50 PO rep q 2 wks 2-3x
Roundworm Fenbendazole (Panacur) 50-100 PO rep in 2-3 wks
100 PO rep in 2 wks
25 PO rep q 2 d for 3 wks
Strongyles Fenbendazole (Panacur) 50-100 PO rep q 2 wks
Thiabendazole 25 PO rep q 2 wks 2-3x
Pyrantel pamoate (Strongid-T) 25 PO sid 2-4 d
Pentastomids Fenbendazole (Panacur)



rep in 2 wks

Ivermectin (Ivomec)*



rep q 2 wks 2-3x

* Ivermectin is administered in near-toxic doses to be effective, and must be repeated often 3 times to be as effective as the far less toxic fenbendazole. Merck, the maker of ivermectin, does not recommend its use in reptiles. Often fatal or nearly so to small, debilitated reptiles. May cause paralysis, blindness, etc. in larger reptiles. Its use is not recommended for lizards and snakes; it is nearly always fatal when used in turtles and tortoises. Ivermectin toxicity includes paralysis and blindness.

† From "Drug Dosage and Chemotherapeutics", by Lara Maxwell, DVM, in Biology, Husbandry and Medicine of the Green Iguana, E.R. Jacobson, DVM, ed.

From VIN

ƒ From Plumb's Veterinary Drug Handbook, 5th edition

*Fenbendazole, commonly sold under the brand name "Panacur", is generally purchased by veterinary clinics in powdered form. The powder is mixed with fluid as needed for oral administration. Fenbendazole is also available in cream form sold in tubes for horses. The calculations for fenbendazole are as follows:


kg bodyweight x 0.25 = cc per dose
gm bodyweight x 0.00025 = cc per dose

Compounded liquid

0.3-0.4 cc/lb. bodyweight per dose
0.66-0.88 cc/kg bodyweight per dose


Type Drug Dose mg/kg Route Frequency
Amoebiasis Metronidazole (Flagyl) 24-50 PO rep q 2 wks
40 PO rep q 2 wks
125 PO rep q 2 wks
Coccidia Sulfadimethoxine 50 PO q 3 d, rep in 3 d
PO/IM first day, then
q d x 5 d
Sulfadiazine 75
PO first day, then
q d x 5 d
Flagellates Metronidazole (Flagyl) 25-50 PO rep in 3-4 d PRN


Dosages Specific To Turtles
Franklin Gould, Journal of Wildlife Rehabilitation, 1998
Condition Drug Dosage Comments
Amoebiasis, Trichomoniasis Metronidazole 50 mg/kg PO; rep 2 wks .
Coccidia Sulfadimethoxine 30 mg/kg PO d for 10 d .
Tapeworms Praziquantel 5-8 mg/kg PO; rep in 2 wks .
Roundworms, Hookworms, Lungworms, Heartworms Fenbendazole 40-50 mg/kg PO; rep 2 wks, 2-3 x .

Note: Never use piperazine or ivermectin on any turtle. Both have been demonstrated to have toxic, if not lethal, effects on turtles.
Per Melissa Kaplan: these are also the drugs and dosages generally used for other reptiles

Amikacin 2.5 mg/kg every 72 hrs IM up to 5 mg/kg for 48 hr with fluid support
Amoxicillin 10 mg/kg per d for 7 d SQ w/aminoglycosides
Ampicillin 10 mg/kg per d for 7 d SQ up to 20 mg/kg q d
Baytril (enrofloxacin)

5 mg/kg per d for 10 d SQ



up to 10 mg/kg q d

up to 15 mg/kg for 72 hr in tortoises with URI

After the initial injection by vet, the injectible may be given by mouth, increasing dose to 10 mg/kg per d for 10 day [K. Harkewicz VMD 2002]

Ceftriaxone 50 mg/kg per d for 7 d SQ .
Chloramphenical 50 mg/kg per d for 7 d SQ .
Gentamicin 2.5 mg/kg every 72 hours IM up to 10 mg/kg for 48 hr w/fluid support
Tetracycline 50 mg/kg per d for 7 d SQ .
Trimethoprim-Sulfa 30 mg/kg per d for 7 d PO .
Tylocin 5 mg/kg per d for 7 d SQ .
Acyclovir (Zovirax 5%) Topical, applied daily .
Vit A injectable It is recommended that this be givin in doses of less than 2000 IU per injection due to potential toxicity
Cod Liver Oil 1-2 drops twice per week added to food .




Miscellaneous Drugs, Dosages
Type Dose Comment Other
Lactated ringers

Tortoises: 15-25 ml/kg q 24 hr SQ part vic

Reptiles: 15-20 ml/kg q 24 hrs part vic


Lancaster, pers comm, 1997

Barten, pers comm, 1995


Nutri-Cal: 1-2 ml/kg q 24 hr part vic

Food*: 2% bodyweight q 24-48 hr part vic

Reptile stomach capacity: 25-100 ml/kg Barten, pers comm, 1995

*For slurry recipes, see Emaciation (Starvation) Protocol

Glossary of Drug-Related Terms

Deciphering Prescriptions

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