Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Sick reptiles: diagnostics on a budget.

Abstract

Reptiles are becoming increasingly popular pets and reptile medicine is constantly evolving. Veterinary surgeons may, however, be limited in their investigations by financial constraints when presented with these patients. The ability to obtain as much information as possible from the history and clinical examination is essential if further diagnostics are limited. Simple, non-expensive tests may then involve use of the in-house microscope for faecal parasitology and cytology of fine needle aspirates, impression smears and other samples. X-rays may be performed conscious in most cases and multiple views should be taken. Common problems such as metabolic bone disease, follicular stasis, dystocia or foreign bodies may be easily identified. Ultrasound may also be performed conscious, but high-frequency probes will be required for smaller patients. Finally, haematology and biochemistry may either be submitted to an external exotic specialist laboratory or evaluated in-house. Laboratory techniques will require practice, but the time is worth investing if reptiles make up a significant part of the practice caseload.