We have had a very busy month of May. AGCRR is housing 51 reptiles at the date of this post. But we are beginning to see a pattern that has us concerned enough to post it to our page. This month alone we have had 1 turtle, 6 bearded dragons, 2 leopard geckos, come to us with MBD (Metabolic Bone Disease). This is a crippling and even fatal disease. And it is so easy to prevent. Dusting crickets or adding liquid calcium to the water of leopard geckos is needed. LG’s are one of the easiest reptiles to care for and yet often, the most neglected. It takes 10 seconds to add a tablespoon of calcium powder to a baggie, add crickets, lightly shake to dust crickets and then remove crickets from bag, feed crickets to your insectivore, discard used calcium powder.
Bearded dragons, tortoises, Uromastyx, Tegus, and most monitors, just to name a few, have to also have a UVB light source. These are not normal light bulbs, they must be changed out every 6 months to provide adequate UVB lighting. I recommend writing the date of installation on the base of the bulb, and change out regularly. AND PLEASE, research what your reptile will need for proper care and maintenance BEFORE you purchase or adopt.
Most reptiles live 16+ years with some snakes living for 45+ years and tortoises and turtles can live 76+ years. This is a life long commitment. Not only do you have to love your reptile, so do your spouse, kids, grandkids and in some cases great grandkids.
Reptiles do not need yearly shots like dogs and cats, but they need a yearly check up by a licensed veterinarian that does specialize in reptiles/exotics. Knowing that bearded dragons, leopard geckos, iguanas, like most reptiles have to be housed separately. Iguanas can be housed together male and female, 2 females of the same size, but in the 45 years of this, we have found that territorial issues arise and injury from one reptile to another usually happens. Adequate housing is another issue for another blog entry. But the cute iguana you bought today and placed in a 20 gallon habitat will need an extremely large enclosure within 4 years. This just touches on what is required to be a responsible owner. It boils down to research, research, research. Know what you are getting into and what is required of you, before you purchase or adopt.
The owner of this darling bearded dragon did not know she needed any type of light source and heat on her or her cage mate. Sorry to say the cage mate did not survive and we are hand feeding this darling every 3 hours. She has put on some weight, from 28 grams to 34 grams, but still has a very hard time eating on her own, her legs and spine have been affected by MBD. All because the owner did not research and learn what is necessary to maintain and own on of God’s creatures. This darling girl is the reason for todays blog post.