Site Index

Lizard Diseases

Lizard Infections

Parasitic Diseases

Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD or Avitaminosis): Caused by insufficient diet (lack of a variety of healthy foods), lack of food supplementation with calcium and vitamins made specifically for reptiles, and lack of full spectrum flourescent lighting in the enclosure. Indications: softening of the bone, loss of teeth, repetitive bone fractures, paralysis, convulsions, digestive problems, skin changes (such as loss of color, spots, cracks), shedding problems, eye problems (including clouding and swelling) and various other infections of the skin and internal organs

Vitamin Excess (Hypervitaminosis): Anyone under the impression that pumping your lizard full of vitamins is doing it a favor is totally wrong! Too many vitamins can be fatal. Dosages that are consistently too high can sometimes lead to damage as serious as that caused by not enough vitamins. Excessive Vitamin D can cause the onset of calcification of the arteries and uncontrollable bone and cartilage growth can occur. Too much Vitamin A can cause uncontrollable bleeding in the internal organs. Check the label of your vitamins for proper dosage; if you're unsure, check with your veterinarian

Digestive Problems: Improper diet can sometimes lead to diarrhea and similar digestive disturbances. Injuries to the tongue and upper jaw where the taste and olfactory organ (Jacobson's organ) is located make the animal incapable of finding its own food. Any diet issues should be discussed with your veterinarian when a change in diet is required.

Gastritis and Enteritis: Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining and enteritis is an inflammation of the intestines. It can sometimes occur at the same time your animal has mouth rot. Affected lizards can have simple inflammation of the gastric and intestinal mucous membranes, to widespread abscesses and swellings or ulcerations. Typical symptoms include vomiting of half-digested food and soft (diarrhea-like), foul-smelling feces, combined with a yellowish white mucus. Sometimes there are also traces of fresh blood in the urates. A bacteriological exam by your vet will need to be performed.

Egg Binding: Causes can include poor housing conditions, stress, activity of cagemates and lack of suitable egg-laying sites. Unfortunately, egg-binding is often only diagnosed during a necropsy (animal autopsy). If a female animal exhibits swelling in the cloacal region or a cloacal prolapse egg-binding could be the cause. If this is the case, only surgery will save the animal.

Shedding Problems: Problems with shedding can easily be avoided by offering a varied diet, proper care for the particular animal, and adequate bathing facilities.Even these cannot prevent an occasional problem with shedding. Retained sheds can cause various skin diseases such as scale rot. If you notice some shedding problems in your animal, you can help dislodge the old skin with warm baths (not over 80 degrees F) and by using pure Aloe Vera gel on the affected areas. Never try to remove the remaining skin by force as this usually leads to inflammation. Be careful around the eyes, and if the problem persists, leave it to your veterinarian.

Tail Breaks: Most lizards are autotomous; they have the ability to "lose" a portion of their tail if threatened. Tail breaks can also occur when owners aren't careful about how they handle their lizards. Not all lizards have the ability to regenerate the tail once a portion has been lost. If the break occurs in the bottom two-thirds of the tail, healing can begin quite rapidy and blood loss will be kept to a minimum. Watch the area of the wound and apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment when needed and keep the wound clean. Any regeneration that occurs may or may not resemble the original part. Breaks that occur in the upper third of the tail (closest to the body) can be potentially dangerous. This type of break usually involves dramatic blood loss and will require cauterization and/or stitches by your veterinarian.