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Lizard Parasitic Diseases

Worm Diseases: Worms are invertebrate animals that live parasitically in a host animal. They can include flukes, tapeworms, and spiny-headed worms. Many of these go through several stages of development while inside your animal and infected areas change when the stages change. To treat worms properly, a fecal exam must be performed by your veterinarian. First, this will determine what type of worms (if any) are infesting your animal, and second, proper medications can be prescribed and administered. Fecal exams should be performed regularly on all your animals, mine all get one at least once a year.

Mites and Ticks: Mites are small spider-like animals with four pairs of legs and biting or sucking mouth parts. Reptiles in general are typically infested with "blood mites" (Ophionyssus) that settle in the armpits, joint areas, base of the tail, around the eyes, in the vent area and underneath the scales. They are reddish-brown in color and if left untreated can cause skin damage and also transmit many other bacteria . They live under most and warm conditions and reproduce rapidly. If you notice your reptile rubbing or scratching along rocks and branches and it is spending an unusually long time in their water container these could be signs of a mite infestation. Examine your animal closely looking for the mites. There are several products on the market made specifically for eradicating mites. Again, call your veterinarian for the best advice on treating your particular animal and it's environment. Ticks are most often found on wild-caught animals or animals housed outside. They are removed easily by first dabbing their body with rubbing alcohol, waiting a few minutes, and then gently but steadily pulling them free with tweezers. Don't jerk them off; you want them to come off with their mouthparts intact. Dab a small amount of alcohol on the puncture mark left after removal.