Library

Reptiles + Pet Services

  • All snakes are carnivores. Some eat warm-blooded prey (rodents, rabbits, birds), while others eat insects, amphibians, eggs, other reptiles, fish, earthworms, or slugs. Since snakes eat entire prey whole, it is easier for their owners to feed them nutritionally complete diets and certainly prevents many of the dietary-related diseases commonly seen in other reptiles. Live prey should not be fed to snakes. Snakes can be offered either thawed, previously frozen prey, or freshly killed ones. Smaller or younger snakes usually eat twice each week, while larger, more mature snakes typically eat once every week or two. If your snake has a decreased appetite, see your veterinarian. A large, heavy ceramic crock or bowl filled with fresh clean water should be provided at all times.

  • There are multiple methods of inheritance including autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive and sex-linked inheritance that determine which characteristics (or phenotypes) are displayed by the offspring. There are also many polygenic traits (i.e., associated with multiple genes) as well as environmental factors that make prediction of disease or likelihood of passing disease onto offspring much more complicated.

  • An improper environment is one of the most common causes of health problems encountered in reptiles next to improper nutrition. Aquatic turtles should be kept in as large an aquarium as possible and the environment should have enough water for the turtle to swim, a dry area on which the turtle can escape the water to bask, a heat source, and a source of ultraviolet (UV) light. Since pet turtles eat and eliminate in the same water, the tank water must be changed at least once weekly or more frequently if it becomes dirty. A heat source is necessary for all reptiles to maintain their environmental temperature within a constant range. In addition to regulating the water temperature, the temperature of the basking area must be regulated. Plants can be used for decoration, as long as they are safe for the turtle to eat. Failure to provide unfiltered UV light can predispose your pet to nutritional metabolic bone disease. Thoroughly wash your hands after feeding, cleaning, or handling turtles, as they can carry and transmit Salmonella bacteria.

  • A 20-gallon aquarium is usually adequate to begin with, depending on the size of the turtle, but as your turtle grows, you may need to provide it with a 60-100-gallon aquarium. Newspaper, butcher paper, paper towels, or commercially available paper-based pelleted bedding or reptile carpet is recommended. Cedar wood shavings should never be used. Rocks and hiding places should be provided. Provide a shallow water dish or pan with a ramp to help the turtle climb in and out of the dish to soak and drink. Turtles are ectotherms and therefore require a heat source in the tank to establish a temperature gradient within the tank. Hot rocks or sizzle rocks are dangerous and should not be used. UV light is essential for turtles to manufacture vitamin D3 needed for proper calcium absorption. Failure to provide UV light can predispose turtles to metabolic bone disease. If you house your turtle outdoors, it should be contained within an escape-proof enclosure. Make sure a shaded area is provided to enable your turtle to cool off from the sun, as well as a hiding area to provide seclusion and escape from rain.

  • As an iguana grows, it must be moved to a larger enclosure, with accommodation for both horizontal and vertical movement. Glass or Plexiglas® enclosures with good ventilation are ideal. The cage bottom should be easy to disinfect and keep clean, with a screened top to prevent your pet from escaping, while still allowing some ventilation. A source of heat and UV light must be provided for iguanas. All reptiles require a heat source, such as a ceramic heat-emitting bulb, in their tanks to provide warmth. Ideally, the cage should be set up so that a heat gradient is established, with the tank warm on one and cooler on the other. The cage temperature should be monitored closely. For UV light to be effective, it must reach the pet directly, without being filtered out by glass or plastic between the pet and the bulb. The bulb should be approximately a foot away from the animal and be on for 10-12 hours per day, mimicking a normal daylight cycle.

  • If your pet had an emergency crisis, how would you manage it? Ask your veterinary hospital how they handle after-hour emergencies. Use this handout to help you plan ahead and be prepared in the event of a pet-health emergency.

  • Iguanas are generally a very hardy reptile under that proper conditions. There are a number of common ailments that affect iguanas. Early communication with a reptile veterinarian about changes in your iguana's health status is critical.

  • Iguanas make fairly good pets for the right owner. Since they can live up to 15 years and can grow up to 6 feet, proper housing and space must be considered for the long term care. Proper care, housing and nutrition is essential to help your iguana live a healthy life.

  • Iguanas face several health problems that will need veterinary intervention for treatment or resolution. Cystic calculi, dystocia, avascular necrosis and dysecdysis are all common problems that will need medical attention sooner rather than later.

  • A wild reptile typically spends many hours a day basking in the sun, absorbing ultraviolet (UV) light; necessary for the manufacture of vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is manufactured in the skin and is required for proper calcium absorption from food. Failure to provide UV light can predispose a pet reptile to nutritional metabolic bone disease, an overly common condition of pet reptiles that is fatal if not recognized and treated. Bulbs should be replaced every six months or as directed by the manufacturer. Regular exposure to natural direct sunlight outside is encouraged and recommended whenever possible. Most reptile owners are advised by veterinarians to keep light exposure and temperature variations consistent in their pet’s enclosure to help reptiles maintain appropriate body temperatures and feeding cycles and to stimulate proper immune function, thereby helping keep pets healthy.

Location Hours
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
8:00am – 6:00pm
8:00am – 6:00pm
8:00am – 6:00pm
8:00am – 6:00pm
8:00am – 6:00pm
Closed
Closed
During these hours, please phone to make an appointment. In the case of an emergency we will see you immediately.

Contact Us

257 Great South Road
Drury
Auckland 2113

Phone: 09 294 8779