Reptiles and External Parasites

Let's discuss about reptiles and external parasites. External parasites can be very dangerous to a pet. They annoy pets, transmit diseases, cause illnesses, and can even cause death. This article will discuss the causes and symptoms of external parasites.

There are different types of external parasites that reptiles can get including ticks, mites, and larvae.

Ticks attach themselves to a reptile and feel on the reptile's blood. Ticks are usually easy for a pet owner to spot. They are a larger parasite.

Mites are small and can be very annoying. Reptiles with mites often try to rub against a rock and anything in their terrarium. They will also have rough looking skin and frequently soak themselves in their water. The soaking and rubbing are efforts to get the mites off their body.

Larvae come from flies. A reptile, especially ones that may be outside can get skin bumps that actually contain the larvae of flies. Fly infestations can also lead to maggots. A reptile with larvae and maggot problems will often appear weak, lethargic, and have a loss of appetite.

If external parasites are not noticed and treated they can sometimes cause death. If the parasites don't cause an infection, they can compromise a reptile's immune system leaving them more susceptible to other infections such as bacterial ones.

Keeping reptiles in a clean indoor terrarium is one easy way to avoid parasite infestations. Never catch a wild reptile and keep them as a pet because they could have parasites.

If you notice any type of parasite on your pet reptile. You need to immediately treat the problem. You may need to consult with a vet. Ticks can carefully be removed from a reptile. Mites can be killed with the right medication. Larvae and maggots can be removed carefully with tweezers and then the reptile should be treated with medication. Topical, oral, and injectable treatments can all be prescribed. 

The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your veterinarian or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment.