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Reptiles + Nutrition

  • The bearded dragon is a well-known lizard currently considered one of the best pet lizards. There are eight species of bearded dragons, but the most popular one is the inland or central bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps), from the arid to semi-arid southeastern parts of Australia.

  • Bearded dragons come from a habitat where food may be sparse, so they accept a wide variety of different foods. Bearded dragons are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plant- and animal-based foods, including insects.

  • Bearded dragons have several unique problems; understanding these problems will allow you to better care for your pet and minimize future health care problems.

  • Iguanas are mainly herbivorous, meaning they mostly eat plants. Specifically, they are folivores (an animal that feeds on leaves). In the wild, they feed almost entirely on the leaves of trees and vines, plus some fruits or flowers that are not readily available to pet owners.

  • Gout is a disease in which the metabolism of uric acid is defective. Uric acid is a breakdown product of nitrogen, formed when protein is metabolized in the body. Uric acid is the form in which reptiles excrete their nitrogen wastes.

  • Dystocia (difficult birth or egg binding) happens when the female reptile is unable to pass her eggs or fetus. It is a reasonably common problem in reptiles and can be life threatening. It is a problem seen with snakes, turtles and lizards. It is caused by a variety of factors.

  • There are NO vegetarian snakes; all species are carnivores. The diet depends on the species. Some will specifically eat warm blooded prey (rodents, rabbits, birds), while others eat insects, frogs or amphibians, eggs, other reptiles, fish, earthworms, or slugs. Snakes swallow their food whole.

  • Common conditions of pet turtles include Vitamin A deficiency, respiratory diseases, abscesses, shell infections and fractures, and parasites.

  • Aquatic turtles such as the red-eared slider have several unique problems. Understanding these problems will allow you to better care for your pet and minimize future health care issues.

  • For the purpose of this discussion, the common Red-eared Slider will be used to represent aquatic turtle feeding.

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