Alternative Reptile Care

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Very Well-Known Member
Dont get me wrong about this
Good reptile vets are worth their weight in gold
But sometimes they cannot be contacted or an emergency situation crops up

What can be done then??
For most reptile medical problems, as with most human medical problems there are often natural alternatives
Because of my location I have had to learn a lot of these and use them

I didnt invent most of these cures but have tried them with varying amounts of success
The level of success ranges from 'not much difference' to 'oh wow'

If anyone is interested I can put together a few of the things I know work very well and drop them in here


APS Veteran
APS Veteran
A home 1st aid kit for reptiles is a great thing to have,
Ideas for the contents of such a kit??

Betadine (spray on)
water bottle
tissues/paper towel
sharp scissors
antiseptic hand wash
Bandages for the human who loses control!

Need much more then this and you probably need a vet.


Very Well-Known Member
Betadine (spray on)
water bottle
tissues/paper towel
sharp scissors
antiseptic hand wash
Bandages for the human who loses control!

Need much more then this and you probably need a vet.

Ok, I'll bite. What's the hammer for?

Or maybe I don't want to know...


Almost Legendary
I borrowed this..

The Basics

Most of this is fairly straight forward. I prefer to do things as sterile as possible but it is a must when treating open wounds.

  • Sterile and non sterile gloves
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Thermometer - for checking vivarium temperatures.
  • Probes
  • Tapes
  • Bandages
  • Gauze
  • Clingfilm - for burns, after applying flamazine cream clingfilm can be secured in place.
  • Cotton wool & Cotton buds
Extra Basics
These are a little more specialised. If you need to give antibiotics (only under veterinary supervision) you will need sterile equipment, always use a new syringe and needle.

  • Stethoscope
  • Forceps (different kinds) - removing retained eye caps.
  • Various size sterile syringes- injecting, tube feeding, flushing wounds.
  • Various size sterile needles - injecting
  • Sterile Swabs
  • Scalpel blades & Stitch cutters
  • Tick Remover
Ointments & Solutions
  • KY Jelly - probing, softening retained skin
  • Povidone Iodine Solution - skin cleaner
  • Hibiscrub - skin cleaner (milder than above)
  • Alcohol Hand Gel - sterilising hands between animals
  • F10 - nebulising, disinfectant
  • Eye and Skin Ointment - minor wounds
  • Eye Drops/Vicotears - retained eye caps
  • Mayuka Honey - wound treatment
  • Euculiptus oil - can be used for alternative treatment of respiratory infections.
  • Vasaline - softening retained skin, protecting wounds
  • Spirit - skin cleaner, cleaning equiment
Nutritional Support

  • Poweraid or Rehydration Powder - used for rehydration, usually the reptile is bathed in a diluted solution. Poweraid is readily available. Royal Canine offer an electrolyte powdered solution that works in the same manner.Carnivore Vitamin Paste
  • Repti-boost - probiotic combination of bacteria, enzymes, electrolytes and vitamins
  • Avipro Plus - prebiotic and probiotic blend enhanced with vitamins A, C & E, useful for animals undergoing veterinary treatment as it boosts the immune system
  • Zo-Cal D - Liquid Calcium and D3, used for treatment of nutritional hyperparathyroidism (MBD)
  • Critical Care Formula - emergency feeding of ANY SPECIES
  • Emeraid - Full nutritional support for the long term management of none feeding animals.
  • Frontline spray - Mite treatment
  • Panacur/Drontal - Worming treatment
  • ARDAP - Mite treatment
  • Nebulizer - RI treatment
These can only be obtained from a veterinary practice and should not be used without the direction of a suitably qualified vet.

  • Fluid - Saline/Hartmans/Glucose Saline - Nutritional support, nebuslising, wound cleaning
  • Flamazine - wounds, burns
  • Antibiotics - Fortum/Amakin/Marbocyl
  • Metacam - anti-inflamatory


Very Well-Known Member
Pretty good start here

Probably the most under-utilised one anywhere on those lists is PowerAde
It contains all kinds of goodies that work better on reptiles than they do on people
For rehydrating snakes there is nothing better
Its a great stimulant for fussy or non feeders

If we get in crook snakes that is the first thing we do
We dilute it 1 water to 3 Powerade for bathing but if they are in a bad way also syringe some straight down their throats
With the bathing I just put slitherer in a click clack [see they can be useful] and have the liquid about 2c above normal viv temperatures for that type of snake
Keep an eye on it and remove it after about 10 minutes into a damp tea towel etc for a few hours
Within 24hrs the slitherer will be fine and active
The results are really good especially for mummy snakes after laying and hatching
Ive mostly used this on snakes and not so often on lizards
But I have used it on Comb Dragons to great effect too
Combs are very similar to Boyds being a bit fussy and tricky to get healthy and feeding

Now I recently had a problem that thankfully was fixed
One suggestion made was Cuttlefish bone
Subsequently have played with this on a couple of chondros and retics with Stomasis
Stomasis is both nasty and just the final evidence of another hidden problem
Not easy to cure and often results in mouth operations to remove infected gums etc etc
I syringed one chondro and one retic with powdered cuttlefish bone [stuff budgies play with]
then also added the powder to all their water
All of the snakes showed very rapid improvement and they were all feeding within two weeks
No scalpels and no heavy medication
Zero signs of any return so could be worth investigating more

Sometimes a snake will get constipated
Often a bath in warm water cures this
Sometimes it doesnt
Powerade Prune Juice and Water in equal amounts clears out the worst blockages usually within 48 hours
Simply mix it up and syringe it straight down their throats
You dont need to use much so dont try to fill the whole gut cavity with the liquid

RI or respiratory infection is just plain yucky
Usually arrives because your temps were too low for too long
Basically your snake has the flu
Similar symptoms and it can kill snakes fairly quickly
One of the biggest problems with RI is the type of medication
Baytril works well either injected or orally
Afterwards vets usually tell you to avoid any form of stress for the snake and that often includes breeding
Snakes treated with Baytril etc are very susceptible to RI in the future and second treatments of Baytril dont seem to work very well
This method I will describe is pretty time consuming but well worth a try as it clears up RI extremely well

Get a click clack type thing [plastic box with plenty of ventilation holes]
Get a bigger plastic box like a Woolworths storage box without holes
Get a plastic kitchen jug
1 litre boiling water
10 drops oil of eucalypt
Half [1/2] tespoon of Vicks vapour rub

Slitherer in ventilated box
Ventilated box into bigger plastic box
Jug of hot water Vicks and Eucalypt into the bigger box but not in direct contact with the small one
Put the lid on the bigger container and have a beer
Leave snake alone for about 10 minutes then back into its viv
Here is the bit that lots of Aussie vets disagree with [they normally recommend less humidity]
Up the humidity by 15% and temps by 2 or 3 Degrees Celcius
Repeat this twice a day for about 3 weeks
Has never failed yet even on snakes blowing bubbles and gasping etc

You have just made a steam bath for your snake
Exactly the same treatment our grannies used on us

Once again I am not trying to replace vet treatment here
Simply offering a few things up that have worked for me


This thread should be made a sticky, some great info already in here, keep it building guys.


New Member
Half of this stuff is so basic . It really makes me want to smack myself in the head , For not thinking of it myself


Well-Known Member
Thanks for the input its good to know that there are little things that we as caregivers can do to ease our mates ailments especially if the problem is nipped in the bud.Any other positive tried and true methods out there? Keep 'em coming guys


Active Member
The RI treament is such a no brainer why have I not thought of that, I have a flu now and wouldnt mind sticking my head in one of those boxes thats for sure.


Well-Known Member
We used LOADS of home remedies on my horses when I was younger. Which I also carried across to my dogs. Things like potato pultice's for bruising and swelling, copper sulphate (bluestone I think we called it) for large wounds to avoid proud flesh (permenant fleshy scaring) Granugen for drying out infections (not available anymore, but it was a people/pharmacy thing, have no idea what it was used for with people but it was sooooooo good for the horses)

There's so much out there that helps that's not vet prescribed. i'm one that is VERY thankful when people share :-D

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