ISSN 2398-2985      

Handling / restraint

Jreptile

Introduction

  • Reptiles are less easily stressed than their avian cousins, and so restraint may be performed without as much risk in the case of the debilitated animal. However, it is still worthwhile considering factors that may make restraint dangerous to animal and veterinary staff alike.
  • Is the patient in respiratory distress where excessive manual manipulation can be dangerous?
  • Is the species a delicate one? Some geckos are extremely delicate and prone to shedding their tails when handled . Similarly, some species such as green iguanas are prone to conditions such as metabolic bone disease Metabolic bone disease where spontaneous fractures may occur .
  • Is the species an aggressive one? Some are naturally so, eg snapping turtles, tokay geckos and rock pythons  Chelonia behavior problems Lizard behavior problems Snake behavior problems.
  • Does the reptile patient require medication or physical examination? In which case restraint is essential?
  • It should be noted that many species of reptile have Salmonella spp present normally in their gut. Personal hygiene is therefore very important when handling these patients to prevent zoonotic diseases .

Lizards

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Snakes

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Chelonia

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Principles of chemical restraint

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Cheek R & Crane M (2017) Snakes. In: Exotic Animal Medicine for the Veterinary Technician. 3rd edn. Eds: Ballard B & Cheek R. Wiley-Blackwell. pp 137-181.
  • Rivera S (2017) Chelonians. In: Exotic Animal Medicine for the Veterinary Technician. 3rd edn. Eds: Ballard B & Cheek R. Wiley-Blackwell. pp 183-196.
  • Wilson B (2017) Lizards. In: Exotic Animal Medicine for the Veterinary Technician. 3rd edn. Eds: Ballard B & Cheek R. Wiley-Blackwell. pp 95-136.
  • West G, Heard D & Caulkett N (2014) Eds Zoo Animal and Wildlife Immobilization and Anesthesia. 2nd edn. Wiley-Blackwell, USA. pp 950.
  • Girling S J (2013) Reptile and Amphibian Handling and Chemical Restraint. In: Veterinary Nursing of Exotic Pets. 2nd edn. Wiley-Blackwell. pp 272-274.
  • Mader D R (2006) Ed Reptile Medicine and Surgery. Saunders Elsevier, USA. pp 1242.
Reproduced with permission from Bonnie Ballard & Ryan Cheek: Exotic Animal Medicine for the Veterinary Technician © 2017, and Simon J Girling: Veterinary Nursing of Exotic Pets © 2013, published by John Wiley & Sons.

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