Water is truly important to all human beings, both humans and animals. It is considered to be the most important nutrient in animal nutrition. You can also see As for humans, any animals that have lack of water will have dehydration, including reptiles. It can also be experienced by hamsters and cats. You may also read these signs of dehydration in cats and signs of dehydration in hamsters.
Handling reptiles as pets is not that easy, it needs a lot of attention and care. One of which is the access of clean water for them. If your reptiles experience lack of clean water, they might get dehydration. Dehydration in reptiles can lead to death if it is left untreated.
Dehydration in reptiles can happen due to several causes, such as lack of source of form of drinking water. Some reptiles will be able to drink from a water bowl, while some others will only lap out water droplets.
It is very important to do research about your reptiles’ preferred method of drinking. Another cause of dehydration in reptiles is high environmental temperatures in the habitat. Lastly, certain type of caging materials may also cause your reptiles to be dehydrated.
That’s why it is very important to research on everything you know about the species of reptiles before you decide to keep them. One of the famous species of reptiles is Jaragua gecko, the smallest gecko in the world.
The next part will be the common signs of dehydration in reptiles. It is very important to be aware of the common signs of dehydration in reptiles so you will be able to do early treatment.
1. The skin loses its elasticity
This is the most common sign of dehydration in animals, including reptiles. You can check whether the skin loses elasticity by pinching the skin, then you can see if the skin rapidly springs back. If the skin remains puckered, then you may suspect your reptile getting dehydration.
2. Dull and “wrinkled” skin appearance
Another sign of dehydration in reptiles is the appearance of the skin that is often deeply wrinkled, especially around the neck and along the sides of the body.
- Dry and flaky skin
- In some snakes, a single skin fold that runs the length of the body may appear. You may also want to know about snake shedding skin too!
- As the dehydration worsens, you will also notice the eyes sinking into the skull. As a result, it will create a very stark expression.
- Dry mucous membrane
When the reptiles are dehydrated, the mucous membrane inside some reptiles, such as chelonians and lizards become dry and they may also have their tongue sticky.
3. The appearance of patches of unshed skin
This may occur on the body, especially on the toes, tails, crests and head as well.
- Signs of starvation and muscles wasting
- Constipation and infrequent defecation
- Lethargic and unwilling to eat
When your reptile doesn’t want to eat, never ever force-feed until the rehydration process starts. Make sure you follow every advice from your veterinarian!
After knowing the signs of dehydration in reptiles, then it is time to know what to do to treat it. After noticing the signs, it is time to bring your reptiles to the vet.
Your vet will then evaluate the condition and try to do rehydration. The treatment depends on the severity of the problem so that it is very important to contact your vet as soon as possible.
If the case of dehydration is still mild, you can do these things. First, give an initial soak in lukewarm water. Then, again, make sure you provide easy access to drinking water.
You can also offer your reptiles water or diluted electrolyte solutions, such as sports drinks or Pedialyte near your reptile’s head for convenient drinking.
Once you see your reptiles get dehydration, then you won’t to have it again right? There are some ways to avoid your reptiles from getting dehydration again. Firstly, you can offer wet food, so they ingest more moisture without drinking a lot of water.
You can do this by soaking the prey in water before feeding it to your reptile too. This way will increase their water intake. Then, make sure you wash the dishes daily to keep the water clean and fresh.
Never use strong soaps or other cleansers as they may cause unpleasant smell or even contaminate the water. Adjusting the heat and humidity level inside the reptile’s cage is also important to prevent them from being dehydrated.
Finally, you can offer daily misting or lukewarm water for soaking. Many reptiles enjoy this interaction and bathing and it will help boosting the moisture intake too!
If you wish to have some reptiles at home as pets, make sure to read how to treat exotic animals as pets.