Treating Crypto in reptiles

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Disclaimer:

I’m undecided about whether I should publish this post. I believe in providing as much information about the treatment of our scaley friends as possible… but it seems like this info could be harmful. Therefore, I urge you to always consult your vet first. I will not say this works. In fact, it did not save my snake’s life. After visiting the vet myself and having many tests performed and forcing a ridiculous amount of medications onto my snake, I felt this was my last and only option… So I’m posting it online with the hope that maybe, maybe, it can save one life.

Please do not let this deter you from taking your reptile to the vet.

There can be many things that cause similar symptoms to arise in your pet and some of them can easily be treated by a professional (at little expense). Please let this be your last option, reserved only for when you’ve exhausted every other possibility.

About Crypto:

I will be using the term “crypto” as a shorthand of the infection Cryptosporidiosis. For more detailed information about this infection, please visit these links: RichmondVets and Arizona Exotic.

Crypto is dreaded among reptile enthusiasts because of it’s ability to wipe out entire collections. It is usually transferred through fecal matter and anything that comes into contact with an infected area (to include water and food bowls, hides, or other decor). The infection is difficult to detect through regular fecal tests because the crypto organism sheds only intermittently. Because of this, any new animals should always be quarantined immediately and strict hygenic processes should always practiced when caring for your reptiles.

Symptoms:

  • Loss of appetite or interest in food
  • Weight loss
  • Regurgitation (often looks like it’s covered in mucus)
  • Change in stool (it has been described as similar in appearance to cottage cheese)
  • Lethargy
  • A firm bulge or swelling in the middle of the body

The cure:

My label “the cure” is misleading. There is no cure. Many vets will resort to euthanasia to prevent loss of quality of life. But please, take your pet the vet anyway. Follow their advice. They are the experts. They can rightfully diagnose crypto in your pet. If you have other pets, you need to consider their safety as well. Quarantine your sickly animal as soon as humanly possible or you may infect the others and risk losing your entire collection.

If you’re like me, and can’t bear to part with your pet, then follow these steps only after you have discussed them with your vet.

  • Separate the reptile from the rest (which you should have already done but I’m going to reiterate my point). Put the infected animal in another room.
  • Clean the entire tank with bleach. Do not redecorate. Throw away fake plants or unnecessary decor. Do not use it for other animals. If you can’t bear to part with it, bleach those items and leave them outside in the sunlight for a few months. You have to wait for the parasite/oocysts (eggs) to die off, which can take quite a while.
  • Lay down paper towels so that the tank will be easier to change and clean. This is going to need to be as close to hospital sterile as we can get it.
  • Soak you reptile in a pedialyte (or Gatorade at the very least) solution (I used 1/3 pedialyte and 2/3 water) to allow for rehydration. You’ll probably need to start doing this daily, depending on the severity of the infection.
  • Buy what is called “hyperimmune bovine colostrum” (I purchased mine from Synertek, but that was a few years ago).
  • Quoted from the study that I supplied below as a source: you can treat the reptile with “six gastric [hyperimmune bovine colostrum] treatments of 1% snake weight at 1-week intervals each.”
  • There is a little more research available than I had years back, but what I did was this: I filled a syringe (a small one like these) with the required 1% of body weight, attached a rubber tube (aquarium tubing works well), carefully pried open the snake’s mouth (by pressing on either side of the jaw), inserted the tube to just past the snake’s neck (this is a good pic for reference; I aimed for the spot just past the person’s hand), and slowly empty the contents of the syringe. Once empty, hold the reptile’s mouth closed for a minute to prevent regurgitation.
  • Put the snake back into it’s cage on a heat source so he can digest the colostrum.

Even if your reptile shows signs of improvement, you can never reintroduce the reptile to other companions. You will always have to keep him separated from the rest. This may suppress and manage the crypto parasite, but he will always carry it.

Source:
Therapeutic efficacy of hyperimmune bovine colostrum treatment against clinical and subclinical Cryptosporidium serpentis infections in captive snakes

Crested gecko care sheet

Quick facts:

  • Size – males and females reach a length of approximately 4 to 5 inches, from snout to vent. Including the tail, they can range between 8 to 9 inches.
  • Lifespan – with good care, your crestie may live for 20 years, give or take.
  • Personality – crested geckos are generally calm in demeanor. They can be a bit flighty when they’re young, but with proper handling an adult can become a very docile pet.
  • Cage size – as usual, bigger is better. The minimum enclosure size for a full-grown crested gecko should be a twenty gallon tall tank. Three adults can be comfortably housed in 30 gallon tank, but you want to ensure that they are all female (males can be extremely aggressive toward each other, especially when there are females nearby).

Diet:
Cresties are very easy to feed and can lively largely on commercial crested gecko diets. Repashy is a great brand to choose and can be found easily on Amazon. Pangea is another great brand, but I’ve had some trouble getting mine to adjust to certain flavors offered by the company. You might end up having to buy multiple flavors to satisfy the preferences of your gecko.

To ensure that your crestie is getting all of the nutrients it needs for growth and health, you may choose to offer snacks consisting of insects multiple times per week. For example, I offer mine crickets and dubia roaches twice a week. As a rarer treat, you may choose to offer waxworms or mealworms but you should be careful with these insects as they can cause impaction problems.

In a pinch, you can give them fruit baby food but I would generally advise against this as a frequent diet because of the guesswork involved in adding proper amounts of vitamins and calcium.

Be sure to provide a bowl of standing water for your gecko just in case he/she takes to it. It is very important to mist the enclosure daily, however, as geckos will usually recognize the water droplets as a source of hydration before the water bowl.

Temperature/humidity:
Being nocturnal by nature, there is no need for a UVB light.

Heating should be between a moderate 75° and 85°. A temperature drop during the night into the low 60’s is permissible but you’ll need to provide an alternate source of heat during winter freezes.

Humidity is important for these geckos as they come from tropical areas. An ideal humidity would be about 60-70%. In drier climates, multiple mistings per day may be required.

Additional notes:
It is quite normal for a crested gecko to lose it’s tail, but unfortunately, the tail will not grow back. For this reason, you’ll want to avoid touching or pulling on the tail. If an accident occurs and your crestie loses his tail, however, do not panic as this is perfectly natural.

B&W tegu care sheet

Quick facts:

  • Size – 4 to 5 feet.
  • Lifespan – with good care, your tegu can live for 20+ years.
  • Personality – the Argentine black and white tegu can become remarkably docile, almost dog-like by the time it reaches full maturity. Argentines are not to be confused with the Columbian species, though. Columbians can become quite tame but are certainly not known for it like their Argentine cousins.
  • Cage size – there are no commercially available cages. You’ll have to build your own. A minimum 6′ length x 3′ depth x 2′ height is recommended, although, like always, bigger is definitely better.

Diet:

Tegus are primarily meat-eaters but it’s good to include some fruits and veggies for them as well. When your tegu is small, you’ll want to introduce crickets, mealworms, cooked eggs (raw eggs provide unnecessary exposure to bacteria that may make your tegu sick), and raw turkey. Berries of any variety are good for them and can help get them used to non-meat entres.

As adults, you’ll want to start introducing a little more fruit and some fish. Melons, berries, bananas and oranges (in moderation). Fish should be given raw. Salmon is the best, but I’ve given mine fresh tilapia as well. Ground turkey should be mixed with vitamins and calcium powder. I like to chop up my veggies and mix it into some scrambled eggs for mine to eat. Remember to feed him those shells, too! They’re a great source of calcium.

Hatchlings and small tegus should be fed daily or every other day while adults can bed fed every other day.

Temperature/humidity:

Tegus need a basking spot on one end of their enclosure in the high 90’s to about 110. I like to keep mine at exactly 100°. UVA/UVB light must also be provided. Like most lizards, tegus are suceptible to metabolic bone disease (MBD) if they are not exposed to proper lighting.

The humidity needs to be high for proper shedding and overall health. Eighty to 90% is perfect for them and can be achieved through daily misting or the addition of a humid-hide box. You’ll also want to make sure that your tegu has a water bowl big enough for soaking as they are quite fond of submersion.

Additional notes:

Tegus are quite terrestrial and like to burrow. Make sure you provide a massive amount of dirt for them to play in. A good recipe for your tegu’s substrate consists of playground sand with some organic topsoil. You want it to be able to hold a burrow if the tegu so desires.

Your tegu may also be given the chance to brumate. They’ll typically sleep for 6 months out of the year during this period. It’s usually done to ensure breeding but some people also believe it contributes to the overall health of their animal. I do not allow mine to brumate and I have not noticed any ill-consequences as a result.

To brumate your tegu, you’ll want to take him off feed approximately two weeks prior to brumation. This will ensure that his belly is empty and food does not rot in his stomach. Next, you’ll provide a place for your tegu to bury himself. Be sure to keep this area continuously misted. That moisture is important! And then you’ll gradually lower the temps over a period of days until you’ve arrived at approximately 55°. It is difficult to ensure that that temperature remains the same, but it must be relatively consistent. If it dips below 50°, your tegu could get sick. If it goes above, he will come out of hibernation.

Treating scale rot, shell rot, or tail rot

Commonly, rot of any kind in myriad reptile species is caused by poor husbandry conditions and the stress that stems from it. Dirty water, dirty cage, poor heating, bad food, etc. The best way to treat scale rot, shell rot, tail rot, or mouth rot is to avoid it altogether.

Obviously, you wouldn’t be reading this article unless that opportunity hadn’t already passed, though.

The good news is that rot, if caught early enough, can be fixed with relative ease. By “ease,” I mean: without a trip to the vet. Now, that’s not to say a vet trip couldn’t be recommended. When in doubt, I would always suggest having the experts take a look at your beloved pet. It’s better to be safe than sorry, right?

Assuming that you feel the rot hasn’t reached the point of necessitating a vet appointment yet, let’s proceed:

Signs of rot –

  • Dark coloration on scales (similar in some ways to a bruise)
  • Blisters or sores
  • Abscesses or lesions
  • Dead tissue, loose scutes, or visible infections

Example of rot –

Steps to treat scale, shell, or tail rot –

  1. Remove any excess skin, scales, or scutes that you can easily remove. Do not pry or force. For turtles, take a soft bristle brush (a toothbrush works well) and clean the infected areas with soap and water. Rinse when done.
  2. Soak the animal in a Betadine and water solution for approximately 30 minutes. When mixing your Betadine, pour  just enough into the water to make the solution look like weak tea. Keep your animal from swallowing the solution. Try, also, to keep their head above water as the Betadine may cause irritation of the eyes or soft tissue in the mouth or nostrils.
  3. After 30 minutes, remove and dry the animal with a clean towel or clean paper towels. Apply dabs of Neosporin to any infected area. (Note: do not use the Neosporin that offers “pain relief” as this is bad for your reptile; the plain Neosporin is best.)
  4. Set up a quarantined, sanitary box for your pet with paper towels for bedding and new, clean bowels for water and food. This will be his hospital room for as long as the infection persists. Clean daily to avoid re-infection. Keep the environment dry (the infection thrives in moisture).
    1. If you have an aquatic animal, give them a few hours to dry out before reintroducing them to a thoroughly cleaned tank.
  5. Repeat steps daily for one week and every other day for as long as two weeks. If you see no improvement after a month, my suggestion would be to take the animal to the vet.

Mouth rot –

  1. Unless you have extensive experience with reptiles, I would not advise treating mouth rot yourself. This can potentially injure the animal, make the rot worse, or get you bit!
  2. If you’re insistent on doing it yourself, pour yourself a small solution of Betadine and water (“weak tea” colored) and, using a Q-tip, carefully clean the infected area daily.
  3. If you’re savvy enough, you may consider giving an injection of Baytril to clear up the infection. Again, this is not advised. You can mortally wound your pet if it’s done incorrectly.

Importance of proper husbandry

Yesterday, a lady gave me her Central American ornate wood turtle and asked me to save it. Not being an expert on turtles, I was puzzled at first by why she thought the little guy was in bad shape. When I turned him over, however, I saw the condition of his plastron. It’s definitely the worst case of rot that I’ve ever seen.

So, I called the best exotic vet I know and scheduled an appointment for next week (would have been sooner except, you know, Thanksgiving…). In the mean time, I gave him a Betadine bath and put some Neosporin on every area that looked infected. Then I set him into a quarantined, sanitized box with proper heating and UVB lights.

First of all, let me stress that proper husbandry for every animal that you adopt is essential. Secondly, if you cannot afford a vet (as was this lady’s excuse), then do the right thing and surrender your pet to someone who can. I don’t fault the lady that caused this little guy to suffer because she did the right thing and found him a new home with someone who can take care of him. I wish it could have been sooner, but at least it happened in the end.

I don’t know for sure, but my initial impression is that this turtle (which I’ve chosen to name Bowser 😀 ) is going to be another long-term patient. All of his suffering could have been avoided if he’d been provided with everything that he needed to grow and stay healthy. Turtles (and many lizards) need a UVB light. This isn’t optional! They need a heat source that is made for their type of heat-absorption (under tank heaters for belly warmers and heating lights for sun-bathers). They need calcium! They need clean water. Please do your research before adopting an animal. Your ignorance could torture the innocent creature that had no choice in the matter.

Veiled chameleon care sheet

Quick facts:

  • Size – males can grow to about 2 feet in length while females may only attain about 18 inches.
  • Lifespan – with good care, your male chameleon may average 6 to 8 years of life. Females will have a shorter lifespan due to egg-laying and may only live for 4 to 6 years.
  • Personality – veiled chameleons are not know for being easily tamed or friendly. They are a pet best suited for display only.
  • Cage size – as with most reptiles, a large enclosure for a hatchling may stress him or her unnecessarily. Provide lots of hiding spaces or else settle for a small enclosure until they grow a bit. As they approach adulthood, a vertical enclosure of 12″ wide by 12″ deep by 36″tall will suffice. As always, larger is always better. Screened enclosures provide more airflow, which is a good thing for the chameleon. But glass retains humidity better. By far, the best solution is a combination of screen and glass for your chameleon to live a long and happy life.

Diet:
Your chameleon will thrive on a diet of gut-loaded or calcium-dusted crickets, roaches, or (in moderation) meal worms. I definitely recommend starting your own dubia colony of roaches if you can handle it. They’re cleaner, fresher, and more quiet than crickets.

When I was first starting out with only one chameleon, I was overwhelmed by the noise a single petstore box of crickets can make if my chameleon didn’t eat them all. Whatever your choice and however you choose to get them (by breeding your own or buying them from the store), please be sure to feed them a food that is nutritious for your chameleon before serving up your veiled his dinner. This process works by serving the crickets a good gut-loading meal (easily available on Amazon) so that they will then infuse your chameleon with those nutrients once the chameleon eats the cricket.

Alternatively, you can buy a calcium dust, throw the crickets into a baggie with a little dust, and shake the baggie until the crickets are coated with a decent amount of calcium. Again, this allows your chameleon to get the nutrients it needs without there being any extra fuss.

Personally, I prefer the dubia roaches as they provide more nutrition for the chameleon by themselves and I can then control their diet better for the duration of their lives before feeding them to my chameleons. But this is a personal preference. Obviously, having a bin full of roaches isn’t everyone’s cup of tea! 😛 And, truthfully, waiting for your first colony to grow enough to harvest requires a lot of patience.

Temperature/Humidity:
It is essential for the health of the veiled that they have a source of heat that comes from above as well as a source for UVA/UVB light. Chameleons in the wild will draw heat from the sun. Their sensors are on their back, not their belly. As such, heat rocks and heating pads are no use to chameleons. You need a heat lamp for an acceptable basking spot. Use any heat lamp that will allow you to achieve a temperature of 90° to 95°.

In addition to the heat, there is also the matter of UVB light. Unlike snakes, chameleons (as well as most lizards) need a source of UVB light. This provides the reptile with Vitamin D and thus aids in the processing of calcium. UVB is easily filtered by glass, so setting your chameleon next to a window will not work. Additionally, it is good for you to know that UVB bulbs will stop producing UVB wavelengths long before the light goes out. For this reason, I recommend replacing the light every six months. Failure to provide UVB can result in metabolic bone disease for your chameleon. MBD has been know to cause paralysis and even death.

For the sake of simplicity, I resort to a combination bulb. It’s also called a mercury-vapor bulb and you can find it in most petstores as well as, you guessed it, Amazon. This bulb provides an ambient heat as well as the necessary UVB. They can be a little fritzy, though. It’s really a hit or miss product. I also like the ReptiSun products, which work well in any Home Depot light strip holster. I would avoid the spiral-bulb designs, however. I haven’t experienced any problems but I have heard in the reptile trade that these bulbs may cause blindness in your reptiles. I don’t think they’re worth your chameleon’s health.

Taming:
Once again, chameleons are one of those pets that make a better display animal than a cuddly little buddy. They will never be as tame as a puppy and you should definitely drop any Pascal dreams right now. If you feel like you can handle a few bites and have the patience to work for many months on befriending your little guy, then maybe you’ll be lucky enough to be able to handle him occasionally.

Keep in mind that chameleons do not change color based on their environment. They change according to mood and temperature. A healthy, happy chameleon will always be lighter in coloration. An unhappy, stressed chameleon will be dark – almost black. Do not make it a habit to stress out your chameleon because this may reduce his lifespan. Just be patient and practice according to his comfort.

To begin, open his cage door and place your hand inside or nearby. That’s all. That’s it. Read a book now. Watch some Netflix. Your chameleon needs to have time to adjust to you. Leave that hand there, though. He needs to think you’re part of the scenery. Wait about 15 minutes or stop if he starts darkening. Close his cage. Try the same procedure tomorrow.

Do this for a week or more. Do this until he doesn’t turn dark at all. Then proceed with step 2: move your hand closer to him. You may get lucky. Maybe he’ll let you get really close. Maybe you’ll even be able to touch. That’s not very likely, though. Just move your hand close enough to him for him to start changing color or start to move away and then stop. Hold your hand there. If he moves, he moves. Oh well.

Do this for another week or until he doesn’t turn dark at all. If you like, you can try introducing treats to him. I prefer mealworms for this. They’re different from his regular cuisine and I’m not afraid to let them crawl on me. Just get one in your hand and hold it near your chameleon. He should take it eventually. Get another one. I wouldn’t exceed two mealworms for a small veiled and definitely no more than five for an adult. Mealworms can cause impaction problems.

Step 3, hold your finger or your hand in front of him. Do this for as long as it takes him to explore you. If he turns dark, retreat a little. Patience is good during this process. You do not want him to fear you. Take things according to his pace and he’ll eventually realize that you’re a pretty cool tree to climb over.

When he does, finally, decide to explore you, don’t keep him out for very long. You want the experience to end on a positive note. Don’t move too fast and don’t walk. Remember, you’re a giant to his eyes. Giants eat guys like him for lunch! Just be slow and when you think he’s ready, get him a mealworm as a reward and let him crawl back into his cage. Don’t rush him. Don’t prod him. Definitely don’t just dump him.

And that’s that! If at any time he starts turning dark, just go back to the previous step. Practice this taming exercise daily, though or else he might forget. Like all reptiles, any progress you make will quickly be forgotten if it isn’t reinforced.

A final note: be mindful of your chameleon’s colors! Dark is bad. Do not stress him out or he may bite or lose total trust in you.


Darker coloration, bloated midsection, and puffy throat indicate fear. This little guy isn’t happy about something!

Corn snake care sheet

Quick facts:

  • Size – typically grow about 4 to 5 feet in length.
  • Lifespan – with good care, your corn can live for 15 or 20+ years.
  • Personality – hatchlings can be fearful and may try to strike, but as they grow corns will usually mellow out quite a bit. This isn’t a snake that needs to be handled daily although daily handlings will certainly allow your corn to get used to you and he or she may be less “squirmy” for it.
  • Cage size – a 20 gallon long aquarium will suffice for smaller snakes but larger ones will really need a 40 gallon breeder at a minimum.

Diet:
As with all snakes, a diet of mice or rats is acceptable. Young rats provide more nutrition for corn snakes and are the better alternative but mice will suffice. You should choose a mouse that is at least as big or one and a half times the thickest part of your snake. Frozen/thawed mice or rats are the better option because these rodents have been pre-killed and do not pose a danger to your snake. Their frozen state kills off unwanted bacteria, also. Frozen/thawed rodents are readily purchased at almost any petstore or can be ordered (in bulk) from online shops like RodentPro, PerfectPrey, or LayneLabs.

Do NOT try to thaw out your mouse or rat in the microwave! Place the rodent in a baggie and let it thaw slowly in a bowl of hot water. Or, better yet, do what I do and set the rat or mouse in the refrigerator the night before. This will ensure that it is properly thawed. You can then place it in some warm water to get the body temp up and make it more “lifelike” for your corn snake. Cold food is NOT good for snakes. Make sure that it is warm!

Temperatures/Humidity:
Corn snakes, like all snakes, need a temperature gradient to help them regulate their own body temperatures. They are cold blooded, so they need an external heat source. I find that under tank heaters are terrific and easy to use. Heating lamps can work well but there needs to be an object below the lamp to help absorb the heat (like a rock or a piece of tile). Corn snakes absorb heat through their bellies. You’ll find them basking on rocks in the wild to soak up the heat from below rather than waiting for the sun to warm them.

Do NOT use heating rocks! These are wicked products and can result in severe burns to the snake. A mild malfunction in the devices can burn the skin right off of your snake. I would show you pictures but they’re very hard to look at.

To get your tank set up properly, you’ll want to maintain a “cool” end temperature of about 70° to 75°. You should not let the tank drop below that 60°. On the other side of the tank, you’ll want to place your heating device and maintain a temp of approximately 85°. You can allow a small decrease in temp during the night, but the day needs to maintain this gradient constantly. To monitor these temps, please make it easy on yourself and purchase a temp gun. They sell little thermometers at pets stores but those can be horribly inaccurate. The temp gun is much more reliable and easier to use. Just shine the light at whatever space your snake can rest on and, if it checks out, call it a day.

In addition to the temperature, you’ll want to maintain a humidity of about 60%-70%. In some areas, you may not need to worry about this (some places in the south are more humid than others). But for those who need to take this into consideration, misting the cage can help you raise the humidity. Placing the water bowl over the heating pad or under the heating lamp can help. Even draping moist towels over the top of the cage can provide a little extra moisture. If all else fails, get yourself a tupperware container and cut a hole into it big enough for your snake to access. Fill it with damp sphagnum moss and let your snake regulate his own humidity. You’ll need to make sure you moisten the moss daily, however.

Ball python care sheet

Quick facts:

  • Size – females can grow 3 to 5 feet while males grow 2 to 3.
  • Lifespan – with good care, your python can live for 30 to 40+ years.
  • Personality – considered the “Labradors of the snake world.” They rarely strike. Very docile tendencies. When they feel threatened, they will curl into a tight ball and only come out when they feel safe again.
  • Cage size – a 20 gallon long aquarium will suffice for smaller snakes but larger ones will really need a 40 gallon breeder at a minimum.

Diet:
As with all snakes, a diet of mice or rats is acceptable. Rats provide more nutrition for ball pythons and are the better alternative but mice will suffice. You should choose a mouse that is at least as big or one and a half times the thickest part of your snake. Frozen/thawed mice or rats are the better option because these rodents have been pre-killed and do not pose a danger to your snake. Their frozen state kills off unwanted bacteria, also. Frozen/thawed rodents are readily purchased at almost any petstore or can be ordered (in bulk) from online shops like RodentPro, PerfectPrey, or LayneLabs.

Do NOT try to thaw out your mouse or rat in the microwave! Place the rodent in a baggie and let it thaw slowly in a bowl of hot water. Or, better yet, do what I do and set the rat or mouse in the refrigerator the night before. This will ensure that it is properly thawed. You can then place it in some warm water to get the body temp up and make it more “lifelike” for your ball python. Cold food is NOT good for snakes. Make sure that it is warm!

*Note: Not all ball pythons will accept frozen/thawed. They can be picky eaters.

Temperatures/Humidity:
Ball pythons, like all snakes, need a temperature gradient to help them regulate their own body temperatures. They are cold blooded, so they need an external heat source. I find that under tank heaters are terrific and easy to use. Heating lamps can work well but there needs an object below the lamp to help absorb the heat (like a rock or a piece of tile). Ball pythons absorb heat through their bellies. You’ll find them basking on rocks in the wild to soak up the heat from below rather than waiting for the sun to warm them.

Do NOT use heating rocks! These are wicked products and can result in severe burns to the snake. A mild malfunction in the devices can burn the skin right off of your snake. I would show you pictures but they’re very hard to look at.

To get your tank set up properly, you’ll want to maintain a “cool” end temperature of about 75° to 80°. You should not let the tank drop below that 75°. On the other side of the tank, you’ll want to place your heating device and maintain a temp of approximately 90°. You can allow a small decrease in temp during the night, but the day needs to maintain this gradient constantly. To monitor these temps, please make it easy on yourself and purchase a temp gun. They sell little thermometers at pets stores but those can be horribly inaccurate. The temp gun is much more reliable and easier to use. Just shine the light at whatever space your snake can rest on and, if it checks out, call it a day.

In addition to the temperature, you’ll want to maintain a humidity of about 60%-70%. In some areas, you may not need to worry about this (some places in the south are more humid than others). But for those who need to take this into consideration, misting the cage can help you raise the humidity. Placing the water bowl over the heating pad or under the heating lamp can help. Even draping moist towels over the top of the cage can provide a little extra moisture. If all else fails, get yourself a tupperware container and cut a hole into it big enough for your snake to access. Fill it with damp sphagnum moss and let your snake regulate his own humidity. You’ll need to make sure you moisten the moss daily, however.

My introduction

What does the slightly not-so-average person do when they have a house full of animals and a passion for writing? They start a blog, of course!

My name is Morgan (AKA Morrigyn) and I have nine parrots, four lizards, two chameleons, one rat, one hamster, and eight snakes. These numbers vary from month to month because I have a bad habit of taking pity on the creatures that I see in need; getting them back in good order; and then sometimes finding them new, loving homes. The finding a new home part is the hardest, naturally. I bond with these animals. I love these animals. They are my children.

Most of my time is taken up by my feathery, scaley, and furry family but I sincerely enjoy it. It’s the highlight of my day. I come home and let them all out. They fly around. They play with each other. They eat my food with me. We watch TV. We play video games. Sometimes they even get to go to work with me! My pets are my life. I grew up in a large family. I’m used to constant interaction and they give me that. It’s wonderful!

The challenge in having so many pets is setting up perfect little homes for all of them. I like working with my hands and building their enclosures has been a lot of fun! I’m still new to the practice, but getting better with each upgrade or addition. In this blog, I hope to catalog as many how-tos as I can. DIY (do-it-yourself) snake hides, chameleon vines, cages, toys, etc. I would like this blog to become an information center for people who want to provide a safe and loving home for the pets that they adopt. Care sheets will be included and even a guide (based on my own experiences) for those that are looking for the right pets but aren’t sure what to expect.

Anyway, thanks for reading! I hope you stick around and help me make this blog grow!