Nutrition Chelonian

The diet of aquatic turtles should consist of a variety of foodstuffs, including small fish, worms, insects, water plants, and dark green, leafy vegetables. Aquatic turtles like to eat their meals while in the water. Box turtles, on the other hand, prefer to eat on land. They, too, enjoy and need the same type of well-balanced diet as do their aquatic cousins, with the addition of some dark green or yellow vegetables and fruit. A balanced vitamin-mineral supplement should be added to the diet of all turtles for added protection against nutritional bone disease.

Housing snakes

Pet snakes can be categorized several different ways, depending on the type of living environment in which they are normally found in the wild. These can include arboreal snakes such as boa constrictors and Burmese pythons, which prefer living in trees; semi aquatic snakes such as garter snakes, which enjoy living both in water and on land; and terrestrial snakes like ball pythons and king snakes, which prefer solid ground.
Most snakes kept as pets can be housed in converted glass aquariums or custom acrylic enclosures. As a rule, provide at least34 square foot of living area per foot of snake housed within. Secure, well ventilated tops are needed as well to prevent premeditated escape. These tops should be constructed out of peg board, acrylic, or plastic instead of wire mesh, as the latter can cause snout abrasions. The configuration and setup provided within the enclosure itself should cater to your snake’s individual preferences, whether they are arboreal, terrestrial, or semi aquatic. Regardless of the type, plan on thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting the floor, walls, and contents of your pet’s home at least twice monthly.
Keep in mind that the two most crucial factors in providing a proper artificial environment for any reptile are temperature and humidity. In the wild, reptiles regulate their body temperatures (as necessary for various physiological functions) by changing their position in accordance with changes in environmental temperatures. As a result, snakes might choose to bask in the sun on a branch or rock to raise their body temperature, or to seek out shade to lower their body temperature. In captivity, such options should be available as well.
An incandescent light bulb with a reflector can be positioned over one end of the cage containing a basking branch or rock. Temperatures in this “hot” region should remain a consistent 93 to 97 degrees Fahrenheit. (Note: Commercially available “hot rocks” should not be used within the enclosure, since these can burn the underside of snakes.) Temperature gradients elsewhere within the enclosure should range from 85 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Heating pads can be placed beneath selected sections of the aquarium to achieve these temperature gradients. Ceramic heating elements can be utilized as well.
Aquarium thermometers should be placed at multiple locations within the cage to monitor these temperatures throughout.
A humidity gauge should be centrally located in your snake’s enclosure, away from heat and light sources. Relative humidity should be maintained between 40 and 70 percent. Environmental humidity kept too low can cause dehydration and shedding challenges. On the contrary, humidity kept consistently too high can predispose a snake to potentially harmful fungal and bacterial growth.
Artificial turf, indoor/outdoor carpet, aspen chips, or butcher-block paper can be used to line the floor of your snake’s terrarium. If either of the first two are used, keep two or three clean pieces available as backups to quickly replace soiled ones. Excretions and any uneaten food should be removed daily, and the flooring should be changed at least every other day. A quaternary ammonium compound or chlorhexidine diluted 1:10 with water is an ideal disinfectant for cleaning and soaking soiled pieces of flooring. If you have only one piece of turf to work with, be sure to rinse and dry it completely before placing it back into the cage. Failure to do so could predispose your snake to skin irritation and disease.
For arboreal species, provide plenty of branches of different types and sizes on which your snake may climb. Smooth rock formations, hollow logs, or other hiding areas should be placed at different temperature locations within the enclosure. Burrowing snakes, such as sand boas, will also need a substrate into which they can burrow. Aspen shavings or other commercially available substrates designed for snakes serve this function quite nicely.
Another item needed for your snake’s home is a sturdy ceramic or plastic water bowl large enough for the snake to crawl into. The bowl should contain a water level shallow enough as to not completely submerge the snake’s body. Use filtered water as a water source to prevent chlorine irritation to your pet’s skin. Change the water and clean the bowl on a daily basis.

Restraint snakes

Most snakes become accustomed to being handled by their owners without requiring any special restraint techniques. However, if a snake seems to be aggressive or hyperactive, restrain it by first gripping the snake just behind its head to gain control of this region. The body should then be supported with the other hand. Gloves can be worn if necessary to protect the hands. Also, to be safe, never handle a very large constrictor snake, especially one with a belligerent attitude, if no one else is around.

Care Of Snakes

Although thousands of snake varieties exist, the ones most commonly kept as pets include pythons, boa constrictors, garter snakes, milk snakes, king snakes, and corn snakes (rat snakes). Obviously, owner ship of venomous snakes should be restricted to those persons having special training in the husbandry and handling of these species. As a result, the information contained in this section focuses on the more popular nonpoisonous varieties mentioned above. As with most other exotic pets discussed in this chapter, pet snakes will thrive in those environments that are climate-controlled, are sanitary, and offer high quality sources of nutrition for their inhabitants. Many snakes kept in such conditions can live a healthy 10 to 20 years.

Preventive Health Care Rabbits

Routine vaccinations are not required for rabbits, but annual veterinary checkups and stool checks are highly recommended. The nails should be trimmed monthly (or more frequently if needed), and the haircoat should be brushed at least twice weekly (longhair varieties more frequently). Rabbits will shed their haircoats every 3 to 4 months. Feline hairball laxative should be administered weekly to prevent hairball formation. While administering this medication, take note of the teeth for any apparent overgrowth. If detected, contact your veterinarian. Fleas and ear mites can be controlled using safe topical products designed for puppies and kittens.
Adult does can be spayed to prevent further pregnancies and to reduce the incidence of uterine cancer as they grow older. Similarly, bucks can be neutered when they are 8 to 12 months of age. Ask your veterinarian for more details. Strict sanitation, environmental control, and high-quality rations must be given top priority in order to prevent disease. Keep a close eye on your pet’s behavior, eating habits, elimination habits, and physical characteristics. Notify your veterinarian of any changes. Care should be taken to prevent obesity, which can have the same deleterious effects in rabbits as it does in humans. And don’t forget to offer a liberal dose of attention to your pet each day to help fulfill its mental and emotional needs.