Although parasites are commonly associated with wild-caught reptiles, many captive-bred reptiles also carry a certain load of intestinal parasites. A healthy reptile can handle low numbers of parasites with seemingly no negative effects, but most parasites still harm their host in one way or another — especially when the population gets out of control. It’s when the population gets out of control that noticeable symptoms typically develop.
- Appetite loss
- Unexplained weight loss
- Slimy/bloody/off-color poo
- Neurological problems
The first thing you should do when you bring home any new reptile is to quarantine it for at least 3 months to check for parasites and other signs of disease. This is particularly important if you have other reptiles in your home, especially other ocellated skinks, and especially if you plan to house them together! During the quarantine period, take a fresh sample (<24 hours old) of the skink’s poo to a veterinarian for a parasite check and medication if needed.
Your ocellated skink should have two clear parasite checks before being removed from quarantine.