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Most of the rough-scaled plated lizards sold in the US are wild-caught, which means that they often carry significant parasite loads. This isn’t usually too much of a problem in the wild, as a healthy plated lizard’s immune system is able to keep parasites from growing out of control. And fortunately, not many reptile parasites can be passed to humans.
However, parasites can and often do become a problem during capture and transport from the lizards’ native habitat, which causes them an incredible amount of stress. This causes lowered immune function, and when this happens, parasite populations can boom out of control, threatening the health of the lizard.
If your plated lizard demonstrates one or more of the following symptoms, they may have a parasite infestation:
- Weight loss
- Low body fat
- Loss of appetite
- Extremely smelly poo
- No poo
Take a sample of your lizard’s poo to the vet annually to be analyzed for parasites. The sample must be fresh, preferably refrigerated and less than 24 hours old, for accurate results. If the vet finds parasites, they will prescribe an oral dewormer for treatment.
During treatment, dust feeder insects with a powdered probiotic like NutriBAC df. If possible you can also administer probiotic paste (dosed by weight) like Bene-Bac Plus. Probiotics help counteract deworming medication’s side effects and promote good appetite.
Best practice for reducing the likelihood of re-contamination in your plated lizard’s enclosure is to keep the enclosure clean. Do a deep-clean once every 3-6 months so you can scrub every surface with a veterinary disinfectant like chlorhexidine or F10SC. Remember to pay attention to the instructions, because contact time is very important to successfully using these disinfectants.