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Nutrition

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Abstract

Reptiles often survive on an inappropriate or inadequate diet, but many of the medical problems seen in pet reptiles are largely caused by poor nutrition. This chapter covers special features of reptile nutrition, assessment of growth and body condition, water provision, reptile trophic groups, herbivore, omnivore and carnivore diets, and dietary supplementation.

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Figures

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4.3 Coelomic cavity of a pet snake that had been grossly overfed by its owner. Note the large quantities of adipose tissue around the kidneys.
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4.4 Body condition scoring in leopard geckos. (a) Condition score 1: emaciated; almost no fat store in the tail. (b) Condition score 3: normal; tail rounded, with reasonable amount of stored fat. (c) Condition score 5: obese; note the increased girth of the legs as well as the tail.
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4.5 (a) A malnourished slider and (b) a malnourished snake.
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4.6 Growth curves for (a–b) green iguanas, and (c–d) juvenile inland bearded dragons. (a–b, Courtesy of S Donoghue Nutrition Support Services; c–d, Reproduced from with permission from the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians)
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4.7 Predicted and actual bodyweights for a group of female spur-thighed tortoises just prior to hibernation. Data collected at British Chelonia Group tortoise weigh-in.
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4.8 Respiratory distress in this juvenile Hermann’s tortoise was caused by severe constipation and gas production. In this case, failure to provide a suitable source of water appears to have led to the formation of a bladder stone and subsequent intestinal blockage. BS = bladder stone; C = colon; L = compressed lungs; S = stomach outline. © Dreamstime
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4.9 Green Madagascar gecko drinking. © Dreamstime
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Green iguana Green iguana
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4.13 Iguana colon showing ileocolic valve and transverse septa. Wood chips and other foreign bodies often get trapped in these folds, which can lead to impaction.
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4.18 Hingeback tortoise.
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4.20 Chameleon with retained eggs.
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4.25 Tree boas and pythons perch with coils that trap rainwater from which they drink.

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