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First Aid Kits for Reptiles: What to Include

First Aid Kits for Reptiles: What to Include

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How to Build a Solid First Aid Kit for Your Reptiles

Since illness, injury or accidents can happen at any time to your reptilian pets, keeping an emergency first aid kit stocked and ready is crucial to being prepared for small injuries to life and death situations. You can put a first aid kit together yourself, buying the items separately and saving some money, or buy a reptile first aid kit ready-made.

Whichever you choose, it’s strongly suggested to have a kit prepared, accessible, and ready-to-use for your reptile sitter. While smart critter sitters always carry a basic first aid kit, having one ready that is reptile-only can make the difference in a crisis situation.

Equipment and Supplies

If you make a kit yourself, use a small plastic tub with a tight fitting lid to store the following items:

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  • Magnifying glass
  • Hemostat, forceps & surgical scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Small, round-tipped probe (for prolapse)
  • Nail clippers and metal nail file
  • Styptic powder or sticks, Kwik Stop, or cornstarch
  • Sugar packets or small bag of granulated sugar
  • Penlight
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  • Cotton swabs
  • Turkey baster
  • Clean cotton cloths
  • Lubricant such as mineral oil or KY Jelly (without spermicide)
  • Disposable gloves
  • Pet carrier, cloth bag, or other items needed for transport
  • Syringes of various sizes
  • Scalpel blades and handles
  • Eye dropper
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  • Tub large enough to soak the reptile in water
  • Wire cutters (if enclosure is not acrylic or glass)
  • Paper towels or thick, blue shop towels
  • Heat pack or hot water bottle (to keep pet warm during transport; wrap the pack in a towel – do not apply directly to your pet, or burns may result)
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Bandaging Materials

  • Square gauze of various sizes – some sterile
  • Non-stick pads
  • First aid tape – both paper (easily comes off of skin) and adhesive types
  • Bandage rolls – gauze and Vetrap
  • Wooden sticks of various sizes for splints – tongue depressors, Popsicle sticks, toothpicks
  • Stockinette or clean tube sock
  • Gel foam – stops bleeding from wounds (ask your herp veterinarian)
  • Band-Aids (for humans)

Nutritional Support

  • Nutritional supplement such as Nutri-Cal, Vitacal, or Nutristat
  • Rehydrating solution such as unflavored Pedialyte
  • ReptAid (vitamin/appetite supplement/probiotic, sold in pet stores)
  • Powdered calcium such as ReptiCal

Medicines*

  • Wound disinfectant such as Betadine or Povidone-Iodine Scrub
  • Triple antibiotic ointment for skin (such as Neosporin, should not contain painkillers)
  • Antibiotic ophthalmic ointment for eyes, e.g., Terramycin
  • Eye wash solution
  • Sterile saline or hydrogen peroxide to irrigate (wash out) a wound

Reptile Emergency First Aid Kit*Watch the expiration dates on any medication, and replace as needed.

Important Phone Numbers

  • Herp/exotic veterinary clinic phone number and directions to the clinic
  • Herp/exotic veterinary emergency clinic phone number and directions
  • Poison control center phone numbers

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