Reptile Care


From the smallest Chihuahua to the largest Russian Wolfhound, dogs are dogs, just like cats, housecat to the tiger, are cats. When it comes to veterinary care, all dogs are far more alike than they are different; the same is true of cats. This is not the case with reptiles. Snakes, lizards, turtles, and tortoises all have one critical thing in common: they’re cold-blooded (poikilothermic), meaning their body temperature is determined by the environment. Beyond that, many types of reptiles have very little in common. At Short Pump Animal Hospital in Glen Allen, our veterinarian understands the vast differences in reptiles as pets.

Your Responsibilities as a Reptile Owner

The internet is an incredible source of information. One of the best investments you can make is time spent reading and studying care sheets made available on the internet by reptile clubs, breeders, veterinarians, and hobbyists. You will learn dietary requirements; housing, caging, or enclosure needs; how large the animal is likely to be as an adult, and how long it can live; and the temperature range in which the animal can survive. 

Local reptile clubs are another great source of information on buying healthy animals and keeping them healthy. Quality food, whether in the form of vegetables, fruits, or small mammals like mouse and rat pups, is key to good health, and club members can provide guidance on sources available nowhere else.

Familiarize yourself with signs of common illnesses or medical emergencies in your chosen reptile. Know what vitamins and minerals are necessary to prevent shell deformities in turtles or tortoises, or that lizards can develop hypervitaminosis if you overdo required vitamins.  Have a snake or lizard? Know how to recognize respiratory infections and mouth rot, two serious but common problems. In short, do your homework, and the chance of health problems will be greatly decreased.

Our Responsibilities as Your Veterinarian for Exotic Pets

Short Pump Animal Hospital veterinarians have extensive experience in treating a range of exotic pets, including reptiles, birds, and ‘pocket pets. We can advise you on everyday reptile care, diet, and disease prevention. Because reptiles can have bad or fatal reactions to many medications used in veterinary practice, it is important to you and your pet to take advantage of the specialized training, experience, knowledge, and skills of our veterinarians.

Having a health history on file can provide valuable information if your pet develops a condition requiring veterinary care in the future.

Establish a Veterinary Relationship Today, Contact Our Short Pump Animal Hospital

Your pet reptile can benefit from regular veterinary care. In Glen Allen, the Richmond area, or in the West End, contact Short Pump Animal Hospital at (804) 360-0100 for the best reptile care!

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Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Glen Allen


7:30 am-6:30 pm


7:30 am-6:30 pm


7:30 am-6:30 pm


7:30 am-6:30 pm


7:30 am-6:30 pm