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RE: Probiotics and Antibiotics

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Posted by: fireside3 at Wed Sep 10 02:22:41 2008  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by fireside3 ]  

I agree that the average person is better off with a vet most times than not, but I also stress checking into their specific experience with herps, successes, and double checking info that they get from vets against knowledgeable herp keepers. There are plenty of websites out there that discuss common misconceptions and dangerous treatments administered by veterinarians.

For example, Randy's baby hernandesi of about 2 grams. Not sure if he talked to you about that, but his vet was urging force feeding of whole prey, and antibiotics. I flatly told him this vet was going to kill his HL, and that he probably was suffering from metabolic acidosis instead, from hibernating too long, or at too warm a temp, and now his fat reserves were depleted. This likely resulted in catabolism of muscle tissue to use protein as a fuel, a deficiency of fat soluble vitamins, and acidosis of the blood which can cause kidney failure. I told him to go with liquid Repta-Aid formula instead, amino acid based electrolyte, Bene-Bac, and absolutely DO NOT force feed prey. His little one recovered, and last I heard had about quadrupled his weight I think. Saving a 2 gram HL is not an easy thing to do, and if the veterinarians recommendations had all been followed, "John" would be dead today. She did not recognize what was happening to him.

Melissa Kaplan's site has a veterinary recommendation page.

In my opinion, about the best second opinion veterinary information you can get is usually from keepers of large tortoises. There are so many issues with Chelonians, and experienced keepers and breeders of very long lived and large tortoises have usually been through a lot of these issues, and are familiar with the need to second guess veterinarians, and on what subjects.

The gut flora is directly responsible for digestion. It is the bacteria in the system that cause the breakdown of the foods, and derive the nutrients which are released and shared with the host animal. They are also responsible for immune function, by preventing the overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria. That is about as simple as I can state it.

While I do not know every identified commensal flora in HLs, nor even that they have all been identified, we do know that certain bacteria are present in birds and reptiles, such as Lactobacillus sp. These probiotics add several commensal lactic acid producing bacteria, which are foundations of a good flora balance. There is no harm of using them that I have ever seen, or witnessed through my own use. Many many herp keepers, and veterinarians, recommend them. They can in fact help keep pathogenic bacteria from multiplying out of control. In a healthy herp, you don't have to use it, but if you are using antibiotics, I HIGHLY recommend the use of these probiotics to keep the engine of digestion and immunity from flaming out.

For the nebulizer treatment, I use a large ziplock bag to which the nebulizer tubes are taped inside to create a positive pressure chamber.

It is not so much that Baytril is hard on the patient, it actually is much easier on the kidneys than many other antibiotics. The problem with Baytril is mainly the damaging effects on joint tissue, especially on juveniles, if injected in undilute form. I shy away from injection period if possible. The other is the resistance to it in the pathogen world, because it is a knee jerk prescription. But, there are many other antibiotics out there, such as aminoglycosides and sulfonamides, which can be much more harmful to the herp. Special care must be taken with them as well, and the damage can be fatal very quickly. Old tetracycline is also highly nephrotoxic and should be thrown away, not reused.

Where possible however, I try to use cephalosporin class, preferably third or fourth generation, which have much fewer side effects and are pretty effective in reptiles. ( ceftazidime, cefpodoxime ) Even first or second gen are useful and may be tried if available, before going with another class of antibiotic.
Wichita Falls Reptile Rescue
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