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More reptile questions from the mailbag

Fat tail geckos make a nice beginner pet and are very similar to leopard geckos in their care.
Holli Friedland

My snake keeps regurgitating its mice, what is wrong?

This could be a medical problem, but more than likely it is a husbandry problem. If you have a snake that is regurgitating, chances are it is not warm enough. Put thermometers in various places around the cage so you know exactly what the temperature is. The ideal temperature varies by species.

Reptiles are cold blooded. That does not mean you keep them cold. Their metabolism is entirely based on their environment. If your snake is not within the correct temperature range, it will not be able to digest its meal. There is no choice but to get rid of it before the food rots inside of the snake. As most snake owners know, a regurgitated rodent is one of the most horrible smells in the world.

If changing the temperature does not work, a visit to the vet is in order.

How do I know if my turtle has shell rot?

Shell rot looks like a white, gooey substance that is attached to the shell. If it has just begun, you can remove the turtle from the tank, scrub it gently with a toothbrush and some diluted Betadine. Keep the turtle in another container and let it dry completely for about 23 hours a day. Rinse off the Betadine and put the turtle back in the aquarium for an hour for feeding. You have to repeat this for at least several days.

Even though they live in water, they need to be able to climb out and dry themselves by basking in the light. You might see a turtle holding one or both back legs out and wonder what is happening. Your turtle is trying to dry its leg by allowing air to circulate underneath of it.

If shell rot is severe, it will eat pock marks or holes into the shell and will require a vet visit and medication.

Fat tail vs leopard gecko, which should I get?

Both are great for beginners and are kept in basically the same manner. It is really up to you, which one you find more intriguing.

Is it hard to breed crickets?

Most people concur that breeding crickets is a huge time and space consuming effort. It is generally easier to buy crickets than to try and breed them. A much simpler alternative is mealworms. They are really easy to raise and breed. Dubia cockroaches are another easy to breed insect, and they do not climb glass like some roach species.

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