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Mouth Rot (Infectious Stomatitis, Ulcerative Stomatitis)

By: Dr. Nancy Anderson

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Reptiles with mouth infections should be housed at the high end of the preferred optimum temperature range. This is very important to stimulate their immune system. However, it is also important not to heat them too much because this predisposes them to thermal stress and dehydration. Ask your veterinarian for the proper temperature range for your reptile.

If you are applying topical medications or giving oral medications, make sure that your veterinarian instructs you on how to open your pets mouth safely (both for you and for your pet). Be gentle. If you are unsure, ask for more information. If you still feel uncomfortable, it may be best for your pet to be hospitalized for the topical treatments.

If your reptile eats plants, try feeding softer, less fibrous fruits and vegetables. Administer all medication according to your veterinarian's instructions, and observe your pet's general activity level and interest. If these worsen, contact your veterinarian.

Schedule regular veterinary visits to monitor the condition.

As a preventative measure, you should do the following:

  • House reptiles at the appropriate temperature range.

  • Give reptiles hide boxes to minimize cage pacing. Smooth cage surfaces minimize trauma from cage rubbing.

  • Feed carnivorous reptiles previously killed prey of the appropriate type.

  • Remove sticks and weeds from hay fed to tortoises.

  • Control mite and tick infestations

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