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How to Medicate Your Reptile

Giving medications to reptiles can be challenging, and hiding medicine in food doesn’t work too well if the reptile does not eat every day. In addition to metabolic differences compared to mammals, reptiles have a slightly different blood flow that can cause some trouble with certain medications. It has been found that the blood flow in the rear part of the body circulates through the kidney and liver before continuing through the body (renal portal system). This can result in the elimination of medication before it has had a chance to work if the medication is injected in the rear part of the body.

For this reason, it is recommended that medication be injected in a part of the body in front of the kidneys. Currently, research is being done to determine if this renal portal system significantly affects medication blood levels or not.

Below are methods for administering medication. Please consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns. Give only medication prescribed by a veterinarian.

Methods of administering medication


Restraining the reptile for medication administration can be tricky. Many reptiles are quite strong and some can even be aggressive. Two people may be required to hold the reptile for his/her injection.

Methods of Administering Injections