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Reptile Mouth Rot

Inflammation of the mouth is technically called Stomatitis or mouth rot. This condition affects the pharynx or esophagus and the oral cavity.

This conditions develops when stress or inappropriate regulated temperature in the living space, overcrowding, having parasites internally and/or externally, trauma or poor nutrition. All theses types of stress weaken the immune system and leave the reptile susceptible to becoming sick.

There are many symptoms to mouth rot. They do vary from case to case. In mild cases the reptile will display excessive saliva, anorexia, discharge of yellowish mucus from the mouth, inflammation in and around the mouth, the mouth unable to close, lessening or no flicking of the tongue. Often the lining of the mouth has a yellowish or whitish velvety substance coated on it with erosion of the mouth. In extreme cases the mouth looks like it is rotting away.

Very extreme cases it will appear the entire head will swell and the infection will spread through to the jaw and skull. When this happens the reptile starts to lose its teeth and soon pneumonia takes hold. When cases are this extreme it extends through to the eye and if mouth rot is not treated aggressively and quickly the reptile may lose and eye or even both eyes.

When broken off from the area of the rotted area of the rotted mouth, the intestinal becomes swollen.

Mouth rot is a secondary illness; it needs to be treated at the same time as the originated illness is treated. By chance the first illness is not treated properly the mouth rot will return as soon as the medication treatment is finished. If mouth rot is treated in the early stages, addressing the living conditions and nutritional issues needs to be done in this first step. In mild cases warming up their living space improves the healing process. All abscesses need to be opened and drained. When the lesions have died, the dead skin needs to be removed along with any other dead tissue around the infection. The area affected by the infection needs to be washed out thoroughly and antibiotic treatments applied.

If there is extensive tissue damage surgery may be required to remove all the damage to the muscle, the bone and other tissues. Humidification and heat might be needed to assist in the healing process for your reptile.

When you suspect your reptile may have mouth rot call your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Prevention of mouth rot is in the importance of nutrition, temperature and living conditions. The reptiles are exotic animals and usually do not show signs of mouth rot until is in the advanced stages. If proper care and proper environment quarters for your reptile is being watched and maintained, mouth rot will be prevented.

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