It’s one of the busiest times of year for us at the moment! This is due to a myriad of reasons from kitten season to foster carers being on holiday but also we are now helping more animals then ever, of a wider variety of species! Since March 2016 we have been taking in reptiles working in collaboration with the National RSPCA & RSPCA Adoption Centre in Stockport Pets At Home. So far we’ve seen corn snakes, bearded dragons, pythons and geckos!
Exotic animals such as these are tricky to care for and require a lot of time and money to look after correctly. The National RSPCA inspectorate has seen an increase in the numbers of exotics it rescues as they become more popular to have as pets. Sadly, many people do not realise the level of care they require and the animals suffer the consequences. As such the demand for rescue spaces has rocketed and why we decided to help by taking in reptiles. After all, there’s no point the inspectors rescuing them if they have no where to go!
|Draco, a very poorly Beardie|
This week we experienced a very sad case of a Bearded Dragon, named Draco. Poor Draco was rescued because his owner was unable to meet his welfare needs. He is in a pitiful state, weighing a mere half of what he actually should. Draco weighed 228g whilst his average weight should be at least 450g. In fact, he was so weak that he can’t even eat by himself which led to him being admitted to an exotic vet for tube feeding. His condition would have taken several months to deteriorate to this level.
Thankfully he’s now eating independently and weight gaining. Blood test have shown that his kidneys are fine but he is anaemic and has an infection. We are hoping that with a treatment of antibiotics and fluids he will be feeling better and able to leave the vets.
At this moment in time we don’t know whether Draco will make it but we will do all we can for him.
Our staff do all they can for the reptiles in our care, however we‘ve also quickly learnt that often as hard as we try too much damage has been done to these amazing creatures. This was the case for poor Sirius who‘s story sadly did not have a happy ending.
Sirius came into our care after being rescued from poor living conditions. He had a low bone density due to previously not being kept in the correct environment with UV light (Bearded Dragons require a 10-12% UVB light for a 12 hour period every day. This helps them process D3). Sirius also had a high burden of pinworms due to poor husbandry and the end of his tail was dead with a strong risk that necrosis would spread further up his tail bone.
Despite our exotic vets best efforts he was not eating properly and eventually started refusing food, our vets suspected he was in kidney failure, likely related to his previous poor husbandry and diet. Due to the level of suffering he was experiencing the decision was made that the kindest option was euthanasia. This was a devastating blow to our team who had tried so hard to save him. However, with so many reptiles needing our help they soon had to dust themselves off and continue the fight for reptiles: rescuing, rerehabilitating and educating the public the best that we can.
How can you help?
> Caring for exotic animals is expensive, especially as they often come to us very poorly indeed. If you can please consider making a donation to us or setting up a regular direct debit. Any amount really will help and allow us to continue this very important work.