Dealing with a sick reptile is much different from dealing with an ailing cat or dog. Aside from the lack of sympathy you might get from those around you when you bemoan the fact that your lizard is sick, the type of care required to nurse it back to health is decidedly different. Caring for an injured lizard requires expertise in first aid for reptiles and a basic understanding of how the physiology of the animal works to provide the best care possible.
Place the lizard — carefully — in a protective environment. If you have an empty aquarium or fishbowl (it needs to be roomy enough for the lizard to move around a bit), place it in that without filling it with water. Within this temporary habitat, place an area, such as a small box or carton, where it can hide as necessary to reduce the amount of "psychological stress," states the Melissa Kaplan's Herp Care Collection website.
Inspect the lizard carefully for wounds. Wear gloves in case it bites. The best way to determine what kind of treatment to administer is to look over its body, limbs and head to figure out how injured it is. If the lizard's injuries look very extensive, consult with a veterinary professional to determine the best course of treatment.
Treat the lizard's wounds. Melissa Kaplan's Herp Care Collection website suggests using a combination of "sterile (bacteriostatic) water, dilute (0.5 percent) chlorhexidine diacetate or povidone-iodine" to flush out reptile wounds. Apply this before using any additional ointment or topical solution to treat the injury.
Wrap the lizard's wounds carefully. Take care not to damage its skin or cause further injury to the creature. It may take some creativity to wrap its wounds. Melissa Kaplan's Herp Care Collection site suggests using a condom on the lizard's tail to wrap the wound or a liquid bandaging product elsewhere on the body. The idea is to wrap it long enough for the healing process to begin.
Watch for changes over several days. If the lizard seems to be getting less active instead of more active or its wounds appear to be getting worse, take it to a veterinarian that specializes in reptilian care. However, if it seems to be doing better after a few days, you can release it back into its natural habitat, so it can reacclimate itself to its surroundings.
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Lynda Moultry Belcher is a writer, editor and public relations professional. She worked for a daily newspaper for 10 years and has been a freelance writer for more than 15 years. She has contributed to Divorce360 and Revolution Health Group, among other publications. She is also the author of "101 Plus-Size Women's Clothing Tips" and writes "Style At Any Size," a bi-weekly newspaper column.