Monday, May 17, 2010

California Bill May Stop Declawing and Devocalization Requirements

California bill may stop landlords from requiring declawing or devocalization of animals.

By Marissa Heflin
Article from The Reptile Channel

Click image to enlarge
California may pass a Bill to prevent landlords from ordering tenants to declaw or devocalize their animals.
The California Assembly yesterday passed a bill that would prohibit landlords from requiring tenants or potential tenants to declaw or devocalize their animal as a condition of occupancy.
“Animal” is defined as any mammal, bird, reptile or amphibian.
AB 2743, which was introduced by Assemblyperson Pedro Nava in February, claims that such procedures have irreversible effects on the animals.
In addition, the bill states that declawing and devocalizing may have the unintended consequence of creating potential public health and safety concerns. For example, there may be a safety risk to police officers posed by a devocalized attack dog present on property that law enforcement officers have legal cause to enter, according to the bill.
Furthermore, “the permanence of these surgical procedures contrasts with the temporary nature of the occupancy of real property owned by another, which generally lasts only for a fixed term and may be terminated upon notice by one of the parties.”
The California Veterinary Medical Association, which has long been against legislation pushing for declaw bans, agrees with the bill’s concept but officially opposes it due to certain language.
“Landlords should not be making these medical decisions,” said Mark Nunez, DVM, president of CVMA. “These decisions need to be made between a veterinarian and the pet owner. However, various aspects of the bill’s language cause us to oppose the bill.”
An early version of the bill stated that declawing cats and other animals is cruel and unnecessary. It also stated that declawed cats have a tendency to bite more often than cats that have not been declawed.
“We felt this was inflammatory and unscientific language,” Dr. Nunez said.
The language has since been removed with the cooperation of the bill’s author, but concerns still remain with other language, according to Nunez. For instance, CVMA does not agree that declawing may create a potential public health risk. The association also takes issue with bill’s definition of “nontherapeutic.”
Still, Nunez said he is encouraged with the progress and is hopeful a revision can be made that they can all agree on.
The California Apartment Association, which represents more than 50,000 rental housing owners and managers, supports the bill.
The CAA decided years ago that it would not include declaw or debarking requirements in its industry forms, said Debra Carlton, senior vice president of legislative affairs. Instead, the CAA recommends that property owners rely on pet deposits to cover any damage to the unit.
“We thought that [declaw or debarking requirements] would be negative,” Carlton said. “That type of decision should be made between the pet owner and their veterinarian.”
Violators of the bill would be subject to a fine of up to $1,000 for each violation that does not result in the declawing or devocalization of an animal. A fine of up to $2,500 would be imposed for each animal that is declawed or devocalized as a result of a landlord-tenant agreement. The money would be paid to the animal owner.
The bill now moves to the Senate. Click here to view the bill. 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Louisiana Reptile House Bill 1354

Louisiana to hold public hearing on House Bill 1354 targeting reptiles and amphibians.

Article From Reptile Channel 

Louisiana legislators have introduced a bill that seeks to expand current licensing regulations to include certain non-indigenous and poisonous snakes. A public hearing on the measure is scheduled for May 5.

As introduced, House Bill 1354 would require any person buying, acquiring or handling any live species of native reptile or amphibian, or any live species of poisonous snake or constrictor, in the state for sale or resale to acquire a reptile and amphibian wholesale/retail dealer’s license. Current law covers native reptiles or amphibians only. Permits would be issued by the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and cost $105 for Louisiana residents and $405 for non-residents.

In addition, the bill would require permits for the importation and private possession of constrictor snakes longer than 12 feet and venomous snakes. For a complete list of the snakes, click here.

Violators would be subject to fines ranging from $250 to $1,000 or imprisonment or both. Violators may also have their permit revoked.

The House Natural Resources & Environment Committee is scheduled to hear the bill on May 5, 9:30 a.m. CDT, in the state capitol building.

The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) has issued a Pet Alert in which the organization contends that requiring a permit for the handling of live species of reptile and amphibians would limit many reptile dealers’ day-to-day business activities and affect reptile shows. PIJAC also stated that requiring permits for private ownership could spur an underground market, since permit fees and penalties are “lofty.”

“We recommend that Louisiana adopt a more sustainable and flexible regulatory mechanism to handle these species,” PIJAC said in the PetAlert. “The state of Florida has adopted a viable Reptile of Concern program that includes permitting and microchipping in a reasonable manner.”

Monday, May 10, 2010

First Ever Leopard Gecko CT Scan

Article from Reptile Channel
Leopard gecko CT scan picture courtesy Thomas Boyer, DVM.
Leopard gecko scan courtesy BioLaurus.

A leopard gecko belonging to Erik Fields of Santa Barbara, Calif., is believed to be the first in the world to have received treatment for hyperthyroidism, according to veterinarians who treated the 13-year-old reptile.
A key part of this unique case involves the medical equipment used to detect the problem. The 6-inch lizard, named GirlieGrrrl, was diagnosed with a rare CT scan designed for the smallest animals.

GirlieGrrrl’s case began at the Pet Hospital of Penasquitos in San Diego, Calif., where her owner took her to see Thomas Boyer, DVM, who has a special interest in veterinary care of reptiles. He referred the gecko to the Veterinary Imaging Center of San Diego to have her checked for hyperthyroidism.

Fields said his pet was not eating well and she began to lose weight, was shedding frequently and had diarrhea. The center’s founder, Seth Wallack, DVM, Dipl. A.C.V.R., said, “You know a gecko is sick when it’s not taking its crickets.”

To confirm what veterinarians believed, GirlieGrrrl was anesthetized and taped down on her back then went through the scanner for 20 minutes. This CT machine also has a nuclear medicine scanner attached so it not only provides CT images but also shows thyroid activity, Dr. Wallack said.

“The results showed that she had one big thyroid gland, and normal geckos have two small ones,” he said. Since starting treatment with radioiodine therapy, the gecko’s thyroid values have returned to normal.
Follow-up visits show GirlieGrrrl continues to do well, and Dr. Wallack said the pet’s owner has plenty to do with the recovery. “He was with this the whole way,” he said, adding that Fields has spent thousands of dollars on treatments.

Dr. Wallack’s patients include a koala and a gorilla from the San Diego Zoo, as well as other reptiles, and now, GirlieGrrrl, his first leopard gecko.

“I was skeptical that this would work because it hadn’t been done,” he said. “And everything fell into place.”

Blood Squirting Lizard!!

This lizard is called a Horned Lizard, better known as the Blood Squirting Lizard!  Pretty cool huh?  I bet you wish you had one as pet.  Don't worry, I did to until I seen it do this:

Still really cool, but I don't want it as a pet anymore.  Now for those who are not grossed out because of the blood and are still interested, I am going to give a little information about this Blood Squirting Lizard.

Blood squirting lizards are found all over North America, Central America, and Guatemala on the desert climate regions.  They eat a variety of different kind of insects such as ants, spiders, beetles, roaches, and grasshoppers.

Blood squirting lizards have a few defenses to protect themselves from predators.  One of their first defenses, as with most lizards, is to stay completely still hoping the predator can't see them anymore.  Blood squirting lizards next defense is to run quickly and then stop, this will confuse the predator.  Their third defense is to blow up their body and stick out their spikes hoping to scare the predator away.  These three defense are very similar to what other lizards do.

Now here is the really cool defense, now is the time to click away from this web page if you don't like blood.  Blood squirting lizards can shoot a line of blood at target that is 5 feet away!  This is a very effective method as the blood taste gross to predators or it suprises them and scares the predator off.  Blood squirting lizards perform this defense mechanism by restricting the blood vessels that are leaving the head, wich leads to a build up of extra blood in their head, wich they can shoot out through small tears in the eyes.

It amazes me how similar the resemblence is between the blood squirting lizard and the bearded dragon, the only difference to me is that a bearded dragon can't shoot blood through it's eyes.  This might be just me, let me know what you think.

I hope this article about blood squirting lizards was helpful and interesting, if you have any questions, feel free to email me or comment below.

Cleaning Reptile Cages

Cleaning your reptile cage can be categorized into two categories.  Routine maintenance and monthly maintenance.

Routine maintenance is a daily routine.  Every day you should clean out your reptiles poop, change the water, and take out any uneaten food from the previous day.  Reptiles are very susceptable to bacterial infections and their cages should be kept in a very clean enviornment.  Reptiles also can be carriers of salmonella and this can help to fight that.  Routine maintenance should take anywhere from 5-20 minutes a day.

Monthly maintenance should be done about once a month.  This is where your going to clean everything in the reptile's cage, except the reptile itself of course. Monthly maintenance can take anywhere from 30 minutes - 2 hours.

  • The first thing you should do is take your reptile and put it in a safe place.  You can let a friend hold it or you can put your reptile in a safe temperorary container.
  • Now take out all your rocks, fake plants, and any other accessory you may have in the reptiles cage and soak it in bleach and water.  Remember it does not take much bleach to get the job done nice and cleanly. 
  • Now depending on if your using sand or reptile carpet, will depend on how you need to clean it.  With sand, you can use a cat scooper to sift through the sand, but you will want to change the sand out every couple of months because it can harbor bacteria.  With reptile carpet, you can just toss it into the washer and dryer.
  • To clean the inside of you reptile cage, you can buy a specific reptile habitat cleaner or you can just use soap and water.  You just have to make sure you go over it with water again to make sure you got all the soap off.
  • Anything else that you feel is necessary to clean, go for it as this is just the basics.
I hope this helps some of you get ideas on how to clean your reptile cages!

Reptile Tank Sizes

Now when you are out looking to buy a reptile cage, keep in mind about the size, so you will have enough room to fit it wherever you are going to put it.  Here is a list of Reptile Tank Sizes and there dimensions below:

Cage Size                Cage Dimensions (LxWxH)

2 1/2 gallon               12" x 6" x 8"

5 gallon                     16" x 8" x 10"

10 gallon Leader       20" x 10" x 12"

15 gallon                   24" x 12" x 12"

15 gallon High           20" x 10" x 18"

20 gallon High           24" x 12" x 16"

20 gallon Long          30" x 12" x 12"

25 gallon                   24" x 12" x 20"

29 gallon                   30" x 12" x 18"

30 gallon Breeder      36" x 18" x 12"

40 gallon Breeder      36" x 18" x 16"

40 gallon Long           48" x 12" x 16"

50 gallon                    36" x 18" x 19"

55 gallon                    48" x 13" x 21"

65 gallon                    36" x 18" x 24"

75 gallon                    48" x 18" x 21"

90 gallon                    48" x 18" x 24"

125 gallon                  72" x 18" x 21"

150 gallon                  72" x 18" x 28"

180 Gallon                 72" x 24" x 25"