Reptile mycoplasma is a type of bacterial infection found in reptiles. It’s caused by mycoplasma, which are small, single-celled organisms that can infect the respiratory tract, digestive system or urinary tract of reptiles. Treatment depends on the severity of the infection and can involve antibiotics, supportive care and treatment of other underlying conditions. In severe cases, surgery could be required to remove infected or damaged tissue. It’s important to practice good hygiene when handling reptiles to avoid spreading infection.
Mycoplasma is a contagious infection that can spread between reptiles and even to humans. Early detection is important for successful treatment, because the disease can quickly progress and become life-threatening. The most common method of diagnosing is through blood or tissue culture, however there are also newer methods such as PCR testing which are becoming more widely used. Treatment typically involves antibiotics and supportive care.
Symptoms of Reptile Mycoplasma
Symptoms of reptile mycoplasma infection can vary depending on the severity and location of the infection. Common symptoms include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Weight loss
- Appetite loss
- Coughing or sneezing
- Nasal discharge
- Discolored eyes
- Swollen joints
In severe cases, pneumonia and septicemia can occur. It’s important to get immediate veterinary care if any of these symptoms are seen in your reptile.
Diagnosing Reptile Mycoplasma
Reptile mycoplasma is typically diagnosed through a blood or tissue culture. Newer methods such as PCR testing are also being used with increasing frequency due to their accuracy and cost-effectiveness. In some cases, additional tests such as X-rays could be needed to confirm the diagnosis and assess the severity of the infection.
Stages of Reptile Mycoplasma
Reptile mycoplasma infection is split into three stages depending on the severity of symptoms and the presence or absence of additional infections.
Mild infection with few or no clinical signs
Moderate infection with mild to moderate clinical signs or additional infections present
Severe infection with severe clinical signs or secondary infections present
Treating Reptile Mycoplasma
Treating reptile mycoplasma typically involves antibiotics and supportive care. In severe cases, surgery will be needed to remove infected or damaged tissue. It’s important to practice good hygiene when handling reptiles to avoid spreading the infection.
Preventing Reptile Mycoplasma
Reptile mycoplasma can be prevented by practicing good hygiene when handling reptiles. It’s important to keep cages and tanks clean and disinfected regularly, as well as avoiding overcrowding. It’s also important to ensure that any new reptiles are screened prior to introducing them to an existing collection.
Reptiles that are infected should be isolated from other animals, and all cages and equipment should be cleaned and disinfected regularly to help prevent the infection from spreading.