Reptile Stick Tail Disease (RSTD) is a serious condition that affects reptiles, typically Snakes and Geckos. It’s caused by a bacteria called Mycoplasma agassizii and can cause severe damage to the affected reptile’s tail. The disease can result in function loss or complete amputation of their tail.
In most cases, RSTD is caused by poor husbandry, such as inadequate temperatures, humidity levels, and sanitation. Inadequate nutrition can also contribute to the disease and its severity. The most common symptom of RSTD is their tail thinning or wasting away, which can be accompanied by discoloration, ulceration, and infestation by parasites. Treatment for RSTD usually involves antibiotics and supportive care, such as providing optimal temperatures, humidity levels, and nutrition.
Reptile Stick Tail Disease can be prevented by maintaining optimal environmental conditions and proper nutrition for the affected reptile. If the disease is diagnosed early enough, treatment can help minimize or even reverse the damage caused by the bacteria. It’s important to get veterinary advice if your reptile has any signs of RSTD.
Symptoms of Reptile Stick Tail Disease
- Tail thinning or wasting away
- Parasitic Infestation
Diagnosing Reptile Stick Tail Disease
Tail biopsy is the most common method of diagnosing Reptile Stick Tail Disease. The sample will be examined under a microscope to determine if Mycoplasma agassizii bacteria is present. Other diagnostic methods can include blood tests, culture swabs, and x-rays.
Stages of Reptile Stick Tail Disease
The tail can appear thin and discolored. Tail ulceration could also be present.
The bacteria has spread and caused widespread tissue damage to the tail, resulting in decreased function.
The tail is severely damaged, with little or no function remaining. Treatment could include amputation.
Treating Reptile Stick Tail Disease
Treating Reptile Stick Tail Disease involves a combination of antibiotics and supportive care. Antibiotics are prescribed to treat the underlying infection caused by Mycoplasma agassizii bacteria. Supportive care includes providing optimal temperatures, humidity levels, and nutrition for the affected reptile. In some cases, tail amputation can be necessary in order to minimize further damage. It’s important to get veterinary advice if your reptile has any signs of RSTD.
Preventing Reptile Stick Tail Disease
The best way to prevent Reptile Stick Tail Disease is by maintaining optimal environmental conditions and providing proper nutrition for the affected reptile. Ideal environmental conditions include warm temperatures, high humidity levels, and clean, sanitary living quarters. Proper nutrition will also help strengthen an affected reptile’s immune system and reduce the severity of the disease.