Terrarium pets can also become ill. For one, newly acquired pets may be infected with germs or parasites. Often, diseases only break out some time after the animals have been purchased, as changes of habitat are stressful. If climatic conditions in a new terrarium are not optimum, this may also weaken the immune system and cause a shift in balance between the host and the germs,leading to an outbreak of disease.
If the pets show any external signs of change, or any noticeable changes in behaviour, a vet with experience in herpetology must be consulted without delay. As different germs or parasites can produce similar symptoms, clear diagnosis of the cause of the disease can only be made after precise tests have been carried out. Tests also indicate the resistance of the germs, so that the most effective medicine can be prescribed for the treatment. In general, the sooner treatment is started, the better the chances of a cure. Once a pet‘s reserves have been exhausted or its physical decline has reached an advanced stage, even major efforts to restore the animal’s strength will no longer help.
Accordingly, new pets should be kept in a quarantine tank with optimal nutritional and climatic conditions first and observed for a while. During this quarantine period, samples of excrement should be taken (at intervals of several days) and submitted to a veterinarian or a veterinary clinic for examination, as it is always better to take precautions than to treat diseased animals, especially if one has a number of other pets already. If pathogens or parasites are found in the faecal matter, the dosage instructions and duration of medical treatment prescribed by the veterinarian must be adhered to carefully. Namely, the slogan “more is better” often leads to the loss of pets as a result of organ failure, while insufficient doses and premature discontinuation of the treatment causes the pathogens to become resistant.