Reptile Heat Stroke - temperatures and treatment.

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Reptile Heat Stroke - temperatures and treatment.

Postby kingofnobbys » Sat Sep 02, 2017 2:30 am


Been some reports here lately of reptiles suffering suspected heat stroke , this has prompted me to try to find information first aid for heat stroke, as I know a keeper who has a very sick per dragon will not be thinking straight and will likely be too panicky to search for information.

Is very important to be very aware of the weather forecast and if it's forcast to be hot and sunny , it's very good policy to :
>> Don't turn the basking globe back on (while it's heatwave conditions or expected to get very hot) , is OK to keep the UVB globe or tube on.
>> place a very shallow wadding dish in the viv, a healthy active reptile will seek out ways to cool off and will find the water and will sit in it or lay in it to help it to thermoregulate even if it wont drink the water.

If the viv is in a room that catches the sun and it's very hot sunny weather it's It is likely it can actually get a lot hotter than the temperatures outside as the heat will build up and can't easily escape .. (Same thing happens in cars on hot sunny days , can reach 60 degC and higher in a car with the windows up even on a sunny day where it's only 30-35 degC outside the car).
Common sense thing to do that many fail to do is - close the blinds and curtains to keep direct sun out. (Open windows are only helpful if there is a cool breeze, even then keep the sunny windows covered.)

The graphic in this viewtopic.php?f=5&t=233516 illustrates the behavioral responses of dragons to different temperatures .

Above 44 degC is critically hot for a bearded dragon (Range A) , it will want to avoid this temperature and it it can't it will loose it's ability to be mobile and will very soon expire.

Above 46 degC is LETHAL without very prompt emergency vet treatment.

Very hard to find information on how to help a reptile who is suffering heat stroke , this is based on treatment for heat stroked birds, the nearest analog.

For heat stressed reptiles, move them away from the heat source and call the vet right away.

First aid to treat a reptile with heat stress or heatstroke:
• Move the reptile to a quiet, cooler location
• Mist the reptile with water until his skin is wet
• Keep the reptile's feet and legs moist with cool water
• Do not additionally stress the reptile
• Monitor the reptile closely and contact your veterinarian IMMEDIATELY.

Feel free to comment and suggest additional steps and different steps if you know a more effective treatment protocol for reptiles.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
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Re: Reptile Heat Stroke - temperatures and treatment.

Postby CooperDragon » Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:13 am

Good info, thanks for posting. Concern over heat management pushed me toward setting up a thermostat to handle the fluctuations in ambient temperature without me having to constantly check and adjust. I was happy to, but didn't want to miss a change and cause a problem. Also the importance of creating a good temperature gradient across your tank comes into play here. If the basking site gets dangerously hot for some reason, there should still be shade areas available that are safe in the short term. They are pretty good about self regulating and will likely retreat to those areas if needed.
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