Understanding Your Pet's Needs
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Understanding Your Pet's Needs

After my pet had a long, drawn-out battle with cancer, I realized that I needed to do a better job with understanding my pet's needs. I wanted to be there for them no matter what, so I started focusing on my other animals. They needed more love, attention, and medical care, so I focused on those things. I started taking them in for regular checkups and working on their physical appearance. I was able to spot a few other potentially catastrophic health conditions with my animals because of my actions. This blog is all about understanding your pet's needs.


Understanding Your Pet's Needs

3 Things Amphibian Owners Need To Know About Metabolic Bone Disease

Gisele Pereira

Frogs, toads, salamanders and other pet amphibians can develop illnesses, just like more traditional pets. Your pet may develop metabolic bone disease if they aren't fed a healthy, well-balanced diet. Here are three things amphibian owners need to know about metabolic bone disease.

What are the signs of metabolic bone disease?

Metabolic bone disease means that the bones are weakened. Your amphibian may develop deformities of their bones, including their lower jaw bone. They may also suffer from bone fractures. You may also notice that they have scoliosis, which means that the spine is unnaturally curved. If your amphibian's condition is very advanced, they may experience related symptoms like bloating or muscle spasms.

Why do amphibians get metabolic bone disease?

Amphibians develop metabolic bone disease if they're not getting adequate levels of vitamins in their diets. Deficiencies of vitamins essential for strong bones, like calcium and phosphorus, are often responsible. In the wild, amphibians hunt for live prey and can devour thousands of small insects every day, but in captivity, they tend to be fed a smaller number of large insects, like captive-bred crickets. The problem with feeding your amphibian too many crickets is that crickets don't have a lot of calcium or phosphorus, or the composition of these nutrients is imbalanced. Like people, amphibians need to eat a variety of different foods for optimum health.

One way to solve this problem is to catch wild insects to feed your amphibian. At night, a variety of insects can be seen flying around your outdoor lights, and these insects can be captured in a net and then fed to your amphibian. In the winter, when catching your own insects isn't practical, you can add supplements to your pet's diet. Your vet can provide vitamin-enriched powders that you can sprinkle on crickets or other insects.

Can metabolic bone disease be treated?

Your vet will need to give your pet vitamins to correct their deficiencies. Depending on the species of your pet, these vitamins may be given by injection or oral supplementation. Some species can be soaked in vitamin solutions and absorb the vitamins in that manner. Your vet will choose the most appropriate method for your pet. You'll need to keep giving your pet vitamins at home for a prolonged period to help them recover.

If your amphibian has broken bones, your vet will set the bones and then apply splints. Since amphibians live in moist environments, your vet will need to choose the splinting materials carefully to ensure they don't fall off when they get wet. Since amphibians have delicate skin, monitor them to make sure the splint isn't digging in or damaging their skin; if you notice these problems, return to the vet to have the splint adjusted.

For more information, contact River View Veterinary Service LLC or a similar location.