MBD Research Project - UK Reptile Owners Please Help!

EllyAylwen

New Member
*LIZARD AND CHELONIAN OWNERS!*

I'm currently conducting a research project on how vets can reduce the rates of metabolic bone disease. At the end, I hope to put together a guide that points vets in the right direction - what they need to tell new owners and how they can help supplying supplements etc.

But I need your help to fill in my questionnaire - I really want as many answers as possible, so I can see where gaps in knowledge lie and how I can better improve the relationship between vets and owners!

This is solely reliant on honesty, so please know that your answers are anonymous and I want you to express your knowledge and opinion freely :)

Thank you!

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfeHjURAqrT3d2EBW_TFMwAL1qR6qKs8zPVL_56MHixIPsxEA/viewform
 

Remkon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Chances you visit the vet with an already sick animal are greater than you visiting them with a healthy animal and I think the vet will try to educate you once they notice you are not taking care of the animal properly.

So instead of putting focus on pointing vets in the right direction, shouldn't focus be better put on pointing the stores that sell reptiles in the right direction?

So you either buy an animal with MBD or your animal will get MBD because you did not do your research prior to purchasing a reptile... Either way it's looks to me it's a better start to educate the pet stores on how to take care of reptiles...

If it were up to me I'd see all reptiles removed from stores and only have breeders sell them.
Just like dogs and cats where I'm from.
 

EllyAylwen

New Member
That's an excellent point - it would also be interesting to know what proportion of reptile sales are from pet shops versus private breeders. Certainly in the UK, (more experienced) people are very wary of pet stores because they sell reptiles in vivariums that are far too small/often provide 'start up kits' that don't have adequate supplies in etc. We've also taken the same initiative with cats and dogs (in general, I've seen some in pet stores recently), but unfortunately we seem to have a long way to go in recognising other animals as sentient beings that need proper welfare!

As a vet student, I'm hoping to use this research to give me an indication of what I can do differently when I go into practice, which is why it has little to do with the pet stores (which is definitely a huge problem). At the moment, for cats and dogs, there are a lot of UK vets that have 'new pet meetings' where they discuss how best to look after your animal. Recently, I discovered a clinic that is also doing this for reptiles. I think the problem here, is that very few people probably know this service is on offer.

I'd ideally like it to be common place for you to call up your vet clinic when you're thinking of buying an animal (or some people can be impulsive and buy an animal they know nothing about, which can sometimes be catastrophic of course but it does happen and we need to do our best in these situations) and just be able to say "hi, I've done some basic research but is there anything major I might have missed!?"

I am really interested in the point you've made though! Vets in the UK do seem to have a say when it comes to influencing animal welfare issues such as this, so this is something I'm going to continue mentioning as I move throughout my career. Unfortunately it's easy to not see the wider picture sometimes!
 

Peachypink

Chameleon Enthusiast
That's an excellent point - it would also be interesting to know what proportion of reptile sales are from pet shops versus private breeders. Certainly in the UK, (more experienced) people are very wary of pet stores because they sell reptiles in vivariums that are far too small/often provide 'start up kits' that don't have adequate supplies in etc. We've also taken the same initiative with cats and dogs (in general, I've seen some in pet stores recently), but unfortunately we seem to have a long way to go in recognising other animals as sentient beings that need proper welfare!

As a vet student, I'm hoping to use this research to give me an indication of what I can do differently when I go into practice, which is why it has little to do with the pet stores (which is definitely a huge problem). At the moment, for cats and dogs, there are a lot of UK vets that have 'new pet meetings' where they discuss how best to look after your animal. Recently, I discovered a clinic that is also doing this for reptiles. I think the problem here, is that very few people probably know this service is on offer.

I'd ideally like it to be common place for you to call up your vet clinic when you're thinking of buying an animal (or some people can be impulsive and buy an animal they know nothing about, which can sometimes be catastrophic of course but it does happen and we need to do our best in these situations) and just be able to say "hi, I've done some basic research but is there anything major I might have missed!?"

I am really interested in the point you've made though! Vets in the UK do seem to have a say when it comes to influencing animal welfare issues such as this, so this is something I'm going to continue mentioning as I move throughout my career. Unfortunately it's easy to not see the wider picture sometimes!
I think, unfortunately, the amount of people buying from reputable breeders is far less than those that buy out of impulse from a pet store. We see A LOT of them come on here in a panic because all of the sudden they have found themselves in a place of caring for an animal they know nothing about and with in a few weeks are already seeing problems and are THEN looking for the "what did I do wrong?" and a search on the ol' internet leads them to this forum. Some take the advise well and do all they can and some don't want to hear it and we never hear from them again. But also, we are realizing that those that are impulse buying are already at a disadvantage because they have most likely gotten an animal that has not had the best of care at the beginning of life or prior to hatching even.

As far as the vet, a chameleon is not an easy pet to take to the vet and some don't unless there is a problem. I myself have a panther that has not been in to "see" the vet. I will take fecals in for testing but I do not want to add the stress of a vet visit unless there is something I know to be wrong that needs vet intervention, such as mouth rot or eye infection. I take pictures to show my vet and I keep a close eye on him and watch for anything out of the ordinary. An experienced keeper will know if something is off. The veiled I have on the other hand, came to me with MBD from a big chain pet store. He gets vet visits.

I think educating vets is a great investment for the future of chams but I would very much like to see a movement for education and guidelines and regulations for pet stores put out by knowledgeable vets. The pet store I got my veiled with the MBD from wild me that they have pet care guidelines that they have to follow and that a team of vets created it so they see nothing wrong with it. Almost ALL of the info they have on chams is wrong. Their team of vets is just wrong. So, they are providing wrong husbandry to begin with and then in turn giving wrong guidance to new owners. Some are lucky to stumble on here, other not so much and their new pet only last a year, if that.
 
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