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  • Understanding Venom
    The second sort of venom has evolved from natural skin secretions with the South American Poison Arrow Frogs probably being the most well known example of this although other amphibian species are also poisonous to some degree Most are not harmful to humans but some such as the Cane Toad Bufo marinus produce a substance which is very powerful indeed These kinds of venom are intended for defensive purposes if you are a small soft and relatively slow moving creature tasting bad can be a great way to dissuade a predator from seeing you as a potential easy meal The bright colours of many animals including the likes of Poison Arrow Frogs and the European Fire Salamander Salamandra salamandra advertise the fact to warn other animals of their unpalatable natures in advance Which Other Kinds Of Animals Are Venomous Venom is surprisingly widespread in the animal kingdom and many creatures have developed their own versions of these chemical weapons All spiders are venomous including the ones native to Britain and so are all of their relatives the scorpions though obviously many kinds either cannot bite through our skin or don t produce any real symptoms if they do Some species found in the warmer parts of the globe are highly dangerous to man but they re obviously not candidates for the pet market Although many people are firmly convinced that all snakes are instantly deadly contrary to this popular belief only around one in three of the world s species is poisonous and only a very small number of these pose any serious threat to humans Snakes spiders and scorpions all originally developed their venoms to help them catch and eat their prey however if threatened they may make use of this natural weapon to defend themselves although most will typically try to escape first rather than waste venom on a non meal Deadly Venom In any discussion of venom sooner or later someone is inevitably going to ask which is the most deadly snake or spider but it s a difficult question to answer Ranking the potency of the various venoms of the world in terms of number of people they can kill per drop is fairly simple but in many ways it misses the bigger point The venom of sea snakes for instance is widely accepted to be some of the most lethal drop for drop and yet few human fatalities are recorded largely because on the rare occasions sea snakes do bite people they almost never inject any venom By contrast the Puff Adder Bitis arietans is an ill tempered beast and regularly causes all manner of problems in the parts of Africa and the middle east where it is found despite having a technically less potent venom Even two bites from the same kind of snake can have decidedly different outcomes one that has recently fed and so used up its immediate supply of poison can produce no ill effects while one from a fully armed

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/understanding-venom.html#Newcomment (2016-02-16)
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  • Safety Issues with Exotic Pets
    pleasant experience a number of spiders flick irritating hairs from their abdomens if they feel threatened while the skin of many amphibians produces toxic secretions As with so much to do with keeping exotic pets the trick is to know your animals learn to recognise the signs that it s feeling a bit insecure or threatened and understand what it s likely to do about it and you should be all right Illnesses And Ailments Like all living things exotic pets are prone to a number of diseases and while some of them may only affect particular kinds of animals a number can be passed to humans Of these Salmonella is probably the single most important The Salmonella bacterium can be carried by many kinds of animals and in the case of several of our exotic pets particularly reptiles the creature itself may show no symptoms to suggest anything is wrong The main symptoms of the disease include diarrhoea vomiting a loss of appetite increased thirst and abdominal pain Salmonella is often passed on when people especially young children handle their pets or clean out tanks so it s important to practice good hygiene and make sure hands are washed thoroughly afterwards Keeping Pets Safe Of course there is another side to the coin we need to consider our pets safety too One of the biggest causes is bad handling or worse dropping animals which can cause some serious injuries Snakes can be easily and very badly bruised by a poor handling technique while tarantulas and other heavy bodied spiders can often be killed by even a seemingly small fall so anyone handling exotic pets really does need to understand how to do it properly If you don t already know find someone experienced and ask them to show you how to do it it s a skill worth learning and can make all the difference to your pet s life Safety is also something to bear in mind with an exotic pet s environment it s a good idea to check it regularly to see if there s anything that might harm your pet and examine any heaters or lights and their cables especially for any signs of wear or damage Also make sure that your pets can t get too close to the heaters or lights snakes in particular have a habit of trying to wrap themselves around them in their search for that extra bit of warmth and some serious burns can result Although from time to time the press seems full of scare stories about terrapins and Salmonella or bites and stings from pet keepers spiders and scorpions keeping exotic pets probably isn t much different from owning any other kind when it comes to safety After all nobody worries too much about having a dog because it can bite or a cat because it can scratch Exotic pets do bring their own spin to the whole safety issue but fortunately a little bit of knowledge

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/safety-issues-with-exotic-pets.html#Newcomment (2016-02-16)
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  • Where to Get An Exotic Pet
    around at all the other animals too even the ones that don t particularly interest you Clean cages don t mean that the shop owner knows everything there is to know about exotic pets but it does suggest that he or she cares enough to look after things remember you ll seldom find a great example of any kind of pet in a grubby tank Other Keepers Depending on what you want to keep you may find that getting your pet from another keeper might be something to consider Private sales of exotic animals are like private sales of second hand cars sometimes you can find yourself an absolute beauty and other times In both cases the same advice is good if you aren t yet an expert yourself take someone experienced along with you and don t be afraid to walk away if you don t see anything you like Buying from a fellow enthusiast has its advantages not least in terms of price Quite a few species of exotic pets breed well in captivity so keepers can often have surplus stock and many have been involved in keeping these animals for a very long time making them not only great for acquiring your new pet but also valuable sources of information Society and club newsletters often have for sale adverts which can be a useful way to find out if anyone is offering what you re looking for alternatively ask around the people you know who keep exotics to see if any of them can point you in the right direction Animal Sanctuaries While the local rescue centre may be the place to look if you want to give a poor stray dog or cat a good home the same is not often true of salamanders and scorpions

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/where-get-exotic-pet.html#Newcomment (2016-02-16)
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  • Picking the Right Exotic Pet for You
    customers later Space Diet and Needs It s obviously important to match the size of your pet and its container to the space you have available in your home but it s also important to consider what kind of living quarters it s going to want too Some exotic pets can have particular needs so you have to be sure from the outset that you can provide them and part of this also involves meeting the cost of keeping the animal warm properly fed and in good health Some exotic animals have rather strange dietary requirements while others will happily tuck into anything suitable that you put before them It s too late to find this out after you ve already arrived back home with your new creature so make sure you ll be able to provide a regular food supply for it before you part with your cash The best people to ask about all of these issues are those who already keep the type of pet you re thinking about buying for yourself so don t be afraid to benefit from their experience and advice How Big The final adult size of your pet is another serious consideration to take into account and many pet keepers have fallen foul of this one over the years It s all too easy to forget that those be jewelled iguana babies will end up 6ft long or those spider hatchlings will grow to the size of a saucer Make sure you know if you re planning to share your home with a potential giant and if you are that you will still have enough room to accommodate it in a few short years when it gets to be fully grown Either that or start thinking about moving house Whatever group of

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/picking-right-exotic-pet-for-you.html#Newcomment (2016-02-16)
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  • Health Care for Reptiles & Amphibians
    habit of checking your animals for likely infections on a regular basis once you know what you re looking for can be a vital part of keeping them in good health Common Health Problems In Reptiles And Amphibians Vitamins A and D3 are particularly important for reptiles Swollen eyes are often the first sign of a lack of vitamin A which if left untreated can lead to serious kidney damage Fortunately if you spot it early and get it treated with injections from your vet soon enough and perhaps administer a few drops of vitamin A liquid by mouth yourself affected animals can make a full recovery Vitamin D3 plays an important part in maintaining the balance of calcium and phosphorus a lack of this vitamin can lead to soft shells in tortoises and terrapins weak bones and poorly developed limbs Dusting the food with a good vitamin supplement is a good preventative measure but don t overdo it Too much of any vitamin can often have effects that are worse than too little Parasites There s no shortage of unwelcome guests waiting to make a nuisance of themselves at your pet s expense Keep an eye out for ticks on the body of your pet often to be found embedded between the scales in the case of reptiles where they will happily feast on its blood If you do find any remove them carefully making sure to get all of the head out if you leave any of the mouth parts behind it may set up an infection Tick removal is a knack worth developing ask your vet to show you how to do it Their smaller relatives the mites are another blood sucking parasite likely to be encountered Small and usually more numerous you may have to look really close to see them unfortunately the first you know about them may be when you find them swarming over you after you ve been handling your pet Get an approved treatment from your vet or exotic pet supplier and develop the habit of routinely treating any new animal for mites as a preventative measure on its arrival Left untreated they will spread to other pets they can also carry a range of diseases so keeping on top of these pests is important Respiratory Problems Respiratory problems are most commonly seen in reptiles which have been chilled It seems to be something that some species of tortoises are particularly prone to especially if their tanks are heated from below by a heat pad for instance This can result in them breathing what is effectively cold air into a relative warmer body with unpleasant consequences Often the affected animal will develop a discharge from the nostrils and sometimes especially with larger specimens start to sound a bit wheezy when breathing If any of your animals start showing any symptoms of respiratory problems swift veterinary treatment with a suitable course of antibiotics is called for If you learn to recognise the symptoms

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/health-care-for-reptilesamphibians.html#Newcomment (2016-02-16)
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  • Spotting the Signs That Your Pet is not Well
    in your pet s general behaviour is often the first sign you notice This may range from something specific that you ve spotted to just one of those funny feelings that it s not quite being its usual self Any change in behaviour that seems to have happened for no reason increased aggression lethargy or extra skittishness probably needs further investigation Activity A change in your pet s activity can be a sign that something is not right any alteration in how much it moves around and during which part of the day could be a clue Breathing With some pets it s not at all easy to spot them breathing at all but if you can and you know what yours does normally any unexpected rapid breathing or excessive breath holding should prompt further investigation to see if everything s OK Appetite Uneaten food is often the first sign that an animal is not feeling well equally a sudden ravenous hunger can also suggest that there s something amiss so it pays to keep an eye on how your pet is feeding Thirst How much water your pet wants can also be a good indicator of what s going on watch out for sudden thirst or a refusal to drink Droppings Your pet s droppings give a vital clue as to what s going on inside any changes in amount consistency colour or smell could mean something is upsetting your animal Be on particular look out for any signs of blood in the droppings or the presence of parasites Smell Your nose can be really useful when it comes to spotting problems early changes in the way your pet or its breath smells can be the first sign of trouble brewing The trick is to look for changes especially

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/spotting-signs-your-pet-not-well.html#Newcomment (2016-02-16)
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  • Basic Biology of Invertebrate Exotic Pets
    or contract their limbs hydraulically depending on how much blood they pump into them and only use their actual muscles for running Arthropods are common throughout the world in marine freshwater terrestrial and even aerial habitats They range in size from microscopic creatures to the largest living arthropod the Japanese Spider Crab which has a leg span of up to 12ft 3 5m across some of the prehistoric arthropods grew even bigger Molluscs Although the mollusc clan numbers far fewer it can claim the largest invertebrate known to biology the Colossal Squid Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni which is said to be between 12 14 metres 39 46 feet long and weighing an estimated 2 000 kg 4 400 lb or more Most molluscs are marine though some live in freshwater and they also have land living representatives including some of those most commonly kept as exotic pets snails and slugs Molluscs are well represented in the fossil record largely because the hard shell that many kinds of them possess preserves exceptionally well as a result it s possible to trace their contribution to the world s biology back over roughly as long as the arthropods However unlike the arthropods molluscs show no body segmentation Feeding amongst the mollusc group shows a great deal of variety with many marine forms being filter feeders while the octopuses and squids are highly competent predators equipped with a strong horny beak However slugs and snails have a uniquely mollusc feature the radula a horny rasp like tongue used to scrape away at plant material or even the shells and bodies of other molluscs in the case of some of the carnivorous kinds On the whole most people are inevitably much more familiar with our own group the vertebrates than the numerically superior invertebrates which make up

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/basic-biology-invertebrate-exotic-pets.html#Newcomment (2016-02-16)
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  • Keeping Exotic Pets Outdoors
    Europe or other temperate parts of the world can be kept outdoors in ponds during the summer but these fast moving animals are possibly even better escapologists than their bigger land living relatives so make sure your fences are secure Remember the voracious appetites of these creatures too don t put them in a pond with newts or small fish Lizards Although some kinds of lizards especially the smaller European Lacertids and their kin are able to tolerate the British climate well enough keeping them outdoors is fraught with difficulty but it s not impossible if you are determined The best kind of enclosure will test your brick laying skills however since these fast and active lizards are remarkably good climbers and only well constructed walls with a 12 inch 30cm or more horizontal overhang around the top edge is likely to stop them from making good their escape You ll also have to keep an eye out for local cats who seem to find their scurrying run irresistible usually with disastrous consequences On balance if you want to have outdoor lizards it s probably an awful lot easier to settle for a slow moving chameleon or two in the confines of a secure greenhouse Amphibians Terrestrial amphibians lend themselves to being kept outdoors in a suitably sized cold frame but even they are pretty good at getting out and exploring the rest of the garden if you give them half a chance and they only need a very small hole Site your cold frame in a cool spot shaded from too much direct sun on level ground and make sure there are no gaps underneath the frame or that s likely to be the last you ll see of your salamanders Give them plenty of hiding places a good sized water container and periodically water their home to keep it moist enough for their taste and they should do well Whatever species you decide to keep outdoors never underestimate their ability to get out of their home and disappear seemingly into thin air Allowing non native species into the wild is never something to be encouraged however accidentally it happens and besides half the fun of pet ownership is being able to watch your animals go about their lives Keeping exotic pets outdoors even for the short summer months is no different You might also like Understanding Venom Safety Issues with Exotic Pets Where to Get An Exotic Pet Picking the Right Exotic Pet for You Health Care for Reptiles Amphibians Share Your Story Join the Discussion or Seek Advice I have had an outdoor aquarium for many years It never freezes over and probably even when the outside temperature drops below zero it doesn t reach zero and so as I have space above the water surface at the back I am going to build an enclosed space for terrapins This space will have a floor area of around three and a half square feet The terrapins will

    Original URL path: http://www.KeepingExoticPets.co.uk/keeping-exotic-pets-outdoors.html#Newcomment#Newcomment (2016-02-16)
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